Confused? . Not yet, but you will be
On 31 July, a story broke in the New Zealand Herald that Lyprinol might just be the long-awaited miracle cure for cancer. Dr. Henry Betts from Queens University Hospital in Adelaide claimed to have discovered that Lyprinol can kill human cancer cells.
Lyprinol is an extract from the green-lipped mussel Perna Canaliculus that is indigenous to New Zealand. The Australasian company McLab have patents on the extraction process and it has been widely available for some time as a dietic supplement for sufferers of asthma and arthritis.
Initial reports quoted John Luxton, the Minister for Food & Fibre as being 'very excited' about the discovery. New Zealand pharmacies were besieged by customers wanting to purchase the tablet form of the extract. Within days, however, the Ministry of Health pronounced that under the constitution of the country's Medical Act no such claims about Lyprinol's medicinal properties could be made without 'substantial' proof. The sale of Lyprinol was halted by the distributors until the status of the product has been clarified.
Dr. Mike Berridge of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington then announced that Lyprinol was not a healer, but a promoter of cancerous cells. He claimed that the active ingredients in Lyprinol contained polyunsaturated fatty acids and that a number of these acids were proven to promote cancerous tumours. Lyprinol might also have an adverse effect on the immune system.
Meanwhile, Lyprinol is widely available through multifarious Internet sites around the globe, though it is now marketed as Lyprinex ". the Life Plus International equivalent of Lyprinol". These sites continue to promote the green-lipped mussel extract as being the best cure for arthritic pains and some of these sites mention that Lyprinol might also 'possibly' be a cure for cancer.
While it may take years for tangible evidence to emerge about Lyprinol, cancer sufferers remain utterly confused by an abundance of mixed messages. Should they take Lyprinol because it might cure their cancer or will it actually make matters worse? Cancer victims may be used to mixed messages from the mass media, but how will they deal with such a concoction of pronouncements from so-called scientists?