Friday, November 9, 2012

Meth for the Flu Madness

It's that season again. Anyone who has sat wrapped in a snuggie on their couch suffering through the flu knows that there is not much you can do to feel better. You just have to let it all run it's course and hope there is a good marathon of Law and Order on TV and that you know someone who loves you enough to be willing to brave breathing your contaminated air to come bring you some soup.
There you sit and suffer, only days ago a vibrant, healthy being, now a snotty, coughing mess with dripping eyes framed by dark circles and matted unwashed air. When you catch a glimpse in your bathroom mirror you realize in disgust that in this lowly state you look unmistakably like a meth addict.
Well turns out scientists have discovered that looking like train-wreck Lindsay Lohan while having the flu isn't the only connection between meth and the virus. Researchers in Taiwan published a study this week in PLoS One that methamphetamine may possess flu-fighting properties. They exposed human lung cells to varying quantities meth, then infected them with H1N1 viruses, a common subtype of human influenza and after 30 hours, the meth-treated cells possessed significantly lower concentrations of the virus than the control group did. After 48 hours, the difference was even more pronounced. They concluded this had to do with meth's apparent anti-viral effect occuring during the viral replication that takes place after infection.
But before you go all Breaking Bad and search out Walter White, remember that meth has a ton of outrageously negative effects-such as brain damage, psychosis, heart disease, tooth decay, not to mention it won't make you look any better than when you had the flu. In fact, comparatively, you probably look sexier with the flu.
Like that poor girl from America's Next Top Model with a meth addiction that Dr. Phil dragged out:
Obviously, these scientists are trying to search for safer, structurally similar compounds to meth that could be used to fight the flu.
So stay healthy. But, if you do get the flu, resist temptation to get involved with meth. Though that couch time may be perfect to finally catch up on Breaking Bad on Netflix.

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