Gold products are not limited to just jewelries but go far beyond that.The benefits of gold surpass its physical beauty and scientists are trying to use the metal compound to treat diseases.
In 1980s, German bacteriologist Robert Koch learned that gold compounds could control the growth of bacillus which causes tuberculosis
Since 19th century, Chinese have been using gold compunds to treat many diseases. Today, healthcare providers are trying to incorporate the use of gold in medicinal purposes and diagnostic procedure.
Most of the traditional medical practitioners used gold componds in the medicines as it has lots of health benefits and acts as an immediate relief to many diseases.
Here are four mind-blowing health benefits of gold and its use for treating diseases:
Treatment of cancer
Doctors are still struggling to come up with a complete cure for specific cancers like â heart cancer, blood cancer and prostate cancer. They have not yet figured out the right medicines or procedure to heal the disease and millions are dying within a short period of time.
But the hope is not all lost and researches are still searching for ways to bring a medicinal breakthrough in treatment of this disease.
Gold compounds have been increasingly used since 19th century to treat several types of cancer. The most common being thoroughly used is in chemotherapy for tumours.
"Although not all cancer drugs contain metal, the most widely used treatments for many types of cancers are drugs such as cisplatin, whose chemical formula contains platinum," said Richard Holliday form the World Gold Council.
One promising use of gold nanoparticles is to cure tumours. Due to gold's biocompatibility, the nanoparticles can be injected intravenously and get accumulated in the specific area of tumour. Unlike other cancer drugs, gold nanoparticles have extremely minimal side effects.
Microscopic gold pellet helps to hinder tumour growth and has a potential treat prostate cancer.
Detects HIV/ AIDS
Till date there is no specific drug to cure the most dreadful disease like HIV, nevertheless, researcher remains hopeful. With the rapid advancement in technologies, scientists are looking for ways to treat and prevent cancer.
The research from Imperial College London revealed that the experimental gold nanoparticles techniques enable early detection of the disease by identifying the presence of a specific molecule at ultra-low concentration.
Researchers from Italy used a gold-based drug called auranofin to treat six monkeys infected with an HIV like virus. Auranofin was originally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They received positive results and were able to shrink the reservoir of virus-infected CD4 cells.
"That's because in this phase the trial could only be a proof-of-concept study, and we have already this proof in monkeys. We prefer to put all our effort in the intensification of the attack on the virus reservoir in monkeys by using a combined approach," said lead author Enrice Garaci, president of the Italian Institute of Health.
Treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Originally auranofin drug was used to treat rheumatoid arthritis; however, this treatment method has diminished over the last couple of decades. Methotrexate was also hugely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis- bone disease.
Compared to an oral gold formulation, gold treatment through injection is found to be more effective. People who received this injection had experienced 30% reduced swollen joints compared to people receiving placebo.
"Although its use can be limited by the incidence toxicity, injectable gold has an important clinically and statistically significant benefit in the short term treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis," said Richard Holliday.
Rapid Diagnostic Test ( RDT)
With the application of gold particles, nanotechnology has overshadowed RDTs globally and has made important changes by bettering the diagnosis of diseases over a decade. The utilization of nanotechnology is very effective and the test results through it show positive outcomes.
Gold nanoparticles helps diagonise malaria, a dreadful disease easilly. The tests use tiny amounts of gold to identify patients in less than 20 minutes . The method is also simple, safe and low cost at the same time.The gold particles help to detect the presence of malaria accurately by producing a simple colour change in the patient's blood sample.