Carbon Monoxide could help!

I was having a quick browse through the BBC News website being unable to sleep and came across this story.

The article explains how scientists have suggested that Carbon Monoxide could improve the lives of those with lung conditions such as COPD.

In high doses, carbon monoxide can be dangerous and what often adds to the level of danger is that it is and odorous and invisible gas meaning its presence often goes unnoticed. So, it would seem strange that such a dangerous gas is being advocated as a treatment for chronic lung conditions. It is produced naturally in the body, but not to toxic levels.

The research that has been conducted to date suggests that Carbon Monoxide may help to improve the symptoms by easing the reaction in (and inflammation of) the lungs.

The Dutch research team administered small amounts of carbon monoxide for two hours over four consecutive days. At the conclusion of this test they found that a certain type of immune cell linked to the inflammation of the lungs had fallen by on average a third when measured.

Dr Paolo Paredi from the National Heart and Lung Institute in London said: “Personally, I don’t see any future in this idea, and I am far more excited about other drugs for COPD that are being researched.” He continued: “The difficulty with carbon monoxide is that there is a fine balance between levels that influence COPD, and toxic levels, and it would be very hard to gauge a safe dose for patients. This makes it potentially quite dangerous.”

Certainly an interesting development, but I’m not sure if I would be too keen to have a poisonous gas prescribed to treat me or anyone in my family.