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Got Shingles? Try Lobster Blood!

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Shingles suck. Don’t believe us? Well assuming that you have chickenpox before – which most of us have – then you already have some idea of how it is. Except, with shingles, it’s much worse. And assuming you did, in fact, have the chickenpox, then you are already carrying the shingles causing virus.

However, new research is coming out that might provide some relief for the shingles patient, as well as patients of other skin ailments; and that relief is found in lobster blood.

What was once only thought of as a culinary treat is now showing promise to also be an antiviral. Lobster industry researchers in Maine have said that they’ve determined that uncooked lobster hemolymph, or blood, has specific medicinal properties that can be used to treat the virus that causes warts and yes, even shingles.

Seemingly riding high off of this discovery, it seems that the lobster industry is putting its money where its mouth is and are developing a lobster blood-based skin cream called LobsteRx, which will be available for retail.

Developed by Lobster Unlimited LLC, the product has been patented but is as of yet not available in stores. According to an official statement from the company, they intend to market is as a “cosmeceutical” product that can be used to treat dry skin, chapped lips, cold sores, minor cuts, and burns.

Bob Bayer, chief scientist for the venture, said Thursday there have been scientific studies that indicate that hemolymph from other marine species, such as clams, snails, and shrimp has antiviral properties. He said he knew lobster also had hemolymph and, after testing it out, arrived at the same conclusion.

“We do have data that shows [lobster hemolymph] is antiviral,” Bayer said. “It kills the (herpes simplex) 1 virus.”

Bayer also works for the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, but Lobster Unlimited, which is made up of a handful of partners, is not associated with the university on this venture.

Bayer said “they have tested the product with friends and family members and have gotten good results but have not yet put it through any formal scientific testing reviews. He said that they can develop, market and sell the cream as an over-the-counter, topical product without approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration.”

Lobster are not the first marine species that has been used and reviewed by both the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. Horseshoe crabs and their powder-blue blood has been used as a purifying clotting agent in medicine and seaweed is a common additive in both supplements and skin care products.

While still a while off before any FDA approval comes in, this is a great sign of a growing trend of looking to nature for solutions to our health problems. According to Cathy Billings, an official with Lobster Unlimited, “The market is as big as the ocean.”

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