Novel Prospects for Managing Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common genetic disorder in Caucasians that ultimately leads to premature death. Owing to genetic absence of a functional chloride channel, patients with cystic fibrosis experience chronic lung inflammation, mucus obstructions, and frequent lung infections, resulting in progressive structural damage to the lungs. Fortunately, therapeutic advances have increased life expectancy in this disorder, and there is reason to suspect that certain additional drug or nutraceutical measures might prove beneficial as adjuvants. This essay reviews some of the key mechanisms thought to be responsible for lung dysfunction in CF, and proposes that these might be alleviated to some extent by metformin or berberine, salsalate, a range of antioxidants including lipoic acid, spirulina, and N-acetylcysteine, and the amino acid citrulline. An Addendum appended to the end of the manuscript suggests dose ranges for these agents.

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