New research shows humble feijoa has powerful anti-fungal properties

New research coming out of Victoria University in Wellington has shown there is more to the humble feijoa than just a great tasting snack, with it being found to harbour anti-fungal properties.

Researchers have been looking into the feijoa's antibacterial and anti-cancer potential for some time now, but Victoria University's study is one of only a few looking into the anti-fungal side of things.

"Fungal infections cause one million deaths per year worldwide—more than breast cancer or tuberculosis—and that's even with the availability of anti-fungal drugs,” researcher Mona Mokhtari says.

Ms Mokhtari, who will graduate with a PhD in Biomedical Science at a Victoria graduation ceremony next week, has been conducting the research and is looking to turn the research into a drug that can be used on humans.

"I found that feijoa's are about 50 times more effective as an anti-fungal than as an antibacterial.

"That makes the compound very promising as the basis for a drug that kills fungal cells without hurting human cells or the beneficial bacteria in the guts of humans," she said.

She says that a drug is still a long way off though as a lot more work still needs to be done.

"Now that the compound has been identified and once the research has been published, other researchers have a head start on turning this compound into something you might see in pharmacies in years ahead," Ms Mokhtari says. 

Kiwi shaped feijoa. Source: Linda

Inside Parliament: Politics team pick apart work-for-the-dole, gastro outbreak and soaring fuel prices

1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann, and political reporters Katie Bradford and Andrea Vance wrap up the big stories from this week.  

1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann, and political reporters Katie Bradford and Andrea Vance wrap up the big stories from this week. Source: 1 NEWS

That includes Shane Jones' controversial work-for-the-dole plans, water quality, and soaring fuel prices.

To listen to Inside Parliament on Soundcloud, click here.  

Previous episodes of Inside Parliament

A weekly catch up with the 1 NEWS political team about the stories they’ve been covering. Source: 1 NEWS

Subheading: A weekly catch up with 1NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford and reporter Ryan Boswell. Source: 1 NEWS

The 1 NEWS political team discuss the new Government's ban on foreigners buying homes in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: 'You have got to talk to someone' - Koi Boys' Kevin Keepa emotionally reflects on son's suicide

The Koi Boys' Kevin Keepa has opened up about the despair and helplessness he feels about his son's suicide.

The VMA award winning trio sat down for a surprise performance at Youthline Auckland’s call centre today. Source: 1 NEWS

The Kiwi trio surprised suicide prevention group Youthline this morning with an impromptu performance to say thank you for the work they do. 

Mr Keepa has previously spoken out about suicide and dedicated the Koi Boys' Vodafone Music Award to his young niece who tragically took her own life.

But speaking to 1 NEWS at today's event, Mr Keepa was heartbreakingly honest about his own son's death from suicide many years ago.

"Yes I lost my own son to that, to suicide," Mr Keepa said.

"It's a tough one because you don't know what's on their mind but it happened some time ago now but you never forget.

"He was living with his mum at the time. His mum and I hadn't been together for quite some time. As a parent, as an adult you think what could I have done?

"His mum probably thinks the same thing, what could I have done. The worst thing we could do was to blame ourselves for it because you don’t know what’s going through their mind.

"Again you have got to put out that message, you have got to talk to someone. That's all."

The Koi Boys are the headline act at Auckland's Christmas in the Park tomorrow night and all money raised at the event goes to Youthline to provide support to over 50,000 young people each year. 

Where can I get support and help?
Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help.
Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354
Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54
Depression Helpline 24/7 - 0800 111 757
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787 - includes The Journal online help service - visit the website, email or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

The Koi Boys surprised suicide prevention group Youthline with an impromptu performance today to say thank you for all the incredible work they do. Source: 1 NEWS