SIR, Dr Warwick and Dr Warwick (Nov 4 p 1093) are skeptical about the “doctor fish of Kangul”. The species of fish have been identified. There are two types, both being members of the Cyprinidac family adapted to warm miliue 12 – namely, “strikers” (Cyprinion macrostomus macrostomus) with a terminal mouth and “lickers” (Garra rufa obtusa) with a ventral mouth. (The “jabber” is an immature striker, losing its lateral spots during maturation.) Both fish are omnivorous, a well-known feature of Cyprinidae. The ori/entation of inadequate amounts of phytoplankton and zooplanktons are caused by high water temperatures. The fish prefer afflicted to healthy skin simply because it is easy to nibble at this surface. Some biochemical properties of the fish in relation to the high temperature of water have also been investigated.
The presence of a high level of selenium (1.3 ppm) in water, topical application of which element is beneficial in some skin diseases, is an important factor. The fish may, by softening the psoriatic plague, clear away the scale and expose the lesion to water and sunlight.
Wide interest in the “doctor fish” has made people with neurological, rheumatic and skin diseases other than psoriasis visit this hot-spring to immerse themselves in its pools. We are grateful for the mention of the doctor fish of Kangal (Sivas), Turkey.
Deparment of Internal Medicine.
Faculty of Medicine.
Deparment of Biology. LEVENT ÜNDAR
Faculty of Sciense and Art. M.ALI AKPINAR
Cumhuriyet University ATILLA YANIKOGLU
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