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
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
Timur M, Çolak A, Marufi M.A studyon the systematic
identification of the Balikli thermal spring ( Sivas ) fish
and the curative effects of the fish on dermal diseases ,
Fakült Dergisi (Ankara ) 1983; 30:276-82 .
2. Özer Z, Akpinar MA Akçay M , et al. Investigation of
some chemical and biological properties of Kangal ( Sivas )
fishy hotspring. Fen Bilimleri Dergisi ( Sivas ) 1987 ;
(suppl 5 ) : 1-34.
3. Halver JE. Fish nutrition . New York : Academic Press ,
4. Akpinar MA,Aksoylar MY . Effects of temperature, dictary
fatty acids and starvation on the fatty acid composition of
Garra rufa Heckel, 1843. Doga TU Biyol Dergisi (Ankara)
1988; 12. 1-8.
5. Akpinar MA ,Aksoylar MY . Relation to temperature of
fatty acid composition in muscle tissue of Cyprinion
macrostamus Heckel, 1843. Doga TU Biyol Dergisi (Ankara)
1989; 13:57 -62.
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