Kiss a frog and stay young

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Kiss a frog and stay young, study shows

In tales, the princess must kiss a frog to turn it into the charming prince. In reality, this may not happen, but frogs have various uses around the world. We cannot say frogs are a stable component of the human diet, but in some countries people do eat frogs. Italians and French consider the frog legs a delicacy and, in other European countries, you could also serve them as "slough chicken".

In some areas of Latin America, the frogs of the genus Leptodactylus are extremely appreciated and named "mountain chicken," whilst the largest frog of all, the Goliath frog from Camerun, which can be 1 m (3 ft) long with its legs extended and weighing 7 pounds (3 kg), is an endangered species because it is overhunted for food by the locals.

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Dried frogs are sold in markets

In South Korea, dried frogs are sold in markets. They are kept in hot water to make a sort of stew or infusion and fed to sick children. Chinese people swallow live frogs against gut worms and as a refreshing food item. In China and southeastern Asia, people eat porridge made of frog legs, which may seem gross for outsiders.

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Porridge made of frog legs

In Peru, Extracto de Rana ("frog juice") is believed to cure asthma, bronchitis, anemia, sluggishness and to be a healthy aphrodisiac and tonic drink. The living frogs are killed by banging them against tiles. The dead frog is peeled like husked corn. Frogs are squeezed (in other times and still in rural areas with the hands; otherwise with a household blender) together with white bean broth, honey, raw aloe vera, malt, maca (an Andean root also believed to boost stamina and sex drive) and herbs.

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"Extracto de Rana", a drink made from the extract of two to three frogs,
which is blended with honey, malt and other ingredients.

But now, the bullfrog may prolong your life, as revealed by a study made by a South Korean team and published in the journal "Bioresource Technology." The researchers led by Professor Kim Se-kwon of Pukyong University, in Busan, found a peptide with antioxidant action in the bullfrog skin.

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Bullfrog may prolong your life, as revealed by a study made by a South Korean team

The molecule speeds up the process of removing free radicals, chemicals connected with the aging process of human cells. Alpha-tocopherol, more commonly known as Vitamin E, represents the most active antioxidant in humans, being widely employed in medicines and health supplements. But the price of Vitamin E keeps rising because of boosting world demand.

"The new substance can provide an economic alternative to tocopherol. Because it is water-soluble, the substance may be consumed in much more diverse ways than the oil-soluble tocopherol. You may put it in soft drinks, for example. The newly found material is also 10 percent more efficient than tocopherol in curbing oxidisation," Kim told AFP.


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