Fish skins help humans heal and  regrow their own tissue

Fish skins that help regenerate human tissue have garnered a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Defense Department to make them available to wounded soldiers.

It’s the third grant the Icelandic company Kerecis has received from the Defense Department’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program (JPC-6).

Kerecis has pioneered and patented the omega 3 fish skins that need minimal processing. The intact skins provide an infection barrier and enable the body to regrow its own tissues. They already are used around the world in hospitals, by health care workers and consumers. Now, Kerecis will create field kits for use by the U.S. military.

The miraculous cure stems from harnessing nature’s own remedies, in this case the omega-3 fatty acids and collagen found in fish skins. And because no disease-transfer risk exists between cold-water fish and humans, the fish skins are ideal for treating soldiers in the field.

Kerecis is also developing products for oral surgery, plastic surgery, complicated soft-tissue injuries and neurological applications.

 Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and supports everything from our skin and bones to our toenails.  The marine collagen in fish skins is the same kind.

And while that market is pegged to reach nearly $1 billion by 2023, nearly all of Alaska’s skins are still dumped as wastes.

Kerecis uses mostly Icelandic cod for its skins. Pacific cod from Alaska could produce nearly 1.4 million pounds of skins, assuming a five percent yield, according to economist Dan Lesh of McKinley Research Group, formerly McDowell Group.

The skin yield is in the 8 to 10 percent range for salmon.

And they are loaded with healing goods:  Studies show cod skins produce about 11 percent collagen and nearly 20 percent has been extracted from salmon skins.