Marijuana, chili peppers likely to treat Type-1 diabetes and gut inflammation

Nupur Jha
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Researchers from the University of Connecticut (CT) have lately found two ingredients that can treat Type-1 diabetes and gut inflammation in rodents. The ingredients are none other than chili peppers and edible marijuana.

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Presence of a compound called capsaicin in chili peppers and edible marijuana has the properties which can activate anti-inflammatory immune cells and lower the inflammation, curbing Type-1 diabetes.

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The lead author of the study was Pramod Srivastava, professor of immunology and medicine at the UConn Health School of Medicine in Farmington, CT, along with his colleagues.

The study revealed that the gut, brain and immune system are linked to each other as per a statement by the University of Connecticut (UConn).

The researchers administered capsaicin to rats diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes. It was analysed by the scientists how the capsaicin impacted the gut of the mice. It was found that a receptor known as TRPV1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1) was seen in the specialised cells in the gastrointestinal tract of these mice. This led to the production of anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter.

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There are brain receptors which react with the anandamide and the cannabinoids present in the marijuana which get people high. Anandmide is also present in marijuana which reacts to the brain receptors and the scientists have tried figuring out for long why people got cannabinoid receptors in their brains. These anandamide receptors don't seem to interact with the bodily functions like opiate receptors do.

"This allows you to imagine ways the immune system and the brain might talk to each other. They share a common language," a statement by UConn quoted Srivastava as saying.

Marijuana also contains anandamide which attaches to the cannabinoid receptors. The research revealed that more anandamide is produced when the present anandamide reacts with a receptor known as CX3CR1 which recruits a type of white blood cells or macrophage to lessen the inflammation, as per Science Daily.

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According to this study, edible marijuana could reduce the gut inflammation and provide insights regarding the link with the gut, brain and the immune system. It was also found that Type-1 diabetes had reversed in the mice with the help of chili pepper and the gut inflammation had decreased in the mice with the help of capsaicin and anandamide.

This study has been published in a journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.




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