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According to experts, a substance called beta-caryophyllene can be extracted from Cannabis and some condiments such as cloves, a dose of which could have positive effects in the treatment of type 1 diabetes without the use of additional pharmaceutical drugs, potentially representing a more affordable treatment for patients.
Researchers and students of the Exact Sciences and Engineering (CUCEI) and Health Sciences (CUCS) centers at the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), of the Center for Biomedical Research of the West, under the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), and The University of Bern, in Switzerland, have evaluated the molecule and concluded that it is not addictive.
In a statement, the UdeG reported that their scientific work is being developed through the project “Effects of beta-caryophyllene on the nociception in glucose metabolism and behavior induced by diabetes.”
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the substance’s effects on glucose metabolism, neuropathic pain, and depression.
As part of the work, diabetes was induced in rodents by means of a molecule known as streptozotocin, characterized by the autoimmune destruction of beta cells of the pancreas, which decreases both insuline and blood sugar levels, causing diabetes.
Later on, they analyzed three groups of experimental rodents: One served as reference while the other two were induced with diabetes; a rodent from the latter group was given beta-caryophyllene.
Once the mollecule was applied, the specimen’s glucose concentration in blood was reduced 70%, according to Dalia Samanta Aguilar Ávila, a PhD student at the Sciences in Biotechnological Processes Institute of CUCEI.
It was possible to regulate and diminish levels of neuropathic pain (process of inflammation in the nerve fibers that exacerbates the perception of painful sensations). This condition afflicts two out of every three people with diabetes.
“We could observe that the mice treated with beta-caryophyllene, within a 45-day period of receiving 10 milligrams per kilogram of this substance, had reversed the neuropathic pain,” Aguilar Ávila described in the statement.
She explained that depression could also controlled, whether it was induced through the use of medication or of natural causes.
One of the advantages of this substance is that the patient will not have to take several medications to treat these diseases, said the researcher from the Department of Pharmacobiology of CUCEI, Juan Manuel Viveros Paredes, who is an advisor to the project.
He added that, subject to clinical studies in humans, “with only one molecule and, therefore, a single intake, all of these processes could potentially be controlled in certain patients.”
The research group will continue to conduct studies, in addition to clinical work, for human testing.
“We still need to make arrangements with some institutions for its distribution; we need to protect the information that we are generating, and soon, we will seek to contact some clinics and patients to do clinical trials,” concluded Viveros Paredes.
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