Research has revealed that there are two plant-derived compounds that may be effective for fighting inflammation and pain. These complete findings are published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
Certain plants, fungi and marine organisms, contain diterpenoids. Two diterpenoids in particular, carnosol and carnosic acid, are known to interfere with multiple pathways in the human body associated with inflammation and pain.
The effects of these natural products in their pure form in inflammatory pain through research involving human cells and mice has been investigated by a team led by Giuseppe Bifulco, PhD of the University of Salerno in Italy and Andreas Koeberle, PhD of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany. They have found that the diterpenoids inhibited two enzymes involved in inflammation, fever and pain. Overexpression has been observed in one of these enzymes in several inflammatory disorders as well as in many human tumors. The other enzyme also plays a major part in inflammation and other immune-related processes in the body.
The enzymes, 5-LO and mPGES-1, have demonstrated to be primary targets of CS and CA, which are major bioactive ingredients of herbs that are used as spices (namely sage and rosemary) and in traditional medicines. The study provides comprehensive insights into their anti-inflammatory mechanism. It is essential to understand both the molecular basis and pharmacological relevance of natural products to fully exploit the power of nature for human health.
The dual inhibitors of 5-LO and mPGES-1 are considered potential alternatives to classical anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs that have well-documented side effects. The mPGES-1 inhibitor GRC 27864 entered the first phase of clinical development.
The new dual 5-LO/mPGES-1 inhibitors like CS and Ca, represent a valid strategy for the treatment of inflammatory and cancer diseases and justifies the use of sage and rosemary in traditional medicine, according to Dr. Koeberle. He believes it is important that these natural products are tested in different experimental inflammation and cancer animal models as well as in imaging studies to obtain a complete comprehension of the molecular basis behind their observed biological activity.
-Dr Fredda Branyon