Eating chilli and smoking cannabis ‘could help cure diabetes and colitis – by calming the gut’
WHAT do chilli spice and cannabis have in common?
On the face of it, very little. But, scientists hope both could help develop new treatments for type 1 diabetes and the gut disease colitis.
When eaten, both interact with the same receptor in our stomachs, new findings suggest.
And the result is they help calm the gut, scientists at the University of Connecticut found.
Mice fed both chilli peppers and the class B drug showed less inflammation in their guts.
And, the researchers even found they were able to reverse type 1 diabetes in some mice, by feeding them the fiery pepper.
The chilli was found to bind itself to a receptor called TRPV1, which is found in the gut, oesophagus and pancreas.
When it bound itself to the receptor it created a compound called anandamide, which is chemically similar to cannabinoids found in marijuana.
It was this compound that caused the immune system of the mice to calm down, by reducing inflammation, and the same happened when they were fed anandamide directly.
Reducing inflammation in the pancreas could help in the treatment of diabetes because the pancreas is responsible for maintaining insulin and glucose levels in the body.
A person with diabetes has too much glucose in their system and the pancreas is unable to regulate it.
The brain also creates anandamides when receptors in the brain react to people getting high, but scientists have not known why those receptors exist in the past.
Pramod Srivastava, professor of immunology and medicine at the university, said: "This allows you to imagine ways the immune system and the brain Continue reading