Luteolin in Celery Show Promise for MS Treatment

Researchers recently found out that a plant compound found abundant in celery as well as green peppers have the ability to disrupt a key component known to induce an inflammatory response in the brain. A plant flavonoid known as luteolin may be able to reduce the inflammation of the brain, the findings of which may have implications for different research on aging and diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.

The researchers from University of Illinois looked at the effect of luteolin on reducing age-related inflammation on the brain and therefore improve brain function or avoid some of the cognitive deficits that may occur during aging. Inflammation on the brain plays a key role in various neurodegeneratrive diseases. It is also considered to be behind the impairments of brain function usually seen as people age.

Luteolin is a plant compound that has been known to prevent the inflammatory response in various types of cells outside the central nervous system. The University of Illinois researchers, headed by animal sciences professor Rodney Johnson, tried to see if it had the same effects on brain cells. The researchers first studied the effects of the plant compound on microglia, a type of glial cell that acts as the primary active immune defense in the central nervous system.

Microglia respond to infection by producing inflammatory cytokines, the chemical messengers acting in the brain to induce a whole body response of fighting the infection. This response is associated with some of the obvious symptoms of illnesses such as fever and lethargy, loss of appetite and temporary memory loss. The inflammation response can also lead some neurons to self-destruct with potentially disastrous consequences.

In the study, the cells were induced to produce an inflammation response and then was exposed to the plant compound luteolin. The cells that were exposed to the plant flavonoid showed a significant reduction in inflammatory response. Luteolin seems to shut down the production of cytokine in the inflammatory pathway called interleukin-6 (IL-6). The exposure resulted in as much as a 90 percent reduction of IL-6 production. This may indicate that luteolin and other bioactive compounds may have a possible role in treating neuroinflammation.





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