Sometimes the most common foods have surprising properties. This is the case with basil, which contains a molecule, fenchol, which acts on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by intervening in the intestine.
With these 100 million, our gut is considered our second brain. These neurons, but also the metabolites produced by of , communicate with the brain via the autonomic nervous system. Doctors are increasingly interested in the role of and its microbiota in diseases that are expressed in the brain such as neurodegenerative diseases, such as , or mental, such as depression.
The power of basil
The role of the microbiota is particularly studied in. American researchers have discovered the positive effect of , abundant in the , on the Alzheimer’s recreated in animal model. The molecule, called fenchol, acts on a receptor carried by neurons in the intestine. Usually this receptor, FFAR2, is activated by short chain, produced by intestinal bacteria. However, people with Alzheimer’s disease may be deficient in short-chain fatty acids. To compensate for the loss of the beneficial effect of activating FFAR2 in patients, US researchers sifted through a library of 114,000 natural compounds, looking for the one that best activates FFAR2. The winner is therefore the fenchol, present in the basil, but also the or mustard.
Slow down the degeneration of neurons
In cell culture, fenchol prevents neurodegeneration linked to the accumulation ofamyloid. In animal models, treatment with fenchol increases the life and reduces the proliferation of in the body of . The mechanism behind the beneficial effect of fenchol is not fully understood, but it appears that the activation of the FFAR2 receptor by the latter stimulates the proteasome and lysosomal activity of neurons. The proteasome and are two elements involved in the destruction of cellular. Overactivated, amyloid plaques would then be more easily destroyed in neurons, thus protecting them from destruction.
Eating an astronomical amount of basil, or grapes, to fill up on fenchol will not cureThis study, published in , especially highlights how what happens in the microbiota could have a positive effect in affected by Alzheimer’s.