Sesame seeds are a very common healthy ingredient, and are exposed to them in daily life and diet. From black sesame paste as a child to the popular black sesame pills now, sesame products are constantly being iterated and updated, but they are all primary processed. Sesame contains a variety of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, water, ash, lipids and less than 1% of sesamin, sesamin research is more Japan.
Recently, researchers at Osaka City University in Japan found that an antioxidant found in sesame seeds could provide some degree of prevention of Parkinson's disease (PD) attacks, and are now preparing to take this new finding to the clinical trial stage. The sesame extract (sesamol) used in this study was reportedly found and extracted from sesame hull waste produced during the production of sesame oil.
Akiko Kojima-Yuasa, an associate professor at Osaka City University, said there is no drug to prevent Parkinson's disease, only a relative form of prevention. In addition to the antioxidant effect, the researchers noted that the anti-cancer effect of this extract is achieved by reducing the expression of proteins associated with cancer development. Also, sesquiterpene alcohol has been associated with inhibiting cell growth processes and promoting the degradation of unwanted or damaged proteins.
The extract's effect in preventing Parkinson's disease is said to focus on its ability to prevent or reduce the oxidative stress that causes degeneration of nigrostriatal neurons, the part of the brain that plays an important role in movement.
Study data support
The current study used an in vitro PD model in which Professor Kojima-Yuasa's team began adding 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a neurotoxin that selectively destroys neurons in the brain, to human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells. The team found that the viability of SH-SY5Y cells decreased in a dose-dependent manner after 6-OHDA treatment, but the addition of sesquiterpene restored viability to control levels.
In addition, 6-OHDA increased intracellular reactive oxygen species production, and the addition of sesquiterpene alcohol significantly inhibited this increase. Expression of Nrf2, a gene that controls detoxification and builds antioxidant defenses in the liver, was observed in the control group, but increased activity was observed in the 6-OHDA group. Further studies also revealed that the sesquiterpene group showed stronger Nrf2 expression in both cytoplasm and nucleus.
In vivo experiments also provided further data to support the team's finding that motor impairment due to PD is the result of damaged neurons producing less dopamine than required. the Kojima-Yuasa group demonstrated this in mice with Parkinson's disease, where feeding a diet containing sesquiterpene alcohol for 36 consecutive days led to increased dopamine levels, followed by increased motor performance and intestinal motor function also increased.
Hypothesis of the gut-brain axis
After conducting multiple data analyses, the researchers found that gut microbes also play a relevant role. In the experimental group, the team noted a shortened intestinal mucosal layer and a damaged mucosal surface in the rotenone group. However, the sesquiterpene group showed essentially no abnormalities in the small intestinal mucosa. These results suggest that sesaminol prevented the progression of PD pathology from the intestinal tract.
The results of in vivo experiments showed that sesaminol reduced nigrostriatal α-synuclein expression, thereby inhibiting motor dysfunction and decreased intestinal motor function. Looking ahead, Kojima-Yuasa and his team are ready to take this scientific work to the clinical trial stage. Simply put, linking the consumer/production chain to prevent disease with natural foods greatly contributes to the health of society.