Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) is a combination of medicinal herbs used in Japan to assist cancer patients in rebuilding their immune systems following chemo and radiation therapy. It has been found in studies to increase the quantity and function of white blood cells, which aid in the fight against illnesses such bacterial infections. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
However, despite the fact that JTT has been used for centuries, scientists have yet to discover its immune-boosting component. Hunter College of the City University of New York, which is financed by the NIMHD, recently uncovered a potential possibility. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
“At first, we thought a plant chemical was to blame, but that was not the case. Akira Kawamura, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Hunter College’s NIMHD-supported Center for Translational and Basic Research (CTBR), said, “It was the little amount of some other molecule lying behind the plant molecule.” The study, which was published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, included Kawamura as the lead author. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
The secret chemical, according to Kawamura, was produced by microbes on the plant. As’s because when his scientists used JTT to treat white blood cells, the cells activated the identical genes that they do when they come into contact with bacteria. These genes drive white blood cells to combat invading bacteria and convey signals to the rest of the immune system when they are activated. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
White blood cells recognize Gram-negative bacteria primarily through lipid A, a chemical found on the bacteria’s outer surface. The researchers tested JTT with a chemical that eliminates these molecules to see if this could be the beneficial element in JTT. JTT activated white blood cells less than half as much when lipid A was eliminated. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
“It was a fascinating discovery,” Kawamura remarked.
After separating the lipid A molecules from the rest of the bacteria and plant material in JTT, the researchers demonstrated that the lipids stimulated white blood cells. The shape of lipid A varies between bacteria, and the form influences the immune system’s response to it. The lipid A molecules obtained by Kawamura’s team differed differently from other known lipid A kinds, which have largely been examined in dangerous bacteria rather than those found on plants. This form difference may explain why JTT is helpful to humans. The goal of Kawamura’s lab is to figure out the exact form of the lipid A molecules in JTT and see if they operate in animals.
This could potentially aid researchers in developing immune-boosting medicines for cancer patients and others. Kawamura warns, though, that the story could be more complicated: It’s possible that the lipid A molecules are only useful if they’re included in JTT, which also includes plant compounds. This is because lipid A molecules might be harmful if they stimulate the immune system too much. Plant-derived anti-inflammatory compounds combined with lipid A may help strengthen the immune system just enough without overdoing it. Kawamura intends to use JTT to examine the lipid A molecules on their own and in combination with other bacteria and plant components. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
This was one of the first investigations to discover that bacteria contributed to medicinal plants’ immune-boosting properties. But, because germs are omnipresent, Kawamura sees consequences far beyond JTT and even other medical herbs. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
“We eat germs when we eat plants,” Kawamura explained. “It definitely opened my eyes to the importance of microorganisms in many facets of our research.” probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
Kawamura’s group, for example, looked at the types and amounts of bacteria that could be producing the lipid A molecules in JTT’s most effective plant. The most common bacteria was Rahnella aquatilis, which is thought to have a role in JTT’s immune-boosting properties. This bacteria can also be discovered on a variety of regularly consumed foods in the United States, including apples. Where the apples are grown and how they are handled, such as whether pesticides or fertilizers are used, may have an impact on the bacteria that live on them. That implies where people get their apples and whether or not they consume them at all can have an impact on their overall health. probioticseverything.comprobiotic herbalife
“No one has looked into this,” Kawamura stated. “Hopefully, we can continue this line of research and figure out how lipid A from bacteria on our food affects human health over time—and how it could be able to address some health disparity issues,” she says.