A research team at the University of South Florida has discovered that by reducing deposits of the toxic amyloid protein in nerve cells, an essential oil called fenhol can protect brain health. Finchol is one of the substances responsible for the smell of basil.
One of the reasons for the function of fenhol can be found in the intestines. There is growing evidence that short-chain fatty acids from gut bacteria play an important role in brain health – one such evidence being that there is a reduction in the amount of these fatty acids in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor Harium Yadav and his team, who led the research, investigated the mechanisms by which the action of the gut microbiota may be linked to cognitive decline with age. Meanwhile, it has been recognized that short-chain fatty acids absorbed from the gut activate them by binding to a receptor called FFAR2 in the brain.
It was later found that activation of the FFAR2 receptor may protect against the accumulation of the amyloid protein characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease associated with dementia. Yadav Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience He published his results in a journal.
Photo: USF Health/University of South Florida
The research team analyzed 144,000 natural medicines looking for what could activate FFAR2 receptors such as short-chain fatty acids. The field was eventually narrowed down to 15 candidates to find the finch.
Studies in experimental rats showed that finchol reduced the number of senescent neurons. End-of-life neurons, also called zombie cells, stress the brain’s immune system and reduce the protection of neighboring cells.
It reduced the production of half-dead zombie neurons and increased the breakdown of amyloid, so it disappeared from the brain sooner.
Harium Yadav noted.
Researchers are currently working on whether basil alone has an effective preventative effect, or whether it is better to administer it in a concentrated form in the form of tablets or nasal sprays.