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Sci-Advent – Promising Anti-Inflammatory to Threat Obesity and Alzheimer’s

Researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology (IBt) of Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) have created a promising plant-based anti-inflammatory to treat obesity and Alzheimer’s.

Using extracts from the Malva parviflora the researchers have shown that the drug is effective in mice to combat the inflammatory process that occurs in these chronic degenerative diseases.

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to different pathogens. It helps to create an adequate immune response and it can also help repair tissue damaged by trauma.

This process is essential for the body to return to homeostasis (self-regulation phenomenon) once it has eliminated the pathogen or repaired the tissue. On the other hand, we now we know that low-tone chronic inflammation is a common factor in many chronic degenerative diseases. Martín Gustavo Pedraza Alva, researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology reminds us that it is therefore important to understand this process at a molecular level – how this process begins and how we could regulate it.

Together with Leonor Pérez Martínez, Pedraza Alva are part of the Neuroimmunobiology Consortium in the IBt Department of Molecular Medicine and Bioprocesses, where they use mice with obesity and Alzheimer’s for their modelling. The researcher pointed out that they are working with the Malva parviflora plant, from which they prepare an extract that is tested in models of Alzheimer’s and obesity.

Administering this hydroalcoholic extract delays the appearance of the marks of the disease. The animals that receive it maintain their cognitive capacity, decrease the accumulation of senile plaques and all the inflammation markers are diminished within the central nervous system, he said.

In mice that were given a high-fat diet, which normally develop insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, the Malva parviflora extract prevented glucose metabolism disorders and maintained their sensitivity to insulin and glucose tolerance.

A Malva parviflora´s fraction prevents the deleterious effects resulting from neuroinflammation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109349