Credit: © seksanpk / Fotolia

Credit: © seksanpk / Fotolia

Chili peppers and marijuana may be key to reducing gut inflammation

Chili peppers and marijuana may be key to reducing gut inflammation, according to the latest research from UConn Health School of Medicine.

The researchers found that capsaicin – the ingredient that makes chili peppers hot – targets a receptor in the gut that produces a compound called anandamide, which is similar to the compounds in marijuana.

In mice, anandamide produced by capsaicin reduced inflammation in the gut by stimulating anti-inflammatory immune cells, and even reversed type 1 diabetes in the mice.

Study co-author Pramod Srivastava, professor of immunology and medicine at the UConn Health School of Medicine in Farmington, CT, and the research team believe that chili peppers and marijuana in edible form may help treat type 1 diabetes and colitis (inflammation of the colon).

The team also believes that these findings raise some important questions about how the immune system, the brain, and the gut are linked.

The researchers note that anandamide binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain juts like marijuana does which sheds further light on how the brain, gut and immune system work together.

This allows you to imagine ways the immune system and the brain might talk to each other. They share a common language,” says Srivastava.

I’m hoping to work with the public health authority in Colorado to see if there has been an effect on the severity of colitis among regular users of edible weed,” says Srivastava.

The study showing that chili peppers and marijuana may be key to reducing gut inflammation was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Chili Peppers, Marijuana May Reduce Gut Inflammation.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 31 Dec. 1969. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
2. “Endocannabinoid System Acts as a Regulator of Immune Homeostasis in the Gut.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. National Acad Sciences, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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