Type 2 diabetes and arthritis: Tobacco plants may benefit health & nbsp | & nbspPhoto Credit: & nbspThinkstock
New Delhi: Turns out, tobacco is more than just filler for cigarettes, although it is undeniably one of the most evitable causes of premature death and disease in the world. According to a new study, the tobacco plant, Nicotiana, may contain powerful therapeutic potential for treating conditions like type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, arthritis, more effectively and at an affordable price.
According to the researchers at the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada, tobacco plants can be used to produce large quantities of a protein anti-inflammatory called Interleukin 37, or IL-37 – produced naturally in the kidney in very small quantities. This protein has been shown in pre-clinical models to treat a whole host of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases effectively.
The study, published in the journal Plant Cell Reports, suggested that the tobacco plants may pave the way to provide treatments that are effective and much more affordable than current methods.
Earlier, biomedical scientists at the University of Central Florida found that insulin could someday be grown in genetically modified plants, including tobacco plant, and then be used to prevent diabetes before symptoms appear or to treat the condition in its later stages. In this study, the team of scientists, led by Professor Henry Daniell, genetically engineered plants of tobacco with the gene insulin and then gave cells freeze-dried to rat diabetic as a powder for eight weeks. Results from their study, reported in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, showed that the diabetic mice had normal blood and urine sugar levels, and their cells were producing normal levels of insulin.
Some medicinal uses of the tobacco plant
As per WebMD, the leaves of tobacco contain a chemical called anabasine, which makes the tree tobacco leaves poisonous when taken by mouth. Ideally, this chemical acts as a stimulant when taken at low doses. However, it behaves like a depressant when taken at high amounts. But tree tobacco appears to help repel insects when applied to the skin.
Uses of tobacco plant include – sore throat, wounds, fever, insect repellant, pain, headache, and some other conditions. However, more evidence is required to determine the safety and effectiveness of tree tobacco for these uses.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.