Forskolin, a naturally-derived plant substance often used in weight loss programs, may be even more powerful than researchers thought.
And now, it seems like some military units are starting to notice as well.
In a study released this August and published by CellPress, evidence was presented showing that Forskolin is part of a mix that actually alters the activity of a cell (1).
Forskolin may have cell-altering powers.
The study, says co-author Gang Pei of the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, has major implications for the future of health care. Health bloggers are starting to rave about forskolin.
The mix used in his study to alter the structure of cells was:
- valproic acid
- 3 other molecules with unrecognizable numbered names
When introduced to human skin cells in a lab, the mixture caused those skin cells to change into neurons. Physical traits of of the skin cells were transformed into mature neuron cells able to participate in neuron communication.
If that sounds a lot like what stem cells do, then you’re right.
Stem cells are important because they have the potential to transform at the cellular level, too. That means they can be used to grow new cells- any type that’s needed. If we can grow new livers for people who need them, for instance, then health care will be transformed as well.
Of course the use of embryonic stem cells is highly controversial, as a natural forskolin supplier points out. That’s why other routes to this end have been pursued. One is the use of adult stem cells.
The other is molecular mixes like the one described above, of which Forskolin is a major component.
The Forskolin mix is better than other methods of transforming cells.
The traditional method scientists use for turning one type of cell into another type uses manipulation of genes. Playing with genes is tricky, however.
When gene cells are inserted into cells, there’s risk involved. The risk is that scientists will trigger a cancer-causing gene if they land the added genes on the wrong chromosome in the cell being treated and transformed (2).
Plus, the gene-insertion method is time-consuming and complex.
What this Forskolin chemical cocktail means for the future.
If you’ve heard of personalized medicine, then you’ll quickly realize the implications for the cell-altering Forskolin mix. Personalized medicine means using a patient’s own cells to treat disease.
A patient’s genetic profile is also used to prevent disease and also to diagnose disease. Doctors will in the future be able to more specifically tailor health care to each individual patient, using data from the Human Genome Project as well as the individual’s genetic profile.
As it stands, personalized medicine is certainly in its infancy stages. The use of Forskolin is promising enough that it seems safe to assume it will have a prominent role in our future health care system.
All references retrieved 10/26/2015
- Wenxiang Hu et al. Direct Conversion of Normal and Alzheimer’s Disease Human Fibroblasts into Neuronal Cells by Small Molecules. Cell Stem Cell. Retrieved from http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/pdf/S1934-5909(15)00305-7.pdf
- Armitage, Hanae. Chemical treatment transforms skin cells into neurons. Science Magazine, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved from http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2015/08/chemical-treatment-transforms-skin-cells-neurons