We all know what tobacco is and we're all aware of its harmful effects on health when smoked through a cigarette. While it has even been associated with cancer, did you know that the tobacco plant could potentially be used to aid in treating diabetes and arthritis? Recent research showed that the tobacco plant could be used to produce an anti-inflammatory protein which could treat arthritis, type 2 diabetes, dementia and so on and at affordable prices.
“This protein is a master regulator of inflammation in the body, and has been shown in pre-clinical models to be effective in treating a whole host of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases,” said a researcher. The researchers used the plant to produce large amounts of a human protein known as Interleukin 37 or IL-37. “The human kidney produces IL-37, but not nearly enough to get us out of an inflammation injury.”
Until now the protein was usually produced in very small quantities using the bacteria E.coli and the cost of the production was too high to be feasible. This is why researchers found the tobacco plant to be a much better alternative. “The plants offer the potential to produce pharmaceuticals in a way that is much more affordable than current methods,” said a researcher. “Tobacco is high-yield, and we can temporarily transform the plant so that we can begin making the protein of interest within two weeks.”