A recent study by a team of scientists from Thomas Jefferson University led by Professor Guan-Hsien Zhang showed that a compound contained in fruit peels, ursolic acid, can potentially alleviate the condition of patients with multiple sclerosis.
The experiments were carried out on mice in the acute phase of the disease. Already after 20 days from the beginning of the use of ursolic acid, the previously paralyzed mice regained the ability to walk.
Researchers studied how ursolic acid interacts with cells and found that it inhibits (suppresses the activity) of immune cells, which are the main driver of MS. In addition, ursolic acid promotes the maturation of oligodendrocytes - cells that produce myelin, which forms the protective sheath of nerve endings.
"This is not a cure, " explains Dr. Zhang. "But if we see the same reaction in people, it would mean a significant change in the quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis."
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people around the world. The reason for its occurrence is still unknown. It is only known that at some point the immune system begins to attack the protective sheaths of nerve endings, consisting of myelin, and destroy them. As a result, the nervous system, which is responsible for motor functions, is affected, and after a few years a person turns into a disabled person.