A new study from the Irvine College of Medicine at the University of California, California, showed the importance of pickled caper extract, or so-called grape seed, or Shallaf or Assaf, for heart and brain health.
During the study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of “biological communication”, the researchers found that a compound in this plant appears during the pickling that activates potassium channels that are of great importance in heart and brain health.
The researchers say, in a report published by the Medical News Today, that their findings could help design new drugs for epilepsy and an irregular heartbeat.
Humans have eaten this plant for more than 10 thousand years, and studies have shown its presence in soil sediments in Syria and the late Stone Age caves dwellings in modern times in Greece and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was also mentioned in the ancient Roman cookbook «Apicius», and people continue to use it with traditional medicine because of its anti-properties Worms, cancer, and diabetes are also anti-inflammatory and have benefits for the digestive system.
The research team behind the new study identified a group of plant extracts present in the plant, which have a role in stimulating a family of potassium channels called KCNQ channels. This family of potassium channels plays several important roles in the body, including heartbeat, muscle contraction, and digestive function, and its dysfunction is associated with some diseases, including diabetes, arrhythmias and epilepsy.
The researchers used pickled capers extract, the most common form in the United States, and found that 1 percent of it was able to stimulate channels.
The pickling process causes the formation of quercetin, which is the compound that activates the KCNQ channels, and other experiments with this compound have found that it binds to a part of the channels responsible for sensing electrical activity, this link opens the channels when they are closed otherwise, which may lie behind the medicinal properties of this the plant.
Although the capers are the richest natural source of the two chairs, researchers note that other compounds derived from some plants, such as E-2-dodecenal found in coriander, are more effective in stimulating KCNQ channels.
However, the researchers also found that these compounds can work together, therefore, eating coriander together with bulging can increase its benefits.