Consequent upon a study at the Institute of Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna – a small protein molecule (peptide) from beetroot isolated. The peptide is able to inhibit a particular enzyme that is responsible for the disintegration of messenger molecules in the body.
In fact, beetroot features a stable molecular form and pharmacological characteristics. This potentially makes beetroot a good candidate for development of a drug to treat certain inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.
Anatomically, the peptide is present in the roots of beetroot plants. The peptide belongs to a class of molecules that plants use as a chemical protection against pests such as viruses, bacteria, or insects. Meanwhile, the analysis of a number of genomic data points led the team to define a number of new cysteine-rich peptides and keep them phylogenetically in the plant kingdom. In the interim, the attention of researchers drawn to a possible function so-called as protease inhibitors. “Therefore, beetroot peptide can inhibit enzymes that digest proteins, explains one of the researchers.”
Physiology of Beetroot Peptide helps regulate Infectious Diseases
In fact, the beetroot peptide specifically impedes prolyl oligopeptidase (POP). This prolyl oligopeptidase is involved in the disintegration of protein hormones in the body and is therefore able to regulate infectious diseases. Also, POP is extensively examined for inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. This implies, ‘knottins’ – a group of plant peptides those found in beetroot – could be a potential drug bet for treating these diseases.
Not only root vegetables, the peptide can also be discovered in commercially available beetroot juices – though in very low concentrations. Whilst beetroot is a healthy vegetable, prevention of dementia with the regular consumption of beetroot is an unreasonable goal.