Humans make their own aspirin compoundJanuary 18th, 2009 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 18 (IANS) Humans form their own version of aspirin’s active principle, known as salicylic acid, when the drug breaks down in the body. Salicyclic acid or SA, which is responsible for aspirin’s renowned effects in relieving pain and inflammation, may be the first in a new class of bioregulators, according to a new study.
Gwendoline Baxter and her British colleagues said their past research revealed that SA exists in the blood of people who have not recently taken aspirin.
Vegetarians had much higher levels, almost matching those in patients taking low doses of aspirin.
Based on those findings, the researchers previously concluded that this endogenous SA came from the diet, since SA is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables.
Now the group reports on studies of changes in SA levels in volunteers who took benzoic acid, a substance also found naturally in fruits and vegetables that the body could potentially use to make SA.
Their goal was to determine whether the SA found in humans (and other animals) results solely from consumption of fruits and vegetables, or whether humans produce their own SA as a natural agent to fight inflammation and disease. The results reported in the study suggest that people do manufacture SA, according to a release of American Chemical Society.
“It is, we suspect, increasingly likely that SA is a biopharmaceutical with a central, broadly defensive role in animals as well as plants,” they state. “This simple organic chemical is, we propose, likely to become increasingly recognized as an animal bioregulator, perhaps in a class of its own.”
These findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.