Article at a glance
You often hear about the pioneering research that DoTERRA does in the field of essential oils. One type of research, proteomics, opens up many new possibilities in the field of essential oil research. Through proteomics, scientists have been able to examine doTERRA Copaiba essential oil and its influence on signaling pathways in the body. Although more research is needed, this study provides insight into how the internal and aromatic uses of Copaiba essential oil can affect various body systems.
What is Proteomics and why is it important?
Proteomics takes the study of DNA and the storage and annotation of its data (genomics) a step further by focusing on the proteins an organism produces. In proteomic research, researchers work to identify the function of proteins. This includes how proteins change and interact with everything around them, including essential oils.
Essential oils are biologically active compounds. When introduced into the human organism, they have the potential to affect everything they come in contact with. Through research, we discover that each essential oil has a unique biochemical fingerprint. This is a guide to how they affect signaling pathways and promote protein activity. This activity can affect the structure and function of our body’s tissues. doTERRA works with research partners on proteomic research to determine how essential oils can affect our bodies and to further understand how we can use them most effectively. Now that you understand the importance of this research, let’s look at how it was used by doTERRA scientists to study Copaiba essential oil.
doTERRA Senior Director of Research & Quality Control, Dr. Cody Beaumont, and research partners used proteomic technologies to investigate the relationship between a protein coding gene known as Akt3 and the regulation of the pI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in the presence of CPTG Copaiba essential oil. This cellular pathway affects numerous cellular functions and is essential for healthy cell growth, proliferation and metabolism2. In addition, the researchers adjusted the expression of Akt3 in different tissues to develop a better understanding of how Copaiba may affect signaling pathways in different body systems. They hoped that the data on tissue-specific response could help drive future models of essential oil use by providing information on the optimal route of administration.
What Dr. Beaumont and colleagues found was that, depending on the cellular tissue, Copaiba strongly affected pI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling. For example, where Akt3 is present (i.e. cells in the central nervous system and kidneys) the regulatory effects of Copaiba on the signaling pathway were positive. While the regulatory effects of Copaiba had a negative effect in cells where Akt3 was absent (liver). Possibly most interestingly, Akt3 expression did not affect the effects of Copaiba on other signaling pathways in all cell types. This includes pathways such as JAK/STAT and MAPK, which affect cell proliferation and the immune response.
In summary, Akt3 modulation is likely the mechanism of action for the effects of Copaiba on pI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling. This means that to experience specific benefits, the route of administration of essential oil matters. The lack of influence of Akt3 expression on the JACK/STAT pathway suggests that we still have much to learn regarding Copaiba , how it interacts directly with endocannabinoid receptors (CB2R), and how it affects inflammation and the immune response. While these findings are encouraging, they are experimental and more research will be needed to validate them.
What are the next steps?
doTERRA scientists and their research partners hope to expand on these findings in the near future to better understand how Copaiba works. The next steps will further focus on how Copaiba affects cannabinoid receptor-mediated pathways and how this biochemical influence can be used to support the function of various body systems.