Juniper berries(Juniper Berry) are collected from the evergreen shrub Juniperus communis, a common plant found throughout the northern hemisphere. Steam distillation of these berries yields an essential oil consisting mainly of alpha-Pinene, with other compounds such as myrcene, sabinene, limonene and beta-Pinene in lower concentrations. In a study conducted by doTERRA scientists, the effect of Juniper Berry essential oil on the BioMAP® dermal fibroblast system was characterized by measuring protein levels and quantifying gene expression.
The BioMAP system is a molecular biological method that doTERRA scientists used to investigate how healthy cellular activity was supported by Juniper Berry essential oil in human skin cells. By adding certain factors to cultured skin cells, the researchers induced a cellular response in vitro designed to mimic a cellular inflammatory response in vivo. Some of the pre-inflamed skin cells were exposed to Juniper Berry essential oil, while others were left alone.
Cells from both groups were burst open and the lysate (the cell content) was analyzed using two methods. One method was an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a test that measures the levels of a specific protein. Using enzyme-linked antibodies, an ELISA assay causes a color change in the solution being tested. The intensity of the color change indicates the concentration of the specific protein. The proteins of interest in this study were biomarkers known to be increased (produced in excess) in a cell during inflammatory conditions. Han and his collaborators found that cells exposed to Juniper Berry had significantly lower levels of 7 of the 17 biomarkers compared to cells not exposed to the essential oil.
RNA microarray analysis is a powerful tool that enables genome-wide evaluation of gene expression. RNA acts as a messenger molecule that mediates the production of proteins from DNA. For example, a cell that produces a lot of collagen is likely to have a lot of RNA encoding collagen. Like DNA, an RNA strand consists of bases that can pair with other bases in a complementary RNA strand. Complementary RNA strands come together and stick together.
In this experiment, the complementary sequences of 21,224 genes were confirmed on a microarray plate. After isolating total RNA from the cell lysate solution, dropping the RNA solution onto a microarray plate resulted in the confluence of complementary strands. This made it possible to detect the sequences present in the sample. Results from the RNA microarrays showed that signaling pathways related to metabolism, inflammation, wound healing, cell biology and immune response were strongly affected.
These experimental results suggest that Juniper Berry essential oil supports healthy skin and immune response, promotes normal cellular health and metabolism, and supports a healthy inflammatory response. *
BioMAP® is a registered trademark of DiscoverX Corporation.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.