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You often hear about the pioneering research DoTERRA is doing 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 investigate 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 use 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 manual showing how they affect signaling pathways and promote protein activity. This activity can affect the structure and function of our body's tissues. doTERRA is working 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 take a 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 link 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 modified the expression of Akt3 in different tissues to develop a better understanding of how Copaiba can affect signaling pathways in different body systems. They hoped the tissue-specific response data could help drive future essential oil use models by providing information on the optimal route of administration.
What Dr. Beaumont and his colleagues found was that, depending on the cell tissue, Copaiba strongly influenced 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. Whereas 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 essential oil administration is important. The lack of influence of Akt3 expression on the JACK/STAT pathway suggests that we still have much to learn regarding Copaiba , how it directly interacts with endocannabinoid receptors (CB2R), and how it affects inflammation and 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. Next steps will further focus on how Copaiba influences cannabinoid receptor-mediated pathways and how this biochemical influence can be used to support the function of various body systems.