A colleague asked me what sesquiterpenes were. So I explained to them how awesome they are in stopping the growth of cancer cells and keeping the cancer from reproducing! I wish everyone knew about how awesome these special molecules were so here I am, spreading awareness because y'all deserve to know. And because I love science.
Sesquiterpenes are compounds of three isoprene units, which is fifteen carbons and twenty-four hydrogens per molecule - molecular weight 204 amu. There are more than 10,000 kinds of sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpenes are the principal constituents of several of my FAVORITE THINGS.
Bear with me - here comes the best part!
Sesquiterpene molecules deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood. Sesquiterpenes can also erase or deprogram miswritten codes in the DNA. Sesquiterpenes are thought to be especially effective in fighting cancer because the root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes can erase that garbled information. At the same time the oxygen carried by sesquiterpene molecules creates an environment where cancer cells can't reproduce. Hence, sesquiterpenes deliver cancer cells a double punch - one that disables their coded misbehavior and a second that stops their growth.
Pretty freaking cool, right?
The American Medical Association (AMA) has said that if they could find an agent that would pass the blood-brain barrier, they would be able to find cures for ailments such as Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Such agents already exist and have been available since Biblical times. The agents, of course, are , particularly those containing the brain oxygenating molecules of sesquiterpenes.
Give me all the oi- I mean, sesquiterpenes.
We hope you enjoy our Terpene talks! We've been fascinated by them for a long time now.