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Licorice (Licorice) is an herbal regulator of Regulatory T Cell production.

Used as a medicine for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune allergies, and other inflammations, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a crucial role in maintaining balance in the body’s immune system. There is widespread use of Treg cells, which have been increased in number, in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases.

Licorice has been commonly used for over 1,000 years and there is a wealth of evidence demonstrating its immunomodulatory effects. However, the mechanism or process by which licorice stimulates the induction and function of Treg cells is not yet known. Therefore, this research aims to study the process of licorice-induced stimulation and functioning of Treg cells.

The study found that licorice has the effect of inducing and functioning Treg cells through two main compounds, isoliquiritigenin and naringenin. Naringenin stimulates Treg cells by acting as an AhR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor) agonist, while isoliquiritigenin may stimulate Treg cells differently from naringenin. The study showed that isoliquiritigenin reduces mTOR signaling activity, which is a crucial mechanism in controlling the transformation for the growth of Th cells and Treg cells.

The study in animal models with colitis, which is part of the inflammatory bowel disease group caused by inflammatory disorders in the intestine and immune regulatory defects in the mucous membrane, was conducted by administering isoliquiritigenin, naringinin, or water to the animals with colitis symptoms every day for 2 weeks. It was found that in the group treated with isoliquiritigenin or naringenin, there was a significant increase in Treg cells and an improvement in colitis symptoms, such as weight loss and bleeding in the straight intestine, and colon shortening.

From the study, it is evident that isoliquiritigenin and naringenin have therapeutic effects in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Therefore, this study suggests that isoliquiritigenin and naringenin could potentially be used as medication for treating inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, and other inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

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