Why Should I Take Matrine?
Matrine is a very interesting naturally occurring compound found in various species of Sophora, which have seen a long history of use in TCM. The discovery of matrine in these Sophora species, increased scientific interest in these plants, and specifically interest in matrine has recently skyrocketed. This sudden increase in interest is clearly seen when seeing just how many studies on matrine have come out in 2022!
The list of benefits for matrine is long, and keeps getting longer as more research comes out! Rarely do we come across compounds these days that tick so many boxes, yet here is one that is still very much flying under the radar! From helping with pain management, mood, cognitive function, inflammation, oxidation, metabolic health, cellular health, cardiovascular function, the effects profile of matrine makes it a very useful supplement for a plethora of goals!
What is Matrine?
Matrine is an alkaloid that is found in the roots of various Sophora species. Matrine-containing plants have been used for a very long time in TCM for its cardiovascular and pain management benefits, effects which have been largely attributed to matrine in light of modern day research.
Matrine is standardized to 98% Matrine.
Matrine Benefits & Uses
Promotes pain management
Promotes cardiovascular function
Matrine: A High Degree of Flexibility
Let’s start with a deep dive into Matrine’s pain management effects! The pain management effects of matrine are incredibly unique and multi-faceted. To begin with, like most good pain management supplements, matrine does a great job of dampening inflammation. However, a lot of compounds do this, so what sets matrine apart in terms of its pain management effects?
Matrine, unlike most pain management supplements, can actually block neurological pain signaling. Specifically, it achieves this by decreasing the amount of P2X2 and P2X3 receptors, which produce pain signals when activated by ATP. Damaged nerves start upregulating P2X2 and P2X3, which increases their sensitivity which is felt by us as nerve pain. By being able to block this pathway, matrine makes for a good addition to almost any pain management stack, especially ones that are focused on addressing nerve pain!
Pain is also often related to low-mood, so really great pain management supplements also need to help boost mood a little bit. Luckily, matrine achieves this via a very novel mood promoting pathway. We’ve likely all heard about how elevating serotonin will make you happy (not always true!), which is why a lot of mood enhancement strategies focus on serotonin or other related neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Those really in the know, will have likely heard about brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its positive effects on mood. However, an even more niche pathway has recently started garnering attention in the research world, is the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Activation of this pathway has been shown in various research studies to significantly elevate mood, and these effects seem to be localized in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Low mood also often involves hippocampal atrophy, and by elevating BDNF levels or activating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, we can reverse this and actually help induce neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The trick with this pathway however is finding suitable compounds to activate it, and luckily, matrine appears to be a very good activator of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR. In fact, when an mTOR inhibitor was given alongside matrine in a research study, the mood effects went away. This clearly indicates that this is a novel pathway by which matrine can signal through and act as a cutting edge mood enhancer!
For those who have been around nootropics for a long time, and know about the benefits of hippocampal neurogenesis, you can probably easily guess the next matrine benefit, cognitive enhancement! The hippocampus is also incredibly important for overall cognitive function, with a particular focus on encoding memories. The more neuroplasticity in the hippocampus, the better our cognitive performance should be. Thus, by activating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in the hippocampus, matrine not only helps elevate mood, it can also help enhance learning and memory!
Breaking away from the brain benefits of matrine, matrine also has a lot of benefits for overall health. There is lots of research currently coming out demonstrating all of the ways in which matrine can enhance cellular health, and it’s pretty impressive to say the least! In addition to this, the inflammation regulating effects of matrine should help enhance joint function, which can be great for those with painful and stiff joints, or for athletes looking to enhance their joint function.
Matrine also has very comprehensive effects on our cardiovascular system, helping to promote its function via various different pathways. In addition to this, matrine can also help promote metabolic health, which together with the cardiovascular function promoting effects, makes matrine a great compound for promoting general health!