Understanding how natural products interact together

21 October 2019

Commencing in early 2020, NICM Health Research Institute’s Dr Mitchell Low will undertake a new project to help understand how natural products interact together, focusing on when the activity of each compound increases in combination.

Dr Low says this tackles a critically important aspect of traditional medicine claims, and one NICM has been working on for a few years now in the laboratories.

He has already observed anti-inflammatory (leukotriene) synergy between two marine bio oils, and this project will now seek to identify how this interaction occurs and if the synergistic relationship that is occurring is a result of improved solubility and absorption.

Understanding this mechanism of action of combination therapies will help develop and discover a new generation of enhanced pharmaceutical products including natural pharmaceuticals to help with many ailments.

“The research is significant and will contribute to the safety and consistency of natural products, with benefits to consumers, industry and impact on academia,” said Dr Low.

“The findings will not be limited to natural products but have the potential to improve all areas of drug therapy. Synergistic drug interactions mean that lower dosages of drugs will be required to achieve the same effectiveness, reducing cost and potential side effects.”

The research findings will be presented at the Western Sydney University Researcher Development Showcase event being hosted in May 2021.

Dr Low was awarded a Western Sydney University’s Researcher Development Funding for an Early Career Researcher (ECR) Fellowship for this $20,000 project.