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News Article

Berry compound could soothe IBD

Pterostilbene from blueberries suppresses T-helper cells involved in inflammation

A compound called pterostilbene isolated from blueberries may help soothe chronic inflammation in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Pterostilbene (PSB) is similar to resveratrol, a component of grapes, but in this study, it exerts a stronger effect on the immune response, paving the way to possible treatments for IBD.

Resveratrol has many biological activities including the ability to suppress inflammation. Previous studies showed that it improves symptoms of IBD in animal models and in man.  The scientists from Tokyo University decided to test similar compounds for their effects on dendritic cells, the immune cells involved in IBD. Pterostilbene is a similar compound from blueberries which has also shown some promising effects on the immune system (see Further reading).

In the initial in-vitro cell culture experiments PSB was the best at suppressing the dendritic cell activity. Through the dendritic cells, PSB influenced populations of T-cells by promoting the development of regulatory T-cells over that of the T helper cells that trigger inflammation.

Mice given a supplement of PSB of 100 mg/kg daily for three days before induction of colitis exhibited significantly fewer signs of disease afterwards compared with controls. They had significantly lowered levels of the cytokine TNF-alpha, a key cytokine in the inflammatory response.

Chiharu Nishiyama, senior author said: "Our findings showed that PSB possesses a strong immunosuppressive property, paving the way for a new, natural treatment for IBD." The study findings also suggest that PSB is also better absorbed by the body than resveratrol.

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pterostilbene and (immun* or inflamm*)

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Pterostilbene reduces colonic inflammation by suppressing dendritic cell activation and promoting regulatory T cell development. Takuya Yashiro  Shiori Yura  Akari Tobita  Yuki Toyoda  Kazumi Kasakura  Chiharu Nishiyama. FASEB Journal (2020)

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • I. Hoskins
  • Date
  • 25 September 2020
  • Source
  • Tokyo University of Science
  • Subject(s)
  • Nutrition physiology