Compound found in blackcurrant may help allergic asthma

Research by New Zealand company Plant & Food Research, led by Dr Roger Hurst and published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research suggests why it is that fruit consumption appears to reduce symptoms in allergy-induced asthma. Epigallocatechin, a known antioxidant and a major component of proanthocyanidins found in blackcurrants, was found to reduce inflammation in lung tissue.

The epigallocatechin works in conjunction with, but are distinct from the inflammation-reducing activity of another group of compounds, anthocycanins, which are also rich in blackcurrants.

Anthocyanins are known for their antioxidant properties and, interestingly, have been shown by the research group to also influence inflammatory mechanisms and complement the body's own natural immune responses.

The study is part of Plant & Food Research's Food Innovation science platform that focuses on discovering the natural goodness in fruit, vegetables, grains and seafood and using this knowledge to develop fresh whole foods, ingredients and food concepts.

Plant & Food Research is a New Zealand government-owned science company. With over 900 staff based at sites across New Zealand as well as in the USA and Australia, Plant & Food Research provides research and development that adds value to fruit, vegetable, crop and marine-based food products.

Courtesy of Medical News Today

First Published in March 2010

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