Ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound present in berries and pomegranate, has received attention as an agent that may have potential bioactivities preventing chronic diseases. This study examined photoprotective effects of ellagic acid on collagen breakdown and inflammatory responses in UV (ultraviolet)-B irradiated human #skin cells and hairless mice. Ellagic acid attenuated the UV-B-induced toxicity of HaCaT keratinocytes and human dermal fibroblasts. Non-toxic ellagic acid markedly prevented #collagen degradation by blocking matrix metalloproteinase production in UV-B-exposed fibroblasts.
Anti-wrinkle activity of ellagic acid was further investigated in hairless mice exposed to UV-B, in which it attenuated UV-B-triggered skin wrinkle formation and epidermal thickening. Topical application of 10 micromol/l ellagic acid diminished production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-6, and blocked infiltration of inflammatory macrophages in the integuments of SKH-1 hairless mice exposed to UV-B for 8 weeks. In addition, this compound mitigated inflammatory intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression in UV-B-irradiated keratinocytes and photoaged mouse epidermis. These results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B. Therefore, dietary and pharmacological interventions with #berries rich in ellagic acid may be promising treatment strategies interrupting skin wrinkle and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing.
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The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 ruling requires food manufacturers to label common food allergens, leading some companies to be more transparent about the source of their ingredients. However, the FDA does not require food companies to clearly indicate all ingredient sources on the label. This has presented concerns for vegetarians and vegans who have to deal with the ambiguity of ingredients like “natural flavors,” which could be derived from either an animal or plant source.
It may seem “bananas” that this potassium-rich food is not vegetarian, but it turns out a spray-on coating designed to lengthen its shelf life may contain animal parts. Chitosan, a bacteria-fighting compound derived from shrimp and crab shells, is used to prevent bananas from ripening, softening and rotting into mush, according to Science Daily. This presents bad news for vegetarians, vegans and those with a shellfish allergy.
Although the banana itself is fine, it’s the spray used to extend its shelf life that makes it non-veg. Gina Keatley, a New York-based dietician at Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Medical Daily in an email: “The coating is made of shellfish and works amazingly well; however, this makes the product no longer vegan.” She suggests vegetarians and vegans go organic to avoid the spray.
The coating is a so-called "hydrogel," a superabsorbent material like those with many medical and commercial uses, made from chitosan, a substance derived from shrimp and crab shells said Xihong Li, Ph.D., who presented the report.
Li explained that bananas, like other fresh fruit and vegetables, are alive and actually "breathing," or respirating. He is with Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, China
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A combination of two compounds found in red grapes and oranges could be used to improve the health of people with #diabetes, and reduce cases of obesity and heart disease.
The find has been made by University of Warwick researchers who now hope that their discovery will be developed to provide a treatment for patients.
The research ‘Improved glycemic control and vascular function in overweight and obese subjects by glyoxalase 1 inducer formulation’ has been published in the journal Diabetes.
A team led by Paul Thornalley, Professor in Systems Biology at Warwick Medical School, studied two compounds found in fruits but not usually found together. The compounds are trans-resveratrol (tRES) – found in red grapes, and hesperetin (HESP) – found in oranges. When given jointly at pharmaceutical doses the compounds acted in tandem to decrease blood glucose, improve the action of insulin and improve the health of arteries.
The compounds act by increasing a protein called glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) in the body which neutralises a damaging sugar-derived compound called methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a major contributor to the damaging effects of sugar. Increased MG accumulation with a high energy diet intake is a driver of insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes, and also damages blood vessels and impairs handling of cholesterol associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Blocking MG improved health in overweight and obese people and will likely help patients with diabetes and high risk of cardiovascular disease too.
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Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In the article, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller point out that longer lifespans are raising concerns about the human toll and health care costs of treating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of mental decline. They explain that recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic.
Their review concluded that berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in several ways. Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition. They suggest that further research will show whether these benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects.
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A new study from St. George's Medical School in London, published in the April 2005 issue of Hypertension, compared the blood-pressure-lowering effects of potassium chloride against the effects of potassium citrate. The results of this study showed that potassium citrate has the same blood-pressure-lowering effect as potassium chloride, which has been proven in the past to lower blood pressure. Potassium chloride, however, must be taken as a dietary supplement, whereas potassium citrate is found naturally in many foods.
The study tested the effects of potassium chloride and potassium citrate on 14 adults with an average starting blood pressure of 151/93, placing them in the category of Stage 1 hypertension. The volunteers were randomly split into two groups; one group was given potassium chloride daily for one week, while the other received potassium citrate. Then, following a one week break, the treatment groups were crossed over and received the opposite treatment for an additional week. While taking potassium chloride, volunteers had an average blood pressure of 140/88, and while on potassium citrate, it averaged at 138/88. The difference between the effects of the two types of potassium was not significant, meaning each had similarly beneficial effects on hypertension. "These results support other evidence for an increase in potassium intake and indicate that potassium does not need to be given in the form of chloride to lower blood pressure," write the researchers in their report. "Increasing the consumption of food high in #potassium is likely to have the same effect on #bloodpressure as potassium chloride." Rather than investing in a new dietary supplement, lowering your blood pressure may be as easy as watching what you eat.