Can something as straightforward as a cup of coffee with milk have an anti-inflammatory impact in individuals? Apparently so, according to a new analyze from the University of Copenhagen. A mixture of proteins and anti-oxidants doubles the anti-inflammatory attributes in immune cells. The researchers hope to be ready to review the overall health outcomes on humans.
Anytime micro organism, viruses, and other overseas substances enter the entire body, our immune systems react by deploying white blood cells and chemical substances to shield us. This response, usually identified as irritation, also occurs whenever we overload tendons and muscle tissue and is characteristic of illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis.
Antioxidants recognized as polyphenols are discovered in human beings, crops, fruits, and veggies. This group of anti-oxidants is also utilized by the food items industry to gradual the oxidation and deterioration of food items high quality and thereby avoid off flavors and rancidity. Polyphenols are also regarded to be healthful for human beings, as they aid cut down oxidative pressure in the entire body that gives rise to swelling.
But substantially remains mysterious about polyphenols. Somewhat several scientific studies have investigated what transpires when polyphenols respond with other molecules, such as proteins mixed into food items that we then take in.
In a new examine, researchers at the Department of Meals Science, in collaboration with researchers from the Section of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, at the College of Copenhagen investigated how polyphenols behave when mixed with
“In the study, we show that as a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its inhibitory effect on inflammation in immune cells is enhanced. As such, it is clearly imaginable that this cocktail could also have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans. We will now investigate further, initially in animals. After that, we hope to receive research funding which will allow us to study the effect in humans,” says Professor Marianne Nissen Lund from the Department of Food Science, who headed the study.
The study will be published today (January 30) in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Twice as good at fighting inflammation
To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of combining polyphenols with proteins, the researchers applied artificial inflammation to immune cells. Some of the cells received various doses of polyphenols that had reacted with an amino acid, while others only received polyphenols in the same doses. A control group received nothing.
The researchers observed that immune cells treated with the combination of polyphenols and amino acids were twice as effective at fighting inflammation as the cells to which only polyphenols were added.
“It is interesting to have now observed the anti-inflammatory effect in cell experiments. And obviously, this has only made us more interested in understanding these health effects in greater detail. So, the next step will be to study the effects in animals,” says Associate Professor Andrew Williams of the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, who is also senior author of the study.
Found in coffee with milk
Previous studies by the researchers demonstrated that polyphenols bind to proteins in meat products, milk and beer. In another new study, they tested whether the molecules also bind to each other in a coffee drink with milk. Indeed, coffee beans are filled with polyphenols, while milk is rich in proteins.
“Our result demonstrates that the reaction between polyphenols and proteins also happens in some of the coffee drinks with milk that we studied. In fact, the reaction happens so quickly that it has been difficult to avoid in any of the foods that we’ve studied so far,” says Marianne Nissen Lund.
Therefore, the researcher does not find it difficult to imagine that the reaction and potentially beneficial anti-inflammatory effect also occur when other foods consisting of proteins and fruits or vegetables are combined.
“I can imagine that something similar happens in, for example, a meat dish with vegetables or a smoothie, if you make sure to add some protein like milk or yogurt,” says Marianne Nissen Lund.
Industry and the research community have both taken note of the major advantages of polyphenols. As such, they are working on how to add the right quantities of polyphenols in foods to achieve the best quality. The new research results are promising in this context as well:
“Because humans do not absorb that much polyphenol, many researchers are studying how to encapsulate polyphenols in protein structures which improve their absorption in the body. This strategy has the added advantage of enhancing the anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols,” explains Marianne Nissen Lund.
The research is funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark and conducted in collaboration with the Technical University of Dresden in Germany.
- Polyphenols are a group of naturally occurring antioxidants important for humans.
- They prevent and delay the oxidation of healthy chemical substances and organs in our bodies, thereby protecting them from damage or destruction.
- Polyphenols are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, and beer.
- Due to their antioxidant properties, polyphenols are used in the food industry to minimize the oxidation of fats in particular, as well as the quality deterioration of foods, to avoid off flavors and rancidity.
Reference: “Phenolic Acid−Amino Acid Adducts Exert Distinct 2 Immunomodulatory Effects in Macrophages Compared to Parent 3 Phenolic Acids” 30 January 2023, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.