Soy isoflavones linked to easier breathing

January 15, 2008

Wine polyphenols decrease free radicals generated when eating

Polyphenols are compounds that are found naturally in the healthiest of foods which have been shown to have a number of health-protecting benefits. Israel scientists gave a small population of men and women 3 different sets of meals; 1) turkey meat and water, 2) turkey meat and concentrated wine polyphenols added after cooking, followed with a glass of red wine; 3) turkey meat soaked in wine polyphenols before cooking, followed by a glass of wine.
Blood and urine samples obtained before and after the meal were analyzed for levels of malondialdehyde (MDA). MDA is a toxic food derivative, a by-product of fat digestion which is highly unstable; it increases the risk of heart disease and other conditions associated with inflammation. While the participants' MDA levels nearly quintupled following the meal that did not contain wine polyphenols, those who consumed the meal in which polyphenols were added before cooking experienced no increase. The meal in which polyphenols were added after cooking was almost as effective. The study is published in the January, 2008 issue of FASEB.

Four weeks of supplementation with Genistein, an isoflavone
Found in soy, may suppress the inflammatory process and ease breathing and explain previous reports linking the isoflavone to reduced asthma severity, according to this new study.
Scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago report that the production and release of inflammatory compounds by white blood cells involved in asthma was reduced by 33% in 13 asthmatic subjects.
The study adds to a small but growing body of data supporting the role of isoflavones in respiratory health. Indeed, epidemiologic studies have linked high dietary Genistein consumption with improved airflow in the lungs of asthmatics. The researchers focused their attentions on the production of the inflammatory leukotriene C4 (LTC4) from white blood cells (eosinophils) among the subjects, assigned to receive a daily soy supplement. The supplement contained 29 mg of Genistein, 28 mg of Daidzein, and 8 mg of Glycitein as aglycone.
The scientists report that production of eosinophil LTC4 was decreased by 33 per cent at the end of the supplementation period. Moreover, the amount of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) was also decreased by 17 per cent. FENO reflected the degree of inflammation in the airways.
"The reduction in FENO that we report in this study is similar to that seen with the use of moderate-dose inhaled corticosteroids," wrote the researchers. "We therefore think that the 17 per cent reduction in FENO seen in the current study represents a meaningful biological response." The study is published in the January 2008 issue of the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Quercetin for relieving allergies

Researchers from the Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases at Boston University School of Medicine feel strongly about the benefits of Quercetin and it is reviewed very favorably in this article. Quercetin is a flavonoid found in red wine, grapefruit, onions, apples, and teas. Quercetin has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and prevents cancer (this is the wording of the researchers as published in the journal). Quercetin inhibits the growth of certain malignant cells in vitro, and histamine and most cyclin-dependent kinases and it also displays unique anticancer properties. Quercetin is a natural compound that blocks substances involved in allergies and is able to act as an inhibitor of mast cell secretion (our cells that react during an allergic reaction). Quercetin causes a decrease in the release of immune system substances involved with the allergic reaction and inflammation including tryptase, MCP-1 and IL-6 and the down-regulation of Histidine decarboxylase; the enzyme that converts the amino acid Histidine to Histamine. Quercetin is a safe, natural therapy that may be used as primary therapy or in conjunction with conventional methods. The study is published in the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents, July-December 2006.