Soy isoflavones linked to easier breathing
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.