A combination of cranberry and blueberry extracts could inhibit a protein called IKK-beta, which is involved in inflammatory gene expression, according to findings published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
In addition, a strawberry, blueberry and spinach extract combination was found to inhibit prolyl endopeptidase (PEP), which has been previously characterized as a promising therapeutic target for supporting learning, memory, and mood, report scientists from Pure Encapsulations (USA), Laval University (Canada), NutraCanada (Canada), and Atrium Innovations (USA).
Pure Encapsulations, a division of Atrium Innovations, recently released formulations containing these unique polyphenol blends into the US. The cranberry-blueberry combination is marketed under the PhytoCardio brand, while a blend of strawberry, blueberry and spinach extracts is branded as PhytoMemory.
A combination of PhytoCardio and PhytoMemory called PhytoLongevity is also available. The branded blends are already used in several finished products, said the company.
“Polyphenols are clinically valuable protective and therapeutic phytochemicals,” explained Kelly Heim, PhD, nutritional pharmacologist at Pure Encapsulations and lead author of the new study.
“As our team characterizes the molecular pharmacology and applications of novel, proprietary blends, a platform of evidence-based products continues to expand.
“This study is just one example of our commitment to research on the mechanisms of unique anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and neuroactive polyphenol preparations.”
The in vitro study aimed to eluicidate the activity of the two fruit and vegetable extract preparations. Results showed that the PhytoCardio combination inhibited IKK-beta in a dose-dependent manner, meaning the greater the dose, the greater the inhibition.
Furthermore, the PhytoMemory combination was found to inhibit PEP, described by the researchers as “a regulator of central neuropeptide stability and an emerging therapeutic target in neurology and psychiatry."
Indeed, the highest dose of the PhytoMemory (500 micrograms per milliliter) inhibited PEP by about 70%, said the researchers.
"In the last decade, considerable research of dietary plants has focused on singular plant extracts and their phenolic isolates. In pharmacologic models of inflammation and neuroprotection, little attention has been directed toward mixed preparations with low phenolic content," explained the researchers.
"The results of the present study indicate that two recognized molecular targets of isolated phytochemicals are inhibited by mixtures of whole extracts. It is important that this is the first report of PEP inhibition by fruit and vegetable extracts and warrants further interrogation of these foods in neurocognitive models."
Barry Ritz, PhD, VP scientific and regulatory affairs at Atrium Innovations, said: “This research provides a proof of principle behind some of our proprietary polyphenol blends.
“Our comprehensive applied research program includes a series of projects looking at small fruit polyphenols in inflammation, sports nutrition, cardiometabolic health, and cognition. We will continue to publish our work in an effort to support the science behind our products as well as elevate the totality of the evidence for the health benefits of natural products.”
Source: Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 15, Number 9, Pages 851-854, doi:10.1089/jmf.2011.0265.
“Anti-Inflammatory and Neuroactive Properties of Selected Fruit Extracts”
Authors: K.C. Heim, P. Angers, S. Léonhart, B.W. Ritz