Dispatches from Experimental Biology 2017

Study supports spearmint extract’s anti-inflammatory potential: Neumentix data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/Sunlike
© iStock/Sunlike

Related tags: Anti-inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory potential of Kemin’s Neumentix spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) extract may equal that observed for indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), says data from a study with lab rats.

Neumentix is a polyphenol-rich ingredient derived from clonal lines of spearmint have been developed by Kemin for their content of rosmarinic acid (the key polyphenol bioactive). The ingredient is positioned for cognitive health and its efficacy is supported by data published in peer-review journals.

The new results, presented last week at Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago, indicated that the extract’s anti-inflammatory activity exceeded that of rosmarinic acid alone, “indicating a potential synergy between the constituents present in the spearmint extract”,​ wrote scientists from Kemin Human Nutrition and Health in an abstract published in the FASEB Journal​.

Study details

The researchers divided male Wistar rats into different groups: The rats received intraperitoneal administration of the spearmint extract (containing 15% rosmarinic acid) at doses of 10, 30 or 100 mg/kg, or pure rosmarinic acid at doses of 15 or 50 mg/kg, or indomethacin, or saline solution (control), and then given injections of carrageenan to induce an inflammatory response.

Results showed that, as expected, rats in the control group experienced significant swelling of their paws by up to 46% over six hours. However, swelling was significantly reduced in animals given the spearmint extract, with swelling of only 9%, 11% and -8% at six hours for the 10, 30 and 100 mg/kg doses, respectively.

While rosmarinic acid did reduce the paw volume, these reductions were not as great as observed for the spearmint extract. Rats treated with indomethacin also showed significant reductions in paw swelling (3% at six hours).

“When comparing the attenuation in inflammation following spearmint extract treatment to the anti-inflammatory agent, the spearmint extract group performed equally well at attenuating local inflammation,” ​wrote the researchers. “Furthermore, when comparing the 15 mg/kg rosmarinic acid group with the spearmint extract group that contained an equivalent amount of rosmarinic acid (100 mg/kg group), the animals receiving the spearmint extract injections exhibited significantly less inflammation than the rosmarinic acid standard group at both the 3 and 6 hour time points indicating that additional actives in the spearmint extract have an effect on the inflammation response.”

Brain benefits

As previously mentioned, Neumentix is positioned as an ingredient to support brain health. Data presented at Experimental Biology 2015 from a 90-day study with 90 people with an average age of 59 indicated that the polyphenol-rich ingredient may improve the quality and accuracy of working memory, as well as improving the ability to fall asleep (abstract published in the FASEB Journal).

Results of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study support earlier findings from an open trial published in the Functional Foods in Health and Disease​.

Source: FASEB Journal
Volume 31, Supplement lb367
“Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Polyphenol-Rich Spearmint Extract in a Rat Paw Edema Model”
Authors: B. Fonseca, et al. 

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