Protection against gastrointestinal diseases
Source: Kompetenznetze Deutschland
Freiburger research team isolates food molecules that improve the immune system
A group of food molecules, the so called glucosinolates, play animportant role in the function and sustainment of the intestinal immunecells. The team around Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Elina Kiss,Institute for medical microbiology and hygiene (IMMH) from UniversityHospital Freiburg, could proof this in an experiment. Theglucosinolates can be found in a high concentration in the family ofBrassicaceae like broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
The research team put mice with a synthetic diet that did not containany plant components and therefor no glucosinolates. This weakened theintestinal immune cells of the animals. Once the scientists addedglucosinolate to the feed the immune function increased.
For the first time the gathered data could show a defined molecularpathway which helps food ingredients of determined vegetables toincrease the intestinal immune system. Although a similar studyconcerning humans is not available yet, there is a huge possibilitythat the mechanisms in mouse and human are comparable. However therehave already been studies that showed the connection between a dietlacking in vegetables and fruit and an increased risk of chronicinflammatory intestinal disease.
“Now it is possible that in future those plant components or relatedmolecules could be used to prevent or treat intestinal infections orchronic inflammatory intestinal diseases”, says Prof Diefenbach.
Next to broccoli and Brussels sprout, also cabbage, cauliflower andkohlrabi are belong to the family of Brassicaceae.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach
Institute for medical microbiology and hygiene (IMMH)
Tel.: +49 761 203-6522
Fax: +49 761 203-6562
Source: University Hospital Freiburg