Compound from Blueberries Has Potential for Treating IBD, Study Suggests

Compound from Blueberries Has Potential for Treating IBD, Study Suggests
Pterostilbene (PSB), a compound found in blueberries, can reduce the inflammatory activity of immune cells and limit colon inflammation in mice, a new study shows. The findings suggest that PSB may have potential as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, "Pterostilbene reduces colonic inflammation by suppressing dendritic cell activation and promoting regulatory T cell development," was published in The FASEB Journal. IBD is caused by increased inflammation in the colon; as such, treatments for IBD are generally aimed at reducing inflammation. Many plants produce bioactive compounds, which are molecules that can affect processes in the human body, such as inflammation. One such compound that is fairly well-characterized is resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenol and antioxidant found in several plants, including grapes, that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties — including decreasing inflammation in mouse models of IBD. PSB is the main antioxidant found in blueberries, and its structure is quite similar to that of RSV — though notably, certain structural differences between the molecules make PSB more easily absorbed by the body than RSV. In a recent study, researchers at Tokyo University of Science examined whether PSB might have similar anti-inflammatory effects with relevance to IBD. "RSV, a polyphenol, was known to have pronounced immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects on animal models of colitis ulcer. Therefore, we investigated the possibility of other compounds structurally similar to RSV as a new type of treatment for IBD," Takuya Yashiro, PhD, the study's lead author, said in a press release. The researchers first examined in vitro the effects of PSB treatment on two types of mouse immune cells:
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