SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

Leafy greens may boost gut immunity: Study

1 comment

By Nathan Gray+

05-Mar-2013
Last updated on 05-Mar-2013 at 16:40 GMT2013-03-05T16:40:53Z

Leafy greens may boost gut immunity: Study

Immune cells that play an essential role in protecting intestinal health and could be boosted by consuming leafy greens, say researchers.

The new study finds that dietary factors, and in particular consumption of cruciferous leafy greens, control the activity of vital immune cells through the activation of a particular gene known as T-bet.

These immune cells, known as innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), play a vital role in protecting the body from infection by 'bad' pathogenic bacteria in our gut - and have also been suggested to play an important role in controlling food allergies, inflammatory diseases, obesity, and even bowel cancers, say the researchers writing Nature Immunology.

"In this study, we discovered that T-bet is the key gene that instructs precursor cells to develop into ILCs, which it does in response to signals in the food we eat and to bacteria in the gut," Dr Gabrielle Belz from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Australia.

"ILCs are essential for immune surveillance of the digestive system and this is the first time that we have identified a gene responsible for the production of ILCs."

Belz said that the proteins in cruciferous vegetables are known to interact with a cell surface receptor that switches on T-bet – and might therefore play a role in producing these critical immune cells.

"Proteins in these leafy greens could be part of the same signalling pathway that is used by T-bet to produce ILCs," she said.

"We are very interested in looking at how the products of these vegetables are able to talk to T-bet to make ILCs, which will give us more insight into how the food we eat influences our immune system and gut bacteria."

Delicate balance

Belz and her team noted that ILCs are essential for maintaining the delicate balance between tolerance, immunity and inflammation – by producing a hormone called interleukin-22 (IL-22), which can protect the body from invading bacteria.

"We are just starting to understand how important these immune cells are in regulating allergy and inflammation, and the implications for bowel cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease," she said.

"Our research shows that, without the gene T-bet, the body is more susceptible to bacterial infections that enter through the digestive system,” Belz added. “This suggests that boosting ILCs in the gut may aid in the treatment of these bacterial infections.”

Source: Nature Immunology
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1038/ni.2545
“The transcription factor T-bet is essential for the development of NKp46+ innate lymphocytes via the Notch pathway”
Authors: Lucille C Rankin, Joanna R Groom, Michaël Chopin, Marco J Herold, et al

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Full Study

How can I have (or buy) a copy of the full study? Thanks!

Report abuse

Posted by Ann Perri
07 March 2013 | 21h402013-03-07T21:40:05Z

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Fytexia
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Indena
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Capsugel
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Ingredion
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
NSF-International
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Roquette
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars