Breathe with blackcurrants
Researchers from New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research (PFR) have found a compound in blackcurrants that may ease breathing in some types of asthma. The compound, a known antioxidant called epigallocatechin, was found in lab experiments to enhance the natural defence mechanisms in lung tissue by both suppressing inflammation-causing reactions and minimising inflammation. Fruit consumption has been shown to reduce symptoms in allergy-induced asthma yet this research is the first to give insights into the mechanism by which this may occur. “To find natural compounds that potentially reduce lung inflammation and complement the body’s own immune response is an exciting breakthrough,” says Roger Hurst of PFR, who led the study. The findings were published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.