AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 26 (UPI) -- Natural chemicals from blackcurrants may help reduce lung inflammation in those with allergy-induced asthma, researchers in New Zealand said.
The study, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, found in laboratory experiments the blackcurrant compound enhances the natural defense mechanisms in lung tissue by both suppressing inflammation-causing reactions and minimizing inflammation.
Dr. Roger Hurst of New Zealand company Plant & Food Research said 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.
Hurst said the cells from lung tissue were used to test the effects on the immune system of a proanthocyanidin rich extract, from blackcurrant cultivars grown in New Zealand.
When the lungs are exposed to allergens, the body's natural response is to attack the perceived foreign body that in some individuals results in long-term inflammation.
Selective compounds found in fruit and vegetables may work together with the body's own natural defense mechanism to suppress long-term lung inflammation, Hurst says.