Probiotic from Tibetan kefir grains can provide antioxidant boost to functional foods: Study

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The kefir grain isolate exhibited promising antioxidant activities in vitro. ©iStock
The kefir grain isolate exhibited promising antioxidant activities in vitro. ©iStock

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The probiotic strain L. plantarum MA2 from traditional Tibetan kefir grains has significant antioxidant properties, in addition to its previously reported cholesterol lowering credentials.

Academics drew this conclusion after evaluate its antioxidative effects in vitro​, and their mechanisms at molecular level, after preliminary research showed positive results.

For this study, the in vitro​ antioxidant effects of three MA2 samples, the intact cells, fermented supernatant and cell-free extract, were evaluated.

“It was found that the intact cells have the highest antioxidant potential capacity.

“This could be due to the attribution of some cell surface active compounds such as protein or polysaccharides and lipoteichoic acid, which were observed in L. plantarum C88 and bifidobacteria,”​ said the researchers from Tianjin University in China.

They said measures to identify and develop the antioxidant abilities of probiotics would continue to be thoroughly investigated.

Writing in the journal Food Chemistry​, they concluded that the kefir grain isolate exhibited promising antioxidant activities in vitro​.

“Through identifying and analysing the antioxidant-related genes, it is found that three groups of genes cat, gshR and npx, were up-regulated under H2​O2​ challenge, and these findings provide the clues of the antioxidant mechanism of MA2 at gene expression level.  Further investigation is needed to illustrate antioxidant mechanism profoundly.”

They added L. plantarum​ MA2 could be considered a potential antioxidant strain for application in functional foods.

 

Source: Food Chemistry

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.10.124

“Molecular mechanisms and in vitro antioxidant effects of Lactobacillus plantarum MA2”.

Authors:  Wei Tang, et al.

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