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Boysenberry and apple: Potent fruit anthocyanins to support lung immunity and aid in airway tissue repair

BerriQi is produced in New Zealand by pioneering nutraceutical company Anagenix.

The number of inhabitants in the world is increasing, and the earth is getting hotter. We use more and pollute more. Pollutants are in every breath we take, leading to increasing prevalence of chronic conditions such as asthma, eczema and compromised immunity.

Anagenix, in partnership with Plant & Food Research, one of the largest horticultural scientific research organisations in the world, embarked on a joint research project to develop solutions that can support the lungs of people who live in large urban centres against the daily onslaught of air pollutants.

 

How clean is the air you breathe?

In the world’s largest urban centres the smog is full of fine particulate matter with a diameter less than 1/30th of the average width of a human hair.

These fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning and some industrial processes. They are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs, all the way to the tiny thin-walled air sacs (alveoli) that are responsible for getting oxygen into the bloodstream.

 

What happens when fine particles get into your lungs?

When you inhale polluted air, fine particles lodge in the alveoli in the lungs, causing irritation. Your body’s natural response to irritants is to use its inbuilt cytokine signalling mechanisms to recruit pro-inflammatory white blood cells such as eosinophils and macrophages to destroy and remove invaders. Long- term exposure to pollutants, leads to chronic inflammation in your airways and healthy lung tissue is replaced with  fibrotic collagen and smooth muscle . Your lungs stiffen and don’t inflate as easily, and your airways are obstructed.

 

What’s the connection between BerriQi boysenberries, apples and lung health?

Over the last decade, Plant & Food Research has studied the respiratory health effects of fruit consumption in pre-clinical models. They discovered that boysenberry and apple combine to contribute the following benefits for lung health:

 

Reduces airway inflammation​, by reducing infiltration of pro-inflammatory eosinophil cells into the lung tissue lining the airways. Allergens stimulate the immune response, attracting eosinophil cells to the lungs. Boysenberry and apple have been experimentally demonstrated in allergen stimulated lung cell models to lower the numbers of these pro-inflammatory cells.

 

Activates the repair mode of macrophages​ to reduce collagen build up and prevent lung scarring. Macrophages are white blood cells that destroy and absorb invading agents. Collagen accumulation and abnormal airway tissue remodelling is a result of inappropriate inflammation and can be prevented by fibrolytic macrophages. Fibrolytic macrophages are an activated form of macrophages that produce collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Boysenberry and apple consumption has been shown to increase the relative abundance of fibrolytic macrophages and decrease collagen in a pre-clinical animal  model of allergic airway inflammation..

 

Reduces excessive mucus production​, keeping the surfaces of the airways clear and making breathing easier. Allergen-stimulated airways possess more mucus-producing cells. With BerriQi consumption in a pre-clinical animal model, the numbers of these cells were lower.

Dr Odette Shaw presents the pre-clinical science behind BerriQI®, a product made by Anagenix Limited from New Zealand sourced boysenberries and apples that help protect against chronic lung inflammation.


Q&A with Dr Odette:

 Besides pollution, can you share what other airway related properties BerriQi may be useful for?

BerriQi may help support normal lung function when exposed to stress that causes inflammation and tissue damage. Pre-clinical data suggests that BerriQi works by promoting anti-inflammatory and tissue repair mechanisms at the cellular level, not by interacting with the pollution itself. So, BerriQi has the potential to help resolve inflammation from causes other than pollution, as well as encouraging the repair of damaged lung tissue once the inflammation has ended. This means that BerriQi could still have benefits for lung health once you’ve left a polluted environment.

 

Can you tell us more about the synergistic benefits with BerriQi from the combination of boysenberries and apples?

We have pre-clinical evidence that boysenberries and apples can reduce immune cell infiltration and inflammation by themselves. We have also seen in other pre-clinical research that by combining boysenberry and apple together a greater reduction in immune cell infiltration is achieved, compared with either fruit separately. We think this is because the compounds in boysenberries and apples act on different parts of the immune system, and so when they are combined a greater immune effect is achieved.

 

Are you seeing these same results in boysenberries alone and how do the results differ from BerriQi that is both boysenberries and apple?

We see similar effects with boysenberries but at a higher concentration is needed. If we compare boysenberries alone with a combination of boysenberries and apple, at the same concentrations, we find that the two fruits combined reduces immune cell infiltration more. Pre-clinical data shows some of the cytokines (proteins secreted by immune cells during inflammation) change depending on whether the mice have been fed boysenberry alone or boysenberry and apple together. This suggests that the mechanisms behind immune system effects are different for Boysenberry and apple, compared to the effects of Boysenberry alone.


About Anagenix

Established in 2010, in response to the growing consumer demand for naturally-derived supplements and functional foods with health benefits, Anagenix makes products that leverage the higher levels of bioactives found in fruits and plants grown in New Zealand.

Anagenix is the preferred partner for Plant & Food Research and together they have formed the Innovation Cell™, the first of its kind that brings together the best of science and market to take a product to successful commercialisation.

The products developed and manufactured by Anagenix are distributed to supplement and health food companies worldwide. All ingredients developed by Anagenix are traceable to their growing region and scientifically substantiated through robust research.