Innovation can come from a Eureka! moment or through collaboration and the exchange of ideas between scientists. While shouting “Eureka!” and running down the hall may be cinematic, the real life experience can be years of painstaking research and documentation, followed by more years of the same. Why do scientists do it? Because it’s fun. And teasing knowledge out of complexity to increase the body of knowledge that ultimately contributes to health is both rewarding and downright interesting.
To inch the line of knowledge forward, scientists collaborate and share their findings through meetings and publications. To this end, the Discovery Science group within Research and Development at Standard Process has presented their most recent findings in two papers accepted by peer-review journals, and attended one of the premier scientific meetings — Experimental Biology.
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY POSTERS
Combination of fenugreek and cayenne improves glucose handling of a type 2 diabetic mouse model
Paul Hanlon1, Bruce Eshelman2, William Harriman2, and David Barnes1
1Research & Development, Standard Process Inc.
2Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Fenugreek and cayenne contain bioactive phytochemicals that have both been shown to affect glucose handling. Diabetic mice fed diets containing either fenugreek or cayenne alone did not have significant improvement in comparison with control. However, after four weeks the mice fed the combination of fenugreek and cayenne demonstrated significantly improved fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c levels, two markers of glucose control.
Improved prep-scale isolation of glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables using a novel stationary phase
Chris Scholl, David Barnes, and Paul Hanlon
Research & Development, Standard Process Inc.
Phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates (ITCs) have been extensively studied because of links to induction of detoxification enzymes and reduction in the risk of cancer. ITCs are not present in raw vegetables, but instead are stored in vegetables as another type of phytochemical — glucosinolates (GLS).
When vegetables are ground or chewed the GLS are converted through an enzymatic process into the highly active ITCs. GLS are present in high concentrations in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and radishes; each of these different vegetables tends to have a unique mixture of glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates are measured through chromatography — a method of chemical separation that allows the individual phytochemicals to be identified. The interest in GLS metabolites calls for a fast and efficient prep scale isolation method — a way to separate bioactive compounds on a large scale. Glucoraphasatin is the most common GLS in radishes. The Bonus-RP column significantly improved resolution of glucoraphasatin and glucoraphenin, as well as other GLSs present in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. This technique gives us another tool to help us understand the role that individual phytochemicals play in the context of the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in cruciferous vegetables.
Water soluble extracts from multiple mushroom varieties inhibit activation of Jurkat cells (immortalized T Lymphocytes)
Brandon Metzger, Melissa Robbins, David Barnes, and Paul Hanlon
& Development, Standard Process Inc.
The human immune system is complex. When the body comes across a substance that provokes an immune response (an antigen), proteins, called cytokines, are released by different types of T cells and regulate the actions of the immune system. T lymphocytes have the ability to recognize and kill other cells, and thus contribute to immune responses.
Some substances can influence cytokine expression by T lymphocytes. Many mushroom varieties have traditionally been used for the modulation of immune function.
The extracts from six varieties of mushrooms were evaluated for their ability to reduce T lymphocyte activation:
• Coriolus versicolor (turkey tail)
• Hericium erinaceus (bearded tooth)
• Ganoderma lucidum (reishi)
• Grifola frondosa (maitake)
• Lentinula edodes (shiitake)
• Cordyceps sinensis
The cells were treated with different doses of mushroom extract, and the concentration of interleukin 2 (IL-2) secreted by the cells was measured after 24 hours. IL-2 is a cytokine that is produced by T cells in response to an immune challenge. This cytokine encourages the activation of T and B cells; and enhances Natural Killer cell activity.
This study found that the hot water extracts from all mushroom varieties reduced IL-2 concentrations in a dose-dependent manner, and that extracts from cordyceps and maitake were the most potent.
PAPERS ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION
Scheduled to appear in the Journal of Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Longitudinal expression of antioxidant phytochemicals in buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench)
Brandon Metzger, Melissa Williams, and David Barnes
Research & Development, Standard Process Inc.
Buckwheat is a commercial source of rutin and numerous other antioxidant phytochemicals. Rutin levels are known to be the highest during the flowering stage of crop growth, but it is unknown if this is the optimal harvest time for other antioxidant phytochemicals. A longitudinal study of buckwheat was performed in the spring of 2007 to characterize the expression of antioxidant phytochemicals and total antioxidant capacity from vegetative growth through seed development using several different fields and planting cycles. While the optimal harvest time for individual compounds varied, when phytochemical composition and yield were both considered, four to five weeks after sowing was found to be the optimal time to harvest.
Scheduled to appear in the Journal of Food Science: Induction of detoxification enzymes by feeding unblanched Brussels sprouts containing active myrosinase to mice for two weeks
Melissa Robbins1, Johanna Hauder2, Veronika Somoza3, Bruce D. Eshelman4, David Barnes1, and Paul Hanlon1
1 Research and Development, Standard Process Inc. | 2German Research Center for Food Chemistry | 3Research Platform Molecular Food Science, University of Vienna | 4University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Dept of Biological Sciences
In cruciferous vegetables, myrosinase metabolizes the relatively inactive glucosinolates into isothiocyanates and other products which have the ability to increase detoxification enzyme expression. Thus, maintaining myrosinase activity during food preparation may be critical to receiving the maximum benefit of consumption of Brussels sprouts or other cruciferous vegetables.
To test the importance of maintaining myrosinase activity for maximizing bioactivity, experimental diets containing 20 percent unblanched (active myrosinase) or 20 percent blanched (inactivated myrosinase) freeze-dried Brussels sprouts and a nutrient-matched control diet were evaluated for their ability to induce detoxification enzymes in mice.
Exposure to Brussels sprouts with active myrosinase (unblanched Brussels sprouts) resulted in greater induction of both phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes in the liver and the lungs of mice, which correlated with plasma sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate) concentrations. Understanding the impact of processing on biological activity is critical in terms of retaining (or improving) product quality.
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This research was provided by Standard Process.
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