October 2012-- Scientists from The University of Florida and The Pennsylvania State University conducted research on the bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans. Download the PDF
MSI Funded Paper: Bioavailability of Herbs and Spices in Humans as Determined by ex vivo Inflammatory Suppression and DNA Strand Breaks
Percival SS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Nieves CJ, Montero C, Migliaccio AJ, and Meadors J
This study determined the bioavailability of herbs and spices after human consumption by measuring the ability to protect lymphocytes from an oxidative injury and by observing the impact on inflammatory biomarkers in activated THP-1 cells.
Subjects consumed a defined amount of herb or spice for 7 days and blood was drawn from subjects before consumption and 1 hour after taking the final herb or spice capsules. Subject serum and various extractions of the herbs and spices were analyzed for antioxidant capacity by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) analysis or by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrzyl (DPPH). Subject peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in medium with 10% autologous serum were incubated with hydrogen peroxide to induce DNA strand breaks. Subject serum was also used to treat activated THP-1 cells to determine relative quantities of 3 inflammatory cytokine (tumor necrosis factor-a [TNF-a], interleukin-1a [IL-1a], and IL-6) mRNAs.
Herbs and spices that protected PBMCs against DNA strand breaks were paprika, rosemary, ginger, heat-treated turmeric, sage, and cumin. Paprika also appeared to protect cells from normal apoptotic processes. Of the 3 cytokine mRNAs studied (TNF-a, IL-1a, and IL-6), TNF-a was the most sensitive responder to oxidized LDL-treated macrophages. Clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric were able to significantly reduce oxidized LDLinduced expression of TNF-a. Serum from those consuming ginger reduced all three inflammatory biomarkers.
The results of this study suggest that ginger, rosemary, and turmeric showed protective capacity by both oxidative protection and inflammation measures. Also, DNA strand breaks and inflammatory biomarkers are a good functional measure of a food’s bioavailability.
Percival SS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Nieves CJ, Montero C, Migliaccio AJ, and Meadors J. Bioavailability of Herbs and Spices in Humans as Determined by ex vivo Inflammatory Suppression and DNA Strand Breaks. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):288-94. Download the PDF