A new study done by The Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich and The Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the University of Vienna shows that the Bitter Receptor TAS2R50 plays a role in the inhibitory action of Resveratrol on the release of inflammation biomarkers.
Resveratrol is a substance isolated for the first time from a kind of grape and Japanese knotweed and its properties have been studied constantly over the years. This plant compound had been found to have a counter effect on the inflammatory process and long since been approved for use as a food ingredient. It is known for its characteristic bitter taste and several pieces of research have proven early enough that this substance actively acts to lower the biomarkers of inflammation released in patients with metabolic syndrome and other similar diseases.
Aim of the study
There have been questions however on the extent of involvement of bitter receptors. Would the counter effect of Resveratrol on inflammation remain the same if the bitter receptors were masked or deactivated? This is what probably spurred a study by a research team lead by Veronika Somoza. The study aimed to study the interplay between substances like; Resveratrol and human bitter receptors as well as the effect on inflammation biomarkers.
Highlights of the study
A human cell line derived from a biopsy of the gums was used to experiment with this study. The cells were shown to have well-responding bitter receptor genes that respond well to immune stimulation. These cells usually release significant amounts of interleukin-6, an inflammatory biomarker when stimulated with the surface antigens of a bacterial organism that causes gingivitis.
In this study, after they were triggered with the surface antigens and Resveratrol was introduced, it lowered the number of biomarkers produced by 80% proving its counter effect on the inflammation process. However, the researchers went on to introduce Homoeriodictyol; a naturally occurring substance that characteristically masks bitter receptors especially TAS2R50, and therefore reducing the effect of bitter food ingredients as seen in several previous studies. When Homoeriodictyol was introduced in this experiment, the action of Resveratrol was reduced by 17%. This means that masking bitter receptors not only inhibits the bitter taste of the food ingredients but affects the anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Results and summary
From the results of this study, Veronika Somoza, assistant director of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Vienna and the Director of the Leibniz Institute in Freising stated that it is indeed true that the receptor TAS2R50 influences the actions of Resveratrol on inflammation processes. This study has thrown light on the relation between bitter food ingredients like Resveratrol and the bitter receptors as well as how it affects inflammation in the body.
In summary, the research has proven that without the bitter receptors, the anti-inflammatory effect of Resveratrol may not be as significant. This calls for research on other such substances like Resveratrol. Further research on these anti-inflammatory effects and their influence on certain inflammatory gum diseases would be a welcome development.