Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis are chronic intestinal disorders, which are on the increase in “Westernised” countries. IBD can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that has been identified as being involved in several diseases including IBD. Studies have shown that polymorphisms in the promoter region reduce serum levels of IL-10 and this reduction has been associated with some forms of IBD. Mouse models have shown promising results with IL-10 supplementation, as such IL-10 supplementation has been touted as being a possible alternative treatment for CD in humans. Clinical trials have shown that recombinant human IL-10 is safe and well tolerated up to a dose of 8 μg/kg. However, to date, the results of the clinical trials have been disappointing. Although CD activity was reduced as measured by the CD activity index, IL-10 supplementation did not result in significantly reduced remission rates or clinical improvements when compared to placebo. This review discusses why IL-10 supplementation is not effective in CD patients currently and what can be addressed to potentially make IL-10 supplementation a more viable treatment option in the future. Based on the current research we conclude that IL-10 supplementation is not a one size fits all treatment and if the correct population of patients is chosen then IL-10 supplementation could be of benefit.
Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease; Interleukin-10; Recombinant human interleukin-10
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease are highly debilitating. There are inconsistencies in response to and side effects in the current conventional medications, failures in adequate drug delivery, and the lack of therapeutics to offer complete remission in the presently available treatments of IBD. This suggests the need to explore beyond the horizons of conventional approaches in IBD therapeutics. This review examines the arena of the evolving IBD nanomedicine, studied so far in animal and in vitro models, before comprehensive clinical testing in humans. The investigations carried out so far in IBD models have provided substantial evidence of the nanotherapeutic approach as having the potential to overcome some of the current drawbacks to conventional IBD therapy. We analyze the pros and cons of nanotechnology in IBD therapies studied in different models, aimed at different targets and mechanisms of IBD pathogenesis, in an attempt to predict its possible impact in humans.
Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis; Tumor necrosis factor-α; Nanomedicine
At an international level, colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Diet plays a major etiologic role, and a range of putative dietary carcinogens have been identified. The probability with which these lead to mutations, and thereby cause cancer, is strongly impacted by variants in genes coding for xenobiotic metabolizing or DNA repair enzymes. Nutrient deficiencies also play a role, which will be exacerbated by variants in metabolic genes. However, many of the causal genes in sporadic CRC have hitherto proved elusive. The power of large international collaborations, coupled with genome-wide association studies, has implicated a major functional role of the tumour growth factor-β pathway in CRC susceptibility. Nutrient regulation of gene expression may be especially important here. Future large collaborative studies must consider gene-gene and gene-diet interactions, coupled with high throughput genomic technologies, in order to uncover the relative roles of genetic variants, mutagenic xenobiotics, nutrient imbalance and gene expression in the etiology of CRC.
Transforming growth factor β; Colorectal cancer; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Genome wide association studies; Gene expression
Selenium (Se) is an important micronutrient that, as a component of selenoproteins, influences oxidative and inflammatory processes. Its’ levels vary considerably, with different ethnic and geographic population groups showing varied conditions, ranging from frank Se deficiencies to toxic effects. An optimum Se level is essential for the maintenance of homeostasis, and this optimum may vary according to life stage, general state of health, and genotype. Nutrigenetic studies of different Se levels, in the presence of genetic variants in selenoproteins, suggest that an effective dietary Se intake for one individual may be very different from that for others. However, we are just starting to learn the significance of various genes in selenoprotein pathways, functional variants in these, and how to combine such data from genes into pathways, alongside dietary intake or serum levels of Se. Advances in systems biology, genetics, and genomics technologies, including genetic/genomic, epigenetic/epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic information, start to make it feasible to assess a comprehensive spectrum of the biological activity of Se. Such nutrigenomic approaches may prove very sensitive biomarkers of optimal Se status at the individual or population level. The premature cessation of a major human Se intervention trial has led to considerable controversy as to the value of Se supplementation at the population level. New websites provide convenient links to current information on methodologies available for nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. These new technologies will increasingly become an essential tool in optimizing the level of Se and other micronutrients for optimal health, in individuals and in population groups. However, definitive proof of such effects will require very large collaborative studies, international agreement on study design, and innovative approaches to data analysis.
selenium; selenoprotein; nutrigenetics; nutrigenomics
DNA samples from 339 Crohn's disease (CD) and 407 randomly selected controls from the Auckland (New Zealand) IBD project, were genotyped for five common single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-23R (rs11805303, rs7517847, rs1343151, rs11209026, and rs10889677) and two in IL-12B (rs1363670 and rs6887695). While the IL-12B variants did not show an overall association and other IL23R variants led to minor changes in the risk of CD, rs1343151 and/or rs7517847 variants in the IL-23R gene strongly reduced the risk of developing CD at both allelic and genotype levels. A significantly decreased risk of first diagnosis of childhood CD was observed in individuals carrying the A allele of rs1343151, or between 17–40 y in individuals carrying the G allele in rs7517847 of IL-23R. A significantly decreased risk of ileocolonic or structuring disease was observed in individuals carrying the A allele in either rs11209026 or rs1343151, or the G allele in rs7517847 of IL-23R, and when such individuals did develop the disease, they were unlikely to require a bowel resection. Certain haplotypes very strongly modified risk. There was evidence for interactions of IL-23R variants with the NOD2 wild-type (d/d) genotype. Down-regulating the function of the IL-23R gene may decrease CD risk in the normal population.
AIM: To investigate the role that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter of the tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) gene play in the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) in a New Zealand population, in the context of international studies.
METHODS: DNA samples from 388 patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), 405 ulcerative colitis (UC), 27 indeterminate colitis (IC) and 201 randomly selected controls, from Canterbury, New Zealand were screened for 3 common polymorphisms in the TNF-α receptor: -238 G→A, -308 G→A and -857C→T, using a TaqmanR assay. A meta-analysis was performed on the data obtained on these polymorphisms combined with that from other published studies.
RESULTS: Individuals carrying the -308 G/A allele had a significantly (OR = 1.91, χ2 = 17.36, P < 0.0001) increased risk of pancolitis, and a 1.57-fold increased risk (OR = 1.57, χ2 = 4.34, P = 0.037) of requiring a bowel resection in UC. Carrying the -857 C/T variant decreased the risk of ileocolonic CD (OR = 0.56, χ2 = 4.32, P = 0.037), and the need for a bowel resection (OR = 0.59, χ2 = 4.85, P = 0.028). The risk of UC was reduced in individuals who were smokers at diagnosis, (OR = 0.48, χ2 = 4.86, P = 0.028).
CONCLUSION: TNF-α is a key cytokine known to play a role in inflammatory response, and the locus for the gene is found in the IBD3 region on chromosome 6p21, known to be associated with an increased risk for IBD. The -308 G/A SNP in the TNF-α promoter is functional, and may account in part for the increased UC risk associated with the IBD3 genomic region. The -857 C/T SNP may decrease IBD risk in certain groups. Pharmaco- or nutrigenomic approaches may be desirable for individuals with such affected genotypes.
Tumour necrosis factor alpha; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease (CD) is one of the two manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease. Particular foods are thought with CD to exacerbate their illness. Vegetables, especially Brassicaceae, are often shunned by people with CD because of the negative effects they are alleged to have on their symptoms. Brassicaceae supply key nutrients which are necessary to meet recommended daily intakes. We sought to identify the candidate genes involved in the beneficial or adverse effects of Brassicaceae most commonly eaten, as reported by the New Zealand adults from the “Genes and Diet in Inflammatory Bowel disease Study” based in Auckland. An analysis of associations between the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the beneficial or adverse effects of the ten most commonly eaten Brassicaceae was carried out. A total of 37 SNPs were significantly associated with beneficial effects (p = 0.00097 to 0.0497) and 64 SNPs were identified with adverse effects (p = 0.0000751 to 0.049). After correcting for multiple testing, rs7515322 (DIO1) and rs9469220 (HLA) remained significant. Our findings show that the tolerance of some varieties of Brassicaceae may be shown by analysis of a person’s genotype.
Brassicaceae; tolerability; Crohn’s disease; DIO1; HLA
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s Disease (CD) in the world, and there is much speculation as to why this might be. A high risk of CD has been associated with deficient or insufficient levels of Vitamin D (Vit D), lifestyle as well as various genetic polymorphisms. In this study we sought to analyse the relevance of serum Vit D levels, lifestyle and genotype to CD status. Serum samples were analysed for 25-OH-Vitamin D levels. DNA was isolated from blood and cheek-swabs, and Sequenom and ImmunoChip techniques were used for genotyping. Serum Vit D levels were significantly lower in CD patients (mean = 49.5 mg/L) than those found in controls (mean = 58.9 mg/L, p = 4.74 × 10−6). A total of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were examined for effects on serum Vit D levels, with adjustment for confounding variables. Two variants: rs731236[A] (VDR) and rs732594[A] (SCUBE3) showed a significant association with serum Vit D levels in CD patients. Four variants: rs7975232[A] (VDR), rs732594[A] (SCUBE3), and rs2980[T] and rs2981[A] (PHF-11) showed a significant association with serum Vit D levels in the control group. This study demonstrates a significant interaction between Vit D levels and CD susceptibility, as well as a significant association between Vit D levels and genotype.
vitamin D levels; Crohn’s disease; VDR; SCUBE3; PPP6R3; PHF-11; SNPs; lifestyle
Increasing demand for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) containing fish oils is putting pressure on fish species and numbers. Fisheries provide fish for human consumption, supplement production and fish feeds and are currently supplying fish at a maximum historical rate, suggesting mass-scale fishing is no longer sustainable. However, the health properties of EPA and DHA long-chain (LC) omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) demonstrate the necessity for these oils in our diets. EPA and DHA from fish oils show favourable effects in inflammatory bowel disease, some cancers and cardiovascular complications. The high prevalence of these diseases worldwide indicates the requirement for alternative sources of LC-PUFA. Strategies have included plant-based fish diets, although this may compromise the health benefits associated with fish oils. Alternatively, stearidonic acid, the product of α-linolenic acid desaturation, may act as an EPA-enhancing fatty acid. Additionally, algae oils may be a promising omega-3 PUFA source for the future. Algae are beneficial for multiple industries, offering a source of biodiesel and livestock feeds. However, further research is required to develop efficient and sustainable LC-PUFA production from algae. This paper summarises the recent research for developing prospective substitutes for omega-3 PUFA and the current limitations that are faced.
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); omega-3; inflammation; dietary fatty acids; fish oils; stearidonic acid; algae
PMID: 23531886 CAMSID: cams2807
Genomics and development; genomics without borders; global governance of biotechnology innovation and uncertainty; P5 medicine; public health pharmacogenomics; responsible innovation; STS and organizations; theranostic medicine
New Zealand has one of the highest incidence rates of Crohn’s Disease (CD), whilst the serum selenium status of New Zealanders is amongst the lowest in the world. A prospective case-control study in Auckland, New Zealand considered serum selenium as a potential CD risk factor. Serum selenium levels were significantly lower in CD patients compared to controls (101.8 ± 1.02 vs. 111.1 ± 1.01 ng/mL) (p = 5.91 × 10−8). Recent detailed studies in the United Kingdom have suggested an optimal serum level around 122 ng/mL, making the average CD patient in New Zealand selenium deficient. Of the 29 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tested, 13 were found to significantly interact with serum selenium on CD. After adjustment for multiple testing, a significant interaction with serum selenium on CD was found for three SNPs, namely rs17529609 and rs7901303 in the gene SEPHS1, and rs1553153 in the gene SEPSECS. These three SNPs have not been reported elsewhere as being significantly associated with selenium or CD. It is unclear as to whether lower selenium levels are a cause or an effect of the disease.
selenium; Crohn’s Disease; risk factor; single nucleotide polymorphism
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics hold much promise for providing better nutritional advice to the public generally, genetic subgroups and individuals. Because nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics require a deep understanding of nutrition, genetics and biochemistry and ever new ‘omic’ technologies, it is often difficult, even for educated professionals, to appreciate their relevance to the practice of preventive approaches for optimising health, delaying onset of disease and diminishing its severity. This review discusses (i) the basic concepts, technical terms and technology involved in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics; (ii) how this emerging knowledge can be applied to optimise health, prevent and treat diseases; (iii) how to read, understand and interpret nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic research results, and (iv) how this knowledge may potentially transform nutrition and dietetic practice, and the implications of such a transformation. This is in effect an up-to-date overview of the various aspects of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics relevant to health practitioners who are seeking a better understanding of this new frontier in nutrition research and its potential application to dietetic practice.
Dietetics; Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Nutrition Research; Personalised nutrition
DNase1 has been implicated in a number of immune disorders and is an excellent candidate gene for Crohn's disease (CD). We investigated whether DNase1 SNPs rs1053874 and rs8176938 were associated with CD in a well-characterized New Zealand dataset consisting of 447 cases and 716 controls. Furthermore, we measured serum DNase1 activity levels in a number of CD patients and controls. We did not find any evidence of association for either DNase1 genetic variation or DNase1 activity levels with CD. The lack of association indicates that DNase1 does not play a significant role in predisposing to CD in the New Zealand population.
There is controversy as to the recommended daily intake of selenium (Se), and whether current New Zealand diets are adequate in this nutrient. Various functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) polymorphisms may affect the efficacy of Se utilisation. These include the glutathione peroxidases GPx1 rs1050450, GPx4 rs713041, as well as selenoproteins SEPP1 rs3877899, SEL15 rs5845, SELS rs28665122 and SELS rs4965373. This cross-sectional study measured serum Se levels of 503 healthy Caucasian men in Auckland, New Zealand, between ages 20–81. The Se distribution was compared with activities of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase, and DNA damage as measured by the single cell gel electrophoresis assay, both without and with a peroxide-induced oxidative challenge. Serum Se was measured using inductively coupled plasma-dynamic reaction cell-mass spectrometry, while selenoprotein SNPs were estimated using TaqMan® SNP genotyping assays. While antioxidant enzyme activities and DNA damage recorded after a peroxide challenge increased with increasing serum selenium, the inherent DNA damage levels in leukocytes showed no statistically significant relationship with serum selenium. However, these relationships and dietary Se requirements at the individual level were modified by several different SNPs in genes for selenoproteins. The GPx1 rs1050450 C allele was significantly associated with GPx activity. Significant correlations between serum Se level and GPX activity were seen with all genotypes except for homozygous minor allele carriers, while the GPx1 rs1050450 CT genotype showed the highest correlation. Several genotypes showed significant correlations between serum Se and TR activity with SEPP1 rs3877899 GG genotype showing the highest correlation. A significant decreasing trend in DNA damage with increasing serum Se was seen among GPx1 rs1050450 CC and GPx4 rs713041 TT genotype carriers up to a serum Se level of 116 and 149 ng/ml, respectively. In the absence of this genetic information, we would recommend a serum Se concentration in the region of 100–150 ng/ml as providing a useful compromise.
Selenium (Se); Glutathione peroxidase (GPx); Thioredoxin reductase (TR); Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
The gene ULK1 is an excellent candidate for Crohn's disease (CD) due to its role in autophagy. A recent study provided evidence for the involvement of ULK1 in the pathogenesis of CD (Henckaerts et al., 2011). We attempted to validate this association, using a candidate gene SNP study of ULK1 in CD. We identified tagging SNPs and genotyped these SNPs using the Sequenom platform in a Caucasian New Zealand dataset consisting of 406 CD patients and 638 controls. In this sample, we were able to demonstrate an association between CD and several different ULK1 SNPs and haplotypes. Phenotypic analysis showed an association with age of diagnosis 17–40 years and inflammatory behaviour. The findings of this study provide evidence to suggest that genetic variation in ULK1 may play a role in interindividual differences in CD susceptibility and clinical outcome.
Metallothioneins (MTs) are excellent candidate genes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and have previously been shown to have altered expression in both animal and human studies of IBD. This is the first study to examine genetic variants within the MT genes and aims to determine whether such genetic variants have an important role in this disease. 28 tag SNPs in genes MT1 (subtypes A, B, E, F, G, H, M, X), MT2, MT3 and MT4 were selected for genotyping in a well-characterized New Zealand dataset consisting of 406 patients with Crohn's Disease and 638 controls. We did not find any evidence of association for MT genetic variation with CD. The lack of association indicates that genetic variants in the MT genes do not play a significant role in predisposing to CD in the New Zealand population.
Crohn's disease; Metallothioneins; genetic association
PMID: 22279516 CAMSID: cams1945
Africa; essential diagnostics model list; essential medicines; global public health; pharmacogenomics research funding and development aid; political determinants of health; postgenomics personalized medicine; women’s health
Increased numbers of adherent invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) have been found in Crohn's disease (CD) patients. In this report, we investigate the potential of the probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) to reduce features associated with AIEC pathogenicity in an already established infection with AIEC reference strain LF82.
Several lines of evidence suggest a possible functional role of Matrix metalloproteinase -2 (MMP-2) in obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of MMP-2 promoter polymorphisms in percentage body fat (PBF) as a measure of childhood obesity in a New Zealand population.
546 samples from the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative (ABC) study were genotyped for the three MMP-2 promoter SNPs -1306 C/T (rs243865), -1575G/A (rs243866) and -790 T/G (rs243864) using the Sequenom genotyping platform. The results demonstrated that an MMP-2 promoter haplotype is associated with PBF in New Zealand 7 year old children.
We have previously determined that environmental factors are associated with differences in PBF in this study group, and now we have demonstrated a possible genetic contribution.
childhood obesity; percentage body fat; matrix metalloproteinase-2; genetic association
PMID: 21490881 CAMSID: cams1707
Asia-Pacific; genomics and international development; global health; health 2020 policy; knowledge co-production; LMICs; public health genomics; science and society
Individuals born small for gestational age (SGA) are at increased risk of rapid postnatal weight gain, later obesity and diseases in adulthood such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Environmental risk factors for SGA are well established and include smoking, low pregnancy weight, maternal short stature, maternal diet, ethnic origin of mother and hypertension. However, in a large proportion of SGA, no underlying cause is evident, and these individuals may have a larger genetic contribution.
In this study we tested the association between SGA and polymorphisms in genes that have previously been associated with obesity and/or diabetes. We undertook analysis of 54 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 546 samples from the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative (ABC) study. 227 children were born small for gestational age (SGA) and 319 were appropriate for gestational age (AGA).
Results and Conclusion
The results demonstrated that genetic variation in KCNJ11, BDNF, PFKP, PTER and SEC16B were associated with SGA and support the concept that genetic factors associated with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes are more prevalent in those born SGA compared to those born AGA. We have previously determined that environmental factors are associated with differences in birthweight in the ABC study and now we have demonstrated a significant genetic contribution, suggesting that the interaction between genetics and the environment are important.
We examined the effect of a 9-week diet and physical activity intervention provided in the workplace by a group education session where personal dietary and physical activity goals were proposed. Measurements of anthropometry, fasting blood lipids, glucose and insulin, assays for antioxidant activity (AOA) and questionnaires were completed at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks in 50 healthy workers (50% male, mean age 46y). Followup measurements in 39 (56% male) were possible at 52 weeks. At week 3 a group dietary and physical activity “motivational seminar” was held. At week 6, half the group were supplied daily kiwifruit for 3 weeks with cross over at week 9 until week 12. Compared to baseline, lipid, glucose, insulin and AOA measurements were improved at 12 and 52 weeks. Body measurements did not change. Group diet and physical activity advice reinforced over 9 weeks is associated with a sustained improvement in cardiovascular risk factors at 52 weeks.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) comprising Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic inflammatory conditions with polygenic susceptibility. Interactions between TNF-alpha and TNF-alpha receptor play a fundamental role in inflammatory response. This study investigates the role that selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes in the TNF-alpha receptor (TNSFRSF1B) gene play in the risk of IBD in a New Zealand Caucasian population. DNA samples from 388 CD, 405 UC, 27 indeterminate colitis patients, and 293 randomly selected controls, from Canterbury, New Zealand were screened for 3 common SNPs in TNSFRSF1B: rs1061622 (c.676T > C), rs1061624 (c.*1663A > G), and rs3397 (c.*1690T > C), using TaqMan technologies. Carrying the rs1061624 variant decreased the risk of UC in the left colon (OR 0.73, 95% CI = 0.54–1.00) and of being a smoker at diagnosis (OR 0.62; 95% CI = 0.40–0.96). Carrying the rs3397 variant decreased the risk of penetrating CD (OR 0.62, 95% CI = 0.40–0.95). Three marker haplotype analyses revealed highly significant differences between CD patients and control subjects (χ2 = 29.9, df = 7, P = .0001) and UC cases and controls (χ2 = 46.3, df = 7, P < .0001). We conclude that carrying a 3-marker haplotype in the TNSFRSF1B gene may increase (e.g., haplotype of GGC was 2.9-fold more in the CD or UCpatients) or decrease (e.g., TGT was 0.47-fold less in UC patients) the risk of IBD in a New Zealand Caucasian population.
The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 1 (NOD1) gene encodes a pattern recognition receptor that senses pathogens, leading to downstream responses characteristic of innate immunity. We investigated the role of NOD1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on IBD risk in a New Zealand Caucasian population, and studied Nod1 expression in response to bacterial invasion in the Caco2 cell line.
DNA samples from 388 Crohn's disease (CD), 405 ulcerative colitis (UC), 27 indeterminate colitis patients and 201 randomly selected controls, from Canterbury, New Zealand were screened for 3 common SNPs in NOD1, using the MassARRAY® iPLEX Gold assay. Transcriptional activation of the protein produced by NOD1 (Nod1) was studied after infection of Caco2 cells with Escherichia coli LF82. Carrying the rs2075818 G allele decreased the risk of CD (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.50–0.88, p < 0.002) but not UC. There was an increased frequency of the three SNP (rs2075818, rs2075822, rs2907748) haplotype, CTG (p = 0.004) and a decreased frequency of the GTG haplotype (p = 0.02).in CD. The rs2075822 CT or TT genotypes were at an increased frequency (genotype p value = 0.02), while the rs2907748 AA or AG genotypes showed decreased frequencies in UC (p = 0.04), but not in CD. Functional assays showed that Nod1 is produced 6 hours after bacterial invasion of the Caco2 cell line.
The NOD1 gene is important in signalling invasion of colonic cells by pathogenic bacteria, indicative of its' key role in innate immunity. Carrying specific SNPs in this gene significantly modifies the risk of CD and/or UC in a New Zealand Caucasian population.
DNA damage by reactive species is associated with susceptibility to chronic human degenerative disorders. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring antioxidants, that may prevent or reverse such damage. There is considerable interest in anthocyanic food plants as good dietary sources, with the potential for reducing susceptibility to chronic disease. While structure-activity relationships have provided guidelines on molecular structure in relation to free hydroxyl-radical scavenging, this may not cover the situation in food plants where the anthocyanins are part of a complex mixture, and may be part of complex structures, including anthocyanic vacuolar inclusions (AVIs). Additionally, new analytical methods have revealed new structures in previously-studied materials. We have compared the antioxidant activities of extracts from six anthocyanin-rich edible plants (red cabbage, red lettuce, blueberries, pansies, purple sweetpotato skin, purple sweetpotato flesh and Maori potato flesh) using three chemical assays (DPPH, TRAP and ORAC), and the in vitro Comet assay. Extracts from the flowering plant, lisianthus, were used for comparison. The extracts showed differential effects in the chemical assays, suggesting that closely related structures have different affinities to scavenge different reactive species. Integration of anthocyanins to an AVI led to more sustained radical scavenging activity as compared with the free anthocyanin. All but the red lettuce extract could reduce endogenous DNA damage in HT-29 colon cancer cells. However, while extracts from purple sweetpotato skin and flesh, Maori potato and pansies, protected cells against subsequent challenge by hydrogen peroxide at 0°C, red cabbage extracts were pro-oxidant, while other extracts had no effect. When the peroxide challenge was at 37°C, all of the extracts appeared pro-oxidant. Maori potato extract, consistently the weakest antioxidant in all the chemical assays, was more effective in the Comet assays. These results highlight the dangers of generalising to potential health benefits, based solely on identification of high anthocyanic content in plants, results of a single antioxidant assay and traditional approaches to structure activity relationships. Subsequent studies might usefully consider complex mixtures and a battery of assays.
Anthocyanin; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; free radical scavenging; single cell gel electrophoresis assay