Of Beans & Cytokines

Of Beans & Cytokines
Fengmei Zhu, Bin Du & Baojun Xu (2018) Anti-inflammatory effects of phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables, and food legumes: A review, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 58:8, 1260-1270, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2016.1251390


Did you know beans, fruit, and vegetables can help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the overproduction of pro-inflammatory agents, including cytokines?

Inflammation is a physiological response to injury, irritation, or infection, and diseases like arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, and cancer are associated with chronic inflammation.

The process of inflammation is a complicated immune response involving the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Happily, though, fruits, veggies, and legumes--rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients--have been found in study after study to protect against inflammation. Here are just a few examples from nutritional science:

* Phytochemicals inhibit the release of histamine during an allergic reaction (Rathee et al., 2009).
* The anti-inflammatory properties of soybean saponins may suppress tumor progression (Kang et al., 2005).
* Legume consumption is associated with lower inflammatory markers and a lower risk of numerous chronic diseases, including colo-rectal cancer (Aranda-Olmedo and Rubio, 2020).

The bottom line: Ideally, your immune system self-regulates to prevent an overactive response, and numerous plant-derived chemicals have been found to enhance this regulation through various mechanisms.

How do you like your legumes? I eat beans at almost every meal, and I especially enjoy them on a huge salad for lunch every day.

Fill yourself with WellBean. :-)

Rathee, Permender, et al. "Mechanism of action of flavonoids as anti-inflammatory agents: a review." Inflammation & allergy-drug targets (formerly current drug targets-inflammation & allergy) 8.3 (2009): 229-235.

Kang, Ji-Hye, et al. "Soybean saponins suppress the release of proinflammatory mediators by LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages." Cancer letters 230.2 (2005): 219-227.

Aranda-Olmedo, Isabel, and Luis A. Rubio. "Dietary legumes, intestinal microbiota, inflammation and colorectal cancer." Journal of Functional Foods 64 (2020): 103707.


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