Blackcurrants contain a compound which could help lungs fight inflammation, according to research conducted by Plant and Food Research.
The discovery could lead to improved treatments for asthma sufferers.
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A team at Plant and Food Research in Palmerston North isolated the compound from New Zealand blackcurrants, extracted it and tested it on inflamed lung tissue.
Their preliminary results, now published in a major scientific journal, suggest epigallocatechin may have the ability to work with the body to fight conditions like asthma.
“The effect blackcurrant has, has two parts – it can control the unregulated inflammation, it also assists the body’s natural abilities to fight that inflammation as well, so it’s a two-pronged benefit,” says Hurst.