INSUBRIA, Italy—Researchers at the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Insubria, Italy, found 7-hydroxymatairesinol ([HMR], from Picea abies, Norway Spruce) ingestion may protect the cardiovascular system by depressing a particular inflammatory pathway. Researchers evaluated the anti-inflammatory properties of HMR (as HMRlignan™, Linnea Inc.) and its metabolite enterolactone on the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in a human cell line (THP-1). The effect of HMR was additionally assessed on the production of reactive oxygen species (e.g. free radicals) by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). Researchers found both HMR and enterolactone (also known as a “mammalian lignan”) concentration-dependently reduced TNF-alpha production in THP-1 cells, a known inflammatory pathway. In polymorphonuclear leukocytes, HMR concentration significantly reduced production of reactive oxygen species.
Said research pharmacologist, Marco Cosentino, Ph.D.: “These results indicate that HMR and enterolactone exert effects that may result in reduction of the inflammatory process, known to be a contributing factor in the etiology of heart disease. Tumor necrosis factor production by monocytes infiltrating atherosclerotic lesions is a key factor in the genesis and progression of vascular damage, and oxidative stress of the vascular wall sustained by circulating activated PMNs is an early step in the cascade leading to cardiovascular pathology in otherwise asymptomatic individuals.”
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