Red Raspberries Protect Gut Health and Reduce Stress in Intestinal Cells

Jim Crocker
11th June, 2024

Red Raspberries Protect Gut Health and Reduce Stress in Intestinal Cells

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study from Università degli Studi di Milano found that red raspberry powder can improve the integrity of the intestinal barrier
  • Red raspberry significantly counteracted the loss of intestinal barrier integrity caused by TNF-α, improving TEER values by 41% and reducing FITC-D efflux by 2.5 times
  • Red raspberry also reduced oxidative stress markers by 48.8% and increased the expression of tight junction protein claudin-1 by 18%, enhancing the intestinal barrier's function
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a crucial role in maintaining the body's overall health by acting as a barrier against harmful substances while allowing the passage of beneficial agents. This barrier is composed of epithelial cells and tight junctions (TJs) that regulate the permeability of the intestinal lining. Disruptions in this barrier can lead to various diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as conditions like obesity and type 1 diabetes mellitus[2][3][4][5]. Recent research from the Università degli Studi di Milano has investigated the potential benefits of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) powder on the integrity of the intestinal barrier, particularly in mitigating the effects of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced intestinal permeability[1]. This study aimed to clarify the underlying mechanisms through which red raspberry may exert its protective effects. The research utilized human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (Caco-2 cells) as a model to simulate the intestinal barrier. These cells were differentiated into polarized monolayers and treated with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) followed by exposure to TNF-α, in the presence or absence of red raspberry extract. The integrity of the intestinal monolayer was assessed using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran (FITC-D) efflux assays. Additionally, markers of intestinal permeability and oxidative stress were evaluated using ELISA kits. The findings revealed that red raspberry significantly counteracted the loss of TEER value by 41% and reduced the efflux of FITC-D by 2.5 times, indicating an improvement in the integrity of the intestinal barrier. Furthermore, red raspberry attenuated the levels of oxidative stress markers, such as 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), by 48.8%. This suggests that red raspberry can mitigate the detrimental effects induced by TNF-α, a pro-inflammatory cytokine known to increase intestinal permeability. One of the critical aspects of intestinal barrier function is the expression of tight junction proteins, which regulate the permeability of the epithelial layer. The study observed that red raspberry positively influenced the expression of claudin-1 by 18%, an integral membrane protein essential for the formation and maintenance of tight junctions[3]. This finding aligns with previous studies highlighting the importance of tight junction proteins in maintaining epithelial barrier integrity and preventing paracellular leakage[3][4]. The protective role of red raspberry against TNF-α-induced intestinal permeability underscores its potential as a dietary strategy to promote gastrointestinal health. This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of (poly)phenols on intestinal health, although the exact mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated[2][5]. In summary, the research from the Università degli Studi di Milano demonstrates that red raspberry can enhance the integrity of the intestinal barrier by improving tight junction expression and reducing oxidative stress. These findings suggest that incorporating red raspberry into the diet may offer a promising approach to support gastrointestinal health and prevent diseases associated with intestinal barrier dysfunction.



Main Study

1) Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) preserves intestinal barrier integrity and reduces oxidative stress in Caco-2 cells exposed to a proinflammatory stimulus.

Published 10th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Integrity of the Intestinal Barrier: The Involvement of Epithelial Cells and Microbiota-A Mutual Relationship.

3) Claudins and other tight junction proteins.

4) The intestinal barrier: a fundamental role in health and disease.

5) Leaky Gut and the Ingredients That Help Treat It: A Review.

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