Damage to lungs caused by air pollution -a significant threat to human health in large cities- is a serious problem in many place. For over 2.5 years, research was conducted by Plant & Food Research, investigating whether BerriQi® - a Boysenberry and apple product from Anagenix Ltd - can repair some of this damage. The research is being funded through the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.
Joanne Todd, HVN Director: “As the respiratory immune system can protect the body against damage caused by inhalation of particulate matter, the identification of food solutions that offer respiratory immune support is a key target of High-Value Nutrition’s (HVN) Immune Health Research Programme.”
The Plant & Food Research team will collaborate with the University of Otago, Wellington to run clinical trials using their Global Energetics and Environmental Simulation Suite at the Centre for Translational Physiology.
“Through the evaluation of a range of fruits in a number of pre-clinical models, we have identified that the BerriQi® combination of Boysenberry and apple can help reduce inflammation in the airways, support tissue repair and reduce lung fibrosis,” says lead researcher Dr Odette Shaw, Plant & Food Research. “This research will allow us to run clinical trials to determine whether this effect is seen in humans.”
According to scoop.co.nz¸ this leading-edge HVN-funded research provides an opportunity to provide scientific validation that supports the marketing of a product made from these Aotearoa New Zealand-grown fruit. BerriQi® was developed by Plant & Food Research and Anagenix Ltd, who have co-invested in ongoing research and development of BerriQi® as a product to protect against pollution-induced lung damage in humans.
The research will expand on current understanding of BerriQi®’s beneficial health effects with the objective of increasing export revenue for New Zealand through the Asian market.