Pterostilbene may protect against asthma

Pterostilbene, a compound found in blueberries, may counteract the role of environmental pollutants and prevent the development of asthma, a study suggests for the first time.

A study with human cells that line the airways indicated that a certain compound called benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) could enhance the development of asthma, but exposure to pterostilbene negated such effects.

Findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry are reportedly the first to show an interaction between BaP and the linings of the airways, as well as the first to “provide evidence that pterostilbene has great potential for preventing benzo(a)pyrene-associated asthma”.

BaP belongs to a family of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are well established pollutants, identified in cigarette smoke and industrial waste. The compounds are also formed during the cooking of certain foods. Such compounds have been linked to increases in the risk of cancer.

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