Researchers at Université Laval in Canada looked at the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) proanthocyanidins. In their study, which was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was revealed that highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins can be used as an agent for treating bacterial infections.
For the study, the researchers isolated proanthocyanidins from highbush blueberries.
Then, they assessed the effects of highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins on the gram-negative bacteria Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and biofilm formation stained with crystal violet.
A. actinomycetemcomitans is the key factor in the etiology of localized aggressive periodontitis, the inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
They also looked at the effects of blueberry proanthocyanidins on the integrity of the oral keratinocyte barrier, leukotoxin activity, and the lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammatory response of monocytes/macrophages.
Results showed that highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins decreased the growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans and inhibited biofilm formation.
Highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins also exhibited antibacterial activities as they impaired the bacterial cell membrane.
Moreover, the proanthocyanidins protected macrophages from leukotoxin's negative effects and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
In addition, the proanthocyanidins prevented the activation of the NF-KB signaling pathway.
These findings suggested that highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities.
In conclusion, highbush blueberry proanthocyanidins can potentially be used as natural therapeutic agents for treating infections.
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Lagha AB, LeBel G, Grenier D. DUAL ACTION OF HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY PROANTHOCYANIDINS ON AGGREGATIBACTER ACTINOMYCETEMCOMITANS AND THE HOST INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 10 January 2018; 18(10). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-2072-x