Bioactive compounds from hemp hull tipped to support gut health
09 Feb 2023 --- Brightseed, a bioactives company based in California, has unveiled preclinical data showing that two bioactive compounds found in hemp hulls, N-trans caffeoyltyramine (NCT) and N-trans feruloyltyramine (NFT), have potential to support gut barrier function.
The study has been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Food Bioactives and concludes that plant compounds discovered by Forager, Brightseed’s AI platform, in hemp hulls play a role in maintaining a healthy gut.
Last year, NCT and NFT were touted to help clear fat from the liver, which could have applications for fighting obesity and managing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Notably, gut health is central to the body’s overall health, impacting the immune system and the gut-brain axis. The gut barrier plays a crucial role in maintaining overall gut health, as it enables nutrient absorption and acts as a barrier against pathogens and toxins.
Impaired gut health
Increased permeability of the intestinal epithelium, commonly referred to as “leaky gut,” may be associated with impaired gut health. The publication adds to the growing body of research on the potential health benefits of bioactives, naturally occurring compounds that can have powerful effects on supporting human health.
In the in vitro study, NCT and NFT were found to improve impaired gut barrier function in human primary intestinal epithelial cells culture using RepliGut, a well-established and validated model for intestinal epithelium. Administering both NCT and NFT to inflamed cells demonstrated a statistically significant reversal of impaired intestinal permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER).
“This publication is the latest validation of Brightseed’s approach to discovering solutions in nature to restore human health,” says Jim Flatt, CEO and co-founder of Brightseed.
“These insights into how NCT and NFT can support gut function, specifically gut barrier strength by restoring a healthy epithelium barrier, provide a strong foundation for the clinical research underway to substantiate the benefits of natural ingredients for personalized and proactive health solutions.”
Advancing using AI
Forager identified NCT and NFT’s activity on a critical biological receptor governing gut health. The two compounds have been shown to act as agonists for the HNF4ɑ protein, whose expression in the gut is linked to a high-fat diet and is associated with poor intestinal health and decreased gut barrier integrity.
In scouring the plant kingdom for novel sources of NCT and NFT, Forager identified hemp hulls as one of the richest sources of these bioactive compounds.
Toward the end of last year, Brightseed launched Brightseed Bio 01, an upcycled hemp-based dietary fiber ingredient containing the two bioactive compounds NCT and NFT to support gut strength. Formulated to optimize bioactive content while retaining the hemp hull’s fiber and nutrient profile, Brightseed Bio 01 is designed to fortify cereals, granolas, nutrition bars, functional beverages and other applications.
“We’re excited to continue applying these rigorous research insights to develop a portfolio of bioactive ingredients to meet important consumer health areas,” adds Sofia Elizondo, COO and co-founder of Brightseed.
“Brightseed’s focus on bioactive computational discovery paired with advanced metabolomics is enabling the functional food, beverage and dietary supplements industries to unlock the full potential of bioactives for human health.”
In May, Brightseed netted US$68 million in series B funding led by Temasek.
By Elizabeth Green
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