Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vege's and Fruit increase T-cell levels, which is a great thing

There is a special group of cells called T cells these are a subset of white blood cells (lymphocytes). There are six types of T cells, each with its own unique function. They are named either for the function they perform or the parts of the cell that make them unique. One of the six groups is named after the unique proteins that are on the cells surface. One of the two cells that make this group up are alpha beta T cells. The other cells are called gamma delta T cells, which are at a much lower number than the alpha beta T cells.

A 3-D representation of the gamma delta proteins is shown to the left.

These gamma delta T cells are found mostly in the cells that are in mucous areas of the body. That is the gastrointestinal tract and reproductive tract, however they are also found in human blood.

What does all this science have to do with nutrition?

Well a study when these gamma delta cells are removed from mice, they develop “a rapid tumor onset and increased tumor incidence.” Thus these cells are thought to reduce incidence of cancer in humans and it is thought that higher the gamma delta cell levels reduces probability of cancer. Excitingly it is known that the level of gamma beta cells can be increased in humans by eating particular foods.

One group of foods that increase are ones containing alkylamine compounds. These compounds are produced by bacterial in gut and also the following foods kola nuts, green tea, apple skins, red and white wine, mushrooms (Badius sp), and certain edible cucumbers.

Another study that feed healthy volunteers either a placebo or a fruit and vegetable tablet, that was made from juice and juice powder or “primarily fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate derived from acerola cherry, apple, beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cranberry, kale, orange, peach, papaya, parsley, pineapple, spinach, and tomato. The capsules provided ~7.5 mg ß-carotene, 234 mg vitamin C, 45 IU vitamin E, 420 µg folate,”

They found that those on the fruit and vegetable tablet had significant increased in gamma delta T cells. Additional good news was the significant increase in antioxidant status. Also of interest 2 people from both placebo group and the fruit and vegetable group became sick during the 77 day trial. The two who where on the fruit and vegetable group got over their sickness faster.

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