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Feijoas, blackberries offer new hope for inflammatory ailments

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Two common fruits could provide a breakthrough in treating inflammatory diseases, particularly in the bowel, according to New Zealand research out Tuesday.

Feijoas and blackberries stood out among 12 fruits for their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, said University of Auckland researchers.

The study also looked at mangos, elderberries, cranberries, blackcurrants, red raspberries, strawberries, green and black grapes, plums and pears.

The study identified fruit compounds with an anti-inflammatory effect through certain chemical pathways that could be tested further to develop them as complementary therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammatory disorders.

"Inflammatory responses are important for coping with damage, but an over-active inflammatory response is also damaging and can create problems," Professor Lynn Ferguson said in a statement.

The two fruits could help to limit the inflammatory response.

The study also showed that the anti-oxidant action of the feijoa compounds was not a direct effect, but was mediated through inhibitory effects on the enzyme, kinase.

For the experiments reported in the study, the testing included the skin and pulp of all the fruits.

"In feijoa, the skin has more bio-activity than the pulp," said Ferguson.

"Some Asian cultures eat the skin, but in most Western cultures many people find the taste too sour."

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