Functional ingredient improves physical strength

An artificial intelligence characterised functional ingredient, derived from rice, inhibits TNF-α and significantly improves physical strength in an inflammaging population

Publication Highlights

Main authors

Kathy Kennedy, Brian Keogh, Cyril Lopez, Alessandro Adelfio, Brendan Molloy, Alish Kerr, Audrey M. Wall, Gaël Jalowicki, Thérèse A. Holton and Nora Khaldi

Study population





Publication date


August, 20th

Publication Overview

Food-derived bioactive peptides offer great potential for the treatment and maintenance of various health conditions, including chronic inflammation. Using in vitro testing in human macrophages, a rice derived functional ingredient natural peptide network (NPN) significantly reduced Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α secretion in response to lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Using artificial intelligence (AI) to characterize rice NPNs lead to the identification of seven potentially active peptides, the presence of which was confirmed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Characterization of this network revealed the constituent peptides displayed anti-inflammatory properties as predicted in vitro. The rice NPN was then tested in an elderly “inflammaging” population with a view to subjectively assess symptoms of digestive discomfort through a questionnaire. While the primary subjective endpoint was not achieved, analysis of objectively measured physiological and physical secondary readouts showed clear significant benefits on the ability to carry out physical challenges such as a chair stand test that correlated with a decrease in blood circulating TNF-α. Importantly, the changes observed were without additional exercise or specific dietary alterations. Further health benefits were reported such as significant improvement in glucose control, a decrease in serum LDL concentration, and an increase in HDL concentration; however, this was compliance dependent. Here we provide in vitro and human efficacy data for a safe immunomodulatory functional ingredient characterized by AI.

Publication results

Ultimately, in this study we have validated a functional ingredient possessing anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in human, with rice NPN conferring beneficial effects on physical performance, circulating cytokines, cholesterol, and glucose control in a relevant human population. We have also validated the use of an AI approach for predicting constituent bioactive peptides within a functional ingredient. By adopting this innovative framework, we show that targeted, characterized, functional ingredients offer potential in the maintenance of health or the prevention and treatment of various conditions.


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