Hemp, a versatile plant that has numerous industrial applications, is gaining popularity among consumers for its potential health benefits. While there is limited evidence to support the use of hemp for various medical conditions, recent preclinical data suggests that hemp hulls may contain bioactive compounds that can promote digestive wellness.
Brightseed, a biosciences and artificial intelligence company, published preclinical data in the Journal of Food Bioactives showing that two bioactive compounds found in hemp hulls – N-trans caffeoyltyramine (NCT) and N-trans feruloyltyramine (NFT) – have the potential to support gut barrier function. Bioactive compounds are chemicals found in foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains that possess actions within the body that can promote good health.
Gut health is connected to the immune system, central and enteric nervous systems and can be linked to the body’s overall health. The gut barrier allows the body to uptake essential nutrients and immune sensing while still restricting pathogenic molecules, toxins, and bacteria. Impaired gut health can occur when the intestinal epithelium is more absorbent and easily penetrable, which is referred to as “leaky gut.”
The study conducted by Brightseed used its Forager AI platform and planted proliferative human transverse colon epithelial cells co-cultured with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) along with NCT, NFT or NCT/NFT over a 48-hour period. Researchers reported that the addition of TNF caused a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and an increase in intestinal permeability or leaky gut symptoms while co-administration of NCT and NFT caused a dose-dependent and statistically significant reversal of impaired TEER and intestinal permeability.
Forager scoured the plant kingdom for novel sources of these two bioactive compounds and identified hemp hulls as one of the richest sources. Last fall, Brightseed launched Brightseed Bio 01, a hemp fiber for food and beverages containing NCT and NFT to support gut strength and gut lining maintaining healthy gut barrier function. The hemp fiber is formulated to optimize bioactive content while retaining the fiber and nutrient profile of hemp.
Brightseed’s focus on computational bioactive 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. With further clinical research underway to substantiate the benefits of natural ingredients for personalized health solutions, these insights into how NCT and NFT can support gut function provide a strong foundation for future developments.
Overall, empirical evidence suggests that hemp hulls are rich in bioactive compounds that promote digestive wellness by supporting gut barrier function. As such, incorporating these compounds into functional foods or dietary supplements could offer potential health benefits for individuals looking to improve their gut health.