Inflammation plays an important role in various diseases with high prevalence within populations such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and asthma. Here we demonstrate the anti-inflammatory activity of various fruits, herbs and spices in a lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophage model. These compounds acted by reduction of pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 or tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production, enhancement of anti-inflammatory IL-10 production, or reduction of cyclooxygenase-2 or inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. The highest anti-inflammatory potential was detected with chili pepper. Among the plants that improved the secreted cytokine profile were allspice, basil, bay leaves, black pepper, licorice, nutmeg, oregano, sage and thyme. The compounds apigenin, capsaicin, chrysin, diosmetin, kämpferol, luteolin, naringenin, quercetin and resveratrol moderately reduced IL-6 and TNF-alpha secretion. Resveratrol and rosmarinic acid increased secretion of IL-10. Our findings further the idea that a diet rich in fruits, herbs and spices may contribute to the reduction of the inflammatory response and related diseases.
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