The Impact of a Polyphenol-Rich Supplement on Epigenetic and Cellular Markers of Immune Age: A Pilot Clinical Study

Analysis revealed significant intervention-related changes in multiple epigenetic age clocks and immune markers as well as population-wide alterations in gene ontology (GO) pathways related to longevity and immunity. This study provides previously unidentified insights into the immune, longevity and epigenetic effects of consumption of polyphenol-rich plants and generates additional support for health interventions built around historically consumed plants like Tartary buckwheat while offering compelling opportunities for additional research.

Age-related alterations in immune function are believed to increase risk for a host of age-related diseases leading to premature death and disability. Programming of the immune system by diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors occurs across the lifespan and influences both makeup and function of the immune system. This programming is believed to act in large part through epigenetic modification.

One group of dietary molecules linked to generally healthier aging and relative immune resilience and homeostasis are polyphenols, which are consumed by humans primarily in the form of plant foods. While polyphenols are widely distributed throughout the plant and fungal kingdoms, certain foods are known to possess distinctive and relatively higher levels of these compounds. One such food is Tartary buckwheat (fagopyrum tataricum), an ancient seed historically prized for its health benefits. It is suggested that the specific composition of polyphenols found in foods like Tartary buckwheat may lead to a unique impact on longevity-related physiological pathways that could be interrogated through immune and epigenetic analyses.

The objective of this study was to investigate the epigenetic effects on peripheral immune cells in healthy individuals of a standardized polyphenol concentrate based on naturally occurring nutrients in Tartary buckwheat. A pilot clinical trial was designed to test the effects of consuming 90 days of this concentrate on immune cell epigenetic methylation patterns and immune cell phenotypes in 50 healthy male (40%) and female (60%) participants aged 18-85 years using epigenetic age clocks and deconvolution methods. Analysis revealed significant intervention-related changes in multiple epigenetic age clocks and immune markers as well as population-wide alterations in gene ontology (GO) pathways related to longevity and immunity. This study provides previously unidentified insights into the immune, longevity and epigenetic effects of consumption of polyphenol-rich plants and generates additional support for health interventions built around historically consumed plants like Tartary buckwheat while offering compelling opportunities for additional research.

Competing Interest Statement

JSB and AP are employees of Big Bold Health. RS and VBD and TM are employees of TruDiagnostic. SM and AC are consultants to Big Bold Health

Related research:

  • Buckwheat bioactive compounds, their derived phenolic metabolites and their health benefits. Mol Nutr Food Res 2017. Giménez-Bastida JA et al. Click to read the study.

  • Shaping a sustainable food future by rediscovering long-forgotten ancient grains. Plant Sci 2018. Cheng A. Click to read the study.

  • Treasure from garden: Bioactive compounds of buckwheat. Food Chem 2021. Huda MN et al. Click to read the study.

  • Rewiring of the seed metabolome during Tartary buckwheat domestication. Plant Biotechnol J 2022. Zhao H et al. Click to read the study.

  • Chemical composition and health effects of Tartary buckwheat. Food Chem 2016. Zhu F. Click to read the study.

Sources of Tartary Buckwheat products:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Tartary+Buckwheat&i=grocery&crid=OJL4DWWATMSU&sprefix=%2Cgrocery%2C190&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

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Basically nobody here should take that assuming your biological age is below your chronological one.

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That is really bizarre… but you’re right.

Why would Tartary buckwheat slow epigenetic aging in people with a higher phenoage, while accelerate it in people with a lower epigenetic age. I’m looking for a mechanism of action…

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It reverts the age to the mean it seems: too old => younger, too young => older :slight_smile: