Telomerase in T lymphocytes is dynamic and limited evidence from epidemiological studies indicates that the enzyme can be modulated in peripheral lymphocytes by dietary and lifestyle factors. The differential effect of dietary intervention on T cell subsets has not been investigated so far. Brassica vegetables are known for their multiple beneficial effects on human health, and here, the effect of a five-day short-term intervention with raw or cooked leaves of Brassica carinata on telomerase activity in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from 22 healthy volunteers was investigated in a randomized single-blind, controlled crossover study. Blood samples were collected before and after intervention, and CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocytes were isolated. Telomerase activity was quantified using the TRAP-ELISA assay. Intervention with both preparations led to a marginal increase in telomerase activity of CD4+ cells compared to the baseline level. In CD8+ cells, a significant increase in telomerase activity (25%, p < 0.05) was seen after intervention with the cooked material. An increase in telomerase activity in CD8+ cells of healthy volunteers could be regarded as beneficial in terms of helping with the cell-mediated immune response. Whether a Brassica intervention has long-term effects on telomere extension in specific T cell subsets needs to be determined.
Short-term dietary intervention with cooked but not raw Brassica leafy vegetables increases telomerase activity in CD8+ lymphocytes in a randomized human trial
Tran, H.; Schlotz, N.; Schreiner, M.; Lamy, E. 2019. Short-term dietary intervention with cooked but not raw Brassica leafy vegetables increases telomerase activity in CD8+ lymphocytes in a randomized human trial. Nutrients 11, 786.