Artificial intelligence identified peptides modulate inflammation in healthy adults†
Dietary bioactive peptides have been, among many functionalities, associated with immune modulation and thereby may improve resolution of inflammation. The goals of this research were to assess (1) whether specific peptides with immune-modulating activity consumed as part of a rice protein hydrolysate could be absorbed into blood and (2) whether they modulate inflammation markers. Artificial intelligence algorithms were applied to target, predict and unlock inflammation-modulating peptides from rice protein. A food application was developed containing four bioactive peptides. Protein docking simulation studies revealed high binding energies of these peptides with inflammation markers. In a small kinetic study 10 healthy subjects consumed the peptides with a single bolus of 20 g protein hydrolysate. Although absorption of the four predicted peptides at plasma concentrations deemed biologically relevant could not be confirmed (quantitative LC-MS/MS), several cytokines responded (ELISA kits). The 24-hour kinetic study revealed a slight suppression of pro-inflammatory TNF-α, IP-10 and NOx, whereas IL-6 increased temporarily (timepoints 2–12 hours). These markers returned to the baseline after 24 hours whereas others were not affected significantly (IL-10, hs-CRP, IL-8, and MCP-1). Consumption of a single dose protein hydrolysate containing immune modulatory peptides induced a mild temporary response most likely through intestinal signaling. Forthcoming studies will examine dietary supplementation in situations of stress.