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What You Probably Didn’t Know About Bird’s Nest


 

Do a random search with Google, you will find numerous articles and information mentioning the health benefits of bird’s nest on beautify skin, anti-ageing and improves the immune system. As most people know that, the history of consuming edible bird’s nest can be traced back in several hundred years in Chinese culture where it deemed a luxurious and precious food tonic due to its medicinal and health-promoting benefits. Up to date, the use of bird’s nest extract in health food, drinks and cosmetic products is not uncommon. If you’re one those being sceptical about how good is this famous Traditional Chinese health food, here are a couple of published scientific studies demonstrated the other health benefits of edible bird’s nest that you may or may not know.

  1. Improves Bone Strength and Protect Your Joint

Although it might sound unpleasant to some that the edible bird’s nest is made from the salivary secretions from certain species of swiftlets, its nutritional composition is remarkable. Bird’s nest is rich in proteoglycans – a type of protein-containing non-sulphated chondroitin glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) which is one of the main components of our bone structure. Together with the essential trace minerals such as calcium and phosphorus found naturally in bird’s nest, it may be an effective health food for prevention of bone loss especially in postmenopausal women.1

Normal articular cartilage composed of well-organized proteoglycan and collagen network.2 Hence, the degradation of both is linked to the progression of osteoarthritis. A study conducted on the isolation of cartilage cells of osteoarthritis patients showed that supplementation of bird’s nest extract reduced the breaks down of cartilage cells and increased the formation of cartilage extracellular matrix.2 The study demonstrated that proteoglycan in bird’s nest may be a potential agent in treating osteoarthritis.

  1. Reduces Risk of Cardiometabolic Disease

The cardiometabolic syndrome represents a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that are risk factors for cardiovascular disease which include obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance.3 Insulin resistant is one of the major mechanism responsible for metabolic abnormalities. A study has shown that the edible bird’s nest demonstrated an ability to prevent insulin resistant by preventing transcriptional changes on insulin signalling genes caused by a high-fat diet.4 The same mechanism has also shown to be beneficial for estrogen deficiency-related cardiometabolic disease.5 The finding further suggested the potential use of edible bird’s nest extract as a functional food for menopausal women.

  1. For Brain Development and Protect Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

There is approximately 9% of sialic acid in the total carbohydrate composition of edible bird’s nest. Sialic acid is found widely in the brain and milk of mammals. It plays an essential role in brain development and improving memory by protecting neurons against inflammation and oxidative stress.6 Another study conducted in 2018 demonstrated the same positive impact of sialic acid on improving offspring’s cognitive performance after administration of edible bird’s nest during pregnancy and lactation periods.7

Neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease has often been associated with neuroinflammation and oxidative-stress related apoptosis (death of cells) which eventually lead to clinical signs such as tremor, rigidity and slow responsiveness.8 Following several studies that proved sialic acid found in bird’s nest on exhibiting anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation effects, edible bird’s nest may be a nutraceutical option for preventing neurodegenerative disorders.9

  1. Anti-viral Properties

Viral infection such as influenza is probably one of the most common respiratory infections widely known by the public. With increasing cases of new virus infections, the attempts to control influenza through vaccination become a great challenge. The findings of sialic acid in the edible bird’s nest as a potential anti-viral agent has been proven in studies conducted on the influenza A virus and the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus. It is believed that sialic acid achieves this function by disrupting the virus life cycle, inhibits the attachment of the virus to the cellular receptor and thus effectively reduces viral replication.10,11

  1. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a type of protein that is responsible for the inflammation happened in your body. For example in the case of auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease where your immune system gets confused on what to attack and eventually goes to the healthy body parts, has been linked with high levels of TNF-α in the body.12 The promising evidence of edible bird’s nest in inhibiting the activity of TNF-α suggested it to be an effective functional food against inflammation-related diseases.12,13

  1. A Potent Antioxidant

That’s no exaggerate when linking the bird’s nest as an anti-ageing food supplement. Most chronic diseases have been linked to oxidative stress and studies have demonstrated that the use of antioxidants could play significant roles in reducing the risk and in managing the diseases.14 The antioxidative potentials of bird’s nest and its constituents, lactoferrin and ovotransferrin play a vital role in lowering oxidative damages induced by high-fat diets.15,16 Edible bird’s nest also shown to prolong life span and reduce the mortality rate of drosophila melanogaster by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.17

  1. For Cornea Wound Healing

Without proper healing, the damaged of our cornea (a protective outer layer of the eyes) due to diseases, infections or injuries lead to impairment of visual function. A study conducted in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that supplementing with 0.05% of edible bird’s nest possesses a potential value in promoting corneal cell growth and proliferation that are essential during wound healing.18 This promising result demonstrated the potentiality in commercializing the edible bird’s nest-based eye drop as a medical treatment derived from natural sources.

  1. Improves Sexual Function

Edible bird’s nest for improving sexual function? Yes, you have seen it correctly! Reduced sexual performance has been linked with erectile dysfunction - a very common male sexual disorder and usually affected men aged 40 years old and above. We dig deep for the research on this claim and found a study tested on male castrated rats showed that the administration of edible bird’s nest promoted the development of penis and prostate. The increased levels of sex hormones such as testosterone and luteinizing hormone that are responsible for regulating the reproductive system may be the reason for enhanced sexual function in castrated rats.19

Start Taking Bird’s Nest Extract Today

At Nourished, we believe in the goodness of the bird’s nest and ensure to deliver a product that is carefully extracted and produced with high purity. Taking consideration on convenience, Nourished Bird’s Nest can be easily mixed with any healthy drink of your choice for supplementing the additional benefits. Give it a try and enjoy the goodness it has to offer.

 

References:

  1. Matsukawa N, Matsumoto M, Bukawa W, Chiji H, Nakayama K, Hara H, et al. Improvement of bone strength and dermal thickness due to dietary edible bird’s nest extract in ovariectomized rat. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 2011;75(3):590-592.
  2. Chua KH, Lee TH, Nagandran K, Md Yahaya NH, Lee CT, Tan ETT, et al. Edible bird’s nest extract as a chondro-protective agent for human chondrocytes isolated from osteoarthritis knee: in vitro study. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2013; 13(19):1-9.
  3. Kirk EP, Klein S. Pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the cardiometabolic syndrome. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2009;11(12):761-765.
  4. Yida Z, Imam MU, Ismail M, Ooi DJ, Sarega N, Azmi NH, et al. Edible bird’s nest prevents high fat diet-induced insulin resistance in rats. Journal of Diabetes Research. 2015;1-11.
  5. Hou ZP, Imam MU, Ismail M, Ooi, Ideris A, Mahmud R. Nutrigenomic effects of edible bird’s nest on insulin signalling in ovariectomized rats. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 2015;9:4115-4125.
  6. Careena S, Sani D, Tan SN, Lim CW, Hassan S, Norhafizah M, et al. Effect of edible bird’s nest extract on lipopolysaccharide-induced impairment of learning and memory in wistar rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018;1-7.
  7. Xie Y, Zeng H, Huang Z, Xu H, Fan Q, Zhang Y, et al. Effect of maternal administration of edible bird’s nest on the learning and memory abilities of suckling offspring in mice. Neural Plasticity. 2018;1-13.
  8. Snyder CH, Adler CH. The patient with Parkinson’s disease: part I-treating the motor symptoms; part II-treating the nonmotor symptoms. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007;19(4):179–197.
  9. Yew MY, Koh RY, Chye SM, Othman I, Ng KY. Edible bird’s nest ameliorates oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2014;14(391):1-12.
  10. Haghani A, Mehrbod P, Safi N, Abd Kadir FA, Omar AR, Ideris A. Edible bird’s nest modulate intracellular molecular pathways of influenza A virus infected cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(22):1-13.
  11. Helmi, Nuradji H, Dharmayanti NLPI, Mranata B, Sudarnika E, Lukman DW, et al. Antiviral activity of edible bird’s nest extract on highly pathogenic influenza H5N1 viral infection in vitro. International Journal of the Bioflux Society. 2018;10(2):62-68.
  12. Aswir AR, Nazaimoon W. Effect of edible bird’s nest on cell proliferation and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) release in vitro. International Food Research Journal. 2011;18(3):1123-1127.
  13. Vimala B, Hussain H, Wan Nazaimoon WM. Effects of edible bird’s nest on tumour necrosis factor-alpha secretion, nitric oxide production and cell viability of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Food and Agricultural Immunology. 2012;23(4):303-314.
  14. Yida Z, Imam MU, Ismail M. In vitro bioaccessibility and antioxidant properties of edible bird’s nest following simulated human gastro-intestinal digestion. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14(468):1-7.
  15. Yida, Z, Imam MU, Ismail M, Hou Z, Abdullah MA, Ideris A, Ismail N. Edible bird’s nest attenuates high fat die-induced oxidative stress and inflammation via regulation of hepatic antioxidant and inflammatory genes. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015;15(310):1-7.
  16. Hou Z, Imam MU, Ismail M, Azmi NH, Ismail N, Ideris A, et al. Lactoferrin and ovotransferrin contribute toward antioxidative effects of edible bird’s nest against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human SH-SY5Y cells. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry. 2015;79(10):1570-1578.
  17. Hu Q, Li G, Yao, H, He S, Li H, Liu S, et al. Edible bird’s nest enhances antioxidant capacity and increases lifespan in Drosophila Melanogaster. Cellular and Molecular Biology. 2016;62(4):116-122.
  18. Abidin FZ, Chua KH, Ng SL, Mohd Ramli ES, Lee TH, Abd Ghafar N. Effects of edible bird’s nest (EBN) on cultured rabbit corneal keratocytes. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011;11(94): https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-11-94.
  19. Ma FC, Liu DC, Dai MX. The effects of the edible bird’s nest on sexual function of male castrated rats. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2012;6(41):2875-2879.