An NIH-funded study published in the journal Inflammation has shown that 2-hydroxybenzylamine (2-HOBA) supplementation has a promising impact on immune readiness in healthy individuals, according to a press release from TSI Group, which supplies the branded ingredient Hobamine. Regarding the concept of immune readiness, Shawn Baier, TSI Group Vice President of Business Development, noted, “If you don’t have 2-HOBA present, and your body creates these highly-reactive, proinflammatory compounds, it could begin an unhealthy snowball effect. Having 2-HOBA on board means it’s ready and there when it’s needed. It supports your immune system’s ability to stay in balance, even when you are exposed to oxidative stressors.”

About the study

The research was conducted by John A. Rathmacher, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research and Laboratory Services at MTI BioTech, Inc. The double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study examined the potential beneficial effects of 2-HOBA on oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers in two cohorts of healthy younger and  older adults. 

The findings on immune readiness

In healthy individuals, 2-HOBA supplementation was shown to improve as many as 15 inflammatory biomarkers that play key roles in immune function regulation. This includes TNFβ, IL12β and CCL19, which are responsible for immune system homeostasis or readiness. The researchers also determined  that 2-HOBA decreased TWEAK, a protein that promotes inflammation and tumor growth. 

“Normally, inflammation is self-limiting, and its resolution is the first step in the repair and regeneration of injured tissues. Failure of inflammation resolution can lead to the progression of several diseases,” said Dr. Rathmacher, in the release. And that, according to TSI Group, is why a balanced immune system is so important.

Baier added, "Trying to block the reactive compound formation associated with inflammation completely is an outdated theory. But we do want to deal with the excess.”

TSI Group, which provided support for the  study by supplying the 2-HOBA, explained that this natural compound found in buckwheat seeds helps target the negative impact of oxidative stress, but not the body’s normal, healthy processes. “Hobamine binds to pro-inflammatory reactive lipids, especially isolevuglandins (IsoLGs), one of the most common and reactive downstream products of oxidative stress,” Baier said.

Dr. Rathmacher added that oxidative stress is a major mechanism underlying aging. "Elevated levels are associated with several chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer."

Formulation and research opportunities

Baier said the study findings enable TSI Group to enter a new space in immune health. Also, he said, the findings  will guide the company in future research projects. “More significantly, this opens opportunities for formulators and developers to add Hobamine to their immune formulas because it clearly enables healthy individuals to be more proactive about maintaining their immune readiness.”

For a deep dive into additional benefits of this trending ingredient, view the educational session Hobamine – A Radical Approach to Cellular Health, presented at the Naturally Informed virtual event Active Aging: Mastering the Market, which took place in November.  Visit to access the content with free registration.