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Mini Review Open Access
Shi Kin Tai1, Rhun Yian Koh1, Khuen Yen Ng2, Soi Moi Chye1*
Edible bird’s nest is a famous and nutritious food which is well-known among
Chinese community. It is made from the saliva of swiftlets. It is consumed for various
reasons, including as health tonic, complexion enhancer, asthma alleviator and immune
system enhancer. It contains both macronutrients and micronutirents such as carbohy-
drates, glycoproteins, calcium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron and others.
To date, a number of studies have reported on the health benets of EBN consumption.
Hence, this review describes the various medicinal values of EBN.
*Corresponding author: Soi Moi Chye, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tel: +6032731 7220;
Received Date: April 28, 2017
Accepted Date: June 4, 2017
Published Date: June 6, 2017
Citation: Chye, S.M., et al. A Mini Re-
view on Medicinal Effects of Edible Bird’s
Nest. (2017) Lett Health Biol Sci 2(1): 65-
Lett Health Biol Sci | volume 2: issue 1
Edible bird’s nest (EBN), also known as the “Caviar
of the East”, is a renowned delicacy among Chinese communi-
ty for its nutritional and medicinal value[1]. EBN is made from
the saliva of tiny cave-dwelling birds known as swiftlets that
are commonly found in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia[2].
The rst consumption of EBN dated back into the Tang Dynasty
(618 - 907 A.D) where it was served to the courts of the China’s
Emperor as a supreme delicacy. Since then, the medicinal ben-
ets of EBN have been carefully documented and it was later
recognized as one of the great four tonics in Traditional Chi-
nese Medicine during the late Ming (1405 - 1433 AD) and early
Ching (1644 - 1911 AD) Dynasties[1,3]. Due to its scarcity and
rarity, EBN was regarded as a symbol of wealth, power and pres-
tige[3]. For centuries, EBN had been consumed as health tonic,
complexion enhancer, asthma alleviator and immune system en-
The major nutrient components of EBN are carbohy-
drates and glycoproteins, along with minor essential trace ele-
ments such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, manganese
and iron[2,3]. EBN contains many bioactive compounds which
have health promoting effects such as glucosamine, lactoferrin,
sialic acid, amino acids, fatty acids, triacylglycerol, vitamins,
minerals and other antioxidants[3-5]. Despite many health effects
were claimed to be associated with EBN consumption, its mech-
anism of action is unknown and there is no clinical evidence to
support those claims. This article aims to provide an overview
A Mini Review on Medicinal Effects of Edible Bird’s Nest
Copyrights: © 2017 Chye, S.M. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International License. 65
1School of Health Sciences, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Letters In Health and
Biological Sciences
Chye, S.M., et al.
DOI: 10.15436/2475-6245.17.016
on EBN and its medicinal effects, with support from the latest
evidence-based discoveries on the benets of EBN consump-
Medicinal Effects of EBN
Antiviral properties of EBN
In 2006, a research was conducted to study the antiviral
efcacy of natural cave and house-cultured EBN[4]. The research
demonstrated that EBN extract could effectively inhibit inuen-
za infection independent of its strains− human, avian and swine,
by directly binding to the inuenza virus itself or inhibiting the
hemagglutination of the virus to human erythrocytes (Figure 1).
Furthermore, EBN was found to neutralize the virus infection in
Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. In the experiment,
EBN extracts treated with the protease pancreatin, has shown
a stronger inhibitory activity against inuenza virus, indicating
that the lower molecular peptides (10 - 25kDa sialyl glycopro-
tein) were accounted for the antiviral properties of EBN. Con-
versely, EBN extracts treated with neuraminidase (NA), which
cleaves the terminal sialic acid residues, causes reduction in the
EBN/virus binding activity. This suggests that the virus binding
effect of EBN is related to the presence of sialic acid. Generally,
the viral inhibition activities of the wild EBN extracts were high-
er than the house-cultured EBN extracts. It was proved that the
main antiviral effect of EBN was mediated by the sialyl glycol
conjugates with Neu5Ac2-3Gal linkages. The study concluded
that EBN could be a safe and effective natural source for the
prevention of inuenza virus infection. However, the detailed
in vivo effects of the inuenza virus inhibition by EBN should
be evaluated. Later in 2008, Yagi et al., reported the presence of
N-glycosylation in EBN and proposed that the sialylated high
antennary N-glycans of EBN, particularly, tri-antennary N-gly-
can bearing the a 2,3-N-acetylneuraminic acid residues, contrib-
uted to the inhibition of viral infection[5].
Figure 1: Anti-inuenza virus effects of edible bird’s nest.
The antiviral activity of EBN is further supported in the
2016 study by Haghani and his colleagues[6]. The bioactive sialic
acids or thymol derivatives in EBNs have shown to effectively
inhibit the virus IAV strain A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1) by de-
creasing the viral intracellular NA and extracellular non-struc-
tural protein 1 (NS1) genes which are required for the viral in-
fection initiation and replication, respectively. However, these
effects were only observed in untreated EBN. EBN which re-
ceived enzymatic treatment (either pancreatin or NA) showed
no effect on the NA gene, while EBN with pancreatin treatment
showed increased extracellular NS1 copy number and reduced
immunomodulatory property[6]. The observations suggested that
some amino acids of EBN might cause an increase in the viral
activities. On the other hand, EBN has shown to improve the
outcome of inuenza infection in BALB/c mice through modu-
lation of immune responses by actively changing the cytokines
patterns, such as activation of pro-inammatory responses and
cell-mediated immunity, depending on the infection phases.
On top of that, pre-treatment with EBN showed protective ef-
fect against the virus in the mice. EBN which contains higher
amount of acetylated sialic acid (Neu 2,4,7,8,9Ac6) displayed
better antiviral activity regardless of the source locations they
were obtained. It is recommended, however, to examine the
bioactive metabolites of EBN before using it as an alternative
antiviral medicine in clinical trials as the origin of EBN and the
species of swiftlets might affect the EBN’s composition.
Figure 2: Anti-H1N1 virus effects of edible bird’s nest.
Anti-oxidant properties of EBN
Apart from antiviral activities, EBN is also well-known
for its antioxidant properties. An in vivo study was carried out
to elucidate the antioxidant and anti-inammatory effects of
EBN on high fat diet (HFD)-induced oxidative stress and in-
ammation in rat models[7]. The results demonstrated that EBN
attenuated the HFD-induced oxidative stress and inammation
via transcriptional regulation of hepatic antioxidant and inam-
mation-related genes; and the effects were better than Simvasta-
tin, a well-known lipid-lowering medication. In short, the study
supported the use of EBN as an effective supplement for the
prevention of obesity-related inammation and oxidative stress.
The ability of EBN in reducing oxidative stress is be-
lieved to be attributed by its antioxidant content, as demonstrat-
ed in a study conducted by Yida et al.[8]. The EBN samples were
rst subjected to a simulated gut digestion model, and the di-
gested samples were then tested for their antioxidant activities.
Results showed that the digested samples displayed potent anti-
oxidant activities that contributed to the reduction in oxidative
stress markers. Similarly in another study, EBN displayed pro-
tective effect against hydrogen peroxide-induced toxicity in SH-
SY5Y cells[9]. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical which induces
oxidative stress in cells. The protective effect of EBN suggest-
ed that it had the ability to scavenge free radicals and decrease
radical oxygen species, thereby lowering the oxidative stress.
Hou et al., further suggested that the antioxidant properties of
EBN were conferred by its constituents, namely lactoferrin and
Neuroprotective effects of EBN
Several studies investigated that the neuroprotective ef-
fects of EBN were reported. Hou et al., demonstrated that EBN
attenuated cortical and hippocampal neurodegeneration in ova-
riectomized rats[10]. The data obtained showed that EBN supple-
mentation improved estrogen deciency-induced neurodysfunc-
tion by reducing advanced glycation end-products in serum and
down-regulating genes associated with neuro-degeneration and
apoptosis in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Similar nd-
ings were observed in another study whereby EBN conferred
the neuroprotective effects against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced
degeneration of dopaminergic neurons principally through inhi-
bition of apoptosis. Thus, it could be concluded that EBN might
serve as a novel alternative therapy for oxidative-stress mediat-
ed neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and
Parkinson’s disease[11].
Effects of EBN on cardiometabolic diseases
To date, several studies which employed HFD or ova-
riectomized rat models have reported that EBN might possess
benecial effects on cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes
and cardiovascular diseases (CVD)[12-14]. HFD and the lack of
hormones in ovariectomized rats worsen the metabolic indices
(such as increased leptin and decreased adiponectin) and lipid
prole. This would induce hypercholesterolemia along with in-
sulin resistance, a condition which contributes to an increased
risk for developing cardiometabolic diseases. Adiponectin and
lectin are both important regulators of lipid metabolism and co-
agulation, whereby high metabolic indices are reected by high
adiponectin level and decreased level of leptin. In these stud-
ies, EBN has been proven to improve lipid prole and metabolic
indices in rats, in comparison to the non-treated and Simvas-
tatin-treated groups[12-14]. The effects were possibly mediated
through the regulation of coagulation-related genes and insulin
signalling genes.
Effects of EBN on bone regeneration
The effects of EBN on bones and cartilages were also
investigated in several studies. Matsukawa et al., showed that
ovariectomized rats fed with EBN had improved femur bone
strength accompanied with an increase in dermal thickness[15]. It
was also observed that oral administration of EBN signicantly
produced rats with heavier body weight along with higher fe-
Lett Health Biol Sci | volume 2: issue 1
Medicinal Effects of Edible Bird’s Nest 66
mur calcium, phosphorus and hydroxyproline concentration as
compared to the control group. Generally, the ovariectomized
rats provided with high EBN supplementation showed greater
improvement as compared to the rats given low EBN supple-
mentation. However, the administration of EBN did not affect
the serum estradiol concentration. Skin samples collected from
the rats were stained with Masson’s trichrome staining to evalu-
ate the thickness of collagen brils. Results from the histological
evaluation show that EBN treatment was able to increase the
dermal thickness. In summary, EBN supplementation might in-
crease bone strength and improve skin aging (as thinning of der-
mal layer is associated with skin aging in human subjects). The
ndings are in line with the ancient Chinese literature, in which
EBN is believed to enhance skin complexion[16]. Through the
study in Drosophila melanogaster, Hu et al., further described
the anti-aging effect of EBN to be increasing the activity of an-
tioxidant enzymes, fecundity and life span, and decreasing mor-
tality rate and lipid peroxidation[17].
On top of that, investigation of EBN as a chondro-pro-
tective agent was carried out in vitro by using human articular
chondrocytes that were isolated from knee joint of patients with
osteoarthritis[18]. The addition of EBN to the cell cultures slows
the progression of osteoarthritis and aided in the regeneration
of cartilage. Moreover, EBN reduces catabolic activities and in-
creases cartilage extracellular matrix synthesis. Hence, all these
conditions would be helpful in alleviating osteoarthritis and
hence it was speculated that EBN is a nutraceutical agent for the
treatment of osteoarthritis.
Consumption of EBN has shown to bring multiple
health benets including antivirus, antioxidant and neuroprotec-
tion. It is also helpful in improving cardiometabolic diseases and
bone degeneration. However many of these health effects were
described in a handful of studies. More validation is required to
not only conrm the ndings but also to investigate the underly-
ing mechanisms.
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ble bird’s nest on proliferation and activation of B lymphocyte and its
antagonistic effects on immune-suppression induced by cyclophospha-
mide. (2016) Drug Des Devel Ther 10: 371-381.
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J Nutr 16(3): 389-396.
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Pubmed | Crossref | Others
4. Guo, C.T., Takahashi, T., Bukawa, W., et al. Edible bird’s nest extract
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Pubmed | Crossref | Others
5. Yagi, H., Yasukawa, N., Yu, S.Y., et al. The expression of sialylated
high-antennary N-glycans in edible bird’s nest. (2008) Carbohydr Res
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
6. Haghani, A., Mehrbod, P., Sa, N., et al. In vitro and in vivo mecha-
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(EBN) against inuenza A virus (IAV) infection. (2016) J Ethnophar-
macol 185: 327-340.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
7. Yida, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M., et al. Edible Bird’s Nest attenuates
high fat diet-induced oxidative stress and inammation via regulation
of hepatic antioxidant and inammatory genes. (2015) BMC Comple-
ment Altern Med 15: 310.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
8. Yida, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M. In vitro bioaccessibility and anti-
oxidant properties of edible birds nest following simulated human gas-
tro-intestinal digestion. (2014) BMC Complement Altern Med 14: 468.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
9. Hou, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M., et al. Lactoferrin and ovotransfer-
rin contribute toward antioxidative effects of Edible Bird’s Nest against
hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress inhuman SH-SY5Y cells.
(2015) Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 79(10): 1570-8.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
10. Hou, Z., Imam, U., Ismail, M., et al. Effects of edible bird’s nest
on hippocampal and cortical neurodegeneration in ovariectomized rats.
(2015) Food Funct 6(5): 1701-1711.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
11. Yew, M.Y., Koh, R.Y., Chye, S.M., et al. Edible bird’s nest amelio-
rates oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y human neuroblas-
toma cells. (2014) BMC Complement Altern Med 14:391.
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12. Yida, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M., et al. Edible bird’s nest attenuates
procoagulation effects of high-fat diet in rats. (2015) Drug Des Devel
Ther 9: 3951-3959.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
13. Yida, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M., et al. Edible bird’s nest prevents
high fat diet-induced insulin resistance in rats. (2015) J Diabetes Res
2015: 760535.
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14. Hou, Z., Imam, M.U., Ismail, M., et al. Nutrigenomic effects of ed-
ible bird’s nest on insulin signaling in ovariectomized rats. (2015) Drug
Des Devel Ther 9: 4115-4125.
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15. Matsukawa, N., Matsumoto, M., Bukawa, W., et al. Improvement of
bone strength and dermal thickness due to dietary edible bird’s nest ex-
tract in ovariectomized rats. (2011) Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 75(3):
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16. Lim, C.K., Cranbrook, E. Swiftlets of Borneo: builders of edible
nests. (2002) Borneo: Natural History Publications.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
17. Hu, Q., Li, G., Yao, H., et al. Edible bird’s nest enhances antioxidant
capacity and increases life span in Drosophila Melanogaster. (2016)
Cell Mol Biol (Noisyle-grand) 62(4): 116-122.
Pubmed | Crossref | Others
18. Chua, K.H., Lee, T.H., Nagandran, K., et al. Edible Bird’s nest ex-
tract as a chondro-protective agent for human chondrocytes isolated
from osteoarthritic knee : in vitro study. (2013) BMC Complement Al-
tern Med 13:19.
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Lett Health Biol Sci | volume 2: issue 1
Medicinal Effects of Edible Bird’s Nest
Ommega Online Publishers
Journal Name: Letters In Health and Biological Sciences
Journal Short Name: Lett Health Biol Sci
ISSN no: 2475-6245
... Calcium and sodium in ESN have the highest content, followed by other minerals (Quek et al., 2018). Studies reviewed that calcium played an important role in building stronger bone formation, muscle development especially in regulating heart muscle and mediation in nerve signal transmitting process (Chye, Tai, Koh, Ng, & Internationals, 2017). ...
... Sialic acid can enhance the viscosity of mucus which directly influences the flow of mucus that acts as the first line of defence in the immunity system. Essentially, the presence of sialic acid helps to limit and resist the translocation of pathogens such as bacteria, virus and other harmful microbes (Chye et al., 2017;Haghani et al., 2016). Serine, valine, tyrosine and isoleucine in ESN also contribute to boosting immunity through the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (Chua & Zukefli, 2016). ...
... Undeniably, the sialic acid-containing glycan in ESN is also a potential functional food for its health beneficial properties. Other functional feature of ESN that benefits human health includes the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF), which benefits human health by promoting anti-aging and better healing effects on wound and injuries (Hwang et al., 2020); and beneficial minerals such as high calcium content that strengthen the bone and muscle formation (Chye et al., 2017). Conclusive, as summarized in Table 5, the characteristics of ESN has fulfilled the criteria of being a functional food in terms of nutritional functionality, health benefits, nature of the food, and consumption pattern. ...
Background Edible swiftlet's nest (ESN) is dried gelatinized saliva secreted by swiftlets during the breeding season. The ESN has been widely consumed as a food and medicine since the ancient dynasty of China, particularly in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As a food with health-promoting effects, this made ESN a potential functional food. Whereby, functional food is food that can be consumed in the daily diet which then enhanced human health through nutritional aspect, but not as the cure of a disease. Scope and approach In this review, we discussed ESN as a potential functional food through the bioactive nutritional components and health benefits of ESN in promoting good health. Scientific evidence has proven that ESN consists of the unique glycoprotein of great value which provides high nutritional and functional properties for human health benefits. These include anti-ageing, anti-hypertension, immunity and neurological enhancement contributed by not only the unique glycoprotein but also sialic acid, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and other bioactive compounds. Key findings and conclusions The ESN appeared to be categorized as a functional food, with various functionality, applications, nutritional composition and therapeutic benefits committed by its components. This review also pronounces recent development of ESN as hydrolysate in the form of bioactive glycopeptide with improvements in terms of solubility, functional and nutritional benefits that broaden its applications in various industries.
... EBN has antioxidant effects which could serve as a novel alternative therapy for oxidative stress-mediated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) (Tai et al., 2017). The antioxidant capacity of EBN is higher in extracts obtained via alkaline extraction, it is speculated that the hydrolysed proteins release amino acids such as Cys, Met, His, Try and Lys with antioxidant properties (Lee et al., 2015). ...
Full-text available
Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is a traditional Chinese delicacy made of the saliva of swiftlets found in Southeast Asia. With increasing demands for EBN, quality control of EBN products is important for safe consumption. The processing steps are particularly important for efficient extraction of bioactive compounds. Geographical location, collection place, and harvesting season contribute to differences in nutritional contents in EBN. Concerns regarding presence of adulterant, chemical, and microbial contaminants in EBN as well as authentication and chemical composition measuring methods are discussed in this review. Recent discoveries of beneficial health functions of EBN in antimicrobial and antiviral actions, immunomodulation, cancer prevention and treatment, tissue regeneration, cardiometabolic maintenance, antioxidant action and neuroprotection are also reviewed. Our review provides an update on the recent research on EBN.
... If viewed from a health perspective, EBN is useful as an antiviral, antioxidant, and neuroprotective. In addition, EBN helps treat cardiometabolic disease and bone degeneration (Chye et al. 2017). ...
Full-text available
Edible-nest swiftlets have many health benefits. The availability of edible-nest swiftlets from caves is decreasing, while the demand for edible-nest swiftlets is getting higher. Swiftlet farming is carried out to meet this demand. The location of swiftlet farming should be close to the feeding sources. Swiftlet is flying insectivorous animals. A financial feasibility assessment is carried out to determine the feasibility of the business. This study aims to determine the composition of land cover, determine the insect order of feed sources, and analyze the production and financial feasibility of swiftlet farming. The study was carried out from June to December 2019. The composition of land cover was determined using the supervised classification method, the order of insects was known using the insect determination key, while production and financial feasibility were analyzed using the Net B/C, NPV, IRR, and PP methods. The observed location and swiftlet farming were determined purposefully. The results of this study show that the land cover was dominated by shrubs (56.58%) and secondary forest (27.3%); both types of land cover are suitable for swiftlet farming locations. The dominant insects found in shrubs and wetland shrubs are Diptera (78.25%), in rice fields are Diptera (86.7%) and in oil palm plantations are Diptera (29.4%) and Hymenoptera (27.78%). Edible-nest swiftlets harvest begins in the third year, with a production period of between 17-34 years. From the financial feasibility, it can be concluded that swiftlet farming is feasible.
... The first consumption of EBN dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), when it was the supreme delicacy and was sent to the court of the Chinese emperor. Since then, the medicinal value of EBN has been well documented, and it was later recognized as one of the four major supplements in the late Ming (1405-1433 AD) and early Qing (AD 1644-1911 AD) Dynasties (Chye et al., 2017). EBN is believed to have nourishing effects, such as strengthening the immune system, treating malnutrition, improving metabolism, enhancing skin complexion, relieving asthma, helping to clear sputum, reducing coughs, nourishing children, improving libido, enhancing kidney function, recovery from diseases and surgery rehabilitation, and improving concentration (Tong et al., 2020). ...
Full-text available
Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is recognized as a nourishing food among Chinese people. The efficacy of EBN was stated in the records of traditional Chinese medicine and its activities have been reported in many researches. Malaysia is the second largest exporter of EBNs in the world, after Indonesia. For many years, EBN trade to China was not regulated until August 2011, when a safety alert was triggered for the consumption of EBNs. China banned the import of EBNs from Malaysia and Indonesia due to high level of nitrite. Since then, the Malaysia government has formulated Malaysia Standards for swiftlet farming (MS 2273:2012), edible bird’s nest processing plant design and management (MS 2333:2010), and edible bird’s nest product quality (MS 2334:2011) to enable the industry to meet the specified standards for the export to China. On the other hand, Indonesia's EBN industry formulated a standard operating procedure (SOP) for exportation to China. Both countries can export EBNs to China by complying with the standards and SOPs. EBN contaminants may include but not limited to nitrite, heavy metals, excessive minerals, fungi, bacteria, and mites. The possible source of contaminants may come from the swiftlet farms and the swiftlets or introduced during processing, storage, and transportation of EBNs, or adulterants. Swiftlet house design and management, and EBN processing affect the bird’s nest color. Degradation of its optical quality has an impact on the selling price, and color changes are tied together with nitrite level. In this review, the current and future prospects of EBNs in Malaysia and Indonesia in terms of their quality, and the research on the contaminants and their effects on EBN color changes are discussed.
... Received 2 January 2019; Received in revised form 12 September 2019; Accepted 14 September 2019 effects towards complications in the respiratory airways and gastrointestinal system. In addition to that, EBN is also sought after because of claims such as the ability to enhance skin complexion, immunity, growth, metabolism and blood circulation (Chye, Tai, Koh, & Ng, 2017;Lim & Cranbrook, 2002). In vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that EBN extracts were able to promote cell division and proliferation (Ng, Chan, & Kong, 1986), inhibit influenza activity (Guo et al., 2006), protect neurons against oxidative stress (Yew, Koh, Chye, Othman, & Ng, 2014) and prevent osteoporosis (Matsukawa et al., 2011). ...
Neural stem cells (NSC) are multipotent precursor cells in the neurogenic regions of the brain which respond to trophic factors to achieve functional recovery from neurodegenerative diseases. Edible bird's nest (EBN) is a salivary product of Aerodramus swiftlets and may contain potent neurotrophic compounds. Crude and water extracts of EBN were shown to have neurotrophic properties by promoting proliferation and migration of the NSC model, embryonic mouse neuroectodermal cells (NE-4C). Neuronal differentiation of retinoic acid-primed NE-4C was also increased after being treated with EBN extracts. Using de novo peptide sequencing with tandem mass spectrometry, a total of 29 proteins were identified from EBN extracts. It is suggested that the repulsive guidance molecule domain family member B, which has been shown to promote neurite extension and axonal growth, as well as proteins involved in the process of cell proliferation and migration such as protein lin-9 and hyaluronan mediated motility receptor might be involved in the neurotrophic effects of EBN extracts. Other proteins found in EBN extracts were known to have potential roles in immunity, extracellular matrix formation, cell survival and apoptosis, antioxidation, and common cellular processes, which may be implicated in other EBN studies. Seven hypothetical proteins suggested using the PEAKS Studio 7.0 software did not have a match in the Swiss-Prot database, which may need to be further characterized in the future. In conclusion, this study described the neurotrophic properties of EBN extracts and supports the use of EBN as a potential functional food against neurodegenerative diseases.
... Edible bird nest (EBN) is the hardened salivary product of the Aerodramus swiftlets and is commonly prepared in sugary water before consumption. It is a highly regarded natural food popular among Asians due to traditional use in enhancing skin complexion, appetite immunity, growth, metabolism and blood circulation (Chye, Tai, Koh, & Ng, 2017;Lim & Cranbrook, 2002). EBN has been scientifically implicated for influenza-inhibiting (Guo et al., 2006); osteoporosis-improving (Matsukawa et al., 2011), neuroprotection (Hou et al., 2017;Yew, Koh, Chye, Othman, & Ng, 2014) and prevention of cardiometabolic disease . ...
Edible bird’s nest (E-BN) or “Caviar of the East” is a premium and expensive cuisine well-known for the Chinese. It is saliva secreted from two specific swiftlets (Aerodramus maximus and Aerodramus fuciphagus). Two types of E-BN, namely house nests, and cave nests, are abundant in the South-East Asia region. The constituents, especially nitrate and nitrite, can be varied, depending on habitat, or feed available, etc. Protein (e.g., glycoprotein) is the major component of E-BN, followed by carbohydrates. Sialic acid is another essential constituent related to health promotion. E-BN is commonly utilized for the manufacturing of beverages or instant soup. E-BN in other forms such as capsules can serve as a supplement in the future due to its health promoting impact. In addition, the selected technology for quality improvement of E-BN especially from broken nests or flakes or other co-products is still required, while maintaining the eating quality to meet consumer’s demand. Thus, E-BN can be fully exploited and is still considered a valuable bird’s product with health benefits.
Swallow's nest (Collocalia fuchiphaga) is one of the high export commodities. This is because the bird's nest is considered to be nutritious in terms of health. In this research, using swallow's nest obtained from several swallow buildings in Subur Indah Village, Katingan District, Kuala Central Kalimantan. The purpose of this study was to analyse the protein and calcium content of boiled white bird’s nest (Collacalia Fuchiphaga). Determination of protein content was carried out using the Kjeldahl method while for determination of calcium content using the permanganometric titration method. Based on the results with 3 repetitions each, the protein content was 21.8; 22.92 and 22.15% at 4 hours of boiling then 19.7; 18.1 and 19.05% at 8 hours of boiling. Meanwhile, the determination of the calcium content resulted in 201.5; 198.2 and 205.6 mg / 100 g calcium at 4 hours of boiling and 182.5; 178.8 and 175.6 mg / 100 g calcium. The conclusion in this study is that the longer it takes to boil a swallow's nest, the less protein and calcium content is obtained
In this study, water-insoluble fraction of edible birds' nest (EBN) was treated with dynamic high pressure microfluidization (DHPM) under 40, 80, 120, and 160 MPa of pressure. The results displayed a remarkable pressure-related increase in protein solubility upon DHPM treatment. In addition, circular dichroism spectra also revealed that DHPM treatment induced conformational changes such as increase in α-helix and β-turn, whereas intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy showed that tryptophan residues were less exposed to solvent. Furthermore, the increased surface hydrophobicity accompanied by reduced particle size was observed in DHPM treated samples, which was in good agreement with results of atomic force microscopy analysis, showing de-aggregation of large proteins in EBN water-insoluble fraction. Hence, our study shows that DHPM treatment can solubilize proteins from EBN water-insoluble fraction, and is an alternative method to traditional stewing to release the functional ingredients from EBN insoluble fraction, which can be introduced into industrial EBN food processing.
Conference Paper
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One major factor shaping the composition and physiology of colon microbiota is the availability of glycans, most of which cannot be digested by enzymes encoded in the human genome. Gut microbiota can digest the indigestible glycans and further produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which serve as nutrients for colonocytes and other gut epithelial cells. Mucus glycoproteins of swiftlet’s edible nest (genus Collocalia) are mainly constituted of sialic acid-rich O-glycosylproteins with numerous monosialyl and disialyl glycans. In this study, the glycans from edible bird nest (EBN) have been extracted from the native glycoprotein by reaction alkaline hydrolysis (beta-elimination). The extracted glycans was tested for its potential as prebiotic for the growth of beneficial bacteria in human colon. Results showed that the glycan of EBN can resist human stomach digestion, thus have a potential to act as prebiotic.
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Edible bird's nest (EBN) is regarded as an immune-enhancing food in the People's Republic of China. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the efficiency of EBN in improving the immunity of mouse both in vivo and in vitro. We observed the effects of EBN on spleen lymphocytes proliferation and activation, as well as immunoglobulin isotypes as indicators. In addition, we evaluated the content of total sIgA in the intestinal juice to assess mucosal immunity. The results showed that EBN could promote the proliferation and activation of B-cells and increase IgE, IgA, IgM, and IgG3 levels. We also found that EBN extract can promote the secretion of sIgA in the small intestine. Using cyclophosphamide (CY), we established an immunosuppressed mouse model in which we identified a reversal influence on the ratio of CD3(+)/CD19(+) cells, which indicates that EBN also protects B-cells from the damage induced by CY. We also applied polymyxin B to exclude the interference of lipopolysaccharide throughout the experiment. In conclusion, we found that EBN can reduce the intestinal immune injury induced by CY by accelerating the proliferation and activation of B-cells and enhancing antibody secretion of B-cells.
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Background: Edible Bird's nest (EBN) is an antioxidant-rich supplement that is popular in many parts of Asia. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been reported using in vitro system. This paper aimed to determine the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of EBN in in high fat diet induced rats model. Methods: We evaluate if those properties can be translated in rats. High fat diet (HFD) was fed to rats for 12 weeks to determine its effects on oxidative stress and inflammation, and compared with HFD + Simvastatin and HFD + EBN (2.5 or 20 %). Weights were measured weekly, while serum and hepatic markers of oxidative stress (total antioxidant status and TBARS) and inflammation (interleukin 6 [IL-6], C-reactive protein [CRP] and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) were determined at the end of the intervention. In addition, transcriptional changes in hepatic antioxidant (superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase) and inflammation (C-reactive protein, chemokine [C-C] motif 2, nuclear factor kappa beta 1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha) genes were evaluated. Results: The results showed increases in oxidative stress (raised TBARS and lowered total antioxidant status) and inflammatory markers (raised CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α) in HFD induced rats with corresponding attenuation of antioxidant gene expression and potentiation of inflammatory gene expression. EBN on the other hand attenuated the HFD-induced inflammation and oxidative stress and produced overall better outcomes in comparison with simvastatin. Conclusions: In aggregate, the results support the evidence-based utilization of EBN as a supplement for preventing obesity-related inflammation and oxidative stress in rats. These promising results can open up opportunities for translating the benefits of EBN to humans.
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There are reports of improved redox outcomes due to consumption of Edible Bird's Nest (EBN). Many of the functional effects of EBN can be linked to its high amounts of antioxidants. Interestingly, dietary components with high antioxidants have shown promise in the prevention of aging and its related diseases like Alzheimer's disease. In this study, the antioxidative potentials of EBN and its constituents, lactoferrin (LF) and ovotransferrin (OVF), were determined and protective effects against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)- induced toxicity on SH-SY5Y cells using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and acridine orange and propidium iodide (AO/PI) staining with microscopy were examined. Results showed that EBN and its constituents attenuated H2O2-induced cytotoxicity, and decreased radical oxygen species (ROS) through increased scavenging activity. Furthermore, LF, OVF, and EBN produced transcriptional changes in antioxidant related genes that tended towards neuroprotection as compared to H2O2-treated group. Overall, the results suggest that LF and OVF may produce synergistic or all-or-none antioxidative effects in EBN.
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Edible birds' nest (EBN) is reported to be antioxidant-rich. However, the fate of its antioxidants after oral consumption is not yet reported. To explore this, we hypothesized that EBN antioxidants are released from their matrix when subjected to in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion. EBN samples were extracted using hot water (100[degree sign]C) with or without subsequent sequential enzymatic digestion using pepsin (10,000 units), pancreatin (36 mg) and bile extracts (112.5 mg). Additionally, pH changes (8.9 to 2 and back to 8.9) similar to the gut were applied, and a 10 KDa dialysis tubing was used to simulate gut absorption. The antioxidant capacities of the water extracts of EBN before and after digestion were then determined using ABTS and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays, while the protective effects of the EBN samples against hydrogen peroxide-induced toxicity in HEPG2 cells were determined using MTT assay and acridine orange (AO)/propidium iodide (PI) staining. Antioxidant assays (ABTS and ORAC) showed that the undigested EBN water extract had little antioxidant activity (1 and 1%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) while at similar concentrations the digested samples had significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced antioxidant activities, for samples inside (38 and 50%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) and outside (36 and 50%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) the dialysis tubing, representing absorbed and unabsorbed samples, respectively. Cell viability and toxicity assays also suggested that the EBN extracts were non-toxic to HEPG2 cells (cell viabilities of over 80% at 1000 mug/mL), while AOPI showed that the extracts protected HEPG2 cells from hydrogen peroxide induced-toxicity. Based on the findings, it is likely that EBN bioactives are released from their matrix when digested in the gut and then absorbed through the gut by passive-mediated transport to exert their functional effects. However, there is need to confirm these findings using in vivo systems to determine their clinical significance.
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Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting the senile population with manifestation of motor disability and cognitive impairment. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is implicated in the progression of oxidative stress-related apoptosis and cell death of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Its interplay with mitochondrial functionality constitutes an important aspect of neuronal survival in the perspective of PD. Edible bird's nest (EBN) is an animal-derived natural food product made of saliva secreted by swiftlets from the Aerodamus genus. It contains bioactive compounds which might confer neuroprotective effects to the neurons. Hence this study aims to investigate the neuroprotective effect of EBN extracts in the neurotoxin-induced in vitro PD model. Methods: EBN was first prepared into pancreatin-digested crude extract and water extract. In vitro PD model was generated by exposing SH-SY5Y cells to neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Cytotoxicity of the extracts on SH-SY5Y cells was tested using MTT assay. Then, microscopic morphological and nuclear examination, cell viability test and ROS assay were performed to assess the protective effect of EBN extracts against 6-OHDA-induced cellular injury. Apoptotic event was later analysed with Annexin V-propidium iodide flow cytometry. To understand whether the mechanism underlying the neuroprotective effect of EBN was mediated via mitochondrial or caspase-dependent pathway, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) measurement and caspase-3 quantification were carried out. Results: Cytotoxicity results showed that crude EBN extract did not cause SH-SY5Y cell death at concentrations up to 75 μg/ml while the maximum non-toxic dose (MNTD) of water extract was double of that of crude extract. Morphological observation and nuclear staining suggested that EBN treatment reduced the level of 6-OHDA-induced apoptotic changes in SH-SY5Y cells. MTT study further confirmed that cell viability was better improved with crude EBN extract. However, water extract exhibited higher efficacy in ameliorating ROS build up, early apoptotic membrane phosphatidylserine externalization as well as inhibition of caspase-3 cleavage. None of the EBN treatment had any effect on MMP. Conclusions: Current findings suggest that EBN extracts might confer neuroprotective effect against 6-OHDA-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, particularly through inhibition of apoptosis. Thus EBN may be a viable nutraceutical option to protect against oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disorders such as PD.
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Background Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that results in the destruction of cartilage. Edible Bird’s Nest (EBN) extract contains important components, which can reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and helps in the regeneration of the cartilage. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of EBN extract on the catabolic and anabolic activities of the human articular chondrocytes (HACs) isolated from the knee joint of patients with OA. Methods A single batch of EBN extract was prepared with hot-water extraction and coded as HMG. HACs were isolated from the knee joint cartilage removed during surgery. The optimum concentration of HMG for HAC cultures was determined using MTT assay. The effect of HMG on the catabolic and anabolic genes’ expression in HACs was measured by real-time PCR. The total amount of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was determined by ELISA method, and the total sulphated glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) production was quantified by 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue (DMMB) assay. Results MTT assay showed 0.50% - 1.00% HMG supplementation promoted HACs proliferation. HMG supplementation was able to reduce the catabolic genes’ expression in cultured HACs such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMP1 & MMP3), Interleukin 1, 6 and 8 (IL-1, IL-6 & IL-8), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was significantly reduced in HAC cultures supplemented with HMG. With regard to anabolic activity assessment, type II collagen, Aggrecan and SOX-9 gene expression as well as sGAG production was increased in the HMG supplemented groups. Conclusion Edible Bird’s Nest extract coded as HMG demonstrated chondro-protection ability on human articular chondrocytes in vitro. It reduced catabolic activities and increased cartilage extracellular matrix synthesis. It is concluded that HMG is a potential agent in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
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Malaysian edible bird's nests (EBN) are from the swiflet species, Aerodromus fuciphagus. The objective of this study was to determine and compare the nutrient composition of EBN obtained from different parts of Peninsular Malaysia, collected at three different harvesting seasons, to four commercial brands. A total of 18 raw, unprocessed EBN samples from the North, South and East Coast zones of Peninsular Malaysia and duplicate samples of 4 commercial brands (processed) of EBN samples were analysed. The protein and mineral contents of unprocessed EBN samples between zones and harvesting seasons were comparable. Mean (± SEM) protein content of unprocessed EBN was 61.5 ± 0.6 g/100g and the top four minerals detected were calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium with mean (± SEM) concentration of 553.1 ± 19.5 mg/100g, 187.9 ± 10.4 mg/100g, 92.9 ± 2.0 mg/100g and 6.3 ± 0.4 mg/100g respectively. Sialic acid content ranged between 0.7 to 1.5%, and remained comparable between samples from different zones and harvesting seasons. The commercial brands were found to contain higher amounts of calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus compared to unprocessed EBN, warranting further investigation and verification with more samples. Since the nutrient contents of EBN may be affected by seasonal variations and even breeding sites, it is recommended that a more comprehensive study be conducted involving more samples and breeding sites as such data are important to ensure sustainability of the EBN industry in this country.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: For centuries, Edible Bird Nest (EBN) has been used in treatment of variety of respiratory diseases such as flu and cough as a Chinese natural medicine. Aim of the study: This natural remedy showed the potential to inhibit influenza A virus (IAV). However, little is known about the mechanism of this process and also the evaluation of this product in an animal model. Hence, the current study was designed to elucidate the antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of EBN against IAV strain A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1). Materials and methods: First, influenza infected MDCK cells treated with EBNs from two locations of Malaysia (Teluk Intan and Gua Madai) that prepared with different enzymatic preparations were analyzed by RT-qPCR and ELISA for detection of viral and cytokines genes. The sialic acid composition of these EBNs was evaluated by H-NMR. Subsequently, after toxicity evaluation of EBN from Teluk Intan, antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of this natural product was evaluated in BALB/c mice by analysis of the viral NA gene and cytokine expressions in the first week of the infection. Results: EBN showed high neuraminidase inhibitory properties in both in vitro and in vivo, which was as effective as Oseltamivir phosphate. In addition, EBN decreased NS1 copy number (p<0.05) of the virus along with high immunomodulatory effects against IAV. Some of the immune changes during treatment of IAV with EBN included significant increase in IFNγ, TNFα, NFκB, IL2, some proinflammatory cytokines like IL1β, IL6, and cytokines with regulatory properties like IL10, IL27, IL12, CCL2 and IL4 depends on the stage of the infection. EBNs from two locations contained different composition of sialic acid and thymol derivatives, which gave them different antiviral properties. EBN from Gua Madai that contained more acetylated sialic acid (Neu2,4,7,8,9 Ac6) showed higher antiviral activity. Conclusion: The findings of this study support the antiviral activity of EBN against influenza virus and validate the traditional usage of this natural remedy by elucidation of toxicity and the molecular mechanism of action.
A few species of swiflets (genus Aerodramus) build edible nests that are consumed by humans worldwide, as a delicacy known as the “Caviar of the East” or as a medicinal food. This study reports on the compositional properties of two types of nest, the white nest and the red “blood” nest. The order of composition (from lowest to highest) was found to be identical for both types of nests, i.e., lipid (0.14–1.28%), ash (2.1%), carbohydrate (25.62–27.26%) and protein (62–63%). It was also found that both nests share a common 77 KDa protein that has properties similar to those of the ovotransferrin protein in eggs. This protein may be partially responsible for the severe allergic reactions that sometimes occur among young children who consume edible bird’s nest products. It was found that SDS–PAGE electrophoretic fingerprinting might serve as a useful analytical technique for differentiating between white and red nests and for determining if the more expensive “blood” nest was adulterated with the less expensive white nest. Also evaluated were different analytical methodologies for detecting adulterants. Three of the most common adulterants found in retail bird’s nests are karaya gum, red seaweed, and tremella fungus, and they are routinely incorporated during commercial processing prior to final sale. Using crude protein determination, it was found that these adulterants (which typically accounted for 2–10% of the finished nest), reduce the overall crude protein content of the genuine white bird’s nest by as much as 1.1–6.2%. A modified xanthoproteic nitric acid test for proteins proved to be a rapid, and simple test to detect adulteration in both whole and finely ground nests, and would be suitable in the field where analytical facilities are not readily available.
Edible bird's nest (EBN) is the nest of the swift that is made from its saliva. Although EBN has been widely used for enhancing immunocompetence, its antiviral efficacy has not been studied in detail. We found that EBN extract could strongly inhibit infection with influenza viruses in a host range-independent manner when it was hydrolyzed with Pancreatin F. Western blotting assay showed that the EBN extract bound to influenza virus. Furthermore, EBN extract could neutralize the infection of MDCK cells with influenza viruses and inhibit hemagglutination of influenza viruses to erythrocytes, but it could not inhibit the activity of influenza virus sialidase. Fluorometric HPLC indicated that the major molecular species of sialic acid in EBN is N-acetylneuraminic acid. The results suggest that EBN is a safe and valid natural source for the prevention of influenza viruses.