Could moss be on the menu as the next gut-friendly superfood?
An international team of scientists including the University of Adelaide has discovered a new complex carbohydrate in moss that could possibly be exploited for health or other uses.
The scientists, from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls and University of Rhode Island, in the US, say the polysaccharide (a complex carbohydrate made up of sugar molecules) looks a bit like the gut-friendly, health-promoting beta glucan found in oats and other cereals.
While the function of the substance is not yet known, it may have properties that can be exploited for health, industrial and medical fields, like well-known polysaccharides, such as cellulose for paper and cotton, or xylans that can be used for as dietary supplements or drug delivery.
Image credit: James919 (CC BY-SA 3.0)