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Special Issue "Bioactive Phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables 2016"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Battino

Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 071 2204646
Fax: +39 071 2204398
Interests: nutrition; periodontal diseases/periodontitis; oxidative stress; nutrition; aging; mitochondrial function and diseases; berries (strawberry, blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, etc.); olive oil (dietary fats); honey, polyphenols; flavonoids; antioxidants, apoptosis
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesca Giampieri

Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
E-Mail
Interests: nutrition; health; bioactive compounds; polyphenols; antioxidants; free radicals; oxidative stress; aging; mitochodrial functionality; apoptosis; strawberry, honey

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The importance of diet on human health and well-being has been widely recognized. Dietary guidelines around the world recommend the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, as good sources of dietary fiber, essential nutrients, and phytochemicals, to improve global health and reduce chronic disease risk. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is indeed associated with a lower incidence of several degenerative pathologies, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In the last few years, numerous studies have demonstrated a wide range of biological properties and healthy benefits exerted by dietary phytochemicals, highlighting their beneficial role both in the prevention and in the treatment of several diseases. At the same time, functional foods have gained an enormous interest all around the world, as shown by the annual increase of their market of about 15%. Indeed, many now embrace the idea that functional foods play specific roles at different times throughout life and accept that certain foods may help to maintain a good health and prevent diseases.

The main aims of the Special Issue on "Bioactive Phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables 2016" is to be an open forum where researchers may share their investigations and findings in this promising field and, thanks to the open access platform, increase their visibility and the chances to interact with industries and the production systems.

Prof. Maurizio Battino
Dr. Francesca Giampieri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • human health
  • dietary intake
  • bioactive compounds
  • dietary phytochemicals
  • natural antioxidants
  • nutrigenetics
  • nutrigenomics
  • inflammation
  • apoptosis
  • pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of natural bioactive compounds

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (28 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Strawberry (cv. Romina) Methanolic Extract and Anthocyanin-Enriched Fraction Improve Lipid Profile and Antioxidant Status in HepG2 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1149; doi:10.3390/ijms18061149
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dyslipidemia and oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) are recognized as critical factors in the development of atherosclerosis. Healthy dietary patterns, with abundant fruit and vegetable consumption, may prevent the onset of these risk factors due to the presence of phytochemical compounds. Strawberries
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Dyslipidemia and oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) are recognized as critical factors in the development of atherosclerosis. Healthy dietary patterns, with abundant fruit and vegetable consumption, may prevent the onset of these risk factors due to the presence of phytochemical compounds. Strawberries are known for their high content of polyphenols; among them, flavonoids are the major constituents, and it is presumed that they are responsible for the biological activity of the fruit. Nevertheless, there are only a few studies that actually evaluate the effects of different fractions isolated from strawberries. In order to assess the effects of two different strawberry extracts (whole methanolic extract/anthocyanin-enriched fraction) on the lipid profile and antioxidant status in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells, the triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol content, lipid peroxidation, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) content and antioxidant enzymes’ activity on cell lysates were determined. Results demonstrated that both strawberry extracts not only improved the lipid metabolism by decreasing triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol contents, but also improved the redox state of HepG2 cells by modulating thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances production, antioxidant enzyme activity and ROS generation. The observed effects were more pronounced for the anthocyanin-enriched fraction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Strawberry-Tree Honey Induces Growth Inhibition of Human Colon Cancer Cells and Increases ROS Generation: A Comparison with Manuka Honey
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 613; doi:10.3390/ijms18030613
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2575 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Honey is a natural product known to modulate several biological activities including cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity of Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) honey (STH) and its cytotoxic properties against
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Honey is a natural product known to modulate several biological activities including cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity of Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) honey (STH) and its cytotoxic properties against human colon adenocarcinoma (HCT-116) and metastatic (LoVo) cell lines in comparison with Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey (MH). Several unifloral STH and MH were analyzed for their phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein contents, as well as their radical scavenging activities. STH from the Berchidda area showed the highest amount of phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein content, and antioxidant capacity compared to MH. Both STH and MH induced cytotoxicity and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner in HCT-116 and LoVo cells, with less toxicity on non-cancer cells. Compared to MH, STH showed more effect at lower concentrations on HCT-116 and LoVo cells. In addition, both honeys increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In HCT-116 cells, STH and MH induced similar ROS production but in LoVo cells STH induced a higher percentage of ROS compared to MH. Our results indicate that STH and MH can induce cell growth inhibition and ROS generation in colon adenocarcinoma and metastatic cells, which could be due to the presence of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. These preliminary results are interesting and suggest a potential chemopreventive action which could be useful for further studies in order to develop chemopreventive agents for colon cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chemoprevention of Rat Mammary Carcinogenesis by Apiaceae Spices
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 425; doi:10.3390/ijms18020425
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
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Abstract
Scientific evidence suggests that many herbs and spices have medicinal properties that alleviate symptoms or prevent disease. In this study, we examined the chemopreventive effects of the Apiaceae spices, anise, caraway, and celery seeds against 17β-estrogen (E2)-mediated mammary tumorigenesis in an ACI (August-Copenhagen
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Scientific evidence suggests that many herbs and spices have medicinal properties that alleviate symptoms or prevent disease. In this study, we examined the chemopreventive effects of the Apiaceae spices, anise, caraway, and celery seeds against 17β-estrogen (E2)-mediated mammary tumorigenesis in an ACI (August-Copenhagen Irish) rat model. Female ACI rats were given either control diet (AIN 93M) or diet supplemented with 7.5% (w/w) of anise, caraway, or celery seed powder. Two weeks later, one half of the animals in each group received subcutaneous silastic implants of E2. Diet intake and body weight were recorded weekly, and animals were euthanized after 3 and 12 weeks. E2-treatment showed significantly (2.1- and 3.4-fold) enhanced growth of pituitary gland at 3 and 12 weeks, respectively. All test spices significantly offset the pituitary growth by 12 weeks, except celery which was effective as early as three weeks. Immunohistochemical analysis for proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in mammary tissues showed significant reduction in E2-mediated mammary cell proliferation. Test spices reduced the circulating levels of both E2 and prolactin at three weeks. This protection was more pronounced at 12 weeks, with celery eliciting the highest effect. RT-PCR and western blot analysis were performed to determine the potential molecular targets of the spices. Anise and caraway diets significantly offset estrogen-mediated overexpression of both cyclin D1 and estrogen receptor α (ERα). The effect of anise was modest. Likewise, expression of CYP1B1 and CYP1A1 was inhibited by all test spices. Based on short-term molecular markers, caraway was selected over other spices based on its enhanced effect on estrogen-associated pathway. Therefore, a tumor-end point study in ACI rats was conducted with dietary caraway. Tumor palpation from 12 weeks onwards revealed tumor latency of 29 days in caraway-treated animals compared with first tumor appearance at 92 days in control group. At the end of the study (25 weeks), the tumor incidence was 96% in the control group compared with only 70% in the caraway group. A significant reduction in tumor volume (661 ± 123 vs. 313 ± 81 mm3) and tumor multiplicity (4.2 ± 0.4 vs. 2.5 ± 0.5 tumors/animal) was also observed in the caraway group compared with the control group. Together, our data show dietary caraway can significantly delay and prevent the hormonal mammary tumorigenesis by modulating different cellular and molecular targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Osteoclastic Activity of Artemisia capillaris Thunb. Extract Depends upon Attenuation of Osteoclast Differentiation and Bone Resorption-Associated Acidification Due to Chlorogenic Acid, Hyperoside, and Scoparone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 322; doi:10.3390/ijms18020322
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract
The present study attempts to elucidate the anti-osteoporotic activity of Artemisia capillaris Thunb. in the form of anti-osteoclastic effect and responsible bioactive compounds. The contents of chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, isochlorogenic acid A, and scoparone in Artemisia capillaris hydroethanolic extract (ACHE)
[...] Read more.
The present study attempts to elucidate the anti-osteoporotic activity of Artemisia capillaris Thunb. in the form of anti-osteoclastic effect and responsible bioactive compounds. The contents of chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, isochlorogenic acid A, and scoparone in Artemisia capillaris hydroethanolic extract (ACHE) were 38.53, 0.52, 4.07, 3.03, 13.90, and 6.59 mg/g, respectively. ACHE diminished osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption due to chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, and scoparone. In addition, ACHE attenuated acidification as well as reducing tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) expression and its association with vacuolar H+-adenosine triphosphatase (V-ATPase). Furthermore, chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, and scoparone from A. capillaris abrogated the association of V-ATPase with TRAF6, suggesting that the blockage of bone resorption by A. capillaris was partially mediated by reducing acidification through down-regulating interaction of V-ATPase with TRAF6 due to scoparone as well as chlorogenic acid and hyperoside. These results imply that the anti-osteoclastic effect of A. capillaris through down-regulating osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption may contribute to its anti-osteoporotic effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 6-Paradol and 6-Shogaol, the Pungent Compounds of Ginger, Promote Glucose Utilization in Adipocytes and Myotubes, and 6-Paradol Reduces Blood Glucose in High-Fat Diet-Fed Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 168; doi:10.3390/ijms18010168
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract
The anti-diabetic activity of ginger powder (Zingiber officinale) has been recently promoted, with the recommendation to be included as one of the dietary supplements for diabetic patients. However, previous studies presented different results, which may be caused by degradation and metabolic
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The anti-diabetic activity of ginger powder (Zingiber officinale) has been recently promoted, with the recommendation to be included as one of the dietary supplements for diabetic patients. However, previous studies presented different results, which may be caused by degradation and metabolic changes of ginger components, gingerols, shogaols and paradols. Therefore, we prepared 10 ginger active components, namely 6-, 8-, 10-paradols, 6-, 8-, 10-shogaols, 6-, 8-, 10-gingerols and zingerone, and evaluated their anti-hyperglycemic activity. Among the tested compounds, 6-paradol and 6-shogaol showed potent activity in stimulating glucose utilization by 3T3-L1 adipocytes and C2C12 myotubes. The effects were attributed to the increase in 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. 6-Paradol, the major metabolite of 6-shogaol, was utilized in an in vivo assay and significantly reduced blood glucose, cholesterol and body weight in high-fat diet-fed mice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Powders Obtained from Different Plum Juice Formulations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 176; doi:10.3390/ijms18010176
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 8 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract
Among popular crops, plum (Prunus domestica L.) has received special attention due to its health-promoting properties. The seasonality of this fruit makes it impossible to consume it throughout the year, so new products in a powder form may offer an alternative to
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Among popular crops, plum (Prunus domestica L.) has received special attention due to its health-promoting properties. The seasonality of this fruit makes it impossible to consume it throughout the year, so new products in a powder form may offer an alternative to fresh consumption and may be used as high-quality natural food ingredients. A 100% plum (cultivar “Valor”) juice was mixed with three different concentrations of maltodextrin or subjected to sugars removal by amberlite-XAD column, and dried using the freeze, spray, and vacuum (40, 60, and 80 °C) drying techniques. The identification and quantification of phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins in plum powders was performed by LC-MS QTof and UPLC-PDA, respectively. l-ascorbic acid, hydroxymethylfurfural, and antioxidant capacity were measured by the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) ABTS and ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) methods in order to compare the influence of the drying methods on product quality. The results indicated that the profile of polyphenolic compounds in the plum juice powders significantly differed from the whole plum powders. The drying of a sugar free plum extract resulted in higher content of polyphenolic compounds, l-ascorbic acid and antioxidant capacity, but lower content of hydroxymethylfurfural, regardless of drying method applied. Thus, the formulation of plum juice before drying and the drying method should be carefully selected in order to obtain high-quality powders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antidiabetic, Lipid Normalizing, and Nephroprotective Actions of the Strawberry: A Potent Supplementary Fruit
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 124; doi:10.3390/ijms18010124
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 24 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
The study was designed to assess the effect of different strawberry extracts on glucose levels, lipid profiles, and oxidative stress in nicotinamide-streptozotocin (NIC-STZ) induced diabetic rats. The associated changes were evaluated through biochemical, molecular, and histological assays. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection
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The study was designed to assess the effect of different strawberry extracts on glucose levels, lipid profiles, and oxidative stress in nicotinamide-streptozotocin (NIC-STZ) induced diabetic rats. The associated changes were evaluated through biochemical, molecular, and histological assays. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ to albino Wistar rats after treatment with nicotinamide. Aqueous, hydroalcoholic, and alcoholic strawberry extracts were administrated orally to diabetic rats. Treatment of strawberry extracts improved lipid profile, liver function, and serum creatinine and led to a significant increase in antioxidant status in diabetic rats. Real-time PCR expression analysis of genes from the liver of animals treated with strawberry extracts exhibited downregulation of several fatty acid synthesis genes, transcription factors, such as Sterol regulatory Element Binding Transcription factor (SREBP) and Nuclear Factor-κβ (NF-κβ), and inflammatory markers, like Interleukin 6 (IL6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α). Strawberry extracts also upregulated liver Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). Histological examination confirmed the nephroprotective and β-cell regeneration/protection effects of strawberry extracts. The present study demonstrates several beneficial effects of strawberry extracts along with its probable mechanism of action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antiproliferative Effects of Cynara cardunculus L. var. altilis (DC) Lipophilic Extracts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 63; doi:10.3390/ijms18010063
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
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Abstract
Besides being traditionally used to relieve hepatobiliary disorders, Cynara cardunculus L. has evidenced anticancer potential on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study highlights the antiproliferative effects of lipophilic extracts from C. cardunculus L. var. altilis (DC) leaves and florets, and of their major
[...] Read more.
Besides being traditionally used to relieve hepatobiliary disorders, Cynara cardunculus L. has evidenced anticancer potential on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study highlights the antiproliferative effects of lipophilic extracts from C. cardunculus L. var. altilis (DC) leaves and florets, and of their major compounds, namely cynaropicrin and taraxasteryl acetate, against MDA-MB-231 cells. Our results demonstrated that MDA-MB-231 cells were much less resistant to leaves extract (IC50 10.39 µg/mL) than to florets extract (IC50 315.22 µg/mL), during 48 h. Moreover, leaves extract and cynaropicrin (IC50 6.19 µg/mL) suppressed MDA-MB-231 cells colonies formation, via an anchorage-independent growth assay. Leaves extract and cynaropicrin were also assessed regarding their regulation on caspase-3 activity, by using a spectrophotometric assay, and expression levels of G2/mitosis checkpoint and Akt signaling pathway proteins, by Western blotting. Leaves extract increased caspase-3 activity, while cynaropicrin did not affect it. Additionally, they caused p21Waf1/Cip1 upregulation, as well as cyclin B1 and phospho(Tyr15)-CDK1 accumulation, which may be related to G2 cell cycle arrest. They also downregulated phospho(Ser473)-Akt, without changing total Akt1 level. Cynaropicrin probably contributed to leaves extract antiproliferative action. These promising insights suggest that cultivated cardoon leaves lipophilic extract and cynaropicrin may be considered toward a natural-based therapeutic approach on TNBC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Extract Supplementation in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed with a High-Fat Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 13; doi:10.3390/ijms18010013
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) lipophilic and polar extract dietary supplementation effects were evaluated according to diabetes management indices, using an in vivo model. A research pipeline was constructed, that ranged from extract preparation, partial chemical characterization and toxicity evaluation, to examining the
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Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) lipophilic and polar extract dietary supplementation effects were evaluated according to diabetes management indices, using an in vivo model. A research pipeline was constructed, that ranged from extract preparation, partial chemical characterization and toxicity evaluation, to examining the elderberry extract dietary supplementation effects on biofluid and tissues. Extracts toxicity was screened using an Aliivibrio fischeri bioluminescence model. A concentration of up to 60 mg/L was selected, and rat doses for oral supplementation were computed applying the interspecies correlation between A. fischeri and rats. Wistar type 2 diabetic rats, induced by streptozotocin (STZ), were fed a high-fat diet and supplemented for 4 weeks at doses of 190 and 350 mg/kg body weight/day of lipophilic and polar extract, respectively. As far as we know, lipophilic elderberry extract supplementation was assessed for the first time, while polar extract was administrated at higher doses and for a shorter period compared to previous studies, aiming to evaluate subacute supplementation effects. The polar extract modulated glucose metabolism by correcting hyperglycemia, while the lipophilic extract lowered insulin secretion. Both extracts lowered insulin resistance, without remarkable alterations to hematological indices, sera lipids and sera and tissular trace element homeostasis. In conclusion, elderberries are a potential source of bioactive compounds for formulations to be used as co-adjuvants in diabetes management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fatty Acid and Phenolic Compound Concentrations in Eight Different Monovarietal Virgin Olive Oils from Extremadura and the Relationship with Oxidative Stability
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1960; doi:10.3390/ijms17111960
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olive oils have been shown to be more resistant to oxidation than other vegetable fats, mainly due to their fatty acid (FA) profile which is rich in oleic acid and to their high content of antioxidants, principally phenols and tocopherols. This has situated
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Olive oils have been shown to be more resistant to oxidation than other vegetable fats, mainly due to their fatty acid (FA) profile which is rich in oleic acid and to their high content of antioxidants, principally phenols and tocopherols. This has situated virgin olive oils (VOOs) among the fats of high nutritional quality. However, it is important to stress that the oil’s commercial category (olive oil, virgin olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil), the variety of the source plant, and the extraction-conservation systems all decisively influence the concentration of these antioxidants and the oil’s shelf-life. The present work studied the fatty acid (FA) and phenolic composition and the oxidative stability (OS) of eight olive varieties grown in Extremadura (Arbequina, Cornicabra, Manzanilla Cacereña, Manzanilla de Sevilla, Morisca, Pico Limón, Picual, and Verdial de Badajoz), with the olives being harvested at different locations and dates. The Cornicabra, Picual, and Manzanilla Cacereña VOOs were found to have high oleic acid contents (>77.0%), while the VOOs of Morisca and Verdial de Badajoz had high linoleic acid contents (>14.5%). Regarding the phenol content, high values were found in the Cornicabra (633 mg·kg−1) and Morisca (550 mg·kg−1) VOOs, and low values in Arbequina (200 mg·kg−1). The OS was found to depend upon both the variety and the date of harvesting. It was higher in the Cornicabra and Picual oils (>55 h), and lower in those of Verdial de Badajoz (26.3 h), Arbequina (29.8 h), and Morisca (31.5 h). In relating phenols and FAs with the OS, it was observed that, while the latter, particularly the linoleic content (R = −0.710, p < 0.001, n = 135), constitute the most influential factors, the phenolic compounds, especially o-diphenols, are equally influential when the oils’ linoleic content is ≥12.5% (R = 0.674, p < 0.001, n = 47). The results show that VOOs’ resistance to oxidation depends not only on the FA or phenolic profile, but also on the interaction of these compounds within the same matrix. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Luteolin and Quercetin in Combination with Some Conventional Antibiotics against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1947; doi:10.3390/ijms17111947
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of flavonoids luteolin (L) and quercetin + luteolin (Q + L) in combination with commonly used antibacterial agents against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates and S. aureus (ATCC 43300). Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs)
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The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of flavonoids luteolin (L) and quercetin + luteolin (Q + L) in combination with commonly used antibacterial agents against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates and S. aureus (ATCC 43300). Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of L and Q + L, as well as the MICs of flavonoids in combination with antibiotics were determined and results showed an increased activity of flavonoids with antibiotics. The synergistic, additive, or antagonistic relationships between flavonoids (L and Q + L) and antibiotics were also evaluated, and additive and synergistic effects were observed for some antibiotic + flavonoid combinations. In addition, some combinations were also found to damage the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, as assessed through potassium leakage assay. The effects of flavonoids and flavonoids + antibiotics on mecA gene mutations were also tested, and no functional variation was detected in the coding region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Evolution of Total Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activities during Ripening of Grapes (Vitis vinifera L., cv. Tempranillo) Grown in Semiarid Region: Effects of Cluster Thinning and Water Deficit
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1923; doi:10.3390/ijms17111923
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study was made of how water status (rainfed vs. irrigated) and crop load (no cluster thinning vs. cluster thinning) can together affect the grapes of Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo vines growing in a semiarid zone of Extremadura (Spain). The grapes were monitored
[...] Read more.
A study was made of how water status (rainfed vs. irrigated) and crop load (no cluster thinning vs. cluster thinning) can together affect the grapes of Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo vines growing in a semiarid zone of Extremadura (Spain). The grapes were monitored at different stages of ripening, measuring the peroxidase (POX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant activities and the phenolic content (flavonoids and phenylpropanoids), together with other parameters. The irrigation regime was adjusted to provide 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc). The findings confirmed previous results that both thinning and water deficit advance ripening, while irrigation and high crop load (no thinning) lengthen the growth cycle. The SOD activity remained practically constant throughout ripening in the thinned treatments and was always lower than in the unthinned treatments, an aspect which could have been the cause of the observed greater level of lipid peroxidation in the water deficit, thinned treatment. The nonspecific peroxidase activity was very low, especially in the thinned treatments. The effect of thinning was enhanced when combined with water deficit, inducing increases in phenylpropanoids and, above all, flavonoids at the harvest stage of ripening, while leaving the polyphenol oxidase activity (PPO) unaffected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Melanogenic Activities of Heracleum moellendorffii via ERK1/2-Mediated MITF Downregulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1844; doi:10.3390/ijms17111844
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
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Abstract
In this study, the anti-melanogenic effects of Heracleum moellendorffii Hance extract (HmHe) and the mechanisms through which it inhibits melanogenesis in melan-a cells were investigated. Mushroom tyrosinase (TYR) activity and melanin content as well as cellular tyrosinase activity were measured in the cells.
[...] Read more.
In this study, the anti-melanogenic effects of Heracleum moellendorffii Hance extract (HmHe) and the mechanisms through which it inhibits melanogenesis in melan-a cells were investigated. Mushroom tyrosinase (TYR) activity and melanin content as well as cellular tyrosinase activity were measured in the cells. mRNA and protein expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase (TYR), TYR-related protein-1 (TYRP-1) and -2 were also examined. The results demonstrate that treatment with HmHe significantly inhibits mushroom tyrosinase activity. Furthermore, HmHe also markedly inhibits melanin production and intracellular tyrosinase activity. By suppressing the expression of TYR, TYRP-1, TYRP-2, and MITF, HmHe treatment antagonized melanin production in melan-a cells. Additionally, HmHe interfered with the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, with reversal of HmHe-induced melanogenesis inhibition after treatment with specific inhibitor U0126. In summary, HmHe can be said to stimulate ERK1/2 phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of MITF, resulting in suppression of melanogenic enzymes and melanin production, possibly due to the presence of polyphenolic compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Chemical Composition of Essential Oils from Cinnamomum camphora and Their Insecticidal Activity against the Stored Product Pests
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1836; doi:10.3390/ijms17111836
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 22 September 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
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Abstract
To investigate the chemical composition and insecticidal activity of the essential oils of certain Chinese medicinal herbs and spices, the essential oils were extracted from the stem barks, leaves, and fruits of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl, which were found to possess strong fumigant
[...] Read more.
To investigate the chemical composition and insecticidal activity of the essential oils of certain Chinese medicinal herbs and spices, the essential oils were extracted from the stem barks, leaves, and fruits of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl, which were found to possess strong fumigant toxicity against Tribolium castaneum and Lasioderma serricorne adults. The essential oils of the plants were extracted by the method of steam distillation using a Clavenger apparatus. Their composition was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analyses (HP-5MS column), and their insecticidal activity was measured by seal-spaced fumigation. D-camphor (51.3%), 1,8-cineole (4.3%), and α-terpineol (3.8%), while D-camphor (28.1%), linalool (22.9%), and 1,8-cineole (5.3%) were the main constituents of its fruits. The essential oils of the C. camphora all showed fumigant and contact toxicity. Other compounds exhibited various levels of bioactivities. The results indicate that the essential oils of C. camphora and its individual compounds can be considered a natural resource for the two stored-product insect management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Compositional HJ-Biplot—A New Approach to Identifying the Links among Bioactive Compounds of Tomatoes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1828; doi:10.3390/ijms17111828
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
PDF Full-text (1124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tomatoes have been described as a functional food because of their particular composition of different bioactive compounds. In this study, the proximate composition, minerals and trace elements, and antioxidant compounds were determined in two tomato cultivars (Mariana and Dunkan) that were grown in
[...] Read more.
Tomatoes have been described as a functional food because of their particular composition of different bioactive compounds. In this study, the proximate composition, minerals and trace elements, and antioxidant compounds were determined in two tomato cultivars (Mariana and Dunkan) that were grown in Gran Canaria (Spain) either conventionally or hydroponically. Although compositional data of this type require being subjected to the specific statistical techniques of compositional analysis, this approach has not usually been considered in this context. In the present case, a compositional Mann–Whitney U test of the data showed significant differences for each factor (cultivar and cultivation system) in several of the compositional variables studied. For the differences between cultivars, these parameters were the protein, Mg, lycopene, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and fumaric acid contents. For the differences between cultivation systems, they were mainly those of the mineral and trace elements group. Although one-year data are insufficient to make clear relationship among compounds because more repetitions in several localities and years are necessary, the compositional HJ-biplot (in which the links provide estimates of the linear relationship among variables) results agreed with other scientific results about linear relationship among some compounds analyzed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trans-Stilbenes in Commercial Grape Juices: Quantification Using HPLC Approaches
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1769; doi:10.3390/ijms17101769
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 24 October 2016
PDF Full-text (1277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trans-stilbenes belong to the group of polyphenolic phytoalexins, and occur in many plant foods. These compounds have received great attention by researchers due to their well-known beneficial health effects. In the present study a chromatographic method that comprises the use of variable
[...] Read more.
Trans-stilbenes belong to the group of polyphenolic phytoalexins, and occur in many plant foods. These compounds have received great attention by researchers due to their well-known beneficial health effects. In the present study a chromatographic method that comprises the use of variable wavelength (VWD) and fluorescence (FLD) detectors in series for the analysis of trans-stilbenes is presented. The relation of peak-area obtained with both detectors is proposed as an alternative and complementary approach for the rapid identification of these phenolic compounds. The proposed method was applied to determine trans-stilbenes in commercial fruit juices. Trans-piceid was the most common trans-stilbene found in the samples analyzed. The method was validated in terms of linearity, sensitivity and repeatability. Appropriate sensitivity and good linearity (r2 > 0.9991) were achieved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Bioactivity, Volatile and Fatty Acid Profile in Supercritical Fluid Extracts of Mexican arnica
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1528; doi:10.3390/ijms17091528
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 12 September 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a sustainable technique used for the extraction of lipophilic metabolites such as pigments and fatty acids. Arnica plant is considered a potential candidate material with high antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Therefore, in this study, a locally available Heterotheca
[...] Read more.
Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a sustainable technique used for the extraction of lipophilic metabolites such as pigments and fatty acids. Arnica plant is considered a potential candidate material with high antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Therefore, in this study, a locally available Heterotheca inuloides, also known as Mexican arnica, was analyzed for the extraction of high-value compounds. Based on different pressure (P), temperature (T), and co-solvent (CoS), four treatments (T) were prepared. A maximum 7.13% yield was recovered from T2 (T = 60 °C, P = 10 MPa, CoS = 8 g/min), followed by 6.69% from T4 (T = 60 °C, P = 30 MPa, CoS = 4 g/min). Some bioactive sesquiterpenoids such as 7-hydroxycadalene, caryophyllene and δ-cadinene were identified in the extracts by GC/MS. The fatty acid profile revealed that the main components were palmitic acid (C16:0), followed by linoleic acid (C18:2ω6c), α-linolenic acid (C18:3ω3) and stearic acid (C18:0) differing in percent yield per treatment. Antibacterial activities were determined by the agar diffusion method, indicating that all the treatments exerted strong antibacterial activity against S. aureus, C. albicans, and E. coli strains. The antioxidant capacity of the extracts was also measured by three in vitro assays, DPPH, TEAC and FRAP, using Trolox as a standard. Results showed high antioxidant capacity enabling pharmaceutical applications of Mexican arnica. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phyllanthus emblica Fruit Extract Activates Spindle Assembly Checkpoint, Prevents Mitotic Aberrations and Genomic Instability in Human Colon Epithelial NCM460 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1437; doi:10.3390/ijms17091437
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 3 September 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2050 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fruit of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (PE) has been widely consumed as a functional food and folk medicine in Southeast Asia due to its remarkable nutritional and pharmacological effects. Previous research showed PE delays mitotic progress and increases genomic instability (GIN) in human
[...] Read more.
The fruit of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (PE) has been widely consumed as a functional food and folk medicine in Southeast Asia due to its remarkable nutritional and pharmacological effects. Previous research showed PE delays mitotic progress and increases genomic instability (GIN) in human colorectal cancer cells. This study aimed to investigate the similar effects of PE by the biomarkers related to spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), mitotic aberrations and GIN in human NCM460 normal colon epithelial cells. Cells were treated with PE and harvested differently according to the biomarkers observed. Frequencies of micronuclei (MN), nucleoplasmic bridge (NPB) and nuclear bud (NB) in cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay were used as indicators of GIN. Mitotic aberrations were assessed by the biomarkers of chromosome misalignment, multipolar division, chromosome lagging and chromatin bridge. SAC activity was determined by anaphase-to- metaphase ratio (AMR) and the expression of core SAC gene budding uninhibited by benzimidazoles related 1 (BubR1). Compared with the control, PE-treated cells showed (1) decreased incidences of MN, NPB and NB (p < 0.01); (2) decreased frequencies of all mitotic aberration biomarkers (p < 0.01); and (3) decreased AMR (p < 0.01) and increased BubR1 expression (p < 0.001). The results revealed PE has the potential to protect human normal colon epithelial cells from mitotic and genomic damages partially by enhancing the function of SAC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity and Composition of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seed Extracts—In Vitro and in Vivo Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1456; doi:10.3390/ijms17091456
Received: 9 July 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1931 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A significant number of studies report growing resistance in nematodes thriving in both humans and livestock. This study was conducted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic efficiency of Curcubita pepo (C. pepo) L. hot water extract (HWE), cold
[...] Read more.
A significant number of studies report growing resistance in nematodes thriving in both humans and livestock. This study was conducted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic efficiency of Curcubita pepo (C. pepo) L. hot water extract (HWE), cold water extract (CWE) or ethanol extract (ETE) on two model nematodes: Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and Heligmosoides bakeri (H. bakeri). Methods: Raman, IR and LC-MS spectroscopy analyses were performed on the studied plant material to deliver qualitative and quantitative data on the composition of the obtained extracts: ETE, HWE and CWE. The in vitro activity evaluation showed an impact of C. pepo extracts on C. elegans and different developmental stages of H. bakeri. The following in vivo experiments on mice infected with H. bakeri confirmed inhibitory properties of the most active pumpkin extract selected by the in vitro study. All of the extracts were found to contain cucurbitine, aminoacids, fatty acids, and-for the first time-berberine and palmatine were identified. All C. pepo seed extracts exhibited a nematidicidal potential in vitro, affecting the survival of L1 and L2 H. bakeri larvae. The ETE was the strongest and demonstrated a positive effect on H. bakeri eggs hatching and marked inhibitory properties against worm motility, compared to a PBS control. No significant effects of pumpkin seed extracts on C. elegans integrity or motility were found. The EtOH extract in the in vivo studies showed anthelmintic properties against both H. bakeri fecal egg counts and adult worm burdens. The highest egg counts reduction was observed for the 8 g/kg dose (IC50 against H. bakeri = 2.43; 95% Cl = 2.01–2.94). A decrease in faecal egg counts (FEC) was accompanied by a significant reduction in worm burden of the treated mice compared to the control group. Conclusions: Pumpkin seed extracts may be used to control of Gastrointestinal (G.I.) nematode infections. This relatively inexpensive alternative to the currently available chemotherapeutic should be considered as a novel drug candidate in the nearest future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Potential of Pseudoshikonin I Isolated from Lithospermi Radix as Inhibitors of MMPs in IL-1β-Induced SW1353 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1350; doi:10.3390/ijms17081350
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 24 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pseudoshikonin I, the new bioactive constituent of Lithospermi radix, was isolated from this methanol extract by employing reverse-phase medium-pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) using acetonitrile/water solvent system as eluents. The chemical structure was determined based on spectroscopic techniques, including 1D NMR (1H,
[...] Read more.
Pseudoshikonin I, the new bioactive constituent of Lithospermi radix, was isolated from this methanol extract by employing reverse-phase medium-pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) using acetonitrile/water solvent system as eluents. The chemical structure was determined based on spectroscopic techniques, including 1D NMR (1H, 13C, DEPT), 2D NMR (gCOSY, gHMBC, gHMQC), and QTOF/MS data. In this study, we demonstrated the effect of pseudoshikonin I on matrix-metalloproteinase (MMPs) activation and expression in interleukin (IL)-1β-induced SW1353 chondrosarcoma cells. MMPs are considered important for the maintenance of the extracellular matrix. Following treatment with PS, active MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, -13 and TIMP-2 were quantified in the SW1353 cell culture supernatants using a commercially available ELISA kit. The mRNA expression of MMPs in SW1353 cells was measured by RT-PCR. Pseudoshikonin I treatment effectively protected the activation on all tested MMPs in a dose-dependent manner. TIMP-2 mRNA expression was significantly upregulated by pseudoshikonin I treatment. Overall, we elucidated the inhibitory effect of pseudoshikonin on MMPs, and we suggest its use as a potential novel anti-osteoarthritis agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Suppression of Lipid Accumulation by Indole-3-Carbinol Is Associated with Increased Expression of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and CYP1B1 Proteins in Adipocytes and with Decreased Adipocyte-Stimulated Endothelial Tube Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1256; doi:10.3390/ijms17081256
Received: 24 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) on adipogenesis- and angiogenesis-associated factors in mature adipocytes. The cross-talk between mature adipocytes and endothelial cells (ECs) was also explored by cultivating ECs in a conditioned medium (CM) by using I3C-treated adipocytes. The results revealed
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) on adipogenesis- and angiogenesis-associated factors in mature adipocytes. The cross-talk between mature adipocytes and endothelial cells (ECs) was also explored by cultivating ECs in a conditioned medium (CM) by using I3C-treated adipocytes. The results revealed that I3C significantly inhibited triglyceride accumulation in mature adipocytes in association with significantly increased expression of AhR and CYP1B1 proteins as well as slightly decreased nuclear factor erythroid-derived factor 2–related factor 2, hormone-sensitive lipase, and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase expression by mature adipocytes. Furthermore, I3C inhibited CM-stimulated endothelial tube formation, which was accompanied by the modulated secretion of angiogenic factors in adipocytes, including vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-6, matrix metalloproteinases, and nitric oxide. In conclusion, I3C reduced lipid droplet accumulation in adipocytes and suppressed adipocyte-stimulated angiogenesis in ECs, suggesting that I3C is a potential therapeutic agent for treating obesity and obesity-associated disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bavachin from Psoralea corylifolia Improves Insulin-Dependent Glucose Uptake through Insulin Signaling and AMPK Activation in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 527; doi:10.3390/ijms17040527
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 1 April 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The fruit of Psoralea corylifolia L. (Fabaceae) (PC), known as “Bo-Gol-Zhee” in Korea has been used as traditional medicine. Ethanol and aqueous extracts of PC have an anti-hyperglycemic effect by increasing plasma insulin levels and decreasing blood glucose and total plasma
[...] Read more.
The fruit of Psoralea corylifolia L. (Fabaceae) (PC), known as “Bo-Gol-Zhee” in Korea has been used as traditional medicine. Ethanol and aqueous extracts of PC have an anti-hyperglycemic effect by increasing plasma insulin levels and decreasing blood glucose and total plasma cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetic rats. In this study, we purified six compounds from PC and investigated their anti-diabetic effect. Among the purified compounds, bavachin most potently accumulated lipids during adipocyte differentiation. Intracellular lipid accumulation was measured by Oil Red-O (ORO) cell staining to investigate the effect of compounds on adipogenesis. Consistently, bavachin activated gene expression of adipogenic transcriptional factors, proliferator-activated receptorγ (PPARγ) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α (C/EBPα). Bavachin also increased adiponectin expression and secretion in adipocytes. Moreover, bavachin increased insulin-induced glucose uptake by differentiated adipocytes and myoblasts. In differentiated adipocytes, we found that bavachin enhanced glucose uptake via glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation by activating the Akt and 5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway in the presence or absence of insulin. These results suggest that bavachin from Psoralea corylifolia might have therapeutic potential for type 2 diabetes by activating insulin signaling pathways. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview State of the Art on Functional Virgin Olive Oils Enriched with Bioactive Compounds and Their Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 668; doi:10.3390/ijms18030668
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1692 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Virgin olive oil, the main fat of the Mediterranean diet, is per se considered as a functional food—as stated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)—due to its content in healthy compounds. The daily intake of endogenous bioactive phenolics from virgin olive oil
[...] Read more.
Virgin olive oil, the main fat of the Mediterranean diet, is per se considered as a functional food—as stated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)—due to its content in healthy compounds. The daily intake of endogenous bioactive phenolics from virgin olive oil is variable due to the influence of multiple agronomic and technological factors. Thus, a good strategy to ensure an optimal intake of polyphenols through habitual diet would be to produce enriched virgin olive oil with well-known bioactive polyphenols. Different sources of natural biological active substances can be potentially used to enrich virgin olive oil (e.g., raw materials derived from the same olive tree, mainly olive leaves and pomaces, and/or other compounds from plants and vegetables, mainly herbs and spices). The development of these functional olive oils may help in prevention of chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, immune frailty, ageing disorders and degenerative diseases) and improving the quality of life for many consumers reducing health care costs. In the present review, the most relevant scientific information related to the development of enriched virgin olive oil and their positive human health effects has been collected and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP)-Activated Protein Kinase: A New Target for Nutraceutical Compounds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 288; doi:10.3390/ijms18020288
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 29 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important energy sensor which is activated by increases in adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio and/or adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/ATP ratio, and increases different metabolic pathways such as fatty acid oxidation, glucose transport and mitochondrial biogenesis.
[...] Read more.
Abstract: Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important energy sensor which is activated by increases in adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio and/or adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/ATP ratio, and increases different metabolic pathways such as fatty acid oxidation, glucose transport and mitochondrial biogenesis. In this sense, AMPK maintains cellular energy homeostasis by induction of catabolism and inhibition of ATP-consuming biosynthetic pathways to preserve ATP levels. Several studies indicate a reduction of AMPK sensitivity to cellular stress during aging and this could impair the downstream signaling and the maintenance of the cellular energy balance and the stress resistance. However, several diseases have been related with an AMPK dysfunction. Alterations in AMPK signaling decrease mitochondrial biogenesis, increase cellular stress and induce inflammation, which are typical events of the aging process and have been associated to several pathological processes. In this sense, in the last few years AMPK has been identified as a very interesting target and different nutraceutical compounds are being studied for an interesting potential effect on AMPK induction. In this review, we will evaluate the interaction of the different nutraceutical compounds to induce the AMPK phosphorylation and the applications in diseases such as cancer, type II diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases or cardiovascular diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview Overall Quality of Fruits and Vegetables Products Affected by the Drying Processes with the Assistance of Vacuum-Microwaves
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 71; doi:10.3390/ijms18010071
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 25 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The seasonality of fruits and vegetables makes it impossible to consume and use them throughout the year, thus numerous processing efforts have been made to offer an alternative to their fresh consumption and application. To prolong their availability on the market, drying has
[...] Read more.
The seasonality of fruits and vegetables makes it impossible to consume and use them throughout the year, thus numerous processing efforts have been made to offer an alternative to their fresh consumption and application. To prolong their availability on the market, drying has received special attention as currently this method is considered one of the most common ways for obtaining food and pharmaceutical products from natural sources. This paper demonstrates the weakness of common drying methods applied for fruits and vegetables and the possible ways to improve the quality using different drying techniques or their combination with an emphasis on the microwave energy. Particular attention has been drawn to the combined drying with the assistance of vacuum-microwaves. The quality of the dried products was ascribed by chemical properties including the content of polyphenols, antioxidant capacity and volatiles as well as physical parameters such as color, shrinkage, porosity and texture. Both these fields of quality classification were considered taking into account sensory attributes and energy aspects in the perspective of possible industrial applications. In conclusion, the most promising way for improving the quality of dried fruit and vegetable products is hybrid drying consisting of osmotic dehydration in concentrated fruit juices followed by heat pump drying and vacuum-microwave finish drying. Full article
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Open AccessReview Moringa oleifera Seeds and Oil: Characteristics and Uses for Human Health
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2141; doi:10.3390/ijms17122141
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moringa oleifera seeds are a promising resource for food and non-food applications, due to their content of monounsaturated fatty acids with a high monounsaturated/saturated fatty acids (MUFA/SFA) ratio, sterols and tocopherols, as well as proteins rich in sulfated amino acids. The rapid growth
[...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera seeds are a promising resource for food and non-food applications, due to their content of monounsaturated fatty acids with a high monounsaturated/saturated fatty acids (MUFA/SFA) ratio, sterols and tocopherols, as well as proteins rich in sulfated amino acids. The rapid growth of Moringa trees in subtropical and tropical areas, even under conditions of prolonged drought, makes this plant a reliable resource to enhance the nutritional status of local populations and, if rationalized cultivation practices are exploited, their economy, given that a biodiesel fuel could be produced from a source not in competition with human food crops. Despite the relatively diffuse use of Moringa seeds and their oil in traditional medicine, no pharmacological activity study has been conducted on humans. Some encouraging evidence, however, justifies new efforts to obtain clear and definitive information on the benefits to human health arising from seed consumption. A critical review of literature data concerning the composition of Moringa oil has set in motion a plan for future investigations. Such investigations, using the seeds and oil, will focus on cultivation conditions to improve plant production, and will study the health effects on human consumers of Moringa seeds and their oil. Full article
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Open AccessReview Biological Activities of Extracts from Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.): A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1983; doi:10.3390/ijms17121983
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years. Research shows that
[...] Read more.
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years. Research shows that loquat extracts contain many antioxidants, and different extracts exhibit bioactivity capable of counteracting inflammation, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, aging, pain, allergy and other health issues. Bioactive compounds such as phenolics and terpenoids have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of loquat extracts. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism, bioavailability, and structure–activity relationships, as well as potential toxicity of loquat extracts in animal or cell models are receiving more attention. In addition, genetic studies and breeding of loquat germplasms for high contents of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the loquat industry and research. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different loquat extracts. Full article
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Open AccessReview Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Wild Fruits
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1258; doi:10.3390/ijms17081258
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wild fruits are exotic or underutilized. Wild fruits contain many bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins and flavonoids. Many studies have shown that wild fruits possess various bioactivities and health benefits, such as free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer activity. Therefore, wild
[...] Read more.
Wild fruits are exotic or underutilized. Wild fruits contain many bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins and flavonoids. Many studies have shown that wild fruits possess various bioactivities and health benefits, such as free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer activity. Therefore, wild fruits have the potential to be developed into functional foods or pharmaceuticals to prevent and treat several chronic diseases. In the present article, we review current knowledge about the bioactivities and health benefits of wild fruits, which is valuable for the exploitation and utilization of wild fruits. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The evaluation of anthelmintic activity and composition of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed extracts – in vitro and in vivo studies
Authors: Maciej Grzybek 1,2, Wirginia Kukula-Koch 3, Aneta Strachecka 4, Aleksandra Jaworska 5,6, Andrew M. Phiri 7,8 , Krzysztof Tomczuk 1
Affiliations:

  1. Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 12 Akademicka Street, 20-950 Lublin, Poland.
  2. Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Science, Jastrzebiec, 36A Postepu Street, 05-552 Magdalenka, Poland.
  3. Chair and Department of Pharmacognosy with Medicinal Plants Unit, Medical University of Lublin, 1 Chodzki Street, 20-084 Lublin, Poland. Email:
  4. Faculty of Biology and Animal Breeding, Department of Biological Basis of  Animal Production, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 12 Akademicka Street, 20-950 Lublin, Poland. Email: strachecka@up.lublin.pl
  5. Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, 3 Ingardena Str., 30-060 Krakow, Poland;
  6. Jagiellonian Centre for Experimental Therapeutics (JCET), Jagiellonian University, 14 Bobrzynskiego Str., 30-348 Krakow, Poland; Email:
  7. School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, Nottingham, UK.
  8. Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia. Email: phiri@unza.zm

Title: The evaluation of anthelmintic activity and composition of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed extracts – in vitro and in vivo studies

Authors: Maciej Grzybek 1,2, Wirginia Kukula-Koch 3, Aneta Strachecka 4, Aleksandra Jaworska 5,6, Andrew M. Phiri 7,8 , Krzysztof Tomczuk 1

Affiliations:

  1. Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 12 Akademicka Street, 20-950 Lublin, Poland.
  2. Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Science, Jastrzebiec, 36A Postepu Street, 05-552 Magdalenka, Poland.
  3. Chair and Department of Pharmacognosy with Medicinal Plants Unit, Medical University of Lublin, 1 Chodzki Street, 20-084 Lublin, Poland. Email:
  4. Faculty of Biology and Animal Breeding, Department of Biological Basis of  Animal Production, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 12 Akademicka Street, 20-950 Lublin, Poland. Email: strachecka@up.lublin.pl
  5. Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, 3 Ingardena Str., 30-060 Krakow, Poland;
  6. Jagiellonian Centre for Experimental Therapeutics (JCET), Jagiellonian University, 14 Bobrzynskiego Str., 30-348 Krakow, Poland; Email:
  7. School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, Nottingham, UK.
  8. Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia. Email: phiri@unza.zm

Abstract: Background: Significant number of studies report spreading resistance in nematodes of both humans and the livestock. This study was conducted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic efficiency of Curcubita pepo L. hot water (HWE), cold water (CWE) or ethanol (ETE) extracts on two model nematodes: Caenorhabditis elegans and Heligmosoides bakeri. Methods: Raman, IR and LC-MS spectroscopy analyses were performed on the studied plant material to deliver qualitative and quantitative data on the composition of the obtained extracts: ETE, HWE and CWE. The in vitro activity evaluation showed the impact of C. pepo extracts on C. elegans and different developmental stages of H. bakeri. The following in vivo experiments on infected mice developed the study on H. bakeri inhibitory properties of the most active pumpkin extract selected by the in vitro study. Results: All extracts were found to contain cucurbitine, aminoacids, fatty acids, and for the first time -berberine and palmatine. All C. pepo seed extracts exhibited nematidicidal potential in vitro, affecting the survival of L1 and L2 H. bakeri larvae. EtOH extract was the strongest one and showed a positive effect on H. bakeri eggs hatching and marked inhibitory properties against worm motility, compared to a PBS control. . No significant effects of pumpkin seed extracts on C. elegans integrity or motility were found. EtOH extract in the in vivo studies showed anthelmintic properties against both H. bakeri fecal egg counts and adult worm burdens. The highest egg counts reduction was observed for the 8g/kg dose (IC50 against H. bakeri=2.43; 95% CL = 2.01–2.94). The decreasing FEC was accompanied by a significant reduction in worm burden of the treated mice compared to the control group.

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