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Special Issue "20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2015)

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
Prof. Dr. Etsuo Niki

Health Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, 1-8-31 Midorigaoka, Ikeda, Osaka 563-8577, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +81-72 751 9991
Interests: antioxidants: mechanisms and dynamics of action; free radical; lipid oxidation; oxidative stress; vitamin E
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. José L. Quiles

Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology "José Mataix Verdú", Department of Physiology, Biomedical Research Center, Health Sciences's Technological Park, University of Granada, Avenida del Conocimiento s/n 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nutrition, aging, oxidative stress, mitochondria, olive oil, coenzyme Q. health aspects of nutrients

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2015 we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our journal Molecules. To date the journal has published more than 7,000 papers and the journal website attracts 60,000 monthly visits and more than 200,000 monthly page-views. Thanks to our readers, innumerable authors, anonymous peer reviewers, editors, and all the people working in some way for the journal who have joined their efforts for years. Without your help, we will never achieve this.

To mark that important milestone, a special issue entitled “Recent Advances in Natural Products” is being launched. This special issue collects high quality review papers in natural products chemistry research fields. We kindly encourage all research groups covering various areas to contribute an up-to-date, comprehensive review, highlighting the latest development in natural products chemistry.

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Battino
Prof. Dr. José L. Quiles
Prof. Dr. Etsuo Niki
Guest Editors

molecules 20

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. Molecules 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.

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview A Systematic Review on the Implication of Minerals in the Onset, Severity and Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1183; doi:10.3390/molecules21091183
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
PDF Full-text (799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease with high prevalence in adults that leads to destruction of the teeth-supporting tissues. Periodontal therapy has been traditionally directed at reduction of the bacterial load to a level that encourages health-promoting bacteria and maintenance of oral-hygiene. The
[...] Read more.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease with high prevalence in adults that leads to destruction of the teeth-supporting tissues. Periodontal therapy has been traditionally directed at reduction of the bacterial load to a level that encourages health-promoting bacteria and maintenance of oral-hygiene. The role of nutrition in different chronic inflammatory diseases has been the subject of an increasing body of research in the last decades. In this sense, there has been an important increase in the volume of research on role of nutrition in periodontitis since the diet has known effects on the immune system and inflammatory cascades. Minerals play a key role in all these processes due to the multiple pathways where they participate. To clarify the role of the different minerals in the establishment, progression and/or treatment of this pathology, a systemically review of published literature cited in PubMed until May 2016 was conducted, which included research on the relationship of these elements with the onset and progression of periodontal disease. Among all the minerals, calcium dietary intake seems important to maintain alveolar bone. Likewise, dietary proportions of minerals that may influence its metabolism also can be relevant. Lastly, some observations suggest that all those minerals with roles in immune and/or antioxidant systems should be considered in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
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Open AccessReview Antioxidative and Antidiabetic Effects of Natural Polyphenols and Isoflavones
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 708; doi:10.3390/molecules21060708
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1021 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many polyphenols that contain more than two phenolic hydroxyl groups are natural antioxidants and can provide health benefits to humans. These polyphenols include, for example, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, catechin, chlorogenic acids, hesperidin, nobiletin, and isoflavones. These have been studied widely because of their strong
[...] Read more.
Many polyphenols that contain more than two phenolic hydroxyl groups are natural antioxidants and can provide health benefits to humans. These polyphenols include, for example, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, catechin, chlorogenic acids, hesperidin, nobiletin, and isoflavones. These have been studied widely because of their strong radical-scavenging and antioxidative effects. These effects may contribute to the prevention of diseases, such as diabetes. Insulin secretion, insulin resistance, and homeostasis are important factors in the onset of diabetes, a disease that is associated with dysfunction of pancreatic β-cells. Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to this dysfunction and the effects of antioxidants on the pathogenesis of diabetes have, therefore, been investigated. Here, we summarize the antioxidative effects of polyphenols from the perspective of their radical-scavenging activities as well as their effects on signal transduction pathways. We also describe the preventative effects of polyphenols on diabetes by referring to recent studies including those reported by us. Appropriate analytical approaches for evaluating antioxidants in studies on the prevention of diabetes are comprehensively reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Recent Advances in the Analysis of Phenolic Compounds in Unifloral Honeys
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 451; doi:10.3390/molecules21040451
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Honey is one of the most renowned natural foods. Its composition is extremely variable, depending on its botanical and geographical origins, and the abundant presence of functional compounds has contributed to the increased worldwide interest is this foodstuff. In particular, great attention has
[...] Read more.
Honey is one of the most renowned natural foods. Its composition is extremely variable, depending on its botanical and geographical origins, and the abundant presence of functional compounds has contributed to the increased worldwide interest is this foodstuff. In particular, great attention has been paid by the scientific community towards classes of compounds like phenolic compounds, due to their capability to act as markers of unifloral honey origin. In this contribution the most recent progress in the assessment of new analytical procedures aimed at the definition of the qualitative and quantitative profile of phenolic compounds of honey have been highlighted. A special emphasis has been placed on the innovative aspects concerning the extraction procedures, along with the most recent strategies proposed for the analysis of phenolic compounds. Moreover, the centrality of validation procedures has been claimed and extensively discussed in order to ensure the fitness-for-purpose of the proposed analytical methods. In addition, the exploitation of the phenolic profile as a tool for the classification of the botanical and geographical origin has been described, pointing out the usefulness of chemometrics in the interpretation of data sets originating from the analysis of polyphenols. Finally, recent results in concerning the evaluation of the antioxidant properties of unifloral honeys and the development of new analytical approaches aimed at measuring this parameter have been reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
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Open AccessReview Coenzyme Q and Its Role in the Dietary Therapy against Aging
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 373; doi:10.3390/molecules21030373
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a naturally occurring molecule located in the hydrophobic domain of the phospholipid bilayer of all biological membranes. Shortly after being discovered, it was recognized as an essential electron transport chain component in mitochondria where it is particularly abundant. Since
[...] Read more.
Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a naturally occurring molecule located in the hydrophobic domain of the phospholipid bilayer of all biological membranes. Shortly after being discovered, it was recognized as an essential electron transport chain component in mitochondria where it is particularly abundant. Since then, more additional roles in cell physiology have been reported, including antioxidant, signaling, death prevention, and others. It is known that all cells are able to synthesize functionally sufficient amounts of CoQ under normal physiological conditions. However, CoQ is a molecule found in different dietary sources, which can be taken up and incorporated into biological membranes. It is known that mitochondria have a close relationship with the aging process. Additionally, delaying the aging process through diet has aroused the interest of scientists for many years. These observations have stimulated investigation of the anti-aging potential of CoQ and its possible use in dietary therapies to alleviate the effects of aging. In this context, the present review focus on the current knowledge and evidence the roles of CoQ cells, its relationship with aging, and possible implications of dietary CoQ in relation to aging, lifespan or age-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Targeting Reactive Carbonyl Species with Natural Sequestering Agents
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 280; doi:10.3390/molecules21030280
Received: 3 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
PDF Full-text (873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reactive carbonyl species generated by the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and sugars are highly reactive due to their electrophilic nature, and are able to easily react with the nucleophilic sites of proteins as well as DNA causing cellular dysfunction. Levels of reactive
[...] Read more.
Reactive carbonyl species generated by the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and sugars are highly reactive due to their electrophilic nature, and are able to easily react with the nucleophilic sites of proteins as well as DNA causing cellular dysfunction. Levels of reactive carbonyl species and their reaction products have been reported to be elevated in various chronic diseases, including metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. In an effort to identify sequestering agents for reactive carbonyl species, various analytical techniques such as spectrophotometry, high performance liquid chromatography, western blot, and mass spectrometry have been utilized. In particular, recent advances using a novel high resolution mass spectrometry approach allows screening of complex mixtures such as natural products for their sequestering ability of reactive carbonyl species. To overcome the limited bioavailability and bioefficacy of natural products, new techniques using nanoparticles and nanocarriers may offer a new attractive strategy for increased in vivo utilization and targeted delivery of bioactives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Potential Use of Turkish Medicinal Plants in the Treatment of Various Diseases
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 257; doi:10.3390/molecules21030257
Received: 22 December 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Medicinal plants are sources of health-promoting substances, including phytochemicals and phytoalexins that comprise polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, E and several other constituents. Many studies have indicated that medicinal plants have been used to treat human diseases for thousands of years owing
[...] Read more.
Medicinal plants are sources of health-promoting substances, including phytochemicals and phytoalexins that comprise polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, E and several other constituents. Many studies have indicated that medicinal plants have been used to treat human diseases for thousands of years owing to their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Medicinal plants reduce the oxidative stress in cells and prevent cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative and digestive system disorders. These potential beneficial effects have been attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds that show antioxidant properties by acting as free radical scavengers or metal chelators, reducing the reactions that produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). Considering the importance of medicinal plants in terms of their beneficial health effects, some of the medicinally important plants grown in Turkey are covered in this review with respect to their antioxidant potential and phytochemical profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Curcumin and Health
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 264; doi:10.3390/molecules21030264
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, there are some molecules that have shown over the years a high capacity to act against relevant pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders or cancer. This article provides a brief review about the origin, bioavailability and new research on curcumin and
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, there are some molecules that have shown over the years a high capacity to act against relevant pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders or cancer. This article provides a brief review about the origin, bioavailability and new research on curcumin and synthetized derivatives. It examines the beneficial effects on health, delving into aspects such as cancer, cardiovascular effects, metabolic syndrome, antioxidant capacity, anti-inflammatory properties, and neurological, liver and respiratory disorders. Thanks to all these activities, curcumin is positioned as an interesting nutraceutical. This is the reason why it has been subjected to several modifications in its structure and administration form that have permitted an increase in bioavailability and effectiveness against different diseases, decreasing the mortality and morbidity associated to these pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Molecular Mechanisms of Inhibition of Streptococcus Species by Phytochemicals
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 215; doi:10.3390/molecules21020215
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2016 / Published: 17 February 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (981 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review paper summarizes the antibacterial effects of phytochemicals of various medicinal plants against pathogenic and cariogenic streptococcal species. The information suggests that these phytochemicals have potential as alternatives to the classical antibiotics currently used for the treatment of streptococcal infections. The phytochemicals
[...] Read more.
This review paper summarizes the antibacterial effects of phytochemicals of various medicinal plants against pathogenic and cariogenic streptococcal species. The information suggests that these phytochemicals have potential as alternatives to the classical antibiotics currently used for the treatment of streptococcal infections. The phytochemicals demonstrate direct bactericidal or bacteriostatic effects, such as: (i) prevention of bacterial adherence to mucosal surfaces of the pharynx, skin, and teeth surface; (ii) inhibition of glycolytic enzymes and pH drop; (iii) reduction of biofilm and plaque formation; and (iv) cell surface hydrophobicity. Collectively, findings from numerous studies suggest that phytochemicals could be used as drugs for elimination of infections with minimal side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Organic Nanomaterials and Their Applications in the Treatment of Oral Diseases
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 207; doi:10.3390/molecules21020207
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing interest in the development of organic nanomaterials for biomedical applications. An increasing number of studies focus on the uses of nanomaterials with organic structure for regeneration of bone, cartilage, skin or dental tissues. Solid evidence has been found for
[...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in the development of organic nanomaterials for biomedical applications. An increasing number of studies focus on the uses of nanomaterials with organic structure for regeneration of bone, cartilage, skin or dental tissues. Solid evidence has been found for several advantages of using natural or synthetic organic nanostructures in a wide variety of dental fields, from implantology, endodontics, and periodontics, to regenerative dentistry and wound healing. Most of the research is concentrated on nanoforms of chitosan, silk fibroin, synthetic polymers or their combinations, but new nanocomposites are constantly being developed. The present work reviews in detail current research on organic nanoparticles and their potential applications in the dental field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Chemopreventive and Therapeutic Effects of Edible Berries: A Focus on Colon Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 169; doi:10.3390/molecules21020169
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 30 January 2016
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (6835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Colon cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases across the world. Numerous epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in fruit, such as berries, provide significant health benefits against several types of cancer, including colon cancer. The anticancer activities of berries are attributed
[...] Read more.
Colon cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases across the world. Numerous epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in fruit, such as berries, provide significant health benefits against several types of cancer, including colon cancer. The anticancer activities of berries are attributed to their high content of phytochemicals and to their relevant antioxidant properties. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that berries and their bioactive components exert therapeutic and preventive effects against colon cancer by the suppression of inflammation, oxidative stress, proliferation and angiogenesis, through the modulation of multiple signaling pathways such as NF-κB, Wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/AKT/PKB/mTOR, and ERK/MAPK. Based on the exciting outcomes of preclinical studies, a few berries have advanced to the clinical phase. A limited number of human studies have shown that consumption of berries can prevent colorectal cancer, especially in patients at high risk (familial adenopolyposis or aberrant crypt foci, and inflammatory bowel diseases). In this review, we aim to highlight the findings of berries and their bioactive compounds in colon cancer from in vitro and in vivo studies, both on animals and humans. Thus, this review could be a useful step towards the next phase of berry research in colon cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
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Open AccessReview Olive Oil and the Hallmarks of Aging
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 163; doi:10.3390/molecules21020163
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the “hallmarks of aging”, which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication. Virtually all
[...] Read more.
Aging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the “hallmarks of aging”, which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication. Virtually all these hallmarks are targeted by dietary olive oil, particularly by virgin olive oil, since many of its beneficial effects can be accounted not only for the monounsaturated nature of its predominant fatty acid (oleic acid), but also for the bioactivity of its minor compounds, which can act on cells though both direct and indirect mechanisms due to their ability to modulate gene expression. Among the minor constituents of virgin olive oil, secoiridoids stand out for their capacity to modulate many pathways that are relevant for the aging process. Attenuation of aging-related alterations by olive oil or its minor compounds has been observed in cellular, animal and human models. How olive oil targets the hallmarks of aging could explain the improvement of health, reduced risk of aging-associated diseases, and increased longevity which have been associated with consumption of a typical Mediterranean diet containing this edible oil as the predominant fat source. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
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Open AccessReview Application of Bioactive Quercetin in Oncotherapy: From Nutrition to Nanomedicine
Molecules 2016, 21(1), 108; doi:10.3390/molecules21010108
Received: 14 November 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phytochemicals as dietary constituents are being explored for their cancer preventive properties. Quercetin is a major constituent of various dietary products and recently its anti-cancer potential has been extensively explored, revealing its anti-proliferative effect on different cancer cell lines, both in vitro and
[...] Read more.
Phytochemicals as dietary constituents are being explored for their cancer preventive properties. Quercetin is a major constituent of various dietary products and recently its anti-cancer potential has been extensively explored, revealing its anti-proliferative effect on different cancer cell lines, both in vitro and in vivo. Quercetin is known to have modulatory effects on cell apoptosis, migration and growth via various signaling pathways. Though, quercetin possesses great medicinal value, its applications as a therapeutic drug are limited. Problems like low oral bioavailability and poor aqueous solubility make quercetin an unreliable candidate for therapeutic purposes. Additionally, the rapid gastrointestinal digestion of quercetin is also a major barrier for its clinical translation. Hence, to overcome these disadvantages quercetin-based nanoformulations are being considered in recent times. Nanoformulations of quercetin have shown promising results in its uptake by the epithelial system as well as enhanced delivery to the target site. Herein we have tried to summarize various methods utilized for nanofabrication of quercetin formulations and for stable and sustained delivery of quercetin. We have also highlighted the various desirable measures for its use as a promising onco-therapeutic agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Analgesic Potential of Essential Oils
Molecules 2016, 21(1), 20; doi:10.3390/molecules21010020
Received: 7 November 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 26 November 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pain is an unpleasant sensation associated with a wide range of injuries and diseases, and affects approximately 20% of adults in the world. The discovery of new and more effective drugs that can relieve pain is an important research goal in both the
[...] Read more.
Pain is an unpleasant sensation associated with a wide range of injuries and diseases, and affects approximately 20% of adults in the world. The discovery of new and more effective drugs that can relieve pain is an important research goal in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia. This review describes studies involving antinociceptive activity of essential oils from 31 plant species. Botanical aspects of aromatic plants, mechanisms of action in pain models and chemical composition profiles of the essential oils are discussed. The data obtained in these studies demonstrate the analgesic potential of this group of natural products for therapeutic purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Membrane Interactions of Phytochemicals as Their Molecular Mechanism Applicable to the Discovery of Drug Leads from Plants
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 18923-18966; doi:10.3390/molecules201018923
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 11 October 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 16 October 2015
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In addition to interacting with functional proteins such as receptors, ion channels, and enzymes, a variety of drugs mechanistically act on membrane lipids to change the physicochemical properties of biomembranes as reported for anesthetic, adrenergic, cholinergic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antitumor, antiplatelet, antimicrobial, and
[...] Read more.
In addition to interacting with functional proteins such as receptors, ion channels, and enzymes, a variety of drugs mechanistically act on membrane lipids to change the physicochemical properties of biomembranes as reported for anesthetic, adrenergic, cholinergic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antitumor, antiplatelet, antimicrobial, and antioxidant drugs. As well as these membrane-acting drugs, bioactive plant components, phytochemicals, with amphiphilic or hydrophobic structures, are presumed to interact with biological membranes and biomimetic membranes prepared with phospholipids and cholesterol, resulting in the modification of membrane fluidity, microviscosity, order, elasticity, and permeability with the potencies being consistent with their pharmacological effects. A novel mechanistic point of view of phytochemicals would lead to a better understanding of their bioactivities, an insight into their medicinal benefits, and a strategic implication for discovering drug leads from plants. This article reviews the membrane interactions of different classes of phytochemicals by highlighting their induced changes in membrane property. The phytochemicals to be reviewed include membrane-interactive flavonoids, terpenoids, stilbenoids, capsaicinoids, phloroglucinols, naphthodianthrones, organosulfur compounds, alkaloids, anthraquinonoids, ginsenosides, pentacyclic triterpene acids, and curcuminoids. The membrane interaction’s applicability to the discovery of phytochemical drug leads is also discussed while referring to previous screening and isolating studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)
Open AccessReview Anti-Diabetic Potential of Noni: The Yin and the Yang
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 17684-17719; doi:10.3390/molecules201017684
Received: 3 May 2015 / Revised: 3 September 2015 / Accepted: 16 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Escalating trends of chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes (T2D) have sparked a renewed interest in complementary and alternative medicine, including herbal products. Morinda citrifolia (noni) has been used for centuries by Pacific Islanders to treat various ailments. Commercial noni fruit juice has
[...] Read more.
Escalating trends of chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes (T2D) have sparked a renewed interest in complementary and alternative medicine, including herbal products. Morinda citrifolia (noni) has been used for centuries by Pacific Islanders to treat various ailments. Commercial noni fruit juice has been marketed as a dietary supplement since 1996. In 2003, the European Commission approved Tahitian noni juice as a novel food by the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General. Among noni’s several health benefits, others and we have demonstrated the anti-diabetic effects of fermented noni fruit juice in animal models. Unfortunately, noni’s exciting journey from Polynesian medicine to the research bench does not reach its final destination of successful clinical outcomes when translated into commercial products. Noni products are perceived to be safe due to their “natural” origin. However, inadequate evidence regarding bioactive compounds, molecular targets, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, long-term safety, effective dosages, and/or unanticipated side effects are major roadblocks to successful translation “from bench side to bedside”. In this review we summarize the anti-diabetic potential of noni, differences between traditional and modern use of noni, along with beneficial clinical studies of noni products and challenges in clinical translation of noni’s health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 20th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Natural Products)

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.

Type of the Paper: Review
Title:
Antioxidant Potential of Medicinal Plants
Authors:
Gulay Ozkan, Senem Kamiloglu, Gamze Toydemir, Dilek Boyacioglu, Esra Capanoglu *
Affiliations:
Food Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey; E-Mails: ozkangula@itu.edu.tr, skamiloglu@itu.edu.tr, toydemir.gamze@gmail.com, boyaci@itu.edu.tr, capanogl@itu.edu.tr
Abstract:
Medicinal plants are sources of health-promoting substances including phytochemicals and phytoalexins that comprise of polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, C, E and several other constituents. Many studies indicated that medicinal plants have been used to treat human diseases for thousands of years owing to their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Medicinal plants reduce the oxidative stress in cells and prevent from cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative and digestive system disorders. These potential beneficial effects have been attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds that show antioxidant properties by acting as free radical scavengers or metal chelators, reducing the reactions that produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). Considering the importance of medicinal plants in terms of their beneficial health effects, some of the medicinally important plants are covered in this review with respect to their antioxidant potential and phytochemical profile.

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