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Inula L. Secondary Metabolites against Oxidative Stress-Related Human Diseases

Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Azores, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
cE3c―Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/ Azorean Biodiversity Group & University of Azores, Rua Mãe de Deus, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
QOPNA & LAQV-REQUIMTE, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2019, 8(5), 122;
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemical Antioxidants and Health)
PDF [404 KB, uploaded 6 May 2019]


An imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species in the body can cause an increase of oxidative stress that leads to oxidative damage to cells and tissues, which culminates in the development or aggravation of some chronic diseases, such as inflammation, diabetes mellitus, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Secondary metabolites from Inula species can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of the oxidative stress-related diseases mentioned above. The databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science and the combining terms Inula, antioxidant and secondary metabolites were used in the research for this review. More than 120 articles are reviewed, highlighting the most active compounds with special emphasis on the elucidation of their antioxidative-stress mechanism of action, which increases the knowledge about their potential in the fight against inflammation, cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes. Alantolactone is the most polyvalent compound, reporting interesting EC50 values for several bioactivities, while 1-O-acetylbritannilactone can be pointed out as a promising lead compound for the development of analogues with interesting properties. The Inula genus is a good bet as source of structurally diverse compounds with antioxidant activity that can act via different mechanisms to fight several oxidative stress-related human diseases, being useful for development of new drugs.
Keywords: Inula; oxidative stress; ROS; secondary metabolites; inflammation; diabetes; neurologicaldamage; cancer; sesquiterpene lactones Inula; oxidative stress; ROS; secondary metabolites; inflammation; diabetes; neurologicaldamage; cancer; sesquiterpene lactones

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tavares, W.R.; Seca, A.M.L. Inula L. Secondary Metabolites against Oxidative Stress-Related Human Diseases. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 122.

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