Special Issue "Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health"

A special issue of Antioxidants (ISSN 2076-3921). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Outcomes of Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gianluca Rizzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Independent Researcher, Messina, Italy
Interests: vegetarian diet; vegan diet; soy; soy foods; phytoestrogens; isoflavones; vitamin b12; cobalamins; homocysteine; b-vitamins; polyunsaturated fatty acids; vitamin D; dietary supplements
Dr. Mauro Lombardo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, 00166 Rome, Italy
Interests: mediterranean diet; dietary patterns; obesity; plant-based diets; body composition; energy expenditure; sport nutrition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A common feature of dietary guidelines is the advice to choose mainly plant foods. These are the source of numerous beneficial substances for human health, including macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Many of these are bioactive substances produced by plants to cope with the oxidative stress to which they are constantly subjected. The human being takes advantage of the health benefits of these exogenous antioxidant molecules through nutrition. The more plant foods are represented in diet, the more these substances are conveyed by diet, offering their health benefits. The antioxidant role of diet may act with multiple mechanisms by offering a source of bioactive molecules with quenching properties or by stimulating endogenous antioxidant defence system. Plant-based diets are patterns mainly focused on plant foods, excluding animal foods in a more or less evident way, including vegetarian diet and Mediterranean diet. The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide the current scientific evidence available in literature about the role of plant-based diets on human health, with particular regard to multiple molecules affecting antioxidant effect. These aspects are very relevant, if we consider that oxidative stress represents a common feature of various chronic non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Dr. Gianluca Rizzo
Dr. Mauro Lombardo
Guest Editors

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. Antioxidants 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 2000 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

  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive oxigen species
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant-based
  • Mediterranean
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Mediterranean Diet and Physical Activity Decrease the Initiation of Cardiovascular Drug Use in High Cardiovascular Risk Individuals: A Cohort Study
Antioxidants 2021, 10(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10030397 - 05 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Our aim was to assess whether long-term adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) were associated with a lower initiation of cardiovascular drug use. We studied the association between cumulative average of MedDiet adherence and LTPA and the risk [...] Read more.
Our aim was to assess whether long-term adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) were associated with a lower initiation of cardiovascular drug use. We studied the association between cumulative average of MedDiet adherence and LTPA and the risk of cardiovascular drug initiation in older adults at high cardiovascular risk (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea trial participants) non-medicated at baseline: glucose-lowering drugs (n = 4437), antihypertensives (n = 2145), statins (n = 3977), fibrates (n = 6391), antiplatelets (n = 5760), vitamin K antagonists (n = 6877), antianginal drugs (n = 6837), and cardiac glycosides (n = 6954). One-point increases in MedDiet adherence were linearly associated with a decreased initiation of glucose-lowering (HR: 0.76 [0.71–0.80]), antihypertensive (HR: 0.79 [0.75–0.82]), statin (HR: 0.82 [0.78–0.85]), fibrate (HR: 0.78 [0.68–0.89]), antiplatelet (HR: 0.79 [0.75–0.83]), vitamin K antagonist (HR: 0.83 [0.74; 0.93]), antianginal (HR: 0.84 [0.74–0.96]), and cardiac glycoside therapy (HR: 0.69 [0.56–0.84]). LTPA was non-linearly related to a delayed initiation of glucose-lowering, antihypertensive, statin, fibrate, antiplatelet, antianginal, and cardiac glycoside therapy (minimum risk: 180–360 metabolic equivalents of task-min/day). Both combined were synergistically associated with a decreased onset of glucose-lowering drugs (p-interaction = 0.04), antihypertensive drugs (p-interaction < 0.001), vitamin K antagonists (p-interaction = 0.04), and cardiac glycosides (p-interaction = 0.01). Summarizing, sustained adherence to a MedDiet and LTPA were associated with lower risk of initiating cardiovascular-related medications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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Article
Health Potential of Aloe vera against Oxidative Stress Induced Corneal Damage: An “In Vitro” Study
Antioxidants 2021, 10(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020318 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is characterized by the gradual deterioration of corneal endothelial cells (CECs) and is the most common cause of corneal transplantation worldwide. CECs apoptosis caused by oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of FECD. Antioxidant compounds [...] Read more.
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is characterized by the gradual deterioration of corneal endothelial cells (CECs) and is the most common cause of corneal transplantation worldwide. CECs apoptosis caused by oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of FECD. Antioxidant compounds have been of considerable significance as a candidate treatment in the management of corneal diseases. Based on these findings, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an aloe extract with antioxidant properties, in an “in vitro” model of FECD. Human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells were preincubated with aloe extract 100 μg/mL, two hours before hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stimulus. H2O2 challenge significantly reduced the cell viability, increased the generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and malondialdehyde levels. Moreover, m-RNA expression and activity of Nrf-2, Catalase and Superoxide dismutase (SOD) were reduced together with an enhanced expression of IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), IL-6, and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Furthermore, Bcl-2, Caspase-3 and Caspase-8 expression were down-regulated while Bax was up-regulated by H2O2 stimulus. Aloe extract blunted the oxidative stress-induced inflammatory cascade triggered by H2O2 and modulated apoptosis. Aloe extract defends HCE cells from H2O2-induced injury possibly due its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, indicating that eye drops containing aloe extract may be used as an adjunctive treatment for FECD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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Review

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Review
The Relevance of Plant-Derived Se Compounds to Human Health in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Pandemic Era
Antioxidants 2021, 10(7), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10071031 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 963
Abstract
Dietary selenium (Se)-compounds accumulated in plants are essential for human metabolism and normal physiological processes. Inorganic and organic Se species can be readily absorbed by the human body, but are metabolized differently and thus exhibit distinct mechanisms of action. They can act as [...] Read more.
Dietary selenium (Se)-compounds accumulated in plants are essential for human metabolism and normal physiological processes. Inorganic and organic Se species can be readily absorbed by the human body, but are metabolized differently and thus exhibit distinct mechanisms of action. They can act as antioxidants or serve as a source of Se for the synthesis of selenoproteins. Selenocysteine, in particular, is incorporated at the catalytic center of these proteins through a specific insertion mechanism and, due to its electronic features, enhances their catalytic activity against biological oxidants. Selenite and other Se-organic compounds may also act as direct antioxidants in cells due to their strong nucleophilic properties. In addition, Se-amino acids are more easily subjected to oxidation than the corresponding thiols/thioethers and can bind redox-active metal ions. Adequate Se intake aids in preventing several metabolic disorders and affords protection against viral infections. At present, an epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) threatens human health across several countries and impacts the global economy. Therefore, Se-supplementation could be a complementary treatment to vaccines and pharmacological drugs to reduce the viral load, mutation frequency, and enhance the immune system of populations with low Se intake in the diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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Review
Plant Foods Rich in Antioxidants and Human Cognition: A Systematic Review
Antioxidants 2021, 10(5), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10050714 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Oxidative stress can compromise central nervous system integrity, thereby affecting cognitive ability. Consumption of plant foods rich in antioxidants could thereby protect cognition. We systematically reviewed the literature exploring the effects of antioxidant-rich plant foods on cognition. Thirty-one studies were included: 21 intervention, [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress can compromise central nervous system integrity, thereby affecting cognitive ability. Consumption of plant foods rich in antioxidants could thereby protect cognition. We systematically reviewed the literature exploring the effects of antioxidant-rich plant foods on cognition. Thirty-one studies were included: 21 intervention, 4 cross-sectional (one with a cohort in prospective observation as well), and 6 prospective studies. Subjects belonged to various age classes (young, adult, and elderly). Some subjects examined were healthy, some had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and some others were demented. Despite the different plant foods and the cognitive assessments used, the results can be summarized as follows: 7 studies reported a significant improvement in all cognitive domains examined; 19 found significant improvements only in some cognitive areas, or only for some food subsets; and 5 showed no significant improvement or no effectiveness. The impact of dietary plant antioxidants on cognition appears promising: most of the examined studies showed associations with significant beneficial effects on cognitive functions—in some cases global or only in some specific domains. There was typically an acute, preventive, or therapeutic effect in young, adult, and elderly people, whether they were healthy, demented, or affected by MCI. Their effects, however, are not attributable only to anti-oxidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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Review
Diet-Derived Antioxidants and Their Role in Inflammation, Obesity and Gut Microbiota Modulation
Antioxidants 2021, 10(5), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10050708 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
It is generally accepted that gut microbiota, inflammation and obesity are linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic/non-communicable pathological conditions, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and ageing-related disorders. In this scenario, oxidative stress plays a pivotal role. Evidence suggests that the [...] Read more.
It is generally accepted that gut microbiota, inflammation and obesity are linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic/non-communicable pathological conditions, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and ageing-related disorders. In this scenario, oxidative stress plays a pivotal role. Evidence suggests that the global dietary patterns may represent a tool in counteracting oxidative stress, thus preventing the onset of diseases related to oxidative stress. More specifically, dietary patterns based on the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables (i.e., Mediterranean diet) have been licensed by various national nutritional guidelines in many countries for their health-promoting effects. Such patterns, indeed, result in being rich in specific components, such as fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, whose beneficial effects on human health have been widely reported. This suggests a potential nutraceutical power of specific dietary components. In this manuscript, we summarize the most relevant evidence reporting the impact of dietary antioxidants on gut microbiota composition, inflammation and obesity, and we underline that antioxidants are implicated in a complex interplay between gut microbiota, inflammation and obesity, thus suggesting their possible role in the development and modulation of chronic diseases related to oxidative stress and in the maintenance of wellness. Do all roads lead to Rome? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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Review
The Impact of a Plant-Based Diet on Gestational Diabetes: A Review
Antioxidants 2021, 10(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10040557 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1431
Abstract
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) represents a challenging pregnancy complication in which women present a state of glucose intolerance. GDM has been associated with various obstetric complications, such as polyhydramnios, preterm delivery, and increased cesarean delivery rate. Moreover, the fetus could suffer from congenital [...] Read more.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) represents a challenging pregnancy complication in which women present a state of glucose intolerance. GDM has been associated with various obstetric complications, such as polyhydramnios, preterm delivery, and increased cesarean delivery rate. Moreover, the fetus could suffer from congenital malformation, macrosomia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and intrauterine death. It has been speculated that inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL) 6, and C-reactive protein (CRP) impact on endothelium dysfunction and insulin resistance and contribute to the pathogenesis of GDM. Nutritional patterns enriched with plant-derived foods, such as a low glycemic or Mediterranean diet, might favorably impact on the incidence of GDM. A high intake of vegetables, fibers, and fruits seems to decrease inflammation by enhancing antioxidant compounds. This aspect contributes to improving insulin efficacy and metabolic control and could provide maternal and neonatal health benefits. Our review aims to deepen the understanding of the impact of a plant-based diet on oxidative stress in GDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diets and Their Antioxidant Role in Human Health)
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