Special Issue "New bioactive Molecules: Challenges in Environmental and Nutritional Health"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Natália Martins

Guest Editor
Dr. Célia F. Rodrigues
Website
Guest Editor
LEPABE - Laboratory for Process Engineering Environment Biotechnology and Energy, Dep. Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering -University of Porto, Portugal
Interests: biofilms; fungal and bacterial infections; resistance to antimicrobials; microfluidics; pathogens detection; alternative therapies; surface functionalization of biomaterials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Javad Sharifi-Rad
Website
Guest Editor
Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Interests: natural product chemistry; natural product isolation; natural product pharmacology; natural product drug discovery; phytochemical analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Bahare Salehi
Website
Guest Editor
Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran
Interests: natural products, bioactive food components, phytotherapy, bioavailability of bioactive compounds, antioxidant capacities, natural products chemistry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Resistant pathogen-related infections comprise an important and increasing global threat, associated with high morbimortality rates and healthcare costs. If an effective response is not adopted, by 2050, it is expected that 10 million people will die per year as a result of multidrug resistant pathogens’ infections.

The search for new sources of biomolecules with antimicrobial activity is increasing in importance. Foods and beverages are an essential source of bioactive molecules and are related to both the prevention and treatment of numerous pathologies, through mechanisms that involve oxidative stress reduction, enzymatic activation or inhibition, and modulation of certain gene expressions.

This Special Issue, dedicated to “New Bioactive Molecules: Challenges in Environmental and Nutritional Health”, is intended to cover all new compounds or their whole matrices with antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses.

New basic and translational findings, reporting the development, evaluation, and validation of new bioactive molecules against all pathogens, especially with multidrug resistance patterns, are also welcome. In addition, original and review articles reporting the best tools and approaches to search and validate novel therapeutics are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Natália Martins
Dr. Célia F. Rodrigues
Dr. Javad Sharifi-Rad
Dr. Bahare Salehi
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. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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

  • Bioactive compounds
  • Phytochemicals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Nutrients
  • Resistant microorganisms
  • Pathogens
  • Infection
  • Immunomodulation
  • Oxidative stress

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Lavandula Luisieri and Lavandula Viridis Essential Oils as Upcoming Anti-Protozoal Agents: A Key Focus on Leishmaniasis
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(15), 3056; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9153056 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background and objectives: Leishmania species is the causative agent of leishmaniasis, a broad-spectrum clinical condition that can even be life-threatening when neglected. Current therapeutic strategies, despite beings highly cost-effective, have been increasingly associated with the appearance of drug-resistant microorganisms. Thus, an increasing number [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Leishmania species is the causative agent of leishmaniasis, a broad-spectrum clinical condition that can even be life-threatening when neglected. Current therapeutic strategies, despite beings highly cost-effective, have been increasingly associated with the appearance of drug-resistant microorganisms. Thus, an increasing number of thorough studies are needed towards upcoming drug discovery. This study aims to reveal the anti-protozoa activity of Lavandula luisieri and Lavandula viridis essential oils (EO) and their main components (1,8-cineole, linalool, and borneol). Materials and Methods: L. luisieri and L. viridis EO and their main components’ leishmanicidal effects were tested in vitro against Leishmania infantum, Leishmania major, and Leishmania tropica strains. Cell viability effects were estimated by using the tetrazolium-dye (MTT) colorimetric method, morphological changes were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and ultrastructural investigation by transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). Phosphatidylserine externalization, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and cathepsin D activity assessment were also carried out. Finally, cytotoxic activity of the studied matrices was also determined in mammalian cells. Results: Plant-studied EO exhibited prominent anti-Leishmania effects (IC50 = 31–263 µg/mL), with L. luisieri being the most active one. At concentrations corresponding to IC50 values, EO-exposed L. infantum promastigotes suffered marked ultrastructural modifications. The presence of aberrant-shaped cells, mitochondrial and kinetoplast swelling, and autophagosomal structures were the most common evidenced changes. L. luisieri EO exerted its leishmanicidal activity through different mechanisms, but mainly through unleashing apoptosis. Phosphatidylserine externalization, mitochondrial membrane potential loss, and cell-cycle arrest at G(0)/G(1) phase were the most remarkable apoptosis-mediated aspects. Inhibition of cathepsin D activity was also observed. No toxic effects were found on macrophage cells. Conclusions: L. luisieri seems to be an upcoming source of bioactive molecules for leishmaniasis control and to find leading molecules for new drugs formulation against Leishmania infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Measurement of Off-Flavoring Volatile Compounds and Microbial Load as a Probable Marker for Keeping Quality of Pasteurized Milk
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9050959 - 06 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
(1) Background: Multiple attempts have been conducted to correlate milk keeping quality with chemical, physical or bacteriological parameters. These methods only measure the chemical changes in milk produced by bacteria. Headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) is an economic and recent method used to measure [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Multiple attempts have been conducted to correlate milk keeping quality with chemical, physical or bacteriological parameters. These methods only measure the chemical changes in milk produced by bacteria. Headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) is an economic and recent method used to measure both volatile compounds and microbial load in milk, also allowing to keep the quality of the milk product. (2) Methods: The present study was conducted to identify and measure the off-flavoring volatile compounds through gas chromatography coupled with flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and the microbial load of pasteurized fluid milk stored at different temperatures, as a possible indicator of its keeping quality. (3) Results: The highest results were obtained to acetone, followed by butanone, pentanal and ethanol. These mean values were significantly enhanced from the 0 to 19th day of storage, at 10 °C. At day 19th, the minimum score for aroma, flavor and overall acceptability were also recorded as 4.33 ± 0.17, 4.02 ± 0.06, 4.00 ± 0.04, respectively. Likewise, maximum values for standard plate count (Log10 CFU 15.54 ± 0.40 mL−1) and total psychotroph count (Log10 CFU 11.67 ± 0.30mL−1) were reported at 10 °C and 4 °C. (4) Conclusion: HS-SPME/GC-FID methodology revealed to be very sensitive and capable to be applied in volatile compounds quantification in pasteurized milk produced during the storage period at different temperatures. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Plant-Derived Bioactives and Oxidative Stress-Related Disorders: A Key Trend towards Healthy Aging and Longevity Promotion
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030947 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Plants and their corresponding botanical preparations have been used for centuries due to their remarkable potential in both the treatment and prevention of oxidative stress-related disorders. Aging and aging-related diseases, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders, which have increased exponentially, are [...] Read more.
Plants and their corresponding botanical preparations have been used for centuries due to their remarkable potential in both the treatment and prevention of oxidative stress-related disorders. Aging and aging-related diseases, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders, which have increased exponentially, are intrinsically related with redox imbalance and oxidative stress. Hundreds of biologically active constituents are present in each whole plant matrix, providing promissory bioactive effects for human beings. Indeed, the worldwide population has devoted increased attention and preference for the use of medicinal plants for healthy aging and longevity promotion. In fact, plant-derived bioactives present a broad spectrum of biological effects, and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and, more recently, anti-aging effects, are considered to be a hot topic among the medical and scientific communities. Nonetheless, despite the numerous biological effects, it should not be forgotten that some bioactive molecules are prone to oxidation and can even exert pro-oxidant effects. In this sense, the objective of the present review is to provide a detailed overview of plant-derived bioactives in age-related disorders. Specifically, the role of phytochemicals as antioxidants and pro-oxidant agents is carefully addressed, as is their therapeutic relevance in longevity, aging-related disorders, and healthy-aging promotion. Finally, an eye-opening look into the overall evidence of plant compounds related to longevity is presented. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Potential of Allicin-Rich Garlic Preparations: Emphasis on Clinical Evidence toward Upcoming Drugs Formulation
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5555; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245555 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Garlic has been used for a long time in human history. Allicin, the main active compound present in freshly injured garlic, is enzymatically formed from alliin. Allicin has shown doubtless beneficial effects and even be conceived as medicine. The present review highlights allicin-associated [...] Read more.
Garlic has been used for a long time in human history. Allicin, the main active compound present in freshly injured garlic, is enzymatically formed from alliin. Allicin has shown doubtless beneficial effects and even be conceived as medicine. The present review highlights allicin-associated studies. Indeed, clinical studies on healthy subjects have evidenced that standardized garlic treatment (900 mg/day) significantly reduces total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (c-LDL). Besides, allicin also led to a marked improvement in mouth opening, burning sensation, and oral health-related quality of life on stage II oral submucous fibrosis patients. Interestingly, in children, allicin also has been proposed for thrush prevention and as an alternative antibiotic therapy. Nonetheless, there is particular attention to allicin bioavailability, given its high instability. Although clinical evidence has promoted allicin release from garlic powder tablets under simulated gastrointestinal conditions, garlic tablets are those that have provided less alliinase protection due to its fast disintegration, releasing low allicin amounts. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Piperine-A Major Principle of Black Pepper: A Review of Its Bioactivity and Studies
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4270; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204270 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Piperine is the main compound present in black pepper, and is the carrier of its specific pungent taste, which is responsible for centuries of human dietary utilization and worldwide popularity as a food ingredient. Along with the application as a food ingredient and [...] Read more.
Piperine is the main compound present in black pepper, and is the carrier of its specific pungent taste, which is responsible for centuries of human dietary utilization and worldwide popularity as a food ingredient. Along with the application as a food ingredient and food preservative, it is used in traditional medicine for many purposes, which has in most cases been justified by modern scientific studies on its biological effects. It has been confirmed that piperine has many bioactive effects, such as antimicrobial action, as well as many physiological effects that can contribute to general human health, including immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antimetastatic, antitumor, and many other activities. Clinical studies demonstrated remarkable antioxidant, antitumor, and drug availability-enhancing characteristics of this compound, together with immunomodulatory potential. All these facts point to the therapeutic potential of piperine and the need to incorporate this compound into general health-enhancing medical formulations, as well as into those that would be used as adjunctive therapy in order to enhance the bioavailability of various (chemo)therapeutic drugs. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Therapeutic Potential of the Labdane Diterpenoid Forskolin
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(19), 4089; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9194089 - 30 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Forskolin is mainly found in the root of a plant called Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Briq., which has been used in the traditional medicine of Indian Ayurvedic and Southeast Asia since ancient times. Forskolin is responsible for the pharmacological activity of this species. Forskolin [...] Read more.
Forskolin is mainly found in the root of a plant called Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Briq., which has been used in the traditional medicine of Indian Ayurvedic and Southeast Asia since ancient times. Forskolin is responsible for the pharmacological activity of this species. Forskolin is a labdane diterpenoid with a wide biological effect. Several studies suggested a positive role of forskolin on heart complications, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure, obesity, and asthma. There are numerous clinical and pre-clinical studies representing the effect of forskolin on the above-mentioned disorders but more clinical studies need to be performed to support its efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Apium Plants: Beyond Simple Food and Phytopharmacological Applications
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(17), 3547; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9173547 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Apium plants belong to the Apiaceae family and are included among plants that have been in use in traditional medicine for thousands of years worldwide, including in the Mediterranean, as well as the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. Some highlighted [...] Read more.
Apium plants belong to the Apiaceae family and are included among plants that have been in use in traditional medicine for thousands of years worldwide, including in the Mediterranean, as well as the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. Some highlighted medical benefits include prevention of coronary and vascular diseases. Their phytochemical constituents consist of bergapten, flavonoids, glycosides, furanocoumarins, furocoumarin, limonene, psoralen, xanthotoxin, and selinene. Some of their pharmacological properties include anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, nematocidal, anti-rheumatism, antiasthma, anti-bronchitis, hepatoprotective, appetizer, anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, breast milk inducer, anti-jaundice, antihypertensive, anti-dysmenorrhea, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and spermatogenesis induction. The present review summarizes data on ecology, botany, cultivation, habitat, medicinal use, phytochemical composition, preclinical and clinical pharmacological efficacy of Apium plants and provides future direction on how to take full advantage of Apium plants for the optimal benefit to mankind. Full article
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