Special Issue "Plant-Food-Derived Bioactive Molecules on Human Longevity and Disease Prevention"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Javad Sharifi-Rad
E-Mail 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
E-Mail 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
Prof. Dr. William N. Setzer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
Tel. +1-256-824-6519
Interests: phytochemistry; natural products drug discovery; essential oils; molecular modelling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumer demands for healthy diets aiming towards improved well-being, disease prevention, and longevity promotion have pointed to marked changes in both dairy eating habits and lifestyle. In the past few years, the prominent rise in life expectancy linked with modern lifestyle acquired in the globalization era has led to an epidemic emergence of chronic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders, and even cancer. In adjunct to highly stressful environments, these modern diets—typically hypercaloric and with high fat and low fibre contents—have led to an exponential rise in disease incidences. Moreover, medicinal treatments used to cure most of these emergent diseases often have side effects, in addition to negatively affecting other physiological functions. Thus, the high incidence of chronic diseases linked with the negative impact of currently-used pharmacological agents has moved food industries, health professionals, scientists, and even regulatory authorities to find safer effective alternatives to improve consumer health and wellbeing.

Healthy diets, often based on the Mediterranean diet, complemented with foods that provide additional benefits when compared to the common ones, constitute one of the most effective approaches. These foods, currently known as functional foods, have received increasing demand from consumers worldwide. Typically, they can be ingested both in intact or in fortified forms, together with other food products. Food grains, legumes, fruits, cereals, plants and spices, mushrooms, seaweeds, and nuts are among the most commonly used in functional food formulations, while extremely rich sources of dietary fibre, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and secondary metabolites (e.g., terpenes, carotenoids, polyphenols, saponins, etc.) have prominent bioactive effects and are well-recognized as functional food ingredients. With this great demand, food industries have shown an increasing trend in functional foods formulation, leading to an increasing number and variety of products available in the market that claim not only beneficial physiological effects, but also nutritive function. Furthermore, specifically in regard to plant-derived natural products, a promising trend has emerged in effective and eco-friendly sources of food additives (e.g., preservatives and food dyes). In this context, this Special Issue seeks manuscripts focusing on the search for novel bioactive compounds from traditional sources for use in health maintenance and longevity promotion, and also to reduce disease risks in the near future. Studies elucidating their metabolic pathways for sustainable production and even assessing functional parameters in whole systems (e.g., bioaccessibility and bioefficacy) are also welcome.

Dr. Natália Martins
Dr. Javad Sharifi-Rad
Dr. Bahare Salehi
Prof. Dr. William N. Setzer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • healthy diets
  • bioactive molecules
  • functional ingredients
  • functional foods formulation
  • added-value foodstuffs

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects on the Caco-2 Cells of a Hypoglycemic Protein from Lupin Seeds in a Solution and Adsorbed on Polystyrene Nanoparticles to Mimic a Complex Food Matrix
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100606 - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
The search for bioactivities influencing the human wellbeing of food proteins and peptides is a topic of broad and current interest. γ-Conglutin (γC) is a lupin seed protein drawing remarkable pharmacological and/or nutraceutical interest, as it is able to reduce hyperglycemia in humans [...] Read more.
The search for bioactivities influencing the human wellbeing of food proteins and peptides is a topic of broad and current interest. γ-Conglutin (γC) is a lupin seed protein drawing remarkable pharmacological and/or nutraceutical interest, as it is able to reduce hyperglycemia in humans and animal models. The present work deepens our investigations to understand the molecular basis of the in vitro effects of γC by testing the possible metabolic effects on cultivated Caco-2 cells. γC and its derived peptides (obtained via simulated gastrointestinal digestion) did not influence the cell viability at incubation times up to 24 h. The incubation of cells with native or digested γC caused no detectable inflammation processes mediated by Nuclear Factor kappa B (NFκB). We checked if treatment with γC or its derived peptides can elicit the expression of two peptide transporters (Pept-1 and Htp-1) by using an RT-qPCR approach. Native γC caused the halving of Pept-1 expression compared to untreated cells, but this effect disappeared when γC was digested. Either native γC or γC peptides reduced the expression levels of Hpt-1. Finally, this work also sheds light on the possible structural modifications of γC that may occur in the gastrointestinal tract, using an in vitro simulated dispersed system with polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bio-Guided Fractionation of Ethanol Extract of Leaves of Esenbeckia alata Kunt (Rutaceae) Led to the Isolation of Two Cytotoxic Quinoline Alkaloids: Evidence of Selectivity Against Leukemia Cells
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100585 - 08 Oct 2019
Abstract
Bio-guided fractionation performed on the leaves-derived ethanol extract of Esenbeckia alata (Rutaceae), a plant used in traditional medicine, led to the isolation of two alkaloids, kokusaginine 1 and flindersiamine 2, as main cytotoxic agents. Primary ethanolic extract and raw fractions exhibited cell [...] Read more.
Bio-guided fractionation performed on the leaves-derived ethanol extract of Esenbeckia alata (Rutaceae), a plant used in traditional medicine, led to the isolation of two alkaloids, kokusaginine 1 and flindersiamine 2, as main cytotoxic agents. Primary ethanolic extract and raw fractions exhibited cell inhibition against five cancer cell lines at different levels (25–97% inhibition at 50 µg/mL) as well as isolated alkaloids 12 (30–90% inhibition at 20 µM). Although alkaloid 2 generally was the most active compound, both alkaloids showed a selective effect on K562, a human chronic myelogenous leukemia cell line. The E1-like ubiquitin-activating enzymes (e.g., UBA5) have been recently described as important targets for future treatment of cancer progression, such as leukemia, among others. Therefore, as a rationale to the observed cytotoxic selectivity, an in-silico evaluation by molecular docking and molecular dynamics was also explored. Compounds 12 exhibited good performance on the interaction within the active site of UBA5. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Composition, Antioxidant, and Antimicrobial Attributes of Different Solvent Extracts from Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex. D. Don Leaves
Biomolecules 2019, 9(8), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9080357 - 09 Aug 2019
Abstract
Background: Plant diversity is a basic source of food and medicine for local Himalayan communities. The current study was designed to assess the effect of different solvents (methanol, ethyl acetate, and water) on the phenolic profile, and the corresponding biological activity was [...] Read more.
Background: Plant diversity is a basic source of food and medicine for local Himalayan communities. The current study was designed to assess the effect of different solvents (methanol, ethyl acetate, and water) on the phenolic profile, and the corresponding biological activity was studied. Methods: Antioxidant activity was investigated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2″-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic) acid (ABTS) assay, while the antimicrobial activity was evaluated by disk diffusion method using various bacterial and fungal strains. Results: The outcomes demonstrated that methanol acted as the most effective solvent for polyphenols extraction, as strengthened by the liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. M. esculenta methanol extract showed the highest DPPH and ABTS radical scavenger antioxidant activity with IC50 values of 39.29 μg/mL and 52.83 μg/mL, respectively, while the ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts revealed minimum antioxidant potential. Methanol extract also revealed higher phenolic content, 88.94 ± 0.24 mg of equivalent gallic acid (GAE)/g), measured by the Folin–Ciocalteu method, while the minimum content was recorded for aqueous extract (62.38 ± 0.14 GAE/g). The highest flavonoid content was observed for methanol extract, 67.44 ± 0.14 mg quercetin equivalent (QE)/g) measured by an aluminum chloride colorimetric method, while the lowest content was recorded for aqueous extract (35.77 ± 0.14 QE/g). Antimicrobial activity findings also reveal that the methanol extract led to a higher inhibition zone against bacterial and fungal strains. FTIR analysis reveals the presence of various functional groups, viz. alkenes, amines, carboxylic acids, amides, esters, alcohols, phenols, ketones, carboxylic acids, and aromatic compounds. This FTIR analysis could serve as a basis for the authentication of M. esculenta extracts for future industrial applications. Compounds identified by LC-MS analysis were gallic acid, myricanol, myricanone, epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate, β-sitosterol, quercetin, p-coumaric acid, palmitic acid, n-pentadecanol, n-octadecanol, stigmasterol, oleanolic acid, n-hexadecanol, cis-β-caryophyllene, lupeol, and myresculoside. Conclusion: This study suggests that the methanolic extract from M. esculenta leaves has strong antioxidant potential and could be a significant source of natural antioxidants and antimicrobials for functional foods formulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Biological Activities of Wild Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia Linn. Var. Abbreviata Ser.)
Biomolecules 2019, 9(6), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060211 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Wild bitter melon (Momordica charantia L. var. Abbreviata Ser.) is a wild edible variety of M. charantia, often used in folk medicine. In this study, the biological activities of its extract and fractions were investigated in vitro. It was found that [...] Read more.
Wild bitter melon (Momordica charantia L. var. Abbreviata Ser.) is a wild edible variety of M. charantia, often used in folk medicine. In this study, the biological activities of its extract and fractions were investigated in vitro. It was found that ethyl acetate (EA) fraction exhibited high 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 0.43 ± 0.04 mg/mL, while the chloroform (CF), EA, and n-butanol (Bu) fractions had strong 2,2-azinobis-3-ethyl benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS)+ scavenging ability with IC50 values of 0.36 ± 0.04 mg/mL, 0.35 ± 0.02 mg/mL, and 0.35 ± 0.05 mg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the EA and Bu fractions exhibited the highest protective effect against H2O2-induced DNA damage in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, the EA fraction was effective in the inhibition of enzyme α-amylase activity with an IC50 value of 0.27 ± 0.029 mg/mL. Finally, it was observed that the production of nitric oxide (NO), a pro-inflammatory mediator, was significantly reduced from LPS-stimulated murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells by the ethanol extract (ET) and the EA fraction. Therefore, wild bitter melon could be considered as a promising biomaterial for the development of pharmaceutical products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preventive Effect of Anji White Tea Flavonoids on Alcohol-Induced Gastric Injury through Their Antioxidant Effects in Kunming Mice
Biomolecules 2019, 9(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9040137 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Anji white tea (Camellia sinensis) is a traditional Chinese tea beverage, which is classified as green tea and contains an abundant amount of flavonoids. In this study, the preventive effect of Anji white tea flavonoids (AJWTFs) on ethanol/hydrochloric acid-induced gastric injury [...] Read more.
Anji white tea (Camellia sinensis) is a traditional Chinese tea beverage, which is classified as green tea and contains an abundant amount of flavonoids. In this study, the preventive effect of Anji white tea flavonoids (AJWTFs) on ethanol/hydrochloric acid-induced gastric injury in mice was evaluated. The serum and gastric tissues of mice were analyzed using a biochemical kit and by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Observation of the appearance of the stomach indicated that AJWTFs could effectively reduce the area of gastric injury caused by ethanol/hydrochloric acid, and the inhibition rate of AJWTF on gastric injury increased with an increase in AJWTF concentration. The Anji white tea flavonoids could also reduce the volume and pH of gastric juice in mice with gastric injury. Biochemical results showed that AJWTFs could increase the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) activities, as well as decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) level, in the serum and liver of mice with gastric injury. Pathological observation confirmed that AJWTFs could inhibit the tissue damage caused by ethanol/hydrochloric acid in the stomach of mice. Further qPCR experiments also showed that AJWTFs could inhibit the decreases in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn–SOD), manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn–SOD), catalase (CAT), and the increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in the gastric tissue of mice caused by gastric injury. As observed, AJWTFs exerted a good preventive effect on alcohol-induced gastric injury in mice induced by ethanol/hydrochloric acid, and the effect is close to that of ranitidine. Anji white tea flavonoids present good antioxidant effect, which allows them to effectively prevent alcoholic gastric injury and be used as biologically active substances with a broad range of applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Stabilization of Human Transthyretin by Centella asiatica (L.) Urban Extract: Implications for TTR Amyloidosis
Biomolecules 2019, 9(4), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9040128 - 29 Mar 2019
Abstract
Transthyretin is responsible for a series of highly progressive, degenerative, debilitating, and incurable protein misfolding disorders known as transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis. Since dissociation of the homotetrameric protein to its monomers is crucial in its amyloidogenesis, stabilizing the native tetramer from dissociating using small-molecule [...] Read more.
Transthyretin is responsible for a series of highly progressive, degenerative, debilitating, and incurable protein misfolding disorders known as transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis. Since dissociation of the homotetrameric protein to its monomers is crucial in its amyloidogenesis, stabilizing the native tetramer from dissociating using small-molecule ligands has proven a viable therapeutic strategy. The objective of this study was to determine the potential role of the medicinal herb Centella asiatica on human transthyretin (huTTR) amyloidogenesis. Thus, we investigated the stability of huTTR with or without a hydrophilic fraction of C. asiatica (CAB) against acid/urea-mediated denaturation. We also determined the influence of CAB on huTTR fibrillation using transmission electron microscopy. The potential binding interactions between CAB and huTTR was ascertained by nitroblue tetrazolium redox-cycling and 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid displacement assays. Additionally, the chemical profile of CAB was determined by liquid chromatography quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-QTOF-MS). Our results strongly suggest that CAB bound to and preserved the quaternary structure of huTTR in vitro. CAB also prevented transthyretin fibrillation, although aggregate formation was unmitigated. These effects could be attributable to the presence of phenolics and terpenoids in CAB. Our findings suggest that C. asiatica contains pharmaceutically relevant bioactive compounds which could be exploited for therapeutic development against TTR amyloidosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Oxygen Availability during Growth Modulates the Phytochemical Profile and the Chemo-Protective Properties of Spinach Juice
Biomolecules 2019, 9(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9020053 - 04 Feb 2019
Abstract
Fruits and vegetables are a good source of potentially biologically active compounds. Their regular consumption in the human diet can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Plants produce additional chemical substances when subject to abiotic [...] Read more.
Fruits and vegetables are a good source of potentially biologically active compounds. Their regular consumption in the human diet can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Plants produce additional chemical substances when subject to abiotic stress or infected by microorganisms. The phytochemical profile of spinach leaves (Spinacia oleracea L.), which is a vegetable with widely recognized health-promoting activity, has been affected by applying root hypoxic and re-oxygenation stress during plant growth. Leaf juice at different sampling times has been subject to liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MSn) analysis and tested on the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HT29 by using the Comet assay. The cells were previously treated with H2O2 to simulate the presence of an oxidative stress (as in colon cancer condition) and the leaf juice application resulted in a significant antioxidant and protective in vitro effect. The duration of the hypoxic/re-oxygenation stress imposed on the plant reflects the antioxidant leaf juice content. After hypoxic stress (24 h) and reoxygenation (2 h), we show a decrease (50%) of the relative abundance of the principal identified antioxidant molecules but a higher antioxidant activity of the spinach juice on HT29 cells (20%). Data shows a complex relation between plant growing conditions and the modulation of secondary metabolites content in leaf juice that results in different chemo-protective activities in colon cancer cells. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Fructans as Immunomodulatory and Antiviral Agents: The Case of Echinacea
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100615 - 16 Oct 2019
Abstract
Throughout history, medicinal purposes of plants have been studied, documented, and acknowledged as an integral part of human healthcare systems. The development of modern medicine still relies largely on this historical knowledge of the use and preparation of plants and their extracts. Further [...] Read more.
Throughout history, medicinal purposes of plants have been studied, documented, and acknowledged as an integral part of human healthcare systems. The development of modern medicine still relies largely on this historical knowledge of the use and preparation of plants and their extracts. Further research into the human microbiome highlights the interaction between immunomodulatory responses and plant-derived, prebiotic compounds. One such group of compounds includes the inulin-type fructans (ITFs), which may also act as signaling molecules and antioxidants. These multifunctional compounds occur in a small proportion of plants, many of which have recognized medicinal properties. Echinacea is a well-known medicinal plant and products derived from it are sold globally for its cold- and flu-preventative and general health-promoting properties. Despite the well-documented phytochemical profile of Echinacea plants and products, little research has looked into the possible role of ITFs in these products. This review aims to highlight the occurrence of ITFs in Echinacea derived formulations and the potential role they play in immunomodulation. Full article
Open AccessReview
Antidiabetic Potential of Medicinal Plants and Their Active Components
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100551 - 30 Sep 2019
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is one of the major health problems in the world, the incidence and associated mortality are increasing. Inadequate regulation of the blood sugar imposes serious consequences for health. Conventional antidiabetic drugs are effective, however, also with unavoidable side effects. On the [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the major health problems in the world, the incidence and associated mortality are increasing. Inadequate regulation of the blood sugar imposes serious consequences for health. Conventional antidiabetic drugs are effective, however, also with unavoidable side effects. On the other hand, medicinal plants may act as an alternative source of antidiabetic agents. Examples of medicinal plants with antidiabetic potential are described, with focuses on preclinical and clinical studies. The beneficial potential of each plant matrix is given by the combined and concerted action of their profile of biologically active compounds. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Anacardium Plants: Chemical,Nutritional Composition and Biotechnological Applications
Biomolecules 2019, 9(9), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9090465 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
Anacardium plants are native to the American tropical regions, and Anacardium occidentale L. (cashew tree) is the most recognized species of the genus. These species contain rich secondary metabolites in their leaf and shoot powder, fruits and other parts that have shown diverse [...] Read more.
Anacardium plants are native to the American tropical regions, and Anacardium occidentale L. (cashew tree) is the most recognized species of the genus. These species contain rich secondary metabolites in their leaf and shoot powder, fruits and other parts that have shown diverse applications. This review describes the habitat and cultivation of Anacardium species, phytochemical and nutritional composition, and their industrial food applications. Besides, we also discuss the secondary metabolites present in Anacardium plants which display great antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. These make the use of Anacardium species in the food industry an interesting approach to the development of green foods. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Euphorbia-Derived Natural Products with Potential for Use in Health Maintenance
Biomolecules 2019, 9(8), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9080337 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Euphorbia genus (Euphorbiaceae family), which is the third largest genus of angiosperm plants comprising ca. 2000 recognized species, is used all over the world in traditional medicine, especially in the traditional Chinese medicine. Members of this taxa are promptly recognizable by their specialized [...] Read more.
Euphorbia genus (Euphorbiaceae family), which is the third largest genus of angiosperm plants comprising ca. 2000 recognized species, is used all over the world in traditional medicine, especially in the traditional Chinese medicine. Members of this taxa are promptly recognizable by their specialized inflorescences and latex. In this review, an overview of Euphorbia-derived natural products such as essential oils, extracts, and pure compounds, active in a broad range of biological activities, and with potential usages in health maintenance, is described. The chemical composition of essential oils from Euphorbia species revealed the presence of more than 80 phytochemicals, mainly oxygenated sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons, while Euphorbia extracts contain secondary metabolites such as sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sterols, flavonoids, and other polyphenols. The extracts and secondary metabolites from Euphorbia plants may act as active principles of medicines for the treatment of many human ailments, mainly inflammation, cancer, and microbial infections. Besides, Euphorbia-derived products have great potential as a source of bioactive extracts and pure compounds, which can be used to promote longevity with more health. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement
Biomolecules 2019, 9(5), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9050161 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Chyawanprash (CP) is an Ayurvedic health supplement which is made up of a super-concentrated blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals. It is meant to restore drained reserves of life force (ojas) and to preserve strength, stamina, and vitality, while stalling the [...] Read more.
Chyawanprash (CP) is an Ayurvedic health supplement which is made up of a super-concentrated blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals. It is meant to restore drained reserves of life force (ojas) and to preserve strength, stamina, and vitality, while stalling the course of aging. Chyawanprash is formulated by processing around 50 medicinal herbs and their extracts, including the prime ingredient, Amla (Indian gooseberry), which is the world’s richest source of vitamin C. Chyawanprash preparation involves preparing a decoction of herbs, followed by dried extract preparation, subsequent mixture with honey, and addition of aromatic herb powders (namely clove, cardamom, and cinnamon) as standard. The finished product has a fruit jam-like consistency, and a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor. Scientific exploration of CP is warranted to understand its therapeutic efficacy. Scattered information exploring the therapeutic potential of CP is available, and there is a need to assemble it. Thus, an effort was made to compile the scattered information from ancient Ayurvedic texts and treatises, along with ethnobotanical, ethnopharmacological, and scientifically validated literature, that highlight the role of CP in therapeutics. Citations relevant to the topic were screened. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Plant-Derived Bioactives in Oral Mucosal Lesions: A Key Emphasis to Curcumin, Lycopene, Chamomile, Aloe vera, Green Tea and Coffee Properties
Biomolecules 2019, 9(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9030106 - 17 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Oral mucosal lesions have many etiologies, including viral or bacterial infections, local trauma or irritation, systemic disorders, and even excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. Folk knowledge on medicinal plants and phytochemicals in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions has gained special attention among [...] Read more.
Oral mucosal lesions have many etiologies, including viral or bacterial infections, local trauma or irritation, systemic disorders, and even excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. Folk knowledge on medicinal plants and phytochemicals in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions has gained special attention among the scientific community. Thus, this review aims to provide a brief overview on the traditional knowledge of plants in the treatment of oral mucosal lesions. This review was carried out consulting reports between 2008 and 2018 of PubMed (Medline), Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. The chosen keywords were plant, phytochemical, oral mucosa, leukoplakia, oral lichen planus and oral health. A special emphasis was given to certain plants (e.g., chamomile, Aloe vera, green tea, and coffea) and plant-derived bioactives (e.g., curcumin, lycopene) with anti-oral mucosal lesion activity. Finally, preclinical (in vitro and in vivo) and clinical studies examining both the safety and efficacy of medicinal plants and their derived phytochemicals were also carefully addressed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Health Beneficial Properties of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa as Potential Functional Food
Biomolecules 2019, 9(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9020076 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Aiton) Hassk. is a flowering plant belonging to the family Myrtaceae, native to southern and southeastern Asia. It has been used in traditional Vietnamese, Chinese, and Malaysian medicine for a long time for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, gynecopathy, stomachache, and [...] Read more.
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Aiton) Hassk. is a flowering plant belonging to the family Myrtaceae, native to southern and southeastern Asia. It has been used in traditional Vietnamese, Chinese, and Malaysian medicine for a long time for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, gynecopathy, stomachache, and wound healing. Moreover, R. tomentosa is used to make various food products such as wine, tea, and jam. Notably, R. tomentosa has been known to contain structurally diverse and biologically active metabolites, thus serving as a potential resource for exploring novel functional agents. Up to now, numerous phenolic and terpenoid compounds from the leaves, root, or fruits of R. tomentosa have been identified, and their biological activities such as antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer have been evidenced. In this contribution, an overview of R. tomentosa and its health beneficial properties was focused on and emphasized. Full article
Open AccessReview
Dietary Nitrate from Beetroot Juice for Hypertension: A Systematic Review
Biomolecules 2018, 8(4), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040134 - 02 Nov 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
According to current therapeutic approaches, a nitrate-dietary supplementation with beetroot juice (BRJ) is postulated as a nutritional strategy that might help to control arterial blood pressure in healthy subjects, pre-hypertensive population, and even patients diagnosed and treated with drugs. In this sense, a [...] Read more.
According to current therapeutic approaches, a nitrate-dietary supplementation with beetroot juice (BRJ) is postulated as a nutritional strategy that might help to control arterial blood pressure in healthy subjects, pre-hypertensive population, and even patients diagnosed and treated with drugs. In this sense, a systematic review of random clinical trials (RCTs) published from 2008 to 2018 from PubMed/MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, and manual searches was conducted to identify studies examining the relationship between BRJ and blood pressure. The specific inclusion criteria were: (1) RCTs; (2) trials that assessed only the BRJ intake with control group; and (3) trials that reported the effects of this intervention on blood pressure. The search identified 11 studies that met the inclusion criteria. This review was able to demonstrate that BRJ supplementation is a cost-effective strategy that might reduce blood pressure in different populations, probably through the nitrate/nitrite/nitric oxide (NO3/NO2/NO) pathway and secondary metabolites found in Beta vulgaris. This easily found and cheap dietary intervention could significantly decrease the risk of suffering cardiovascular events and, in doing so, would help to diminish the mortality rate associated to this pathology. Hence, BRJ supplementation should be promoted as a key component of a healthy lifestyle to control blood pressure in healthy and hypertensive individuals. However, several factors related to BRJ intake (e.g., gender, secondary metabolites present in B. vulgaris, etc.) should be studied more deeply. Full article
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