Food Supplements and Nutraceuticals: Current Evidence and Future Perspectives in Human Health

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 10801

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Independent Researcher, Via Venezuela 66, 98121 Messina, Italy
Interests: vegetarian diet; vegan diet; plant-based diet; soy; soy foods; phytoestrogens; isoflavones; vitamin B12; cobalamins; homocysteine; B vitamins; polyunsaturated fatty acids; vitamin D; dietary supplements; oxidative stress; antioxidants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphological and Functional Imaging, University of Messina, 98122 Messina, ME, Italy
Interests: herbal medicine; cannabinoids; cannabis; pain; clinical pharmacology; nutraceuticals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food supplements are designed to maintain health and promote recovery from physiological conditions. Their use is consistent with preserving a psychophysiological state free of sickness rather than intervening in the case of illness. Such a preventive approach is much more effective and cheaper compared with that of a cure, and this is even more so the case for nutraceuticals, which can be used to prevent disease and recover from subclinical conditions. Despite this, the concept of using nutraceuticals for such purposes is not yet shared by the scientific community and government bodies.

This Special Issue aims to investigate the role of food supplements on human health and to deepen understanding of the role of nutraceuticals. Submissions in the form of original research articles, reviews, perspectives, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses on the use nutraceuticals, functional foods or food supplements and their role in food nutrition. We encourage submissions of manuscripts regarding nutritional and functional properties of foods and food supplements.

Dr. Gianluca Rizzo
Prof. Dr. Gioacchino Calapai
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Foods 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 2900 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

  • food supplements
  • dietary supplements
  • nutraceuticals
  • functional foods
  • bioactive substances
  • nutrients
  • foods
  • phytochemicals

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1839 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Efficacy of Two Food Supplements Containing a Fixed Combination of Selected Probiotics and β-Glucans or Elderberry Extract for the Immune System: Modulation on Cytokines Expression in Human THP-1 and PBMC
by Giorgio Cappellucci, Giulia Baini, Elisabetta Miraldi, Lara Pauletto, Heide De Togni, Floriana Raso and Marco Biagi
Foods 2024, 13(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030458 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1490
Abstract
Several herbal and other natural products are used as ingredients in food supplements to strengthen immunity even if, very often, marketed products are proposed without a clear rationale or experimental evidence. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect on human monocytes [...] Read more.
Several herbal and other natural products are used as ingredients in food supplements to strengthen immunity even if, very often, marketed products are proposed without a clear rationale or experimental evidence. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect on human monocytes (THP-1) and on ex vivo human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of two formulations, one containing Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bl-04® with β-glucans (for adults) and one containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 with elderberry extract (for children). We compared formulations with single ingredients, with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the drug pidotimod; cytokines expression level was evaluated testing different concentrations of samples at two exposure times. As expected, LPS caused a non-specific huge upregulation of cytokines expression both in THP-1 and in PBMC, whereas pidotimod mainly upregulated IL-2 in PBMC and IL-8 in THP-1. The two formulations showed a difference between a pro-inflammatory stimulus such as LPS, and also from an immunostimulant drug, such as pidotimod, as they mainly upregulated the expression of IL-6 and IL-10 in PBMC but not in THP-1, in a concentration-dependent mode. Probiotics were shown to play a major role, but β-glucans and elderberry extract exerted a synergistic activity. This work demonstrated that combining selected probiotics with other natural products having immunomodulatory properties is an interesting strategy to develop innovative formulations in the sector of food supplements. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 1594 KiB  
Review
The Role of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) as a Functional Food in Vegetarian Nutrition
by Gianluca Rizzo, Maximilian Andreas Storz and Gioacchino Calapai
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3505; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183505 - 20 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3695
Abstract
Recently, there has been a renewed interest in Cannabis sativa and its uses. The recreational use of inflorescences as a source of THC has led to the legal restriction of C. sativa cultivation to limit the detrimental effects of psychotropic substance abuse on [...] Read more.
Recently, there has been a renewed interest in Cannabis sativa and its uses. The recreational use of inflorescences as a source of THC has led to the legal restriction of C. sativa cultivation to limit the detrimental effects of psychotropic substance abuse on health. However, this has also limited the cultivation of textile/industrial varieties with a low content of THC used for textile and nutritional purposes. While previously the bans had significantly penalized the cultivation of C. sativa, today many countries discriminate between recreational use (marijuana) and industrial and food use (hemp). The stalks of industrial hemp (low in psychotropic substances) have been used extensively for textile purposes while the seeds are nutritionally versatile. From hemp seeds, it is possible to obtain flours applicable in the bakery sector, oils rich in essential fatty acids, proteins with a high biological value and derivatives for fortification, supplementation and nutraceutical purposes. Hemp seed properties seem relevant for vegetarian diets, due to their high nutritional value and underestimated employment in the food sector. Hemp seed and their derivatives are a valuable source of protein, essential fatty acids and minerals that could provide additional benefit to vegetarian nutrition. This document aims to explore the information available in the literature about hemp seeds from a nutritional point of view, highlighting possible beneficial effects for humans with particular attention to vegetarian nutrition as a supplemental option for a well-planned diet. Full article
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21 pages, 1040 KiB  
Review
Plant-Based Milk Alternatives in Child Nutrition
by Marco Brusati, Luciana Baroni, Gianluca Rizzo, Francesca Giampieri and Maurizio Battino
Foods 2023, 12(7), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12071544 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4624
Abstract
Plant-based milk alternatives can be distinguished in two main categories, differing in production processes and regulation: plant-based formulas and plant-based drinks. They are now a widely accepted class of products on the international market. The various plant-based milk alternatives differ in nutritional characteristics [...] Read more.
Plant-based milk alternatives can be distinguished in two main categories, differing in production processes and regulation: plant-based formulas and plant-based drinks. They are now a widely accepted class of products on the international market. The various plant-based milk alternatives differ in nutritional characteristics due to their origin and manufacturing; more importantly, whereas formulas from plant and cow origin can be used interchangeably, plant-based drinks are nutritionally different from cow’s milk and can be consumed by children subsequently to the use of formula. Several scientific organizations have expressed differing opinions on the use of these products in the diets of children. In the face of unanimous conclusions regarding the use of these products during the first year of life, in subsequent ages there were conflicting opinions regarding the timing, quantities, and type of product to be used. From the viewpoint of the child’s overall diet and health, it could be suggested that these foods be considered not as simple substitutes for cow’s milk, but as part of a varied diet, within individual advice of use. We suggest accepting the presence of these products in a baby’s diet (omnivores included), planning their use correctly in the context of a balanced diet, according to the specific product and the needs of the individual. Full article
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