Special Issue "Nutraceuticals in Human Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Massimo Lucarini
Website
Guest Editor
CREA-Research Centre for Food and Nutrition
Interests: food quality; bioactive compounds; antioxidants; nutrition; metabolism; foods; biodiversity; Sustainability; bioavailability; beverages; meat; biorefinery; vegetable; fish; fibre; fatty acids; milk; cereals; food composition database; natural product
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutraceuticals are a challenge for the future of prevention and therapy. The possibility to prevent and/or support pharmacological therapy, which is nowadays mainly based on pharmaceuticals, can be a powerful tool to face pathological, chronic, long-term diseases in subjects who do not qualify for a pharmacological therapy.
Nutraceuticals are obtained from vegetal or animal origin foods, and prospective research on them will clarify their role, safety and efficacy by substantiating their role with clinical data. An effort to clarify their mechanism of action will open a door to a next generation of therapeutic agents that do not propose themselves as an alternative to drugs, but, instead, can be helpful to complement a pharmacological therapy, and to prevent the onset of chronical diseases.
The market as well as the interest of people in naturally-derived remedies and less synthetic pharmaceuticals is growing, and the attention of the collective imagination is nowadays more strongly focused on these food-derived products.
This Special Issue is dedicated to the role of and perspectives on nutraceuticals in human health, examined from different angles ranging from analytical aspects to clinical trials, from efficacy studies to beneficial effects on health conditions.

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
Dr. Massimo Lucarini
Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nutraceuticals
  • medicinal food
  • safety
  • health
  • regulation
  • clinical tests
  • efficacy
  • analysis
  • formulation

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Nutraceuticals in Human Health
Foods 2020, 9(3), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030370 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
The combined and concerted action of nutrient and biologically active compounds is flagged as an indicator of a “possible beneficial role” for health. The use and applications of bioactive components cover a wide range of fields, in particular the nutraceuticals. In this context, [...] Read more.
The combined and concerted action of nutrient and biologically active compounds is flagged as an indicator of a “possible beneficial role” for health. The use and applications of bioactive components cover a wide range of fields, in particular the nutraceuticals. In this context, the Special Issue entitled “Nutraceuticals in Human Health” is focused on the all aspects around the nutraceuticals, ranging from analytical aspects to clinical trials, from efficacy studies to beneficial effects on health status. Full article
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Ginger Water Reduces Body Weight Gain and Improves Energy Expenditure in Rats
Foods 2020, 9(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010038 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Obesity is a serious global problem that causes predisposition to numerous serious diseases. The current study aims to investigate the effect of ginger water on body weight and energy expenditure through modulation of mRNA expression of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. A white colored [...] Read more.
Obesity is a serious global problem that causes predisposition to numerous serious diseases. The current study aims to investigate the effect of ginger water on body weight and energy expenditure through modulation of mRNA expression of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. A white colored liquid obtained during freeze-drying of fresh rhizomes of Zingiber officinal was collected and named ginger water. It was used to treat rats, then blood and tissue samples were collected from the liver and white adipose at the end of the experiment. The serum was prepared and used for biochemical assays, while tissue samples were used for RNA isolation and gene expression analysis via Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis of ginger water revealed the presence of chrysin and galangin at concentrations of 0.24 µg/mL and 0.53 µg/mL, respectively. Average body weight gain decreased significantly in groups that received ginger water. In addition, both total cholesterol and serum triacylglycerol were reduced in the groups that received ginger water. Furthermore, mRNA expression of Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1c) in the liver and leptin in adipose tissues were downregulated, while those of adiponectin, hepatic carnitine palmitoyltransferase1 (CPT-1), acyl-coA oxidase (ACO), Glucose transporter 2 (GLUT-2), and pyruvate kinase (PK) were upregulated in ginger water-treated groups. These results clearly revealed the lowering body weight gain effect of ginger water, which most likely occurs at the transcriptional level of energy metabolizing proteins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Studied of Defatted Flour and Protein Concentrate of Prunus serotine and Applications
Foods 2020, 9(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010029 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Prunus serotine seed, was processed to produce a defatted flour (71.07 ± 2.10% yield) without hydrocyanic acid. The total protein was 50.94 ± 0.64%. According to sensory evaluation of cookies with P. serotine flour, the highest score in overall impression (6.31) was at [...] Read more.
Prunus serotine seed, was processed to produce a defatted flour (71.07 ± 2.10% yield) without hydrocyanic acid. The total protein was 50.94 ± 0.64%. According to sensory evaluation of cookies with P. serotine flour, the highest score in overall impression (6.31) was at 50% flour substitution. Its nutritional composition stood out for its protein and fiber contents 12.50% and 0.93%, respectively. Protein concentrate (PsPC) was elaborated (81.44 ± 7.74% protein) from defatted flour. Emulsifying properties of PsPC were studied in emulsions at different mass fractions; ϕ = 0.002, 0.02, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 through physicochemical analysis and compared with whey protein concentrate (WPC). Particle size in emulsions increased, as did oil content, and results were reflected in microscope photographs. PsPC at ϕ 0.02 showed positive results along the study, reflected in the microphotograph and emulsifying stability index (ESI) test (117.50 min). At ϕ 0.4, the lowest ESI (29.34 min), but the maximum emulsifying activity index (EAI) value (0.029 m2/g) was reached. WPC had an EAI value higher than PsPC at ϕ ≥ 0.2, but its ESI were always lower in all mass fraction values. PsPC can compete with emulsifiers as WPC and help stabilize emulsions. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Grape Seeds: Chromatographic Profile of Fatty Acids and Phenolic Compounds and Qualitative Analysis by FTIR-ATR Spectroscopy
Foods 2020, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010010 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 17
Abstract
The primary product of the oenological sector is wine. Nonetheless, the grape processing produces large amounts of by-products and wastes, e.g., the grape seeds. In the context of a sustainable production, there is a strong push towards reutilizing these by-products and waste for [...] Read more.
The primary product of the oenological sector is wine. Nonetheless, the grape processing produces large amounts of by-products and wastes, e.g., the grape seeds. In the context of a sustainable production, there is a strong push towards reutilizing these by-products and waste for making useful derivatives since they are rich of bioactive substances with high additional value. As it is true for the wine itself, bringing these by-products derivatives to the market calls for quality measures and analytical tools to assess quality itself. One of the main objectives is to collect analytical data regarding bioactive compounds using potentially green techniques. In the present work, the profile of fatty acids and the main phenolic compounds were investigated by conventional methods. The qualitative analysis of the main functional groups was carried out by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Moreover, the successful use of FTIR technique in combination with chemometric data analysis is shown to be a suitable analytical tool for discriminating the grape seeds. Grape seeds of different origin have different content of bioactive substances, making this technique useful when planning to recover a certain substance with specific potential application in health area as food supplement or nutraceutical. For example, Cesanese d’Affile seeds were found to have a rather high fat content with a significant fraction of unsaturated fatty acids. On the other hand, the seeds of Nero d’Avola exhibit the highest amount of phenolic compounds. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Anti-adipogenic Effect of β-Carboline Alkaloids from Garlic (Allium sativum)
Foods 2019, 8(12), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120673 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is utilized worldwide for culinary and medicinal use and has diverse health benefits. As part of our ongoing research to identify bioactive components from natural resources, phytochemical analysis of the methanolic extract of garlic led to the isolation [...] Read more.
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is utilized worldwide for culinary and medicinal use and has diverse health benefits. As part of our ongoing research to identify bioactive components from natural resources, phytochemical analysis of the methanolic extract of garlic led to the isolation and characterization of six compounds: Three eugenol diglycosides (13) and three β-carboline alkaloids (46). In particular, the absolute configurations of β-carboline alkaloids (5 and 6) were established by gauge-including atomic orbital nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift calculations, followed by DP4+ analysis. Here, we evaluated the effects of compounds 16 on 3T3-L1 preadipocyte adipogenesis and lipid metabolism. 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation was evaluated using Oil Red O staining; the expression of adipogenic genes was detected using RT-qPCR. Among compounds 16, (1R,3S)-1-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid (6) inhibited 3T3-L1 preadipocyte adipogenesis and reduced the expression of adipogenic genes (Fabp4, PPARγ, C/EBPβ, Adipsin, and Adipoq). Moreover, it markedly decreased the actylation of α-tubulin, which is crucial for cytoskeletal remodeling during adipogenesis. Anti-adipogenic effects were observed upon treatment with compound 6, not only during the entire process, but also on the first two days of adipogenesis. Additionally, treatment with compound 6 regulated the expression of genes involved in adipocyte lipid metabolism, decreasing the lipogenic gene (SREBP1) and increasing lipolytic genes (ATGL and HSL). We provide experimental evidence of the health benefits of using (1R,3S)-1-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid obtained from garlic to prevent excessive adipogenesis in obesity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Fulvic Acid Beverages by Mineral Profile and Antioxidant Capacity
Foods 2019, 8(12), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120605 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The main purpose of the study was to investigate the quality of fulvic acid-based food products. The concentrations of Ca, K, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn, and antioxidant capacities of fulvic acid concentrates and ready-to drink beverages available on the global [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the study was to investigate the quality of fulvic acid-based food products. The concentrations of Ca, K, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn, and antioxidant capacities of fulvic acid concentrates and ready-to drink beverages available on the global market were determined. The concentrations of minerals were determined using microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. Antioxidant capacity was expressed as total polyphenol (TP) and flavonoid (TF) contents, the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) values. The daily portion of eight out of 14 products realized 45–135% of recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Fe. One of ready-to-drink beverages was also a good source of Mg (about 40% of RDA), and another one of Mn (about 70% of RDA). The concentrations of TP and TF in ready-to-drink beverages varied from 6.5 to 187 µg/mL, whereas in concentrates, from 5886 to 19,844 µg/mL. Dietary supplements or food products with fulvic acids may be a good source of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds and some minerals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Arthrospira Platensis (Spirulina) Supplementation on Laying Hens’ Performance: Eggs Physical, Chemical, and Sensorial Qualities
Foods 2019, 8(9), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090386 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The present study evaluated the effects of dietary supplementation of spirulina on laying hens’ performances: Eggs’ physical, chemical, and sensorial qualities. A total of 45 Lohman White hens, 44 weeks of age, were randomized into 3 groups of 15 birds. Hens were given [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the effects of dietary supplementation of spirulina on laying hens’ performances: Eggs’ physical, chemical, and sensorial qualities. A total of 45 Lohman White hens, 44 weeks of age, were randomized into 3 groups of 15 birds. Hens were given 120 g/d of a basal diet containing 0% (control), 1.5%, and 2.5% of spirulina for 6 weeks. Albumen height and consequently Haugh unit were significantly affected by dietary supplementation of spirulina (p < 0.05) and by weeks on diet (p < 0.05). This supplement did not affect (p > 0.05) egg yolk weight or height. However, spirulina increased egg yolk redness (a*) from 1.33 (C) to 12.67 (D1) and 16.19 (D2) and reduced (p < 0.05) the yellowness (b*) parameter from 62.1(C) to 58.17 (D1) and 55.87 (D2). Egg yolks from hens fed spirulina were darker, more red, and less yellow in color than egg yolks from hens fed the control-diet (p < 0.0001). However, spirulina did not affect (p > 0.05) egg yolks’ total cholesterol concentration. In conclusion, a significant enhancement of egg yolk color was found in response to spirulina supplementation. Further investigations are needed to evaluate the impact of spirulina on egg yolks’ fatty acids profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Stability and Activity Changes of Apigenin and Luteolin in Human Cervical Cancer Hela Cells in Response to Heat Treatment and Fe2+/Cu2+ Addition
Foods 2019, 8(8), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080346 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Flavonoids are natural polyphenolic compounds with desired bio-functions but with chemical instability and sensitivity to temperature, oxygen, and other factors. Apigenin and luteolin, two flavones of the flavonoid family in plant foods, were; thus, assessed and compared for their stability, especially the changes [...] Read more.
Flavonoids are natural polyphenolic compounds with desired bio-functions but with chemical instability and sensitivity to temperature, oxygen, and other factors. Apigenin and luteolin, two flavones of the flavonoid family in plant foods, were; thus, assessed and compared for their stability, especially the changes in anti-cancer activity in response to the conducted heat treatments and the addition of ferrous or cupric ions. The two flavones in aqueous solutions showed first-order degradation at 20 and 37 °C. The addition of ferrous or cupric ions (except for Cu2+ at 37 °C) enhanced luteolin stability via forming the luteolin–metal complexes; however, Fe/Cu addition (especially at 37 °C) consistently impaired apigenin stability. Using the human cervical cancer Hela cells and two cell treatment times (24 and 48 h), it was evident that heat treatments (37 and 100 °C) or Fe/Cu addition could endow apigenin and luteolin with decreased activities in growth inhibition, DNA damage, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and apoptosis induction. In general, higher temperature led to greater decrease in these activities, while Fe2+ was more effective than Cu2+ to decrease these activities. The correlation analysis also suggested that the decreased ROS generation of the two flavones in the Hela cells was positively correlated with their decreased apoptosis induction. It is; thus, concluded that the two treatments can influence the two flavones’ stability and especially exert an adverse impact on their anti-cancer activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Egg Yolk Antioxidants Profiles: Effect of Diet Supplementation with Linseeds and Tomato-Red Pepper Mixture before and after Storage
Foods 2019, 8(8), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080320 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
This study evaluated the effect of dietary incorporation of linseed alone or along with dried tomato paste-pepper powder mix on egg physical characteristics, antioxidant profiles, lipid oxidative status, and yolk coloration before and after storage at 4 °C for one month. Sixty Novogen [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effect of dietary incorporation of linseed alone or along with dried tomato paste-pepper powder mix on egg physical characteristics, antioxidant profiles, lipid oxidative status, and yolk coloration before and after storage at 4 °C for one month. Sixty Novogen White laying hens, 27 weeks-old, were divided into three groups and given 100 g/hen/day of a standard diet (C), standard diet containing 4.5% of ground linseed (L), linseed diet containing 1% of dried tomato paste and 1% of sweet red pepper (LTP). Linseeds increased (p < 0.05) egg yolk antioxidant capacity but not lipid oxidative stability (p > 0.05). However, dietary inclusion of LTP did not improve fresh egg yolk antioxidant activity and lipid oxidation stability (p > 0.05). With reference to the stored eggs, only antioxidant activity measured by phosphomolybdenum reduction and lipid oxidative stability were influenced (p < 0.05) by the dietary treatment. Fresh egg yolk of hens fed on linseeds tended to have a slightly more yellow, redder, and less light color than the eggs of hens fed with the control diet. Dietary supplementation of LTP increased (p < 0.05) the Roche yolk color fan (RYCF) score and redness (a*) and decreased (p < 0.05) lightness (L*) without affecting (p > 0.05) saturation (C*). Storage of hens’ eggs fed on the control diet did not influence (p > 0.05) yolk color. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of a Combination of Fenugreek Seeds, Linseeds, Garlic and Copper Sulfate on Laying Hens Performances, Egg Physical and Chemical Qualities
Foods 2019, 8(8), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080311 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Several investigations have suggested that fenugreek seeds may have a hypocholesterolemic activity, and thus be efficient in the treatment of egg yolk cholesterol. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effect of dietary incorporation of 3% of fenugreek seed combined [...] Read more.
Several investigations have suggested that fenugreek seeds may have a hypocholesterolemic activity, and thus be efficient in the treatment of egg yolk cholesterol. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effect of dietary incorporation of 3% of fenugreek seed combined with 3% of linseed, 1% of garlic paste, and 0.078% of copper sulfate on laying performance, egg quality and lipids profile. Forty four, 41 weeks old, Novogen White laying hens received for 42 days 100 g/d of basal diet (control) or experimental diet (CFSGLSCS). With the exception of egg weight, which showed a significant increase for hens fed on CFSGLSCS with 57.99 g compared to 56.34 g for the control group, egg production (90.84% for control compared to 87.89% for experimental diet), egg mass (50.95 g/d for control compared to 50.87 g/d for CFSGLSCS), feed efficiency (1.94 for control compared to 1.98 for CFSGLSCS) were not affected by dietary treatments. The addition of CFSGLSCS reduced (p < 0.05) egg yolk cholesterol by 5.4% and blood cholesterol from 158.42 mg/dL to 122.82 mg/dL for control and CFSGLSCS, respectively. The dietary addition of CFSGLSCS increased (p < 0.05) total lipids from 4.5 g/egg to 5.23 g/egg and didn’t affect (p > 0.05) yolk triglycerides. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cherry Extract: Nanosystems-Based Strategies to Improve Endothelial Function and Intestinal Absorption
Foods 2020, 9(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020207 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cherry fruit has a high content in flavonoids. These are important diet components protecting against oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction, which are all involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, which is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Since the seasonal availability [...] Read more.
Cherry fruit has a high content in flavonoids. These are important diet components protecting against oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction, which are all involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, which is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Since the seasonal availability of fresh fruit is limited, research has been focused on cherry extract (CE), which also possesses a high nutraceutical potential. Many clinical studies have demonstrated the nutraceutical efficacy of fresh cherries, but only a few studies on CE antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities have been carried out. Here, the results concerning the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of CE are reviewed. These were obtained by an in vitro model based on Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). To clarify the CE mechanism of action, cells were stressed to induce inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. Considering that antioxidants’ polyphenol compounds are easily degraded in the gastrointestinal tract, recent strategies to reduce the degradation and improve the bioavailability of CE are also presented and discussed. In particular, we report on results obtained with nanoparticles (NP) based on chitosan derivatives (Ch-der), which improved the mucoadhesive properties of the chitosan polymers, as well as their positive charge, to favor high cellular interaction and polyphenols intestinal absorption, compared with a non-mucoadhesive negative surface charged poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid NP. The advantages and safety of different nanosystems loaded with natural CE or other nutraceuticals are also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Pharmacological Effects and Health Benefits of Platycodon grandiflorus—A Medicine Food Homology Species
Foods 2020, 9(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020142 - 31 Jan 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Platycodon grandiflorus is a widely used edible, traditional Chinese medicinal herb. It is rich in saponins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other compounds. It contains a large number of fatty acids such as linoleic acid (up to 63.24%), a variety of amino acids, vitamins, [...] Read more.
Platycodon grandiflorus is a widely used edible, traditional Chinese medicinal herb. It is rich in saponins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other compounds. It contains a large number of fatty acids such as linoleic acid (up to 63.24%), a variety of amino acids, vitamins, and multiple essential trace elements. P. grandiflorus has several biological applications, such as in hypotension, lipid reduction, atherosclerosis, inflammation, relieving cough and phlegm, promoting cholic acid secretion, and as an antioxidant. Further, P. grandiflorus is often used in the development of cold mixed vegetables, canned vegetables, preserved fruit, salted vegetables, and cosmetics in northeast China, South Korea, Japan, and Korea. In this paper, the active chemical components and the health benefits of P. grandiflorus have been reviewed, providing new ideas for the further development of nutraceutical products to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals in Human Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Phytochemicals and Traditional Use of Two Southernmost Chilean Berry Fruits: Murta (Ugni molinae Turcz) and Calafate (Berberis buxifolia Lam.)
Foods 2020, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010054 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Murta and calafate have been traditionally used by indigenous and rural peoples of Chile. Research on murta and calafate has gained interest due to their attractive sensory properties as well as a global trend in finding new fruits with potential health benefits. The [...] Read more.
Murta and calafate have been traditionally used by indigenous and rural peoples of Chile. Research on murta and calafate has gained interest due to their attractive sensory properties as well as a global trend in finding new fruits with potential health benefits. The objective of this review was to summarize the potential use of murta and calafate as sources of nutraceuticals regarding both the traditional and the up-to-date scientific knowledge. A search of historical documents recorded in the Digital National Library as well as scientific articles in the Web of Science database were performed using combinations of keywords with the botanical nomenclature. Peer-reviewed scientific articles did meet the inclusion criteria (n = 38) were classified in phytochemicals (21 papers) and biological activity (17 papers). Murta and calafate are high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC)-value fruits and promising sources of natural antioxidants, antimicrobial, and vasodilator compounds with nutraceutical potential. The bioactivity of anthocyanin metabolites in murta and calafate must continue to be studied in order to achieve adequate information on the biological activity and health-promoting effects derived for the consumption of murta and calafate fruit. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sources, Extraction and Biomedical Properties of Polysaccharides
Foods 2019, 8(8), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080304 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
In the recent era, bioactive compounds from plants have received great attention because of their vital health-related activities, such as antimicrobial activity, antioxidant activity, anticoagulant activity, anti-diabetic activity, UV protection, antiviral activity, hypoglycemia, etc. Previous studies have already shown that polysaccharides found in [...] Read more.
In the recent era, bioactive compounds from plants have received great attention because of their vital health-related activities, such as antimicrobial activity, antioxidant activity, anticoagulant activity, anti-diabetic activity, UV protection, antiviral activity, hypoglycemia, etc. Previous studies have already shown that polysaccharides found in plants are not likely to be toxic. Based on these inspirational comments, most research focused on the isolation, identification, and bioactivities of polysaccharides. A large number of biologically active polysaccharides have been isolated with varying structural and biological activities. In this review, a comprehensive summary is provided of the recent developments in the physical and chemical properties as well as biological activities of polysaccharides from a number of important natural sources, such as wheat bran, orange peel, barely, fungi, algae, lichen, etc. This review also focused on biomedical applications of polysaccharides. The contents presented in this review will be useful as a reference for future research as well as for the extraction and application of these bioactive polysaccharides as a therapeutic agent. Full article
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