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Plant-Sourced Functional and Bioactive Compounds—Nature’s Blueprint for Improving Human Well-Being

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2024 | Viewed by 2639

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Catering and nutrition, University of Food Technologies, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Interests: dietary habits; healthy lifestyle; eating disorders; plant-based nutrition; phytochemistry; food chemistry; fruit characteristics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are an inexhaustible object of scientific research, as evidenced by the strong interest in them for decades, and are still an interesting resource for bioactive substances and opportunities to potentially improve human life. Of course, a range of molecular research on potential hazards should also be conducted so that people can confidently turn to nature’s products as a source of real solutions to improve, maintain and protect health.

Plants, on the other hand, have been a part of the food, clothing and in general of the daily life of people since ancient times, with which they have gained/acquired popularity and are known to people for their benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, analgesic, antidiabetic, anti-atherogenic, antiproliferative, as well as cardio- and neuroprotective activities and drawbacks (skin reactions, mycotoxins). However, the role of scientists is to focus/channel the accumulated knowledge over the years, to explain it and to confirm or deny it, respectively, with the help of the tools of modern science (e.g., chemistry, biophysics, and biochemistry). Although we think that everything is known there is still undiscovered and unexplored, which challenges the scientific community.

In this regard, researchers are strongly encouraged to submit their work in our current special issue on “Plant-Sourced Functional and Bioactive Compounds—Nature’s Blueprint for Improving Human Well-Being” and to expand the range of data available in reviews or research studies.

Please note: papers describing the effects of mixed extraction from natural origin and substances without clear ingredients, such as complex prescriptions, crude extracts, and herbal mixtures, do not fall within the scope of IJMS.

Dr. Dasha Mihaylova
Dr. Aneta Popova
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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • plants
  • antioxidants
  • phytochemicals
  • phyto-nutrition
  • natural products
  • health enhancing

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 2424 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Proximity to the Quintero-Puchuncaví Industrial Zone on Compounds Isolated from Baccharis macraei Hook. & Arn: Their Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity
by Manuel Martínez-Lobos, Estela Tapia-Venegas, Paula Celis-Plá, Joan Villena, Carlos Jara-Gutiérrez, Alexandra Lobos-Pessini, Daniela Rigano, Carmina Sirignano and Alejandro Madrid-Villegas
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(11), 5993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25115993 - 30 May 2024
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Abstract
Baccharis macraei Hook. & Arn (Asteraceae), commonly known as Vautro, is found in the coastal areas of central-southern Chile, including the industrial zone of Quintero-Puchuncaví, known for the contamination of its soils with heavy metals, which together with other factors generate abiotic stress [...] Read more.
Baccharis macraei Hook. & Arn (Asteraceae), commonly known as Vautro, is found in the coastal areas of central-southern Chile, including the industrial zone of Quintero-Puchuncaví, known for the contamination of its soils with heavy metals, which together with other factors generate abiotic stress in plant species, against which they present defensive mechanisms. For this reason, the objective was to evaluate the effect of abiotic stress generated by the proximity of B. macraei to the industrial complex by assessing the physiological and metabolic states reported by the extracts and compounds isolated from the species, as well as the photosynthetic capacity, metal content and production, and antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity against tumorigenic cell lines of the phytoconstituents. To this end, B. macraei was collected at two different distances from the industrial complex, observing that the closer the species is, the greater the concentration of copper in the soil, generating a decrease in the rate of electron transport in situ, but an increase in antioxidant activity with low cytotoxicity. This activity could be due to the presence of flavonoids such as Hispidulin, Cirsimaritina, and Isokaempferida, as well as monoterpenes, oxygenated and non-oxygenated sesquiterpenes identified in this study. Full article
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15 pages, 2053 KiB  
Article
Effects of Piper aduncum (Piperales: Piperaceae) Essential Oil and Its Main Component Dillapiole on Detoxifying Enzymes and Acetylcholinesterase Activity of Amblyomma sculptum (Acari: Ixodidae)
by Adalberto Alves Pereira Filho, Vladimir Fazito do Vale, Caio Marcio de Oliveira Monteiro, Mayara Macedo Barrozo, Mariana Alves Stanton, Lydia Fumiko Yamaguchi, Massuo Jorge Kato and Ricardo Nascimento Araújo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(10), 5420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25105420 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Amblyomma sculptum is a species of tick in the family Ixodidae, with equids and capybaras among its preferred hosts. In this study, the acaricidal activity of the essential oil (EO) from Piper aduncum and its main component, Dillapiole, were evaluated against larvae of [...] Read more.
Amblyomma sculptum is a species of tick in the family Ixodidae, with equids and capybaras among its preferred hosts. In this study, the acaricidal activity of the essential oil (EO) from Piper aduncum and its main component, Dillapiole, were evaluated against larvae of A. sculptum to establish lethal concentration values and assess the effects of these compounds on tick enzymes. Dillapiole exhibited slightly greater activity (LC50 = 3.38 mg/mL; 95% CI = 3.24 to 3.54) than P. aduncum EO (LC50 = 3.49 mg/mL; 95% CI = 3.36 to 3.62) against ticks. The activities of α-esterase (α-EST), β-esterase (β-EST), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) enzymes in A. sculptum larvae treated with Dillapiole showed a significant increase compared to the control at all concentrations (LC5, LC25, LC50 and LC75), similar results were obtained with P. aduncum EO, except for α-EST, which did not differ from the control at the highest concentration (LC75). The results of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity show an increase in enzyme activity at the two lower concentrations (LC5 and LC25) and a reduction in activity at the two higher, lethal concentrations (LC50 and LC75) compared to the control. These results suggest potential mechanisms of action for these natural acaricides and can provide guidance for the future development of potential plant-derived formulations. Full article
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Review

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20 pages, 2949 KiB  
Review
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Proliferative Potential of Cannabidiol: A Cellular and Molecular Perspective
by Manamele Dannies Mashabela and Abidemi Paul Kappo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(11), 5659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25115659 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Cannabinoids, the bioactive compounds found in Cannabis sativa, have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, with early discoveries dating back to the BC era (BCE). However, the increased recreational use of cannabis has led to a negative perception of its medicinal [...] Read more.
Cannabinoids, the bioactive compounds found in Cannabis sativa, have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, with early discoveries dating back to the BC era (BCE). However, the increased recreational use of cannabis has led to a negative perception of its medicinal and food applications, resulting in legal restrictions in many regions worldwide. Recently, cannabinoids, notably Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have gained renewed interest in the medical field due to their anti-cancer properties. These properties include the inhibition of tumour growth and cell invasion, anti-inflammatory effects, and the induction of autophagy and apoptosis. As a result, the use of cannabinoids to treat chemotherapy-associated side effects, like nausea, vomiting, and pain, has increased, and there have been suggestions to implement the large-scale use of cannabinoids in cancer therapy. However, these compounds’ cellular and molecular mechanisms of action still need to be fully understood. This review explores the recent evidence of CBD’s efficacy as an anti-cancer agent, which is of interest due to its non-psychoactive properties. The current review will also provide an understanding of CBD’s common cellular and molecular mechanisms in different cancers. Studies have shown that CBD’s anti-cancer activity can be receptor-dependent (CB1, CB2, TRPV, and PPARs) or receptor-independent and can be induced through molecular mechanisms, such as ceramide biosynthesis, the induction of ER stress, and subsequent autophagy and apoptosis. It is projected that these molecular mechanisms will form the basis for the therapeutic applications of CBD. Therefore, it is essential to understand these mechanisms for developing and optimizing pre-clinical CBD-based therapies. Full article
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