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Special Issue "Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food"

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: closed (30 April 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Segura-Carretero

Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Univeristy of Granada and Center of Research and Development of Functional Foods (CIDAF), Granada, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: functional food; bioactive compounds; analytical techniques; mass spectrometry; nutraceuticals; metabolomic studies; by-products revalorization
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ana Mª Gomez-Caravaca

Department of Analytical Chemistry - University of Granada. Campus of Fuentenueva, Avda Fuentenueva s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 958 637206
Fax: +34 958 637083
Interests: Antioxidant compounds; mass spectrometry; food by-products; functional foods; nutraceuticals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, there is an increasing interest in the bioactive molecules, commonly known as "bioactive compounds", that are nutritional constituents that naturally occur in small quantities in foods and plants and show different health benefits. As a result, they are being intensively studied to evaluate their effects on human health. The effects are strictly related to the bioactive compounds profile, their content and biological activity. In recent years, the study of these molecules has been one of the main activities for developing functional foods and nutraceuticals. Recent advances in analytical chemistry have improved our knowledge about these compounds. However, bioactive compounds vary widely in chemical structure and function which still poses some methodological challenges even for current state-of-the-art technologies.

This Special Issue, “Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food”, will cover a selection of recent research topics and current review articles about the composition and content of bioactive compounds in functional food and nutraceuticals, including studies about metabolomic approaches. We are particularly interested in articles describing the new analytical strategies identification of new bioactive compounds, the use of new methodologies for chemical and/or clinical analysis of bioactive compounds, and recent advances in chemometric tools.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Segura Carretero
Dr. Ana Maria Gómez Caravaca
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.

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 Constituents
  • Functional Food
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Health Benefits
  • Metabolomics

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Soy Isoflavones on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells Using a Global Metabolomic Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091443
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (4027 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Despite substantial research, the understanding of the chemopreventive mechanisms of soy isoflavones remains challenging. Promising tools, such as metabolomics, can provide now a deeper insight into their biochemical mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to offer a comprehensive assessment of the metabolic [...] Read more.
Despite substantial research, the understanding of the chemopreventive mechanisms of soy isoflavones remains challenging. Promising tools, such as metabolomics, can provide now a deeper insight into their biochemical mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to offer a comprehensive assessment of the metabolic alterations induced by genistein, daidzein and a soy seed extract on estrogen responsive (MCF-7) and estrogen non-responsive breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231), using a global metabolomic approach. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay showed that all test compounds induced a biphasic effect on MCF-7 cells and only a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on MDA-MB-231 cells. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) profiling of extracellular metabolites and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) profiling of intracellular metabolites confirmed that all test compounds shared similar metabolic mechanisms. Exposing MCF-7 cells to stimulatory concentrations of isoflavones led to increased intracellular levels of 6-phosphogluconate and ribose 5-phosphate, suggesting a possible upregulation of the pentose phosphate pathway. After exposure to inhibitory doses of isoflavones, a significant decrease in glucose uptake was observed, especially for MCF-7 cells. In MDA-MB-231 cells, the glutamine uptake was significantly restricted, leading to alterations in protein biosynthesis. Understanding the metabolomic alterations of isoflavones represents a step forward in considering soy and soy derivates as functional foods in breast cancer chemoprevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Raisins (Vitis vinifera L.) in Human Gastric Epithelial Cells: A Comparative Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071156
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1091 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Raisins (Vitis vinifera L.) are dried grapes largely consumed as important source of nutrients and polyphenols. Several studies report health benefits of raisins, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, whereas the anti-inflammatory activity at gastric level of the hydro-alcoholic extracts, which are mostly [...] Read more.
Raisins (Vitis vinifera L.) are dried grapes largely consumed as important source of nutrients and polyphenols. Several studies report health benefits of raisins, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, whereas the anti-inflammatory activity at gastric level of the hydro-alcoholic extracts, which are mostly used for food supplements preparation, was not reported until now. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory activity of five raisin extracts focusing on Interleukin (IL)-8 and Nuclear Factor (NF)-κB pathway. Raisin extracts were characterized by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD) analysis and screened for their ability to inhibit Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α-induced IL-8 release and promoter activity in human gastric epithelial cells. Turkish variety significantly inhibited TNFα-induced IL-8 release, and the effect was due to the impairment of the corresponding promoter activity. Macroscopic evaluation showed the presence of seeds, absent in the other varieties; thus, hydro-alcoholic extracts from fruits and seeds were individually tested on IL-8 and NF-κB pathway. Seed extract inhibited IL-8 and NF-κB pathway, showing higher potency with respect to the fruit. Although the main effect was due to the presence of seeds, the fruit showed significant activity as well. Our data suggest that consumption of selected varieties of raisins could confer a beneficial effect against gastric inflammatory diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Enriched Astaxanthin Extract from Haematococcus pluvialis Augments Growth Factor Secretions to Increase Cell Proliferation and Induces MMP1 Degradation to Enhance Collagen Production in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060955
Received: 17 April 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2942 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among many antioxidants that are used for the repairing of oxidative stress induced skin damages, we identified the enriched astaxanthin extract (EAE) from Haematococcus pluvialis as a viable ingredient. EAE was extracted from the red microalgae through supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction. To [...] Read more.
Among many antioxidants that are used for the repairing of oxidative stress induced skin damages, we identified the enriched astaxanthin extract (EAE) from Haematococcus pluvialis as a viable ingredient. EAE was extracted from the red microalgae through supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction. To compare the effectiveness, EAE wastreated on human dermal fibroblasts with other components, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), and doxycycline. With sirius red staining and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we found that PMA decreased the collagen concentration and production while overall the addition of doxycycline and EAE increased the collagen concentration in a trial experiments. EAE increased collagen contents through inhibited MMP1 and MMP3 mRNA expression and induced TIMP1, the antagonists of MMPs protein, gene expression. As for when tested for various proteins through western blotting, it was seen that the addition of EAE increased the expression of certain proteins that promote cell proliferation. Testing those previous solutions using growth factor assay, it was noticeable that EAE had a positive impact on cell proliferation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) than doxycycline, indicating that it was a better alternative treatment for collagen production. To sum up, the data confirmed the possible applications as medical cosmetology agentsand food supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of a Prebiotic Formulation on Frailty Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060932
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aging can result in major changes in the composition and metabolic activities of bacterial populations in the gastrointestinal system and result in impaired function of the immune system. We assessed the efficacy of prebiotic Darmocare Pre® (Bonusan Besloten Vennootschap (BV), Numansdorp, The [...] Read more.
Aging can result in major changes in the composition and metabolic activities of bacterial populations in the gastrointestinal system and result in impaired function of the immune system. We assessed the efficacy of prebiotic Darmocare Pre® (Bonusan Besloten Vennootschap (BV), Numansdorp, The Netherlands) to evaluate whether the regular intake of this product can improve frailty criteria, functional status and response of the immune system in elderly people affected by the frailty syndrome. The study was a placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind design in sixty older participants aged 65 and over. The prebiotic product was composed of a mixture of inulin plus fructooligosaccharides and was compared with placebo (maltodextrin). Participants were randomized to a parallel group intervention of 13 weeks’ duration with a daily intake of Darmocare Pre® or placebo. Either prebiotic or placebo were administered after breakfast (between 9–10 a.m.) dissolved in a glass of water carefully stirred just before drinking. The primary outcome was to study the effect on frailty syndrome. The secondary outcomes were effect on functional and cognitive behavior and sleep quality. Moreover, we evaluated whether prebiotic administration alters blood parameters (haemogram and biochemical analysis). The overall rate of frailty was not significantly modified by Darmocare Pre® administration. Nevertheless, prebiotic administration compared with placebo significantly improved two frailty criteria, e.g., exhaustion and handgrip strength (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). No significant effects were observed in functional and cognitive behavior or sleep quality. The use of novel therapeutic approaches influencing the gut microbiota–muscle–brain axis could be considered for treatment of the frailty syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Level Expression of Recombinant Bovine Lactoferrin in Pichia pastoris with Antimicrobial Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060902
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, bovine lactoferrin (bLf), an iron-binding glycoprotein considered an important nutraceutical protein because of its several properties, was expressed in Pichia pastoris KM71-H under AOX1 promoter control, using pJ902 as the recombinant plasmid. Dot blotting analysis revealed the expression of recombinant [...] Read more.
In this study, bovine lactoferrin (bLf), an iron-binding glycoprotein considered an important nutraceutical protein because of its several properties, was expressed in Pichia pastoris KM71-H under AOX1 promoter control, using pJ902 as the recombinant plasmid. Dot blotting analysis revealed the expression of recombinant bovine lactoferrin (rbLf) in Pichia pastoris. After Bach fermentation and purification by molecular exclusion, we obtained an expression yield of 3.5 g/L of rbLf. rbLf and predominantly pepsin-digested rbLf (rbLfcin) demonstrated antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli) BL21DE3, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) FRI137, and, in a smaller percentage, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Ps. Aeruginosa) ATCC 27833. The successful expression and characterization of functional rbLf expressed in Pichia pastoris opens a prospect for the development of natural antimicrobial agents produced recombinantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Bovine Lactoferrin Formulation from Cow’s Milk on Menstrual Distress in Volunteers: A Randomized, Crossover Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060845
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dysmenorrhea is a highly prevalent complaint and highly undiagnosed gynecologic condition. Dairy products have a potential in the management of menstrual distress, and bovine lactoferrin can help the subjective dysphoria associated with dysmenorrhea. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects [...] Read more.
Dysmenorrhea is a highly prevalent complaint and highly undiagnosed gynecologic condition. Dairy products have a potential in the management of menstrual distress, and bovine lactoferrin can help the subjective dysphoria associated with dysmenorrhea. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of a lactoferrin formulation isolated from cow’s milk on menstrual symptoms in volunteers. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study of the iron-lactoferrin complex (FeLf) was performed in thirty-five healthy Japanese women. Participants received the 150 mg FeLf (per day) or placebo from day ten of the luteal phase to day four of the follicular phase. The Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ) was measured for menstrual distress, and heart rate variability was measured as an index of autonomic nerve balance during menses. A visual analog scale for menstrual pain, and a verbal rating scale for quality of life during the first three days of menstruation were measured. The MDQ score for the automatic nervous system subscale was lower and the parasympathetic nervous system activity was greater in FeLf than in placebo for intention-to-treat or per-protocol populations. The other variables were not different between the groups. No treatment-related side effects were observed during the study. The results indicate that FeLf can provide a beneficial effect on the psychological symptoms in women affected by menstrual distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploratory Characterization of Phenolic Compounds with Demonstrated Anti-Diabetic Activity in Guava Leaves at Different Oxidation States
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17050699
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 4 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (918 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Psidium guajava L. is widely used like food and in folk medicine all around the world. Many studies have demonstrated that guava leaves have anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic activities, among others, and that these activities belong mainly to phenolic compounds, although it is known [...] Read more.
Psidium guajava L. is widely used like food and in folk medicine all around the world. Many studies have demonstrated that guava leaves have anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic activities, among others, and that these activities belong mainly to phenolic compounds, although it is known that phenolic composition in guava tree varies throughout seasonal changes. Andalusia is one of the regions in Europe where guava is grown, thus, the aim of this work was to study the phenolic compounds present in Andalusian guava leaves at different oxidation states (low, medium, and high). The phenolic compounds in guava leaves were determined by HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS. The results obtained by chromatographic analysis reported that guava leaves with low degree of oxidation had a higher content of flavonols, gallic, and ellagic derivatives compared to the other two guava leaf samples. Contrary, high oxidation state guava leaves reported the highest content of cyanidin-glucoside that was 2.6 and 15 times higher than guava leaves with medium and low oxidation state, respectively. The QTOF platform permitted the determination of several phenolic compounds with anti-diabetic properties and provided new information about guava leaf phenolic composition that could be useful for nutraceutical production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Detection of Two Potential Probiotic Lactobacilli Strains and Evaluation of Their Performance as Starter Adjuncts in Yogurt Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17050668
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 4 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A molecular method for efficient and accurate detection and identification of two potential probiotic lactobacilli strains isolated from fermented olives, namely Lactobacillus pentosus B281 and Lb. plantarum B282, was developed in the present study. Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was performed, and [...] Read more.
A molecular method for efficient and accurate detection and identification of two potential probiotic lactobacilli strains isolated from fermented olives, namely Lactobacillus pentosus B281 and Lb. plantarum B282, was developed in the present study. Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was performed, and strain specific primers were designed and applied in a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The specificity of the assay was tested and successfully confirmed in 27 and 22 lactobacilli strains for Lb. pentosus B281 and Lb. plantarum B282, respectively. Moreover, the two strains were used as starter cultures in yogurt production. Cell enumeration followed by multiplex PCR analysis demonstrated that the two strains were present in yogurt samples at levels ≥6 log CFU/g even after 35 days of storage at 4 °C. Microbiological analysis showed that lactobacilli and streptococci were present within usual levels, whereas enterobacteriaceae and yeast/mold counts were not detected as expected. Although the pH values of the novel products were slightly lower than the control ones, the yogurt containing the probiotic cultures scored similar values compared to the control in a series of sensory tests. Overall, these results demonstrated the possible use of the two strains as starter adjuncts in the production of yogurt with potential probiotic properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Volatile Composition in Chinese Truffles via GC × GC/HR-TOF/MS and Electronic Nose
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040412
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 5 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To compare the volatile compounds of Chinese black truffle and white truffle from Yunnan province, this study presents the application of a direct solvent extraction/solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (DSE-SAFE) coupled with a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
To compare the volatile compounds of Chinese black truffle and white truffle from Yunnan province, this study presents the application of a direct solvent extraction/solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (DSE-SAFE) coupled with a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HR-TOF/MS) and an electronic nose. Both of the analytical methods could distinguish the aroma profile of the two samples. In terms of the overall profile of truffle samples in this research, more kinds of acids were detected via the method of DSE-SAFE. Besides, compounds identified in black truffle (BT), but not in white truffle (WT), or vice versa, and those detected in both samples at different levels were considered to play an important role in differentiating the two samples. According to the analysis of electronic nose, the two samples could be separated, as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenolic Profile and Biological Activities of the Pepino (Solanum muricatum) Fruit and Its Wild Relative S. caripense
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030394
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1072 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pepino (Solanum muricatum) is an edible and juicy fruit native to the Andean region which is becoming increasingly important. However, little information is available on its phenolic composition and bioactive properties. Four pepino varieties (37-A, El Camino, Puzol, and Valencia) [...] Read more.
The pepino (Solanum muricatum) is an edible and juicy fruit native to the Andean region which is becoming increasingly important. However, little information is available on its phenolic composition and bioactive properties. Four pepino varieties (37-A, El Camino, Puzol, and Valencia) and one accession (E-7) of its close wild relative S. caripense were characterized by HPLC-DAD-MSn/ESI. Twenty-four hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives were detected (5 to 16 compounds per variety or accession), with differences of more than two-fold for their total content among the materials studied. The major phenolics in the pepino varieties were chlorogenic acids and derivatives, while in S. caripense a caffeoyl-synapoyl-quinic acid was the major compound. The in vitro antioxidant capacity (DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl hydrate), ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), and TRC (total reducing capacity) tests) was higher in S. caripense. Pepino and S. caripense extracts were not toxic for RAW 264.7 macrophage cells, and the raw extracts inhibited NO production of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages by 36% (El Camino) to 67% (37-A). No single variety ranked high simultaneously for hydroxycinnamic acids content, antioxidant activity and biological activity. We suggest the screening of large collections of germplasm or the use of complementary crosses between Puzol (high for hydroxycinnamic acids and biological activity) and S. caripense E-7 (high for antioxidant activity) to select and breed pepino varieties with enhanced properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
From Olive Fruits to Olive Oil: Phenolic Compound Transfer in Six Different Olive Cultivars Grown under the Same Agronomical Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030337
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (1153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phenolic compounds are responsible of the nutritional and sensory quality of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). The composition of phenolic compounds in EVOO is related to the initial content of phenolic compounds in the olive-fruit tissues and the activity of enzymes acting on these [...] Read more.
Phenolic compounds are responsible of the nutritional and sensory quality of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). The composition of phenolic compounds in EVOO is related to the initial content of phenolic compounds in the olive-fruit tissues and the activity of enzymes acting on these compounds during the industrial process to produce the oil. In this work, the phenolic composition was studied in six major cultivars grown in the same orchard under the same agronomical and environmental conditions in an effort to test the effects of cultivars on phenolic composition in fruits and oils as well as on transfer between matrices. The phenolic fractions were identified and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry. A total of 33 phenolic compounds were determined in the fruit samples and a total of 20 compounds in their corresponding oils. Qualitative and quantitative differences in phenolic composition were found among cultivars in both matrices, as well as regarding the transfer rate of phenolic compounds from fruits to oil. The results also varied according to the different phenolic groups evaluated, with secoiridoids registering the highest transfer rates from fruits to oils. Moreover, wide-ranging differences have been noticed between cultivars for the transfer rates of secoiridoids (4.36%–65.63% of total transfer rate) and for flavonoids (0.18%–0.67% of total transfer rate). ‘Picual’ was the cultivar that transferred secoiridoids to oil at the highest rate, whereas ‘Changlot Real’ was the cultivar that transferred flavonoids at the highest rates instead. Principal-component analysis confirmed a strong genetic effect on the basis of the phenolic profile both in the olive fruits and in the oils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Delivery of Flavonoids and Saponins from Black Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Seed Coats Incorporated into Whole Wheat Bread
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17020222
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 17 February 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cereal-based products can be used as vehicles for the delivery of relevant bioactive compounds since they are staple foods for most cultures throughout the world. The health promoting benefits of flavonoids and saponins contained in black bean seed coats have been previously described. [...] Read more.
Cereal-based products can be used as vehicles for the delivery of relevant bioactive compounds since they are staple foods for most cultures throughout the world. The health promoting benefits of flavonoids and saponins contained in black bean seed coats have been previously described. In the present work, the effect of adding flavonoids and saponins from black bean seed coat to the typical yeast-leavened whole wheat bread formulation in terms of bread features, organoleptic properties and phytochemical profile was studied. The retention of bioactive compounds was determined and the inhibitory effects of in vitro enzyme digested samples on two colon cancer cell lines (Caco-2 and HT29) was evaluated. The addition of bioactive compounds did not significantly affect baking properties or texture parameters. Among organoleptic properties of enriched breads, only crumb color was affected by the addition of bioactive compounds. However, the use of whole wheat flour partially masked the effect on color. More than 90% of added flavonoids and saponins and 80% of anthocyanins were retained in bread after baking. However, saponins were reduced more than 50% after the in vitro enzyme digestion. The black bean seed coat phytochemicals recovered after in vitro enzyme digestion of enriched breads significantly reduced by 20% the viability of colon cancer cells without affecting standard fibroblast cells (p < 0.05). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Brazilein Suppresses Inflammation through Inactivation of IRAK4-NF-κB Pathway in LPS-Induced Raw264.7 Macrophage Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27589-27598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161126048
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The medicinal herbal plant has been commonly used for prevention and intervention of disease and health promotions worldwide. Brazilein is a bioactive compound extracted from Caesalpinia sappan Linn. Several studies have showed that brazilein exhibited the immune suppressive effect and anti-oxidative function. However, [...] Read more.
The medicinal herbal plant has been commonly used for prevention and intervention of disease and health promotions worldwide. Brazilein is a bioactive compound extracted from Caesalpinia sappan Linn. Several studies have showed that brazilein exhibited the immune suppressive effect and anti-oxidative function. However, the molecular targets of brazilein for inflammation prevention have remained elusive. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of brazilein on LPS-induced inflammatory response in Raw264.7 macrophage cells. We demonstrated that brazilein decreased the expression of IRAK4 protein led to the suppression of MAPK signaling and IKKβ, and subsequent inactivation of NF-κB and COX2 thus promoting the expression of the downstream target pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, MCP-1, MIP-2, and IL-6 in LPS-induced Raw264.7 macrophage cells. Moreover, we observed that brazilein reduced the production of nitrite compared to the control in LPS-induced Raw264.7. Thus, we suggest that brazilein might be a useful bioactive compound for the prevention of IRAK-NF-κB pathway associated chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Fernblock (Polypodium leucotomos Extract): Molecular Mechanisms and Pleiotropic Effects in Light-Related Skin Conditions, Photoaging and Skin Cancers, a Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071026
Received: 7 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (3429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Healthier life styles include increased outdoors time practicing sports and walking. This means increased exposure to the sun, leading to higher risk of sunburn, photoaging and skin cancer. In addition to topical barrier products, oral supplementations of various botanicals endowed with antioxidant activity [...] Read more.
Healthier life styles include increased outdoors time practicing sports and walking. This means increased exposure to the sun, leading to higher risk of sunburn, photoaging and skin cancer. In addition to topical barrier products, oral supplementations of various botanicals endowed with antioxidant activity are emerging as novel method of photoprotection. Polypodium leucotomos extract (PL, commercial name Fernblock®, IFC Group, Spain) is a powerful antioxidant due to its high content of phenolic compounds. PL is administered orally, with proven safety, and it can also be used topically. Its mechanisms include inhibition of the generation and release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by ultraviolet (UV) light. It also prevents UV- and ROS-induced DNA damage with inhibition of AP1 and NF-κB and protection of natural antioxidant enzyme systems. At the cellular level, PL decreases cellular apoptosis and necrosis mediated UV and inhibits abnormal extracellular matrix remodeling. PL reduces inflammation, prevents immunosuppression, activates tumor suppressor p53 and inhibits UV-induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme expression. In agreement with increased p53 activity, PL decreased UV radiation-induced cell proliferation. PL also prevents common deletions mitochondrial DNA damage induced by UVA, and MMP-1 expression induced Visible Light and Infrared Radiation. These cellular and molecular effects are reflected in inhibitions of carcinogenesis and photoaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Obesity, Insulin Resistance Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Review of Human Clinical Trials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060928
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
Cited by 58 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of probiotics and synbiotics in the prevention and treatment of different disorders has dramatically increased over the last decade. Both probiotics and synbiotics are well known ingredients of functional foods and nutraceuticals and may provide beneficial health effects because they can [...] Read more.
The use of probiotics and synbiotics in the prevention and treatment of different disorders has dramatically increased over the last decade. Both probiotics and synbiotics are well known ingredients of functional foods and nutraceuticals and may provide beneficial health effects because they can influence the intestinal microbial ecology and immunity. The present study reviews the effects of probiotics and synbiotics on obesity, insulin resistance syndrome (IRS), type 2 diabetes (T2D) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in human randomized clinical trials. Select probiotics and synbiotics provided beneficial effects in patients with obesity, mainly affecting the body mass index and fat mass. Some probiotics had beneficial effects on IRS, decreasing the cell adhesion molecule-1 levels, and the synbiotics decreased the insulin resistance and plasma lipid levels. Moreover, select probiotics improved the carbohydrate metabolism, fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity and antioxidant status and also reduced metabolic stress in subjects with T2D. Some probiotics and synbiotics improved the liver and metabolic parameters in patients with NAFLD. The oral intake of probiotics and synbiotics as co-adjuvants for the prevention and treatment of obesity, IRS, T2D and NAFLD is partially supported by the data shown in the present review. However, further studies are required to understand the precise mechanism of how probiotics and synbiotics affect these metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessReview
Flavonoids as Cytokine Modulators: A Possible Therapy for Inflammation-Related Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060921
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 28 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
Cited by 53 | PDF Full-text (1829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High levels of cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-6, are associated with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer; therefore cytokine inhibition might be an important target for the treatment of these diseases. Most [...] Read more.
High levels of cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-6, are associated with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer; therefore cytokine inhibition might be an important target for the treatment of these diseases. Most drugs used to alleviate some inflammation-related symptoms act by inhibiting cyclooxygenases activity or by blocking cytokine receptors. Nevertheless, these drugs have secondary effects when used on a long-term basis. It has been mentioned that flavonoids, namely quercetin, apigenin and luteolin, reduce cytokine expression and secretion. In this regard, flavonoids may have therapeutical potential in the treatment of inflammation-related diseases as cytokine modulators. This review is focused on current research about the effect of flavonoids on cytokine modulation and the description of the way these compounds exert their effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessReview
Nutraceutical Properties of Olive Oil Polyphenols. An Itinerary from Cultured Cells through Animal Models to Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060843
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 59 | PDF Full-text (1523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing interest in the Mediterranean diet hinges on its healthy and anti-ageing properties. The composition of fatty acids, vitamins and polyphenols in olive oil, a key component of this diet, is considered a key feature of its healthy properties. Therefore, it is [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in the Mediterranean diet hinges on its healthy and anti-ageing properties. The composition of fatty acids, vitamins and polyphenols in olive oil, a key component of this diet, is considered a key feature of its healthy properties. Therefore, it is of significance that the Rod of Asclepius lying on a world map surrounded by olive tree branches has been chosen by the World Health Organization as a symbol of both peace and well-being. This review travels through most of the current and past research, recapitulating the biochemical and physiological correlations of the beneficial properties of olive tree (Olea europaea) polyphenols and their derivatives found in olive oil. The factors influencing the content and beneficial properties of olive oil polyphenols will also be taken into account together with their bioavailability. Finally, the data on the clinical and epidemiological relevance of olive oil and its polyphenols for longevity and against age- and lifestyle-associated pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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Open AccessReview
Phenolic Compounds in the Potato and Its Byproducts: An Overview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060835
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a tuber that is largely used for food and is a source of different bioactive compounds such as starch, dietary fiber, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds are synthetized by the potato plant [...] Read more.
The potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a tuber that is largely used for food and is a source of different bioactive compounds such as starch, dietary fiber, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds are synthetized by the potato plant as a protection response from bacteria, fungi, viruses, and insects. Several works showed that these potato compounds exhibited health-promoting effects in humans. However, the use of the potato in the food industry submits this vegetable to different processes that can alter the phenolic content. Moreover, many of these compounds with high bioactivity are located in the potato’s skin, and so are eliminated as waste. In this review the most recent articles dealing with phenolic compounds in the potato and potato byproducts, along with the effects of harvesting, post-harvest, and technological processes, have been reviewed. Briefly, the phenolic composition, main extraction, and determination methods have been described. In addition, the “alternative” food uses and healthy properties of potato phenolic compounds have been addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
Open AccessReview
Date (Phoenix dactylifera) Polyphenolics and Other Bioactive Compounds: A Traditional Islamic Remedy’s Potential in Prevention of Cell Damage, Cancer Therapeutics and Beyond
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 30075-30090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226210
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review analyzes current studies of the therapeutic effects of Phoenix dactylifera, or date palm fruit, on the physiologic system. Specifically, we sought to summarize the effects of its application in preventing cell damage, improving cancer therapeutics and reducing damage caused by [...] Read more.
This review analyzes current studies of the therapeutic effects of Phoenix dactylifera, or date palm fruit, on the physiologic system. Specifically, we sought to summarize the effects of its application in preventing cell damage, improving cancer therapeutics and reducing damage caused by conventional chemotherapy. Phoenix dactylifera exhibits potent anti-oxidative properties both in vitro and in vivo. This allows the fruit to prevent depletion of intrinsic protection from oxidative cell damage and assist these defense systems in reducing cell damage. Macroscopically, this mechanism may be relevant to the prevention of various adverse drug events common to chemotherapy including hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, gastrotoxicity, and peripheral neuropathy. While such effects have only been studied in small animal systems, research suggests a potential application to more complex mammalian systems and perhaps a solution to some problems of chemotherapy in hepato-compromised and nephro-compromised patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Research of Functional and Nutraceutical Food)
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