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Special Issue "Bio-functional Natural Products in Edible Resources for Human Health and Beauty"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Toshio Morikawa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Institute, Kindai University; 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-osaka, Osaka 577-8502, Japan
Interests: isolation and structure determination of bioactive natural products; synthetic studies on bioactive natural products; structure-activity relationship studies on bioactive natural products; studies of bioactive natural products on the application to pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and food additives; mechanisms of action of bioactive natural products
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural products remain important repositories of promising therapeutic candidates due to their rich chemical and biological diversity. The Special Issue on "Biofunctional Natural Products in Edible Resources for Human Health and Beauty" is intended to offer biological active natural products from edible resources as candidates and/or leads for pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, functional foods, cosmetics, food additives, etc. The research fields of this Special Issue include natural products chemistry, phytochemistry, pharmacognosy, food chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, chemical biology, molecular biology, molecular pharmacology, and other related research fields of bioactive natural products obtained from the edible resources. Here, we encourage investigators to consider submitting reviews, regular research papers, and short communications focusing on the different aspects. I look forward to receiving many submissions from outstanding experts in these research fields.

Prof. Dr. Toshio Morikawa
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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. Molecules 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 2000 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

  • Natural product chemistry
  • Phytochemistry
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Food chemistry
  • Bioorganic chemistry
  • Chemical biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Molecular pharmacology
  • Isolation and structure determination
  • Total synthesis
  • Structure–activity relationship
  • Mechanism of action

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Natural Herbal Estrogen-Mimetics (Phytoestrogens) Promote the Differentiation of Fallopian Tube Epithelium into Multi-Ciliated Cells via Estrogen Receptor Beta
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030722 - 30 Jan 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Phytoestrogens are herbal polyphenolic compounds that exert various estrogen-like effects in animals and can be taken in easily from a foodstuff in daily life. The fallopian tube lumen, where transportation of the oocyte occurs, is lined with secretory cells and multi-ciliated epithelial cells. [...] Read more.
Phytoestrogens are herbal polyphenolic compounds that exert various estrogen-like effects in animals and can be taken in easily from a foodstuff in daily life. The fallopian tube lumen, where transportation of the oocyte occurs, is lined with secretory cells and multi-ciliated epithelial cells. Recently, we showed that estrogen induces multi-ciliogenesis in the porcine fallopian tube epithelial cells (FTECs) through the activation of the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) pathway and simultaneous inhibition of the Notch pathway. Thus, ingested phytoestrogens may induce FTEC ciliogenesis and thereby affect the fecundity. To address this issue, we added isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, or glycitin) and coumestan (coumestrol) to primary culture FTECs under air–liquid interface conditions and assessed the effects of each compound. All phytoestrogens except glycitin induced multi-ciliated cell differentiation, which followed Notch signal downregulation. On the contrary, the differentiation of secretory cells decreased slightly. Furthermore, genistein and daidzein had a slight effect on the proportion of proliferating cells exhibited by Ki67 expression. Ciliated-cell differentiation is inhibited by the ERβ antagonist, PHTPP. Thus, this study suggests that phytoestrogens can improve the fallopian tube epithelial sheet homeostasis by facilitating the genesis of multi-ciliated cells and this effect depends on the ERβ-mediated pathway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Eucalyptol-Rich Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) Essential Oil: Emerging Potential for Therapy against Inflammation and Cancer
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3671; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163671 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Background/Aim: natural products are a potential source for drug discovery and development of cancer chemoprevention. Considering that drugs currently available for the treatment of inflammatory and cancer conditions show undesirable side effects, this research was designed to evaluate, for the first time, the [...] Read more.
Background/Aim: natural products are a potential source for drug discovery and development of cancer chemoprevention. Considering that drugs currently available for the treatment of inflammatory and cancer conditions show undesirable side effects, this research was designed to evaluate, for the first time, the in vitro anticancer activity of Algerian Lavandula stoechas essential oil (LSEO) against different cancer cell lines, as well as its in vitro and in vivo topical and acute anti-inflammatory properties. Materials and Methods: the LSEO was extracted by steam distillation, and chemical composition analysis was performed using gas chromatography. The main compounds identified in LSEO were oxygenated monoterpenes, such as 1,8-Cineole (61.36%). LSEO exhibited a potent anti-inflammatory activity using the xylene-induced mouse ear edema model. Results: LSEO (200 and 20 mg/kg) was able to significantly reduce (p < 0.05) the carrageenan-induced paw edema with a similar effect to that observed for the positive control. Topical application of LSEO at doses of 82 and 410 mg/kg significantly reduced acute ear edema in 51.4% and 80.1% of the mice, respectively. Histological analysis confirmed that LSEO inhibited the skin inflammatory response. Moreover, LSEO was tested for its antitumor activity against different cancer cell lines. LSEO was found to be significantly active against human gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS), Melanoma MV3, and breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells, with median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 0.035 ± 0.018, 0.06 ± 0.022 and 0.259 ± 0.089 µL/mL, respectively. Altogether, these results open a new field of investigation into the characterization of the molecules involved in anti-proliferative processes. Conclusion: We suggest that LSEO, with 1,8-Cineole as the major active component, is a promising candidate for use in skin care products with anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. The results of this study may provide an experimental basis for further systematic research, rational development, and clinical utilization of lavender resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
NOx-, IL-1β-, TNF-α-, and IL-6-Inhibiting Effects and Trypanocidal Activity of Banana (Musa acuminata) Bracts and Flowers: UPLC-HRESI-MS Detection of Phenylpropanoid Sucrose Esters
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4564; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244564 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
Banana inflorescences are a byproduct of banana cultivation consumed in various regions of Brazil as a non-conventional food. This byproduct represents an alternative food supply that can contribute to the resolution of nutritional problems and hunger. This product is also used in Asia [...] Read more.
Banana inflorescences are a byproduct of banana cultivation consumed in various regions of Brazil as a non-conventional food. This byproduct represents an alternative food supply that can contribute to the resolution of nutritional problems and hunger. This product is also used in Asia as a traditional remedy for the treatment of various illnesses such as bronchitis and dysentery. However, there is a lack of chemical and pharmacological data to support its consumption as a functional food. Therefore, this work aimed to study the anti-inflammatory action of Musa acuminata blossom by quantifying the cytokine levels (NOx, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6) in peritoneal neutrophils, and to study its antiparasitic activities using the intracellular forms of T. cruzi, L. amazonensis, and L. infantum. This work also aimed to establish the chemical profile of the inflorescence using UPLC-ESI-MS analysis. Flowers and the crude bract extracts were partitioned in dichloromethane and n-butanol to afford four fractions (FDCM, FNBU, BDCM, and BNBU). FDCM showed moderate trypanocidal activity and promising anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6. BDCM significantly inhibited the secretion of TNF-α, while BNBU was active against IL-6 and NOx. LCMS data of these fractions revealed an unprecedented presence of arylpropanoid sucroses alongside flavonoids, triterpenes, benzofurans, stilbenes, and iridoids. The obtained results revealed that banana inflorescences could be used as an anti-inflammatory food ingredient to control inflammatory diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Composition of Sugars in Wild and Cultivated Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.)
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4225; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234225 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Products of lingonberries are widely used in the human diet; they are also promising beauty and health therapeutic candidates in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It is important to examine the sugar profile of these berries, due to potential deleterious health effects resulting [...] Read more.
Products of lingonberries are widely used in the human diet; they are also promising beauty and health therapeutic candidates in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It is important to examine the sugar profile of these berries, due to potential deleterious health effects resulting from high sugar consumption. The aim of this study was to determine the composition of sugars in wild clones and cultivars or lower taxa of lingonberries by HPLC–ELSD method of analysis. Acceptable system suitability, linearity, limits of detection and quantification, precision, and accuracy of this analytical method were achieved. The same sugars with moderate amounts of fructose, glucose, and low amounts of sucrose were found in wild and cultivated lingonberries. Cultivar ‘Erntekrone’ and wild lingonberries collected from full sun, dry pine tree forests with lower altitude and latitude of the location, distinguished themselves with exclusive high contents of sugars. The changes in the sugar levels during the growing season were apparent in lingonberries and the highest amounts accumulated at the end of the vegetation. According to our findings, lingonberries seem to be an appropriate source of dietary sugars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anthocyanin Accumulation in the Leaves of the Purple Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) Cultivars
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3743; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203743 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Sweet potato anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments with many physiological functions. Previous research on anthocyanin accumulation in sweet potato has focused on the roots, but the accumulation progress in the leaves is still unclear. Two purple sweet potato cultivars (Fushu No. 23 and Fushu [...] Read more.
Sweet potato anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments with many physiological functions. Previous research on anthocyanin accumulation in sweet potato has focused on the roots, but the accumulation progress in the leaves is still unclear. Two purple sweet potato cultivars (Fushu No. 23 and Fushu No. 317) with large quantities of anthocyanin in the leaves were investigated. Anthocyanin composition and content were assessed with ultra-performance liquid chromatography diode-array detection (UPLC-DAD) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS), and the expressions of genes were detected by qRT-PCR. The two cultivars contained nine cyanidin anthocyanins and nine peonidin anthocyanins with an acylation modification. The acylation modification of anthocyanins in sweet potato leaves primarily included caffeoyl, p-coumaryl, feruloyl, and p-hydroxy benzoyl. We identified three anthocyanin compounds in sweet potato leaves for the first time: cyanidin 3-p-coumarylsophoroside-5-glucoside, peonidin 3-p-coumarylsophoroside-5-glucoside, and cyanidin 3-caffeoyl-p-coumarylsophoroside-5-glucoside. The anthocyanidin biosynthesis downstream structural genes DFR4, F3H1, anthocyanin synthase (ANS), and UDP-glucose flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT3), as well as the transcription factor MYB1, were found to be vital regulatory genes during the accumulation of anthocyanins in sweet potato leaves. The composition of anthocyanins (nine cyanidin-based anthocyanins and nine peonidin-based anthocyanins) in all sweet potato leaves were the same, but the quantity of anthocyanins in leaves of sweet potato varied by cultivar and differed from anthocyanin levels in the roots of sweet potatoes. The anthocyanidin biosynthesis structural genes and transcription factor together regulated and controlled the anthocyandin biosynthesis in sweet potato leaves. Full article
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