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Special Issue "Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jianbo Xiao
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Vigo - Ourense Campus, E-32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: phytochemicals; polyphenols; diabetes; function food; natural products; glycosylation; biological activity; flavonoids; stilbenoids; pharmacokinetics; nutrition and metabolism; polyphenol-protein interaction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yanbo Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chinese Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: Chinese medicine; Alzheimer's disease; lung cancer; diabetic nephropathy; molecular mechanisms; phytochemicals and analysis; molecular identification; formulation pharmacology; natural products
Prof. Dr. Hui Ni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Food and Biology Engineering, Jimei University, Xiamen, China
Interests: phytochemicals; polyphenols; flavonoids; glycosylation; biological activity; polyphenol-protein interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is related to the 4th International Symposium on Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food (4-ISPMF), which will be held at Xi’an, 25–30 June, 2020. This Special Issue seeks updated and new knowledge on the phytochemicals in medicine and food. Evidence from epidemiological investigations shows that natural phytochemicals have received increased attention due to their considerable benefits in the prevention and management of modern diseases, such as cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This Special Issue will shape the future research directions regarding this important phytomedicine source. Our purpose is to feature high-quality, advanced research and knowledge, contributed by various research groups working on phytochemicals. We invite researchers including non‒participants of 4-ISPMF to contribute reviews and reports of their recent work on the chemistry, biology, and biotechnology of phytochemicals.

The Special Issue will focus on phytochemicals in medicine and food, including following aspects:

  1. Natural products for preventing and managing modern diseases.
  2. Mechanisms of phytochemicals for the therapy and chemoprevention of modern diseases.
  3. Importance of natural phytochemicals in medicine and food
  4. Structure–activity relationship and modeling for natural drug design
  5. Natural antioxidants and human health
  6. New strategies for using natural products to manage diseases
  7. Pharmacokinetics and biotransformation of phytochemicals
  8. Nutrition and metabolism of phytochemicals

Prof. Dr. Jianbo Xiao
Prof. Dr. Yanbo Zhang
Prof. Dr. Hui Ni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Phytochemicals
  • Medicinal plants
  • Natural products
  • Phytomedicine
  • Metabolism
  • Prevention
  • Chemoprevention
  • Function food
  • Structure–activity relationship
  • Biotransformation

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Immunomodulative Effects of Chamaecyparis obtusa Essential Oil in Mouse Model of Allergic Rhinitis
Molecules 2020, 25(19), 4517; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25194517 - 02 Oct 2020
Viewed by 573
Abstract
The present study aims to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of essential oil from Chamaecyparis obtusa (EOCO) in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic rhinitis (AR) mouse model. BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally sensitized and stimulated with OVA. From day 22 to 35, 0.01% and 0.1% ECOC [...] Read more.
The present study aims to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of essential oil from Chamaecyparis obtusa (EOCO) in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic rhinitis (AR) mouse model. BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally sensitized and stimulated with OVA. From day 22 to 35, 0.01% and 0.1% ECOC was intranasally administered 1 h before OVA stimulation. Nasal symptoms, as well as serum total and OVA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels, were measured. Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, interferon (IFN)-γ, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels in nasal lavage fluid (NLF) and their production by activated splenocytes were measured. Histological changes in the sinonasal mucosa were evaluated through hematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid-Schiff staining procedure. Th cytokines and their transcription factor mRNA expressions were determined using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Intranasal EOCO administration significantly suppressed allergic symptoms, OVA-specific IgE level, sinonasal mucosal inflammatory cell infiltration, and mucus-producing periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) positive cell count. EOCO also significantly inhibited IL-4, IL-10, and TNF-α levels in NLF and activated splenocytes. Th2 and Treg related cytokines and their transcription factors in sinonasal mucosa were significantly suppressed through intransal EOCO instillation. In conclusion, repetitive EOCO intranasal instillation showed anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects by suppressing nasal symptoms and inhibiting the production and expression of inflammatory mediators in the OVA-induced AR mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Properties of CurNQ for the Theranostic Application in Ovarian Cancer Intervention
Molecules 2020, 25(19), 4471; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25194471 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 528
Abstract
Synthesis of a novel theranostic molecule for targeted cancer intervention. A reaction between curcumin and lawsone was carried out to yield the novel curcumin naphthoquinone (CurNQ) molecule (2,2′-((((1E,3Z,6E)-3-hydroxy-5-oxohepta-1,3,6-triene-1,7-diyl) bis(2-methoxy-4,1-phenylene))bis(oxy))bis(naphthalene-1,4-dione). CurNQ’s structure was elucidated and was fully characterized. CurNQ was demonstrated to have pH [...] Read more.
Synthesis of a novel theranostic molecule for targeted cancer intervention. A reaction between curcumin and lawsone was carried out to yield the novel curcumin naphthoquinone (CurNQ) molecule (2,2′-((((1E,3Z,6E)-3-hydroxy-5-oxohepta-1,3,6-triene-1,7-diyl) bis(2-methoxy-4,1-phenylene))bis(oxy))bis(naphthalene-1,4-dione). CurNQ’s structure was elucidated and was fully characterized. CurNQ was demonstrated to have pH specific solubility, its saturation solubility increased from 11.15 µM at pH 7.4 to 20.7 µM at pH 6.8. This pH responsivity allows for cancer targeting (Warburg effect). Moreover, CurNQ displayed intrinsic fluorescence, thus enabling imaging and detection applications. In vitro cytotoxicity assays demonstrated the chemotherapeutic properties of CurNQ as CurNQ reduced cell viability to below 50% in OVCAR-5 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. CurNQ is a novel theranostic molecule for potential targeted cancer detection and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Pharmacokinetic Analysis Utilizing Non-Targeted and Targeted Mass Spectrometry and In Vitro Assay against Transient Receptor Potential Channels of Maobushisaishinto and Its Constituent Asiasari Radix
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4283; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25184283 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 503
Abstract
The Japanese traditional medicine maobushisaishinto (MBST) has been prescribed for treating upper respiratory tract infections, such as a common cold. However, its mode of action is poorly understood, especially concerning the MBST constituent Asiasari Radix (AR). In this study, we focused on AR, [...] Read more.
The Japanese traditional medicine maobushisaishinto (MBST) has been prescribed for treating upper respiratory tract infections, such as a common cold. However, its mode of action is poorly understood, especially concerning the MBST constituent Asiasari Radix (AR). In this study, we focused on AR, with an objective of clarifying its bioavailable active ingredients and role within MBST by performing pharmacokinetic and pharmacological studies. Firstly, we performed qualitative non-targeted analysis utilizing high-resolution mass spectrometry to explore the bioavailable ingredients of AR as well as quantitative targeted analysis to reveal plasma concentrations following oral administration of MBST in rats. Secondly, we performed in vitro pharmacological study of bioavailable AR ingredients in addition to other ingredients of MBST to confirm any agonistic activities against transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. As a result, methyl kakuol and other compounds derived from AR were detected in the rat plasma and showed agonistic activity against TRPA1. This study suggests that methyl kakuol as well as other compounds have the potential to be an active ingredient in AR and thus presumably would contribute in part to the effects exerted by MBST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and In Vivo Screening of Wild Bitter Melon Leaf for Anti-Inflammatory Activity against Cutibacterium acnes
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4277; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25184277 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
Cutibacterium acnes (formerly Propionibacterium acnes) is a key pathogen involved in the development and progression of acne inflammation. The numerous bioactive properties of wild bitter melon (WBM) leaf extract and their medicinal applications have been recognized for many years. In this study, [...] Read more.
Cutibacterium acnes (formerly Propionibacterium acnes) is a key pathogen involved in the development and progression of acne inflammation. The numerous bioactive properties of wild bitter melon (WBM) leaf extract and their medicinal applications have been recognized for many years. In this study, we examined the suppressive effect of a methanolic extract (ME) of WBM leaf and fractionated components thereof on live C. acnes-induced in vitro and in vivo inflammation. Following methanol extraction of WBM leaves, we confirmed anti-inflammatory properties of ME in C. acnes-treated human THP-1 monocyte and mouse ear edema models. Using a bioassay-monitored isolation approach and a combination of liquid–liquid extraction and column chromatography, the ME was then separated into n-hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water-soluble fractions. The hexane fraction exerted the most potent anti-inflammatory effect, suppressing C. acnes-induced interleukin-8 (IL-8) production by 36%. The ethanol-soluble fraction (ESF), which was separated from the n-hexane fraction, significantly inhibited C. acnes-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-mediated cellular IL-8 production. Similarly, the ESF protected against C. acnes-stimulated mouse ear swelling, as measured by ear thickness (20%) and biopsy weight (23%). Twenty-four compounds in the ESF were identified using gas chromatograph–mass spectrum (GC/MS) analysis. Using co-cultures of C. acnes and THP-1 cells, β-ionone, a compound of the ESF, reduced the production of IL-1β and IL-8 up to 40% and 18%, respectively. β-ionone also reduced epidermal microabscess, neutrophilic infiltration and IL-1β expression in mouse ear. We also found evidence of the presence of anti-inflammatory substances in an unfractionated phenolic extract of WBM leaf, and demonstrated that the ESF is a potential anti-inflammatory agent for modulating in vitro and in vivo C. acnes-induced inflammatory responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Ten New Dammarane-Type Saponins with Hypolipidemia Activity from a Functional Herbal Tea—Gynostemma pentaphyllum
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3737; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163737 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (thumb.) Makino is a functional herbal tea commonly used in Asian countries and regions to reduce blood lipid levels. G. pentaphyllum saponin is the main component, but there are still a large number of components with lipid-lowering activity that have not [...] Read more.
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (thumb.) Makino is a functional herbal tea commonly used in Asian countries and regions to reduce blood lipid levels. G. pentaphyllum saponin is the main component, but there are still a large number of components with lipid-lowering activity that have not been found. In this study, 10 novel dammarane-type saponins, (110) and a known one (11) were isolated from G. pentaphyllum. Ten new compounds were identified and named as yunnangypenosides A-J (110), and another known one (11) was also obtained. Their chemical structures were determined by MS, NMR spectroscopic analyses. Moreover, the cytotoxicities on human HepG-2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells of these isolates were evaluated, and the results showed that compounds 111 had no obvious cytotoxicity. Finally, all these compounds were evaluated for their lipid-lowering effect by means of the oil red O staining method. Ten compounds could significantly reduce lipid levels except of 2, especially 8 exhibite the strongest hypolipidemia activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and Its Mixtures on Phenolic Profiles, Antioxidant Activities, and Inhibitions of the Key Enzymes Relevant to Alzheimer’s Disease
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3713; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163713 - 14 Aug 2020
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) has long been used as a food source and ingredient for traditional herbal remedies. Plant parts contain neuroprotective agents that interact with specific targets to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Organic solvents including methanol, ethyl acetate, hexane, and [...] Read more.
Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) has long been used as a food source and ingredient for traditional herbal remedies. Plant parts contain neuroprotective agents that interact with specific targets to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Organic solvents including methanol, ethyl acetate, hexane, and n-butanol, are widely employed for extraction of sacred lotus but impact food safety. Seed embryo, flower stalk, stamen, old leaf, petal, and leaf stalk of sacred lotus were extracted using hot water (aqueous extraction). The extractions were analyzed for their bioactive constituents, antioxidant and anti-AD properties as key enzyme inhibitory activities toward acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and β-secretase 1 (BACE-1). Results showed that the sacred lotus stamen exhibited significant amounts of phenolics, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, that contributed to high antioxidant activity via both single electron transfer (SET) and hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanisms, with anti-AChE, anti-BChE, and anti-BACE-1 activities. To enhance utilization of other sacred lotus parts, a combination of stamen, old leaf and petal as the three sacred lotus plant components with the highest phenolic contents, antioxidant activities, and enzyme inhibitory properties was analyzed. Antagonist interaction was observed, possibly from flavonoids–flavonoids interaction. Further in-depth elucidation of this issue is required. Findings demonstrated that an aqueous extract of the stamen has potential for application as a functional food to mitigate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
Open AccessArticle
Hydromethanolic Extracts from Adansonia digitata L. Edible Parts Positively Modulate Pathophysiological Mechanisms Related to the Metabolic Syndrome
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2858; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122858 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome includes a cluster of risk factors for many pathological conditions, including hyperglycemia, abdominal obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Adansonia digitata L. (also known as baobab) is used in traditional African Medicine and recent studies showed that it improves the metabolism of carbohydrates [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome includes a cluster of risk factors for many pathological conditions, including hyperglycemia, abdominal obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. Adansonia digitata L. (also known as baobab) is used in traditional African Medicine and recent studies showed that it improves the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. The aim of this study is to investigate the mechanisms of action associated with the beneficial effects of extracts from the edible parts of baobab (fruit pulp, leaves, raw and toasted seeds), evaluating their inhibitory activity against: alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase, angiotensin-converting enzyme, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, and pancreatic lipase. Baobab fruit pulp and leaf extracts resulted to be the most active ones and were then tested on the differentiation process of SW-872 human liposarcoma cells to mature adipocytes. The addition of these latter extracts did not affect triglyceride accumulation, indicating a neutral impact on this parameter. The findings here reported help to explain the growing amount of evidence on the biological properties of baobab and provide suggestions about their use in food and nutraceutical fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Phytochemicals, Antioxidant, and In Vitro Anti-Alzheimer Properties of Twenty-Seven Morus spp. Cultivated in Thailand
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2600; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112600 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. To fight the disease, natural products, including mulberry, with antioxidant activities and inhibitory activities against key enzymes (acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and beta-secretase 1 (BACE-1)) are of interest. However, even in the same cultivars, mulberry [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. To fight the disease, natural products, including mulberry, with antioxidant activities and inhibitory activities against key enzymes (acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and beta-secretase 1 (BACE-1)) are of interest. However, even in the same cultivars, mulberry trees grown in different populated locations might possess disparate amounts of phytochemical profiles, leading to dissimilar health properties, which cause problems when comparing different cultivars of mulberry. Therefore, this study aimed to comparatively investigate the phytochemicals, antioxidant activities, and inhibitory activities against AChE, BChE, and BACE-1, of twenty-seven Morus spp. cultivated in the same planting area in Thailand. The results suggested that Morus fruit samples were rich in phenolics, especially cyanidin, kuromanin, and keracyanin. Besides, the aqueous Morus fruit extracts exhibited antioxidant activities, both in single electron transfer (SET) and hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanisms, while strong inhibitory activities against AD key enzymes were observed. Interestingly, among the twenty-seven Morus spp., Morus sp. code SKSM 810191 with high phytochemicals, antioxidant activities and in vitro anti-AD properties is a promising cultivar for further developed as a potential mulberry resource with health benefits against AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Antiobesity Effects of Gentiana lutea Extract on 3T3-L1 Preadipocytes and a High-Fat Diet-Induced Mouse Model
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2453; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102453 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 855
Abstract
Obesity is one of the most common metabolic diseases resulting in metabolic syndrome. In this study, we investigated the antiobesity effect of Gentiana lutea L. (GL) extract on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and a high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced mouse model. For the induction of preadipocytes into adipocytes, [...] Read more.
Obesity is one of the most common metabolic diseases resulting in metabolic syndrome. In this study, we investigated the antiobesity effect of Gentiana lutea L. (GL) extract on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and a high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced mouse model. For the induction of preadipocytes into adipocytes, 3T3-L1 cells were induced by treatment with 0.5 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, 1 mM dexamethasone, and 1 μg/mL insulin. Adipogenesis was assessed based on the messenger ribonucleic acid expression of adipogenic-inducing genes (adiponectin (Adipoq), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (Cebpa), and glucose transporter type 4 (Slc2a4)) and lipid accumulation in the differentiated adipocytes was visualized by Oil Red O staining. In vivo, obese mice were induced with HFD and coadministered with 100 or 200 mg/kg/day of GL extract for 12 weeks. GL extract treatment inhibited adipocyte differentiation by downregulating the expression of adipogenic-related genes in 3T3-L1 cells. In the obese mouse model, GL extract prevented HFD-induced weight gain, fatty hepatocyte deposition, and adipocyte size by decreasing the secretion of leptin and insulin. In conclusion, GL extract shows antiobesity effects in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that this extract can be beneficial in the prevention of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
New Rare Ent-Clerodane Diterpene Peroxides from Egyptian Mountain Tea (Qourtom) and Its Chemosystem as Herbal Remedies and Phytonutrients Agents
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092172 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Genus Stachys, the largest genera of the family Lamiaceae, and its species are frequently used as herbal teas due to their essential oils. Tubers of some Stachys species are also consumed as important nutrients for humans and animals due to their carbohydrate [...] Read more.
Genus Stachys, the largest genera of the family Lamiaceae, and its species are frequently used as herbal teas due to their essential oils. Tubers of some Stachys species are also consumed as important nutrients for humans and animals due to their carbohydrate contents. Three new neo-clerodane diterpene peroxides, named stachaegyptin F-H (1, 2, and 4), together with two known compounds, stachysperoxide (3) and stachaegyptin A (5), were isolated from Stachys aegyptiaca aerial parts. Their structures were determined using a combination of spectroscopic techniques, including HR-FAB-MS and extensive 1D and 2D NMR (1H, 13C NMR, DEPT, 1H-1H COSY, HMQC, HMBC and NOESY) analyses. Additionally, a biosynthetic pathway for the isolated compounds (15) was discussed. The chemotaxonomic significance of the isolated diterpenoids of S. aegyptiaca in comparison to the previous reported ones from other Stachys species was also studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Studies on Polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, and Essential Oil from Fermented Mycelia and Cultivated Sclerotium of a Medicinal and Edible Mushroom, Poria Cocos
Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061269 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Poria cocos, an important medicinal and edible fungus, is well known in East Asia. The main active components are water-soluble polysaccharides (WPS) and triterpenoids. Due to the growing market demand, long cultivation period, and consumption of pine trunk during cultivation, alternative methods [...] Read more.
Poria cocos, an important medicinal and edible fungus, is well known in East Asia. The main active components are water-soluble polysaccharides (WPS) and triterpenoids. Due to the growing market demand, long cultivation period, and consumption of pine trunk during cultivation, alternative methods for producing P. cocos or its active components should be investigated. In this study, WPS, triterpenoids, monosaccharide composition, and essential oil in fermented mycelia and cultivated sclerotium were analyzed using UV spectrophotometry, HPLC, pre-column derivatization, and HS-GC/MS, respectively. Our results showed that the WPS and triterpenoids in mycelia are several times higher than those in sclerotium. Among the 62 compounds identified by HS-GC/MS analysis from the essential oil obtained from the fermentation media and a fresh external layer, the two main fragrances in common were linalool and methyl phenylacetate. Our results suggested that it is applicable to produce polysaccharides and triterpenoids by the fermentation of P. cocos, and a strategy to improve triterpenoid production in the fermentation process was proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Enzyme and Biological Activities of the Water Extracts from the Plants Aesculus hippocastanum, Olea europaea and Hypericum perforatum That Are Used as Folk Remedies in Turkey
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051202 - 06 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Phenolic compounds are secondary metabolites that are found ubiquitously in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Many studies have shown that regular consumption of these compounds could have a positive effect on our health. The aim of this study was to compare the phytochemical contents [...] Read more.
Phenolic compounds are secondary metabolites that are found ubiquitously in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Many studies have shown that regular consumption of these compounds could have a positive effect on our health. The aim of this study was to compare the phytochemical contents of the water extracts from three different plants used as folk remedies in Turkey: Aesculus hippocastanum, Olea europaea, and Hypericum perforatum. A liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) analysis was performed to explore the phenolic profiles. The biological activities of these extracts were also evaluated in terms of their antioxidant activities (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl DPPH, 2,2′-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid ABTS, Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power Assay FRAP, cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity CUPRAC, β-carotene, phosphomolybdenum, and metal chelating) and enzyme inhibitory properties (against acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, and tyrosinase). The aqueous extract of H. perforatum showed the highest levels of total phenolic, flavonoid, and saponin contents. Protocatechuic acid, vanillic acid, verbascoside, hesperidin, hyperoside, apigenin 7-hexosides, and quercetin were the most common compounds found in this species. The results confirm that A. hippocastanum, O. europaea, and H. perforatum represent a potential source of natural-derived molecules with positive properties that could be used as valid starting point for new food supplements, and drugs in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
Open AccessArticle
Physicochemical and Digestion Properties of Potato Starch Were Modified by Complexing with Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051123 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Dietary intake of potato starch could induce a dramatic increase in blood glucose and is positively associated with chronic metabolic diseases (type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.). Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSP) are known to decrease starch digestion by inhibiting digestive enzymes or changing [...] Read more.
Dietary intake of potato starch could induce a dramatic increase in blood glucose and is positively associated with chronic metabolic diseases (type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.). Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSP) are known to decrease starch digestion by inhibiting digestive enzymes or changing the physicochemical properties of starch. In the present study, GSP were complexed with potato starch to prepare polyphenol–starch complexes. The physiochemical properties and digestibility of complexes were investigated by in vitro digestion model, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, rapid visco analyzer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as well as texture profile analysis. Results indicated that the peak viscosity, breakdown, trough, and setback of the complexes disappeared, replaced by a special continuous increase in paste viscosity. The complexes showed a lower final viscosity and higher thermal stability with the increasing binding amount of GSP. GSP decreased the hardness of the complexes’ gel significantly. FT-IR indicated that GSP might interact with potato starch through noncovalent forces. Additionally, the complexes also showed a higher content of slowly digestible starch and resistant starch than that of the native starch. Thus, we inferred that the addition of GSP could modify the digestibility of potato starch and be an optional way to modify the starch with lower digestion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Gamma Irradiated Rhodiola sachalinensis Extract Ameliorates Testosterone-Induced Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia by Downregulating 5-Alpha Reductase and Restoring Testosterone in Rats
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3981; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213981 - 04 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
The effect of Rhodiola sachalinensis Boriss extract irradiated with 50 kGy gamma rays (HKC) on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) was investigated. Seven-week-old male SD rats received a subcutaneous injection of 20 mg/kg of testosterone propionate (TP) to induce BPH. Then, the testosterone only [...] Read more.
The effect of Rhodiola sachalinensis Boriss extract irradiated with 50 kGy gamma rays (HKC) on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) was investigated. Seven-week-old male SD rats received a subcutaneous injection of 20 mg/kg of testosterone propionate (TP) to induce BPH. Then, the testosterone only group received testosterone, the testosterone + finasteride group received testosterone and finasteride (5 mg/kg), the testosterone + HKC group received testosterone and HKC extract (500 mg/kg). Prostate weight and the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in serum or prostate tissue were determined. The mRNA expressions of 5-alpha reductase (AR) in prostate tissue were also measured. Compared to the control group, prostate weight was significantly improved in the TP group and decreased in the HKC and finasteride-treated groups. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of 5-AR in the prostate was significantly reduced in the HKC and finasteride-treated groups. Similarly, the expression levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and cytokeratin, which are associated with prostatic enlargement in the HKC and finasteride groups, were much lower than in the TP group. HKC treatment showed similar efficacy to finasteride treatment on rats with testosterone-induced BPH. HKC may be explored as a potential new drug for BPH treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Long- and Short-Term Strontium Treatment on Metabolites and Minerals in Glycine max
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3825; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213825 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 736
Abstract
The impact of long-term exposure to Sr2+ (LTE, four doses, 43.5 mg Sr2+ per pot, with a total of 174 mg Sr2+ per pot during the entire period of cultivation) and short-term exposure to Sr2+ (STE, one dose, 870 [...] Read more.
The impact of long-term exposure to Sr2+ (LTE, four doses, 43.5 mg Sr2+ per pot, with a total of 174 mg Sr2+ per pot during the entire period of cultivation) and short-term exposure to Sr2+ (STE, one dose, 870 mg Sr2+ per pot four days before harvest) on the content of phytoestrogens and allantoin in soybeans were compared. Sr2+ accumulation, the effect on the concentration of macroelements, and basic physiology were also analyzed. LTE reduced the content of malonyldaidzin and malonylgenistin in the roots (58% and 50% compared to the control, respectively). STE increased the amount of all isoflavones in the stem and genistein in the leaves and decreased the content of malonyldaidzin and malonylgenistin in the leaves (55% and 48% compared to the control, respectively) and roots (69% and 62% of the control, respectively) as well as genistein and coumestrol in the roots (both 50% compared to the control). Sr2+ presence stimulated the accumulation of allantoin in the roots (three-fold higher than in the control), but only STE had similar effects on the shoots. In contrast to LTE, Sr2+ was transported extensively from the roots to the leaves under STE. In comparison to the control, LTE resulted in an increase in the Ca content in the stem by 36%, whereas Ca2+ accumulation in the leaves, stems, and roots increased by 60%, 80%, and 36%, respectively, under STE. Additionally, a significant accumulation of K was found only in the roots of the LTE group. The chlorophyll content did not differ between the treatments. Overall, the production of phytoestrogens and Sr accumulation were affected by both the applied dose and the duration of exposure to Sr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrophobically Modified Glucan as an Amphiphilic Carbohydrate Polymer for Micellar Delivery of Myricetin
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3747; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203747 - 17 Oct 2019
Viewed by 796
Abstract
Myricetin (Myr) is a phytochemical with many functional properties. However, its hydrophobicity, low bioavailability, and stability limit its application. In this study, octadecanoate oat β-glucan (OGE) was synthesized and gained recognition as a self-assembled micelle forming a polymer with a critical micelle concentration [...] Read more.
Myricetin (Myr) is a phytochemical with many functional properties. However, its hydrophobicity, low bioavailability, and stability limit its application. In this study, octadecanoate oat β-glucan (OGE) was synthesized and gained recognition as a self-assembled micelle forming a polymer with a critical micelle concentration (CMC) of 59.4 μg/mL. The Myr-loaded OGE micelle was then prepared and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectra. The water solubility of Myr was greatly enhanced by forming the Myr/OGE inclusion complex. Consequently, compared to free Myr, the retention of Myr in Myr-loaded OGE micelle was effectively increased during the intestinal digestion phase, and its antioxidant activity was also improved. Overall, our findings demonstrated the potential applications of OGE polymer for the development of prospective micelle in health food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical fields because they can aid in the delivery of hydrophobic functional compounds like Myr. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Study of Stem and Leaf of Clausena lansium
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3124; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173124 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
Clausena lansium Lour. Skeels (Rutaceae) is widely distributed in South China and has historically been used as a traditional medicine in local healthcare systems. Although the characteristic components (carbazole alkaloids and coumarins) of C. lansium have been found to possess a wide variety [...] Read more.
Clausena lansium Lour. Skeels (Rutaceae) is widely distributed in South China and has historically been used as a traditional medicine in local healthcare systems. Although the characteristic components (carbazole alkaloids and coumarins) of C. lansium have been found to possess a wide variety of biological activities, little attention has been paid toward the other components of this plant. In the current study, phytochemical analysis of isolates from a water-soluble stem and leaf extract of C. lansium led to the identification of 12 compounds, including five aromatic glycosides, four sesquiterpene glycosides, two dihydrofuranocoumarin glycosides, and one adenosine. All compounds were isolated for the first time from the genus Clausena, including a new aromatic glycoside (1), a new dihydrofuranocoumarin glycoside (6), and two new sesquiterpene glycosides (8 and 9). The phytochemical structures of the isolates were elucidated using spectroscopic analyses including NMR and MS. The existence of these compounds demonstrates the taxonomic significance of C. lansium in the genus Clausena and suggests that some glycosides from this plant probably play a role in the anticancer activity of C. lansium to some extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Tartary Buckwheat Flavonoids in Inhibiting the Proliferation of MGC80-3 Cells during Seed Germination
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3092; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173092 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn) is rich in functional compounds such as rutin, quercetin, d-chiro-inositol, dietary fiber, and essential amino acids. Electric field (EF) treatment before sprout germination results in physiological and chemical changes, and some alterations might lead to [...] Read more.
Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn) is rich in functional compounds such as rutin, quercetin, d-chiro-inositol, dietary fiber, and essential amino acids. Electric field (EF) treatment before sprout germination results in physiological and chemical changes, and some alterations might lead to positive applications in plant seeds. MTT assay showed that the effect of total flavonoids on human gastric cancer cell line MGC80-3 was significantly changed after EF treatment for different germination days (3–7 days). Among them, the total flavonoids of tartary buckwheat (BWTF) on the third day had the most obvious inhibitory effect on MGC80-3 (p < 0.01). In addition, flow cytometry evidenced that different ratios of quercetin and rutin had effects on the proliferation of MGC80-3. The same content of quercetin and rutin had the best effect, reaching 6.18 ± 0.82%. The anti-cancer mechanism was mainly promoted by promoting the expression of apoptotic proteins. The expression of Bax/Bcl-2 and caspase-8 in MGC80-3 cells was mediated by BWTFs. This study has good research value for improving the biological and economic value of tartary buckwheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Involvement of Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in Nobiletin-Induced Apoptosis of Human Bladder Cancer Cells
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2881; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162881 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
Nobiletin (NOB) is a polymethoxylated flavonoid isolated from citrus fruit peel that has been shown to possess anti-tumor, antithrombotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic activities. The main purpose of this study was to explore the potential of using NOB to induce apoptosis in human [...] Read more.
Nobiletin (NOB) is a polymethoxylated flavonoid isolated from citrus fruit peel that has been shown to possess anti-tumor, antithrombotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic activities. The main purpose of this study was to explore the potential of using NOB to induce apoptosis in human bladder cancer cells and study the underlying mechanism. Using an MTT assay, agarose gel electrophoresis, a wound-healing assay, flow cytometry, and western blot analysis, this study investigated the signaling pathways involved in NOB-induced apoptosis in BFTC human bladder cancer cells. Our results showed that NOB at concentrations of 60, 80, and 100 μM inhibited cell growth by 42%, 62%, and 80%, respectively. Cells treated with 60 μM NOB demonstrated increased DNA fragmentation, and flow cytometry analysis confirmed that the treatment caused late apoptotic cell death. Western blot analysis showed that mitochondrial dysfunction occurred in NOB-treated BFTC cells, leading to cytochrome C release into cytosol, activation of pro-apoptotic proteins (caspase-3, caspase-9, Bad, and Bax), and inhibition of anti-apoptotic proteins (Mcl-1, Bcl-xl, and Bcl-2). NOB-induced apoptosis was also mediated by regulating endoplasmic reticulum stress via the PERK/elF2α/ATF4/CHOP pathway, and downregulating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Our results suggested that the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of NOB on bladder cancer cells are associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Screening and Evaluation of Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors from Gnetum parvifolium in China
Molecules 2019, 24(14), 2671; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24142671 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
As a traditional natural medicine for treating many kinds of diseases, Gnetum parvifolium showed apparent inhibition on xanthine oxidase (XO). In this study, ultrafiltration combined with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is used for the screening of XO inhibitors from Gnetum parvifolium. Their [...] Read more.
As a traditional natural medicine for treating many kinds of diseases, Gnetum parvifolium showed apparent inhibition on xanthine oxidase (XO). In this study, ultrafiltration combined with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is used for the screening of XO inhibitors from Gnetum parvifolium. Their antioxidation, XO inhibition, and enzymic kinetic parameters are also determined. Finally, piceatannol (1), rhaponiticin (2), resveratrol (3), and isorhapontigenin (4) are screened out and identified as XO inhibitors from the extract of Gnetum parvifolium. Four inhibitors show better inhibition than allopurinol and good radical scavenging abilities. However, the antioxidant activities are weaker than ascorbic acid. The kinetic parameters illustrate the inhibition mode of XO by piceatannol is competitive type, while the inhibition modes for rhaponiticin, resveratrol and isorhapontigenin are uncompetitive types. In order to evaluate the difference among samples obtained in China, the amounts of four inhibitors and related activities in 20 samples are assessed and analyzed by partial least squares analysis. The results indicate piceatannol contribute the highest coefficients in three kinds of activities. Based on these findings, more comprehensive research on pharmaceutical and biochemical activities of these four XO inhibitors could be conducted in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.): Food and Medicinal Plant with Potential In Vitro and In Vivo Anti-Cancer Activities
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2495; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132495 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Background/Aim: Plants play an important role in anti-cancer drug discovery, therefore, the current study aimed to evaluate the biological activity of Alpinia zerumbet (A. zerumbet) flowers. Methods: The phytochemical and biological criteria of A. zerumbet were in vitro investigated as well [...] Read more.
Background/Aim: Plants play an important role in anti-cancer drug discovery, therefore, the current study aimed to evaluate the biological activity of Alpinia zerumbet (A. zerumbet) flowers. Methods: The phytochemical and biological criteria of A. zerumbet were in vitro investigated as well as in mouse xenograft model. Results: A. zerumbet extracts, specially CH2Cl2 and MeOH extracts, exhibited the highest potent anti-tumor activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. The most active CH2Cl2 extract was subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation leading to isolatation of the naturally occurring 5,6-dehydrokawain (DK) which was characterized by IR, MS, 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR. A. zerumbet extracts, specially MeOH and CH2Cl2 extracts, exhibited significant inhibitory activity towards tumor volume (TV). Furthermore, A. zerumbet extracts declined the high level of malonaldehyde (MDA) as well as elevated the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in liver tissue homogenate. Moreover, DK showed anti-proliferative action on different human cancer cell lines. The recorded IC50 values against breast carcinoma (MCF-7), liver carcinoma (Hep-G2) and larynx carcinoma cells (HEP-2) were 3.08, 6.8, and 8.7 µg/mL, respectively. Conclusion: Taken together, these findings open the door for further investigations in order to explore the potential medicinal properties of A. zerumbet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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Open AccessReview
The Polyphenols as Potential Agents in Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Diseases
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3982; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213982 - 04 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
In recent years, the progress of science and medicine greatly has influenced human life span and health. However, lifestyle habits, like physical activity, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, diet, and maintaining a normal body weight represent measures that greatly reduce the risk of [...] Read more.
In recent years, the progress of science and medicine greatly has influenced human life span and health. However, lifestyle habits, like physical activity, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, diet, and maintaining a normal body weight represent measures that greatly reduce the risk of various diseases. The type of diet is very important for disease development. Numerous epidemiological clinical data confirm that longevity is linked to predominantly plant-based diets and it is related to a long life; whereas the western diet, rich in red meat and fats, increases the risk of oxidative stress and thus the risk of developing various diseases and pre-aging. This review is focused on the bioavailability of polyphenols and the use of polyphenols for the prevention of prostate diseases. Special focus in this paper is placed on the isoflavonoids and flavan-3-ols, subgroups of polyphenols, and their protective effects against the development of prostate diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food)
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