Special Issue "Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2016).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. M. Monica Giusti, PhD
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: functional foods, phytonutrients, natural colorants; chemistry and functionality of flavonoids, with emphasis on anthocyanins as food colorants and functional foods and other phenolic compounds, such as isoflavones and proanthocyanidins
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Taylor C. Wallace
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, George Mason University, USA
2. Think Healthy Group, Inc., USA
Interests: anthocyanins; dietary bioactives; multivitamins; dietary supplements; choline; eggs; calcium; vitamin D; bone health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is general agreement within the fields of food, nutrition, and medical sciences that an individual’s diet and lifestyle choices can substantially predispose one to, or protect against, many age- and obesity-related chronic diseases. The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements has defined dietary bioactives as “compounds that are constituents in foods and dietary supplements, other than those needed to meet basic human nutritional needs, which are responsible for changes in health status.”1 These compounds are generally thought to be safe in food at normal consumption levels (e.g., anthocyanins in berries). Their biological activities may be defined as a single compound (e.g., lutein in spinach) or class of compounds (e.g., avenanthramides in oats) for which optimal effects may be achieved through consumption of mixtures where the exact identity and composition is often unknown. Classes of similar compounds are commonly found in similar types of plants; however their incidence in the food can vary significantly because of environmental influences, such as cultivation, soil, altitude, and weather conditions. Substantial scientific evidence is available for some health promoting phytochemicals, including dose-response relations, and statistically significant relations with improved physiologic performance and/or reduction in the risk of chronic disease. However, several limitations relating to absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of many dietary bioactives still exist and must be better understood in the scientific literature. It is our hope that this Special Issue will attract manuscripts that advance our understanding of how dietary bioactive, particularly from fruits and vegetables, influence long-term health maintenance and disease prevention.

Dr. M. Monica Giusti and Dr. Taylor C. Wallace
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • dietary bioactives
  • health
  • disease prevention
  • functional foods
  • nutrition
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • antioxidant
  • non-essential nutrient

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Green Tea Extract on Systemic Metabolic Homeostasis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice Determined via RNA-Seq Transcriptome Profiles
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8100640 - 14 Oct 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Green tea (GT) has various health effects, including anti-obesity properties. However, the multiple molecular mechanisms of the effects have not been fully determined. The aim of this study was to elucidate the anti-obesity effects of GT via the analysis of its metabolic and [...] Read more.
Green tea (GT) has various health effects, including anti-obesity properties. However, the multiple molecular mechanisms of the effects have not been fully determined. The aim of this study was to elucidate the anti-obesity effects of GT via the analysis of its metabolic and transcriptional responses based on RNA-seq profiles. C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal, high-fat (60% energy as fat), or high-fat + 0.25% (w/w) GT diet for 12 weeks. The GT extract ameliorated obesity, hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance in diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice. GT supplementation resulted in body weight gain reduction than mice fed high-fat through enhanced energy expenditure, and reduced adiposity. The transcriptome profiles of epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) suggested that GT augments transcriptional responses to the degradation of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), as well as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling, which suggests enhanced energy homeostasis. Our findings provide some significant insights into the effects of GT for the prevention of obesity and its comorbidities. We demonstrated that the GT extract contributed to the regulation of systemic metabolic homeostasis via transcriptional responses to not only lipid and glucose metabolism, but also amino acid metabolism via BCAA degradation in the adipose tissue of DIO mice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatoprotective Effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha Fruits against Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Damage
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8100607 - 04 Oct 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure (ALF) is a serious health problem in developed countries. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the current therapy for APAP-induced ALF, is not always effective, and liver transplantation is often needed. Opuntia spp. fruits are an important source of nutrients and contain [...] Read more.
Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure (ALF) is a serious health problem in developed countries. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the current therapy for APAP-induced ALF, is not always effective, and liver transplantation is often needed. Opuntia spp. fruits are an important source of nutrients and contain high levels of bioactive compounds, including antioxidants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of Opuntia robusta and Opuntia streptacantha extracts against APAP-induced ALF. In addition, we analyzed the antioxidant activities of these extracts. Fruit extracts (800mg/kg/day, orally) were given prophylactically to male Wistar rats before intoxication with APAP (500 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Rat hepatocyte cultures were exposed to 20mmol/LAPAP, and necrosis was assessed by LDH leakage. Opuntia robusta had significantly higher levels of antioxidants than Opuntia streptacantha. Both extracts significantly attenuated APAP-induced injury markers AST, ALT and ALP and improved liver histology. The Opuntia extracts reversed APAP-induced depletion of liver GSH and glycogen stores. In cultured hepatocytes, Opuntia extracts significantly reduced leakage of LDH and cell necrosis, both prophylactically and therapeutically. Both extracts appeared to be superior to NAC when used therapeutically. We conclude that Opuntia extracts are hepatoprotective and can be used as a nutraceutical to prevent ALF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reaching Low-Income Mothers to Improve Family Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign—Research Steps, Development and Testing
Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8090562 - 13 Sep 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
The objective of this study was to create/test a social marketing campaign to increase fruit/vegetable (FV) intake within Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible families. Focus groups (n = 2) and pre/post campaign phone surveys (n = 2082) were conducted [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to create/test a social marketing campaign to increase fruit/vegetable (FV) intake within Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible families. Focus groups (n = 2) and pre/post campaign phone surveys (n = 2082) were conducted in intervention counties (IC) and one control county. Participants were female (86%–100%) with 1–2 children at home. Mean FV intake/without juice was 3.1 servings/day; >50% preferred the Internet for delivery of healthy eating information. Participants reported time/financial burdens, low household FV variety and desirability of frozen/canned FV, and acceptance of positive messages. A Food Hero (FH) campaign was created/delivered daily August–October 2009 to mothers through multiple channels (e.g., grocery stores, online, educators). Results showed that the IC had better FH name recall (12%) and interpretation of intended messages (60%) vs. control (3%, 23%, respectively). Compared to controls, the IC were less likely to report healthy food preparation as time consuming or a FV rich diet expensive, and it was easier to get their family to eat fruit. Results did not vary based on county/household characteristics. The FH campaign increased FH awareness and positive FV beliefs. A longer campaign with FV assessments will increase understanding of the target audience, and allow for campaign refinement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Barley Sprouts Extract Attenuates Alcoholic Fatty Liver Injury in Mice by Reducing Inflammatory Response
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070440 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 15
Abstract
It has been reported that barley leaves possess beneficial properties such as antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antidepressant, and antidiabetic. Interestingly, barley sprouts contain a high content of saponarin, which showed both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In this study, we evaluated the effect of barley sprouts [...] Read more.
It has been reported that barley leaves possess beneficial properties such as antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antidepressant, and antidiabetic. Interestingly, barley sprouts contain a high content of saponarin, which showed both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In this study, we evaluated the effect of barley sprouts on alcohol-induced liver injury mediated by inflammation and oxidative stress. Raw barley sprouts were extracted, and quantitative and qualitative analyses of its components were performed. The mice were fed a liquid alcohol diet with or without barley sprouts for four weeks. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were used to study the effect of barley sprouts on inflammation. Alcohol intake for four weeks caused liver injury, evidenced by an increase in serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels. The accumulation of lipid in the liver was also significantly induced, whereas the glutathione (GSH) level was reduced. Moreover, the inflammation-related gene expression was dramatically increased. All these alcohol-induced changes were effectively prevented by barley sprouts treatment. In particular, pretreatment with barley sprouts significantly blocked inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7. This study suggests that the protective effect of barley sprouts against alcohol-induced liver injury is potentially attributable to its inhibition of the inflammatory response induced by alcohol. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Avenanthramides Prevent Osteoblast and Osteocyte Apoptosis and Induce Osteoclast Apoptosis in Vitro in an Nrf2-Independent Manner
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070423 - 11 Jul 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
Oats contain unique bioactive compounds known as avenanthramides (AVAs) with antioxidant properties. AVAs might enhance the endogenous antioxidant cellular response by activation of the transcription factor Nrf2. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species plays a critical role in many chronic and degenerative diseases, including [...] Read more.
Oats contain unique bioactive compounds known as avenanthramides (AVAs) with antioxidant properties. AVAs might enhance the endogenous antioxidant cellular response by activation of the transcription factor Nrf2. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species plays a critical role in many chronic and degenerative diseases, including osteoporosis. In this disease, there is an imbalance between bone formation by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts, which is accompanied by increased osteoblast/osteocyte apoptosis and decreased osteoclast apoptosis. We investigated the ability of the synthethic AVAs 2c, 2f and 2p, to 1-regulate gene expression in bone cells, 2-affect the viability of osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts, and the generation of osteoclasts from their precursors, and 3-examine the potential involvement of the transcription factor Nrf2 in these actions. All doses of AVA 2c and 1 and 5 µM dose of 2p up-regulated collagen 1A expression. Lower doses of AVAs up-regulated OPG (osteoprotegerin) in OB-6 osteoblastic cells, whereas 100 μM dose of 2f and all concentrations of 2c down-regulated RANKL gene expression in MLO-Y4 osteocytic cells. AVAs did not affect apoptosis of OB-6 osteoblastic cells or MLO-Y4 osteocytic cells; however, they prevented apoptosis induced by the DNA topoisomerase inhibitor etoposide, the glucocorticoid dexamethasone, and hydrogen peroxide. AVAs prevented apoptosis of both wild type (WT) and Nrf2 Knockout (KO) osteoblasts, demonstrating that AVAs-induced survival does not require Nrf2 expression. Further, KO osteoclast precursors produced more mature osteoclasts than WT; and KO cultures exhibited less apoptotic osteoclasts than WT cultures. Although AVAs did not affect WT osteoclasts, AVA 2p reversed the low apoptosis of KO osteoclasts. These in vitro results demonstrate that AVAs regulate, in part, the function of osteoblasts and osteocytes and prevent osteoblast/osteocyte apoptosis and increase osteoclast apoptosis; further, these regulatory actions are independent of Nrf2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Total Flavonoids from Rosa laevigata Michx Fruit Ameliorates Hepatic Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury through Inhibition of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Rats
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070418 - 08 Jul 2016
Cited by 28
Abstract
The effects of total flavonoids (TFs) from Rosa laevigata Michx fruit against liver damage and cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury have been reported, but its action on hepatic I/R injury remains unknown. In this work, the effects and possible mechanisms of TFs against hepatic [...] Read more.
The effects of total flavonoids (TFs) from Rosa laevigata Michx fruit against liver damage and cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury have been reported, but its action on hepatic I/R injury remains unknown. In this work, the effects and possible mechanisms of TFs against hepatic I/R injury were examined using a 70% partial hepatic warm ischemia rat model. The results demonstrated TFs decreased serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities, improved liver histopathology and ultrastructure through hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and electron microscope observation. In addition, TFs significantly decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), which indicated that TFs alleviated oxidative stress caused by I/R injury. RT-PCR results proved that TFs downregulated the gene levels of inflammatory factors including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-1 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Further research indicated that TF-induced hepatoprotection was completed through inhibiting TLR4/MyD88 and activating Sirt1/Nrf2 signaling pathways. Blockade of the TLR4 pathway by TFs inhibited NF-κB and AP-1 transcriptional activities and inflammatory reaction. Activation of Sirt1/Nrf2 pathway by TFs increased the protein levels of HO-1 and GST to improve oxidative stress. Collectively, these findingsconfirmed the potent effects of TFs against hepatic I/R injury, which should be developed as a candidate for the prevention of this disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concord and Niagara Grape Juice and Their Phenolics Modify Intestinal Glucose Transport in a Coupled in Vitro Digestion/Caco-2 Human Intestinal Model
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070414 - 05 Jul 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
While the potential of dietary phenolics to mitigate glycemic response has been proposed, the translation of these effects to phenolic rich foods such as 100% grape juice (GJ) remains unclear. Initial in vitro screening of GJ phenolic extracts from American grape varieties (V. [...] Read more.
While the potential of dietary phenolics to mitigate glycemic response has been proposed, the translation of these effects to phenolic rich foods such as 100% grape juice (GJ) remains unclear. Initial in vitro screening of GJ phenolic extracts from American grape varieties (V. labrusca; Niagara and Concord) suggested limited inhibitory capacity for amylase and α-glucosidase (6.2%–11.5% inhibition; p < 0.05). Separately, all GJ extracts (10–100 µM total phenolics) did reduce intestinal trans-epithelial transport of deuterated glucose (d7-glu) and fructose (d7-fru) by Caco-2 monolayers in a dose-dependent fashion, with 60 min d7-glu/d7-fru transport reduced 10%–38% by GJ extracts compared to control. To expand on these findings by assessing the ability of 100% GJ to modify starch digestion and glucose transport from a model starch-rich meal, 100% Niagara and Concord GJ samples were combined with a starch rich model meal (1:1 and 1:2 wt:wt) and glucose release and transport were assessed in a coupled in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell model. Digestive release of glucose from the starch model meal was decreased when digested in the presence of GJs (5.9%–15% relative to sugar matched control). Furthermore, transport of d7-glu was reduced 10%–38% by digesta containing bioaccessible phenolics from Concord and Niagara GJ compared to control. These data suggest that phenolics present in 100% GJ may alter absorption of monosaccharides naturally present in 100% GJ and may potentially alter glycemic response if consumed with a starch rich meal. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impact of Food Components on in vitro Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Secretion—A Potential Mechanism for Dietary Influence on Migraine
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070406 - 01 Jul 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a pivotal messenger in the inflammatory process in migraine. Limited evidence indicates that diet impacts circulating levels of CGRP, suggesting that certain elements in the diet may influence migraine outcomes. Interruption of calcium signaling, a mechanism which can [...] Read more.
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a pivotal messenger in the inflammatory process in migraine. Limited evidence indicates that diet impacts circulating levels of CGRP, suggesting that certain elements in the diet may influence migraine outcomes. Interruption of calcium signaling, a mechanism which can trigger CGRP release, has been suggested as one potential route by which exogenous food substances may impact CGRP secretion. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of foods and a dietary supplement on two migraine-related mechanisms in vitro: CGRP secretion from neuroendocrine CA77 cells, and calcium uptake by differentiated PC12 cells. Ginger and grape pomace extracts were selected for their anecdotal connections to reducing or promoting migraine. S-petasin was selected as a suspected active constituent of butterbur extract, the migraine prophylactic dietary supplement. Results showed a statistically significant decrease in stimulated CGRP secretion from CA77 cells following treatment with ginger (0.2 mg dry ginger equivalent/mL) and two doses of grape pomace (0.25 and 1.0 mg dry pomace equivalent/mL) extracts. Relative to vehicle control, CGRP secretion decreased by 22%, 43%, and 87%, respectively. S-petasin at 1.0 μM also decreased CGRP secretion by 24%. Meanwhile, S-petasin and ginger extract showed inhibition of calcium influx, whereas grape pomace had no effect on calcium. These results suggest that grape pomace and ginger extracts, and S-petasin may have anti-inflammatory propensity by preventing CGRP release in migraine, although potentially by different mechanisms, which future studies may elucidate further. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antiproliferative Activity of Triterpene Glycoside Nutrient from Monk Fruit in Colorectal Cancer and Throat Cancer
Nutrients 2016, 8(6), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8060360 - 13 Jun 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Colorectal cancer and throat cancer are the world’s most prevalent neoplastic diseases, and a serious threat to human health. Plant triterpene glycosides have demonstrated antitumor activity. In this study, we investigated potential anticancer effects of mogroside IVe, a triterpenoid glycoside from monk fruit, [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer and throat cancer are the world’s most prevalent neoplastic diseases, and a serious threat to human health. Plant triterpene glycosides have demonstrated antitumor activity. In this study, we investigated potential anticancer effects of mogroside IVe, a triterpenoid glycoside from monk fruit, using in vitro and in vivo models of colorectal and laryngeal cancer. The effects of mogroside IVe on the proliferation of colorectal cancer HT29 cells and throat cancer Hep-2 cells were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and the expression levels of p53, phosphorylated ERK1/2, and MMP-9 were analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The results indicated that mogroside IVe inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, the proliferation of HT29 and Hep-2 cells in culture and in xenografted mice, which was accompanied by the upregulation of tumor suppressor p53, and downregulation of matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2. This study revealed the suppressive activity of mogroside IVe towards colorectal and throat cancers and identified the underlying mechanisms, suggesting that mogroside IVe may be potentially used as a biologically-active phytochemical supplement for treating colorectal and throat cancers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Apigenin Ameliorates Dyslipidemia, Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance by Modulating Metabolic and Transcriptional Profiles in the Liver of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050305 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 26
Abstract
Several in vitro and in vivo studies have reported the anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of the flavonoid apigenin. However, the long-term supplementary effects of low-dose apigenin on obesity are unclear. Therefore, we investigated the protective effects of apigenin against obesity and related [...] Read more.
Several in vitro and in vivo studies have reported the anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of the flavonoid apigenin. However, the long-term supplementary effects of low-dose apigenin on obesity are unclear. Therefore, we investigated the protective effects of apigenin against obesity and related metabolic disturbances by exploring the metabolic and transcriptional responses in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. C57BL/6J mice were fed an HFD or apigenin (0.005%, w/w)-supplemented HFD for 16 weeks. In HFD-fed mice, apigenin lowered plasma levels of free fatty acid, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and hepatic dysfunction markers and ameliorated hepatic steatosis and hepatomegaly, without altering food intake and adiposity. These effects were partly attributed to upregulated expression of genes regulating fatty acid oxidation, tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, electron transport chain and cholesterol homeostasis, downregulated expression of lipolytic and lipogenic genes and decreased activities of enzymes responsible for triglyceride and cholesterol ester synthesis in the liver. Moreover, apigenin lowered plasma levels of pro-inflammatory mediators and fasting blood glucose. The anti-hyperglycemic effect of apigenin appeared to be related to decreased insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia and hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes activities. Thus, apigenin can ameliorate HFD-induced comorbidities via metabolic and transcriptional modulations in the liver. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Walnut Polyphenol Extract Attenuates Immunotoxicity Induced by 4-Pentylphenol and 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol in Murine Splenic Lymphocyte
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050287 - 12 May 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
4-pentylphenol (PP) and 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol (PNMC), two important components of vehicle emissions, have been shown to confer toxicity in splenocytes. Certain natural products, such as those derived from walnuts, exhibit a range of antioxidative, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we investigated the effects of [...] Read more.
4-pentylphenol (PP) and 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol (PNMC), two important components of vehicle emissions, have been shown to confer toxicity in splenocytes. Certain natural products, such as those derived from walnuts, exhibit a range of antioxidative, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we investigated the effects of walnut polyphenol extract (WPE) on immunotoxicity induced by PP and PNMC in murine splenic lymphocytes. Treatment with WPE was shown to significantly enhance proliferation of splenocytes exposed to PP or PNMC, characterized by increases in the percentages of splenic T lymphocytes (CD3+ T cells) and T cell subsets (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), as well as the production of T cell-related cytokines and granzymes (interleukin-2, interleukin-4, and granzyme-B) in cells exposed to PP or PNMC. These effects were associated with a decrease in oxidative stress, as evidenced by changes in OH, SOD, GSH-Px, and MDA levels. The total phenolic content of WPE was 34,800 ± 200 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g, consisting of at least 16 unique phenols, including ellagitannins, quercetin, valoneic acid dilactone, and gallic acid. Taken together, these results suggest that walnut polyphenols significantly attenuated PP and PNMC-mediated immunotoxicity and improved immune function by inhibiting oxidative stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mixture of Peanut Skin Extract and Fish Oil Improves Memory in Mice via Modulation of Anti-Oxidative Stress and Regulation of BDNF/ERK/CREB Signaling Pathways
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050256 - 28 Apr 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
Long-term use of fish oil (FO) is known to induce oxidative stress and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. In the present study, peanut skin extract (PSE), which has strong antioxidant capacity, was mixed with FO to reduce its side effects [...] Read more.
Long-term use of fish oil (FO) is known to induce oxidative stress and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. In the present study, peanut skin extract (PSE), which has strong antioxidant capacity, was mixed with FO to reduce its side effects while maintaining its beneficial properties. Twelve-week Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were used to conduct animal behavior tests in order to evaluate the memory-enhancing ability of the mixture of peanut skin extract and fish oil (MPF). MPF significantly increased alternations in the Y-maze and cognitive index in the novel object recognition test. MPF also improved performance in the water maze test. We further sought to understand the mechanisms underlying these effects. A significant decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and an increase in malonyldialdehyde (MDA) in plasma were observed in the FO group. The MPF group showed reduced MDA level and increased SOD activity in the plasma, cortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) in the hippocampus were increased in the MPF group, while phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and CREB in the hippocampus were enhanced. MPF improves memory in mice via modulation of anti-oxidative stress and activation of BDNF/ERK/CREB signaling pathways. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Stroke Depression Modulation and in Vivo Antioxidant Activity of Gallic Acid and Its Synthetic Derivatives in a Murine Model System
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050248 - 28 Apr 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) is a plant secondary metabolite, which shows antioxidant activity and is commonly found in many plant-based foods and beverages. Recent evidence suggests that oxidative stress contributes to the development of many human chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative [...] Read more.
Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) is a plant secondary metabolite, which shows antioxidant activity and is commonly found in many plant-based foods and beverages. Recent evidence suggests that oxidative stress contributes to the development of many human chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative pathologies, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cancer. GA and its derivative, methyl-3-O-methyl gallate (M3OMG), possess physiological and pharmacological activities closely related to their antioxidant properties. This paper describes the antidepressive-like effects of intraperitoneal administration of GA and two synthetic analogues, M3OMG and P3OMG (propyl-3-O-methylgallate), in balb/c mice with post-stroke depression, a secondary form of depression that could be due to oxidative stress occurring during cerebral ischemia and the following reperfusion. Moreover, this study determined the in vivo antioxidant activity of these compounds through the evaluation of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (Cat) activity, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in mouse brain. GA and its synthetic analogues were found to be active (at doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg) in the modulation of depressive symptoms and the reduction of oxidative stress, restoring normal behavior and, at least in part, antioxidant endogenous defenses, with M3OMG being the most active of these compounds. SOD, TBARS, and GSH all showed strong correlation with behavioral parameters, suggesting that oxidative stress is tightly linked to the pathological processes involved in stroke and PSD. As a whole, the obtained results show that the administration of GA, M3OMG and P3OMG induce a reduction in depressive symptoms and oxidative stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cancer Prevention and Health Benefices of Traditionally Consumed Borago officinalis Plants
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010048 - 18 Jan 2016
Cited by 9Correction
Abstract
Nowadays, healthy eating is increasing the demand of functional foods by societies as sources of bioactive products with healthy qualities. For this reason, we tested the safety of the consumption of Borago officinalis L. and its main phenolic components as well as the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, healthy eating is increasing the demand of functional foods by societies as sources of bioactive products with healthy qualities. For this reason, we tested the safety of the consumption of Borago officinalis L. and its main phenolic components as well as the possibility of its use as a nutraceutical plant to help in cancer prevention. The in vivo Drosophila Somatic Mutation and Recombination Test (SMART) and in vitro HL-60 human cell systems were performed, as well-recognized methods for testing genotoxicity/cytotoxicity of bioactive compounds and plant products. B. officinalis and the tested compounds possess antigenotoxic activity. Moreover, B. officinalis wild type cultivar exerts the most antigenotoxic values. Cytotoxic effect was probed for both cultivars with IC50 values of 0.49 and 0.28 mg·mL−1 for wild type and cultivated plants respectively, as well as their constituent rosmarinic acid and the assayed phenolic mixture (IC50 = 0.07 and 0.04 mM respectively). B. officinalis exerts DNA protection and anticarcinogenic effects as do its component rosmarinic acid and the mixture of the main phenolics presented in the plant. In conclusion, the results showed that B. officinalis may represent a high value plant for pleiotropic uses and support its consumption as a nutraceutical plant. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Natural Phyto-Bioactive Compounds for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: Inflammation as a Target
Nutrients 2016, 8(8), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8080461 - 04 Aug 2016
Cited by 43
Abstract
Diabetes is a metabolic, endocrine disorder which is characterized by hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance due to insulin resistance. Extensive research has confirmed that inflammation is closely involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. Patients with diabetes display typical features of an [...] Read more.
Diabetes is a metabolic, endocrine disorder which is characterized by hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance due to insulin resistance. Extensive research has confirmed that inflammation is closely involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. Patients with diabetes display typical features of an inflammatory process characterized by the presence of cytokines, immune cell infiltration, impaired function and tissue destruction. Numerous anti-diabetic drugs are often prescribed to diabetic patients, to reduce the risk of diabetes through modulation of inflammation. However, those anti-diabetic drugs are often not successful as a result of side effects; therefore, researchers are searching for efficient natural therapeutic targets with less or no side effects. Natural products’ derived bioactive molecules have been proven to improve insulin resistance and associated complications through suppression of inflammatory signaling pathways. In this review article, we described the extraction, isolation and identification of bioactive compounds and its molecular mechanisms in the prevention of diabetes associated complications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) as a Food Supplement: Health-Promoting Benefits of Fructooligosaccharides
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070436 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 19
Abstract
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), a perennial plant of the family Asteraceae native to the Andean regions of South America, is an abundant source of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). This comprehensive review of the literature addressed the role of yacon supplementation in promoting health and [...] Read more.
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), a perennial plant of the family Asteraceae native to the Andean regions of South America, is an abundant source of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). This comprehensive review of the literature addressed the role of yacon supplementation in promoting health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. According to several preclinical and clinical trials, FOS intake favors the growth of health-promoting bacteria while reducing pathogenic bacteria populations. Moreover, the endproducts of FOS fermentation by the intestinal microbiota, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), act as substrates or signaling molecules in the regulation of the immune response, glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism. As a result, glycemic levels, body weight and colon cancer risk can be reduced. Based on these findings, most studies reviewed concluded that due to their functional properties, yacon roots may be effectively used as a dietary supplement to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Avocados in Complementary and Transitional Feeding
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050316 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Infant dietary patterns tend to be insufficient sources of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, as well as excessive in salt, added sugars, and overall energy. Despite the serious long-term health risks associated with suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake, a large percentage of infants and [...] Read more.
Infant dietary patterns tend to be insufficient sources of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, as well as excessive in salt, added sugars, and overall energy. Despite the serious long-term health risks associated with suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake, a large percentage of infants and toddlers in the U.S. do not consume any fruits or vegetables on a daily basis. Since not all fruits and vegetables are nutritionally similar, guidance on the optimal selection of fruits and vegetables should emphasize those with the greatest potential for nutrition and health benefits. A challenge is that the most popularly consumed fruits for this age group (i.e., apples, pears, bananas, grapes, strawberries) do not closely fit the current general recommendations since they tend to be overly sweet and/or high in sugar. Unsaturated oil-containing fruits such as avocados are nutritionally unique among fruits in that they are lower in sugar and higher in fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids than most other fruits, and they also have the proper consistency and texture for first foods with a neutral flavor spectrum. Taken together, avocados show promise for helping to meet the dietary needs of infants and toddlers, and should be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for complementary and transitional feeding. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Role of Avocados in Maternal Diets during the Periconceptional Period, Pregnancy, and Lactation
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050313 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Maternal nutrition plays a crucial role in influencing fertility, fetal development, birth outcomes, and breast milk composition. During the critical window of time from conception through the initiation of complementary feeding, the nutrition of the mother is the nutrition of the offspring—and a [...] Read more.
Maternal nutrition plays a crucial role in influencing fertility, fetal development, birth outcomes, and breast milk composition. During the critical window of time from conception through the initiation of complementary feeding, the nutrition of the mother is the nutrition of the offspring—and a mother’s dietary choices can affect both the early health status and lifelong disease risk of the offspring. Most health expert recommendations and government-sponsored dietary guidelines agree that a healthy diet for children and adults (including those who are pregnant and/or lactating) should include an abundance of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. These foods should contain a variety of essential nutrients as well as other compounds that are associated with lower disease risk such as fiber and bioactives. However, the number and amounts of nutrients varies considerably among fruits and vegetables, and not all fruit and vegetable options are considered “nutrient-rich”. Avocados are unique among fruits and vegetables in that, by weight, they contain much higher amounts of the key nutrients folate and potassium, which are normally under-consumed in maternal diets. Avocados also contain higher amounts of several non-essential compounds, such as fiber, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, which have all been linked to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes and/or breast milk quality. The objective of this report is to review the evidence that avocados may be a unique nutrition source for pregnant and lactating women and, thus, should be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for expecting and new mothers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Liver Cancer
Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030156 - 10 Mar 2016
Cited by 59
Abstract
Liver cancer is the most common malignancy of the digestive system with high death rate. Accumulating evidences suggests that many dietary natural products are potential sources for prevention and treatment of liver cancer, such as grapes, black currant, plum, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, French [...] Read more.
Liver cancer is the most common malignancy of the digestive system with high death rate. Accumulating evidences suggests that many dietary natural products are potential sources for prevention and treatment of liver cancer, such as grapes, black currant, plum, pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, French beans, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, turmeric, ginger, soy, rice bran, and some edible macro-fungi. These dietary natural products and their active components could affect the development and progression of liver cancer in various ways, such as inhibiting tumor cell growth and metastasis, protecting against liver carcinogens, immunomodulating and enhancing effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. This review summarizes the potential prevention and treatment activities of dietary natural products and their major bioactive constituents on liver cancer, and discusses possible mechanisms of action. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Systematic Review of Anthocyanins and Markers of Cardiovascular Disease
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010032 - 09 Jan 2016
Cited by 65
Abstract
Anthocyanins are dietary flavonoids commonly consumed in the diet, which have been suggested to have a preventative effect on cardiovascular disease (CVD) development among epidemiological studies. We systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing the effects of purified anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich extracts on [...] Read more.
Anthocyanins are dietary flavonoids commonly consumed in the diet, which have been suggested to have a preventative effect on cardiovascular disease (CVD) development among epidemiological studies. We systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing the effects of purified anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich extracts on markers of CVD (triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure) in both healthy and diseased populations. Eligible studies included RCTs of adults published in English. We searched PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, and BIOSIS Previews for relevant articles from inception until 1 July 2014. Twelve RCTs representing 10 studies were included in this review. Supplementation with anthocyanins significantly improved LDL cholesterol among diseased individuals or those with elevated biomarkers. Supplementation did not significantly affect other markers of CVD in either healthy individuals or those with elevated markers. No adverse effects of anthocyanins were reported across studies at levels up to 640 mg/day. Limitations of trials in the qualitative analyses include short trial duration and large variability in the dose administered within the trials. Longer-duration trials assessing dose response are needed to adequately determine whether an effect of supplementation exists. Full article
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