Special Issue "Natural Products for Human Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2015).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Supayang P. Voravuthikunchai
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Natural Product Research Center of Excellence, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Tel. +66-7428-8321
Interests: natural product; food supplement; skin beauty; alternative medicine; infectious disease; antibiotic; immunity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Peter Howe
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Strategic Research Projects, University of Southern Queensland, Australia / School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Australia
Interests: nutrients; cardiometabolic health; cognitive function
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue contains a selection of papers presented at the 5th International Conference on Natural Products for Health and Beauty (NATPRO 5) at Phuket, Thailand in May 2014 (see Conference Reports). Complemented by keynote presentations on topics ranging from traditional medicine to bioprospecting and molecular design, NATPRO showcased regional research on bioactives from plants and other natural sources, characterising their chemistry, efficacy and safety in human health and beauty applications.

Prof. Dr. Supayang P. Voravuthikunchai
Prof. Dr. Peter Howe
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa Leaf Extract on Staphylococcal Adhesion and Invasion in Bovine Udder Epidermal Tissue Model
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8503-8517; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105410 - 15 Oct 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Bovine mastitis is one of the most important infectious diseases in dairy herds, and staphylococci are the most important etiologic agents of this disease. Antibiotics and chemical agents used in livestock for prevention and cure of the disease can accumulate in milk and [...] Read more.
Bovine mastitis is one of the most important infectious diseases in dairy herds, and staphylococci are the most important etiologic agents of this disease. Antibiotics and chemical agents used in livestock for prevention and cure of the disease can accumulate in milk and give rise to food safety concerns. Rhodomyrtus tomentosa leaf extract was studied as an alternative approach to reduce the bacterial infections. The ethanolic extract of this plant demonstrated antibacterial activity with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values as low as 16–64 μg/mL against staphylococcal isolates. In addition, the extract had an effect on the bacterial cell surface properties by increasing its hydrophobicity in a concentration dependent manner. To further extend the antibacterial efficacy, silver nanoparticles synthesized with the extract, a pure rhodomyrtone, and liposomal encapsulated rhodomyrtone were applied and their inhibitory effects on bacterial adhesion and invasion were determined by ex vivo study in a bovine udder epidermal tissue model. These agents exerted remarkable antibacterial activity against staphylococci and decreased the adhesion of the bacterial cells to the tissues. These results supported that R. tomentosa ethanolic extract could be applied as an alternative agent for bovine udder care in dairy farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Antihyperglycemic Effect of Methanol Extract of Syzygium polyanthum (Wight.) Leaf in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7764-7780; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095365 - 14 Sep 2015
Cited by 17
Abstract
Syzygium polyanthum (S. polyanthum), a plant belonging to Myrtaceae, is widely used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines. Diabetic patients in Indonesia also commonly use it as a traditional medicine. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the antihyperglycemic effect of [...] Read more.
Syzygium polyanthum (S. polyanthum), a plant belonging to Myrtaceae, is widely used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines. Diabetic patients in Indonesia also commonly use it as a traditional medicine. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the antihyperglycemic effect of the methanol extract (ME) of S. polyanthum leaf and its possible mechanisms of action. To test for hypoglycemic activity, ME was administered orally to normal male Sprague Dawley rats after a 12-h fast. To further test for antihyperglycemic activity, the same treatment was administered to glucose-loaded (intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test, IPGTT) and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, respectively. Hypoglycemic test in normal rats did not show significant reduction in blood glucose levels (BGLs) by the extract. Furthermore, IPGTT conducted on glucose-loaded normal rats also did not show significant reduction of BGLs. However, repeated administration of metformin and three doses of ME (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) for six days caused significant reduction of fasting BGLs in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The possible mechanisms of action of S. polyanthum antihyperglycemic activity were assessed by measurement of intestinal glucose absorption and glucose uptake by isolated rat abdominal muscle. It was found that the extract not only inhibited glucose absorption from the intestine but also significantly increased glucose uptake in muscle tissue. A preliminary phytochemical qualitative analysis of ME indicated the presence of tannins, glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins. Additionally, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis detected squalene. In conclusion, S. polyanthum methanol leaf extract exerts its antihyperglycemic effect possibly by inhibiting glucose absorption from the intestine and promoting glucose uptake by the muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Bio-Control Agent from Rhodomyrtus tomentosa against Listeria monocytogenes
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7451-7468; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095346 - 07 Sep 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen implicated in many outbreaks of listeriosis. This study aimed at screening for the potential use of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa ethanolic leaf extract as a bio-control agent against L. monocytogenes. Twenty-two L. monocytogenes isolates were checked with [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen implicated in many outbreaks of listeriosis. This study aimed at screening for the potential use of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa ethanolic leaf extract as a bio-control agent against L. monocytogenes. Twenty-two L. monocytogenes isolates were checked with 16 commercial antibiotics and isolates displayed resistance to 10 antibiotics. All the tested isolates were sensitive to the extract with inhibition zones ranging from 14 to 16 mm. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values ranged from 16 to 32 µg/mL and 128 to 512 µg/mL, respectively. Time-kill assay showed that the extract had remarkable bactericidal effects on L. monocytogenes. The extract at a concentration of 16 µg/mL reduced tolerance to 10% NaCl in L. monocytogenes in 4 h. Stationary phase L. monocytogenes cells were rapidly inactivated by greater than 3-log units within 30 min of contact time with R. tomentosa extract at 128 µg/mL. Electron microscopy revealed fragmentary bacteria with changes in the physical and morphological properties. Our study demonstrates the potential of the extract for further development into a bio-control agent in food to prevent the incidence of L. monocytogenes contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Free Radical Scavenging, Antioxidative DNA Damage Activities and Phytochemical Components of Active Fractions from Lansium domesticum Corr. Fruit
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6852-6873; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085312 - 14 Aug 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
Lansium domesticum Corr. or “long-kong” is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. Its peel (skin, SK) and seeds (SD) become waste unless recycled or applied for use. This study was undertaken to determine the bioactivity and phytochemical components of L. domesticum [...] Read more.
Lansium domesticum Corr. or “long-kong” is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. Its peel (skin, SK) and seeds (SD) become waste unless recycled or applied for use. This study was undertaken to determine the bioactivity and phytochemical components of L. domesticum (LD) skin and seed extracts. Following various extraction and fractionation procedures, 12 fractions were obtained. All fractions were tested for antioxidant capacity against O2−• and OH. It was found that the peel of L. domesticum fruits exhibited higher O2−• and OH scavenging activity than seeds. High potential antioxidant activity was found in two fractions of 50% ethanol extract of peel followed by ethyl acetate (EA) fractionation (LDSK50-EA) and its aqueous phase (LDSK50-H2O). Therefore, these two active fractions were selected for further studies on their antioxidative activity against DNA damage by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human TK6 cells using comet assay. The comet results revealed DNA-protective activity of both LDSK50-EA and LDSK50-H2O fractions when TK6 human lymphoblast cells were pre-treated at 25, 50, 100, and 200 μg/mL for 24 h prior to H2O2 exposure. The phytochemical analysis illustrated the presence of phenolic substances, mainly scopoletin, rutin, and chlorogenic acid, in these two active fractions. This study generates new information on the biological activity of L. domesticum. It will promote and strengthen the utilization of L. domesticum by-products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Ferulic Acid Alleviates Changes in a Rat Model of Metabolic Syndrome Induced by High-Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diet
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6446-6464; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085283 - 04 Aug 2015
Cited by 36
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities characterized by obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Ferulic acid (FA) is the major phenolic compound found in rice oil and various fruits and vegetables. In this study, we examined the beneficial effects of FA [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities characterized by obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Ferulic acid (FA) is the major phenolic compound found in rice oil and various fruits and vegetables. In this study, we examined the beneficial effects of FA in minimizing insulin resistance, vascular dysfunction and remodeling in a rat model of high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic changes, which is regarded as an analogue of metabolic syndrome (MS) in man. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a high carbohydrate, high fat (HCHF) diet and 15% fructose in drinking water for 16 weeks, where control rats were fed with standard chow diet and tap water. FA (30 or 60 mg/kg) was orally administered to the HCHF and control rats during the last six weeks of the study. We observed that FA significantly improved insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles, and reduced elevated blood pressure, compared to untreated controls (p < 0.05). Moreover, FA also improved vascular function and prevented vascular remodeling of mesenteric arteries. The effects of FA in HCHF-induced MS may be realized through suppression of oxidative stress by down-regulation of p47phox, increased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability with up-regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and suppression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Our results suggest that supplementation of FA may have health benefits by minimizing the cardiovascular complications of MS and alleviating its symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Rice Bran Protein Hydrolysates Improve Insulin Resistance and Decrease Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Gene Expression in Rats Fed a High Carbohydrate-High Fat Diet
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6313-6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085292 - 03 Aug 2015
Cited by 28
Abstract
A high carbohydrate-high fat (HCHF) diet causes insulin resistance (IR) and metabolic syndrome (MS). Rice bran has been demonstrated to have anti-dyslipidemic and anti-atherogenic properties in an obese mouse model. In the present study, we investigated the beneficial effects of rice bran protein [...] Read more.
A high carbohydrate-high fat (HCHF) diet causes insulin resistance (IR) and metabolic syndrome (MS). Rice bran has been demonstrated to have anti-dyslipidemic and anti-atherogenic properties in an obese mouse model. In the present study, we investigated the beneficial effects of rice bran protein hydrolysates (RBP) in HCHF-induced MS rats. After 12 weeks on this diet, the HCHF-fed group was divided into four subgroups, which were orally administered RBP 100 or 500 mg/kg, pioglitazone 10 mg/kg, or tap water for a further 6 weeks. Compared with normal diet control group, the MS rats had elevated levels of blood glucose, lipid, insulin, and HOMA-IR. Treatment with RBP significantly alleviated all those changes and restored insulin sensitivity. Additionally, RBP treatment increased adiponectin and suppressed leptin levels. Expression of Ppar-γ mRNA in adipose tissues was significantly increased whereas expression of lipogenic genes Srebf1 and Fasn was significantly decreased. Levels of mRNA of proinflammatory cytokines, Il-6, Tnf-α, Nos-2 and Mcp-1 were significantly decreased. In conclusion, the present findings support the consumption of RBP as a functional food to improve insulin resistance and to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Mamao Pomace Extract Alleviates Hypertension and Oxidative Stress in Nitric Oxide Deficient Rats
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6179-6194; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085275 - 28 Jul 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced oxidative stress plays a major role in pathogenesis of hypertension. Antidesma thwaitesianum (local name: Mamao) is a tropical plant distributed in the tropical/subtropical areas of the world, including Thailand. Mamao pomace (MP), a by-product generated from Mamao fruits, contains [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced oxidative stress plays a major role in pathogenesis of hypertension. Antidesma thwaitesianum (local name: Mamao) is a tropical plant distributed in the tropical/subtropical areas of the world, including Thailand. Mamao pomace (MP), a by-product generated from Mamao fruits, contains large amounts of antioxidant polyphenolic compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the antihypertensive and antioxidative effects of MP using hypertensive rats. For this purpose, male Sprague-Dawley rats were given Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), an inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), in drinking water (50 mg/kg) for three weeks. MP extract was orally administered daily at doses of 100 and 300 mg/kg. l-NAME administration induced marked increase in blood pressure, peripheral vascular resistance, and oxidative stress. MP treatment significantly prevented the increase in blood pressure, hindlimb blood flow and hindlimb vascular resistance of l-NAME treated hypertensive rats (p < 0.05). The antihypertensive effect of MP treatment was associated with suppression of superoxide production from carotid strips and also with an increase in eNOS protein expression and nitric oxide bioavailability. The present results provide evidence for the antihypertensive effect of MP and suggest that MP might be useful as a dietary supplement against hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Peptides-Derived from Thai Rice Bran Improves Endothelial Function in 2K-1C Renovascular Hypertensive Rats
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5783-5799; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075252 - 15 Jul 2015
Cited by 21
Abstract
In recent years, a number of studies have investigated complementary medical approaches to the treatment of hypertension using dietary supplements. Rice bran protein hydrolysates extracted from rice is a rich source of bioactive peptides. The present study aimed to investigate the vasorelaxation and [...] Read more.
In recent years, a number of studies have investigated complementary medical approaches to the treatment of hypertension using dietary supplements. Rice bran protein hydrolysates extracted from rice is a rich source of bioactive peptides. The present study aimed to investigate the vasorelaxation and antihypertensive effects of peptides-derived from rice bran protein hydrolysates (RBP) in a rat model of two kidney-one clip (2K-1C) renovascular hypertension. 2K-1C hypertension was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by placing a silver clip around the left renal artery, whereas sham-operated rats were served as controls. 2K-1C and sham-operated rats were intragastrically administered with RBP (50 mg kg−1 or 100 mg kg−1) or distilled water continuously for six weeks. We observed that RBP augmented endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in all animals. Administration of RBP to 2K-1C rats significantly reduced blood pressure and decreased peripheral vascular resistance compared to the sham operated controls (p < 0.05). Restoration of normal endothelial function and blood pressure was associated with reduced plasma angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), decreased superoxide formation, reduced plasma malondialdehyde and increased plasma nitrate/nitrite (p < 0.05). Up-regulation of eNOS protein and down-regulation of p47phox protein were found in 2K-1C hypertensive rats-treated with RBP. Our results suggest that RBP possesses antihypertensive properties which are mainly due to the inhibition of ACE, and its vasodilatory and antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition of Pancreatic Lipase and Triacylglycerol Intestinal Absorption by a Pinhão Coat (Araucaria angustifolia) Extract Rich in Condensed Tannin
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5601-5614; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075242 - 09 Jul 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
The purpose of the present work was to characterize the possible inhibition of pancreatic lipase by a tannin-rich extract obtained from the pinhão (Araucaria angustifolia seed) coat, based on the previous observation that this preparation inhibits α-amylases. Kinetic measurements of pancreatic lipase [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present work was to characterize the possible inhibition of pancreatic lipase by a tannin-rich extract obtained from the pinhão (Araucaria angustifolia seed) coat, based on the previous observation that this preparation inhibits α-amylases. Kinetic measurements of pancreatic lipase revealed that the pinhão coat tannin is an effective inhibitor. Inhibition was of the parabolic non-competitive type. The inhibition constants, \({\overline{K}}_{i1} \) and \({\overline{K}}_{i2} \), were equal to 332.7 ± 146.1 µg/mL and 321.2 \(\pm\) 93.0 µg/mL, respectively, corresponding roughly to the inhibitor concentration producing 50. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Diabetic and Hepato-Renal Protective Effects of Ziyuglycoside II Methyl Ester in Type 2 Diabetic Mice
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5469-5483; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075232 - 07 Jul 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, and closely associated with abnormal lipid metabolism and hepato-renal dysfunction. This study investigated the anti-diabetic and hepato-renal protective properties of ziyuglycoside I (ZG01) derivative on type 2 diabetes. ZG01 was isolated [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, and closely associated with abnormal lipid metabolism and hepato-renal dysfunction. This study investigated the anti-diabetic and hepato-renal protective properties of ziyuglycoside I (ZG01) derivative on type 2 diabetes. ZG01 was isolated from roots of Sanguisorba officinalis and chemically modified by deglycosylation and esterification to obtained ziyuglycoside II methyl ester (ZG02-ME). Here, we showed that ZG02-ME has stronger anti-diabetic activity than the original compound (ZG01) through decreasing blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and insulin levels in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes (db/db mice). We further found that ZG02-ME treatment effectively ameliorated serum insulin, leptin and C-peptide levels, which are key metabolic hormones, in db/db mice. In addition, we showed that elevated basal blood lipid levels were decreased by ZG02-ME treatment in db/db mice. Furthermore, treatment of ZG02-ME significantly decreased serum AST, ALT, BUN, creatinine, and liver lipid peroxidation in db/db mice. These results demonstrated that compared to ZG01, chemically modified ZG02-ME possess improved anti-diabetic properties, and has hepato-renal protective activities in type 2 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Endothelium-Dependent Relaxation Effect of Apocynum venetum Leaf Extract via Src/PI3K/Akt Signalling Pathway
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5239-5253; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075220 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Botanical herbs are consumed globally not only as an essential diet but also as medicines or as functional/recreational food supplements. The extract of the Apocynum venetum leaves (AVLE), also known as Luobuma, exerts its antihypertensive effect via dilating the blood vessels in an [...] Read more.
Botanical herbs are consumed globally not only as an essential diet but also as medicines or as functional/recreational food supplements. The extract of the Apocynum venetum leaves (AVLE), also known as Luobuma, exerts its antihypertensive effect via dilating the blood vessels in an endothelium- and concentration-dependent manner with optimal effect seen at as low as 10 µg/mL. A commercial Luoboma “antihypertensive tea” is available commercially in the western province of China. The present study seeks to investigate the underlying cellular mechanisms of the nitric oxide (NO)-releasing property of AVLE in rat aortas and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by AVLE was assessed in organ chambers in the presence or absence of polyethyleneglycol catalase (PP2, 20 µM; inhibitor of Src kinase), wortmannin (30 nM) and LY294002 (20 µM; PI3 (phosphatidylinositol3)-Kinase inhibitor), NG-nitro-l-arginine (L-NAME, 100 µM; endothelial NO synthase inhibitor (eNOS)) and ODQ (1 µM; soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor). Total nitrite and nitrate (NOx) level and protein expression of p-Akt and p-eNOS were measured. AVLE-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation was reduced by PP2, wortmannin and LY294002 and abolished by L-NAME and ODQ. AVLE significantly increased total NOx level in rat aortas and in HUVECs compared to control. It also instigated phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS in cultured HUVECs in a concentration-dependent manner and this was markedly suppressed by PP2, wortmannin and LY294002. AVLE also inhibited superoxide generated from both NADPH oxidase and xanthine/xanthine oxidase system. Taken together, AVLE causes endothelium-dependent NO mediated relaxations of rat aortas through Src/PI3K/Akt dependent NO signalling pathway and possesses superoxide scavenging activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Angelica gigas via Heme Oxygenase (HO)-1 Expression
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4862-4874; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064862 - 15 Jun 2015
Cited by 20
Abstract
Angelica gigas (AG) is effective against various medical conditions such as bacterial infection, inflammation, and cancer. It contains a number of coumarin compounds and the group of interest is the pyranocoumarin, which comprises decursin and decursinol angelate. This group has an effect on [...] Read more.
Angelica gigas (AG) is effective against various medical conditions such as bacterial infection, inflammation, and cancer. It contains a number of coumarin compounds and the group of interest is the pyranocoumarin, which comprises decursin and decursinol angelate. This group has an effect on controlling inflammation, which is caused by excessive nitric oxide (NO) production. Heme oxygenases (HOs), particularly HO-1, play a role in regulating the production of NO. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of AG by measuring HO-1 expression. Treatments with CH2Cl2 layer and Angelica gigas extract (AGE) showed the highest NO inhibition effects. Decursin, decursinol angelate, and nodakenin were isolated from the CH2Cl2 layer of AGE. Decursin also demonstrated the highest anti-oxidative effect among the coumarins. Although decursin had the best NO inhibition and anti-oxidative effects, the effects of AGE treatment far surpassed that of decursin. This is owing to the combination effect of the coumarins present within AGE, which is a solvent extract of AG. The expression of HO-1 is an effective indicator of the anti-inflammatory effects of AG. Based on the results of the coumarin compounds, HO-1 expression was found to be dose dependent and specific to decursin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of the Total Saponins from Rosa laevigata Michx Fruit against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Rats
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4829-4850; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064829 - 15 Jun 2015
Cited by 19
Abstract
In this study, the protective effect of the total saponins from Rosa laevigata Michx (RLTS) against liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats was evaluated. The results showed that RLTS significantly rehabilitated the levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, [...] Read more.
In this study, the protective effect of the total saponins from Rosa laevigata Michx (RLTS) against liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats was evaluated. The results showed that RLTS significantly rehabilitated the levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, malondialdehyde, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, hydroxyproline, α-smooth muscle actin, collagen I, collagen III and fibronectin, which were confirmed using H&E, Sirius Red and Masson histopathological assays. Further research indicated that RLTS markedly reduced cytochrome P450 2E1 activity, attenuated oxidative stress, and suppressed inflammation. In addition, RLTS facilitated matrix degradation through down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase2, matrix metalloproteinase 9 and metalloproteinases1, and exerted the anti-fibrotic effects through affecting transforming growth factor β/Smad, focal adhesion kinase/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/amino kinase terminal/70-kDa ribosomal S6 Kinase (FAK-PI3K-Akt-p70S6K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Taken together, our data indicate that RLTS can be applied as one effective candidate for the treatment of liver fibrosis in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Sesamin Ameliorates Advanced Glycation End Products-Induced Pancreatic β-Cell Dysfunction and Apoptosis
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4689-4704; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064689 - 09 Jun 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the direct modulators of β-cells, have been shown to cause insulin-producing β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis through increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Sesamin has been demonstrated to possess antioxidative activity. This study was designed to investigate [...] Read more.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the direct modulators of β-cells, have been shown to cause insulin-producing β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis through increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Sesamin has been demonstrated to possess antioxidative activity. This study was designed to investigate whether sesamin protects against AGEs-evoked β-cell damage via its antioxidant property. The effects of sesamin were examined in C57BL/6J mice and MIN6 cell line. In in vivo studies, mice were intraperitoneally injected with AGEs (120 mg/kg) and orally treated with sesamin (160 mg/kg) for four weeks. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance and insulin releasing tests were performed. Insulin content, ROS generation and β-cell apoptosis in pancreatic islets were also measured. In in vitro studies, MIN6 cells were pretreated with sesamin (50 or 100 μM) and then exposed to AGEs (200 mg/L) for 24 h. Insulin secretion, β-cell death, ROS production as well as expression and activity of NADPH oxidase were determined. Sesamin treatment obviously ameliorated AGE-induced β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro. These effects were associated with decreased ROS production, down-regulated expression of p67phox and p22phox, and reduced NADPH oxidase activity. These results suggest that sesamin protects β-cells from damage caused by AGEs through suppressing NADPH oxidase-mediated oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Resveratrol Inhibits the Invasion of Glioblastoma-Initiating Cells via Down-Regulation of the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB Signaling Pathway
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4383-4402; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7064383 - 02 Jun 2015
Cited by 34
Abstract
Invasion and metastasis of glioblastoma-initiating cells (GICs) are thought to be responsible for the progression and recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). A safe drug that can be applied during the rest period of temozolomide (TMZ) maintenance cycles would greatly improve the prognosis of [...] Read more.
Invasion and metastasis of glioblastoma-initiating cells (GICs) are thought to be responsible for the progression and recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). A safe drug that can be applied during the rest period of temozolomide (TMZ) maintenance cycles would greatly improve the prognosis of GBM patients by inhibiting GIC invasion. Resveratrol (RES) is a natural compound that exhibits anti-invasion properties in multiple tumor cell lines. The current study aimed to evaluate whether RES can inhibit GIC invasion in vitro and in vivo. GICs were identified using CD133 and Nestin immunofluorescence staining and tumorigenesis in non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice. Invasive behaviors, including the adhesion, invasion and migration of GICs, were determined by tumor invasive assays in vitro and in vivo. The activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) was measured by the gelatin zymography assay. Western blotting analysis and immunofluorescence staining were used to determine the expression of signaling effectors in GICs. We demonstrated that RES suppressed the adhesion, invasion and migration of GICs in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we proved that RES inhibited the invasion of GICs via the inhibition of PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signal transduction and the subsequent suppression of MMP-2 expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic Activity of Piper cubeba Extract in Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Nutrients 2015, 7(4), 2707-2718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7042707 - 10 Apr 2015
Cited by 29
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of a crude extract of Piper cubeba against normal and breast cancer cell lines. To prepare the extract, P. cubeba seeds were ground, soaked in methanol and dichloromethane and isolated by column chromatography. Fractions were tested [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of a crude extract of Piper cubeba against normal and breast cancer cell lines. To prepare the extract, P. cubeba seeds were ground, soaked in methanol and dichloromethane and isolated by column chromatography. Fractions were tested for cytotoxicity effects on normal fibroblast (L929), normal breast (MCF-12A) and breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231). The most effective fraction was selected for DNA fragmentation assay to detect apoptotic activity. The results showed that the methanolic crude extract had a higher cytotoxic activity against MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7 than a dichloromethane crude extract. Then, the methanolic crude extract was separated into six fractions, designated A to F. Fraction C was highly active against breast cancer cell lines with an IC50 value less than 4 μg/mL. Therefore, Fraction C was further separated into seven fractions, CA to CG. The 1H-NMR profile showed that Fraction CE was long chain hydrocarbons. Moreover, Fraction CE demonstrated the highest activity against MCF-7 cells with an IC50 value of 2.69 ± 0.09 μg/mL and lower cytotoxicity against normal fibroblast L929 cells with an IC50 value of 4.17 ± 0.77 μg/mL. Finally, DNA fragmentation with a ladder pattern characteristic of apoptosis was observed in MCF-7, MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231 and L929 cells, but not in MCF-12A cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Applications of Microencapsulated Bifidobacterium Longum with Eleutherine Americana in Fresh Milk Tofu and Pineapple Juice
Nutrients 2015, 7(4), 2469-2484; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7042469 - 03 Apr 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
Bifidobacterium longum was microencapsulated by extrusion technique and added in fresh milk tofu and pineapple juice. Microencapsulation of B. longum with Eleutherine americana extract, oligosaccharides extract, and commercial fructo-oligosaccharides was assessed for the bacterial survival after sequential exposure to simulated gastric and intestinal [...] Read more.
Bifidobacterium longum was microencapsulated by extrusion technique and added in fresh milk tofu and pineapple juice. Microencapsulation of B. longum with Eleutherine americana extract, oligosaccharides extract, and commercial fructo-oligosaccharides was assessed for the bacterial survival after sequential exposure to simulated gastric and intestinal juices, and refrigeration storage. Microencapsulated B. longum with the extract and oligosaccharides extract in the food products showed better survival than free cells under adverse conditions. Sensory analysis demonstrated that the products containing co-encapsulated bacterial cells were more acceptable by consumers than free cells. Pineapple juice prepared with co-encapsulated cells had lower values for over acidification, compared with the juice with free cells added. This work suggested that microencapsulated B. longum with E. americana could enhance functional properties of fresh milk tofu and pineapple juice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Inhaled Citronella Oil and Related Compounds on Rat Body Weight and Brown Adipose Tissue Sympathetic Nerve
Nutrients 2015, 7(3), 1859-1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7031859 - 12 Mar 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Citronella oil is one of the most famous Indonesian essential oils, having a distinctive aroma. As with other essential oils, it is crucial to explore the effects of inhalation of this oil. Therefore, the aim of this research was to elucidate the effects [...] Read more.
Citronella oil is one of the most famous Indonesian essential oils, having a distinctive aroma. As with other essential oils, it is crucial to explore the effects of inhalation of this oil. Therefore, the aim of this research was to elucidate the effects of inhalation of citronella oil and its components isolated from Cymbopogon nardus L. (Poaceae), Indonesian local name: “Sereh Wangi” on the body weight, blood lipid profile, and liver function of rats, as well as on the sympathetic nerve activity and temperature of brown adipose tissue. Sprague-Dawley male adult rats fed with high fat diet (HFD) were made to inhale citronella oil, R-(+)-citronellal, and β-citronellol for five weeks, and the observations were compared to those of HFD rats that were not subjected to inhalation treatment. The results showed that inhalation of β-citronellol decreased feed consumption. As a consequence, the percentage of weight gain decreased compared with that in control group and the blood cholesterol level in the β-citronellol group was significantly lowered. Concentration of liver function enzymes were not significantly different among the groups. In conclusion, inhalation of citronella oil, specifically β-citronellol, decreased body weight by decreasing appetite, without any marked changes in liver enzyme concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Salacinol and Related Analogs: New Leads for Type 2 Diabetes Therapeutic Candidates from the Thai Traditional Natural Medicine Salacia chinensis
Nutrients 2015, 7(3), 1480-1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7031480 - 27 Feb 2015
Cited by 15
Abstract
The antidiabetic effect of a hot water extract of stems of Salacia chinensis (SCE) was evaluated in vivo in KK-Ay mice, a typical type 2 diabetes mellitus mice model. Administration of CE-2 dietary feed containing 0.25 and/or 0.50% of SCE for three [...] Read more.
The antidiabetic effect of a hot water extract of stems of Salacia chinensis (SCE) was evaluated in vivo in KK-Ay mice, a typical type 2 diabetes mellitus mice model. Administration of CE-2 dietary feed containing 0.25 and/or 0.50% of SCE for three weeks to KK-Ay mice significantly suppressed the elevation of both blood glucose and HbA1c levels without significant changes in body weight or food intake. Glucose tolerance was improved by administration to KK-Ay mice for 27 days of AIN93M purified dietary feed containing 0.12% of SCE. No suppressive effect with respect to HbA1c level was observed when AIN93M/Glc dietary feed in which all digestible glucides were replaced with glucose was administered with SCE. Thus, α-glucosidase inhibitory activity approved as the mechanism of action of the antidiabetic effect of SCE by in vitro investigation was reconfirmed also in in vivo studies. Evaluation of the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of the active constituents, salacinol (1), kotalanol (3), and neokotalanol (4), by employing human α-glucosidases revealed that these compounds inhibited them as potently (IC50 = 3.9–4.9 μM for maltase) as they inhibited rat small intestinal α-glucosidase. The principal sulfonium constituents (14) were highly stable in an artificial gastric juice. In addition, 14 were hardly absorbed from the intestine in an experiment using the in situ rat ligated intestinal loop model. The results indicate that these sulfoniums are promising leads for a new type of anti-diabetic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Eleutherine americana-Alginate Complex Microcapsules and Application in Bifidobacterium longum
Nutrients 2015, 7(2), 831-848; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7020831 - 26 Jan 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Microencapsulation using extrusion and emulsion techniques was prepared for Bifidobacterium longum protection against sequential exposure to simulated gastric and intestinal juices, refrigeration storage and heat treatment. Eleutherine americana was used as the co-encapsulating agent. Hydrolysis of E. americana by gastric and intestinal juices [...] Read more.
Microencapsulation using extrusion and emulsion techniques was prepared for Bifidobacterium longum protection against sequential exposure to simulated gastric and intestinal juices, refrigeration storage and heat treatment. Eleutherine americana was used as the co-encapsulating agent. Hydrolysis of E. americana by gastric and intestinal juices was also determined. E. americana and its oligosaccharide extract demonstrated their resistance to low pH and partial tolerance to human α-amylase. Microencapsulated B. longum with E. americana and oligosaccharide extract prepared by the extrusion technique survived better than that by the emulsion technique under adverse conditions. Survival of microencapsulated cells after exposure to the juices and refrigeration storage was higher than free cells at Weeks 2 and 4. In addition, the viability of microencapsulated cells was better than free cells at 65 °C for 15 min. This work suggested that microencapsulated B. longum with E. americana offers the effective delivery of probiotics to colon and maintains their survival in food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Health)
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