Special Issue "Natural Products for Human Wellness"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Supayang P. Voravuthikunchai Website E-Mail
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Natural Product Research Center of Excellence, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Phone: +66-7428-8321
Interests: natural product; food supplement; skin beauty; alternative medicine; infectious disease; antibiotic; immunity
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Somi Kim Cho Website E-Mail
School of Biomaterials Science and Technology, Jeju National University, Korea
Phone: +82-1086601842
Interests: phytonutrients; anticancer; antioxidant; chemoprevention; epigenetics; signal pathway

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Leaders of various disciplines have come together in a consensus statement to say that many of the chemicals found in everyday foods and food products may be carcinogenic or wreak havoc with our hormones, our body's regulating system. However, the impact of these chemicals may be most severe on the developing brain. Recognition and research on natural product is likely to control human health risk. This Special Issue will concentrate on the latest research into such manifestations to awaken new understandings and provide insight into what can be a direction(less) journey that leads to good health, aiming to cover the following areas:

  • Potential natural product for industrial applications
  • Food supplement
  • Skin beauty
  • Natural product as alternative medicine
  • Natural product to control and prevent infections
  • Natural antimicrobial agent
  • Natural immunomudulator
  • Chemoprevention
  • Phytonutrients for human health
  • Phytonutrients for human disease

Prof. Dr. Supayang P. Voravuthikunchai
Prof. Dr. Somi Kim Cho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Natural product
  • Food supplement
  • Skin beauty
  • Alternative medicine
  • Infectious disease
  • Antibiotic
  • Immunity
  • Phytonutrients
  • Cancer

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Immunomodulatory Function of Red Ginseng Through Fermentation Using Bifidobacterium animalis Subsp. lactis LT 19-2
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071481 - 28 Jun 2019
Abstract
Removal of sugar moieties from ginsenosides has been proposed to increase their biological effects in various disease models. In order to identify strains that can increase aglycone contents, we performed a screening using bacteria isolated from the feces of infants focusing on acid [...] Read more.
Removal of sugar moieties from ginsenosides has been proposed to increase their biological effects in various disease models. In order to identify strains that can increase aglycone contents, we performed a screening using bacteria isolated from the feces of infants focusing on acid tolerance and β-glucosidase activity. We isolated 565 bacteria and selected Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis LT 19-2 (LT 19-2), which exhibited the highest β-glucosidase activity with strong acid tolerance. As red ginseng (RG) has been known to exert immunomodulatory functions, we fermented RG using LT 19-2 (FRG) and investigated whether this could alter the aglycone profile of ginsenosides and improve its immunomodulatory effect. FRG increased macrophage activity more potently compared to RG, demonstrated by higher TNF-α and IL-6 production. More importantly, the FRG treatment stimulated the proliferation of mouse splenocytes and increased TNF-α levels in bone marrow-derived macrophages, confirming that the enhanced immunomodulatory function can be recapitulated in primary immune cells. Examination of the molecular mechanism revealed that F-RG could induce phosphorylations of ERK, p38, JNK, and NF-κB. Analysis of the ginsenoside composition showed a decrease in Rb1, Re, Rc, and Rb3, accompanied by an increase in Rd, Rh1, F2, and Rg3, the corresponding aglycone metabolites, in FRG compared to RG. Collectively, LT 19-2 maybe used as a probiotic strain to improve the bioactivity of functional foods through modifying the aglycone/glycoside profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
Activation of Insulin Signaling in Adipocytes and Myotubes by Sarcopoterium Spinosum Extract
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061396 - 21 Jun 2019
Abstract
Sarcopoterium spinosum (S. spinosum) is a medicinal plant, traditionally used as an antidiabetic remedy. Previous studies demonstrated its beneficial properties in the treatment of insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to further clarify the effect of S. spinosum extract [...] Read more.
Sarcopoterium spinosum (S. spinosum) is a medicinal plant, traditionally used as an antidiabetic remedy. Previous studies demonstrated its beneficial properties in the treatment of insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to further clarify the effect of S. spinosum extract (SSE) on insulin signaling. Phosphoproteomic analysis, performed in 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with SSE, revealed the activation of insulin receptor pathways. SSE increased Glut4-facilitated glucose uptake in adipocytes, with an additive effect between SSE and insulin. While the maximal effect of insulin on glucose uptake was found at days 15–16 of differentiation, SSE-induced glucose uptake was found at an earlier stage of differentiation. Inhibition of PI3K and Akt blocked SSE-dependent glucose uptake. Western blot analysis, performed on 3T3-L1 adipocytes and L6 myotubes, showed that in contrast to insulin action, Akt was only marginally phosphorylated by SSE. Furthermore, GSK3β and PRAS40 phosphorylation as well as glucose uptake were increased by the extract. SSE also induced the phosphorylation of ERK similar to insulin. In conclusion, SSE activates insulin signaling, although the upstream event mediating its effects should be further clarified. Identifying the active molecules in SSE may lead to the development of new agents for the treatment of insulin resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
Yak-Kong Soybean (Glycine max) Fermented by a Novel Pediococcus pentosaceus Inhibits the Oxidative Stress-Induced Monocyte–Endothelial Cell Adhesion
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061380 - 19 Jun 2019
Abstract
Yak-Kong (YK), a small black soybean (Glycine max) in Korea, contained higher concentrations of antioxidants than ordinary black soybean or yellow soybean in our previous study. We prepared the fermented YK extract by using a novel lactic acid bacterium, Pediococcus pentosaceus [...] Read more.
Yak-Kong (YK), a small black soybean (Glycine max) in Korea, contained higher concentrations of antioxidants than ordinary black soybean or yellow soybean in our previous study. We prepared the fermented YK extract by using a novel lactic acid bacterium, Pediococcus pentosaceus AOA2017 (AOA2017) isolated from Eleusine coracana, and found that the antioxidant ability was enhanced after fermentation. In order to investigate the cause of the enhanced antioxidant ability in the fermented YK extract, we conducted a phenolic composition analysis. The results show that proanthocyanidin decreased and phenolic acids increased with a statistical significance after fermentation. Among the phenolic acids, p-coumaric acid was newly produced at about 11.7 mg/100 g, which did not exist before the fermentation. Further, the fermented YK extract with increased p-coumaric acid significantly inhibited the lipopolysaccharide-induced THP-1 monocyte–endothelial cell adhesion compared to the unfermented YK extract. The fermented YK extract also suppressed the protein expression levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Together with the previous studies, our results suggest that the extract of YK fermented by AOA2017 has potential to be a new functional food material with its enhanced bioactive compounds which may help to prevent atherosclerosis caused by oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
Attenuation of UVB-Induced Photo-Aging by Polyphenolic-Rich Spatholobus Suberectus Stem Extract Via Modulation of MAPK/AP-1/MMPs Signaling in Human Keratinocytes
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061341 - 14 Jun 2019
Abstract
It is well known that ultraviolet light activates mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase by increasing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, enhancing activating protein 1(AP-1) complexes (c-Jun and c-Fos), increasing matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and degrading collagen and elastin. In this study, we [...] Read more.
It is well known that ultraviolet light activates mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase by increasing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, enhancing activating protein 1(AP-1) complexes (c-Jun and c-Fos), increasing matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and degrading collagen and elastin. In this study, we confirmed that polyphenolic rich Spatholobus suberectus (SS) stem extracts suppressed ultraviolet (UV)-induced photo-aging. The major active components of SS stem extracts were identified as gallic acid, catechin, vanillic acid, syringic acid and epicatechin. The aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the stem of SS (SSW and SSE, respectively) significantly reduced the elastase enzyme activity. Moreover, both extracts were suppressed the ROS generation and cellular damage induced by UVB in HaCaT cells. Our results also revealed that SSE could regulate the expression of MMPs, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, collagen type I alpha 1 (COL1A1), elastin (ELN) and hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) at their transcriptional and translational level. Furthermore, SSE was blocked the UVB-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and c-Jun. Moreover, combination of syringic acid, epicatechin and vanillic acid showed strong synergistic effects on elastase inhibition activity, in which the combination index (CI) was 0.28. Overall, these results strongly suggest that the polyphenolics of SSE exert anti-ageing potential as a natural biomaterial to inhibit UVB-induced photo-aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
Dihydrocapsaicin Inhibits Epithelial Cell Transformation through Targeting Amino Acid Signaling and c-Fos Expression
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061269 - 04 Jun 2019
Abstract
Chili peppers are one of the most widely consumed spices worldwide. However, research on the health benefits of chili peppers and some of its constituents has raised controversy as to whether chili pepper compounds possess cancer-promoting or cancer-preventive effects. While ample studies have [...] Read more.
Chili peppers are one of the most widely consumed spices worldwide. However, research on the health benefits of chili peppers and some of its constituents has raised controversy as to whether chili pepper compounds possess cancer-promoting or cancer-preventive effects. While ample studies have been carried out to examine the effect of capsaicin in carcinogenesis, the chemopreventive effect of other major components in chili pepper, including dihydrocapsaicin, capsiate, and capsanthin, is relatively unclear. Herein, we investigated the inhibitory effect of chili pepper components on malignant cell transformation. Among the tested chili pepper compounds, dihydrocapsaicin displayed the strongest inhibitory activity against epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced neoplastic transformation. Dihydrocapsaicin specifically suppressed EGF-induced phosphorylations of the p70S6K1-S6 pathway and the expression of c-Fos. A reduction in c-Fos levels by dihydrocapsaicin led to a concomitant downregulation of AP-1 activation. Further analysis of the molecular mechanism responsible for the dihydrocapsaicin-mediated decrease in phospho-p70S6K1, revealed that dihydrocapsaicin can block amino acid-dependent mechanistic targets of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-p70S6K1-S6 signal activation. Additionally, dihydrocapsaicin was able to selectively augment amino acid deprivation-induced cell death in mTORC1-hyperactive cells. Collectively, dihydrocapsaicin exerted chemopreventive effects through inhibiting amino acid signaling and c-Fos pathways and, thus, might be a promising cancer preventive natural agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
Extract Methods, Molecular Characteristics, and Bioactivities of Polysaccharide from Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051181 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The polysaccharide isolated from alfalfa was considered to be a kind of macromolecule with some biological activities; however, its molecular structure and effects on immune cells are still unclear. The objectives of this study were to explore the extraction and purifying methods of [...] Read more.
The polysaccharide isolated from alfalfa was considered to be a kind of macromolecule with some biological activities; however, its molecular structure and effects on immune cells are still unclear. The objectives of this study were to explore the extraction and purifying methods of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) polysaccharide (APS) and decipher its composition and molecular characteristics, as well as its activation to lymphocytes. The crude polysaccharides isolated from alfalfa by water extraction and alcohol precipitation methods were purified by semipermeable membrane dialysis. Five batches of alfalfa samples were obtained from five farms (one composite sample per farm) and three replicates were conducted for each sample in determination. The results from ion chromatography (IC) analysis showed that the APS was composed of fucose, arabinose, galactose, glucose, xylose, mannose, galactose, galacturonic acid (GalA), and glucuronic acid (GlcA) with a molar ratio of 2.6:8.0:4.7:21.3:3.2:1.0:74.2:14.9. The weight-average molecular weight (Mw), number-average molecular weight (Mn), and Z-average molecular weight (Mz) of APS were calculated to be 3.30 × 106, 4.06 × 105, and 1.43 × 108 g/mol, respectively, according to the analysis by gel permeation chromatography-refractive index-multiangle laser light scattering (GPC-RI-MALS). The findings of electron ionization mass spectrometry (EI-MS) suggest that APS consists of seven linkage residues, namely 1,5-Araf, galactose (T-D-Glc), glucose (T-D-Gal), 1,4-Gal-Ac, 1,4-Glc, 1,6-Gal, and 1,3,4-GalA, with molar proportions of 10.30%, 4.02%, 10.28%, 52.29%, 17.02%, 3.52%, and 2.57%, respectively. Additionally, APS markedly increased B-cell proliferation and IgM secretion in a dose- and time-dependent manner but not the proliferation and cytokine (IL-2, -4, and IFN-γ) expression of T cells. Taken together, the present results suggest that APS are macromolecular polymers with a molar mass (indicated by Mw) of 3.3 × 106 g/mol and may be a potential candidate as an immunopotentiating pharmaceutical agent or functional food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Natural Products and Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Review Highlighting Mechanisms of Action
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051010 - 03 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recent findings have shown great potential of alternative interventions such as immunotherapy and natural products for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This study aims to review the anti-AML effect of various natural compounds. Natural compounds were classified into five groups: alkaloids, carotenoids, nitrogen-containing compounds, [...] Read more.
Recent findings have shown great potential of alternative interventions such as immunotherapy and natural products for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This study aims to review the anti-AML effect of various natural compounds. Natural compounds were classified into five groups: alkaloids, carotenoids, nitrogen-containing compounds, organosulfur compounds or phenolics based on each compound’s chemical properties. Fifty-eight studies were collected and reviewed in this article. Phenolics are the most abundant group to have an apoptotic effect over AML cells, while other groups have also shown significant apoptotic effects. Some compounds induced apoptosis by regulating unique mechanism like human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) or laminin receptor (67LR), while others modified caspases, poly (adp-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and p53. Further study is required to identify side-effects of potent compounds and the synergistic effects of combination of two or more natural compounds or existing conventional anti-AML drugs to treat this dreadful disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Human Wellness)
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