Special Issue "Nutraceuticals and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

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

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Scotto D'Abusco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dept. of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Roma.P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma, Italy
Interests: inflammation; osteoarthritis onset and progression; osteosarcoma; aging and skin cancer; glucosamine and its peptidyl derivatives; nutraceutical compounds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Nutrients, we would like to collect papers on the health-promoting effect of nutraceuticals, taking into account both healthy people and patients affected by different pathologies. At present, the administration of nutraceuticals is very diffused to treat diseases, to contrast aging and stress, and to serve as dietary supplements for athletes.

Several studies on compositions, formulations, and nutraceutical delivery have been conducted so far, with inconsistent outcomes. Particularly, the debate on the secondary and rare adverse effects of some nutraceuticals and their safety and effectiveness is very interesting. In recent years, the health claims of a large number of nutraceuticals were not approved by FDA and EFSA agencies. Therefore, further research is required to analyze more in depth the mechanism of action of molecules to be used as nutraceuticals.

We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Potential topics may include but not be limited to the study of molecules extracted from plants used to treat different types of pathologies as inflammatory diseases, bone diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and weigth control, diabetes, immunometabolism, hyperlipidemic diseases, skin diseases, and quality of life.

Dr. Anna Scotto D'Abusco
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Herbal extracts
  • Nutraceutical screening
  • Biochemical analyses
  • Cell culture models
  • In vivo studies
  • Inflammation
  • Bone diseases
  • Cancer
  • Immunometabolism
  • Health claims

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Article
Olive Leaf Extract, from Olea europaea L., Reduces Palmitate-Induced Inflammation via Regulation of Murine Macrophages Polarization
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3663; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123663 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
Olive tree (Olea europaea L.) leaves are an abundant source of bioactive compounds with several beneficial effects for human health. Recently, the effect of olive leaf extract in obesity has been studied. However, the molecular mechanism in preventing obesity-related inflammation has not [...] Read more.
Olive tree (Olea europaea L.) leaves are an abundant source of bioactive compounds with several beneficial effects for human health. Recently, the effect of olive leaf extract in obesity has been studied. However, the molecular mechanism in preventing obesity-related inflammation has not been elucidated. Obesity is a state of chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with an increase of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages infiltration in the adipose tissue. In the current study, we explored Olea europaea L. leaf extract (OLE) anti-inflammatory activity using an in vitro model of obesity-induced inflammation obtained by stimulating murine macrophages RAW 264.7 with high dose of the free fatty acid palmitate. We found that OLE significantly suppressed the induction of pro-inflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), while it enhanced the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10. Moreover, we demonstrated that OLE reduced the oxidative stress induced by palmitate in macrophages by regulating the NF-E2-related factor 2 (NRF2)−Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) pathway. Finally, we showed that OLE promoted the shift of M1 macrophage toward less inflammatory M2-cells via the modulation of the associated NF-κB and proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) signaling pathways. Thereby, our findings shed light on the potential therapeutic feature of OLE in recovering obesity-associated inflammation via regulating M1/M2 status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Mikania micrantha Extract Inhibits HMG-CoA Reductase and ACAT2 and Ameliorates Hypercholesterolemia and Lipid Peroxidation in High Cholesterol-Fed Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103077 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
The present study aimed to determine the effect of an ethyl acetate extract of Mikania micrantha stems (EAMMS) in hypercholesterolemia-induced rats. Rats were divided into a normal group (NC) and hypercholesterolemia induced groups: hypercholesterolemia control group (PC), simvastatin group (SV) (10 mg/kg) and [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to determine the effect of an ethyl acetate extract of Mikania micrantha stems (EAMMS) in hypercholesterolemia-induced rats. Rats were divided into a normal group (NC) and hypercholesterolemia induced groups: hypercholesterolemia control group (PC), simvastatin group (SV) (10 mg/kg) and EAMMS extract groups at different dosages of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, respectively. Blood serum and tissues were collected for haematological, biochemical, histopathological, and enzyme analysis. Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), urea, creatinine, malondialdehyde (MDA) level, as well as enzymes of HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR) and acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase 2 (ACAT2), were measured. Feeding rats with high cholesterol diet for eight weeks resulted in a significantly (p < 0.05) increased of TC, TG, LDL-C, AST, ALT and MDA levels. Meanwhile, the administration of EAMMS extract (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) and simvastatin (10 mg/kg) significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C and MDA compared to rats in the PC group. Furthermore, all EAMMS and SV-treated groups showed a higher HDL-C level compared to both NC and PC groups. No significant difference was found in the level of ALT, AST, urea and creatinine between the different dosages in EAMMS extracts. Treatment with EAMMS also exhibited the highest inhibition activity of enzyme HMGCR and ACAT2 as compared to the control group. From the histopathological examination, liver tissues in the PC group showed severe steatosis than those fed with EAMMS and normal diet. Treatment with EAMMS extract ameliorated and reduced the pathological changes in the liver. No morphological changes showed in the kidney structure of both control and treated groups. In conclusion, these findings demonstrated that EAMMS extract has anti-hypercholesterolemia properties and could be used as an alternative treatment for this disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Purified Gymnemic Acids from Gymnema inodorum Tea Inhibit 3T3-L1 Cell Differentiation into Adipocytes
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092851 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Gymnema inodorum (GI) is an indigenous medicinal plant and functional food in Thailand that has recently helped to reduce plasma glucose levels in healthy humans. It is renowned for the medicinal properties of gymnemic acid and its ability to suppress glucose absorption. However, [...] Read more.
Gymnema inodorum (GI) is an indigenous medicinal plant and functional food in Thailand that has recently helped to reduce plasma glucose levels in healthy humans. It is renowned for the medicinal properties of gymnemic acid and its ability to suppress glucose absorption. However, the effects of gymnemic acids on adipogenesis that contribute to the accumulation of adipose tissues associated with obesity remain unknown. The present study aimed to determine the effects of gymnemic acids derived from GI tea on adipogenesis. We purified and identified GiA-7 and stephanosides C and B from GI tea that inhibited adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. These compounds also suppressed the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparγ)-dependent genes, indicating that they inhibit lipid accumulation and the early stage of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation. Only GiA-7 induced the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1) and pparγ coactivator 1 alpha (Pgc1α), suggesting that GiA-7 induces mitochondrial activity and beige-like adipocytes. This is the first finding of stephanosides C and B in Gymnema inodorum. Our results suggested that GiA-7 and stephanosides C and B from GI tea could help to prevent obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
In Vivo Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Related Mechanisms of Processed Egg Yolk, a Potential Anti-Inflammaging Dietary Supplement
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2699; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092699 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Egg-yolk based supplements have demonstrated biological effects. We have developed a novel processed egg-yolk (PEY) complement, and we have tested whether it has inflammation modulatory properties. These were evaluated in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenge in 1-month male rats by in vivo circulating cytokine profiles [...] Read more.
Egg-yolk based supplements have demonstrated biological effects. We have developed a novel processed egg-yolk (PEY) complement, and we have tested whether it has inflammation modulatory properties. These were evaluated in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenge in 1-month male rats by in vivo circulating cytokine profiles measured by multiplexing techniques. Cell culture was used to explore ex vivo properties of derived serum samples. We explored growth factor composition, and mass-spectrometry metabolome and lipidome analyses of PEY to characterize it. PEY significantly prevented LPS-induced increase in IL-1 β, TNF-α, and MCP-1. Further, serum from PEY-treated animals abrogated LPS-induced iNOS build-up of the Raw 264.7 macrophage-like cell line. Immunochemical analyses demonstrated increased concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in the extract. PEY vs. egg-yolk comparative metabolomic analyses showed significative differences in the concentrations of at least 140 molecules, and in 357 in the lipidomic analyses, demonstrating the complexity of PEY. Globally, PEY acts as an orally-bioavailable immunomodulatory extract that may be of interest in those conditions associated with disarranged inflammation, such as inflammaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
The Effect of Resveratrol or Curcumin on Head and Neck Cancer Cells Sensitivity to the Cytotoxic Effects of Cisplatin
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2596; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092596 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Natural compounds can modulate all three major phases of carcinogenesis. The role of the natural compounds such as resveratrol (RSV) and curcumin (CRM) in modulation of anticancer potential of platinum-based drugs (CisPt) is still a topic of considerable debate. In order to enhance [...] Read more.
Natural compounds can modulate all three major phases of carcinogenesis. The role of the natural compounds such as resveratrol (RSV) and curcumin (CRM) in modulation of anticancer potential of platinum-based drugs (CisPt) is still a topic of considerable debate. In order to enhance head and neck cancer (HNSCC) cells’ sensitivity to the cytotoxic effects of CisPt combined treatments with RSV or CRM were used. The study aim was to evaluate how the RSV or CRM associated to CisPt treatment modulated some cellular processes such as proliferation, P21 gene expression, apoptotic process, and cell cycle development in HNSCC tumor cell line (PE/CA-PJ49) compared to a normal cell line (HUVEC). The results showed that RSV or CRM treatment affected the viability of tumor cells more than normal cells. These natural compounds act against proliferation and sustain the effects of cisplatin by cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis and amplification of P21 expression in tumor cells. In conclusion, using RSV or CRM as adjuvants in CisPt therapy might have a beneficial effect by supporting the effects induced by CisPt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Antiarthritic Effects of a Root Extract from Harpagophytum procumbens DC: Novel Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms and Possible Bioactive Phytochemicals
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2545; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092545 - 23 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
Harpagophytum procumbens (Burch.) DC. ex Meisn. is a traditional remedy for osteoarticular diseases, including osteoarthritis (OA), although the bioactive constituents and mechanisms involved are yet to be clarified. In the present study, an aqueous H. procumbens root extract (HPE; containing 1.2% harpagoside) was [...] Read more.
Harpagophytum procumbens (Burch.) DC. ex Meisn. is a traditional remedy for osteoarticular diseases, including osteoarthritis (OA), although the bioactive constituents and mechanisms involved are yet to be clarified. In the present study, an aqueous H. procumbens root extract (HPE; containing 1.2% harpagoside) was characterized for its effects on synoviocytes from OA patients and phytochemical composition in polyphenols, and volatile compounds were detected. HPE powder was dissolved in different solvents, including deionized water (HPEH2O), DMSO (HPEDMSO), 100% v/v ethanol (HPEEtOH100), and 50% v/v ethanol (HPEEtOH50). The highest polyphenol levels were found in HPEDMSO and HPEEtOH50, whereas different volatile compounds, mainly β-caryophyllene and eugenol, were detected in all the extracts except for HPEH2O. HPEH2O and HPEDMSO were able to enhance CB2 receptor expression and to downregulate PI-PLC β2 in synovial membranes; moreover, all the extracts inhibited FAAH activity. The present results highlight for the first time a multitarget modulation of the endocannabinoid system by HPE, likely ascribable to its hydrosoluble compounds, along with the presence of volatile compounds in H. procumbens root. Although hydrosoluble compounds seem to be mainly responsible for endocannabinoid modulation by HPE, a possible contribution of volatile compounds can be suggested, strengthening the hypothesis that the entire phytocomplex can contribute to the H. procumbens healing properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Acute Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Supplementation Alters Postprandial Lipids after a Fast-Food Meal in Healthy Young Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2533; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092533 - 21 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
A high-fat fast-food meal negatively impacts postprandial metabolism even in healthy young people. In experimental studies, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a bioactive compound present in green tea, has been described as a potent natural inhibitor of fatty acid synthase. Thus, we sought to evaluate the [...] Read more.
A high-fat fast-food meal negatively impacts postprandial metabolism even in healthy young people. In experimental studies, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a bioactive compound present in green tea, has been described as a potent natural inhibitor of fatty acid synthase. Thus, we sought to evaluate the effects of acute EGCG supplementation on postprandial lipid profile, glucose, and insulin levels following a high-fat fast-food meal. Fourteen healthy young women 21 ± 1 years and body mass index 21.4 ± 0.41 kg/m2 were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Participants ingested capsules containing 800 mg EGCG or placebo immediately before a typical fast-food meal rich in saturated fatty acids. Blood samples were collected at baseline and then at 90 and 120 min after the meal. The EGCG treatment attenuated postprandial triglycerides (p = 0.029) and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) (p = 0.016) at 120 min. No treatment × time interaction was found for total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL-c), and glucose or insulin levels. The incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for glucose was decreased by EGCG treatment (p < 0.05). No difference was observed in the iAUC for triglycerides and HDL-c. In healthy young women, acute EGCG supplementation attenuated postprandial triglycerides and glucose but negatively impacted HDL-c following a fast-food meal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Viburnum opulus L. Juice Phenolics Inhibit Mouse 3T3-L1 Cells Adipogenesis and Pancreatic Lipase Activity
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072003 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Viburnum opulus L. fruit is a rich source of phenolic compounds that may be involved in the prevention of metabolic diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Viburnum opulus fresh juice (FJ) and juice purified by solid-phase extraction [...] Read more.
Viburnum opulus L. fruit is a rich source of phenolic compounds that may be involved in the prevention of metabolic diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Viburnum opulus fresh juice (FJ) and juice purified by solid-phase extraction (PJ) on the adipogenesis process with murine 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell line and pancreatic lipase activity in triolein emulsion, as well as their phenolic profiles by UPLC/Q-TOF-MS. Decrease of lipids and triacylglycerol accumulation in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells were in concordance with downregulation of the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPβ/α), and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c). Furthermore, regulation of PPARγ-mediated β-lactamase expression by V. opulus components in reporter gene assay, as well as their binding affinity to ligand-binding domain of PPARγ, were tested. In addition, the levels of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism, like fatty acid synthase (FAS) or acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), were decreased, along with inflammatory cytokines, like tumor necrosis factorα (TNFα), interleukin-6 (Il-6) and leptin. Moreover, FJ and PJ were able to inhibit pancreatic lipase, which potentially could reduce the fat absorption from the intestinal lumen and the storage of body fat in the adipose tissues. Thirty-two phenolic compounds with chlorogenic acid as the dominant compound were identified in PJ which revealed significant biological activity. These data contribute to elucidate V. opulus juice phenolic compounds’ molecular mechanism in adipogenesis regulation in 3T3-L1 cells and dietary fat lipolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Phytoplankton Supplementation Lowers Muscle Damage and Sustains Performance across Repeated Exercise Bouts in Humans and Improves Antioxidant Capacity in a Mechanistic Animal
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 1990; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071990 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1130
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of antioxidant-rich marine phytoplankton supplementation (Oceanix, OCX) on performance and muscle damage following a cross-training event in endurance-trained subjects. Additionally, an animal model was carried out to assess the effects of varying dosages [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of antioxidant-rich marine phytoplankton supplementation (Oceanix, OCX) on performance and muscle damage following a cross-training event in endurance-trained subjects. Additionally, an animal model was carried out to assess the effects of varying dosages of OCX, with exercise, on intramuscular antioxidant capacity. Methods: In the human trial, endurance-trained subjects (average running distance = 29.5 ± 2.6 miles × week−1) were randomly divided into placebo (PLA) and OCX (25 mg) conditions for 14 days. The subjects were pre-tested on a one-mile uphill run, maximal isometric strength, countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ) power, and for muscle damage (creatine kinase (CK)). On Day 12, the subjects underwent a strenuous cross-training event. Measures were reassessed on Day 13 and 14 (24 h and 48 h Post event). In the animal model, Wistar rats were divided into four groups (n = 7): (i) Control (no exercise and placebo (CON)), (ii) Exercise (E), (iii) Exercise + OCX 1 (Oceanix, 2.55 mg/day, (iv) Exercise + OCX 2 (5.1 mg/day). The rats performed treadmill exercise five days a week for 6 weeks. Intramuscular antioxidant capacity (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)) and muscle damage (CK and myoglobin (MYOB) were collected. The data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and t-test for select variables. The alpha value was set at p < 0.05. Results: For the human trial, SJ power lowered in PLA relative to OCX at 24 h Post (−15%, p < 0.05). Decrements in isometric strength from Pre to 48 h Post were greater in the PLA group (−12%, p < 0.05) than in the OCX. Serum CK levels were greater in the PLA compared to the OCX (+14%, p < 0.05). For the animal trial, the intramuscular antioxidant capacity was increased in a general dose-dependent manner (E + Oc2 > E + Oc1 > E > CON). Additionally, CK and MYOB were lower in supplemented compared to E alone. Conclusions: Phytoplankton supplementation (Oceanix) sustains performance and lowers muscle damage across repeated exercise bouts. The ingredient appears to operate through an elevating oxidative capacity in skeletal muscle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Regular Consumption of Lipigo® Promotes the Reduction of Body Weight and Improves the Rebound Effect of Obese People Undergo a Comprehensive Weight Loss Program
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 1960; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071960 - 30 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Obesity is a global public health problem. Objective: To evaluate the effect of the regular consumption of the product Lipigo® on body weight and rebound effect on overweight/obese subjects undergoing a comprehensive weight loss program. Methods: A randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical [...] Read more.
Obesity is a global public health problem. Objective: To evaluate the effect of the regular consumption of the product Lipigo® on body weight and rebound effect on overweight/obese subjects undergoing a comprehensive weight loss program. Methods: A randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted with male and female subjects presenting a BMI 25–39.9 kg/m2. All subjects underwent a comprehensive weight loss program (WLP) for 12 weeks, which included an individualized hypocaloric diet, physical activity recommendations, nutritional education seminars, and three times a day consumption of the product Lipigo® or Placebo. After-WLP, subjects continued the treatment for 9 months to assess rebound effect. Body weight (BW), BMI, and body composition were measured at the beginning and the end of the WLP, and in the follow-up. Results: A total of 120 subjects (85% women) 49.0 ± 9.5 years old and with a BW of 81.57 ± 13.26 kg (BMI 31.19 ± 3.44 kg/m2) were randomized and 73 subjects finished the study. At the end of the WLP, there was a tendency toward reduced BW (p = 0.093), BMI (p = 0.063), and WC (p = 0.059) in the treated group. However, subjects with obesity type 1 (OB1) from the treated group significantly reduced body weight (−5.27 ± 2.75 vs. −3.08 ± 1.73 kg; p = 0.017) and BMI (−1.99 ± 1.08 vs. −1.09 ± 0.55 kg/m2; p = 0.01) compared with placebo. They also presented a minor rebound effect after 9 months with product consumption (−4.19 ± 3.61 vs. −1.44 ± 2.51 kg; p = 0.026), minor BMI (−1.61 ± 1.43 vs. −0.52 ± 0.96 kg/m2; p = 0.025) and tended to have less fat-mass (−3.44 ± 2.46 vs. −1.44 ± 3.29 kg; p = 0.080) compared with placebo. Conclusions: The regular consumption of the product Lipigo® promotes the reduction of body weight and reduces the rebound effect of obese people after 52 weeks (12 months), mainly in obesity type 1, who undergo a comprehensive weight loss program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Protocatechuic Acid Extends Survival, Improves Motor Function, Diminishes Gliosis, and Sustains Neuromuscular Junctions in the hSOD1G93A Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1824; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061824 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disorder characterized by motor neuron apoptosis and subsequent skeletal muscle atrophy caused by oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. Anthocyanins are polyphenolic compounds found in berries that possess neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Protocatechuic acid [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disorder characterized by motor neuron apoptosis and subsequent skeletal muscle atrophy caused by oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. Anthocyanins are polyphenolic compounds found in berries that possess neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Protocatechuic acid (PCA) is a phenolic acid metabolite of the parent anthocyanin, kuromanin, found in blackberries and bilberries. We explored the therapeutic effects of PCA in a transgenic mouse model of ALS that expresses mutant human Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase 1 with a glycine to alanine substitution at position 93. These mice display skeletal muscle atrophy, hindlimb weakness, and weight loss. Disease onset occurs at approximately 90 days old and end stage is reached at approximately 120 days old. Daily treatment with PCA (100 mg/kg) by oral gavage beginning at disease onset significantly extended survival (121 days old in untreated vs. 133 days old in PCA-treated) and preserved skeletal muscle strength and endurance as assessed by grip strength testing and rotarod performance. Furthermore, PCA reduced astrogliosis and microgliosis in spinal cord, protected spinal motor neurons from apoptosis, and maintained neuromuscular junction integrity in transgenic mice. PCA lengthens survival, lessens the severity of pathological symptoms, and slows disease progression in this mouse model of ALS. Given its significant preclinical therapeutic effects, PCA should be further investigated as a treatment option for patients with ALS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Raspberry Ketone [4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-Butanone] Differentially Effects Meal Patterns and Cardiovascular Parameters in Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061754 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Raspberry ketone (RK; [4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone]) is a popular nutraceutical used for weight management and appetite control. We sought to determine the physiological benefits of RK on the meal patterns and cardiovascular changes associated with an obesogenic diet. In addition, we explored whether the physiological [...] Read more.
Raspberry ketone (RK; [4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone]) is a popular nutraceutical used for weight management and appetite control. We sought to determine the physiological benefits of RK on the meal patterns and cardiovascular changes associated with an obesogenic diet. In addition, we explored whether the physiological benefits of RK promoted anxiety-related behaviors. Male and female C57BL/6J mice were administered a daily oral gavage of RK 200 mg/kg, RK 400 mg/kg, or vehicle for 14 days. Commencing with dosing, mice were placed on a high-fat diet (45% fat) or low-fat diet (10% fat). Our results indicated that RK 200 mg/kg had a differential influence on meal patterns in males and females. In contrast, RK 400 mg/kg reduced body weight gain, open-field total distance travelled, hemodynamic measures (i.e., reduced systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP and mean BP), and increased nocturnal satiety ratios in males and females. In addition, RK 400 mg/kg increased neural activation in the nucleus of the solitary tract, compared with vehicle. RK actions were not influenced by diet, nor resulted in an anxiety-like phenotype. Our findings suggest that RK has dose-differential feeding and cardiovascular actions, which needs consideration as it is used as a nutraceutical for weight control for obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Article
Allithiamine Alleviates Hyperglycaemia-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061690 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus-related morbidity and mortality is a rapidly growing healthcare problem, globally. Several nutraceuticals exhibit potency to target the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. The antidiabetic effects of compounds of garlic have been extensively studied, however, limited data are available on the biological effects [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus-related morbidity and mortality is a rapidly growing healthcare problem, globally. Several nutraceuticals exhibit potency to target the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. The antidiabetic effects of compounds of garlic have been extensively studied, however, limited data are available on the biological effects of a certain garlic component, allithiamine. In this study, allithiamine was tested using human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as a hyperglycaemic model. HUVECs were isolated by enzymatic digestion and characterized by flow cytometric analysis using antibodies against specific marker proteins including CD31, CD45, CD54, and CD106. The non-cytotoxic concentration of allithiamine was determined based on MTT, apoptosis, and necrosis assays. Subsequently, cells were divided into three groups: incubating with M199 medium as the control; or with 30 mMol/L glucose; or with 30 mMol/L glucose plus allithiamine. The effect of allithiamine on the levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), activation of NF-κB, release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α, and H2O2-induced oxidative stress was investigated. We found that in the hyperglycaemia-induced increase in the level of AGEs, pro-inflammatory changes were significantly suppressed by allithiamine. However, allithiamine could not enhance the activity of transketolase, but it exerts a potent antioxidant effect. Collectively, our data suggest that allithiamine could alleviate the hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect by a mechanism unrelated to the transketolase activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Dietary Supplements for Male Infertility: A Critical Evaluation of Their Composition
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1472; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051472 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Dietary supplements (DS) represent a possible approach to improve sperm parameters and male fertility. A wide range of DS containing different nutrients is now available. Although many authors demonstrated benefits from some nutrients in the improvement of sperm parameters, their real effectiveness is [...] Read more.
Dietary supplements (DS) represent a possible approach to improve sperm parameters and male fertility. A wide range of DS containing different nutrients is now available. Although many authors demonstrated benefits from some nutrients in the improvement of sperm parameters, their real effectiveness is still under debate. The aim of this study was to critically review the composition of DS using the Italian market as a sample. Active ingredients and their minimal effective daily dose (mED) on sperm parameters were identified through a literature search. Thereafter, we created a formula to classify the expected efficacy of each DS. Considering active ingredients, their concentration and the recommended daily dose, DS were scored into three classes of expected efficacy: higher, lower and none. Twenty-one DS were identified. Most of them had a large number of ingredients, frequently at doses below mED or with undemonstrated efficacy. Zinc was the most common ingredient of DS (70% of products), followed by selenium, arginine, coenzyme Q and folic acid. By applying our scoring system, 9.5% of DS fell in a higher class, 71.4% in a lower class and 19.1% in the class with no expected efficacy. DS marketed in Italy for male infertility frequently includes effective ingredients but also a large number of substances at insufficient doses or with no reported efficacy. Manufacturers and physicians should better consider the scientific evidence on effective ingredients and their doses before formulating and prescribing these products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Review

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Review
ω-3 and ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Obesity and Cancer
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092751 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2018
Abstract
Recently, nutraceutical bioactive compounds in foods have been discovered for their potential health benefits regarding the prevention of chronic disorders, such as cancer, and inflammatory, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3PUFAs), including alpha-linolenic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid, [...] Read more.
Recently, nutraceutical bioactive compounds in foods have been discovered for their potential health benefits regarding the prevention of chronic disorders, such as cancer, and inflammatory, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3PUFAs), including alpha-linolenic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid, are mostly attractive. They are available for the customers worldwide from commonly used foods and/or as components of commercial food supplements. The anti-inflammatory and hypotriglyceridemic effects of these fatty acids are well known, whereas pro-inflammatory properties have been recognized in their dietary counterparts, the ω-6PUFAs. Both ω-3 and ω-6PUFAs contribute to the production of lipid mediators such as endocannabinoids that are notably involved in control of food intake, energy sensing, and food–related disorders. In this review, we present ω-3 and ω-6PUFAs and their derivatives, endocannabinoids; discuss the anti-obesity effects of ω-3PUFAs; their roles in inflammation and colorectal cancer development; and how their action can be co-preventative and co-therapeutic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Review
The Crosstalk between Prostate Cancer and Microbiota Inflammation: Nutraceutical Products Are Useful to Balance This Interplay?
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092648 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
The human microbiota shows pivotal roles in urologic health and disease. Emerging studies indicate that gut and urinary microbiomes can impact several urological diseases, both benignant and malignant, acting particularly on prostate inflammation and prostate cancer. Indeed, the microbiota exerts its influence on [...] Read more.
The human microbiota shows pivotal roles in urologic health and disease. Emerging studies indicate that gut and urinary microbiomes can impact several urological diseases, both benignant and malignant, acting particularly on prostate inflammation and prostate cancer. Indeed, the microbiota exerts its influence on prostate cancer initiation and/or progression mechanisms through the regulation of chronic inflammation, apoptotic processes, cytokines, and hormonal production in response to different pathogenic noxae. Additionally, therapies’ and drugs’ responses are influenced in their efficacy and tolerability by microbiota composition. Due to this complex potential interconnection between prostate cancer and microbiota, exploration and understanding of the involved relationships is pivotal to evaluate a potential therapeutic application in clinical practice. Several natural compounds, moreover, seem to have relevant effects, directly or mediated by microbiota, on urologic health, posing the human microbiota at the crossroad between prostatic inflammation and prostate cancer development. Here, we aim to analyze the most recent evidence regarding the possible crosstalk between prostate, microbiome, and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Review
Lactoferrin from Bovine Milk: A Protective Companion for Life
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2562; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092562 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3878
Abstract
Lactoferrin (Lf), an iron-binding multifunctional glycoprotein belonging to the transferrin family, is present in most biological secretions and reaches particularly high concentrations in colostrum and breast milk. A key function of lactoferrin is non-immune defence and it is considered to be a mediator [...] Read more.
Lactoferrin (Lf), an iron-binding multifunctional glycoprotein belonging to the transferrin family, is present in most biological secretions and reaches particularly high concentrations in colostrum and breast milk. A key function of lactoferrin is non-immune defence and it is considered to be a mediator linking innate and adaptive immune responses. Lf from bovine milk (bLf), the main Lf used in human medicine because of its easy availability, has been designated by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a food additive that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Among the numerous protective activities exercised by this nutraceutical protein, the most important ones demonstrated after its oral administration are: Antianemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities. All these activities underline the significance in host defence of bLf, which represents an ideal nutraceutical product both for its economic production and for its tolerance after ingestion. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most important beneficial activities demonstrated following the oral administration of bLf, trying to identify potential perspectives on its prophylactic and therapeutic applications in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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Review
Abscisic Acid: A Conserved Hormone in Plants and Humans and a Promising Aid to Combat Prediabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1724; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061724 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
Abscisic acid (ABA) is a hormone with a very long evolutionary history, dating back to the earliest living organisms, of which modern (ABA-producing) cyanobacteria are likely the descendants, well before separation of the plant and animal kingdoms, with a conserved role as a [...] Read more.
Abscisic acid (ABA) is a hormone with a very long evolutionary history, dating back to the earliest living organisms, of which modern (ABA-producing) cyanobacteria are likely the descendants, well before separation of the plant and animal kingdoms, with a conserved role as a signal regulating cell responses to environmental challenges. In mammals, nanomolar ABA controls the metabolic response to glucose availability by stimulating glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue with an insulin-independent mechanism and increasing energy expenditure in the brown and white adipose tissues. Activation by ABA of AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK), in contrast to the insulin-induced activation of AMPK-inhibiting Akt, is responsible for stimulation of GLUT4-mediated muscle glucose uptake, and for the browning effect on white adipocytes. Intake of micrograms per Kg body weight of ABA improves glucose tolerance in both normal and in borderline subjects and chronic intake of such a dose of ABA improves blood glucose, lipids and morphometric parameters (waist circumference and body mass index) in borderline subjects for prediabetes and the metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes the most recent results obtained in vivo with microgram amounts of ABA, the role of the receptor LANCL2 in the hormone’s action and the significance of the endowment by mammals of two different hormones controlling the metabolic response to glucose availability. Finally, open issues in need of further investigation and perspectives for the clinical use of nutraceutical ABA are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Human Health)
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