Natural Products on Health and Diseases

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 13362

Special Issue Editors

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Interests: polyphenols; natural products; antioxidants; diabetes; obesity; hypertension; cardiovascular diseases
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Interests: natural products; polyphenols; hypertension; pregnancy; pre-eclampsia; menopause
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Interests: natural products; polyphenols; diabetes; neurological diseases; obesity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant biodiversity makes it possible study natural products in different pathological conditions, providing a natural possibility for coping with several diseases and is a significant source of inspiration in the development of new therapeutic agents, particularly new drugs. The plant kingdom is still insufficiently explored as a field, which has a wealth of bioactive natural compounds. Natural products obtained from plants have bioactive compounds with distinctive chemical structures and beneficial properties that positively impact health promotion or assist in the treatment of diseases. Studies on natural products have been growing rapidly and are currently a subject of great interest in healthy food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. Bioactive compounds from natural products have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and anticancer effects and have promising effects in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The consumption of a diet rich in bioactive compounds and changes in lifestyle help in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Of the drugs approved between 1981 and 2019, 3.8% correspond to unaltered natural products, and 18.9% are natural products derivates. Natural products have a significant role in drug discovery, and new studies with bioactive compounds are increasingly required to understand the molecular and pharmacological mechanisms to increase the clinical arsenal in the treatment of several diseases.

Prof. Dr. Cristiane Aguiar Da Costa
Dr. Dayane Teixeira Ognibene
Prof. Dr. Graziele Freitas De Bem
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • natural products
  • bioactive compounds
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • aging
  • dyslipidemia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Parkinson’s
  • depression

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4157 KiB  
Article
Rutin Linoleate Triggers Oxidative Stress-Mediated Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells
Life 2024, 14(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020215 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Lung cancer (LC) represents one of the most prevalent health issues globally and is a leading cause of tumor-related mortality. Despite being one the most attractive compounds of plant origin due to its numerous biological properties, the therapeutic applications of rutin (RUT) are [...] Read more.
Lung cancer (LC) represents one of the most prevalent health issues globally and is a leading cause of tumor-related mortality. Despite being one the most attractive compounds of plant origin due to its numerous biological properties, the therapeutic applications of rutin (RUT) are limited by its disadvantageous pharmacokinetics. Thus, the present study aimed to evaluate in vitro the application of two RUT fatty acids bioconjugates, rutin oleate (RUT-O) and rutin linoleate (RUT-L), as potential improved RUT-based chemotherapeutics in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. The results indicate that both compounds lacked cytotoxic potential in EpiAirway™ tissues at concentrations up to 125 µM. However, only RUT-L exerted anti-tumorigenic activity in NCI-H23 NSCLC cells after 24 h of treatment by reducing cell viability (up to 47%), proliferation, and neutral red uptake, causing cell membrane damage and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage, affecting cytoskeletal distribution, inducing cytoplasmic vacuolation, and increasing oxidative stress. The cytopathic effects triggered by RUT-L at 100 and 125 µM are indicators of a non-apoptotic cell death pathway that resembles the characteristics of paraptosis. The novel findings of this study stand as a basis for further investigations on the anti-cancer properties of RUT-L and their underlying mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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15 pages, 1952 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Profile of Arthrospira platensis from a Bulgarian Bioreactor—A Potential Opportunity for Inclusion in Dietary Supplements
Life 2024, 14(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020174 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
The present study aims to elucidate the metabolomic profile of Arthrospira platensis grown in a bioreactor in Bulgaria. The results show that Arthrospira platensis has a high content of mannose, 137.02 mg g−1, and vitamin A (retinol)—10.3 μg/100 g. High concentrations [...] Read more.
The present study aims to elucidate the metabolomic profile of Arthrospira platensis grown in a bioreactor in Bulgaria. The results show that Arthrospira platensis has a high content of mannose, 137.02 mg g−1, and vitamin A (retinol)—10.3 μg/100 g. High concentrations of calcium, sulfur, and zinc distinguish its elemental composition. The freeze-dried powder contained 15.81 ± 0.45% dietary fiber, 50.16 ± 0.25% total protein content, and 1.22 ± 0.11% total fat content. Among the unsaturated fatty acids with the highest content is α-linolenic acid (25.28%), while among the saturated fatty acids, palmitic acid prevails (22.55%). Of the sterols in the sample, β-sitosterol predominated. There is no presence of microcystins LR, RR, YR, and nodularin. Therefore, Arthrospira platensis grown in a Bulgarian bioreactor is safe for use in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Many of the organic compounds found have applications in medicine and pharmacology and play an important role in biochemical processes in the body. Therefore, Arthrospira platensis grown in Bulgaria has a high potential for use as an independent food supplement or in combination with other natural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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13 pages, 9775 KiB  
Article
A Continuous Extraction Protocol for the Characterisation of a Sustainably Produced Natural Indigo Pigment
Life 2024, 14(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14010059 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 764
Abstract
The sustainable industrial production of indigo necessitates a unique extraction process to separate the plant-derived compounds. Calcium compounds are added to encourage hydrolysis of these precursors and to facilitate the isolation of the final form, resulting in an organic–inorganic composite pigment with unspecified [...] Read more.
The sustainable industrial production of indigo necessitates a unique extraction process to separate the plant-derived compounds. Calcium compounds are added to encourage hydrolysis of these precursors and to facilitate the isolation of the final form, resulting in an organic–inorganic composite pigment with unspecified characteristics. In this study, we devised a continuous solvent extraction procedure to fractionate the organic indigoid phase within the composite pigment. Overcoming challenges posed by limited solubility in the common organic solvents, this method allows for the analysis of individual fractions, significantly enhancing resolution. Comprehensive characterisation using spectroscopic analysis, thermogravimetry, and UHPLC-MS/MS revealed the potential for quantifying primary components of the natural pigment and distinct differentiation from the synthetic dye. This approach also holds promise for establishing robust manufacturing practices in the industrial production of natural indigo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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15 pages, 2888 KiB  
Article
Protective Effects of Cirsium japonicum var. maackii Flower on Amyloid Beta25–35-Treated C6 Glial Cells
Life 2023, 13(7), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13071453 - 27 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Amyloid beta (Aβ) is a neurotoxic peptide and a key factor causing Alzheimer’s disease. Cirsium japonicum var. maackii (CJM) has neuroprotective effects, but the protective effects of the flower from CJM (FCJM) on the neural system remain unclear. This study aimed to identify [...] Read more.
Amyloid beta (Aβ) is a neurotoxic peptide and a key factor causing Alzheimer’s disease. Cirsium japonicum var. maackii (CJM) has neuroprotective effects, but the protective effects of the flower from CJM (FCJM) on the neural system remain unclear. This study aimed to identify the fraction of FCJM with the highest neuroprotective potential and investigate its protective mechanisms against Aβ25–35-induced inflammation in C6 glial cells. The cell viability and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured to investigate the positive effect of FCJM on oxidative stress. Treatment with the FCJM extract or fractions increased the cell viability to 60–70% compared with 52% in the Aβ25–35-treated control group and decreased ROS production to 84% compared with 100% in the control group. The ethyl acetate fraction of FCJM (EFCJM) was the most effective among all the extracts and fractions. We analyzed the protective mechanisms of EFCJM on Aβ25–35-induced inflammation in C6 glial cells using Western blot. EFCJM downregulated amyloidogenic pathway-related proteins, such as Aβ precursor protein, β-secretase, presenilin 1, and presenilin 2. Moreover, EFCJM attenuated the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, an index of apoptosis, and upregulated the oxidative stress-related protein, heme oxygenase-1. Therefore, this study demonstrated that FCJM improves cell viability and inhibits ROS in Aβ25–35-treated C6 glial cells. Furthermore, EFCJM exhibits neuroprotective effects in Aβ25–35-induced inflammation in C6 glial cells by modulating oxidative stress and amyloidogenic and apoptosis signaling pathways. FCJM, especially EFCJM, can be a promising agent for neurodegenerative disease prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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19 pages, 6351 KiB  
Article
Orthologs of Human-Disease-Associated Genes in Plants Are Involved in Regulating Leaf Senescence
Life 2023, 13(2), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020559 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1479
Abstract
As eukaryotes, plants and animals have many commonalities on the genetic level, although they differ greatly in appearance and physiological habits. The primary goal of current plant research is to improve the crop yield and quality. However, plant research has a wider aim, [...] Read more.
As eukaryotes, plants and animals have many commonalities on the genetic level, although they differ greatly in appearance and physiological habits. The primary goal of current plant research is to improve the crop yield and quality. However, plant research has a wider aim, exploiting the evolutionary conservatism similarities between plants and animals, and applying discoveries in the field of botany to promote zoological research that will ultimately serve human health, although very few studies have addressed this aspect. Here, we analyzed 35 human-disease-related gene orthologs in plants and characterized the genes in depth. Thirty-four homologous genes were found to be present in the herbaceous annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the woody perennial plant Populus trichocarpa, with most of the genes having more than two exons, including the ATM gene with 78 exons. More surprisingly, 27 (79.4%) of the 34 homologous genes in Arabidopsis were found to be senescence-associated genes (SAGs), further suggesting a close relationship between human diseases and cellular senescence. Protein–protein interaction network analysis revealed that the 34 genes formed two main subnetworks, and genes in the first subnetwork interacted with 15 SAGs. In conclusion, our results show that most of the 34 homologs of human-disease-associated genes in plants are involved in the leaf senescence process, suggesting that leaf senescence may offer a means to study the pathogenesis of human diseases and to screen drugs for the treat of diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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18 pages, 4618 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Composition, Antioxidant, and Anticancer Activities of Sidr Honey: In Vitro and In Silico Computational Investigation
Life 2023, 13(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010035 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2115
Abstract
Cancer is one of the major causes of death worldwide. The repercussions of conventional therapeutic approaches present a challenge in the delivery of new effective treatments. Thus, more attention is being awarded to natural products, mainly honey. Honey could be the basis for [...] Read more.
Cancer is one of the major causes of death worldwide. The repercussions of conventional therapeutic approaches present a challenge in the delivery of new effective treatments. Thus, more attention is being awarded to natural products, mainly honey. Honey could be the basis for the development of new therapies for cancer patients. The aim of this study is to assess the phytochemical profiling, antioxidant, drug-likeness properties, and anticancer activity of Ziziphus honey (ZH) derived from the Hail region of Saudi Arabia. The phytochemical profiling using high resolution-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HR-LCMS) revealed 10 compounds belonging to several familial classes and one tripeptide. Potential antioxidant activity was noted as assessed by DPPH (IC50 0.670 mg/mL), ABTS (IC50 3.554 mg/mL), and β-carotene (IC50 > 5 mg/mL). The ZH exerted a notable cytotoxic effect in a dose-dependent manner against three cancer cell lines: lung (A549), breast (MCF-7), and colon (HCT-116), with respective IC50 values of 5.203%, 6.02%, and 7.257%. The drug-likeness investigation unveiled that most of the identified compounds meet Lipinski’s rule. The molecular docking analysis revealed interesting antioxidant and anticancer activities for most targeted proteins and supported the in vitro findings. The Miraxanthin-III compound exhibited the most stabilized interaction. This study provides deeper insights on ZH as prominent source of bioactive compounds with potent antioxidant and anticancer effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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Review

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17 pages, 1500 KiB  
Review
The Genus Tripleurospermum Sch. Bip. (Asteraceae): A Comprehensive Review of Its Ethnobotanical Utilizations, Pharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Toxicity
Life 2023, 13(6), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061323 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1446
Abstract
This review provides a comprehensive overview of the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity of the genus Tripleurospermum. Tripleurospermum, a prominent genus within the family Asteraceae, is recognized for its therapeutic potential in treating various ailments, including skin, digestive, and [...] Read more.
This review provides a comprehensive overview of the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity of the genus Tripleurospermum. Tripleurospermum, a prominent genus within the family Asteraceae, is recognized for its therapeutic potential in treating various ailments, including skin, digestive, and respiratory diseases; cancer; muscular pain; and stress and as a sedative. Through extensive phytochemical studies regarding the Tripleurospermum species, numerous chemical compounds have been identified and classified into distinct classes, predominantly encompassing terpenes, hydrocarbons, steroids, hydrocarbons, oxygenated compounds, flavonoids, tannins, alcohols, acids, melatonin, and fragrant compounds. The findings from this review highlight the presence of bioactive compounds within the Tripleurospermum species that possess significant medicinal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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29 pages, 3213 KiB  
Review
Annona muricata: Comprehensive Review on the Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Aspects Focusing on Antidiabetic Properties
Life 2023, 13(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020353 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4231
Abstract
Plants have played an important role over the centuries in providing products that have been used to help combat ailments and diseases. Many products originating from fresh, dried-plant materials, or extracts are utilized as community remedies in traditional practices or even in modern [...] Read more.
Plants have played an important role over the centuries in providing products that have been used to help combat ailments and diseases. Many products originating from fresh, dried-plant materials, or extracts are utilized as community remedies in traditional practices or even in modern medicine. The Annonaceae family contains different types of bioactive chemical properties, such as alkaloids, acetogenins, flavonoids, terpenes, and essential oil, meaning the plants in this family are potential therapeutic agents. Belonging to the Annonaceae family, Annona muricata Linn. has recently attracted the attention of scientists for its medicinal value. It has been utilized as a medicinal remedy since ancient times to treat and improve various diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer, and bacterial infections. This review, therefore, highlights the important characteristic and therapeutic effect of A. muricata along with future perspectives on its hypoglycemic effect. The most-common name is soursop, referring to its sour and sweet flavors, while in Malaysia, this tree is commonly called ‘durian belanda’. Furthermore, A. muricata contains a high content of phenolic compounds in the roots and leaves. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that A. muricata has the pharmacological effects of anti-cancer, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and wound healing. With regard to its anti-diabetic effect, mechanisms of inhibiting glucose absorption via α-glucosidase and α-amylase activity inhibition, increasing glucose tolerance and glucose uptake by peripheral tissues, and stimulating insulin release or acting like insulin were deeply discussed. There is still a significant research gap, and future studies are required to conduct detailed investigations and gain a better molecular understanding of A. muricata’s anti-diabetic potential, especially by using the metabolomics approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products on Health and Diseases)
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