Green Medicine: Unraveling the Medicinal Effects of Plant Extracts and Functional Foods

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 22 October 2024 | Viewed by 490

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Seoul Songdo Hospital, Research Institute of Immune Cells, Seoul 10083, Republic of Korea
Interests: bioactives; functional foods; inflammation; obesity; antioxidants; cancer

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Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, DoE Department of Excellence 2018-2022, University of Siena, via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
Interests: drug discovery; natural products; bioactive molecules; functional foods; nutraceuticals; in vitro biological tests; carriers for bioactive molecules; bioactivity
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the realm of natural medicine, plant extracts and functional foods have long been revered for their therapeutic potential. From ancient herbal remedies to cutting-edge pharmaceutical research, these botanical wonders continue to captivate scientists, healers, and curious minds alike. This Special Issue, entitled “Green Medicine: Unraveling the Medicinal Effects of Plant Extracts and Functional Foods”, aims to delve into the multifaceted world of plant-based healing. Plants have evolved an intricate arsenal of bioactive compounds—phytochemicals—that serve as their defense mechanisms. These compounds, ranging from alkaloids and flavonoids to terpenes and polyphenols, hold immense promise for human health. Systems of traditional medicine across cultures have harnessed the power of plant extracts for millennia, recognizing their ability to alleviate ailments, boost immunity, and enhance overall well-being. In this special Issue, we seek to explore the vast diversity of plant species and their unique chemical profiles. Advances will be presented by exploiting evidence-based research to demonstrate the biological activities of plant extracts, functional foods, and their individual phytochemicals vis à vis health and disease. By dissecting the molecular pathways through which plant compounds exert their effects, we aim to also demystify their mechanisms of action. Authors, researchers, and enthusiasts are invited to contribute their insights, experiments, and perspectives. Together, let us unravel the mysteries of green medicine and pave the way for a harmonious coexistence with nature.

Dr. Denis Nchang Che
Dr. Stefania Lamponi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant extracts
  • phytochemicals
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • liver disease
  • oxidative stress
  • antioxidants
  • diabetes
  • skin damage
  • aging

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

15 pages, 2010 KiB  
Article
The In Vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Selected Australian Seagrasses
by Matthew J. Perry, Mara Curic, Abigail L. Scott, Edita Ritmejerytė, Dyah U. C. Rahayu, Paul A. Keller, Michael Oelgemöller, Karma Yeshi and Phurpa Wangchuk
Life 2024, 14(6), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14060710 - 30 May 2024
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Abstract
Recent studies have shown that seagrasses could possess potential applications in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Five seagrass species (Zostera muelleri, Halodule uninervis, Cymodocea rotundata, Syringodium isoetifolium, and Thalassia hemprichii) from the Great Barrier Reef (QLD, Australia) [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that seagrasses could possess potential applications in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Five seagrass species (Zostera muelleri, Halodule uninervis, Cymodocea rotundata, Syringodium isoetifolium, and Thalassia hemprichii) from the Great Barrier Reef (QLD, Australia) were thus collected, and their preliminary antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated. From the acetone extracts of five seagrass species subjected to 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging antioxidant assay, the extract of Z. muelleri had the highest activity (half minimal concentration of inhibition (IC50) = 138 µg/mL), with the aerial parts (IC50 = 119 µg/mL) possessing significantly higher antioxidant activity than the roots (IC50 ≥ 500 µg/mL). A human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) assay with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation and LEGENDplex cytokine analysis showed that the aerial extract of Z. muelleri significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 by 29%, 74%, and 90%, respectively, relative to the LPS treatment group. The aerial extract was thus fractionated with methanol (MeOH) and hexane fraction, and purification of the MeOH fraction by HPLC led to the isolation of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (1), luteolin (2), and apigenin (3) as its major constituents. These compounds have been previously shown to reduce levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 and represent some of the major bioactive components of Z. muelleri aerial parts. This investigation represents the first study of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Z. muelleri and the first isolation of small molecules from this species. These results highlight the potential for using seagrasses in treating inflammation and the need for further investigation. Full article
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