Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 July 2024 | Viewed by 8694

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Physiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 61-701 Poznan, Poland
Interests: nutritional biochemistry; gynaecology; clinical pharmacology; genetics; pharmacogenetics; osteoporosis; bone; bone mineral density; genotyping; bone metabolism
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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Physiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Fredry 10, 61-701 Poznan, Poland
Interests: obesity; body composition; fat tissue compartments; physical activities; resistance trening; endurance trening; metabolic health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutritional status determines a person’s condition and resistance to disease. For a developing organism, it influences growth and development. Eating disorders and inflammatory and autoimmune metabolic diseases are often associated with the occurrence of nutritional deficiencies.

We constantly aim to improve the nutritional status of patients, both in terms of increasing their appetite and improving their nutrient absorption efficiency.

Using natural substances to enhance the nutritional statuses and metabolisms of people with metabolic diseases is noteworthy. For example, Cannabis sativa is a source of anti-anorexic and hypoglycemic compounds, which support patients’ nutrition and pharmacotherapy. Understanding the pharmacology and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids in the regulation of metabolic and enzymatic processes will allow the safe introduction of natural substances to prevent and treat metabolic diseases.

Dr. Joanna Bartkowiak-Wieczorek
Dr. Edyta Mądry
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 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

  • antioxidants
  • flavonoids
  • cannabinoids
  • omega acids
  • honey
  • fiber
  • hemp seeds
  • elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.)
  • phytoestrogens
  • unsaturated fatty acids
  • ashwagandha

Published Papers (6 papers)

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20 pages, 3413 KiB  
Article
Novel Functional Food Properties of Forest Onion (Eleutherine bulbosa Merr.) Phytochemicals for Treating Metabolic Syndrome: New Insights from a Combined Computational and In Vitro Approach
by Happy Kurnia Permatasari, Nuril Farid Abshori, Rony Abdi Syahputra, Urip Harahap, Nurlinah Amalia, Dian Aruni Kumalawati, Nelly Mayulu, Nurpudji Astuti Taslim, Trina Ekawati Tallei, Raymond Rubianto Tjandrawinata, Elvan Wiyarta, Adriyan Pramono, Bonglee Kim, Apollinaire Tsopmo, Lluis Serra-Majem and Fahrul Nurkolis
Nutrients 2024, 16(10), 1441; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16101441 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome is a global health problem. The use of functional foods as dietary components has been increasing. One food of interest is forest onion extract (FOE). This study aimed to investigate the effect of FOE on lipid and glucose metabolism in silico [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome is a global health problem. The use of functional foods as dietary components has been increasing. One food of interest is forest onion extract (FOE). This study aimed to investigate the effect of FOE on lipid and glucose metabolism in silico and in vitro using the 3T3-L1 mouse cell line. This was a comprehensive study that used a multi-modal computational network pharmacology analysis and molecular docking in silico and 3T3-L1 mouse cells in vitro. The phytochemical components of FOE were analyzed using untargeted ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS). Next, an in silico analysis was performed to determine FOE’s bioactive compounds, and a toxicity analysis, protein target identification, network pharmacology, and molecular docking were carried out. FOE’s effect on pancreatic lipase, α-glucosidase, and α-amylase inhibition was determined. Finally, we determined its effect on lipid accumulation and MAPK8, PPARG, HMGCR, CPT-1, and GLP1 expression in the preadipocyte 3T3-L1 mouse cell line. We showed that the potential metabolites targeted glucose and lipid metabolism in silico and that FOE inhibited pancreatic lipase levels, α-glucosidase, and α-amylase in vitro. Furthermore, FOE significantly (p < 0.05) inhibits targeted protein expressions of MAPK8, PPARG, HMGCR, CPT-1, and GLP-1 in vitro in 3T3-L1 mouse cells in a dose-dependent manner. FOE contains several metabolites that reduce pancreatic lipase levels, α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and targeted proteins associated with lipid and glucose metabolism in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 2421 KiB  
Article
Betulinic Acid Increases the Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster via Sir2 and FoxO Activation
by Hye-Yeon Lee and Kyung-Jin Min
Nutrients 2024, 16(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16030441 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Betulinic acid (BetA), a triterpenoid derivative found abundantly in the plant kingdom, has emerged as a promising candidate for promoting longevity. Many research studies have shown its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer activities, making it an interesting subject for investigating its potential influence [...] Read more.
Betulinic acid (BetA), a triterpenoid derivative found abundantly in the plant kingdom, has emerged as a promising candidate for promoting longevity. Many research studies have shown its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer activities, making it an interesting subject for investigating its potential influence on lifespan. This study aimed to investigate the effects of BetA on longevity and the mechanisms associated with it using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as the organism model. The results showed that 50 μM BetA supplementation extended the mean lifespan of fruit flies by 13% in males and 6% in females without any adverse effects on their physiology, such as fecundity, feeding rate, or locomotion ability reduction. However, 50 μM BetA supplementation failed to increase the lifespan in mutants lacking functional silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) and Forkhead box O (FoxO)-null, implying that the longevity effect of BetA is related to Sir2 and FoxO activation. Our study contributes to the knowledge in the field of anti-aging research and inspires further investigations into natural compounds such as BetA to enhance organismal healthspan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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19 pages, 3271 KiB  
Article
A 14-Day Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Crossover Intervention Study with Anti-Bacterial Benzyl Isothiocyanate from Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) on Human Gut Microbiome and Host Defense
by Simon P. Pfäffle, Corinna Herz, Eva Brombacher, Michele Proietti, Michael Gigl, Christoph K. Hofstetter, Verena K. Mittermeier-Kleßinger, Sophie Claßen, Hoai T. T. Tran, Corinna Dawid, Clemens Kreutz, Stefan Günther and Evelyn Lamy
Nutrients 2024, 16(3), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16030373 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1170
Abstract
Despite substantial heterogeneity of studies, there is evidence that antibiotics commonly used in primary care influence the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota in terms of changing their composition and/or diversity. Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) from the food and medicinal plant nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus [...] Read more.
Despite substantial heterogeneity of studies, there is evidence that antibiotics commonly used in primary care influence the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota in terms of changing their composition and/or diversity. Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) from the food and medicinal plant nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is known for its antimicrobial activity and is used for the treatment of infections of the draining urinary tract and upper respiratory tract. Against this background, we raised the question of whether a 14 d nasturtium intervention (3 g daily, N = 30 healthy females) could also impact the normal gut microbiota composition. Spot urinary BITC excretion highly correlated with a weak but significant antibacterial effect against Escherichia coli. A significant increase in human beta defensin 1 as a parameter for host defense was seen in urine and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) upon verum intervention. Pre-to-post analysis revealed that mean gut microbiome composition did not significantly differ between groups, nor did the circulating serum metabolome. On an individual level, some large changes were observed between sampling points, however. Explorative Spearman rank correlation analysis in subgroups revealed associations between gut microbiota and the circulating metabolome, as well as between changes in blood markers and bacterial gut species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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27 pages, 3344 KiB  
Article
Anti-Obesity Effect of Combining White Kidney Bean Extract, Propolis Ethanolic Extract and CrPi3 on Sprague-Dawley Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet
by Doaa Salah Eldin Abdelfattah, Mervat A. Fouad, Aliaa N. Elmeshad, Mohamed A. El-Nabarawi and Sammar Fathy Elhabal
Nutrients 2024, 16(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16020310 - 20 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
Obesity has been associated with the occurrence and prevalence of various chronic metabolic diseases. The management of obesity has evolved to focus not only on reducing weight, but also on preventing obesity-related complications. Studies have shown that bioactive components in natural products like [...] Read more.
Obesity has been associated with the occurrence and prevalence of various chronic metabolic diseases. The management of obesity has evolved to focus not only on reducing weight, but also on preventing obesity-related complications. Studies have shown that bioactive components in natural products like white kidney bean extract (WKBE), propolis ethanolic extract (PEE), and chromium picolinate (CrPi3) showed anti-obesity properties. However, no studies have examined the outcomes of combining any of these nutraceutical supplements. We compared the effects of HFD supplemented with WKBE, WKBE+PEE, or WKBE+PEE+CrPi3 against control and obese groups using Sprague-Dawley rats fed a 45% high-fat diet as an in vivo model. Nutritional parameters, biochemical parameters, and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, liver function, kidney function, and gut health were among the comparable effects. Our findings showed that combining the three nutraceutical supplements had a synergetic effect on reducing weight gain, food utilization rate, abdominal fat, serum lipids, arterial and hepatic lipids, risk of cardiovascular disease, and blood glucose level, in addition to improving renal function and gut microbiota. We attributed these effects to the α-amylase inhibitor action of WKBE, flavonoids, and polyphenol content of PEE, which were potentiated with CrPi3 resulting in a further reduction or normalization of certain parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 5362 KiB  
Article
Effect of Punicalagin and Ellagic Acid on Human Fibroblasts In Vitro: A Preliminary Evaluation of Their Therapeutic Potential
by Rebeca Illescas-Montes, Manuel Rueda-Fernández, Anabel González-Acedo, Lucía Melguizo-Rodríguez, Enrique García-Recio, Javier Ramos-Torrecillas and Olga García-Martínez
Nutrients 2024, 16(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16010023 (registering DOI) - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Background: Pomegranate is a fruit that contains various phenolic compounds, including punicalagin and ellagic acid, which have been attributed to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties, among others. Objective: To evaluate the effect of punicalagin and ellagic acid on the viability, migration, cell cycle, [...] Read more.
Background: Pomegranate is a fruit that contains various phenolic compounds, including punicalagin and ellagic acid, which have been attributed to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties, among others. Objective: To evaluate the effect of punicalagin and ellagic acid on the viability, migration, cell cycle, and antigenic profile of cultured human fibroblasts (CCD-1064Sk). MTT spectrophotometry was carried out to determine cell viability, cell culture inserts were used for migration trials, and flow cytometry was performed for antigenic profile and cell cycle analyses. Cells were treated with each phenolic compound for 24 h at doses of 10−5 to 10−9 M. Results: Cell viability was always significantly higher in treated versus control cells except for punicalagin at 10−9 M. Doses of punicalagin and ellagic acid in subsequent assays were 10−6 M or 10−7 M, which increased the cell migration capacity and upregulated fibronectin and α-actin expression without altering the cell cycle. Conclusions: These in vitro findings indicate that punicalagin and ellagic acid promote fibroblast functions that are involved in epithelial tissue healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 1889 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Isoflavonoid and Vitamin D Synergism on Bone Mineral Density—A Systematic and Critical Review
by Miłosz Miedziaszczyk, Adam Maciejewski, Ilona Idasiak-Piechocka, Marek Karczewski and Katarzyna Lacka
Nutrients 2023, 15(24), 5014; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15245014 - 5 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Phytoestrogens are non-steroidal plant compounds, which bind to α and β estrogen receptors, thereby causing specific effects. The best-known group of phytoestrogens are flavonoids, including isoflavonoids—genistein and daidzein. They play a role in the metabolism of bone tissue, improving its density and preventing [...] Read more.
Phytoestrogens are non-steroidal plant compounds, which bind to α and β estrogen receptors, thereby causing specific effects. The best-known group of phytoestrogens are flavonoids, including isoflavonoids—genistein and daidzein. They play a role in the metabolism of bone tissue, improving its density and preventing bone loss, which contributes to reducing the risk of fractures. Vitamin D is found in the form of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and is traditionally recognized as a regulator of bone metabolism. The aim of this review was to evaluate the synergistic effect of isoflavonoids and vitamin D on bone mineral density (BMD). The MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus and Cochrane databases were searched independently by two authors. The search strategy included controlled vocabulary and keywords. Reference publications did not provide consistent data regarding the synergistic effect of isoflavonoids on BMD. Some studies demonstrated a positive synergistic effect of these compounds, whereas in others, the authors did not observe any significant differences. Therefore, further research on the synergism of isoflavonoids and vitamin D may contribute to a significant progress in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Health: 2nd Edition)
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