Plant-Derived Bioactive Polyphenols, Polysaccharides, Proteins, and Peptides, and Their Health Benefits

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 September 2024 | Viewed by 13413

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Food and Health, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing 100048, China
Interests: whole food plant-based diet; pulses; cereals; pseudocereals; bioactive compounds; gut microbiome; metabolome; metabolic disease

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Food and Health, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing 100048, China
Interests: plant-based diet; legumes; whole grain; phytochemicals; proteins; metabolic syndrome; gut microbiota

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits provided by plant-based diets beyond basic nutrition. Bioactive polyphenols, polysaccharides, proteins, and peptides are seen as the main reason for the beneficial effects of plant-based foods due to their various biological activities obtained from the findings of in vitro and in vivo studies, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-obesity and lipid-lowering, and anticancer activities.

In addition, these functional components might evade the digestion of the upper gastrointestinal tract, thus reaching the intestine intact to interact with the gut microbiota. In this context, the gut microbiota can convert bioactive components into microbial-derived metabolites, which promote the health of the host by targeting tissues and gut microbiota.

We are inviting contributions from scholars working on the health benefits of plant-derived bioactive polyphenols, polysaccharides, and peptides, including their molecular mechanisms and potential prebiotic activity in human diseases. Contributions can be original research articles or up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr. Dianzhi Hou
Prof. Dr. Sumei Zhou
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • polyphenols
  • polysaccharides
  • proteins
  • peptides
  • functional foods
  • nutraceuticals
  • biological activity
  • gut microbiome
  • metabolome
  • metabolic diseases

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3295 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Analysis between Whole Chinese Yam and Peeled Chinese Yam: Their Hypolipidemic Effects via Modulation of Gut Microbiome in High-Fat Diet-Fed Mice
by Qiqian Feng, Jinquan Lin, Zhitao Niu, Tong Wu, Qun Shen, Dianzhi Hou and Sumei Zhou
Nutrients 2024, 16(7), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16070977 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 890
Abstract
Chinese yam is a “medicine food homology” food with medical properties, but little is known about its health benefits on hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, the effect of peeling processing on the efficacy of Chinese yam is still unclear. In this study, the improvement effects of [...] Read more.
Chinese yam is a “medicine food homology” food with medical properties, but little is known about its health benefits on hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, the effect of peeling processing on the efficacy of Chinese yam is still unclear. In this study, the improvement effects of whole Chinese yam (WY) and peeled Chinese yam (PY) on high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced hyperlipidemic mice were explored by evaluating the changes in physiological, biochemical, and histological parameters, and their modulatory effects on gut microbiota were further illustrated. The results show that both WY and PY could significantly attenuate the HFD-induced obesity phenotype, accompanied by the mitigative effect on epididymis adipose damage and hepatic tissue injury. Except for the ameliorative effect on TG, PY retained the beneficial effects of WY on hyperlipemia. Furthermore, 16S rRNA sequencing revealed that WY and PY reshaped the gut microbiota composition, especially the bloom of several beneficial bacterial strains (Akkermansia, Bifidobacterium, and Faecalibaculum) and the reduction in some HFD-dependent taxa (Mucispirillum, Coriobacteriaceae_UCG-002, and Candidatus_Saccharimonas). PICRUSt analysis showed that WY and PY could significantly regulate lipid transport and metabolism-related pathways. These findings suggest that Chinese yam can alleviate hyperlipidemia via the modulation of the gut microbiome, and peeling treatment had less of an effect on the lipid-lowering efficacy of yam. Full article
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21 pages, 4993 KiB  
Article
Relationships between Habitual Polyphenol Consumption and Gut Microbiota in the INCLD Health Cohort
by Alexandra Adorno Vita, Kristen M. Roberts, Anders Gundersen, Yuliya Farris, Heather Zwickey, Ryan Bradley and Tiffany L. Weir
Nutrients 2024, 16(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16060773 - 8 Mar 2024
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4249
Abstract
While polyphenol consumption is often associated with an increased abundance of beneficial microbes and decreased opportunistic pathogens, these relationships are not completely described for polyphenols consumed via habitual diet, including culinary herb and spice consumption. This analysis of the International Cohort on Lifestyle [...] Read more.
While polyphenol consumption is often associated with an increased abundance of beneficial microbes and decreased opportunistic pathogens, these relationships are not completely described for polyphenols consumed via habitual diet, including culinary herb and spice consumption. This analysis of the International Cohort on Lifestyle Determinants of Health (INCLD Health) cohort uses a dietary questionnaire and 16s microbiome data to examine relationships between habitual polyphenol consumption and gut microbiota in healthy adults (n = 96). In this exploratory analysis, microbial taxa, but not diversity measures, differed by levels of dietary polyphenol consumption. Taxa identified as exploratory biomarkers of daily polyphenol consumption (mg/day) included Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Enterococcus, Eubacterium ventriosum group, Ruminococcus torques group, and Sutterella. Taxa identified as exploratory biomarkers of the frequency of polyphenol-weighted herb and spice use included Lachnospiraceae UCG-001, Lachnospiraceae UCG-004, Methanobrevibacter, Lachnoclostridium, and Lachnotalea. Several of the differentiating taxa carry out activities important for human health, although out of these taxa, those with previously described pro-inflammatory qualities in certain contexts displayed inverse relationships with polyphenol consumption. Our results suggest that higher quantities of habitual polyphenol consumption may support an intestinal environment where opportunistic and pro-inflammatory bacteria are represented in a lower relative abundance compared to those with less potentially virulent qualities. Full article
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12 pages, 2516 KiB  
Article
Effects of Kiwifruit Dietary Fibers on Pasting Properties and In Vitro Starch Digestibility of Wheat Starch
by Yaqi Wang, Yaoyi Pan, Chang Zhou, Wenru Li and Kunli Wang
Nutrients 2024, 16(5), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16050749 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 882
Abstract
In this study, the roles of kiwifruit soluble/insoluble dietary fiber (SDF/IDF, respectively) in the pasting characteristics and in vitro digestibility of wheat starch were explored. According to RVA and rheological tests, the IDF enhanced the wheat starch viscosity, decreased the gelatinization degree of [...] Read more.
In this study, the roles of kiwifruit soluble/insoluble dietary fiber (SDF/IDF, respectively) in the pasting characteristics and in vitro digestibility of wheat starch were explored. According to RVA and rheological tests, the IDF enhanced the wheat starch viscosity, decreased the gelatinization degree of the starch granules, and exacerbated starch retrogradation. The addition of SDF in high quantities could reduce the starch gelatinization level, lower the system viscosity, and exacerbate starch retrogradation. Through determining the leached amylose content and conducing scanning electron microscopy, the IDF and SDF added in high quantities was combined with the leached amylose wrapped around the starch granules, which reduced the leached amylose content and decreased the gelatinization degree of the starch granules. The Fourier transform infrared results showed that the addition of both the IDF and SDF resulted in an enhancement in hydrogen bonding formed by the hydroxyl groups of the system. The in vitro digestion results strongly suggested that both the IDF and SDF reduced the wheat starch digestibility. The above findings are instructive for the application of both IDF and SDF in starchy functional foods. Full article
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17 pages, 5975 KiB  
Article
Chinese Sumac (Rhus chinensis Mill.) Fruits Prevent Hyperuricemia and Uric Acid Nephropathy in Mice Fed a High-Purine Yeast Diet
by Nan Ma, Shengbao Cai, Yilin Sun and Chuanqi Chu
Nutrients 2024, 16(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16020184 - 5 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Hyperuricemia (HUA) is a prevalent chronic disease, characterized by excessive blood uric acid levels, that poses a significant health risk. In this study, the preventive effects and potential mechanisms of ethanol extracts from Chinese sumac (Rhus chinensis Mill.) fruits on HUA and [...] Read more.
Hyperuricemia (HUA) is a prevalent chronic disease, characterized by excessive blood uric acid levels, that poses a significant health risk. In this study, the preventive effects and potential mechanisms of ethanol extracts from Chinese sumac (Rhus chinensis Mill.) fruits on HUA and uric acid nephropathy were comprehensively investigated. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in uric acid levels in hyperuricemia mice after treatment with Chinese sumac fruit extract, especially in the high-dose group, where the blood uric acid level decreased by 39.56%. Visual diagrams of the kidneys and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained sections showed the extract’s effectiveness in protecting against kidney damage caused by excessive uric acid. Further investigation into its mechanism revealed that the extract prevents and treats hyperuricemia by decreasing uric acid production, enhancing uric acid excretion, and mitigating the oxidative stress and inflammatory reactions induced by excessive uric acid in the kidneys. Specifically, the extract markedly decreased xanthine oxidase (XOD) levels and expression in the liver, elevated the expression of uric acid transporters ABCG2, and lowered the expression of uric acid reabsorption proteins URAT1 and SLC2A9. Simultaneously, it significantly elevated the levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes (SOD and GSH) while reducing the level of malondialdehyde (MDA). Furthermore, the expression of uric-acid-related proteins NLRP3, ACS, and Caspase-3 and the levels of IL-1β and IL-6 were significantly reduced. The experimental results confirm that Chinese sumac fruit extract can improve HUA and uric acid nephropathy in mice fed a high-purine yeast diet. This finding establishes a theoretical foundation for developing Chinese sumac fruit as a functional food or medicine for preventing and treating HUA. Full article
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22 pages, 5164 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Exploration of the Neuroprotective Potential of Oat-Protein-Derived Peptides in PC12 Cells and Scopolamine-Treated Zebrafish
by Hamad Rafique, Xinzhong Hu, Tian Ren, Rui Dong, Rana Muhammad Aadil, Liang Zou, Mian Kamran Sharif and Lu Li
Nutrients 2024, 16(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16010117 - 29 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Neurodegenerative disorders pose a substantial risk to human health, and oxidative stress, cholinergic dysfunction, and inflammation are the major contributors. The purpose of this study was to explore the neuroprotective effects of oat protein hydrolysate (OPH) and identify peptides with neuroprotective potential. This [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative disorders pose a substantial risk to human health, and oxidative stress, cholinergic dysfunction, and inflammation are the major contributors. The purpose of this study was to explore the neuroprotective effects of oat protein hydrolysate (OPH) and identify peptides with neuroprotective potential. This study is the first to isolate and identify OPH peptides with neuroprotective potential, including DFVADHPFLF (DF-10), HGQNFPIL (HL-8), and RDFPITWPW (RW-9), by screening via peptidomes and molecular-docking simulations. These peptides showed positive effects on the activity of antioxidant enzymes and thus reduced oxidative stress through regulation of Nrf2-keap1/HO-1 gene expression in vitro and in vivo. The peptides also significantly ameliorated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment in the zebrafish model. This improvement was correlated with mitigation of MDA levels, AChE activity, and levels of inflammatory cytokines in the brains of zebrafish. Furthermore, these peptides significantly upregulated the mRNA expression of Bdnf, Nrf2, and Erg1 in the brains of zebrafish with neurodegenerative disorders. Collectively, oat peptides have potential for use as active components in nutraceutical applications for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
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14 pages, 3168 KiB  
Article
The Enhancement of Acylcarnitine Metabolism by 5-Heptadecylresorcinol in Brown Adipose Tissue Contributes to Improving Glucose and Lipid Levels in Aging Male Mice
by Kuiliang Zhang, Lei Jiang, Lamei Xue, Yu Wang, Yujie Sun, Mingcong Fan, Haifeng Qian, Li Wang and Yan Li
Nutrients 2023, 15(21), 4597; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15214597 - 29 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
5-Heptadecylresorcinol (AR-C17), a primary biomarker of whole grain (WG) consumption, has been demonstrated to improve the thermogenic activity of aging mice. However, the intricate regulatory mechanism is not fully understood. This study conducted metabolomics analysis on young and aging mice with or without [...] Read more.
5-Heptadecylresorcinol (AR-C17), a primary biomarker of whole grain (WG) consumption, has been demonstrated to improve the thermogenic activity of aging mice. However, the intricate regulatory mechanism is not fully understood. This study conducted metabolomics analysis on young and aging mice with or without AR-C17 administration after cold exposure. The results showed that the aging mice displayed lower levels of acylcarnitine (ACar) in their plasma compared with the young mice during cold exposure, and 150 mg/kg/day of AR-C17 administration for 8 weeks could increase the plasma ACar levels of aging mice. ACar has been reported to be an essential metabolic fuel for the thermogenesis of brown adipose tissue (BAT). AR-C17 had similar effects on the ACar levels in the BAT as on the plasma of the aging mice during cold exposure. Furthermore, the aging mice had reduced ACar metabolism in the BAT, and AR-C17 could improve the ACar metabolism in the BAT of aging mice, thereby promoting the metabolic utilization of ACar by BAT. Moreover, the glucose and lipid levels of aging mice could be improved by AR-C17. This study revealed a deeper metabolic mechanism involved in the AR-C17-mediated thermogenic regulation of BAT, providing a new theoretical basis for the nutrition and health benefits of WG. Full article
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21 pages, 5880 KiB  
Article
Auricularia auricula Peptides Nutritional Supplementation Delays H2O2-Induced Senescence of HepG2 Cells by Modulation of MAPK/NF-κB Signaling Pathways
by Qianwen Han, Haiyan Li, Fen Zhao, Ji’an Gao, Xinqi Liu and Biao Ma
Nutrients 2023, 15(17), 3731; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15173731 - 25 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1299
Abstract
Auricularia auricula is a traditional medicinal and edible mushroom with anti-aging effects. Many studies focused on polysaccharides and melanin. However, the anti-aging effects and mechanism of the nutritional supplementation of Auricularia auricula peptides (AAPs) were not elucidated. In this study, AAPs were prepared [...] Read more.
Auricularia auricula is a traditional medicinal and edible mushroom with anti-aging effects. Many studies focused on polysaccharides and melanin. However, the anti-aging effects and mechanism of the nutritional supplementation of Auricularia auricula peptides (AAPs) were not elucidated. In this study, AAPs were prepared by enzymolysis of flavor protease and the protective effects on H2O2-induced senescence of HepG2 cells were explored for the first time. The potential mechanism was also investigated. AAPs were mostly composed of low molecular weights with less than 1000 Da accounting for about 79.17%, and contained comprehensive amino acids nutritionally, including seven essential amino acids, aromatic, acidic, and basic amino acids. AAPs nutritional supplementation could significantly decrease the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), and increase the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px). In addition, the senescence-associated-β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity was restrained, and the expression levels of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1β, and CXCL2) were also decreased. Ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-Seq) was carried out to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between different groups. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis showed that the mechanism was related to the MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathways. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis and Western blot were carried out to verify the key genes and proteins in the pathways, respectively. AAPs nutritional supplementation resulted a significant down-regulation in key the genes c-fos and c-jun and up-regulation in DUSP1 of the MAPK signaling pathway, and down-regulation in the key genes CXCL2 and IL-8 of the NF-κB signaling pathway. The results of Western blot demonstrate that AAPs nutritional supplementation could inhibit MAPK/NF-κB pathways by reducing the expression levels of IKK, IκB, P65, and phosphorylation of ERK, thus decreasing the inflammatory reaction and delaying cell senescence. It is the first time that AAPs nutritional supplementation was proved to have protective effects on H2O2-induced oxidative damage in HepG2 cells. These results implicate that dietary AAPs could be used as nutrients to reduce the development or severity of aging. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 1628 KiB  
Review
The Protective Role of Dietary Polyphenols in Urolithiasis: Insights into Antioxidant Effects and Mechanisms of Action
by Sen-Yuan Hong and Bao-Long Qin
Nutrients 2023, 15(17), 3753; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15173753 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1748
Abstract
Urolithiasis is a common urological disease with increasing prevalence and high recurrence rates around the world. Numerous studies have indicated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress (OS) were crucial pathogenic factors in stone formation. Dietary polyphenols are a large group of natural [...] Read more.
Urolithiasis is a common urological disease with increasing prevalence and high recurrence rates around the world. Numerous studies have indicated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress (OS) were crucial pathogenic factors in stone formation. Dietary polyphenols are a large group of natural antioxidant compounds widely distributed in plant-based foods and beverages. Their diverse health benefits have attracted growing scientific attention in recent decades. Many literatures have reported the effectiveness of dietary polyphenols against stone formation. The antiurolithiatic mechanisms of polyphenols have been explained by their antioxidant potential to scavenge free radicals and ROS, modulate the expression and the activity of endogenous antioxidant and prooxidant enzymes, regulate signaling pathways associated with OS, and maintain cell morphology and function. In this review, we first describe OS and its pathogenic effects in urolithiasis and summarize the classification and sources of dietary polyphenols. Then, we focus on the current evidence defining their antioxidant potential against stone formation and put forward challenges and future perspectives of dietary polyphenols. To conclude, dietary polyphenols offer potential applications in the treatment and prevention of urolithiasis. Full article
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