Medicinal Chemistry of Natural Products in Metabolic, Inflammatory and Oxidative Diseases

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 5757

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa
Interests: functional food; toxicology; metabolic diseases; natural products

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Guest Editor
Center for Quality of Health and Living, Faculty of Health Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
Interests: functional food; diabetes; oxidative stress; medicinal plant

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many impairments that compromise the health and quality of life of the adult population are linked to oxidative stress and metabolic disorders, which predisposes them to metabolic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Natural products, such as phytochemicals, plant-based functional foods and nutraceuticals with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory qualities, have been frequently used as supplemental treatments for these diseases because of their perceived holistic function properties and minimal toxicity issues. Thus, natural products could be seen as potential effective therapeutic agents for multifactorial disorders such as metabolic disorders and oxidative complications.

The aim of the Special Issue is to compile original high-quality research publications of that present experimental and clinical data on the potential therapeutic value of natural products, including phytochemicals and plant-based functional foods, in the treatment of oxidative and metabolic diseases. The research topic collection will also accommodate well-written review articles that provide novel interpretations of existing and current scientific knowledge within the scope of the Special Issue, providing novel therapeutic insights to bridge current gaps. The thematic areas will include the therapeutic relevance of natural products in the following oxidative and/or metabolic disorders:

  • Diabetes and obesity;
  • Cardiovascular diseases;
  • Oxidative stress and inflammation.

Dr. Ochuko Lucky Erukainure
Dr. Chika Ifeanyi Chukwuma
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • phytochemicals
  • functional foods
  • oxidative stress
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular diseases

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 3559 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Properties of Croton gratissimus Burch (Lavender Croton) Herbal Tea and Its Protective Effect against Iron-Induced Oxidative Hepatic Injury
by Paul V. Ncume, Veronica F. Salau, Sibahle Mtshali, Kolawole A. Olofinsan, Ochuko L. Erukainure and Motlalepula G. Matsabisa
Plants 2023, 12(16), 2915; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12162915 - 10 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Oxidative stress plays a vital role in the pathogenesis and progression of various liver diseases. Traditional medicinal herbs have been used worldwide for the treatment of chronic liver diseases due to their high phytochemical constituents. The present study investigated the phytochemical properties of [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress plays a vital role in the pathogenesis and progression of various liver diseases. Traditional medicinal herbs have been used worldwide for the treatment of chronic liver diseases due to their high phytochemical constituents. The present study investigated the phytochemical properties of Croton gratissimus (lavender croton) leaf herbal tea and its hepatoprotective effect on oxidative injury in Chang liver cells, using an in vitro and in silico approach. C. gratissimus herbal infusion was screened for total phenolic and total flavonoid contents as well as in vitro antioxidant capacity using ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) methods. Oxidative hepatic injury was induced by incubating 0.007 M FeSO4 with Chang liver cells which has been initially incubated with or without different concentrations (15–240 μg/mL) of C. gratissimus infusion or the standard antioxidants (Gallic acid and ascorbic acid). C. gratissimus displayed significantly high scavenging activity and ferric reducing capacity following DPPH and FRAP assays, respectively. It had no cytotoxic effect on Chang liver cells. C. gratissimus also significantly elevated the level of hepatic reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase activities as well as suppressed the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in oxidative hepatic injury. Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of the herbal tea revealed the presence of 8-prenylnaringenin, flavonol 3-O-D-galactoside, caffeine, spirasine I, hypericin, pheophorbide-a, and 4-methylumbelliferone glucuronide. In silico oral toxicity prediction of the identified phytochemicals revealed no potential hepatotoxicity. Molecular docking revealed potent molecular interactions of the phytochemicals with SOD and catalase. The results suggest the hepatoprotective and antioxidative potentials of C. gratissimus herbal tea against oxidative hepatic injury. Full article
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Review

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35 pages, 1341 KiB  
Review
Antioxidative, Metabolic and Vascular Medicinal Potentials of Natural Products in the Non-Edible Wastes of Fruits Belonging to the Citrus and Prunus Genera: A Review
by Chika I. Chukwuma
Plants 2024, 13(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020191 - 10 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 752
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus and related metabolic and vascular impairments are notable health problems. Fruits and vegetables contain phenolics that are beneficial to metabolic and oxidative health and useful in preventing associated disease. Scientific evidence has shown that some bioactive phenolics are more abundant in [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus and related metabolic and vascular impairments are notable health problems. Fruits and vegetables contain phenolics that are beneficial to metabolic and oxidative health and useful in preventing associated disease. Scientific evidence has shown that some bioactive phenolics are more abundant in the non-edible parts (especially the peels) of many fruits than in their respective edible tissues. Fruits belonging to the Citrus and Prunus genera are commonly consumed worldwide, including in South Africa, and their non-edible wastes (peel and seed) have been shown to have antioxidative, metabolic and vascular pharmacological potentials and medicinal phytochemistry. It is therefore imperative to evaluate the pharmacological actions and phytochemical properties of the non-edible wastes of these fruits and understand how they could potentially be of medicinal relevance in oxidative, metabolic and vascular diseases, including diabetes, oxidative stress, obesity, hypertension and related cardiovascular impairments. In the absence of a previous review that has concomitantly presented the medicinal potentials of fruits wastes from both genera, this review presents a critical analysis of previous and recent perspectives on the medicinal potential of the non-edible wastes from the selected Citrus and Prunus fruits in metabolic, vascular and oxidative health. This review further exposes the medicinal phytochemistry, while elucidating the underlying mechanisms through the fruit wastes potentiates their therapeutic effects. A literature search was carried out on “PubMed” to identify peer-reviewed published (mostly 2015 and beyond) studies reporting the antidiabetic, antioxidative, antihypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory properties of the non-edible parts of the selected fruits. The data of the selected studies were analyzed to understand the bioactive mechanisms, bioactive principles and toxicological profiles. The wastes (seed and peel) of the selected fruits had antioxidant, anti-obesogenic, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and tissue protective potentials. Some phenolic acids and terpenes, as well as flavonoids and glycosides such as narirutin, nobiletin, hesperidin, naringin, naringenin, quercetin, rutin, diosmin, etc., were the possible bioactive principles. The peel and seed of the selected fruits belonging to the Citrus and Prunus genera are potential sources of bioactive compounds that could be of medicinal relevance for improving oxidative, metabolic and vascular health. However, there is a need for appropriate toxicological studies. Full article
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19 pages, 710 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Role of an Anthocyanin, Cyanidin-3-O-β-glucoside in Obesity-Related Complications
by Ponnuvel Deepa, Minji Hong, Kandhasamy Sowndhararajan and Songmun Kim
Plants 2023, 12(22), 3889; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12223889 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Obesity has become a major health issue worldwide and obese individuals possess higher levels of adipose tissue when compared with healthy individuals. Obesity is highly associated with the development of different chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancers, etc. Previous studies [...] Read more.
Obesity has become a major health issue worldwide and obese individuals possess higher levels of adipose tissue when compared with healthy individuals. Obesity is highly associated with the development of different chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancers, etc. Previous studies established that anthocyanin compounds play an important role in attenuating obesity-related consequences. Among various anthocyanin compounds, cyanidin-3-O-β-glucoside (C3G) is the most important component and is widely distributed in various colored edible plant materials, especially berries, cherries, black rice, purple corn, etc. In recent decades, several studies have reported the therapeutical properties of C3G. C3G has various biological properties and health benefits, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, neuroprotective, anticancer, etc. In this review, we summarized the in vitro and in vivo studies in relation to the role of C3G in obesity-related complications. Several mechanistic studies demonstrated that C3G maintains the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids, and lipids by regulating different genes and signaling pathways. It could be concluded that the consumption of C3G protects healthy individuals from obesity-related issues by maintaining body weight and regulating their metabolism and energy balance. This review provides some important signaling pathways/targets of C3G to facilitate the prevention and treatment of obesity, leading to the development of important food supplements. Full article
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14 pages, 1080 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Potential Health Benefits of Nigella sativa on Obesity and Its Associated Complications
by Siti Hajar Adam, Izuddin Fahmy Abu, Datu Agasi Mohd Kamal, Ami Febriza, Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd Kashim and Mohd Helmy Mokhtar
Plants 2023, 12(18), 3210; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12183210 - 08 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and its prevalence continues to increase at an alarming rate. It is considered a major risk factor for the development of several comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. Conventional treatments for [...] Read more.
Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and its prevalence continues to increase at an alarming rate. It is considered a major risk factor for the development of several comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. Conventional treatments for obesity, such as dietary interventions, exercise and pharmacotherapy, have proven to have limited effectiveness and are often associated with undesirable side effects. Therefore, there is a growing interest in exploring alternative therapeutic approaches. Nigella sativa (NS), a medicinal plant with multiple pharmacological properties, has gained attention due to its potential role in the treatment of obesity and its associated complications. The aim of this review is therefore to assess the effects of NS on obesity and its complications and to provide insights into the underlying mechanisms. From this review, NS appears to play a complementary or supportive role in the treatment of obesity and its complications. However, future studies are needed to verify the efficacy of NS in the treatment of obesity and its complications and to prove its safety so that it can be introduced in patients with obesity. Full article
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