Topic Editors

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Department of Pharmacy, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Antioxidant Activity in Plants, Plant-Derived Bioactive Compounds and Foods

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 May 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 July 2023)
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149075

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the scientific community has shown great interest in the field of plant antioxidants, and a great number of studies have been published documenting their health-promoting effects as well as their involvement as pharmacological agents in different molecular signaling pathways. A variety of plant materials are known to be natural sources of antioxidants, such as herbs, spices, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. The interest in these natural components is driven not only by their biological value, but also by their economic and ecological impact, as most of them may be extracted from food byproducts, under-exploited plant species, or traditionally used medicinal and edible plants. The current Topic gathers five well-respected journals from MDPI aiming to offer the possibility for researchers to publish their results concerning plant antioxidants in the most suitable journal, featuring great visibility for their research. The Topic welcomes manuscripts regarding any aspects of plant antioxidants in relation to their use in nutrition, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and pharmacy, and food chemistry and technology.

Dr. Andrei Mocan
Prof. Dr. Simone Carradori 
Topic Editors

 

Keywords

  • natural antioxidants
  • semi-synthetic antioxidant derivatives from natural sources
  • antioxidants in nutrition
  • antioxidant assays
  • radical scavenging agents
  • oxygen reactive species
  • food components
  • food antioxidants
  • thermal-induced modifications in food antioxidants

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Antioxidants
antioxidants
7.0 8.8 2012 13.9 Days CHF 2900
Foods
foods
5.2 5.8 2012 13.1 Days CHF 2900
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Oxygen
oxygen
- - 2021 22.7 Days CHF 1000
Plants
plants
4.5 5.4 2012 15.3 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (78 papers)

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14 pages, 2397 KiB  
Article
Phenolic Profile and Bioactivity Changes of Lotus Seedpod and Litchi Pericarp Procyanidins: Effect of Probiotic Bacteria Biotransformation
Antioxidants 2023, 12(11), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12111974 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Theoretically, lactic acid bacteria (LABs) could degrade polyphenols into small molecular compounds. In this study, the biotransformation of lotus seedpod and litchi pericarp procyanidins by Lactobacillus plantarum 90 (Lp90), Streptococcus thermophilus 81 (ST81), Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001), [...] Read more.
Theoretically, lactic acid bacteria (LABs) could degrade polyphenols into small molecular compounds. In this study, the biotransformation of lotus seedpod and litchi pericarp procyanidins by Lactobacillus plantarum 90 (Lp90), Streptococcus thermophilus 81 (ST81), Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001), and Pediococcus pentosus 06 (PP06) were analysed. The growth curve results indicated that procyanidins did not significantly inhibit the proliferation of LABs. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC–HRMS) revealed that procyanidin B2 and procyanidin B3 in lotus seedpod decreased by 62.85% and 25.45%, respectively, with ST81 metabolised, while kaempferol and syringetin 3-O-glucoside content increased. Although bioconversion did not increase the inhibitory function of procyanidins against glycosylation end-products in vitro, the 2,2′-Azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonate) free radical scavenging capacity and ferric reducing antioxidant power of litchi pericarp procyanidins increased by 157.34% and 6.8%, respectively, after ST81 biotransformation. These findings may inspire further studies of biological metabolism of other polyphenols and their effects on biological activity. Full article
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16 pages, 3287 KiB  
Article
Andrographolide Induces ROS-Mediated Cytotoxicity, Lipid Peroxidation, and Compromised Cell Integrity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Antioxidants 2023, 12(9), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12091765 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 933
Abstract
Andrographolide, a bioactive compound found in Andrographis paniculata, has gained significant attention for its potential therapeutic properties. Despite its promising benefits, the understanding of its side effects and underlying mechanisms remains limited. Here, we investigated the impact of andrographolide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae [...] Read more.
Andrographolide, a bioactive compound found in Andrographis paniculata, has gained significant attention for its potential therapeutic properties. Despite its promising benefits, the understanding of its side effects and underlying mechanisms remains limited. Here, we investigated the impact of andrographolide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and observed that andrographolide induced cytotoxicity, particularly when oxidative phosphorylation was active. Furthermore, andrographolide affected various cellular processes, including vacuole fragmentation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, lipid droplet accumulation, reactive oxygen species levels, and compromised cell integrity. Moreover, we unexpectedly observed that andrographolide induced the precipitation of biomolecules secreted from yeast cells, adding an additional source of stress. Overall, this study provides insights into the cellular effects and potential mechanisms of andrographolide in yeast, shedding light on its side effects and underlying cytotoxicity pathways. Full article
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22 pages, 5998 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Enzyme−Assisted Aqueous Extraction of Polysaccharide from Acanthopanax senticosus and Comparison of Physicochemical Properties and Bioactivities of Polysaccharides with Different Molecular Weights
Molecules 2023, 28(18), 6585; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28186585 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
To obtain the optimal process for the enzyme−assisted aqueous extraction of polysaccharides from Acanthopanax senticosus, and study the physicochemical properties of polysaccharides of different molecular weights, the extraction of Acanthopanax polysaccharides was optimized using the BBD response surface test. The polysaccharides with [...] Read more.
To obtain the optimal process for the enzyme−assisted aqueous extraction of polysaccharides from Acanthopanax senticosus, and study the physicochemical properties of polysaccharides of different molecular weights, the extraction of Acanthopanax polysaccharides was optimized using the BBD response surface test. The polysaccharides with different molecular weights were obtained by ethanol−graded precipitation at 40%, 60%, and 80%, which were presented as ASPS40, ASPS60, and ASPS80. The polysaccharides were analyzed by HPGPC, ion chromatography, FT−IR, UV, SEM, TGA, XRD, Congo red, and I2−KI tests. The antioxidant assay was used to evaluate their antioxidant properties in vitro. The findings demonstrated that the recovery rate of Acanthopanax polysaccharide was 10.53 ± 0.682%, which is about 2.5 times greater compared to the conventional method of hot water extraction. Based on FT−IR, TGA, polysaccharides with different molecular weights did not differ in their structure or thermal stability. The XRD suggests that the internal structure of ASPSs is amorphous. Congo red and I2−KI showed that all three polysaccharides had triple helix structures with longer branched chains and more side chains. Furthermore, the antioxidant results showed the antioxidant activity of polysaccharides is not only related to the molecular weight size but also can be related to its composition and structure. These studies developed a green, and scalable method to produce polysaccharides from Acanthopanax senticosus and evaluated the properties of Acanthopanax polysaccharides of different molecular weights. Full article
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23 pages, 2588 KiB  
Article
Effect of Wild Strawberry Tree and Hawthorn Extracts Fortification on Functional, Physicochemical, Microbiological, and Sensory Properties of Yogurt
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3332; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183332 - 05 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
The composition analyses and health-promoting properties (antioxidant capacity, antidiabetic, and antihypertensive properties) of wild fruit extracts and the effect of the incorporation of strawberry tree (STE) and hawthorn (HTE) extracts on the physicochemical, instrumental textural, microbiological, and sensory parameters of yogurts were evaluated. [...] Read more.
The composition analyses and health-promoting properties (antioxidant capacity, antidiabetic, and antihypertensive properties) of wild fruit extracts and the effect of the incorporation of strawberry tree (STE) and hawthorn (HTE) extracts on the physicochemical, instrumental textural, microbiological, and sensory parameters of yogurts were evaluated. The incorporation of wild fruit extracts in yogurt increased antioxidant and antidiabetic properties (inhibition of digestive α-amylase, α-glucosidase, and lipase enzymatic activities) compared to the control, without decreasing their sensory quality or acceptance by consumers. The hawthorn yogurt (YHTE) showed the highest total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant capacity (ABTS and ORAC methods). Yogurts containing wild fruit extracts and dietary fiber achieved high overall acceptance scores (6.16–7.04) and showed stable physicochemical, textural, and microbiological properties. Therefore, the use of wild fruit extracts and inulin-type fructans as ingredients in yogurt manufacture stands as a first step towards the development of non-added sugar dairy foods for sustainable health. Full article
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13 pages, 2547 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Flavonoidome Reveals the Different Health-Promoting Flavonoid Characteristics in Fruit
Antioxidants 2023, 12(9), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12091665 - 24 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Flavonoids are one of the important metabolites of plants, and many flavonoids have functions of antioxidant or antimicrobial, which can help plants resist environmental stress. On the other hand, flavonoids also have a health-promoting effect for humans, such as antioxidant and anti-aging, and [...] Read more.
Flavonoids are one of the important metabolites of plants, and many flavonoids have functions of antioxidant or antimicrobial, which can help plants resist environmental stress. On the other hand, flavonoids also have a health-promoting effect for humans, such as antioxidant and anti-aging, and some flavonoids can assist in disease treatment. Fruit is one of the main sources of plant food and flavonoids intake for humans. Understanding the flavonoidome of various fruits is helpful to choose fruit combinations according to different demands. In this study, we explored the composition and relative content of flavonoids in 22 fruits and analyzed some health-promoting flavonoids in fruits. In addition, we selected several fruits and measured their antioxidant capacity through experiments. Our study initially established a database of fruit flavonoidome, and can provide reference for nutrition research, fruit breeding and industrial development. Full article
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19 pages, 4985 KiB  
Article
Salt Stress-Induced Modulation of Porphyrin Biosynthesis, Photoprotection, and Antioxidant Properties in Rice Plants (Oryza sativa)
Antioxidants 2023, 12(8), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12081618 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Salt stress disrupts cellular ion homeostasis and adversely impacts plant growth and productivity. We examined the regulatory mechanisms of porphyrin biosynthesis, photoprotection, and antioxidant properties in salt-stressed rice seedlings. In response to 150 mM NaCl, the rice seedlings exhibited dehydration, reduced relative water [...] Read more.
Salt stress disrupts cellular ion homeostasis and adversely impacts plant growth and productivity. We examined the regulatory mechanisms of porphyrin biosynthesis, photoprotection, and antioxidant properties in salt-stressed rice seedlings. In response to 150 mM NaCl, the rice seedlings exhibited dehydration, reduced relative water content, and increased levels of conductivity, malondialdehyde, and H2O2. The expression levels of the salt-stress-responsive genes NHX1, SOS1, and MYB drastically increased after NaCl treatment. The seedlings grown under NaCl stress displayed declines in Fv/Fm, ΦPSII, rETRmax, and photochemical quenching but increases in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) and the expression of genes involved in zeaxanthin formation, BCH, and VDE. Under salt stress conditions, levels of chlorophyll precursors significantly decreased compared to controls, matching the downregulation of CHLD, CHLH, CHLI, and PORB. By contrast, NaCl treatment led to increased heme content at 24 h of treatment and significant upregulations of FC2, HO1, and HO2 compared to controls. Salt-stressed seedlings also increased their expression of CATs (catalases) and APXs (ascorbate peroxidases) as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase, CAT, APX, and peroxidase. Our results indicate that chlorophyll and heme biosynthesis involve the protective strategies for salt stress alleviation through photoprotection by the scavenging of chlorophyll precursors and NPQ as well as activating antioxidant enzymes. Full article
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18 pages, 2313 KiB  
Article
On the Role of ROS and Glutathione in the Mode of Action Underlying Nrf2 Activation by the Hydroxyanthraquinone Purpurin
Antioxidants 2023, 12(8), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12081544 - 02 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
Purpurin is a major anthraquinone present in the roots of Rubia cordifolia (madder). Purpurin is known to activate Nrf2 (Nuclear transcription factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) EpRE (electrophile responsive element) mediated gene expression as a potential beneficial effect. This study aimed to elucidate [...] Read more.
Purpurin is a major anthraquinone present in the roots of Rubia cordifolia (madder). Purpurin is known to activate Nrf2 (Nuclear transcription factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) EpRE (electrophile responsive element) mediated gene expression as a potential beneficial effect. This study aimed to elucidate the balance between the electrophilicity or pro-oxidant activity of purpurin underlying the Nrf2 induction. For this, Nrf2 activation with modified intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels was measured in an Nrf2 CALUX reporter gene assay. In addition, both cell-free and intracellular ROS formation of purpurin with modified (intracellular) GSH levels at different pH were quantified using the DCF-DA assay. GSH adduct formation was evaluated by UPLC and LC-TOF-MS analysis. GSH and GSSG levels following purpurin incubations were quantified by LC-MS/MS. We show that Nrf2 induction by purpurin was significantly increased in cells with buthionine sulfoximine depleted GSH levels, while Nrf2 induction was decreased upon incubation of the cells with N-acetylcysteine being a precursor of GSH. In cell-free incubations, ROS formation increased with increasing pH pointing at a role for the deprotonated form of purpurin. Upon incubations of purpurin with GSH at physiological pH, GSH adduct formation appeared negligible (<1.5% of the added purpurin). The addition of GSH resulted in conversion of GSH to GSSG and significantly reduced the ROS formation. Together these results demonstrate that Nrf2 induction by purpurin originates from intracellular ROS formation and not from its electrophilicity, which becomes especially relevant when intracellular GSH levels can no longer scavenge the ROS. The present study demonstrated that the efficiency of intracellular Nrf2 activation by purpurin and related anthraquinones will depend on (i) their pKa and level of deprotonation at the intracellular pH, (ii) the oxidation potential of their deprotonated form and (iii) the intracellular GSH levels. Thus, the Nrf2 induction by purpurin depends on its pro-oxidant activity and not on its electrophilicity. Full article
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16 pages, 800 KiB  
Article
Stability of Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity and Grain Yield of Six Rice Genotypes
Plants 2023, 12(15), 2787; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12152787 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
The environment is the main factor affecting variations in phytochemicals and antioxidant activity in rice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of grain yield, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity of six rice genotypes. Six rice genotypes were evaluated in a [...] Read more.
The environment is the main factor affecting variations in phytochemicals and antioxidant activity in rice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of grain yield, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity of six rice genotypes. Six rice genotypes were evaluated in a randomized complete block design with three replicates at three locations in Trat, Bangkok and Sakon Nakhon provinces in July–October 2019. Data on grain yield, yield components, total phenolic content, ferulic acid and antioxidant capacity were recorded. Grain yield was highest for crops grown in Bangkok, whereas antioxidant activity was highest for crops grown in Bangkok and Sakon Nakhon. Hom Nang Nual 1 and Mali Nil Boran had the highest grain yield. Riceberry had the highest grain yield in Trat; it also had high levels of total phenolic compounds, ferulic acid and antioxidant activity. Mali Nil Boran, Mali Nil Surin and Riceberry had the most stable total phenolic content, ferulic acid and antioxidant activity, respectively. Information on the levels and variability of phytochemicals in rice enables the selection of genotypes with high and stabile phytochemicals for production and rice breeding. Full article
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15 pages, 2652 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Addition of Freeze-Dried Grape Pomace on Fresh Tagliatelle Gluten Network and Relationship to Sensory and Chemical Quality
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2699; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142699 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
The incorporation of 5 and 10% freeze-dried grape pomace powder (GPP) in fresh tagliatelle pasta preparation was evaluated for its effect on chemical composition, gluten protein structure, and sensory properties. The addition of the freeze-dried GPP led to a significant increase (p [...] Read more.
The incorporation of 5 and 10% freeze-dried grape pomace powder (GPP) in fresh tagliatelle pasta preparation was evaluated for its effect on chemical composition, gluten protein structure, and sensory properties. The addition of the freeze-dried GPP led to a significant increase (p < 0.05) in polyphenol content in the raw and cooked fortified pasta samples with respect to 100% semolina pasta, although the phenolic content decreased after the cooking process. The opposite phenomenon was observed with the antioxidant activity, which increased significantly (p < 0.05) when switching from raw to cooked pasta samples fortified with GPP. The formation of a proper gluten structure was found in the fortified raw pasta, even if a change in the protein arrangement was shown in the fortified cooked samples, confirmed by a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in both the unextractable polymeric protein percentage (% UPP) and disulfide bond (S-S) formation. These results suggest a possible interaction between the protein sulfhydryl groups (-Cys) and polyphenols of grape pomace during cooking through non-disulfide covalent bonds, which was confirmed by the significant (p < 0.05) decrease in the -SH groups when comparing 100% semolina pasta with fortified pasta sample. Finally, a sensory analysis showed that the highest significant score (p < 0.05) was achieved by the 5% GP-fresh pasta sample. Full article
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17 pages, 1469 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms of Action of Fruit and Vegetable Phytochemicals in Colorectal Cancer Prevention
Molecules 2023, 28(11), 4322; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28114322 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2754
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and its incidence is expected to increase by almost 80% by 2030. CRC apparition is related to poor diet, mainly due to low consumption of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables. Hence, this [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and its incidence is expected to increase by almost 80% by 2030. CRC apparition is related to poor diet, mainly due to low consumption of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables. Hence, this paper reviews the most promising phytochemicals in the literature, presenting scientific evidence regarding potential CRC chemopreventive effects. Moreover, this paper reveals the structure and action of CRC mechanisms that these phytochemicals are involved in. The review reveals that vegetables rich in phytochemicals such as carrots and green leafy vegetables, as well as some fruits such as pineapple, citrus fruits, papaya, mango, and Cape gooseberry, that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and chemopreventive properties can promote a healthy colonic environment. Fruits and vegetables in the daily diet promote antitumor mechanisms by regulating cell signaling and/or proliferation pathways. Hence, daily consumption of these plant products is recommended to reduce the risk of CRC. Full article
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19 pages, 4634 KiB  
Article
Modification of the Structural and Functional Characteristics of Mung Bean Globin Polyphenol Complexes: Exploration under Heat Treatment Conditions
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2091; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112091 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
During the storage and processing of mung beans, proteins and polyphenols are highly susceptible to interactions with each other. Using globulin extracted from mung beans as the raw material, the study combined it with ferulic acid (FA; phenolic acid) and vitexin (flavonoid). Physical [...] Read more.
During the storage and processing of mung beans, proteins and polyphenols are highly susceptible to interactions with each other. Using globulin extracted from mung beans as the raw material, the study combined it with ferulic acid (FA; phenolic acid) and vitexin (flavonoid). Physical and chemical indicators were combined with spectroscopy and kinetic methods, relying on SPSS and peak fit data to statistically analyze the conformational and antioxidant activity changes of mung bean globulin and two polyphenol complexes before and after heat treatment and clarify the differences and the interaction mechanism between globulin and the two polyphenols. The results showed that, with the increase in polyphenol concentration, the antioxidant activity of the two compounds increased significantly. In addition, the antioxidant activity of the mung bean globulin–FA complex was stronger. However, after heat treatment, the antioxidant activity of the two compounds decreased significantly. The interaction mechanism of the mung bean globulin–FA/vitexin complex was static quenching, and heat treatment accelerated the occurrence of the quenching phenomenon. Mung bean globulin and two polyphenols were combined through a hydrophobic interaction. However, after heat treatment, the binding mode with vitexin changed to an electrostatic interaction. The infrared characteristic absorption peaks of the two compounds shifted to different degrees, and new peaks appeared in the areas of 827 cm−1, 1332 cm−1, and 812 cm−1. Following the interaction between mung bean globulin and FA/vitexin, the particle size decreased, the absolute value of zeta potential increased, and the surface hydrophobicity decreased. After heat treatment, the particle size and zeta potential of the two composites decreased significantly, and the surface hydrophobicity and stability increased significantly. The antioxidation and thermal stability of the mung bean globulin–FA were better than those of the mung bean globulin–vitexin complex. This study aimed to provide a theoretical reference for the protein–polyphenol interaction mechanism and a theoretical basis for the research and development of mung bean functional foods. Full article
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19 pages, 6399 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Assessment of the Antioxidant and Anticancer Potential of Selected Ethnobotanical Plants
Oxygen 2023, 3(2), 203-221; https://doi.org/10.3390/oxygen3020015 - 22 May 2023
Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Globally, among different types of cancers, breast cancer is identified as the chief cause of mortality among females, and it is a challenge to find new effective treatment strategies with minimal side effects and increased efficacy. Plants are an integral part of the [...] Read more.
Globally, among different types of cancers, breast cancer is identified as the chief cause of mortality among females, and it is a challenge to find new effective treatment strategies with minimal side effects and increased efficacy. Plants are an integral part of the traditional indigenous healthcare system and are becoming the concrete source of new drug discovery. Thus, there is a need to obtain a scientific basis for applying traditionally used plants in cancer treatments that may harbour novel phytochemicals. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the antioxidant and anticancer potential of selected plants of ethnobotanical importance. Five plants of ethnobotanical importance were selected and screened to determine their antioxidant potential through various in vitro free radical scavenging assays (such as DPPH, ABTS, hydroxyl, and superoxide radical scavenging), ferric chelation, and total antioxidant potential, and the total phenolic and flavonoid content was estimated for the selected plants. In contrast, the anticancer potential of crude plant extracts was assessed using MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) against different breast cancer (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-435S) and hepatic cancer cell lines (HepG2), and human PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) were used for toxicity studies. The MTT results showed that among all of the crude plant extracts (CAN = Etlingera linguiformis, SES = Sesbania grandiflora, LEX = Smilax ovalifolia, DES = Desmodium triflorum, and CA = Chenopodium album), it was CAN and LEX that showed the best cytotoxic potential on exposed breast cancer cell lines in contrast to SES, DES, and CA. In addition, at the selected dosages that were exposed to breast cancer cells, none of the extracts from any of the five plants showed any cytotoxicity against human PBMCs. Thus, the crude extracts can be explored further for chemopreventive and anticancer activity on murine models to understand their underlying mechanism for effective cancer management. Full article
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14 pages, 4857 KiB  
Article
Toxicity Effects of Polystyrene Nanoplastics with Different Sizes on Freshwater Microalgae Chlorella vulgaris
Molecules 2023, 28(9), 3958; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28093958 - 08 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1688
Abstract
The ubiquitous nature of plastics, particularly nanoplastics, raises concern about their potential effects on primary producer microalgae. Currently, the impacts and potential mechanisms of nanoplastics on microalgae are not fully understood. In this study, the effects of two plain commercial polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs) [...] Read more.
The ubiquitous nature of plastics, particularly nanoplastics, raises concern about their potential effects on primary producer microalgae. Currently, the impacts and potential mechanisms of nanoplastics on microalgae are not fully understood. In this study, the effects of two plain commercial polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NPs) with different sizes (50 nm and 70 nm) on C. vulgaris were assessed in a concentration range of 0–50 mg/L during 72 h exposure periods. Results revealed that both PS-NPs have dose-dependent toxicity effects on C. vulgaris, as confirmed by the decrease of growth rates, chlorophyll a and esterase activities, and the increase of ROS, MDA, and membrane damage. The membrane damage was caused by the agglomeration of PS-NPs on microalgae and may be the key reason for the toxicity. Compared with 70 nm PS-NPs (72 h EC50 >50 mg/L), 50 nm PS-NPs posed greater adverse effects on algae, with an EC50–72h of 19.89 mg/L. FTIR results also proved the stronger variation of macromolecules in the 50 nm PS-NPs treatment group. This phenomenon might be related to the properties of PS-NPs in exposure medium. The lower absolute zeta potential value of 50 nm PS-NPs induced the stronger interaction between PS-NPs and algae as compared to 70 nm PS-NPs, leading to severe membrane damage and the loss of esterase activity as well as settlement. These findings emphasized the importance of considering the impacts of commercial PS-NPs properties in toxicity evaluation. Full article
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18 pages, 2972 KiB  
Article
Pomegranate Fruit Cracking during Maturation: From Waste to Valuable Fruits
Foods 2023, 12(9), 1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12091908 - 06 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2255
Abstract
The pomegranate is an emerging functional food which is nowadays becoming more and more commercially attractive. Each part of this fruit (peels, arils and seeds) has a specific phytocomplex, rich in anti-oxidant and anti-radical compounds. Among these, punicalagin and ellagic acid continue to [...] Read more.
The pomegranate is an emerging functional food which is nowadays becoming more and more commercially attractive. Each part of this fruit (peels, arils and seeds) has a specific phytocomplex, rich in anti-oxidant and anti-radical compounds. Among these, punicalagin and ellagic acid continue to be widely studied for their numerous beneficial effects on human health (anti-inflammatory effects, anti-diabetes activity, cardio-protection, cancer prevention). Despite their exceptionally valuable composition and high adaptability to different climatic conditions, pomegranate fruits are highly susceptible to splitting during different stages of ripening, so much so that an estimated 65% of the production may be lost. A “zero-kilometer” approach should therefore be adopted to utilize such a valuable product otherwise destined to be downgraded or even incinerated, with a very high environmental impact. The aim of this work is to highlight and compare the compositional differences between whole and split pomegranates belonging to the cultivar Dente di Cavallo, grown in Apulia (Italy), to assess a valuable role for this split fruit usually considered as waste. The arils and peels are subjected to extraction procedures and the extracts analyzed by CIEL*a*b*, HPLC-DAD and HS-SPME/GC-MS. Moreover, an assessment of the inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase, acetylcholinesterase and tyrosinase enzymes has also been applied. The data show a better chemical profile in split fruits (namely 60% more anthocyanin content than intact fruit) with very interesting results in terms of α-glucosidase inhibition. The juices obtained by squeezing are also compared to commercial juices (“Salus Melagrana” and “La Marianna”) processed from the same cultivar and subjected to the same protocol analysis. Full article
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21 pages, 6834 KiB  
Article
The Hydrophobic Extract of Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench) Enriched in Apigenin-Protected Rats against Aflatoxin B1-Associated Hepatorenal Derangement
Molecules 2023, 28(7), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28073013 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a recalcitrant metabolite produced by fungi species, and due to its intoxications in animals and humans, it has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen in humans. Preserving food products with Sorghum bicolor sheath can minimise the [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a recalcitrant metabolite produced by fungi species, and due to its intoxications in animals and humans, it has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen in humans. Preserving food products with Sorghum bicolor sheath can minimise the contamination of agricultural products and avert ill health occasioned by exposure to AFB1. The current study investigated the ameliorating effect of Sorghum bicolor sheath hydrophobic extract (SBE-HP) enriched in Apigenin (API) on the hepatorenal tissues of rats exposed to AFB1. The SBE-HP was characterised using TLC and LC-MS and was found to be enriched in Apigenin and its methylated analogues. The study used adult male rats divided into four experimental cohorts co-treated with AFB1 (50 µg/kg) and SBE-HP (5 and 10 mg/kg) for 28 days. Biochemical, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and histological staining were used to examine biomarkers of hepatorenal function, oxidative status, inflammation and apoptosis, and hepatorenal tissue histo-architectural alterations. Data were analysed using GraphPad Prism 8.3.0, an independent t-test, and a one-way analysis of variance. Co-treatment with SBE-HP ameliorated an upsurge in the biomarkers of hepatorenal functionality in the sera of rats, reduced the alterations in redox balance, resolved inflammation, inhibited apoptosis, and preserved the histological features of the liver and kidney of rats exposed to AFB1. SBE-HP-containing API is an excellent antioxidant regiment. It can amply prevent the induction of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in the hepatorenal system of rats. Therefore, supplementing animal feeds and human foods with SBE-HP enriched in Apigenin may reduce the burden of AFB1 intoxication in developing countries with a shortage of effective antifungal agents. Full article
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13 pages, 2163 KiB  
Article
Effect of Thermal Processes on S-Allyl Cysteine Content in Black Garlic
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1227; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061227 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
As a key component of black garlic (BG) products, S-allyl cysteine (SAC) is useful in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Several BG products with a high SAC content have been developed by thermal processing; however, the optimum conditions for thermal treatment for producing [...] Read more.
As a key component of black garlic (BG) products, S-allyl cysteine (SAC) is useful in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Several BG products with a high SAC content have been developed by thermal processing; however, the optimum conditions for thermal treatment for producing Thai garlic (multicloves) with a high SAC content compared to Chinese garlic (single clove) are still unknown. Moreover, the mechanism underlying the increase in SAC content in BG is unclear. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the optimum thermal condition for developing Thai BG with high SAC content base on methods A (70 °C and 80% RH) and B (60–75 °C and 80–85% RH). The total phenolic contents and antioxidant activities of Thai fresh garlic, Thai BG, and their powder forms were also compared. Method A worked the best for both types of garlic. The results indicated that the SAC content increased significantly after 7 days of fermentation and decreased drastically afterward with prolonged heat treatment. The optimum thermal condition for producing Thai fresh garlic and Chinese fresh garlic with high SAC content was 70 °C and a relative humidity of 80% for 12 days in an industrial fermentation chamber. The SAC content of Thai BG and Chinese BG increased approximately 139- and 122-fold, respectively. Furthermore, significant antioxidant capabilities determined by ferric ion-reducing antioxidant power, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assays were 34-, 6-, and 3-fold higher, respectively, than those of fresh garlic. Full article
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19 pages, 1551 KiB  
Article
Thymus Species from Romanian Spontaneous Flora as Promising Source of Phenolic Secondary Metabolites with Health-Related Benefits
Antioxidants 2023, 12(2), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12020390 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
Wild thyme aerial parts (Serpylli herba) are recognized as a valuable herbal product with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. Although pharmacopoeial regulations allow its collection exclusively from Thymus serpyllum, substitution with other species is frequent in current practice. This study [...] Read more.
Wild thyme aerial parts (Serpylli herba) are recognized as a valuable herbal product with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. Although pharmacopoeial regulations allow its collection exclusively from Thymus serpyllum, substitution with other species is frequent in current practice. This study analyzed the phenolic composition, antioxidant, and enzyme-inhibitory and antimicrobial activity of the hydroethanolic extracts obtained from five Romanian wild thyme species (Thymus alpestris, T. glabrescens, T. panonicus, T. pulcherimus and T. pulegioides). The analysis of individual phenolic constituents was performed through LC-ESI-DAD/MS2, while for the in vitro evaluation of antioxidant potential, TEAC, FRAP, DPPH, TBARS and OxHLIA assays were employed. The anti-enzymatic potential was tested in vitro against tyrosinase, α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase. High rosmarinic acid contents were quantified in all species (20.06 ± 0.32–80.49 ± 0.001 mg/g dry extract); phenolic acids derivatives (including salvianolic acids) were confirmed as the principal metabolites of T. alpestris and T. glabrescens, while eriodictyol-O-di-hexoside was found exclusively in T. alpestris. All species showed strong antioxidant potential and moderate anti-enzymatic effect against α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase, showing no anti-tyrosinase activity. This is the first detailed report on the chemical and biological profile of T. alpestris collected from Romanian spontaneous flora. Full article
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17 pages, 1681 KiB  
Article
Identification of Small-Molecule Bioactive Constituents from the Leaves of Vaccinium bracteatum Confirms It as a Potential Functional Food with Health Benefits
Foods 2023, 12(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010177 - 01 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
The health benefits of Vaccinium bracteatum are well recorded in ancient Chinese medical books and were also demonstrated by modern researches. However, the relationship between its beneficial functions and specific chemical constituents has not been fully characterized. This study investigated the bioactive small-molecule [...] Read more.
The health benefits of Vaccinium bracteatum are well recorded in ancient Chinese medical books and were also demonstrated by modern researches. However, the relationship between its beneficial functions and specific chemical constituents has not been fully characterized. This study investigated the bioactive small-molecule constituents in the leaves of V. bracteatum, which afforded 32 compounds including ten new ones (19) and ten pairs of enantiomers (918). Their structures with absolute configurations were elucidated by spectroscopic methods, especially nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electronic circular dichroism (ECD) analyses, with 14 bearing a novel revolving-door shaped scaffold. While half-compounds exhibited decent antioxidant activity by scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals, all except 19 and 20 exerted significant capturing activity against diammonium 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) (ABTS) radicals. In addition, the new iridoids 1, 5, 6, and 7 exerted apparent neuroprotective activity toward PC12 cells, with 1 being comparable to the positive control, and selective compounds also displayed anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting α-glucosidase and NO production, respectively. The current work revealed that the bioactive small-molecule constituents could be closely related to the functional food property of the title species. Full article
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15 pages, 2273 KiB  
Article
Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Properties of Wild Rocket (Diplotaxis Tenuifolia L.) Grown under Different Plastic Films and with Different UV-B Radiation Postharvest Treatments
Foods 2022, 11(24), 4093; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11244093 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
Rocket species are rich in nutrients with well-known bioactive activity, but their content depends on several factors, such as plant–UV radiation interaction. In this work, we measured the production of nutritional elements in wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia L.) leaves as a function [...] Read more.
Rocket species are rich in nutrients with well-known bioactive activity, but their content depends on several factors, such as plant–UV radiation interaction. In this work, we measured the production of nutritional elements in wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia L.) leaves as a function of exposure to UV-B radiation by adopting a combined approach. The wild rocket plants were grown under three greenhouse cover films (A, B, and C) having different transmittivity to UV-B and the fresh-cut leaves were exposed to UV-B in postharvest for 45, 150, 330, and 660 s. The content of chlorophyll, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, and the antioxidant activity were determined. Chlorophyll, carotenoids, and total phenolic content were significantly increased by the combination of Film C and treatment with UV-B for 45 s. The predominant phenolic compounds were kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and quercetin. Film C also elicited an increase in ascorbic acid (the most abundant antioxidant compound in the range 374–1199 per 100 g of dry matter) and antioxidant activity. These findings highlighted an increase in bioactive compound content in the wild rocket when it was cultivated under Film C (diffused light film with a tailored UV-B transmission dose) and treated with UV-B radiation for 45 s postharvest, corresponding to an energy dose of 0.2 KJ m−2. Full article
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18 pages, 2290 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Foxtail Millet Protein Hydrolysate on Ethanol and Pyloric Ligation-Induced Gastric Ulcers in Mice
Antioxidants 2022, 11(12), 2459; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11122459 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1725
Abstract
Foxtail millet has been traditionally considered to possess gastroprotective effects, but studies evaluating its use as a treatment for gastric ulcers are lacking. Here, we assessed the antiulcer effects of foxtail millet protein hydrolysate (FPH) and explored its mechanism by using blocking agents. [...] Read more.
Foxtail millet has been traditionally considered to possess gastroprotective effects, but studies evaluating its use as a treatment for gastric ulcers are lacking. Here, we assessed the antiulcer effects of foxtail millet protein hydrolysate (FPH) and explored its mechanism by using blocking agents. In a mouse model of ethanol-induced gastric ulcers, pretreatment with FPH reduced the ulcerative lesion index, downregulated the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the gastric tissue, increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and improved the oxidative status. FPH increased constitutive the activity of nitric oxide synthase (cNOS), NO levels, and mucin expression in gastric mucosa, and inhibited the activation of the ET-1/PI3K/Akt pathway. In a mouse model of pyloric ligation-induced gastric ulcers, FPH inhibited gastric acid secretion and decreased the activity of gastric protease. Pretreatment of mice with the sulfhydryl blocker NEM and the NO synthesis inhibitor L-NAME abolished the gastroprotective effect of FPH, but not the KATP channel blocker glibenclamide and the PGE2 synthesis blocker indomethacin. Among the peptides identified in FPH, 10 peptides were predicted to have regulatory effects on the gastric mucosa, and the key sequences were GP and PG. The results confirmed the gastroprotective effect of FPH and revealed that its mechanism was through the regulation of gastric mucosal mucus and NO synthesis. This study supports the health effects of a millet-enriched diet and provides a basis for millet protein as a functional food to improve gastric ulcers and its related oxidative stress. Full article
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28 pages, 2482 KiB  
Article
Antioxidative and Immunomodulating Properties of Aronia melanocarpa Extract Rich in Anthocyanins
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3333; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233333 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1448
Abstract
The fruits of Aronia melanocarpa are well known due to their high anthocyanin content that may be effective in preventing certain health disorders arising from oxidative stress. Various polyphenolic compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonoids are responsible for the multiple effects of chokeberry. [...] Read more.
The fruits of Aronia melanocarpa are well known due to their high anthocyanin content that may be effective in preventing certain health disorders arising from oxidative stress. Various polyphenolic compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonoids are responsible for the multiple effects of chokeberry. The aim of this study was to determine in vitro how active the black chokeberry anthocyanins are in scavenging radicals and to evaluate in vivo their immunomodulating capacity. Using the method of column chromatography, we extracted the anthocyanins of black chokeberries, i.e., cyanidin-3-O-galactoside with a purity of over 93.7%. Using HPLC and spectrophotometric analysis, the flavonoid content was determined. Following the analysis of the tests with AAPH and DPPH, the chokeberry cyanidin-3-O-galactoside was found much better than individual anthocyanins in regard to antioxidant capacity. The range of concentrations was revealed, showing the protective effect of anthocyanins on the RPMI-1788 cell culture against cyclophosphamide, as well as against osmotic and peroxide hemolysis. An immunomodulating effect on the functional activity of phagocytes was revealed in vivo as a result of oral administration of chokeberry cyanidin-3-O-galactoside and a mixture composed of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside and cyanidin-3-O-galactoside standards. Consequently, anthocyanins, in particular cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, play an important role, demonstrating immunomodulating effects when chokeberries are consumed. Full article
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19 pages, 2737 KiB  
Article
By-Product of the Red Ginseng Manufacturing Process as Potential Material for Use as Cosmetics: Chemical Profiling and In Vitro Antioxidant and Whitening Activities
Molecules 2022, 27(23), 8202; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27238202 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
Red ginseng (RG), which is obtained from heated Panax ginseng and is produced by steaming followed by drying, is a valuable herb in Asian countries. Steamed ginseng dew (SGD) is a by-product produced in processing red ginseng. In the present study, phytochemical profiling [...] Read more.
Red ginseng (RG), which is obtained from heated Panax ginseng and is produced by steaming followed by drying, is a valuable herb in Asian countries. Steamed ginseng dew (SGD) is a by-product produced in processing red ginseng. In the present study, phytochemical profiling of extracts of red ginseng and steamed ginseng dew was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and rapid resolution liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (RRLC-Q-TOF-MS) analysis. Additionally, antioxidant activities (DPPH, ·OH, and ABTS scavenging ability) and whitening activities (tyrosinase and elastase inhibitory activity) were analyzed. Phytochemical profiling revealed the presence of 66 and 28 compounds that were non-saponin components in chloroform extracts of red ginseng and steamed ginseng dew (RG-CE and SGD-CE), respectively. Meanwhile, there were 20 ginsenosides identified in n-butanol extracts of red ginseng and steamed ginseng dew (RG-NBE and SGD-NBE). By comparing the different polar extracts of red ginseng and steamed ginseng dew, it was found that the ethyl acetate extract of red ginseng (RG-EAE) had the best antioxidant capacity and whitening effect, the water extract of steamed ginseng dew (SGD-WE) had stronger antioxidant capacity, and the SGD-NBE and SGD-CE had a better whitening effect. This study shows that RG and SGD have tremendous potential to be used in the cosmetic industries. Full article
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11 pages, 3046 KiB  
Article
Impact of Green Extraction on Curcuminoid Content, Antioxidant Activities and Anti-Cancer Efficiency (In Vitro) from Turmeric Rhizomes (Curcuma longa L.)
Foods 2022, 11(22), 3633; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11223633 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2094
Abstract
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) powder is widely used as a spice and seasoning in Asian countries. This study investigated the effect of turmeric extracts on the anticancer activity of Huh7 and HCT 116 cells. The curcumin bioactive compounds were extracted using various [...] Read more.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) powder is widely used as a spice and seasoning in Asian countries. This study investigated the effect of turmeric extracts on the anticancer activity of Huh7 and HCT 116 cells. The curcumin bioactive compounds were extracted using various methods such as microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and traditional extraction (TDE). The yield of dried extracts from MAE was found to be the highest at 17.89%, followed by UAE and TDE, with 11.34% and 5.54%, respectively. Antioxidant activities such as TPC, DPPH and FRAP from MAE were higher than those of UAE and TDE. The total curcuminoid contents from the novel extractions were higher than those from traditional extraction methods. For instance, curcuminoid contents from MAE, UAE and TDE were 326.79, 241.17 and 215.83 mg/g, respectively. Due to having the highest bioactive compounds and extraction yield, turmeric extract from MAE was used to investigate the potential anticancer properties. The extract showed significant cytotoxic potential against the human liver (Huh7) and human colon (HCT116) cell lines, in concentrations ranging from 31.25 to 1000.00 µg/mL. Turmeric extracts using MAE have potential anticancer effects on Huh7 and HCT116 cells. This study serves as scientific data for the chemotherapeutic properties of turmeric extracts and their use as functional ingredients. Full article
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18 pages, 5799 KiB  
Article
Systematical Characterization of the Cotton Di19 Gene Family and the Role of GhDi19-3 and GhDi19-4 as Two Negative Regulators in Response to Salt Stress
Antioxidants 2022, 11(11), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11112225 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Drought-induced 19 (Di19) protein is a Cys2/His2 (C2H2) type zinc-finger protein, which plays a crucial role in plant development and in response to abiotic stress. This study systematically investigated the characteristics of the GhDi19 gene family, including the member number, gene structure, chromosomal [...] Read more.
Drought-induced 19 (Di19) protein is a Cys2/His2 (C2H2) type zinc-finger protein, which plays a crucial role in plant development and in response to abiotic stress. This study systematically investigated the characteristics of the GhDi19 gene family, including the member number, gene structure, chromosomal distribution, promoter cis-elements, and expression profiles. Transcriptomic analysis indicated that some GhDi19s were up-regulated under heat and salt stress. Particularly, two nuclear localized proteins, GhDi19-3 and GhDi19-4, were identified as being in potential salt stress responsive roles. GhDi19-3 and GhDi19-4 decreased sensitivity under salt stress through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), and showed significantly lower levels of H2O2, malondialdehyde (MDA), and peroxidase (POD) as well as significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. This suggested that their abilities were improved to effectively reduce the reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage. Furthermore, certain calcium signaling and abscisic acid (ABA)-responsive gene expression levels showed up- and down-regulation changes in target gene-silenced plants, suggesting that GhDi19-3 and GhDi19-4 were involved in calcium signaling and ABA signaling pathways in response to salt stress. In conclusion, GhDi19-3 and GhDi19-4, two negative transcription factors, were found to be responsive to salt stress through calcium signaling and ABA signaling pathways. Full article
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19 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Flavonoids from Mulberry Leaf on AAPH-Induced Oxidative Damage in Sheep Erythrocytes
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7625; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217625 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
To evaluate the antioxidant activity of flavonoids extracted from Chinese herb mulberry leaves (ML), flavonoids from mulberry leaves (FML) were extracted and purified by using ultrasonic-assisted enzymatic extraction and D101 macroporous resin. Using LC-MS/MS-Liquid Chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry analysis, hesperidin, rutoside, hyperoside, [...] Read more.
To evaluate the antioxidant activity of flavonoids extracted from Chinese herb mulberry leaves (ML), flavonoids from mulberry leaves (FML) were extracted and purified by using ultrasonic-assisted enzymatic extraction and D101 macroporous resin. Using LC-MS/MS-Liquid Chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry analysis, hesperidin, rutoside, hyperoside, cyanidin-3-o-glucoside, myricitrin, cyanidin, and quercetin were identified, and NMR and UV were consistent with the verification of IR flavonoid characteristics. The antioxidant activity of FML has also been evaluated as well as the protective effect on 2,2 0-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH)-induced oxidative stress. The results showed that FML exhibited powerful antioxidant activity. Moreover, FML showed dose-dependent protection against AAPH-induced sheep erythrocytes’ oxidative hemolysis. In the enzymatic antioxidant system, pretreatment with high FML maintained the balance of SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px; in the non-enzymatic antioxidant system, the content of MDA can be effectively reduced after FML treatment. This study provides a research basis for the development of natural products from mulberry leaves. Full article
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17 pages, 1456 KiB  
Article
Unravelling Phytochemical and Bioactive Potential of Three Hypericum Species from Romanian Spontaneous Flora: H. alpigenum, H. perforatum and H. rochelii
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2773; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202773 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Hypericum perforatum L., also known as St. John’s Wort, is recognized worldwide as a valuable medicinal herb; however, other Hypericum species were intensively studied for their bioactive potential. To fill the research gap that exists in the scientific literature, a comparative evaluation between [...] Read more.
Hypericum perforatum L., also known as St. John’s Wort, is recognized worldwide as a valuable medicinal herb; however, other Hypericum species were intensively studied for their bioactive potential. To fill the research gap that exists in the scientific literature, a comparative evaluation between H. alpigenum Kit., H. perforatum L. and H. rochelii Griseb. & Schenk was conducted in the present study. Two types of herbal preparations obtained from the aerial parts of these species were analyzed: extracts obtained through maceration and extracts obtained through magnetic-stirring-assisted extraction. LC-DAD-ESI-MSn analysis revealed the presence of phenolic acids, flavan-3-ols and flavonoid derivatives as the main constituents of the above-mentioned species. Moreover, all extracts were tested for their antioxidant, enzyme-inhibitory and antimicrobial potential. Our work emphasizes for the first time a detailed description of H. rochelii phenolic fractions, including their phytochemical and bioactive characterization. In comparison with the other two studied species, H. rochelii was found as a rich source of phenolic acids and myricetin derivatives, showing important antioxidant, anticholinesterase and antibacterial activity. The study offers new perspectives regarding the chemical and bioactive profile of the less-studied species H. alpigenum and H. rochelii. Full article
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17 pages, 2043 KiB  
Article
Changes in Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity during Development of ‘Qiangcuili’ and ‘Cuihongli’ Fruit
Foods 2022, 11(20), 3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11203198 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1827
Abstract
Plums are widely consumed, contain high levels of phenolic compounds, and have strong antioxidant activity. In this study, the main Sichuan cultivars ‘Qiangcuili’ and ‘Cuihongli’ were used to study the changes in the appearance, internal quality, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activities during fruit [...] Read more.
Plums are widely consumed, contain high levels of phenolic compounds, and have strong antioxidant activity. In this study, the main Sichuan cultivars ‘Qiangcuili’ and ‘Cuihongli’ were used to study the changes in the appearance, internal quality, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activities during fruit development and the expression of phenolic-compound-related structural genes. The results showed that, during development of the two plums, the total soluble solid and soluble sugar contents were highest at the mature stage. The phenolic contents (total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and total flavanol content (TFAC)) trended gradually downward as the fruits of the two cultivars matured, while the total anthocyanin content gradually increased in ‘Cuihongli’. The main phenolic components were neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, benzoic acid, rutin, and proanthocyanidin B1. The changes in the DPPH and FRAP scavenging activities decreased with fruit ripening. The antioxidant capacity was positively correlated with the TPC, TFC, and TFAC. In the two cultivars, the total phenols, phenolic components, and antioxidant capacity were higher in the peel than in the pulp. CHS, PAL3, and HCT1 may be the regulatory genes related to the accumulation of phenolic substances in the pericarp and pulp of ‘Qiangcuili’ and ‘Cuihongli’. HCT1 may be an important regulator involved in the accumulation of chlorogenic acid in plums. The changes in the quality of the phenols, phenolic components, and antioxidant activity were elucidated during the development of the main plum cultivars in Sichuan, particularly the changes that provided a theoretical basis for the development of bioactive substances in local plum cultivars. Full article
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17 pages, 1351 KiB  
Communication
Comparison of Phytochemical Profile and In Vitro Bioactivity of Beverages Based on the Unprocessed and Extruded Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Seed Byproduct
Foods 2022, 11(20), 3175; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11203175 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
In this research functional beverages based on the unprocessed and extruded sesame seeds byproduct were fabricated; phytochemical profile, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and hypoglycemic potential were evaluated. Twenty-four phytochemical compounds were identified in total in both beverages; fourteen of the phytochemical compounds were not modified [...] Read more.
In this research functional beverages based on the unprocessed and extruded sesame seeds byproduct were fabricated; phytochemical profile, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and hypoglycemic potential were evaluated. Twenty-four phytochemical compounds were identified in total in both beverages; fourteen of the phytochemical compounds were not modified by the extrusion process. Seventeen of the 24 compounds were identified in the unprocessed sesame seeds byproduct flour beverage−10% (UB10) and 21 in the extruded sesame seeds byproduct flour beverage−10% (EB10). The compounds only identified in UB10 are caffeic acid, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, and isorhamnetin; and in EB10 those compounds were vanillic acid, acteoside, luteolin, quercetin, and melanoidins. No significant difference was observed in the content of total phenolic compounds (TPC) (14.90 and 15.97 mg GAE/100 mL) and total flavonoids (TF) (5.37 and 5.85 mg QE/100 mL). An increase in the biological activity of ESFB10 (IC50: ABTS = 0.19, DPPH = 0.21, α-amylase = 1.01, α-glucosidase = 0.17, DPP4 = 0.11 mg/mL) was observed, compared to UB10 (IC50: ABTS = 0.24, DPPH = 0.31, α-amylase = 2.29, α-glucosidase = 0.47, DPP4 = 0.30 mg/mL). Therefore, the extrusion process had a positive effect, which displayed the highest efficiency inhibiting the free radicals and enzymes related to carbohydrate metabolism. Full article
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16 pages, 3442 KiB  
Article
Suppressive Effect of Fraxetin on Adipogenesis and Reactive Oxygen Species Production in 3T3-L1 Cells by Regulating MAPK Signaling Pathways
Antioxidants 2022, 11(10), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11101893 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
Recent studies have identified obesity as one of the world’s most serious chronic disorders. Adipogenesis, in which preadipocytes are differentiated into mature adipocytes, has a decisive role in establishing the number of adipocytes and determining the lipid storage capacity of adipose tissue and [...] Read more.
Recent studies have identified obesity as one of the world’s most serious chronic disorders. Adipogenesis, in which preadipocytes are differentiated into mature adipocytes, has a decisive role in establishing the number of adipocytes and determining the lipid storage capacity of adipose tissue and fat mass in adults. Fat accumulation in obesity is implicated with elevated oxidative stress in adipocytes induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Adipogenesis regulation by inhibiting adipogenic differentiation and ROS production has been selected as the strategy to treat obesity. The conventional anti-obesity drugs allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have severe adverse effects. Therefore, various natural products have been developed as a solution for obesity, suppressing adipogenic differentiation. Fraxetin is a major component extracted from the stem barks of Fraxinus rhynchophylla, with various bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial functions. However, the effect of fraxetin on adipogenesis is still not clearly understood. We studied the pharmacological functions of fraxetin in suppressing lipid accumulation and its underlying molecular mechanisms involving 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Moreover, increased ROS production induced by a mixture of insulin, dexamethasone, and 3-isobutylmethylxanthine (MDI) in 3T3-L1 was attenuated by fraxetin during adipogenesis. These effects were regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Therefore, our findings imply that fraxetin possesses inhibitory roles in adipogenesis and can be a potential anti-obesity drug. Full article
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14 pages, 887 KiB  
Article
Biological Activity of Bark Extracts from Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra L.): An Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Enzymatic Inhibitory Evaluation
Plants 2022, 11(18), 2357; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11182357 - 09 Sep 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2605
Abstract
The northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is an ornamental oak species native to eastern America, being an invasive species in Europe, with increasing coverage. The aim of this work was to evaluate the biological potential of red oak bark extracts. Aqueous [...] Read more.
The northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is an ornamental oak species native to eastern America, being an invasive species in Europe, with increasing coverage. The aim of this work was to evaluate the biological potential of red oak bark extracts. Aqueous and ethanolic preparations were obtained by two extraction methods: ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) and microwave assisted extraction (MAE). The total phenolic and tannin contents were measured using spectrophotometric methods. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by two complementary methods (DPPH and ABTS). Antimicrobial potential was tested against five bacteria and three Candida species, and the effect on biofilm formation and synergism with gentamicin was also evaluated. Finally, enzyme inhibitory properties were assessed for α-glucosidase, tyrosinase, and acetylcholinesterase. The results indicated a higher phenolic content for the extracts obtained through MAE, while UAE bark extracts were rich in tannins. All the extracts exhibited antioxidant, anti-glucosidase, and anti-tyrosinase activity, while the antibacterial potential was mostly observed for the MAE extracts, especially against S. aureus, C. parapsilopsis, and C. krusei; inhibition of biofilm formation was observed only for MRSA. These findings show that the red oak bark might be an important source of bioactive compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Full article
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19 pages, 1420 KiB  
Article
Cellular Antioxidant Effect of an Aronia Extract and Its Polyphenolic Fractions Enriched in Proanthocyanidins, Phenolic Acids, and Anthocyanins
Antioxidants 2022, 11(8), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11081561 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2112
Abstract
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation contribute to some chronic diseases. Aronia berries are rich in polyphenols. The aim of the present study was to characterize the cellular antioxidant effect of an aronia extract to reflect the potential physiological in vivo effect. Cellular in [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation contribute to some chronic diseases. Aronia berries are rich in polyphenols. The aim of the present study was to characterize the cellular antioxidant effect of an aronia extract to reflect the potential physiological in vivo effect. Cellular in vitro assays in three cell lines (Caco-2, HepG2, and SH-SY5Y) were used to measure the antioxidant effect of AE, in three enriched polyphenolic fractions (A1: anthocyanins and phenolic acids; A2: oligomeric proanthocyanidins; A3: polymeric proanthocyanidins), pure polyphenols and microbial metabolites. Both direct (intracellular and membrane radical scavenging, catalase-like effect) and indirect (NRF2/ARE) antioxidant effects were assessed. AE exerted an intracellular free radical scavenging activity in the three cell lines, and A2 and A3 fractions showed a higher effect in HepG2 and Caco-2 cells. AE also exhibited a catalase-like activity, with the A3 fraction having a significant higher activity. Only A1 fraction activated the NRF2/ARE pathway. Quercetin and caffeic acid are the most potent antioxidant polyphenols, whereas cyanidin and 5-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone showed the highest antioxidant effect among polyphenol metabolites. AE rich in polyphenols possesses broad cellular antioxidant effects, and proanthocyanidins are major contributors. Polyphenol metabolites may contribute to the overall antioxidant effect of such extract in vivo. Full article
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15 pages, 3018 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Whole Plant Extract of Scutellaria rubropunctata var. rubropunctata on Bone Metabolism with Estrogen Receptor Activation
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2075; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162075 - 09 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
We screened natural resources for estrogen receptor (ER)-activating and bone metabolism-promoting activities with the aim of finding potential treatments for osteoporosis. A screen of 1531 extracts from Ryukyu Arc plants using a luciferase reporter assay identified an 80% MeOH extract of Scutellaria rubropunctata [...] Read more.
We screened natural resources for estrogen receptor (ER)-activating and bone metabolism-promoting activities with the aim of finding potential treatments for osteoporosis. A screen of 1531 extracts from Ryukyu Arc plants using a luciferase reporter assay identified an 80% MeOH extract of Scutellaria rubropunctata var. rubropunctata (SRE) with dose-dependent ER transcription-promoting activity. Importantly, SRE had no proliferative effect on human breast cancer cells. SRE enhanced the ALP activity of pre-osteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells after 72 h in culture and slightly enhanced mineralization at 14 and 21 d. SRE did not significantly affect the TRAP activity of RAW264.7 cells. Gene expression analysis in MC3T3-E1 cells by quantitative real-time PCR revealed that SRE upregulated the mRNA levels of Runx2, Osterix (Osx), Osteopontin (Opn), Osteocalcin (Ocn), Smad1, Smad4, and Smad5 at 72 h, and those of Runx2, Osx, Smad1, Smad4, and Smad5 at 21 d of osteogenic induction. Analysis of the expression levels of osteogenic markers suggested that SRE may promote osteogenic differentiation by acting at the early stage of differentiation rather than at the late stage of differentiation. These results indicate that SRE activates ER and induces osteoblast differentiation by activating Runx2 and Osx through the BMP/Smad pathway, suggesting that SRE may be useful for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Full article
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17 pages, 7350 KiB  
Article
Uwhangchungsimwon Inhibits Oxygen Glucose Deprivation/Re-Oxygenation-Induced Cell Death through Neuronal VEGF and IGF-1 Receptor Signaling and Synaptic Remodeling in Cortical Neurons
Antioxidants 2022, 11(7), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11071388 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Uwhangchungsimwon (UCW), a multi-component herbal product, has long been used to treat vascular diseases such as headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, and stroke. Though the prophylactic actions of UCW are well known, insufficient experimental evidence exists on its effectiveness against stroke. Here, we [...] Read more.
Uwhangchungsimwon (UCW), a multi-component herbal product, has long been used to treat vascular diseases such as headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, and stroke. Though the prophylactic actions of UCW are well known, insufficient experimental evidence exists on its effectiveness against stroke. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the efficacy of UCW in oxygen glucose deprivation/re-oxygenation (OGD/R)-injury to the primary cortical neurons using an in vitro ischemia model. Neurons secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which acts as a neurotrophic factor in response to an ischemic injury. VEGF modulates neuroprotection and axonal outgrowth by activating the VEGF receptors and plays a critical role in vascular diseases. In this study, cortical neurons were pretreated with UCW (2, 10, and 50 µg/mL) for 48 h, incubated in oxygen-glucose-deprived conditions for 2 h, and further reoxygenated for 24 h. UCW effectively protected neurons from OGD/R-induced degeneration and cell death. Moreover, the role of UCW in sustaining protection against OGD/R injury is associated with activation of VEGF-VEGFR and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor expression. Therefore, UCW is a potential herbal supplement for the prevention of hypoxic-ischemic neuronal injury as it may occur after stroke. Full article
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14 pages, 820 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Analysis of the Fruit Pulp Extracts from Annona crassiflora Mart. and Evaluation of Their Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2079; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142079 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2259
Abstract
Annona crassiflora Mart., the marolo fruit of the Cerrado biome, is one of the most frequently consumed species from the Brazilian Midwest. This study aimed to evaluate the chemical composition and the antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of the fruit pulp of A. crassiflora [...] Read more.
Annona crassiflora Mart., the marolo fruit of the Cerrado biome, is one of the most frequently consumed species from the Brazilian Midwest. This study aimed to evaluate the chemical composition and the antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of the fruit pulp of A. crassiflora collected at Chapada das Mesas, Maranhão, Brazil. The volatile concentrate was identified as mainly ethyl octanoate, ethyl hexanoate, and methyl octanoate. From the ethanol (LFP-E) and ethyl acetate (LFP-A) extracts were identified phenolic acids (p-coumaric, gallic, quinic, and ferulic), flavones and derivatives (apigenin, epicatechin, 2′-5-dimethoxyflavone, 3′,7-dimethoxy-3-hydroxyflavone, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside and 3-O-rutinoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, procyanidin B2, and rutin), aporphine alkaloids (xylopine, stephagine, and romucosine), and acetogenin (annonacin). For the LFP-E and LFP-A extracts, the total phenolic compound values were 15.89 and 33.16 mg GAE/g, the flavonoid compound content values were 2.53 and 70.55 mg QE/g, the DPPH radical scavenging activity showed EC50 values of 182.54 and 57.80 µg/mL, and the ABTS radical activity showed TEAC values of 94.66 and 192.61 µM TE/g. The LFP-E extract showed significant cytotoxicity and cell selectivity for the U251-glioma strain, presenting a GI50 value of 21.34 µg/mL, which is close to doxorubicin (11.68 µg/mL), the standard chemotherapeutic drug. The marolo fruit seems to be a promising source for developing innovative and healthy products for the food industry. Full article
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12 pages, 2219 KiB  
Article
Preventative Effects of Antioxidants against PM10 on Serum IgE Concentration, Mast Cell Counts, Inflammatory Cytokines, and Keratinocyte Differentiation Markers in DNCB-Induced Atopic Dermatitis Mouse Model
Antioxidants 2022, 11(7), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11071334 - 06 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2105
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and skin aging. We investigated the effects of antioxidants such as dieckol, punicalagin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and Siegesbeckiae Herba extract (SHE) against PM < 10 μm (PM10) on serum IgE concentration, mast [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM) can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and skin aging. We investigated the effects of antioxidants such as dieckol, punicalagin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, and Siegesbeckiae Herba extract (SHE) against PM < 10 μm (PM10) on serum IgE concentration, mast cell counts, inflammatory cytokines, and keratinocyte differentiation markers in a 2,4-Dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-induced atopic dermatitis mouse model. Seven-week-old BALB/c mice were sensitized with 2% DNCB. Atopic dermatitis-like lesions were induced on the mice with 0.2% DNCB. Antioxidants and PM10 were applied to the mice for 4 weeks. PM10 increased the serum IgE concentration and spleen weight in mice, and all antioxidants downregulated these parameters. Histological examination showed an increase in epidermal thickness and mast cell counts in response to PM10, and all antioxidants showed a decrease. PM10 upregulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-17α, IL-25, IL-31 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in mice, and all antioxidants inhibited the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines. ELISA showed the same results as real-time PCR. PM10 downregulates the expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers, including loricrin and filaggrin, in mouse keratinocytes and antioxidants prevented the downregulation of the keratinocyte differentiation markers. Conclusively, PM10 aggravated the DNCB-induced mouse model in serum IgE concentration, mast cell counts, inflammatory cytokine, and keratinocyte differentiation markers. In addition, antioxidants modulated changes in the DNCB-induced mouse model caused by PM10. Full article
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13 pages, 3092 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Mangosteen Peel Extract Microcapsules by Fluidized Bed Spray-Drying for Tableting: Improving the Solubility and Antioxidant Stability
Antioxidants 2022, 11(7), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11071331 - 06 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3127
Abstract
Mangosteen fruit has been widely consumed and used as a source of antioxidants, either in the form of fresh fruit or processed products. However, mangosteen peel only becomes industrial waste due to its bitter taste, low content solubility, and poor stability. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Mangosteen fruit has been widely consumed and used as a source of antioxidants, either in the form of fresh fruit or processed products. However, mangosteen peel only becomes industrial waste due to its bitter taste, low content solubility, and poor stability. Therefore, this study aimed to design mangosteen peel extract microcapsules (MPEMs) and tablets to overcome the challenges. The fluidized bed spray-drying method was used to develop MPEM, with hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) as the core mixture and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the coating agent. The obtained MPEM was spherical with a hollow surface and had a size of 411.2 µm. The flow rate and compressibility of MPEM increased significantly after granulation. A formula containing 5% w/w polyvinyl pyrrolidone K30 (PVP K30) as a binder had the best tablet characteristics, with a hardness of 87.8 ± 1.398 N, friability of 0.94%, and disintegration time of 25.75 ± 0.676 min. Microencapsulation of mangosteen peel extract maintains the stability of its compound (total phenolic and α-mangosteen) and its antioxidant activity (IC50) during the manufacturing process and a month of storage at IVB zone conditions. According to the findings, the microencapsulation is an effective technique for improving the solubility and antioxidant stability of mangosteen peel extract during manufacture and storage. Full article
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9 pages, 804 KiB  
Article
Maximization of Sulforaphane Content in Broccoli Sprouts by Blanching
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131906 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2598
Abstract
Broccoli sprouts are a recognized source of health-promoting compounds, such as glucosinolates, glucoraphanin, and sulforaphane (SFN). Maximization of SFN content can be achieved by technological processing. We investigated the effect of blanching conditions to determine the optimal treatment that maximizes sulforaphane content in [...] Read more.
Broccoli sprouts are a recognized source of health-promoting compounds, such as glucosinolates, glucoraphanin, and sulforaphane (SFN). Maximization of SFN content can be achieved by technological processing. We investigated the effect of blanching conditions to determine the optimal treatment that maximizes sulforaphane content in broccoli sprouts. Broccoli seeds (cv. Traditional) grown under controlled conditions were harvested after 11 days from germination and subjected to different blanching conditions based on a central composite design with temperature and time as experimental factors. Results were analyzed by ANOVA followed by a Tukey test. The optimum conditions were identified through response surface methodology. Blanching increased sulforaphane content compared with untreated sprouts, agreeing with a decrease in total glucosinolates and glucoraphanin content. Temperature significantly affected SFN content. Higher temperatures and shorter immersion times favor glucoraphanin hydrolysis, thus increasing SFN content. The optimum conditions were blanching at 61 °C for 4.8 min, resulting in 54.3 ± 0.20 µmol SFN/g dry weight, representing a 3.3-fold increase with respect to untreated sprouts. This is the highest SFN content reported for sprouts subjected to any treatment so far. The process described in this work may contribute to developing functional foods and nutraceuticals that provide sulforaphane as an active principle. Full article
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11 pages, 1162 KiB  
Article
Identification of Gene Biomarkers for Tigilanol Tiglate Content in Fontainea picrosperma
Molecules 2022, 27(13), 3980; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27133980 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
Tigilanol tiglate (EBC-46) is a small-molecule natural product under development for the treatment of cancers in humans and companion animals. The drug is currently produced by purification from the Australian rainforest tree Fontainea picrosperma (Euphorbiaceae). As part of a selective-breeding program to increase [...] Read more.
Tigilanol tiglate (EBC-46) is a small-molecule natural product under development for the treatment of cancers in humans and companion animals. The drug is currently produced by purification from the Australian rainforest tree Fontainea picrosperma (Euphorbiaceae). As part of a selective-breeding program to increase EBC-46 yield from F. picrosperma plantations, we investigated potential gene biomarkers associated with biosynthesis of EBC-46. Initially, we identified individual plants that were either high (>0.039%) or low EBC-46 (<0.008%) producers, then assessed their differentially expressed genes within the leaves and roots of these two groups by quantitative RNA sequencing. Compared to low EBC-46 producers, high-EBC-46-producing plants were found to have 145 upregulated genes and 101 downregulated genes in leaves and 53 upregulated genes and 82 downregulated genes in roots. Most of these genes were functionally associated with defence, transport, and biosynthesis. Genes identified as expressed exclusively in either the high or low EBC-46-producing plants were further validated by quantitative PCR, showing that cytochrome P450 94C1 in leaves and early response dehydration 7.1 and 2-alkenal reductase in roots were consistently and significantly upregulated in high-EBC-46 producers. In summary, this study has identified biomarker genes that may be used in the selective breeding of F. picrosperma. Full article
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14 pages, 1373 KiB  
Article
Different Types of Meatballs Enriched with Wild Thyme/Lemon Balm Aqueous Extract—Complex Characterization
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3920; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123920 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
In the context of the increasing lactation problems among breastfeeding women, the development of a healthy lifestyle is needed. Different variants of pork, turkey, and beef meatballs, with added lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) and wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) aqueous [...] Read more.
In the context of the increasing lactation problems among breastfeeding women, the development of a healthy lifestyle is needed. Different variants of pork, turkey, and beef meatballs, with added lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) and wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) aqueous extract (6%), were obtained. These herbs were selected and used due to their antioxidant, antimicrobial, and lactogenic potential. Two thermal treatments, hot air convection (180 °C) and steam convection (94 °C), were applied for meatballs processing. The obtained meatballs were further subjected to a complex characterization. The functionality of the plant extracts was proved by the values of total content of polyphenols (2.69 ± 0.02 mg AG/g dw) and flavonoids (3.03 ± 0.24 mg EQ/g dw). FT-IR analysis confirmed the presence of trans-anethole and estragole at 1507–1508 cm−1 and 1635–1638 cm−1, respectively. Costumers’ overall acceptance had a score above 5.5 for all samples, on a scale of 1 to 9. Further analysis and human trials should be considered regarding the use of lactogenic herbs, given their health benefits and availability. Full article
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10 pages, 1638 KiB  
Article
Potential Application of Gambogic Acid for Retarding Renal Cyst Progression in Polycystic Kidney Disease
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3837; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123837 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
Abnormal cell proliferation and accumulation of fluid-filled cysts along the nephrons in polycystic kidney disease (PKD) could lead to a decline in renal function and eventual end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Gambogic acid (GA), a xanthone compound extracted from the brownish resin of the [...] Read more.
Abnormal cell proliferation and accumulation of fluid-filled cysts along the nephrons in polycystic kidney disease (PKD) could lead to a decline in renal function and eventual end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Gambogic acid (GA), a xanthone compound extracted from the brownish resin of the Garcinia hanburyi tree, exhibits various pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammation, antioxidant, anti-proliferation, and anti-cancer activity. However, its effect on inhibiting cell proliferation in PKD is still unknown. This study aimed to determine the pharmacological effects and detailed mechanisms of GA in slowing an in vitro cyst growth model of PKD. The results showed that GA (0.25–2.5 μM) significantly retarded MDCK cyst growth and cyst formation in a dose-dependent manner, without cytotoxicity. Using the BrdU cell proliferation assay, it was found that GA (0.5–2.5 μM) suppressed MDCK and Pkd1 mutant cell proliferation. In addition, GA (0.5–2.5 μM) strongly inhibited phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and S6K expression and upregulated the activation of phosphorylation of AMPK, both in MDCK cells and Pkd1 mutant cells. Taken together, these findings suggested that GA could retard MDCK cyst enlargement, at least in part by inhibiting the cell proliferation pathway. GA could be a natural plant-based drug candidate for ADPKD intervention. Full article
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18 pages, 3815 KiB  
Article
Optimized Ultrasound-Assisted Enzymatic Extraction of Phenolic Compounds from Rosa canina L. Pseudo-Fruits (Rosehip) and Their Biological Activity
Antioxidants 2022, 11(6), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11061123 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2744
Abstract
Two techniques, namely, optimized ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE), were used to promote the extraction of phenolic compounds from the pseudo-fruits of Rosa canina L. (RC). For UAE, an optimization process based on the design of experiment (DoE) principles was used [...] Read more.
Two techniques, namely, optimized ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE), were used to promote the extraction of phenolic compounds from the pseudo-fruits of Rosa canina L. (RC). For UAE, an optimization process based on the design of experiment (DoE) principles was used for determining the dependence between three variables (i.e., time of extraction, ultrasound amplitude, and the material-to-water ratio) and the total phenolic content of the samples. For EAE, a 2:1:1 pectinase, cellulase, and hemicellulase enzymatic blend was used as pre-treatment for optimized UAE, inducing a higher total phenolic content. The untargeted phenolic profiling approach revealed a great abundance of lower molecular weight phenolics (1.64 mg Eq./g) in UAE-RC extracts, whilst gallic acid (belonging to hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives) was the most abundant individual compound of both extracts. The unsupervised multivariate statistics clearly discriminated the impact of enzymatic pre-treatment on the phenolic profile of RC pseudo-fruits. Finally, Pearson’s correlation coefficients showed that anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and tyrosol derivatives were those compounds mostly correlated to the in vitro antioxidant potential of the extracts, whilst negative and significant (p < 0.05) correlation coefficients were recorded when considering the enzymatic inhibition activities. The highest enzyme-inhibitory activity has been identified against α-glucosidase, which indicates an antidiabetic effect. Full article
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18 pages, 4006 KiB  
Article
Optimising the Polyphenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity of Green Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Using Beta-Cyclodextrin Assisted Extraction
Molecules 2022, 27(11), 3556; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113556 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
Antioxidant activity associated with green rooibos infusions is attributed to the activity of polyphenols, particularly aspalathin and nothofagin. This study aimed to optimise β-cyclodextrin (β-CD)-assisted extraction of crude green rooibos (CGRE) via total polyphenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity assays. Response surface methodology [...] Read more.
Antioxidant activity associated with green rooibos infusions is attributed to the activity of polyphenols, particularly aspalathin and nothofagin. This study aimed to optimise β-cyclodextrin (β-CD)-assisted extraction of crude green rooibos (CGRE) via total polyphenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity assays. Response surface methodology (RSM) permitted optimisation of β-CD concentration (0–15 mM), temperature (40–90 °C) and time (15–60 min). Optimal extraction conditions were: 15 mM β-CD: 40 °C: 60 min with a desirability of 0.985 yielding TPC of 398.25 mg GAE·g−1, metal chelation (MTC) of 93%, 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging of 1689.7 µmol TE·g−1, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) of 2097.53 µmol AAE·g−1 and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 11,162.82 TE·g−1. Aspalathin, hyperoside and orientin were the major flavonoids, with quercetin, luteolin and chrysoeriol detected in trace quantities. Differences (p < 0.05) between aqueous and β-CD assisted CGRE was only observed for aspalathin reporting the highest content of 172.25 mg·g−1 of dry matter for extracts produced at optimal extraction conditions. Positive, strong correlations between TPC and antioxidant assays were observed and exhibited regression coefficient (R2) between 0.929–0.978 at p < 0.001. These results demonstrated the capacity of β-CD in increasing polyphenol content of green rooibos. Full article
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18 pages, 3152 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Resveratrol on Immortalized Duck Intestinal Epithelial Cells Exposed to H2O2
Molecules 2022, 27(11), 3542; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113542 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound with anti-oxidation effects. The mechanisms underlying the antioxidant effects of resveratrol in duck intestinal epithelial cells remain unclear. The protective effects of resveratrol against oxidative stress induced by H2O2 on immortalized duck intestinal epithelial cells [...] Read more.
Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound with anti-oxidation effects. The mechanisms underlying the antioxidant effects of resveratrol in duck intestinal epithelial cells remain unclear. The protective effects of resveratrol against oxidative stress induced by H2O2 on immortalized duck intestinal epithelial cells (IDECs) were investigated. IDECs were established by transferring the lentivirus-mediated simian virus 40 large T (SV40T) gene into small intestinal epithelial cells derived from duck embryos. IDECs were morphologically indistinguishable from the primary intestinal epithelial cells. The marker protein cytokeratin 18 (CK18) was also detected in the cultured cells. We found that resveratrol significantly increased the cell viability and activity of catalase and decreased the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde, as well as the apoptosis rate induced by H2O2 (p < 0.05). Resveratrol up-regulated the expression of NRF2, p-NRF2, p-AKT, and p-P38 proteins and decreased the levels of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9 and the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2 in H2O2-induced IDECs (p < 0.05). Our findings revealed that resveratrol might alleviate oxidative stress by the PI3K/AKT and P38 MAPK signal pathways and inhibit apoptosis by altering the levels of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, Bax, and Bcl-2 in IDECs exposed to H2O2. Full article
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15 pages, 3506 KiB  
Article
Isoquercitrin Attenuates Osteogenic Injury in MC3T3 Osteoblastic Cells and the Zebrafish Model via the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE Pathway
Molecules 2022, 27(11), 3459; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113459 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Isoquercitrin (IQ) widely exists in natural products, with a variety of pharmacological activities. In this study, the anti-apoptotic and antioxidative activities of IQ were evaluated. IQ showed protective activity against 2, 2′-azobis [2-methylpropionamidine] dihydrochloride (AAPH)-induced cell damage, as well as a marked reduction [...] Read more.
Isoquercitrin (IQ) widely exists in natural products, with a variety of pharmacological activities. In this study, the anti-apoptotic and antioxidative activities of IQ were evaluated. IQ showed protective activity against 2, 2′-azobis [2-methylpropionamidine] dihydrochloride (AAPH)-induced cell damage, as well as a marked reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS). The evidence of IQ regulating Keap1-Nrf2-ARE and the mitochondrial-mediated Caspase 3 pathway were found in the MC3T3 osteoblastic cell line. Furthermore, IQ significantly decreased ROS production, apoptosis, and lipid peroxidation in AAPH-treated 72 h post-fertilization (hpf) zebrafish, as observed via DCFH-DA, acridine orange (AO), and a 1,3-bis(diphenylphosphino) propane (DPPP) probe, respectively. In AAPH-treated 9 day post-fertilization (dpf) zebrafish, IQ strongly promoted osteogenic development, with increased concentrations by calcein staining, compared with the untreated group. In a molecular docking assay, among all signal proteins, Keap1 showed the strongest affinity with IQ at −8.6 kcal/mol, which might be the reason why IQ regulated the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway in vitro and in vivo. These results indicated that IQ promotes bone development and repairs bone injury, which is valuable for the prevention and treatment of bone diseases. Full article
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16 pages, 4877 KiB  
Article
The Antioxidant and Hypolipidemic Effects of Mesona Chinensis Benth Extracts
Molecules 2022, 27(11), 3423; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113423 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
In this study, the antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects of Mesona Chinensis Benth (MCB) extracts were evaluated. Seven fractions (F0, F10, F20, F30, F40, F50 and MTF) were obtained from the MCB ethanol extracts. Compared to the commercial antioxidants (vitamin C), MTF and F30 [...] Read more.
In this study, the antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects of Mesona Chinensis Benth (MCB) extracts were evaluated. Seven fractions (F0, F10, F20, F30, F40, F50 and MTF) were obtained from the MCB ethanol extracts. Compared to the commercial antioxidants (vitamin C), MTF and F30 exhibited higher antioxidant activities in the antiradical activity test and the FRAP assay. The half-inhibition concentration (IC50) for MTF and F30 were 5.323 µg/mL and 5.278 µg/mL, respectively. MTF at 200 µg/mL significantly decreased the accumulation of TG in oleic acid (OA)-induced HepG2 cells and reversed the inhibitory effect of Compound C on AMPK (MTF and F30 significantly increased the glucose utilization of insulin-induced HepG2 cells). In addition, the components of MTF were identified by HPLC-MS, which were caffeic acid, quercetin 3-O-galactoside, isoquercetin, astragalin, rosmarinic acid, aromadendrin-3-O-rutinoside, rosmarinic acid-3-O-glucoside and kaempferol-7-O-glucoside. Through statistical correlations by Simca P software, it was found that the main antioxidant and hypolipidemic components of MCB might be caffeic acid, kaempferol-7-O-glucoside, rosmarinic acid-3-O-glucoside and aromadendrin-3-O-rutinoside, which may play important roles in the AMPK pathway. MTF and F30 in MCB could be potential health products for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. Full article
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15 pages, 2741 KiB  
Article
Glochidion wallichianum Leaf Extract as a Natural Antioxidant in Sausage Model System
Foods 2022, 11(11), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111547 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2156
Abstract
This study highlighted the role of an 80% ethanolic Mon-Pu (Glochidion wallichianum) leaf extract (MPE), a novel natural antioxidative ingredient, in controlling the oxidative stability and physicochemical properties of a cooked sausage model system (SMS). MPE had a total extractable phenolic [...] Read more.
This study highlighted the role of an 80% ethanolic Mon-Pu (Glochidion wallichianum) leaf extract (MPE), a novel natural antioxidative ingredient, in controlling the oxidative stability and physicochemical properties of a cooked sausage model system (SMS). MPE had a total extractable phenolic content of 16 mg/100 g, with DPPH scavenging activity, ABTS●+ scavenging activity, and ferric reducing antioxidant power of 2.3, 1.9, and 1.2 mmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g, respectively. The effects of different concentrations of MPE (0.01–10%, w/w) formulated into SMS on lipid oxidation, protein oxidation, and discoloration were compared to synthetic butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT; 0.003%, w/w) and a control (without antioxidant). The peroxide value (PV), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and protein carbonyl contents of SMS tended to increase with increasing MPE concentration (p < 0.05), indicating that high MPE excipient has a pro-oxidative effect. The lowest lipid oxidation (PV and TBARS) and protein carbonyl contents were observed when 0.01% MPE was used to treat SMS (p < 0.05), which was comparable or even greater than BHT-treated SMS. High concentrations (1–10%) of MPE incorporation led to increases in the discoloration of SMS (p < 0.05) with a negligible change in pH of SMS. The water exudate was reduced when MPE was incorporated into SMS compared to control (p < 0.05). Furthermore, MPE at 0.01% significantly reduced lipid oxidation in cooked EMS during refrigerated storage. According to the findings, a low amount of MPE, particularly at 0.01%, in a formulation could potentially maintain the oxidative stability and physicochemical qualities of cooked SMS that are comparable to or better than synthetic BHT. Full article
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15 pages, 2343 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Alpinia oxyphylla Fruit against tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide-Induced Toxicity in HepG2 Cells via Nrf2 Activation and Free Radical Scavenging and Its Active Molecules
Antioxidants 2022, 11(5), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11051032 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. (Zingiberaceae) extract exerts protective activity against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced toxicity in HepG2 cells, and the antioxidant response element (ARE) luciferase activity increased 6-fold at 30 μg/mL in HepG2 cells transiently transfected with ARE-luciferase. To identify active molecules, activity-guided isolation of [...] Read more.
Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. (Zingiberaceae) extract exerts protective activity against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced toxicity in HepG2 cells, and the antioxidant response element (ARE) luciferase activity increased 6-fold at 30 μg/mL in HepG2 cells transiently transfected with ARE-luciferase. To identify active molecules, activity-guided isolation of the crude extract led to four sesquiterpenes (1, 2, 5, 6) and two diarylheptanoids (3 and 4) from an n-hexane extract and six sesquiterpenes (712) from an ethyl acetate extract. Chemical structures were elucidated by one-dimensional, two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (1D-, 2D-NMR), and mass (MS) spectral data. Among the isolated compounds, eudesma-3,11-dien-2-one (2) promoted the nuclear accumulation of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) and increased the promoter property of the ARE. Diarylheptanoids, yakuchinone A (3), and 5′-hydroxyl-yakuchinone A (4) showed radical scavenging activity in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) assays. Furthermore, optimization of extraction solvents (ratios of water and ethanol) was performed by comparison of contents of active compounds, ARE-inducing activity, radical scavenging activity, and HepG2 cell protective activity. As a result, 75% ethanol was the best solvent for the extraction of A. oxyphylla fruit. This study demonstrated that A. oxyphylla exerted antioxidant effects via the Nrf2/HO-1 (heme oxygenase-1) pathway and radical scavenging along with active markers eudesma-3,11-dien-2-one (2) and yakuchinone A (3). Full article
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20 pages, 3926 KiB  
Review
Updated Pharmacological Effects, Molecular Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Potential of Natural Product Geniposide
Molecules 2022, 27(10), 3319; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27103319 - 21 May 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
At present, the potential of natural products in new drug development has attracted more and more scientists’ attention, and natural products have become an important source for the treatment of various diseases or important lead compounds. Geniposide, as a novel iridoid glycoside compound, [...] Read more.
At present, the potential of natural products in new drug development has attracted more and more scientists’ attention, and natural products have become an important source for the treatment of various diseases or important lead compounds. Geniposide, as a novel iridoid glycoside compound, is an active natural product isolated from the herb Gardenia jasminoides Ellis (GJ) for the first time; it is also the main active component of GJ. Recent studies have found that geniposide has multiple pharmacological effects and biological activities, including hepatoprotective activity, an anti-osteoporosis effect, an antitumor effect, an anti-diabetic effect, ananti-myocardial dysfunction effect, a neuroprotective effect, and other protective effects. In this study, the latest research progress of the natural product geniposide is systematically described, and the pharmacological effects, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of geniposide are also summarized and discussed comprehensively. We also emphasize the major pathways modulated by geniposide, offering new insights into the pharmacological effects of geniposide as a promising drug candidate for multiple disorders. Full article
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12 pages, 1390 KiB  
Article
Online Extraction–DPPH–HPLC–DAD–QTOF-MS System for Efficient Screening and Identification of Antioxidants from Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (Rutaceae): Integrating Sample Preparation and Antioxidants Profiling
Antioxidants 2022, 11(5), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11051014 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
The lack of a direct connection between solid edible or medical natural products and bioactive compound profiling is a bottleneck in natural product research and quality control. Here, a novel integrated system, online extraction (OLE)–2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)–HPLC−DAD−QTOF-MS, was fabricated to extract, screen, and identify [...] Read more.
The lack of a direct connection between solid edible or medical natural products and bioactive compound profiling is a bottleneck in natural product research and quality control. Here, a novel integrated system, online extraction (OLE)–2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)–HPLC−DAD−QTOF-MS, was fabricated to extract, screen, and identify antioxidants from the whole fruit of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (CAVA, Rutaceae) simply, rapidly, and efficiently. The system consumes less sample (1.0 mg of CAVA powder) and requires a shorter analytical time (45 min for sample extraction, antioxidants screening, separation, and identification). Eight antioxidant flavonoids were screened and identified, and six available flavanones were sensitively, precisely, and accurately quantified. Two major flavanone glycosides, naringin (50.37 ± 0.43 mg/g) and neohesperidin (38.20 ± 0.27 mg/g), exhibit potent DPPH scavenging activities with IC50 values of 111.9 ± 10.06 and 178.55 ± 11.28 μg/mL. A minor flavanone aglycone, hesperitin (0.73 ± 0.06 mg/g), presents stronger DPPH scavenging activity (IC50, 39.07 ± 2.51 μg/mL). Furthermore, density functional theory calculations demonstrated their electron transport ability and chemical reactivity, which confirmed the screened results. The results indicate that the developed OLE–DPPH–HPLC−DAD−QTOF-MS system provides new perspectives for analysis of antioxidants from complex natural products, which also contribute to the quality evaluation of CAVA. Full article
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16 pages, 2821 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Activities and Mechanisms of Tomentosin in Human Keratinocytes