Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Anti-Depressant Properties of Crocin Molecules in Saffron

Molecules 2022, 27(7), 2076

Saffron is a valued herb, obtained from the stigmas of the C. sativus Linn (Iridaceae), with therapeutic effects. It has been described in pharmacopoeias to be variously acting, including as an anti-depressant, anti-carcinogen, and stimulant agent. The therapeutic effects of saffron are harbored in its bioactive molecules, notably crocins, the subject of this paper. Crocins have been demonstrated to act as a monoamine oxidase type A and B inhibitor. Furthermore, saffron petal extracts have experimentally been shown to impact contractile response in electrical field stimulation. Other research suggests that saffron also inhibits the reuptake of monoamines, exhibits N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonism, and improves brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling. A host of experimental studies found saffron/crocin to be similarly effective as fluoxetine and imipramine in the treatment of depression disorders. Saffron and crocins propose a natural solution to combat depressive disorders. However, some hurdles, such as stability and delivery, need to be overcome.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Natural Polyphenols for the Preservation of Meat and Dairy Products

 Molecules 2022, 27(6), 1906

Food spoilage makes foods undesirable and unacceptable for human use. The preservation of food is essential for human survival, and different techniques were initially used to limit the growth of spoiling microbes, e.g., drying, heating, salting, or fermentation. Water activity, temperature, redox potential, preservatives, and competitive microorganisms are the most important approaches used in the preservation of food products. Preservative agents are generally classified into antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-browning agents. On the other hand, artificial preservatives (sorbate, sulfite, or nitrite) may cause serious health hazards such as hypersensitivity, asthma, neurological damage, hyperactivity, and cancer. Thus, consumers prefer natural food preservatives to synthetic ones, as they are considered safer. Polyphenols have potential uses as biopreservatives in the food industry, because their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities can increase the storage life of food products. The antioxidant capacity of polyphenols is mainly due to the inhibition of free radical formation. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity of plants and herbs is mainly attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds. Thus, incorporation of botanical extracts rich in polyphenols in perishable foods can be considered since no pure polyphenolic compounds are authorized as food preservatives. However, individual polyphenols can be screened in this regard. In conclusion, this review highlights the use of phenolic compounds or botanical extracts rich in polyphenols as preservative agents with special reference to meat and dairy products.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Ethnobotanical and phytochemical aspects of the edible herb Coriandrum sativum L.

 Journal of Food Science, 87(4), 2022, 1386-1422

Coriandrum sativum (coriander) is an edible herb in the family Apiaceae. The leaves, fruits, and stems of C. sativum have long been used as culinary spice due to their favorable odor. Traditional practitioners used this plant for treating different diseases like blepharitis, scabies, aphthous stomatitis, laryngitis, headache, and palpitation. In modern researches, coriander has demonstrated anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, antimigraine, neuroprotective, analgesic, diuretic, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, anticancer, and antioxidant activities. Coriander contains a wide range of bioactive phytochemicals among which phenylpropenes, terpenoids, isocoumarins, phytosterols, and fatty acids are the most important. This review provides information about the botanical and ethnobotanical aspects, chemical profile, therapeutic uses in Islamic traditional medicine (ITM), and recent pharmacological studies of coriander effects. The results have shown that coriander and its monoterpenoid compound, linalool, can be considered as potential drug candidates for treating metabolic syndrome and different inflammatory conditions especially neural and CNS diseases.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Morus alba L. (Sangzhi) Alkaloids Promote Insulin Secretion, Restore Diabetic β-Cell Function by Preventing Dedifferentiation and Apoptosis

 Front. Pharmacol.,  Sec. Ethnopharmacology, 2022

Morus alba L. (Sangzhi) alkaloids (SZ-A), extracted from the Chinese herb Morus alba L. (mulberry twig), have been shown to ameliorate hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes and have been approved for diabetes treatment in the clinic. However, their versatile pharmacologic effects and regulatory mechanisms are not yet completely understood.

This study explored the protective effects of SZ-A on islet β cells and the underlying mechanism.

Type 2 diabetic KKAy mice were orally administered SZ-A (100 or 200 mg/kg, once daily) for 11 weeks, and oral glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance and hyperglycemia clamp tests were carried out to evaluate the potency of SZ-A in vivo. The morphology and β-cell dedifferentiation marker of KKAy mouse islets were detected via immunofluorescence. The effect of SZ-A on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was investigated in both the islet β-cell line MIN6 and mouse primary islets. Potential regulatory signals and pathways in insulin secretion were explored, and cell proliferation assays and apoptosis TUNEL staining were performed on SZ-A-treated MIN6 cells.

SZ-A alleviated hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance in type 2 diabetic KKAy mice and improved the function and morphology of diabetic islets. In both MIN6 cells and primary islets, SZ-A promoted insulin secretion. At a normal glucose level, SZ-A decreased AMPKα phosphorylation, and at high glucose, SZ-A augmented the cytosolic calcium concentration. Additionally, SZ-A downregulated the β-cell dedifferentiation marker ALDH1A3 and upregulated β-cell identifying genes, such as Ins1, Ins2, Nkx2.2 and Pax4 in KKAy mice islets. At the same time, SZ-A attenuated glucolipotoxicity-induced apoptosis in MIN6 cells, and inhibited Erk1/2 phosphorylation and caspase 3 activity. The major active fractions of SZ-A, namely DNJ, FAG and DAB, participated in the above regulatory effects.

Our findings suggest that SZ-A promotes insulin secretion in islet β cells and ameliorates β-cell dysfunction and mass reduction under diabetic conditions both in vivo and in vitro, providing additional supportive evidence for the clinical application of SZ-A.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Simultaneous determination of ten nucleosides and bases in Ganoderma by micellar electrokinetic chromatography

 Food Science and Human Wellness, 11 (2), 263-268, 2022

Ganoderma (lingzhi) is a famous herbal medicine and edible supplement in oriental countries for a long history. In this study, a simple micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) method was established for the analysis of nucleosides and bases, the major bioactive components in Ganoderma for the first time. By optimizing the borate concentration, the sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) concentration and the pH value of running buffer, 10 nucleosides and bases achieved an ideal separation. In real sample analysis, the developed method was successfully used to determine the 10 target analytes in 23 batches of Ganoderma samples from different regions. Results indicated that contents of 10 investigated analytes in each sample showed obvious variation. The principal components analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) analysis classified the samples into three groups, and the HCA tree visualized the relationships which was mainly contributed by geographical partition. The results indicated geographical origin to be an important factor that affect the accumulation of nucleosides and bases in Ganoderma. In summary, this study provides a simple and practical strategy for quality assessment and cultivation reference of Ganoderma.