Natural Secondary Metabolites. Springer, Cham. (2023)
Alkaloids are a type of secondary metabolites that can be found in different parts of plants. This group of compounds is diverse and can be divided into nine subgroups: pyridine, tropane, isoquinoline, phenanthrene, phenylethylamine, indole, purine, imidazole, and terpenoids. Most of these compounds are recognized for their anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities, among others. Although more than 27,000 alkaloids have been described up to date, the search for novel compounds with promising therapeutic properties is a hot topic among researchers worldwide. In this line, the production of the currently marketed plant alkaloids including extraction methods, isolation, and purification is reviewed in this chapter. In addition, a deep description of different groups of alkaloids in terms of their chemical structure, plant source, and uses is also presented. Recent advances in the therapeutic potential and biological activities of this vast group of phytochemicals are also included.