Spices Therapeutics Biomolecular

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stigmas production.                             occurs, though this is still not yet fully      quality [Gresta F, Avola G, Lombardo GM, Siracusa
         It was concluded that in order to      understood. Colder environments enhance         L and Ruberto G, Analysis of flowering, stigmas
trigger saffron flowering, it is necessary      flower number, but determine a reduction        yield and qualitative traits of saffron (Crocus
                                                                                                sativus L.) as affected by environmental
that a particular combination of                in the amount of picrocrocin and crocetin       conditions, Scient Hortic, 2009, 119 (3),
temperature and soil water content              esters and consequently lower stigmas           320-324].


           Biomolecular constituents and antibacterial activity of
                  some marine algae from Chilika Lake
         The researchers at Orissa              (19 mm and 14 mm) was observed in               cardiac glycosides, anthroquinone
collected four marine algae from saline         Phormidium sp. against Bacillus                 glycosides, saponins, phlobatanin, gums
waters of Chilika Lake and screened for         subtilis and Escherichia coli,                  and mucilages, and phenols. Their
their antibacterial activity and                respectively. All other species did not show    pharmacological activities and bioactive
biomolecular constituents. In vitro             any antibacterial activity against the test     constituents can be highly exploited [Patra
antibacterial activity was tested against       pathogens. All of these marine algae            JK, Patra AP, Mahapatra NK, Das S, Thatoi H, Sahu
three gram positive and four gram negative      showed great variation in biochemical           RK and Swain Gaurang Charan, Biomolecular
                                                                                                constituents and antibacterial activity of some
bacteria. Maximum activity (23 mm) was          constituents such as carbohydrates, lipids,     marine algae from Chilika Lake (Orissa, India),
observed in the aqueous extracts of             proteins, total chlorophyll, proline, amino     Intern J Algae, 2009, 11(3), 222-235].
Chaetomorpha sp. against Bacillus               acid, ascorbic acid and in phytochemicals
subtilis and variable antibacterial activity    like alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids,

     Aqueous extract of Abutilon indicum Sweet inhibits glucose
       absorption and stimulates insulin secretion in rodents
         The scientists at Mahidol              in plasma glucose levels in 30 min after        secretion was confirmed by incubating
University, Bangkok, Thailand evaluated         the administration in moderately diabetic       β cell of pancreatic islets and INS-1E
the antidiabetic effects of the aqueous         rats, as compared with untreated rats           insulinoma cells with the extract at 1 to
extract derived from the Thai Abutilon          (P<0.05) and this was at a faster rate          1000 µg/ml. These observations suggest
indicum Sweet plant and explored its            than the use of an antidiabetic drug,           that the aqueous extract from the
effects on intestinal glucose absorption        glibenclamide. The inhibition of glucose        A. indicum plant has antidiabetic
and insulin secretion. The authors              absorption through the small intestine was      properties, which inhibited glucose
hypothesized that the plasma glucose level      investigated using an everted intestinal sac.   absorption and stimulated insulin
could be reduced through the inhibition         The results showed that the extract at          secretion. Phytochemical screening also
of glucose absorption and/or the                concentrations of 0.156 to 5mg/ml caused        revealed that the extract contained
enhancement of insulin secretion.               a reduction of glucose absorption in a dose     alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, glycosides
Administration of the extract (0.5 and          response manner. The maximum response           and saponins that could account for
1g/kg body weight) in an oral glucose           was noted at a dose of 2.5 mg/ml. The           the observed pharmacological effects of
tolerance test led to a significant reduction   promotion of the extract on insulin             the plant extract [Krisanapun Chutwadee,

Vol 8(6) November-December 2009                                                                                                           613
Peungvicha Penchom, Temsiririrkkul Rungravi and   Abutilon indicum Sweet inhibits glucose          rodents, Nutr Res, 2009, 29(8), 579-587].
Wongkrajang Yuvadee, Aqueous extract of           absorption and stimulates insulin secretion in

       Immunomodulatory and anticancer activities of phenolics
           from Garcinia mangostana Linn. fruit pericarp
          Many tropical plants have                                                                xanthone] and P3 (epicatechin). Strong
important biological activities with                                                               antioxidant activities were detected for
potential therapeutic applications.                                                                P1-P3. In vitro cell proliferation trials
Mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana                                                                    indicated that P1 and P3 exhibited good
Linn. (GM) is a climacteric fruit, named                                                           immunomodulatory activities when
as ‘the queen of fruits’. It is widely                                                             7.5 µg/ml was used. Furthermore, P1 and
distributed in subtropical regions, and                                                            P3 showed good cytotoxicities against
well-accepted by consumers due to the                                                              human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and
delicious taste. It is often used for                                                              human colon cancer cells (LOVO). P1
traditional medicines including the                                                                exhibited the maximal cytotoxicity of
treatment of abdominal pain, dysentery,                                                            73.06% against MCF-7 cells and of 46.27%
diarrhoea, suppuration, infected wound,                                                            against LOVO cells when 62.5 µg/ml was
leucorrhoea, chronic ulcer and                                                                     used. The cytotoxicities of P1, P2, P3 and
gonorrhoea. The researchers at China                                                               paclitaxel against normal embryonic lung
carried out studies to isolate and purify                                                          fibroblast cells (HELF) were in a
three major phenolics from                                                                         decreasing order: paclitaxel >
G. mangostana pericarp, and to                                                                     P3 > P1 > P2. These results suggested that
investigate      their      antioxidant,          water fractions. Three major phenolics           P1 and P3 could be used as a potential
immunomodulatory and anticancer                   were purified and identified as P1 [1,3,6,7-     anticancer agent [Yu Limei, Zhao Mouming,
activities.                                       tetrahydroxy-2,8-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)            Yang Bao and Bai Weidong, Immunomodulatory
          The methanolic extract of fruit         xanthone], P 2 [1,3,6-trihydroxy-7-              and anticancer activities of phenolics from
                                                                                                   Garcinia mangostana fruit pericarp, Food
pericarp was partitioned into butanol and         methoxy-2,8-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)                 Chem, 2009, 116 (4), 969-973].

                        Anti-allergic effects of herbal product from
                                  Allium cepa Linn. bulb
          Allium cepa Linn. (Family —             responsible for Type I allergic reactions.       ALC-02 suppressed carrageenan-induced
Liliaceae) is a reputed Indian medicinal          A herbal fraction (ALC-02) from bulb             rat paw edema. It inhibited eosinophil
herb that is prescribed as an effective           inhibited histamine release and attenuated       peroxidase activity and protein content in
remedy for several ailments in the                intracellular calcium levels in Compound         bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of
Ayurvedic system of medicine. The                 48/80-induced rat peritoneal mast cells.         ovalbumin-challenged mice. In this
scientists at Indian Institute of Integrative     It also prevented Compound 48/80-                experiment ALC-02 also caused a
Medicine, Jammu-Tawi, India evaluated             mediated systemic anaphylaxis while              substantial reduction in lipid peroxidation
its efficacy against various events               lowering histamine levels in plasma.             in BALF/lung tissue and augmented

614                                                                                                                Natural Product Radiance

superoxide dismutase activity in lung           observed. The results have shown a               Tasduq SA, Singh S, Sharma SC, Singh GD, Gupta
tissue. ALC-02 suppressed erythrocytic lysis    promising anti-allergic profile of ALC-02        VK, Gupta BD and Johri RK, Anti-allergic effects of
                                                                                                 herbal product from Allium cepa Linn. bulb,
caused by Triton X-100. A significant           that could be attributed to its potential
                                                                                                 J Medic Food, 2009, 12(2), 374-382].
quenching        of     1,1-diphenyl-2-         antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, and
picrylhydrazyl radical by ALC-02 was            antioxidant activities [Kaiser P, Youssouf MS,

                 Mulberry leaf extract restores arterial pressure in
                  streptozotocin-induced chronic diabetic rats
          Free radical-induced vascular         subcutaneously injected with insulin             administration of 0.5 and 1g/kg MA or
dysfunction plays a key role in the             (4 U/kg per day) for 8 weeks. After each         4 U/kg insulin significantly restored the
pathogenesis of vascular disease found in       treatment, the fasting blood glucose,            vascular reactivities of diabetic rats.
chronic diabetic patients. Morus alba           blood pressure, vascular responses to            Moreover, 8 weeks of diabetes resulted in
Linn. (MA) leaf extract is promoted for         vasoactive agents and tissue                     the elevation of malondialdehyde content
good health especially in diabetic patients.    malondialdehyde were examined. Morus             in tissues (liver, kidney, heart, and aorta),
Interestingly, antidiabetic and antioxidant     alba at the doses of 0.5 and 1g/kg, which        and MA treatment significantly lessened
activities of MA have been reported in          significantly reduced blood glucose level,       this increase. These results provide the first
experimental animals. The researchers at        also significantly decreased the high blood      evidence for the efficacy of MA in restoring
Thailand evaluated the effect of long-term      pressure in diabetic rats. Vascular              the vascular reactivity of diabetic rats, the
treatment with MA which could improve           responses of the chronic diabetic rats to        mechanism of which may associate with
vascular reactivity of chronic diabetic rats.   vasodilators, acetylcholine (3-30 nmol/kg)       the alleviation of oxidative stress
To test this hypothesis, they examined the      and sodium nitroprusside (1-10 nmol/kg)          [ Naowaboot Jarinyaporn, Pannangpetch
effect of long-term treatment with MA on        were significantly suppressed by 26 to 44%       Patchareewan, Kukongviriyapan Veerapol,
the vascular responses to vasoactive agents     and 45 to 77%, respectively, whereas             Kukongviriyapan Upa, Saowanee Nakmareong
                                                                                                 and Arunporn Itharat, Mulberry leaf extract
in streptozotocin-induced chronic diabetic      those to vasoconstrictor, phenylephrine          restores arterial pressure in streptozotocin-induced
rats. The diabetic rats were either orally      (0.01-0.1µmol/kg) were significantly             chronic diabetic rats, Nutr Res, 2009, 29(8),
administered with distilled water,              increased by 23 to 38% as compared to            602-608].
MA (0.25, 0.5 and 1 g/kg per day) or            normal rats. Interestingly, the

                   Feeding orange pulp improved bone quality in
                         a rat model of male osteoporosis
          Oxidative       stress      and       assigned to treatments: ORX or ORX with          determined. Bone density, structure, and
inflammation have been linked to bone           2.5, 5, or 10% OP. Diets were                    strength were assessed using dual energy
loss. The researchers at Texas evaluated        isonitrogenous, isocaloric, modified             X-ray absorptiometry, microcomputed
the effects of feeding orange pulp (OP), a      AIN-93M diets with equal fibre content.          tomography, and finite element analyses.
source of vitamin C and flavonoids, on          All ORX rats were fed for 4 months to the        ORX decreased (P <0.05) antioxidant
bone quality in a rat model of male             mean food intake of the SHAM group. At           status, while OP as low as 2.5%
osteoporosis. One-year-old retired breeder      the end of the study blood, urine and bone       maintained the antioxidant capacity of
rats (n=43) were orchidectomized (ORX)          samples were collected. Plasma                   ORX rats comparable to that of the SHAM
or sham-operated (SHAM). Three days             antioxidant capacity and urinary                 group. Cortical thickness at the tibial
postsurgery, ORX rats were randomly             deoxypyridinoline (DPD) were                     midshaft was significantly decreased by

Vol 8(6) November-December 2009                                                                                                              615

ORX and increased by OP, and urinary DPD        increased bone volume fraction and              bone density, structure, and strength
was significantly increased by ORX and          trabecular number and decreased                 parameters confirm the previously
decreased by OP. In fourth lumbar               trabecular separation in ORX rats.              reported importance of testosterone for
trabecular cores, ORX rats had                  Improvements due to OP in                       bone [ Morrow Rori, Deyhim Farzad, Patil
significantly reduced bone volume               microarchitectural properties of vertebral      Bhimanagouda S and Stoecker Barbara J, Feeding
fraction, connectivity density, and             bones and in cortical thickness of long         orange pulp improved bone quality in a rat model
                                                                                                of male osteoporosis, J Medic Food, 2009,
trabecular number and increased                 bones were subtle but significant. The
                                                                                                12(2), 298-303].
trabecular separation. OP significantly         consistently negative impacts of ORX on

                            Camel milk as an adjuvant therapy for
                              the treatment of type 1 diabetes
         There is a traditional belief in the   healthy subjects was also assessed. The         and body mass index (18.43 ± 3.59 vs.
Middle East that regular consumption of         following parameters were evaluated at          24.3 ± 2.95 kg/m 2). Most notably,
camel milk may aid in prevention and            baseline and at 4 and 16 weeks:                 C-peptide levels were markedly higher in
control of diabetes. Therefore the              haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), human                  the camel milk group (0.28 ± 0.6 vs 2.30
researchers at Cairo evaluated the efficacy     C-peptide, lipid profile, serum insulin,        ± 0.51 pmol/ml). These results suggest
of camel milk as an adjuvant therapy in         anti-insulin antibodies, creatinine             that, as an adjunct to standard
young type 1 diabetics. This 16-weeks           clearance, albumin in 24-hour urine, body       management, daily ingestion of camel
randomized study enrolled 54 type 1             mass index, and Diabetes Quality of Life        milk can aid metabolic control in young
diabetic patients (average age 20 years)        score. The following parameters were            type 1 diabetics, at least in part by
selected from those attending the               significantly different between the usual-      boosting endogenous insulin secretion
outpatient diabetes clinic of the Menofia       management group versus the camel milk          [Mohamad Ragaa Hosny, Zekry Zekry Khalid, Al-
University Hospital, affiliated with            group after 16 weeks: fasting blood sugar       Mehdar Hussain A, Salama Omar, El-Shaieb Siad
                                                                                                Ebrahim, El-Basmy Amany A, Al-said Mohamad
National Cancer Institute, Egypt. Subjects      (227.2 ± 17.7 vs. 98.9 ± 16.2 mg/dl),           Gamil Abdel Monem and Sharawy Sabry Mohamed,
were randomly divided into two groups           HbA1c (9.59 ± 2.05% vs. 7.16 ± 1.84%),          Camel Milk as an Adjuvant Therapy for the Treatment
of s27 patients: one received usual             serum anti-insulin antibodies (26.20 ±          of Type 1 Diabetes: Verification of a Traditional
management (diet, exercise, and insulin),       7.69 vs. 20.92 ± 5.45 µU/ml), urinary           Ethnomedical Practice, J Medic Food, 2009,
whereas the other received 500 ml of            albumin excretion (25.17 ± 5.43 vs.             12(2), 461-465].
camel milk daily in addition to standard        14.54 ± 5.62 mg/dl/24 h), daily insulin
management. A control group of 10               dose (48.1 ± 6.95 vs. 23 ± 4.05 units),

         In vitro antioxidant activity of Amaranthus lividus Linn.
          Water, methanol and ethyl acetate     DPPH and hydroxyl radicals, to reduce Fe        activities of the water and ethyl acetate
extracts from stems with leaves and flowers     (III) to Fe (II) and to chelate Fe (II) ions.   extracts were not concomitant with the
of Amaranthus lividus Linn., one of             The results showed that amaranth                development of their reducing power. It
the most popular leafy vegetable                vegetable contained naturally occurring         was concluded that A. lividus might be
consumed in the west Black Sea region of        antioxidant components and possessed            a potential source of antioxidants [Ozsoy
Turkey, were tested in vitro for their          antioxidant activity which may be               N, Yilmaz T, Kurt O, Can A and Yanardag R, In
ability to inhibit peroxidation of              attributed to its lipid peroxidation            vitro antioxidant activity of Amaranthus lividus
phosphatidylcholine liposomes induced           inhibitory, radical scavenging and metal        L., Food Chem, 2009, 116 (4), 867-872].
with Fe3+/ascorbate, to scavenge ABTS ,         chelating activities. The antioxidant
616                                                                                                                Natural Product Radiance

            Antioxidant activity of rye bran alkylresorcinols and
                 extracts from whole-grain cereal products
          Researchers at Faculty of           of EC 50 for all the alkylresorcinol           products varied from ∼70 to ∼43% and
Biotechnology, Department of Lipids and       homologues were significantly higher than      from ∼37 to ∼91%, respectively. A clear
Liposomes, University of Wroclaw,             those for Trolox and α-, δ-, and γ-            relationship between DPPH radical and
Przybyszewskiego, Wroclaw, Poland             tocopherols, compounds with well-              CL reduction levels and the amount of
evaluated the antioxidant properties of rye   defined antioxidant activity and used as       total alkylresorcinols was obtained for
bran alkylresorcinols (C15:0-C25:0) and       positive controls. CL inhibition was           whole-grain breakfast cereals, in which
extracts from whole-grain cereal products     evaluated for all the tested alkylresorcinol   the reduction level decreased in the order
using their radical-scavenging activity on    homologues at concentrations of 5 and          rye > wheat > mixed > barley. Therefore,
DPPH and the chemiluminescence                10 µM and varied from ∼27 to ∼77%              it may be considered that the antioxidant
method (CL). DPPH radical reduction           Similar to the DPPH method, the slight         activity of alkylresorcinols could be of
varied from ∼10 to ∼60% for the               differences in CL inhibition suggest that      potential importance to the food industry,
alkylresorcinol homologues at                 the length of the alkyl side chain had no      which is continuously searching for natural
concentrations from 5 to 300 µM and was       major impact on their antioxidant              antioxidants for the protection of food
not dependent on the length of the alkyl      properties. The extracts from whole-grain      products during their processing and
side chain of the particular homologue.       products were added to the DPPH and CL         storage [Koryciñska Mariola, Czelna Karolina,
Differences in the EC50 values for the        reaction systems and their antioxidant         Jaromin Anna and Kozubek Arkadiusz, Antioxidant
studied compounds were not statistically      activities were tested and compared with       activity of rye bran alkylresorcinols and extracts
                                                                                             from whole-grain cereal products, Food Chem,
significant, the values varying from          the total amount of alkylresorcinols
                                                                                             2009, 116 (4), 1013-1018].
157 µM for homologue C23:0 to 195 µM          evaluated in the extracts. DPPH radical
for homologue C15:0. Moreover, values         and CL reduction for the whole-grain

                  In vivo hypoglycemic effects of phenolics from
                         the root bark of Morus alba Linn.
         The root bark of Morus alba          M (1), Steppogenin-4'-O-β-D-glucosiade         (P < 0.01). Meantime, the compound 1
Linn., called Sang-Bai-Pi in China, has       (2), Mullberroside A (3) were isolated         in a dose of 100 mg/kg can make the
a long history as traditional Chinese         from the root bark and identified by           fasting blood glucose level have decreasing
medicine. It is used primarily in the         spectral evidence. Compounds 1, 2 and          tendency. Thus, it can be said that Cortex
treatment of lung-heat, cough,                3 were studied in hypoglycemic effects on      Mori is a good and potential natural
hematemesis, dropsy, beriberi, and            alloxan-diabetic mice. The results showed      material to treat diabetes, or to develop
difficulty in micturition etc. in folk.       that compounds 1, 2 and 3 all produced         an adjuvant agent for diabetes [Zhang Mi,
Researchers at China investigated the         hypoglycemic effects. The compound 2 in        Chen Man, Zhang Han-Qing, Sun Shi, Xia Bing and
                                                                                             Wu Fei-Hua, In vivo hypoglycemic effects of
hypoglycemic effect of isolated               a dose of 50 mg/kg exerted significant
                                                                                             phenolics from the root bark of Morus alba,
compounds from the root bark (Cortex          effect (P < 0.05), 2 and 3 in a dose of        Fitoterapia, 2009, 80 (8), 475-477].
Mori) on alloxan-diabetic mice. Moracin       100 mg/kg exerted obviously effect

Vol 8(6) November-December 2009                                                                                                         617

                          Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate
                           (Punica granatum Linn.) fruit peels
         Food-borne diseases such as         Food Sciences, King Faisal University,      including phenolics and flavonoids. The
listeriosis and diseases caused by the       Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia using both in vitro   activity of WME was related to its higher
emergence of multi-drug resistant            (agar diffusion) and in situ (food)         content (262.5 mg/g) of total phenolics.
pathogens (e.g. Staphylococcus               methods. The 80% methanolic extract of                Human pathogens such as
aureus) are globally recognized as           peels (WME) was a potent inhibitor for      L. monocytogenes which are
environmental hazards to the food supply     Listeria monocytogenes, S. aureus,          ubiquitous in the environment showed
and human health. Natural inhibitors for     Escherichia coli and Yersinia               sensitivity to peel extracts in vitro (agar
pathogenic microorganisms have been          enterocolitica. The minimum inhibitory      diffusion) and in situ (chilled fish).
explored in many plants. The                 concentration (MIC) of WME against          Added-value items from byproducts of
antimicrobial activity against some          Salmonella enteritidis was the highest      food could provide health benefits to
food-borne pathogens by various extracts     (4 mg/ml). WME afforded > 1 log 10          humans and may be employed in food
from pomegranate (Punica granatum            reduction of L. monocytogenes in food       preservation and pharmaceutical purposes
Linn.) fruit peels was evaluated by a        (fish) during storage at 4°C.               [Al-Zoreky NS, Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate
researcher at Department of Food Science     Phytochemical analyses revealed the         (Punica granatum L.) fruit peels, Int J Food
                                                                                         Microbiol, 2009, 134 (3), 244-248].
& Nutrition, College of Agricultural and     presence of active inhibitors in peels,

           Antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory activities of
                         pumpkin seed extracts
         Pumpkin seeds are a popular         Greece treated four commercially            showing the strongest activity. On the other
snack food in several countries. They are    available pumpkin seeds with two            hand, the phenolic content of extracts does
consumed either raw or roasted (salted       different extraction methodologies in       not determine their activity against
or not) and used in cooking and baking       order to obtain fractions with different    lipoxygenase, as acetone and polar lipid
as an ingredient of bread, cereals, salads   content. The extracts were screened for     fractions are its strongest inhibitors. The
and cakes. Moreover, pumpkin seed oil        their antioxidant activity using 2,         presence of molecules being able to
now-a-days gains wide acceptance not only    2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free     scavenge radicals and inhibit lipoxygenase
as edible oil but as a nutraceutical, too.   radical scavenging assay and for their      in pumpkin seeds may in part explain the
Pumpkin seeds have been implicated in        inhibitory activity against lipid           health benefits attributed to them
providing health benefits. However,          peroxidation catalyzed by soybean           [Xanthopoulou Marianna N, Nomikos Tzortzis,
                                                                                         Fragopoulou Elizabeth and Antonopoulou
antioxidant or anti-inflammatory activity    lipoxygenase.
                                                                                         Smaragdi, Antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory
of their extracts has not been studied                Most extracts tested have          activities of pumpkin seed extracts, Food Res Int,
earlier. Therefore, researchers at           demonstrated radical scavenging activity,   2009, 42 (5-6), 641-646].
Department of Science of Nutrition-          which depends on their total phenolic
Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens,     content, with fractions rich in phenolics

618                                                                                                          Natural Product Radiance

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