Taking Advantage of Plant Defense Mechanisms to Promote Human Health. Exploitation of Plant Natural Products for Preventing or Treating Human Disease: Second of Two Parts

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Thea Magrone*, Manrico Magrone, Matteo Antonio Russo, Emilio Jirillo

Journal Name: Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders

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Background: Plants have represented an essential source of foods for human beings, as confirmed by archeological studies that have revealed on old pottery the presence of proteins from cereal and legumes.

Specific aims: In this review, major healthy effects derived from the consumption of plant fibers, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and polyphenols, respectively, will be described with special emphasis on their mechanisms of action, both at cellular and molecular levels.

Dietary compounds: Fibers exhibit a prevalent prebiotic effect, acting on the intestinal microbiota with the production of protective metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids. Plant PUFAs include α-linolenic and stearidonic acids, which are precursors of other two major PUFAs, namely, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids. Some clinical trials demonstrated the ability of PUFAs to lower the risk of coronary disease, while other trials did not confirm such a finding. Polyphenols are endowed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in view of their property to inhibit NF-κB activation, to induce the anti-inflammatory T regulatory cells and to normalize the intestinal microbiota. The beneficial effects of polyphenols on obesity/diabetes, allergic/autoimmune and inflammatory disease are elucidated.

Conclusion: Plants are one of the major sources of healthy dietary products, whose exploitation may promote prevention of chronic disease.

Keywords: Cellular and molecular rehabilitation, fibers, inflammation, microbiota, polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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Article Details

Published on: 29 December, 2020
(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1871530321666201229125400
Price: $95

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