Publications by authors named "Andrei Mocan"

96 Publications

Biological Activities of Some Isoquinoline Alkaloids from Soy. Will.

Plants (Basel) 2022 Apr 29;11(9). Epub 2022 Apr 29.

Center of Interdisciplinary Research on Medicines, Laboratory of Pharmacognosy, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.

Soy. Will. is a species belonging to the Papaveraceae family, being widespread in East-Central and Southern Europe. As with numerous other species of the genus, it is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of hepatobiliary and digestive disorders. The aim of the present study consisted of the evaluation of its alkaloid content and the assessment of its in vitro antioxidant, anti-cholinesterase and cytotoxic potential. Total alkaloid content in the composition of the species was quantified by a spectrophotometrical method and they were individually identified and quantified by HPLC-DAD. The antioxidant capacity was investigated by the DPPH and FRAP methods, while the anti-cholinesterase activity was assessed by an adapted Ellman's method. The in vitro cytotoxic activity was evaluated on BJ human fibroblasts and DLD-1 human colon adenocarcinoma cell lines. Results showed the presence of bicuculline, protopine, chelidonine, stylopine and sanguinarine, among which bicuculline, protopine, stylopine and sanguinarine were quantified, while the antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase assays showed valuable potentials. No cytotoxic effect was observed on BJ cell lines and selective cytotoxicity was expressed towards tumoral cells. In this context, appears as an important medicinal species with significant potential of substitution with the officinal species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants11091202DOI Listing
April 2022

Optimized ultrasound-assisted extraction of phenolic compounds from Thymus comosus Heuff. ex Griseb. et Schenk (wild thyme) and their bioactive potential.

Ultrason Sonochem 2022 Mar 16;84:105954. Epub 2022 Feb 16.

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Gheorghe Marinescu Street 23, 400337 Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Laboratory of Chromatography, Institute of Advanced Horticulture Research of Transylvania, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Electronic address:

An optimized ultrasound-assisted extractive method was developed to obtain a polyphenol-enriched extract from the aerial parts of Thymus comosus Heuff. ex Griseb. et Schenk. Optimization process was conducted based on Design of Experiment (DoE) principles, determining the influence of three independent variables (time, ultrasound amplitude, ethanol concentration) on the total phenolic content of the extract (dependent variable). Additionally, the phenolic composition of the extract was characterized through UHPLC-HRMS, revealing beside the most abundant flavonoid-type compounds the presence of salvianolic acids C, D and L in high amounts. Phytochemical profile of the extract was correlated with its antioxidant activity (tested through five complementary assays) and enzyme-inhibitory potential, showing important antiglucosidase and anticholinesterase effects. Overall, it was concluded that the developed method is suitable for obtaining a good recovery of both phenolic and non-phenolic compounds from Thymus comosus aerial parts, and their presence in the optimized extract is responsible for its pharmacological potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2022.105954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8892194PMC
March 2022

Optimization of Microwave Assisted Extraction Conditions to Improve Phenolic Content and In Vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Microbial Activity in Bark Extracts.

Plants (Basel) 2022 Jan 18;11(3). Epub 2022 Jan 18.

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, "George Emil Palade" University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology of Târgu Mures, 38 Gheorghe Marinescu Street, 540139 Târgu Mures, Romania.

The species of the genus, including L., are widely used and their wood represents a valuable material utilized for various purposes. The intense industrial processing of wood results in a considerable amount of poorly-used natural by-products, such as bark, and a loss of potentially useful raw materials. Thus, the aim of our study was to evaluate the phytochemical characteristics and potential biological activities of bark extracts obtained by optimizing the parameters of microwave assisted extraction (MAE). The optimum conditions for MAE were determined using a design of experiments (DoE) model, which set the experimental variables (irradiation time and microwave power) and their values. Aqueous and hydroalcoholic extractions were performed and the optimum parameters of extraction were determined for both solvents. The total polyphenolic and tannin contents were determined. The biological activities representative of antioxidant capacity were determined using two free radical scavenging methods, the DPPH and ABTS methods, and the antibacterial activity was assessed with the microdilution method. The results showed different optimal extraction conditions for aqueous (30 min at 850 W) and hydroalcoholic (18 min at 650 W) extracts. A higher yield of total polyphenols was observed in the hydroalcoholic bark extract (403.73 ± 7.35 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dried weight); however a lower level of tannins was registered in comparison to the aqueous extract. In addition, both extracts exerted high antioxidant activities, with the aqueous extracts having a stronger inhibitory effect against the DPPH radical. Moreover, the extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against the tested bacterial strains, especially against the Gram-positive strains and , with the hydroalcoholic extracts being more efficient overall. To conclude, the optimized MAE was an efficient method to extract phytochemical compounds with potential biological effects from bark.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants11030240DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8839461PMC
January 2022

Development of an Optimized Drying Process for the Recovery of Bioactive Compounds from the Autumn Fruits of L. and Jacq.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2021 Oct 7;10(10). Epub 2021 Oct 7.

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.

Hot air drying has proven to be an efficient method to preserve specific edible plant materials with medicinal properties. This is a process involving chemical, physical, and biological changes in plant matrices. Understanding these processes will lead to an improvement in the yields of bioactive compounds. This study aims to optimize the drying process of two species' fruits used in folk medicine, and . The optimized extracts' antioxidant capacity was assessed using various assays, with the barberry extract showing very good activity (50.85, 30.98, and 302.45 mg TE/g dw for DPPH, TEAC, and FRAP assays, respectively). Both species exerted good fungal α-glucosidase inhibitory activity (IC = 0.34 and 0.56 mg/mL, respectively) but no activity on mammalian α-glucosidase. Additionally, this study identified and quantified the main bioactive compounds. The results presented herein are a breakthrough in industrializing this drying process. Additional studies are necessary to mechanistically understand the drying process involved in these plant materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox10101579DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8533465PMC
October 2021

Unravelling the Phytochemical Composition and the Pharmacological Properties of an Optimized Extract from the Fruit from L.: From Traditional Liqueur Market to the Pharmacy Shelf.

Molecules 2021 Jul 22;26(15). Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Pharmacy, Botanic Garden "Giardino dei Semplici", Università degli Studi "Gabriele d'Annunzio", Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy.

L. fruit has long been used in the production of traditional liqueurs. The fruit also displayed scavenging and reducing activity, in vitro. The present study focused on unravelling peripheral and central protective effects, antimicrobial but also anti-COVID-19 properties exerted by the water extract of Anti-inflammatory effects were studied in isolated mouse colons exposed to lipopolysaccharide. Neuroprotection, measured as a blunting effect on hydrogen-peroxide-induced dopamine turnover, was investigated in hypothalamic HypoE22 cells. Antimicrobial effects were tested against different Gram+ and Gram- bacterial strains. Whereas anti-COVID-19 activity was studied in lung adenocarcinoma H1299 cells, where the gene expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 was measured after extract treatment. The bacteriostatic effects induced on Gram+ and Gram- strains, together with the inhibition of COX-2, TNFα, HIF1α, and VEGFA in the colon, suggest the potential of water extract in contrasting the clinical symptoms related to ulcerative colitis. The inhibition of the hydrogen peroxide-induced DOPAC/DA ratio indicates promising neuroprotective effects. Finally, the downregulation of the gene expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in H1299 cells, suggests the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus entry in the human host. Overall, the results support the valorization of the local cultivation of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26154422DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8347645PMC
July 2021

Chemical Composition, Diuretic, and Antityrosinase Activity of Traditionally Used Romanian .

Front Pharmacol 2021 11;12:647947. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, "Iuliu Haţieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Cherry stems (CS) represent a by-product intensively used in Eastern European countries as a traditional remedy for urinary tract disorders. Ethnopharmacological evidences sustain the use of CS as aqueous preparations (infusion and decoction), but few data were previously reported about phytochemical profile and pharmacological potential of CS hydroalcoholic extracts. In this regard, we aimed to evaluate the phenolic profile, antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory potential, and diuretic activity of 70% hydroethanolic cherry stems extract and cherry stems decoction (CSD). LC-DAD-ESI/MS analysis revealed the presence of flavonoid-type compounds as main constituents for both preparations, especially flavanones (naringenin glycosides). Antioxidant activity evaluated through DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP methods was superior for cherry stems extract, probably due to the presence of phenolic-derived compounds in higher amounts than CSD. On the other hand, tyrosinase inhibitory potential and diuretic effect exerted by CSD were stronger, highlighting that other types of hydrophilic secondary metabolites are responsible for this bioactivity. Overall, our findings indicate that CS preparations could be used as promising mild diuretic agents and encourage further investigations regarding the correlation between their chemical composition and bioactive potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.647947DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144643PMC
May 2021

Optimization of the drying process of autumn fruits rich in antioxidants: a study focusing on rosehip ( L.) and sea buckthorn ( (L.) A. Nelson) and their bioactive properties.

Food Funct 2021 May;12(9):3939-3953

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.

Nowadays, it is very important to identify the traditional uses of different plants and to create the context in which new cultural or economic value is given to local resources. In this study, two wild fruits traditionally harvested in autumn in Romania were selected to investigate the effects of drying conditions on the chemical compositions and bioactivities exerted by the extracts and to select the best conditions in terms of air temperature and time of drying. The extracts obtained were assessed in terms of antioxidant capacity and enzyme inhibitory activity, and their main bioactive compounds were identified and quantified. The data presented in this article represent a step forward in applying this process on an industrial-scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo02783aDOI Listing
May 2021

Biological Activities of Snowdrop (Galanthus spp., Family Amaryllidaceae).

Front Pharmacol 2020 19;11:552453. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei.

Snowdrop is an iconic early spring flowering plant of the genus (Amaryllidaceae). species ( spp.) are economically important plants as ornaments. Galanthus spp has gained significance scientific and commercial interest due to the discovery of Galanthamine as symptomatic treatment drug for Alzhiermer disease. This review aims to discuss the bioactivities of spp including anticholinesterase, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer potential of the extracts and chemical constituents of spp. This review highlights that spp. as the exciting sources for drug discovery and nutraceutical development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.552453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933568PMC
February 2021

Phytochemical Characterization and Evaluation of Bioactive Properties of Tisanes Prepared from Promising Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.

Foods 2021 Feb 22;10(2). Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.

The chemical composition and biological properties correlation in several medicinal and aromatic plants is still underexplored, especially in its most common form of consumption as tisane. The present study aims to characterize the organic acids and vitamin E composition of five tisanes and their extracts by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to a diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD) and HPLC coupled to a fluorescence detector techniques, respectively, and the phenolic composition by HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS (mass spectrometry by electrospray ionization). It also focuses on their bioactive properties, namely antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, anti-tyrosinase, and anti-diabetic activities. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed in order to understand the correlation between the chemical composition and bioactive properties of the tisanes. The tisane 5 (T5) composed by lemon thyme, tutsan, cloves, and cinnamon, was the most promising mixture, presenting the lowest values for the lipid peroxidation inhibition, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic activity. It also presented the highest concentration of phenolic acids (caffeoylquinic acids derivatives), and flavan-3-ols (catechin derivatives). Only the dry plants presented tocopherols. For the antihemolytic, antimicrobial, and cytotoxic activity, T2 and T4 (with lemon thyme) were highlighted as the best herbal mixtures. The PCA proved to be a valid tool to select the most promising tisane according to the bioactivity. These results suggest that the studied tisanes can be source of high added-value bioactive compounds with health-promoting effects and potential for application in the food and nutraceutical industries, among others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10020475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926303PMC
February 2021

Zeaxanthin-Rich Extract from Superfood Selectively Modulates the Cellular Adhesion and MAPK Signaling in Melanoma versus Normal Skin Cells In Vitro.

Molecules 2021 Jan 11;26(2). Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Otolaryngology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Hatieganu", RO-400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The concern for implementing bioactive nutraceuticals in antioxidant-related therapies is of great importance for skin homeostasis in benign or malignant diseases. In order to elucidate some novel insights of (Goji berry) activity on skin cells, the present study focused on its active compound zeaxanthin. By targeting the stemness markers CD44 and CD105, with deep implications in skin oxidative stress mechanisms, we revealed, for the first time, selectivity in zeaxanthin activity. When applied in vitro on BJ human fibroblast cell line versus the A375 malignant melanoma cells, despite the moderate cytotoxicity, the zeaxanthin-rich extracts and were able to downregulate significantly the CD44 and CD105 membrane expression and extracellular secretion in A375, and to upregulate them in BJ cells. At mechanistic level, the present study is the first to demonstrate that the zeaxanthin-rich Goji extracts are able to influence selectively the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK): ERK, JNK and p38 in normal BJ versus tumor-derived A375 skin cells. These results point out towards the applications of zeaxanthin from as a cytoprotective agent in normal skin and raises questions about its use as an antitumor prodrug alone or in combination with standard therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26020333DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827977PMC
January 2021

Natural Products, the Continuous Source of Therapeutic Molecules for Various Diseases: Literature Landscape Analysis.

Curr Mol Pharmacol 2021 ;14(6):993-1002

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna,Austria.

Background: Substances present in nature have been a continuous source for the development of drugs for cardiovascular and infectious diseases, cancer, and many other diseases. As the literature concerning these natural products grows, it becomes more difficult for a reader to quickly grasp the essential facts and develop a well-informed impression of this field of research. Until now, it has also been difficult to determine which natural products and research objectives were gaining the most attention as measured by a number of citations.

Objective: The current study of all published articles concerned with natural products sought to identify which natural products and which research objectives are connected with the major contributors to scientific journals based on the number of relevant publications and the number of times each publication was cited elsewhere.

Methods: Bibliometric data, including citation data, were extracted from the Web of Science database using the search string TS=("natural product*)" and analyzed by the VOSviewer software.

Results: The search yielded 63,194 articles, with more than half of the manuscripts published since 2012. The ratio of original articles to reviews was 5.8:1. The major contributing countries were the United States, China, Germany, Japan, and India. Articles were published mainly in journals focused on chemistry, pharmacology or biochemistry. Curcumin, resveratrol, and terpenoids were the most frequently cited natural products.

Conclusion: The results of the current study provide researchers from different backgrounds and healthcare professionals with a brief overview of the major trends in natural-product research in the form of a citation-based summary of the relevant literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874467213666201214124327DOI Listing
March 2022

Taming the pandemic? The importance of homemade plant-based foods and beverages as community responses to COVID-19.

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2020 Dec 9;16(1):75. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Venice, Italy.

Household responses to COVID-19 in different corners of the world represent the primary health care that communities have relied on for preventing and mitigating symptoms. During a very complex and confusing time, in which public health services in multiple countries have been completely overwhelmed, and in some cases even collapsed, these first-line household responses have been quintessential for building physical, mental, and social resilience, and for improving individual and community health. This editorial discusses the outcomes of a rapid-response preliminary survey during the first phase of the pandemic among social and community contacts in five metropolises heavily affected by the COVID-19 health crisis (Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, New York, and Rio de Janeiro), and in twelve rural areas or countries initially less affected by the pandemic (Appalachia, Jamaica, Bolivia, Romania, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Georgia, Turkey, Pakistan, Cambodia, and South Africa). We summarized our perspectives as 17 case studies, observing that people have relied primarily on teas and spices ("food-medicines") and that there exist clear international plant favorites, popularized by various new media. Urban diasporas and rural households seem to have repurposed homemade plant-based remedies that they use in normal times for treating the flu and other respiratory symptoms or that they simply consider healthy foods. The most remarkable shift in many areas has been the increased consumption of ginger and garlic, followed by onion, turmeric, and lemon. Our preliminary inventory of food medicines serves as a baseline for future systematic ethnobotanical studies and aims to inspire in-depth research on how use patterns of plant-based foods and beverages, both "traditional" and "new", are changing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our reflections in this editorial call attention to the importance of ethnobiology, ethnomedicine, and ethnogastronomy research into domestic health care strategies for improving community health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13002-020-00426-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724619PMC
December 2020

Natural products in diabetes research: quantitative literature analysis.

Nat Prod Res 2021 Dec 7;35(24):5813-5827. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The current study aimed to identify which natural products and which research directions are related to the major contributors to academic journals for diabetes therapy. Bibliometric data were extracted from the Web of Science online database using the search string TOPIC = (''natural product*' OR ''natural compound*' OR ''natural molecule*' OR 'phytochemical*' OR ''secondary metabolite*') AND TS = ('diabet*') and analysed by a bibliometric software, VOSviewer. The search yielded 3694 publications, which were collectively cited 80,791 times, with an H-index of 117 and 21.9 citations per publication on average. The top-contributing countries were India, the USA, China, South Korea and Brazil. Curcumin, flavanone, resveratrol, carotenoid, polyphenols, flavonol, flavone and berberine were the most frequently cited natural products or compound classes. Our results provide a brief overview of the major directions of natural product research in diabetes up to now and hint on promising avenues for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1821019DOI Listing
December 2021

The Chemical and Biological Profiles of Leaves from Commercial Blueberry Varieties.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Sep 12;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ghe. Marinescu Street 23, 400337 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Blueberries have seen an ascending production line boosted by World Health Organization (WHO) approvals for their contributions to a healthy diet and the evidence that they act against different diseases. This increase resulted in significant amounts of discarded leaves, which could be a valuable source of bioactive compounds. In the present study, ultrasound-assisted extraction technology was used to determine and compare the chemical and biological profiles of leaves from six commercial blueberry ( L.) varieties. Feruloylquinic acid was the major compound identified, ranging from 19.23 ± 0.18 mg/g (at the lowest level, registered in the variety) to 49.62 ± 0.41 mg/g (at the highest level, registered in the variety). Rutin was the second major compound identified, for which , , and leaves registered the highest values, with 35.77 ± 0.19 mg/g, 32.50 ± 0.20 mg/g, and 31.53 ± 0.1 mg/g, respectively. Even though analogous polyphenols were detected in the six cultivars, their concentrations and amounts were different. The leaf extracts of the cultivars , , and appear to be good sources of antioxidants, registering high percentage inhibitions of DPPH radicals, of 70.41%, 68.42%, and 58.69%, respectively. The blueberry leaf extracts had a strong antibacterial activity and a low antifungal capacity, and a low-to-moderate antimutagenic capacity towards TA98 and TA100 strains, with leaf being the best candidate. All of these biological activities indicate health-related benefits, recommending them as suitable candidates for medical and pharmaceutical applications. The present paper adds significant knowledge to the field of blueberry leaves via chemical and biological profiles, supporting the ultrasound-assisted extraction technique as a useful and green method to provide alternative sources of bioactive compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9091193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569947PMC
September 2020

Effects of Processing on Polyphenolic and Volatile Composition and Fruit Quality of Clery Strawberries.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Jul 17;9(7). Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Drug Chemistry and Technologies, University "Sapienza" of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Strawberries belonging to cultivar Clery ( (Duchesne ex Weston)), cultivated in central Italy were subjected to a multi-methodological experimental study. Fresh and defrosted strawberries were exposed to different processing methods, such as homogenization, thermal and microwave treatments. The homogenate samples were submitted to CIEL*a*b* color analysis and Head-Space GC/MS analysis to determine the impact of these procedures on phytochemical composition. Furthermore, the corresponding strawberry hydroalcoholic extracts were further analyzed by HPLC-DAD for secondary metabolites quantification and by means of spectrophotometric in vitro assays to evaluate their total phenolic and total flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity. These chemical investigations confirmed the richness in bioactive metabolites supporting the extraordinary healthy potential of this fruit as a food ingredient, as well as functional food, highlighting the strong influence of the processing steps which could negatively impact on the polyphenol composition. Despite a more brilliant red color and aroma preservation, non-pasteurized samples were characterized by a lower content of polyphenols and antioxidant activity with respect to pasteurized samples, as also suggested by the PCA analysis of the collected data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9070632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402087PMC
July 2020

Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of the Nord-West Romanian Wild Bilberry L. and Lingonberry L. Leaves.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Jun 5;9(6). Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 23, Ghe. Marinescu Street, 400337 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

This study was performed to evaluate and compare the in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antimutagenic activities, and the polyphenolic content of the Nord-West Romanian wild bilberry ( L.) and lingonberry ( L.) leaves from three different natural habitats (Smida, Turda, Borsa). In the case of both species, the flavanols level was higher in Smida habitat (altitude 1100 m), whereas quercetin derivates were more abundant in Borsa habitat (altitude 850 m). The bilberry leaf extracts contained in the highest amounts the feruloylquinic acid (59.65 ± 0.44 mg/g for Borsa habitat) and rutin (49.83 ± 0.63 mg/g for Borsa habitat), and showed relevant 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) antioxidant activity (271.65 mM Trolox/100 g plant material for Borsa habitat, 262.77 mM Trolox/100 g plant material for Smida habitat, and 320.83 mM Trolox/100 g plant material for Turda habitat), for all the three extracts. Gallocatechin was the dominant flavanol in lingonberry species, with the highest amount being registered for Smida habitat (46.81 ± 0.3 mg/g), revealing a DPPH antioxidant activity of 251.49 mM Trolox/100 g plant material. The results obtained in the antimicrobial tests showed that the best inhibitory effect among bilberry species was attributed to the Turda (altitude 436 m) and Smida locations, against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. For lingonberry, the differences in habitat did not influence the antibacterial effect, but the antifungal effect, only in the case of . A strong antimutagenic effect was registered by the bilberry leaves toward TA100. Our study may be able to provide a better understanding of the correlation between natural habitat conditions and the accumulation of secondary metabolites and their related bioactivities in studied leaves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9060495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346130PMC
June 2020

Chemical Constituents and Biologic Activities of Sage Species: A Comparison between L., L. and .

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Jun 2;9(6). Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Faculty of Pharmacy, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Victor Babeș Street, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Even though genus is one of the most known and studied taxa of Lamiaceae family, the knowledge regarding the chemical composition and health-related benefits of some locally used species (mostly endemic) is still scarce. In this regard, the present work aims to evaluate the chemical profile and potential bioactivities of 70% () ethanolic extracts obtained from the less-studied and in comparison with . HPLC-PDA analysis revealed the presence of rutin and catechin as the main compounds in the extracts of the three studied species (using the employed HPLC method), whereas the presence of naringenin was highlighted only in extract. Chlorogenic acid, rutin and quercetin were identified and quantified for the first time in extracts. The in vitro antioxidant capacity of each extract was tested through complementary methods (phosphomolybdenum assay, DPPH, ABTS, CUPRAC and FRAP assays), and correlated with the presence of phenolics (especially flavonoids) in high amounts. The neuroprotective and antidiabetic abilities of (the most active as AChE, BChE and α-glucosidase inhibitor), (the most active as α-amylase inhibitor) and were also studied. For each extract it was determined the antimicrobial, antifungal and cytotoxic effects using in vitro assays. The obtained results confirm the potential of and as promising sources of bioactive compounds and as a starting point for further analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9060480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346212PMC
June 2020

Nutrient and Sensory Metabolites Profiling of L. (Starfruit) in the Context of Its Origin and Ripening Stage by GC/MS and Chemometric Analysis.

Molecules 2020 May 22;25(10). Epub 2020 May 22.

Pharmacognosy Department, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr El Aini St., P.B. 11562 Cairo, Egypt.

L. is a tropical tree with edible fruit that grows at different climatic conditions. Despite its nutritive value and reported health benefits, it is a controversial fruit owing to its rich oxalate content. The present study aimed at investigating aroma and nutrient primary metabolites distribution in fruits grown in Indonesia, Malaysia (its endemic origin) versus Egypt, and at different ripening stages. Two techniques were employed to assess volatile and non-volatile metabolites including headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) joined with gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-MS post silylation, respectively. Twenty-four volatiles were detected, with esters amounting for the major class of volatiles in Egyptian fruit at ca. 66%, with methyl caproate as the major component, distinguishing it from other origins. In contrast, aldehydes predominated tropically grown fruits with the ether myristicin found exclusively in these. Primary metabolites profiling led to the identification of 117 metabolites viz. sugars, polyols and organic acids. Fructose (38-48%) and glucose (21-25%) predominated sugar compositions in ripe fruits, whereas sorbitol was the major sugar alcohol (2.4-10.5%) in ripe fruits as well. Oxalic acid, an anti-nutrient with potential health risks, was the major organic acid detected in all the studied fruits (1.7-2.7%), except the Malaysian one (0.07%). It increases upon fruit ripening, including considerable amounts of volatile oxalate esters detected via SPME, and which must not be omitted in total oxalate determinations for safety assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102423DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7287910PMC
May 2020

Antioxidant Effects of Walnut ( L.) Kernel and Walnut Septum Extract in a D-Galactose-Induced Aging Model and in Naturally Aged Rats.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 May 14;9(5). Epub 2020 May 14.

Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Victor Babes, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Antioxidant dietary intervention is considered a potential strategy in delaying age-related dysfunctions. In this study of 56 days, we assessed the antioxidant effects of walnut kernel (WK) and walnut septum extract (WSE) in a D-galactose (D-gal)-induced aging model and in a naturally aged rat model. Young Wistar rats, treated with D-gal (1200 mg/week), and old rats received daily WK or WSE added to the feed. After 8 weeks, blood, liver, and brain samples were collected and hematological, biochemical, oxidative stress biomarkers, histological, and immunohistochemical analyses were performed. Moreover, acetylcholinesterase activity was investigated in brain homogenates. The outcomes demonstrated significant improvement in cellular antioxidant activity and/or decrease of reactive oxygen species, advanced glycation end products, nitric oxide, malondialdehyde, or increase of glutathione after WK or WSE intake in both models. Additionally, WSE showed hypoglycemic effect, and both WK and WSE lowered acetylcholinesterase activity. Both diets could protect neurons against the induced senescence and could reverse the pathological conditions in the physiological aged brain. Thus, dietary supplementation with WK or WSE can maintain the liver and brain health and reduce the risk of age-related diseases, as well as delaying the onset of aging processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050424DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278598PMC
May 2020

Walnut ( L.) Septum: Assessment of Bioactive Molecules and In Vitro Biological Effects.

Molecules 2020 May 7;25(9). Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Victor Babes Street, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Walnut ( L.) septum represents an interesting bioactive compound source by-product. In our study, a rich phenolic walnut septum extract, previously selected, was further examined. The tocopherol content determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) revealed higher amounts of α-tocopherol compared to γ- and δ-tocopherols. Moreover, several biological activities were investigated. The in vitro inhibiting assessment against acetylcholinesterase, α-glucosidase, or lipase attested a real management potential in diabetes or obesity. The extract demonstrated very strong antimicrobial potential against and . It also revealed moderate (36.08%) and strong (43.27%) antimutagenic inhibitory effects against TA 98 and TA 100 strains. The cytotoxicity of the extract was assessed on cancerous (A549, T47D-KBluc, MCF-7) and normal (human gingival fibroblasts (HGF)) cell lines. Flow cytometry measurements confirmed the cytotoxicity of the extract in the cancerous cell lines. Additionally, the extract demonstrated antioxidant activity on all four cell types, as well as anti-inflammatory activity by lowering the inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1 β (IL-1β)) evaluated in HGF cells. To the best of our knowledge, most of the cellular model analyses were performed for the first time in this matrix. The results prove that walnut septum may be a potential phytochemical source for pharmaceutical and food industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7248768PMC
May 2020

Phenolic Profile and Bioactivities of L.: The Plant, Its Most Active Extract, and Its Broad Biological Properties.

Front Pharmacol 2019 14;10:1642. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Water Institute, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey.

, also named "ironwort," "mountain tea," or "shepherd's tea," is a genus of flowering plants used as herbal medicine in traditional Mediterranean-area medicine systems, and these plants are generally consumed as a herbal tea. Its use as herbal tea and in traditional herbal medicine is quite popular. There are currently few studies on L., and only one reports the use of a liquid chromatography coupled to diode array detection and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-DAD-ESI-MS) profile and the content of phenolic compounds without considering a possible correlation with its biological activities. This paper aims to investigate the antioxidant activities by means of several different biological/biochemical assays (radical scavenging, reducing power, ferrous ion chelating, and total antioxidant by phosphomolybdenum and β-carotene bleaching methods) as well as analyze the enzyme inhibitory activities (against AChE (acetylcholinesterase), BChE (butyrylcholinesterase), tyrosinase, α-glucosidase, and α-amylase) as well as the total phenolics, flavonoids, and condensed tannins. The reported results on highlighted that methanol and water extracts generally showed higher radical scavenging and reducing power activities. A similar trend could be observed for phosphomolybdenum and ferrous ion chelating activities. Methanol extracts showed lower activity only for the β-carotene bleaching assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.01642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034418PMC
February 2020

Ethnopharmacological Applications Targeting Alcohol Abuse: Overview and Outlook.

Front Pharmacol 2019 14;10:1593. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzebiec, Poland.

Excessive alcohol consumption is the cause of several diseases and thus is of a major concern for society. Worldwide alcohol consumption has increased by many folds over the past decades. This urgently calls for intervention and relapse counteract measures. Modern pharmacological solutions induce complete alcohol self-restraint and prevent relapse, but they have many side effects. Natural products are most promising as they cause fewer adverse effects. Here we discuss in detail the medicinal plants used in various traditional/folklore medicine systems for targeting alcohol abuse. We also comprehensively describe preclinical and clinical studies done on some of these plants along with the possible mechanisms of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.01593DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034411PMC
February 2020

Effects of L. Polysaccharides on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Markers in a Pressure Overload-Induced Heart Failure Rat Model.

Molecules 2020 Jan 22;25(3). Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400349 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Despite recent advances in disease management and prevention, heart failure (HF) prevalence is still high. Hypertension, inflammation and oxidative stress are being investigated as important causative processes in HF. L. polysaccharides (LBPs) are widely used for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of LBPs on inflammation and oxidative stress markers in a pressure overload-induced HF rat model, surgically induced by abdominal aorta banding in Wistar rats (AAB) ( = 28). Also, control rats ( = 10) were subjected to a sham operation. After echocardiographic confirmation of HF (week 24), AAB rats were divided into three groups: rats treated with LBPs for 12 weeks: 100 mg/kg body weight /day (AAB_100, = 9), 200 mg/kg body weight /day (AAB_200, = 7) and no-treatment group (control AAB, = 12). After 12 weeks of treatment with LBPs, the decline of cardiac function was prevented compared to the control AAB rats. Treatment with 200 mg/kg body weight /day LBPs significantly reduced the inflammation as seen by cytokine levels (IL-6 and TNF-α) and the plasma lipid peroxidation, as seen by malondialdehyde levels. These results suggest that LBPs present anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects with utility in a HF animal model and encourage further investigation of the cardioprotective effects of these polysaccharides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037103PMC
January 2020

Exploring the phytochemical profile of Cytinus hypocistis (L.) L. as a source of health-promoting biomolecules behind its in vitro bioactive and enzyme inhibitory properties.

Food Chem Toxicol 2020 Feb 21;136:111071. Epub 2019 Dec 21.

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253, Bragança, Portugal. Electronic address:

Cytinus hypocistis whole plant and its three different parts (petals, stalks, and nectar) were chemically characterised and their biological properties evaluated. A total of 17 phenolic compounds were identified, being galloyl-bis-HHDP-glucose the most abundant. All the tested extracts showed high antioxidant capacity, with the petals exhibiting the most promising results both in the OxHLIA (IC = 0.279 ng/mL) and TBARS (IC = 0.342 ng/mL) assays. For the antidiabetic and anti-tyrosinase enzyme inhibitory assays, the stalk extract presented the lowest IC values, 0.039 mg/mL and 0.09 mg/mL, respectively. Regarding antibacterial activity, all tested extracts displayed broad-spectrum microbial inhibition against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Similarly, all extracts displayed effective anti-proliferation activity against four tested tumour cell lines (NCI-H460, HeLa, HepG2, and MCF-7), with no toxicity observed for a non-tumour cell line. Considering the anti-inflammatory activity, the petals showed the highest nitric oxide inhibition (IC = 127 μg/mL). These results point C. hypocistis as a promising source of health-promoting biomolecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2019.111071DOI Listing
February 2020

Polyphenols from (Goji) Fruit European Cultivars at Different Maturation Steps: Extraction, HPLC-DAD Analyses, and Biological Evaluation.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Nov 16;8(11). Epub 2019 Nov 16.

Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie del Farmaco, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Goji berries are undoubtedly a source of potentially bioactive compounds but their phytochemical profile can vary depending on their geographical origin, cultivar, and/or industrial processing. A rapid and cheap extraction of the polyphenolic fraction from cultivars, applied after homogenization treatments, was combined with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses based on two different methods. The obtained hydroalcoholic extracts, containing interesting secondary metabolites (gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, sinapinic acid, rutin, and carvacrol), were also submitted to a wide biological screening. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant capacity using three antioxidant assays, tyrosinase inhibition, and anti- activity were evaluated in order to correlate the impact of the homogenization treatment, geographical origin, and cultivar type on the polyphenolic and flavonoid amount, and consequently the bioactivity. The rutin amount, considered as a quality marker for goji berries according to European Pharmacopeia, varied from ≈200 to ≈400 µg/g among the tested samples, showing important differences observed in relation to the influence of the evaluated parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8110562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912443PMC
November 2019

Antibacterial and Antioxidant Potential of Silver Nanoparticles Biosynthesized Using the Spruce Bark Extract.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2019 Oct 30;9(11). Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Microbiology, "George Emil Palade" University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology of Târgu Mureș, 38 Gheorghe Marinescu Street, 540139 Târgu Mureș, Romania.

Biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in Pharmacy and Medicine. In particular, AgNPs synthesized and mediated by plant extracts have shown topossess several biological activities. In the present study, AgNPs were synthesized using L. stem bark extract as reducing agent. Factors, such as metal ion solution, pH, and time, which play a role in the AgNPs synthesis, were assessed. The synthesized AgNPs were characterized by Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Further, the study has been extended to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of AgNPs. The broad peak obtained at 411-475 nm (UV-Vis spectroscopy), and the color change pattern, confirmed the synthesis of AgNPs. TEM results showed spherical or rarely polygonal AgNPs with an average size of 44 nm at pH = 9. The AgNPs showed antioxidant activity and antibacterial effect against human pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results show that spruce bark extract is suitable for obtaining AgNPs, with antibacterial and antioxidant activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano9111541DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6915546PMC
October 2019

Enhanced Recovery of Antioxidant Compounds from Hazelnut ( L.) Involucre Based on Extraction Optimization: Phytochemical Profile and Biological Activities.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Oct 8;8(10). Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, "Iuliu Hatieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Victor Babes, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Tree nut by-products could contain a wide range of phytochemicals, natural antioxidants, which might be used as a natural source for dietary supplements. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the phenolic and sterolic composition, as well as the antioxidant and other biological activities, of hazelnut involucre (HI) extracts. Experimental designs were developed in order to select the optimum extraction conditions (solvent, temperature, time) using turbo-extraction by Ultra-Turrax for obtaining extracts rich in bioactive compounds. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed by LC-MS and LC-MS/MS and they revealed important amounts of individual polyphenols and phytosterols, molecules with antioxidant potential. The richest polyphenolic HI extract with the highest antioxidant activity by TEAC assay was further evaluated by other in vitro antioxidant tests (DPPH, FRAP) and enzyme inhibitory assays. Additionally, the cytotoxic and antioxidant effects of this extract on two cancerous cell lines and on normal cells were tested. This is the first study to analyze the composition of both hydrophilic and lipophilic bioactive compounds in HI extracts. Our findings reveal that this plant by-product presents strong biological activities, justifying further research, and it could be considered an inexpensive source of natural antioxidants for food, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826866PMC
October 2019

Investigation of In Vitro Antioxidant and Antibacterial Potential of Silver Nanoparticles Obtained by Biosynthesis Using Beech Bark Extract.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Oct 8;8(10). Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Department of Microbiology, "George Emil Palade" University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology of Târgu Mureș, 38 Gheorghe Marinescu Street, Târgu Mureș, 540139 Mureș, Romania.

Green synthesis is one of the rapid and best ways for silver nanoparticles (AgNP) synthesis. In the present study, synthesis and bioactivity of AgNPs has been demonstrated using water beech ( L.) bark extract. The physical and chemical factors such as time, metal ion solution, and pH, which play a vital role in the AgNPs synthesis, were assessed. The AgNPs were characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the obtained AgNPs was evaluated. AgNPs were characterized by color change pattern, and the broad peak obtained at 420-475 nm with UV-Vis confirmed the synthesis of AgNPs. FT-IR results confirmed that phenols and proteins of beech bark extract are mainly responsible for capping and stabilization of synthesized AgNPs. TEM micrographs showed spherical or rarely polygonal and triangular particles with an average size of 32 nm at pH = 9, and 62 nm at pH = 4. Furthermore, synthesized AgNPs were found to exhibit antioxidant activity and have antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant (MRSA), , and . These results indicate that bark extract of L. is suitable for synthesizing stable AgNPs, which act as an excellent antimicrobial agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827055PMC
October 2019

Compositional Features and Bioactive Properties of Leaf (Fillet, Mucilage, and Rind) and Flower.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Oct 1;8(10). Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.

This work aimed to characterize compositional and bioactive features of leaf (fillet, mucilage, and rind) and flower. The edible fillet was analysed for its nutritional value, and all samples were studied for phenolic composition and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, tyrosinase inhibition, and cytotoxic activities. Dietary fibre (mainly mannan) and available carbohydrates (mainly free glucose and fructose) were abundant macronutrients in fillet, which also contained high amounts of malic acid (5.75 g/100 g dw) and α-tocopherol (4.8 mg/100 g dw). The leaf samples presented similar phenolic profiles, with predominance of chromones and anthrones, and the highest contents were found in mucilage (131 mg/g) and rind (105 mg/g) extracts, which also revealed interesting antioxidant properties. On the other hand, the flower extract was rich in apigenin glycoside derivatives (4.48 mg/g), effective against (MIC = 0.025 mg/mL and MBC = 0.05 mg/mL) and capable of inhibiting the tyrosinase activity (IC = 4.85 mg/mL). The fillet, rind, and flower extracts also showed a powerful antifungal activity against , , , and , higher than that of ketoconazole. Thus, the studied samples displayed high potential to be exploited by the food or cosmetic industries, among others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100444DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826699PMC
October 2019
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