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author:("Raskin, hlya")
1.  Food-compatible method for the efficient extraction and stabilization of cranberry pomace polyphenols 
Food chemistry  2013;141(4):10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.06.050.
Cranberry pomace is a byproduct of cranberry processing and is comprised of seeds, skins and stems of the cranberry fruit. While cranberry pomace contains beneficial polyphenols, including proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins, it is not a palatable source of these compounds and is typically discarded. In this study, we have developed and optimized a method to extract polyphenols from cranberry pomace using aqueous ethanol, a food grade solvent. Biochemical characterization of the pomace extract showed the presence of a broad range of polyphenols also present in cranberry juice concentrate. By co-drying cranberry pomace extract with a protein-rich food matrix, such as soy protein isolate (SPI), we have developed a method to produce a cranberry polyphenol-SPI complex (CBP-SPI) containing 10% cranberry polyphenols. Unlike dried cranberry pomace extract alone, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and total polyphenols were found to be highly stable at 37 °C in the CBP-SPI powder. The extraction and stabilization of cranberry pomace polyphenols using SPI provides an innovative approach for utilizing pomace in the development of novel food ingredients.
PMCID: PMC3815467  PMID: 23993534
cranberry pomace; polyphenols; proanthocyanidins; anthocyanins; soy protein isolate
2.  Artemisia scoparia extract attenuates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in diet-induced obesity mice by enhancing hepatic insulin and AMPK signaling independently of FGF21 pathway 
Metabolism: clinical and experimental  2013;62(9):10.1016/j.metabol.2013.03.004.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common liver disease which has no standard treatment. In this regard, we sought to evaluate the effects of extracts of Artemisia santolinaefolia (SANT) and Artemisia scoparia (SCO) on hepatic lipid deposition and cellular signaling in a diet-induced obesity (DIO) animal model.
DIO C57/B6J mice were randomly divided into three groups, i.e. HFD, SANT and SCO. Both extracts were incorporated into HFD at a concentration of 0.5% (w/w). Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, adiponectin, and FGF21 concentrations were measured.
At the end of the 4-week intervention, liver tissues were collected for analysis of insulin, AMPK, and FGF21 signaling. SANT and SCO supplementation significantly increased plasma adiponectin levels when compared with the HFD mice (P < 0.001). Fasting insulin levels were significantly lower in the SCO than HFD mice, but not in SANT group. Hepatic H&E staining showed fewer lipid droplets in the SCO group than in the other two groups. Cellular signaling data demonstrated that SCO significantly increased liver IRS-2 content, phosphorylation of IRS-1, IR β, Akt1 and Akt2, AMPK α1 and AMPK activity and significantly reduced PTP 1B abundance when compared with the HFD group. SCO also significantly decreased fatty acid synthase (FAS), HMG-CoA Reductase (HMGR), and Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP1c), but not Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-1) when compared with HFD group. Neither SANT nor SCO significantly altered plasma FGF21 concentrations and liver FGF21 signaling.
This study suggests that SCO may attenuate liver lipid accumulation in DIO mice. Contributing mechanisms were postulated to include promotion of adiponectin expression, inhibition of hepatic lipogenesis, and/or enhanced insulin and AMPK signaling independent of FGF21 pathway.
PMCID: PMC3838888  PMID: 23702383
Obesity; Insulin resistance NAFLD; FGF21; AMPK
3.  Acceleration of cutaneous wound healing by brassinosteroids 
Brassinosteroids are plant growth hormones involved in cell growth, division and differentiation. Their effects in animals are largely unknown, although recent studies showed the anabolic properties of brassinosteroids possibly mediated through the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. Here we examined biological activity of homobrassinolide (HB) and its synthetic analogues on in vitro proliferation and migration assays in murine fibroblast and primary keratinocyte cell culture. HB stimulated fibroblast proliferation and migration, and weakly induced keratinocyte proliferation in vitro. The effects of topical HB administration on progression of wound closure were further tested in the mouse model of cutaneous wound healing. C57BL/6J mice were given a full thickness dermal wound, and the rate of wound closure was assessed daily for 10 d alongside adenosine receptor agonist CGS-21680 as a positive control. Topical application of brassinosteroid significantly reduced wound size and accelerated wound healing in treated animals. mRNA levels of TGF-β and ICAM-1 were significantly lower, while TNF-α was nearly suppressed in the wounds from treated mice. Our data suggest that topical brassinosteroids accelerate wound healing by positively modulating inflammatory and re-epithelialization phases of the wound-repair process, in partby enhancing Akt signaling in the skin at the edges of the wound and enhancing migration of fibroblasts in a wounded area. Targeting this signaling pathway with brassinosteroids may represent a promising approach to the therapy of delayed wound healing.
PMCID: PMC3775972  PMID: 23937635
brassinosteroids; wound healing; inflammation; proliferation; tissue remodeling
4.  Stable Binding of Alternative Protein-enriched Food Matrices with Concentrated Cranberry Bioflavonoids for Functional Food Applications 
Defatted soy flour (DSF), soy protein isolate (SPI), hemp protein isolate (HPI), medium roast peanut flour (MPF) and pea protein isolate (PPI) stably bind and concentrate cranberry (CB) polyphenols, creating protein/polyphenol-enriched matrices. Proanthocyanidins (PAC) in the enriched matrices ranged from 20.75 mg/g (CB-HPI) to 10.68 mg/g (CB-SPI). Anthocyanins (ANC) ranged from 3.19 mg/g (CB-DSF) to 1.68 mg/g (CB-SPI), while total phenolics (TP) ranged from 37.61 mg/g (CB-HPI) to 21.29 mg/g (CB-SPI). LC-MS indicated that the enriched matrices contained all identifiable ANC, PAC and flavonols present in CB juice. Complexation with SPI stabilized and preserved the integrity of the CB polyphenolic components for at least 15 weeks at 37 °C. PAC isolated from enriched matrices demonstrated comparable anti-adhesion bioactivity to PAC isolated directly from CB juice (MIC 0.4 to 0.16 mg/mL), indicating their potential utility for maintenance of urinary tract health. Approximately 1.0 g of polyphenol-enriched matrix delivered the same amount of PAC available in one cup (300 mL) of commercial CB juice cocktail; which has been shown clinically to be the prophylactic dose for reducing recurring urinary tract infections. CB-SPI inhibited gram- positive and gram-negative bacterial growth. Nutritional and sensory analyses indicated that the targeted CB-matrix combinations have high potential for incorporation in functional food formulations.
PMCID: PMC3769697  PMID: 23786629
A-type proanthocyanidins; polyphenols; Vaccinium macrocarpon; anti-adhesion; antimicrobial; shelf-stability
5.  Wound-healing properties of nut oil from Pouteria lucuma 
Journal of cosmetic dermatology  2010;9(3):185-195.
Cell migration, angiogenesis, inflammation, and extracellular matrix remodeling are key events in wound healing. Natural products, including fatty acids (FAs), can accelerate wound healing by modulating the aforementioned events.
This study aims to evaluate the effect of lucuma (Pouteria lucuma O Kezte) nut oil (LNO) on fibroblasts migration, angiogenesis, inflammation, bacterial and fungal growth, and wound healing.
GC–MS analysis of FAs methyl esters (FAMES) was used for chemical characterization of LNO. In vitro studies were carried out with LNO investigating the induction of cell migration, cytoskeleton remodeling of human fibroblasts, inhibition of LPS-induced nitric oxide production in macrophages, and antibacterial and antifungal effects. Two in vivo studies were carried out to study LNO’s effect on angiogenesis and wound healing: (i) tail fin regeneration in transgenic zebrafish larvae expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in vascular endothelial cells was used to study vessel sprouting and wound healing and (ii) the closure of wounds was evaluated in CD-1 mice after topical applications of LNO-containing formulations.
Lucuma nut oil is a mixture of FAs, 99.7% of which were characterized. Major components of LNO (w/w) are linoleic acid (38.9%), oleic acid (27.9%), palmitic acid (18.6%), stearic acid (8.9%), and γ linolenic acid (2.9%). In vitro studies showed that LNO significantly promoted migration and vinculin expression in human fibroblasts. LNO decreased LPS-induced nitric oxide production and did not display significant antibacterial or antifungal effects. LNO induced tail fin regeneration in transgenic zebrafish larvae 48 h after tail fin amputation and significantly accelerated cutaneous wound closure in CD-1 mice.
Natural FAs from P. lucuma nut promote skin regeneration and, thus, may have applications in medicine and skin care.
PMCID: PMC4097019  PMID: 20883291
fatty acids; lucuma; Pouteria lucuma; transgenic zebrafish; wound healing
6.  Effects of a high fat meal matrix and protein complexation on the bioaccessibility of blueberry anthocyanins using the TNO gastrointestinal model (TIM-1) 
Food chemistry  2013;142:349-357.
The TNO intestinal model (TIM-1) of the human upper gastrointestinal tract was used to compare intestinal absorption/bioaccessibility of blueberry anthocyanins under different digestive conditions. Blueberry polyphenol-rich extract was delivered to TIM-1 in the absence or presence of a high-fat meal. HPLC analysis of seventeen anthocyanins showed that delphinidin-3-glucoside, delphinidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin-3-arabinoside and petunidin-3-arabinoside were twice as bioaccessible in fed state, whilst delphinidin-3-(6″-acetoyl)-glucoside and malvidin-3-arabinoside were twice as bioaccessible under fasted conditions, suggesting lipid-rich matrices selectively effect anthocyanin bioaccessibility. TIM-1 was fed blueberry juice (BBJ) or blueberry polyphenol-enriched defatted soybean flour (BB-DSF) containing equivalent amounts of free or DSF-sorbed anthocyanins, respectively. Anthocyanin bioaccessibility from BB-DSF (36.0 ± 10.4) was numerically, but not significantly, greater than that from BBJ (26.3 ± 10.3). Ileal efflux samples collected after digestion of BB-DSF contained 2.8-fold more anthocyanins than same from BBJ, suggesting that protein-rich DSF protects anthocyanins during transit through upper digestive tract for subsequent colonic delivery/metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4072317  PMID: 24001852
Blueberry; Anthocyanins; Bioavailability; Bioaccessibility; Gastrointestinal model; TIM-1; Soybean flour; Nutrition
7.  Determination of Tripdiolide in Root Extracts of Tripterygium wilfordii by Solid-phase Extraction and Reversed-phase High-performance Liquid Chromatography 
Phytochemical analysis : PCA  2008;19(4):348-352.
Extracts of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. have been widely used in China to treat a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The diterpenoids triptolide and tripdiolide are two major active components in the T. wilfordii ethyl acetate extract. An efficient solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography (SPE-HPLC) method to measure triptolide content in the extract has been previously reported. However, a suitable means of tripdiolide quantification is not available because of interfering compounds in the extract that co-elute with tripdiolide. Therefore, this paper describes a method wherein tripdiolide content can be measured from a small amount of the extract. The extract solution (600 µL) was applied into an aminopropyl SPE tube. Triptolide was eluted with dichloromethane:methanol (1 mL, 49:1 v/v), followed by tripdiolide elution with dichloromethane:methanol (3 mL, 17:3 v/v). The tripdiolide eluate was analysed by HPLC using an isocratic solvent system and was quantified by measuring the peak area at 219 nm. The contents of triptolide and tripdiolide in the extract were determined to be 807.32 ± 51.94 and 366.13 ± 17.21 µg/g of extract, respectively. Since tripdiolide is biologically active and makes up a considerable portion of the extract, for extract quality control and standardisation purposes, it should be measured along with triptolide using the proposed SPE-HPLC method.
PMCID: PMC4041272  PMID: 18288676
SPE; HPLC; triptolide; tripdiolide; Tripterygium wilfordii
8.  An Extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. Enhances Insulin Receptor Signaling and Modulates Gene Expression in Skeletal Muscle in KKay Mice 
An ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (PMI-5011) has been observed to decrease glucose and insulin levels in animal models, but the cellular mechanisms by which insulin action is enhanced in vivo is not precisely known. In this study, we evaluated the effects of PMI-5011 to modulate gene expression and cellular signaling through the insulin receptor in skeletal muscle of KK-Ay mice. Eighteen male KK-Ay mice were randomized to a diet (W/W) mixed with PMI-5011 (1%) or diet alone for 8 weeks. Food intake, adiposity, glucose and insulin were assessed over the study, and at study completion, vastus lateralis muscle was obtained to assess insulin signaling parameters and gene expression. Animals randomized to PMI 5011 were shown to have enhanced insulin sensitivity and increased insulin receptor signaling, i.e. IRS-associated PI-3 kinase activity, Akt-1 activity and Akt phosphorylation in skeletal muscle when compared to control animals (P<0.01, P<0.01 and P<0.01 respectively). Gene expression for insulin signaling proteins, i.e. IRS-1, PI-3 Kinase, Glut-4, were not increased although a relative increase in protein abundance was noted with PMI 5011 treatment. Gene expression for specific ubiquitin proteins and specific 20S proteasome activity, in addition to skeletal muscle phosphatase activity, i.e. PTP1B activity, were significantly decreased in mice randomized to PMI 5011 relative to control. Thus, the data demonstrate that PMI 5011 increases insulin sensitivity and enhances insulin receptor signaling in an animal model of insulin resistance. PMI 5011 may modulate skeletal muscle protein degradation and phosphatase activity as a possible mode of action.
PMCID: PMC4020631  PMID: 20447816
muscle; insulin signaling; nutrition; botanicals
9.  Pregnane Glycosides Interfere With Steroidogenic Enzymes to Down-Regulate Corticosteroid Production in Human Adrenocortical H295R Cells 
Journal of cellular physiology  2013;228(5):1120-1126.
A group of bioactive steroidal glycosides (pregnanes) with anorectic activity in animals was isolated from several genera of milkweeds including Hoodia and Asclepias. In this study, we investigated the effects, structure-activity relationships, and mechanism of action of pregnane glycosides on steroidogenesis in human adrenocortical H295R cells. Administration of pregnane glycosides for 24 h suppressed the basal and forskolin-stimulated release of androstenedione, corticosterone, and cortisone from H295R cells. The conversion of progesterone to 11-deoxycorticosterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone to either androstenedione or 11-deoxycortisol was most strongly affected, with 12-cinnamoyl-, benzoyl-, and tigloyl-containing pregnanes showing the highest activity. Incubation of pregnane glycosides for 24 h had no effect on mRNA transcripts of CYP11A1, CYP21A1, CYP11B1 cytochrome enzymes and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StaR) protein, yet resulted in twofold decrease in HSD3B1 mRNA levels. At the same time, pregnane glycosides had no effect on the CYP1, 2, or 3 drug and steroid metabolism enzymes and showed weak Na+/K+ ATPase and glucocorticoid receptor binding. Taken together, these data suggest that pregnane glycosides specifically suppress steroidogenesis through strong inhibition of 11β-hydroxylase and steroid 17-alpha-monooxygenase, and weak inhibition of cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage enzyme and 21β-hydroxylase, but not 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase.
PMCID: PMC3796370  PMID: 23065845
10.  Development and Phytochemical Characterization of High Polyphenol Red Lettuce with Anti-Diabetic Properties 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91571.
Polyphenol-rich Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce (RSL) (Lactuca sativa L.) was developed through somaclonal variation and selection in tissue culture. RSL may contain among the highest reported contents of polyphenols and antioxidants in the category of common fruits and vegetables (95.6 mg/g dry weight and 8.7 mg/g fresh weight gallic acid equivalents and 2721 µmol/g dry weight and 223 µmol/g fresh weight Trolox equivalents). Three main compounds accumulate at particularly high levels in RSL: chlorogenic acid, up to 27.6 mg/g dry weight, cyanidin malonyl-glucoside, up to 20.5 mg/g dry weight, and quercetin malonyl-glucoside, up to 35.7 mg/g dry weight. Major polyphenolic constituents of RSL have been associated with health promotion as well as anti-diabetic and/or anti-inflammatory activities. Daily oral administration of RSL (100 or 300 mg/kg) for up to eight days acutely reduced hyperglycemia and improved insulin sensitivity in high fat diet-induced obese hyperglycemic mice compared to vehicle (water) control. Data presented here support possible use of RSL as a functional food for the dietary management of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3956610  PMID: 24637790
11.  Effects of Pregnane Glycosides on Food Intake Depend on Stimulation of the Melanocortin Pathway and BDNF in an Animal Model 
Pregnane glycosides appear to modulate food intake by possibly affecting the hypothalamic feeding circuits; however, the mechanisms of the appetite-regulating effect of pregnane glycosides remain obscure. Here, we show that pregnane glycoside-enriched extracts from swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata at 25–100 mg/kg daily attenuated food intake (up to 47.1 ± 8.5% less than controls) and body weight gain in rats (10% for males and 9% for females, respectively) by activating melanocortin signaling and inhibiting gastric emptying. The major milkweed pregnane glycoside, ikemagenin, exerted its appetite-regulating effect by decreasing levels of agouti-related protein (0.6-fold) but not NPY satiety peptides. Ikemagenin treatment also increased secretion of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) downstream of melanocortin receptors in the hypothalamus (1.4-fold) and in the C6 rat glioma cell culture in vitro (up to 6-fold). These results support the multimodal effects of pregnane glycosides on feeding regulation, which depends on the activity of the melanocortin signaling pathway and BDNF.
PMCID: PMC3805381  PMID: 23308358
appetite; satiety; body weight; milkweed; Asclepias
12.  Blueberry polyphenol-enriched soybean flour reduces hyperglycemia, body weight gain and serum cholesterol in mice 
Defatted soybean flour (DSF) can sorb and concentrate blueberry anthocyanins and other polyphenols, but not sugars. In this study blueberry polyphenol-enriched DSF (BB-DSF) or DSF were incorporated into very high fat diet (VHFD) formulations and provided ad libitum to obese and hyperglycemic C57BL/6 mice for 13 weeks to investigate anti-diabetic effects. Compared to the VHFD containing DSF, the diet supplemented with BB-DSF reduced weight gain by 5.6%, improved glucose tolerance, and lowered fasting blood glucose levels in mice within 7 weeks of intervention. Serum cholesterol of mice consuming the BB-DSF-supplemented diet was 13.2% lower than mice on the diet containing DSF. Compounds were eluted from DSF and BB-DSF for in vitro assays of glucose production and uptake. Compared to untreated control, doses of BB-DSF eluate containing 0.05 – 10 μg/μL of blueberry anthocyanins significantly reduced glucose production by 24% - 74% in H4IIE rat hepatocytes, but did not increase glucose uptake in L6 myotubes. The results indicate that delivery of blueberry polyphenols stabilized in a high-protein food matrix may be useful for the dietary management of pre-diabetes and/or diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3833590  PMID: 23220243
metabolic syndrome; diabetes; blueberry; soybean; anthocyanins; polyphenols
13.  Medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of genus Tripterygium (Celastraceae) 
Phytochemistry  2007;68(6):10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.11.029.
Plants in the genus Tripterygium, such as Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f., have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. In recent years there has been considerable interest in the use of Tripterygium extracts and of the main bioactive constituent, the diterpene triepoxide triptolide (1), to treat a variety of autoimmune and inflammation-related conditions. The main mode of action of the Tripterygium extracts and triptolide (1) is the inhibition of expression of proinflammatory genes such as those for interleukin-2 (IL-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). The efficacy and safety of certain types of Tripterygium extracts were confirmed in human clinical trials in the US and abroad. Over 300 compounds have been identified in the genus Tripterygium, and many of these have been evaluated for biological activity. The overall activity of the extract is based on the interaction between its components. Therefore, the safety and efficacy of the extract cannot be fully mimicked by any individual constituent. This review discusses the biochemical composition and biological and pharmacological activities of Tripterygium extracts, and their main bioactive components.
PMCID: PMC3867260  PMID: 17250858
Tripterygium; Celastraceae; Thunder god vine; Terpenoids; Triptolide; Inflammation; Antiinflammatory drugs; Immunosuppression
14.  In vivo and in vitro antidiabetic effects of aqueous cinnamon extract and cinnamon polyphenol-enhanced food matrix 
Food chemistry  2012;135(4):2994-3002.
Cinnamon has a long history of medicinal use and continues to be valued for its therapeutic potential for improving metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. In this study, a phytochemically-enhanced functional food ingredient that captures water soluble polyphenols from aqueous cinnamon extract (CE) onto a protein rich matrix was developed. CE and cinnamon polyphenol-enriched defatted soy flour (CDSF) were effective in acutely lowering fasting blood glucose levels in diet-induced obese hyperglycemic mice at 300 and 600 mg/kg, respectively. To determine mechanisms of action, rat hepatoma cells were treated with CE and eluates of CDSF at a range of 1–25 µg/ml. CE and eluates of CDSF demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of hepatic glucose production with significant levels of inhibition at 25 µg/ml. Furthermore, CE decreased the gene expression of two major regulators of hepatic gluconeogenesis, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phosphatase. The hypoglycemic and insulin-like effects of CE and CDSF may help to ameliorate type 2 diabetes conditions.
PMCID: PMC3444749  PMID: 22980902
Cinnamomum burmannii; cinnamon; diabetes; fasting blood glucose; glucose production
15.  Toxicological evaluation of a chicory root extract 
An Ames test and a 28-day sub-chronic toxicity study in male and female Sprague–Dawley rats were conducted to evaluate the safety of a chicory root extract being investigated as a therapeutic for inflammation. Chicory extract had no mutagenic activity in the Ames test although it was cytotoxic to certain strains of Salmonella at higher doses with and without metabolic activation. For the 28-day rat study, measurements included clinical observations, body weights, food consumption, clinical pathology, gross necropsy and histology. There were no treatment-related toxic effects from chicory extract administered orally at 70, 350, or 1000 mg/kg/day. Since there were no observed adverse effects of chicory extract in these studies, the NOAEL for the extract is 1000 mg/kg/g administered orally for 28 days.
PMCID: PMC3836359  PMID: 17306431
Chicorium intybus; Sesquiterpene lactone; Ames; Dietary supplement; Inflammation; Toxicity
16.  Ecdysteroids Elicit a Rapid Ca2+ Flux Leading to Akt Activation and Increased Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle Cells 
Steroids  2010;75(10):10.1016/j.steroids.2010.03.008.
Phytoecdysteroids, structurally similar to insect molting hormones, produce a range of effects in mammals, including increasing growth and physical performance. In skeletal muscle cells, phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis. In this study we show that in a mouse skeletal muscle cell line, C2C12, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20HE), a common phytoecdysteroid in both insects and plants, elicited a rapid elevation in intracellular calcium, followed by sustained Akt activation and increased protein synthesis. The effect was inhibited by a G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) inhibitor, a phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor, and a phosphoinositide kinase-3 (PI3K) inhibitor.
PMCID: PMC3815456  PMID: 20363237
ecdysteroid; skeletal muscle; Akt; GPCR; calcium; C2C12
17.  Toxicological evaluation of Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) [Roscoe] K. Schum 
Journal of ethnopharmacology  2009;127(2):10.1016/j.jep.2009.10.031.
Ethnopharmacological relevance
Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta [Roscoe] K. Schum.) seeds are used in West Africa as a remedy for variety of ailments such as stomachache, snakebite, diarrhea and they have reported anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the seeds contain gingerols and related compounds that may be useful against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and inflammation.
Aim of study
A 28-day sub-chronic toxicity study in male and female Sprague Dawley rats was conducted to evaluate the safety of a Grains of Paradise extract.
Materials and methods
An ethanolic extract of the seeds was evaluated for toxicological effect on rats.
A dose-related increase in absolute and relative liver weights was observed in males and females dosed with 450 and 1500 mg/kg. There was a corresponding increase in alkaline phosphatase with no signs of steatosis or cirrhosis. At the same doses, there was a significant decrease in blood glucose in male rats.
This study shows that Grains of Paradise extract may be useful as a treatment for diabetes, however liver toxicity should be considered.
PMCID: PMC3815460  PMID: 19883745
Aframomum melegueta; gingerols; liver toxicity; alkaline phosphatase; dietary supplement
18.  Phytochemical Characterization of an Adaptogenic Preparation from Rhodiola heterodonta 
Natural product communications  2009;4(8):1053-1058.
The phytochemical constituents of a biologically active, standardized, 80% ethanol extract of Rhodiola heterodonta were characterized. The extract was fractionated over a Sephadex LH-20 column to afford two main fractions representing two classes of secondary metabolites: phenylethanoids and proanthocyanidins. This fractionation facilitated the identification and quantification of individual compounds in the fractions and sub-fractions using HPLC, and LC-MS. The major compounds in the phenylethanoid fraction were heterodontoside, tyrosol methyl ether, salidroside, viridoside, mongrhoside, tyrosol, and the cyanogenic glucoside rhodiocyanoside A. These seven compounds comprised 17.4% of the EtOH extract. Proanthocyanidins ranged from oligomers to polymers based on epigallocatechin and gallate units. The main identified oligomeric compounds in the proanthocyanidin fraction were epigallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate and 3-O-galloylepigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, which constituted 1.75% of the ethanol extract. Tyrosol methyl ether, mongrhoside, and the two proanthocyanidin dimers were reported for the first time from this species in this study. Intraperitoneal injection of the 80% ethanol extract increased survival time of mice under hypoxia by 192%, as an indication of adaptogenic activity.
PMCID: PMC3815471  PMID: 19768982
Rhodiola heterodonta; HPLC-ESI/MS; phenylethanoid; proanthocyanidin; adaptogenic activity; anti-hypoxia
19.  Plant-derived therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic syndrome 
Metabolic syndrome is defined as a set of coexisting metabolic disorders that increase an individual’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Medicinal plants, some of which have been used for thousands of years, serve as an excellent source of bioactive compounds for the treatment of metabolic syndrome because they contain a wide range of phytochemicals with diverse metabolic effects. In order for botanicals to be effectively used against metabolic syndrome, however, botanical preparations must be characterized and standardized through the identification of their active compounds and respective modes of action, followed by validation in controlled clinical trials with clearly defined endpoints. This review assesses examples of commonly known and partially characterized botanicals to describe specific considerations for the phytochemical, preclinical and clinical characterization of botanicals associated with metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3755736  PMID: 20872313
Botanical; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; hypertension; insulin resistance; phytochemical; obesity
20.  Efficient sorption of polyphenols to soybean flour enables natural fortification of foods 
Food chemistry  2012;131(4):1193-1200.
The present study demonstrated that defatted soybean flour (DSF) can sorb polyphenols from blueberry and cranberry juices while separating them from sugars. Depending on DSF concentration and juice dilution, the concentration of blueberry anthocyanins and total polyphenols sorbed to DSF ranged from 2 – 22 mg/g and 10 – 95 mg/g, respectively while the concentration of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF ranged from 2.5 – 17 mg/g and 21 – 101 mg/g, respectively. Blueberry polyphenols present in one serving of fresh blueberries (73g) were delivered in just 1.4 g of blueberry polyphenol-enriched DSF. Similarly, one gram of cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF delivered the amount of proanthocyanidins available in three 240 ml servings of cranberry juice cocktail. The concentration of blueberry anthocyanins and total polyphenols eluted from DSF remained constant after 22 weeks of incubation at 37°C, demonstrating the high stability of the polyphenol-DSF matrix. LC-MS analysis of eluates confirmed DSF retained major cranberry and blueberry polyphenols remained intact. Blueberry polyphenol-enriched DSF exhibited significant hypoglycemic activities in C57bl/6J mice, and cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF showed anti-microbial and anti-UTI activities in vitro, confirming its efficacy. The described sorption process provides a means to create protein-rich food ingredients containing concentrated plant bioactives without excess sugars, fats and water that can be incorporated in a variety of scientifically validated functional foods and dietary supplements.
PMCID: PMC3742044  PMID: 23950619
polyphenols; anthocyanins; proanthocyanidins; soybean flour; nutrition; diabetes; antibacterial
21.  Complementary approaches to gauge the bioavailability and distribution of ingested berry polyphenolics 
Two different strategies for investigating the likely fate, after ingestion, of natural, bioactive berry constituents (anthocyanins and other non-nutritive flavonoids) are compared. A model of the human gastrointestinal tract (TIM-1) which mimicked the biological environment from the point of swallowing and ingestion through the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (but not the colon) was used to monitor the stability and bioaccessibility of anthocyanins from both maqui berry and wild blueberry. TIM-1 revealed that most anthocyanins were bioaccessible between the second and third hour after intake. Alternatively, biolabeled anthocyanins and other flavonoids generated in vitro from berry and grape cell cultures were administered to in vivo (rodent) models, allowing measurement and tracking of the absorption and transport of berry constituents and clearance through the urinary tract and colon. The advantages and limitations of the alternative strategies are considered.
PMCID: PMC3310271  PMID: 22111523
bioavailability; bioaccessibility; radiolabeling; artificial gastrointestinal tract
22.  Tools for the identification of bioactives impacting the metabolic syndrome: Screening of a botanical extract library using subcutaneous and visceral human adipose-derived stem cell based assays 
Plant extracts continue to represent an untapped source of renewable therapeutic compounds for the treatment and prevention of illnesses including chronic metabolic disorders. With the increase in worldwide obesity and its related morbidities, the need for identifying safe and effective treatments is also rising. As such, use of primary human adipose-derived stem cells represents a physiologically relevant cell system to screen for bioactive agents in the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related complications. By using these cells in a primary screen, the risk and cost of identifying artifacts due to interspecies variation and immortalized cell lines is eliminated. We demonstrate that these cells can be formatted into 384-well high throughput screens to rapidly identify botanical extracts that affect lipogenesis and lipolysis. Additionally, counterscreening with human primary stem cells from distinct adipose depots can be routinely performed to identify tissue specific responses. In our study, over 500 botanical extracts were screened and 16 (2.7%) were found to affect lipogenesis and 4 (0.7%) affected lipolysis.
PMCID: PMC3154462  PMID: 21543201
Adipogenesis; Adipose-derived Stem Cells; Botanical Extracts; Lipogenesis; Lipolysis; Subcutaneous; Visceral
23.  Qualitative variation of anti-diabetic compounds in different tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.) cytotypes 
Fitoterapia  2011;82(7):1062-1074.
Ethanolic extracts of diploid Artemisia dracunculus L. (wild tarragon) from populations in the U.S., and polyploid tarragon from a variety of sources, were screened for the anti-diabetic compounds davidigenin; sakuranetin; 2′,4′-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone; 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid; 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid and 6-demethoxycapillarisin using LC-MS. Only decaploid plants contained all six target compounds and were the only plants that contained davidigenin and 2,4-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone. These results exhibit the importance of germplasm selection and provenance when studying plants for medicinal activity. Relying only on the “right species” for consistent medicinal activities may not be sufficient, as intraspecific variation may be highly significant.
PMCID: PMC3164315  PMID: 21798321
Artemisia dracunculus; wild tarragon; polyploidy; germplasm; diabetes; sakuranetin
24.  Biochemical Analysis and in Vivo Hypoglycemic Activity of a Grape Polyphenol–Soybean Flour Complex 
Defatted soybean flour (DSF) can efficiently sorb, concentrate, and stabilize polyphenols, but not sugars, from Concord grape juice, to yield grape polyphenol-enriched DSF. Sorption of grape polyphenols to DSF particles was dependent on the ratio of DSF and grape juice concentrate used, but not time of mixing or pH. Depending on ratios of starting materials, 1 g of grape polyphenol-enriched DSF contained 1.6–10.4 mg of anthocyanins, 7.5–93.1 mg of proanthocyanidins, and 20.5–144.5 mg of total polyphenols. LC-MS analysis of grape juice samples before and after addition and removal of DSF and eluate from grape polyphenol-enriched DSF confirmed that a broad range of grape compounds were sorbed to the DSF matrix. Finally, grape polyphenol-enriched DSF was able to significantly lower blood glucose levels in hyperglycemic C57BL/6J mice. The data indicate that grape polyphenol-enriched DSF can provide a high-protein, low-sugar ingredient for delivery of concentrated grape polyphenolics.
PMCID: PMC3419343  PMID: 22462390
Concord grape juice; defatted soy flour; anthocyanins; proanthocyanidins; polyphenols; hypoglycemic; diabetes
25.  Akt-dependent anabolic activity of natural and synthetic brassinosteroids in rat skeletal muscle cells 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(12):4057-4066.
Brassinosteroids are plant-derived polyhydroxylated derivatives of 5α-cholestane, structurally similar to cholesterol-derived animal steroid hormones and insect ecdysteroids. In this study, we synthesized a set of brassinosteroid analogues of a natural brassinosteroid (22S,23S)-homobrassinolide (HB, 1) including (22S,23S)-homocastasterone (2), (22S,23S)-3α-fluoro-homobrasinolide (3), (22S,23S)-3α-fluoro-homocastasterone (4), (22S,23S)-7v-aza-homobrassinolide (5), (22S,23S)-6-aza-homobrassinolide (6), and studied their anabolic efficacy in the L6 rat skeletal muscle cells in comparison to other synthetic and naturally occurring brassinosteroids (22R,23R)-homobrassinolide (7), (22S,23S)-epibrassinolide (8), and (22R,23R)-epibrassinolide (9). Presence of the 6-keto group in the B ring and stereochemistry of 22α,23α-vicinal hydroxyl groups in the side chain were critical for the anabolic activity, possibly due to higher cytotoxicity of the 22β, 23β-hydroxylated brassinosteroids. All anabolic brassinosteroids tested in this study selectively activated PI3K/Akt signaling pathway as evident by increased Akt phosphorylation in vitro. Plant brassinosteroids and their synthetic derivatives may offer a novel therapeutic strategy for promoting growth, repair, and maintenance of skeletal muscles.
PMCID: PMC3128125  PMID: 21491949
brassinosteroid; protein synthesis; protein degradation; anabolic steroids; muscle mass; muscle loss

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