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      Phenolic Compounds in Brassica Vegetables

      Molecules

      MDPI

      anthocyanins, antioxidant activity, biological activity, brassica, flavonoids, health, hydroxycinnamic acids, polyphenols

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          Abstract

          Phenolic compounds are a large group of phytochemicals widespread in the plant kingdom. Depending on their structure they can be classified into simple phenols, phenolic acids, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and flavonoids. Phenolic compounds have received considerable attention for being potentially protective factors against cancer and heart diseases, in part because of their potent antioxidative properties and their ubiquity in a wide range of commonly consumed foods of plant origin. The Brassicaceae family includes a wide range of horticultural crops, some of them with economic significance and extensively used in the diet throughout the world. The phenolic composition of Brassica vegetables has been recently investigated and, nowadays, the profile of different Brassica species is well established. Here, we review the significance of phenolic compounds as a source of beneficial compounds for human health and the influence of environmental conditions and processing mechanisms on the phenolic composition of Brassica vegetables.

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          Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids

          Flavonoids are ubiquitous in photosynthesising cells and are commonly found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, stems, flowers, tea, wine, propolis and honey. For centuries, preparations containing these compounds as the principal physiologically active constituents have been used to treat human diseases. Increasingly, this class of natural products is becoming the subject of anti-infective research, and many groups have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids possessing antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity. Moreover, several groups have demonstrated synergy between active flavonoids as well as between flavonoids and existing chemotherapeutics. Reports of activity in the field of antibacterial flavonoid research are widely conflicting, probably owing to inter- and intra-assay variation in susceptibility testing. However, several high-quality investigations have examined the relationship between flavonoid structure and antibacterial activity and these are in close agreement. In addition, numerous research groups have sought to elucidate the antibacterial mechanisms of action of selected flavonoids. The activity of quercetin, for example, has been at least partially attributed to inhibition of DNA gyrase. It has also been proposed that sophoraflavone G and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibit cytoplasmic membrane function, and that licochalcones A and C inhibit energy metabolism. Other flavonoids whose mechanisms of action have been investigated include robinetin, myricetin, apigenin, rutin, galangin, 2,4,2′-trihydroxy-5′-methylchalcone and lonchocarpol A. These compounds represent novel leads, and future studies may allow the development of a pharmacologically acceptable antimicrobial agent or class of agents.
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            Bioavailability of the Polyphenols: Status and Controversies

            The current interest in polyphenols has been driven primarily by epidemiological studies. However, to establish conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of dietary polyphenols in disease prevention, it is useful to better define the bioavailability of the polyphenols, so that their biological activity can be evaluated. The bioavailability appears to differ greatly among the various phenolic compounds, and the most abundant ones in our diet are not necessarily those that have the best bioavailability profile. In the present review, we focus on the factors influencing the bioavailability of the polyphenols. Moreover, a critical overview on the difficulties and the controversies of the studies on the bioavailability is discussed.
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              Flavonoids as anti-inflammatory agents: implications in cancer and cardiovascular disease.

              Chronic inflammation is being shown to be increasingly involved in the onset and development of several pathological disturbances such as arteriosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and even cancer. Treatment for chronic inflammatory disorders has not been solved, and there is an urgent need to find new and safe anti-inflammatory compounds. Flavonoids belong to a group of natural substances occurring normally in the diet that exhibit a variety of beneficial effects on health. The anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids have been studied recently, in order to establish and characterize their potential utility as therapeutic agents in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain in vivo flavonoid anti-inflammatory actions, such as antioxidant activity, inhibition of eicosanoid generating enzymes or the modulation of the production of proinflammatory molecules. Recent studies have also shown that some flavonoids are modulators of proinflammatory gene expression, thus leading to the attenuation of the inflammatory response. However, much work remains to be done in order to achieve definitive conclusions about their potential usefulness. This review summarizes the known mechanisms involved in the anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids and the implications of these effects on the protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                21193847
                6259264
                10.3390/molecules16010251

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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