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      Bioactive Compounds Found in Brazilian Cerrado Fruits

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          Abstract

          Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the Cerrado are progressive. Hence, the knowledge propagation about the importance of the species found in Cerrado could contribute to the preservation of this biome. This review provides information about Cerrado fruits and highlights the structures and pharmacologic potential of functional compounds found in these fruits. Compounds detected in Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (pequi), Dipteryx alata Vog. (baru), Eugenia dysenterica DC. (cagaita), Eugenia uniflora L. (pitanga), Genipa americana L. (jenipapo), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (mangaba), Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (buriti), Myrciaria cauliflora (DC) Berg (jabuticaba), Psidium guajava L. (goiaba), Psidium spp. (araçá), Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill (lobeira), Spondias mombin L. (cajá), Annona crassiflora Mart. (araticum), among others are reported here.

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          Structure-antioxidant activity relationships of flavonoids and phenolic acids.

          The recent explosion of interest in the bioactivity of the flavonoids of higher plants is due, at least in part, to the potential health benefits of these polyphenolic components of major dietary constituents. This review article discusses the biological properties of the flavonoids and focuses on the relationship between their antioxidant activity, as hydrogen donating free radical scavengers, and their chemical structures. This culminates in a proposed hierarchy of antioxidant activity in the aqueous phase. The cumulative findings concerning structure-antioxidant activity relationships in the lipophilic phase derive from studies on fatty acids, liposomes, and low-density lipoproteins; the factors underlying the influence of the different classes of polyphenols in enhancing their resistance to oxidation are discussed and support the contention that the partition coefficients of the flavonoids as well as their rates of reaction with the relevant radicals define the antioxidant activities in the lipophilic phase.
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            Conservation of the Brazilian Cerrado

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              (-)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans.

              Epidemiological and medical anthropological investigations suggest that flavanol-rich foods exert cardiovascular health benefits. Endothelial dysfunction, a prognostically relevant key event in atherosclerosis, is characterized by a decreased bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO) and impaired flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD). We show in healthy male adults that the ingestion of flavanol-rich cocoa was associated with acute elevations in levels of circulating NO species, an enhanced FMD response of conduit arteries, and an augmented microcirculation. In addition, the concentrations and the chemical profiles of circulating flavanol metabolites were determined, and multivariate regression analyses identified (-)-epicatechin and its metabolite, epicatechin-7-O-glucuronide, as independent predictors of the vascular effects after flavanol-rich cocoa ingestion. A mixture of flavanols/metabolites, resembling the profile and concentration of circulating flavanol compounds in plasma after cocoa ingestion, induced a relaxation in preconstricted rabbit aortic rings ex vivo, thus mimicking acetylcholine-induced relaxations. Ex vivo flavanol-induced relaxation, as well as the in vivo increases in FMD, were abolished by inhibition of NO synthase. Oral administration of chemically pure (-)-epicatechin to humans closely emulated acute vascular effects of flavanol-rich cocoa. Finally, the concept that a chronic intake of high-flavanol diets is associated with prolonged, augmented NO synthesis is supported by data that indicate a correlation between the chronic consumption of a cocoa flavanol-rich diet and the augmented urinary excretion of NO metabolites. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the human ingestion of the flavanol (-)-epicatechin is, at least in part, causally linked to the reported vascular effects observed after the consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                ijms
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                MDPI
                1422-0067
                09 October 2015
                October 2015
                : 16
                : 10
                : 23760-23783
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Câmpus Henrique Santillo, Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Anápolis, Goiás CEP 75132-903, Brasil; E-Mails: elisaflavia@ 123456gmail.com (E.F.L.C.B.); ivano.devilla@ 123456gmail.com (I.A.D.)
                [2 ]Laboratório de Pesquisa em Produtos Naturais, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás CEP 74605-170, Brasil; E-Mail: ecardosoufg@ 123456gmail.com
                [3 ]Escola de Ciências Médicas, Farmacêuticas e Biomédicas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás CEP 74605-010, Brasil
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: leonardoquimica@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +55-62-3946-1000.
                Article
                ijms-16-23760
                10.3390/ijms161023760
                4632725
                26473827
                ff5c8609-f937-46aa-93ad-3e4bf097b627
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                Molecular biology
                brazilian savanna,functional foods,phenolic compounds,secondary metabolites
                Molecular biology
                brazilian savanna, functional foods, phenolic compounds, secondary metabolites

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