Volume 2 Number 1 February 2004

 

Commentary
1 BUILDING CONSUMER UNDERSTANDING AND TRUST IN NUTRACEUTICALS
Elliott Balbert[ABSTRACT]
5 SHOULD BREAST CANCER PATIENTS AND SURVIVORS STAY AWAY FROM PHYTOESTROGENS?
Mario L. de Lemos[ABSTRACT]
Review Articles
13 Chemical versus Pharmacological Actions of Nutraceutical Phytochemicals: Antioxidant and Anti Inflammatory Modalities
Kenneth Hensley, Shenyun Mou, Quentin N. Pye, Richard A. Dixon, Lloyd W. Summner, Robert A. Floyd[ABSTRACT]
27 ANTIOXIDANT-PROOXIDANT BALANCE IN THE INTESTINE: FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2. ANTIOXIDANTS
Katie P. Surai, Peter F. Surai, Brian K. Speake and Nick H. C. Sparks[ABSTRACT]
47 Plant Defense & Human Nutrition: Phenylpropanoids on the Menu
Marcello Iriti and Franco Faoro[ABSTRACT]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 1, pp. 1-4 (2004)
BUILDING CONSUMER UNDERSTANDING AND TRUST IN NUTRACEUTICALS
Elliott Balbert

ABSTRACT: Faced with market confusion about nutraceuticals, the dietary supplement industry has organized a coalition with the mission of improving public health by educating consumers, media and policymakers on the benefits of dietary supplements. This article highlights key progress and challenges in implementing the coalition.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 1, pp. 5-12 (2004)

SHOULD BREAST CANCER PATIENTS AND SURVIVORS STAY AWAY FROM PHYTOESTROGENS?
Mario L. de Lemos

ABSTRACT: Epidemiological and preclinical data suggest that phytoestrogens may have cytotoxic activity against breast cancer and estrogenic effect. Phytoestrogens have been suggested as an alternative to estrogen therapy to control menopausal symptoms in women with breast cancer and to combat their malignancy. However, there are concerns that their estrogenic effects can increase the growth of breast tumour, particularly if estrogen receptor positive. To date, there have been no prospective controlled clinical trials or case-control studies specifically looking at the effect of phytoestrogens on disease progression or recurrence in breast cancer patients. Phytoestrogens have not been shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms of women with breast cancer in prospective clinical trials. In vitro and animal data suggest that soy isoflavones may affect breast tumour growth in a biphasic manner, stimulating growth at low concentrations but inhibiting growth at concentrations greater than 10m M. It is unclear if levels greater than 10m M can be achieved with soy diet or supplements. Breast cancer patients using soy phytoestrogens should weigh the small possibility of disease worsening against the marginal benefits for menopausal symptoms and the unproven potential for cancer improvement.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 1, pp. 13-26 (2004)

Chemical versus Pharmacological Actions of Nutraceutical Phytochemicals: Antioxidant and Anti Inflammatory Modalities
Kenneth Hensley, Shenyun Mou, Quentin N. Pye, Richard A. Dixon, Lloyd W. Summner, Robert A. Floyd
ABSTRACT: A variety of polyphenolic phytochemicals have been heavily touted as possessing healthful properties by virtue of their antioxidant ability. Indeed, a growing body of evidence indicates that certain bioflavonoids and dicatechols possess salubrious activity against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Administration of these agents to experimental animals or to humans can result in diminution of oxidative stress indicators, clearly suggesting antioxidant properties. One must, however, consider that concentrations of these phytochemicals in vivo seldom reach levels sufficient to directly scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS). The apparent paradox may be resolved in recent advances that clarify the relationship between ROS, inflammation, and redox-sensitive signal transduction. It is becoming apparent that ROS production is an inherent aspect of both chronic and acute inflammatory processes. Many common polyphenolic phytochemicals are potent inhibitors of enzyme systems responsible for the generation of ROS and nitric oxide during these periods of inflammation. As a consequence the compounds possess potent and sometimes very specific anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, polyphenolic phytochemicals can rightly be explored as pharmacophores, rational consideration of which might lead to improved bioactivity. These issues are discussed with specific examples involving flavones, isoflavones, stilbenoids and dicatechols that are currently being explored within the nutraceutical industry.

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 1, pp. 27-46 (2004)

ANTIOXIDANT-PROOXIDANT BALANCE IN THE INTESTINE: FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2. ANTIOXIDANTS
Katie P. Surai, Peter F. Surai, Brian K. Speake and Nick H. C. Sparks

ABSTRACT: This paper further develops the hypothesis presented earlier that the antioxidant-pro-oxidant balance in the intestine is an important determinant of human health. A wide range of evidence in favour of this hypothesis is described. When food is consumed it contains a range of antioxidants including vitamin E, coenzyme Q, carotenoids, vitamin A, ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione, selenomethionine, flavonoids and other polyphenolics. It could also contain some spices, synthetic antioxidants and other compounds possessing antioxidant properties. They balance the prooxidants found in the food. Since we cannot avoid pro-oxidants in our food we need to make sure that they are compensated by consumption of increased levels of natural antioxidants. It would be advantage if our meat and fish meals are served with plenty of vegetables. Various sauces (e.g. tomato sauce) could provide additional antioxidants. Various juices are also good sources of natural antioxidants as well as fruits. If a meal is finished with tea, this will also add to antioxidant potential of the digesta.

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 1, pp. 47-65 (2004)

Plant Defense & Human Nutrition: Phenylpropanoids on the Menu
Marcello Iriti and Franco Faoro

ABSTRACT: Because of their sessile status, land plants have been enhancing secondary metabolism, particularly the phenylpropanoid pathway, to defend themselves against environmental fluctuations and pathogen attacks. Most of the phenylpropanoid compounds constitute the plant food phytochemicals that have signified the dietary behavioural selection of primates, non-fire-using foraging hominids and agricultural human populations. By traditional breeding, humans have been modifying plant secondary metabolite profiles by selecting fruits, flowers and vegetables on the basis of their easier cultivation, edibility, digestibility, nutritional value, colours and scents. At last, besides enhancing plant fitness, phenylpropanoids are considered as nutraceuticals or pharmaconutrients. These are not drugs but pharmacologically active compounds that will potentiate, antagonize or simply modify some physiological and metabolic functions, providing, in most cases, health benefits and preventing ageing and chronic disease. Main phenylpropanoids found in functional foods, such as coumarins, lignans, flavonoids and stilbens, are described, with particular emphasis to their origin, sources and effects on human health.