Carica papaya L. is a well-known fruit worldwide, and its highest production occurs in tropical and subtropical regions. The pulp contains vitamins A, C, and E, B complex vitamins, such as pantothenic acid and folate, and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, as well as food fibers. Phenolic compounds, such as benzyl isothiocyanate, glucosinolates, tocopherols (α and δ), β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and carotenoids, are found in the seeds. The oil extracted from the seed principally presents oleic fatty acid followed by palmitic, linoleic and stearic acids, whereas the leaves have high contents of food fibers and polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, saponins, pro-anthocyanins, tocopherol, and benzyl isothiocyanate. Studies demonstrated that the nutrients present in its composition have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, protecting it against cardiovascular illnesses and preventing harm caused by free radicals. It has also been reported that it aids in the treatment of diabetes mellitus and in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Thus, both the pulp and the other parts of the plant (leaves and seeds) present antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic actions, which, in turn, can contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity and associated metabolic disorders.
Context: New antileishmanias are needed because of toxicity, high cost and resistance problems associated with available drugs. Nectandra (Lauraceae) produces several classes of compounds but its essential oil has not previously been reported to have antileishmania activity.Objective: We evaluated the cytotoxicity and antileishmania activity of essential oils from Nectandra amazonum Nees, N. gardneri Meisn., N. hihua (Ruiz & Pav.) Rohwer and N. megapotamica (Spreng.) Mez.Materials and methods:Nectandra oils were extracted from stem bark/leaves by hydrodistillation and compounds were identified by GC-MS. Oils were tested against Leishmania infantum and L. amazonensis intracellular amastigotes and nitric oxide production was evaluated. Cytotoxicity was achieved on NIH/3T3 and J774.A1 cells for the selectivity index (SI).Results and discussion:Nectandra gardneri was active against L. infantum and L. amazonensis (IC50 = 2.7 ± 1.3/2.1 ± 1.06 μg/mL) and contained 85.4% sesquiterpenes, of which 58.2% was intermediol. Besides low cytotoxicity (SI >11.3), N. gardneri induced a significant increase in NO production by L. infantum-infected macrophages. Nectandra hihua had the best activity on L. infantum amastigotes (IC50 = 0.2 ± 1.1 μg/mL). This oil was 89.0% sesquiterpenes, with 28.1% bicyclogermacrene. The two specimens of N. megapotamica had different activities on amastigotes. The one richer in sesquiterpenes (49.9%) was active against both species (IC50 = 12.5 ± 1.4/21.3 ± 1.2) and had phenylpropanoid E-asarone as the main compound (42.4%). Nectandra amazonum showed moderate activity on both the species (IC50 = 31.9 ± 2.0/22.1 ± 1.3 μg/mL) and low selectivity (0.9 < SI >2.6), probably due to the major presence of β-caryophyllene (28.5%).Conclusions: Our data identify compounds that can now be isolated and used for the development of new antileishmanias.
Annona muricata Linn, commonly known as graviola, is one of the most popular plants used in Brazil for weight loss. The aim of this study is to evaluate the therapeutic effects of three different doses (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, and 150 mg/kg) of aqueous graviola leaf extract (AGE) supplemented by oral gavage, on obese C57BL/6 mice. Food intake, body weight, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), an insulin sensitivity test, quantification of adipose tissue cytokines, weight of fat pads, and serum biochemical and histological analyses of the liver, pancreas, and epididymal adipose tissue were measured. AGE had an anti-inflammatory effect by increasing IL-10 at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg. Regarding the cholesterol profile, there was a significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol levels in the AGE 150 group, and VLDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in the AGE 100 and 150 groups. There was an increase in HDL cholesterol in the AGE 150 group. The extract was able to reduce the adipocyte area of the epididymal adipose tissue in the AGE 100 and 150 groups. According to the histological analysis of the liver and pancreas, no significant difference was found among the groups. There were no significant effects of AGE on OGTT and serum fasting glucose concentration. However, the extract was effective in improving glucose tolerance in the AGE 150 group.
Foodborne pathogens are a real public health concern in an escalating antimicrobial resistance scenario. Natural products represent a promising source of bioactive molecules, and essential oils have attracted much attention due to their myriad of biological properties, including antibacterial activities. In this context, essential oils obtained from the leaves of Chromolaena squalida, Campomanesia sessiliflora, Myrsine guianensis, Matayba guianensis, Siparuna guianensis, Ocotea minarum and Endlicheria paniculata—species from the Cerrado biome of Midwest Brazil—were extracted and evaluated for their antibacterial activity against a panel of four standard and three clinical multidrug−resistant bacterial strains. All tested oils showed moderate to good activity against at least four bacterial strains, including Salmonella Typhi and oxacillin−resistant Staphylococcus. The essential oils from C. squalida, C. sessiliflora, My. guianensis and Ma. guianensis showed strong inhibition of clinical Staphylococcus strains, which cause bovine mastitis and are related to milk−borne diseases. Their chemical profiles were investigated by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS), which revealed a predominance of mono− and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, some of which with well−known antimicrobial properties. The essential oil from Cerrado plants proved active against resistant Gram−positive and Gram−negative bacteria, revealing their potentialities for the development of new alternative agents to prevent the spreading of resistant bacterial contamination.
O trabalho apresenta o estudo taxonômico das espécies do gênero Nectandra no Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil. Baseados na análise morfológica dos espécimes coletados em diferentes regiões do Estado são confirmados oito espécies de Nectandra: N. amazonum Nees, N. cissiflora Nees, N. cuspidata Nees, N. falcifolia (Nees) J.A. Castigl. ex Mart. Crov. & Piccinini, N. gardneri Meisn., N. hihua (Ruiz & Pav.) Rohwer, N. megapotamica (Spreng.) Mez e N. psammophila Nees. É fornecida uma chave de identificação para as espécies e apresentados descrições morfológicas, dados de distribuição geográfica, habitat, aspectos fenológicos, comentários taxonômicos e ilustrações para cada espécie.
There are still controversies regarding the correlation between the beneficial effects for health and the administration of isolated compounds or crude extracts in therapeutic applications. Campomanesia xanthocarpa, found in the Brazilian Cerrado, demonstrated beneficial effects in metabolic disorders associated with obesity. We investigated the effects of Campomanesia xanthocarpa hydroethanolic extract and two isolated substances from the extract (S1 and S2) in a diet-induced obesity (DIO) model. Male Swiss mice were divided into five groups: (1) American Institute of Nutrition (AIN-93M) diet, (2) high-fat diet (HF), (3) HF supplemented with C. xanthocarpa hydroethanolic leaf extract at 100 mg/kg (HFE), (4) HF supplemented with S1 at 1 mg/kg (HFS1) and (5) HF supplemented with S2 at 1 mg/kg (HFS2). The HFS1, HFS2 and HFE groups did not present decreasing body weight or visceral adiposity gain. No differences in glycemic and lipid parameters, or in the expression of protein content in two cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10), were observed. Only the HFS1 group displayed decreased food intake. Even though substantial effects such as an improvement in obesity features or the metabolic and histological parameters promoted by S1, S2 and the extract were not observed, further investigations are necessary to evaluate the principal genes and protein expressions involved in regulating food behavior promoted by S1.
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