Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a legume consumed as a high-quality plant protein source in many parts of the world. High protein and carbohydrate contents with a relatively low fat content and a complementary amino acid pattern to that of cereal grains make cowpea an important nutritional food in the human diet. Cowpea has gained more attention recently from consumers and researchers worldwide as a result of its exerted health beneficial properties, including anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties. Among the mechanisms that have been proposed in the prevention of chronic diseases, the most proven are attributed to the presence of compounds such as soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, phytochemicals, and proteins and peptides in cowpea. However, studies on the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of cowpea have produced conflicting results. Some studies support a protective effect of cowpea on the progression of cancer and inflammation, whereas others did not reveal any. Because there are only a few studies addressing health-related effects of cowpea consumption, further studies in this area are suggested. In addition, despite the reported favorable effects of cowpea on diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension, a long-term epidemiological study investigating the association between cowpea consumption and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer is also recommended. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.
Coconut oil is an integral part of Sri Lankan and many South Asian diets. Initially, coconut oil was classified along with saturated fatty acid food items and criticized for its negative impact on health. However, research studies have shown that coconut oil is a rich source of medium‐chain fatty acids. Thus, this has opened new prospects for its use in many fields. Beyond its usage in cooking, coconut oil has attracted attention due to its hypocholesterolemic, anticancer, antihepatosteatotic, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, antimicrobial and skin moisturizing properties. Despite all the health benefits, consumption of coconut oil is still underrated due to a lack of supportive scientific evidence. Even though studies done in Asian countries claim a favorable impact on cardiac health and serum lipid profile, the limitations in the number of studies conducted among Western countries impede the endorsement of the real value of coconut oil. Hence, long‐term extensive studies with proper methodologies are suggested to clear all the controversies and misconceptions of coconut oil consumption. This review discusses the composition and functional properties of coconut oils extracted using various processing methods. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry
Potatoes have shown promising health-promoting properties in human cell culture, experimental animal and human clinical studies, including antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, anticancer and antidiabetic effects. Compounds present such as phenolics, fiber, starch and proteins as well as compounds considered antinutritional such as glycoalkaloids, lectins and proteinase inhibitors are believed to contribute to the health benefits of potatoes. However, epidemiological studies exploring the role of potatoes in human health have been inconclusive. Some studies support a protective effect of potato consumption in weight management and diabetes, while other studies demonstrate no effect and a few suggest a negative effect. As there are many biological activities attributed to the compounds present in potato, some of which could be beneficial or detrimental depending on specific circumstances, a long-term study investigating the association between potato consumption and diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer while controlling for fat intake is needed. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.
This study was carried out to investigate the hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic potential of raw, boiled, and sprouted mung beans in rats. Oven dried mung bean powders; raw, sprouted, and boiled were included at 30% level in the diet of seven weeks old male Wistar rats maintained for 5 weeks on high (0.5%) cholesterol diet in comparison with control diet. Low serum glucose and triglyceride concentrations (p < .05) in raw and processed mung bean diets fed rats were supported by low serum insulin level in both raw mung bean diet and boiled mung bean diet fed rats. Hypoglycemic effect in sprouted mung bean fed rats was supported by higher α‐amylase inhibitory activity and α‐glucosidase inhibitory activity of sprouted mung beans. Increase in serum non‐HDL cholesterol concentration and decrease in HDL cholesterol concentration caused by high cholesterol diet were modulated (p < .05) by both boiled and sprouted mung bean diets. Practical applications Mung bean is a green legume rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic potential of raw mung beans have been shown previously. It is well known that cooking and processing modulate nutritional and biochemical parameters of foods. However, very limited information is available on the effect of processing on functional properties of legumes. Results of this study showed that boiling and sprouting improved the soluble fiber content and hypocholesterolemic potential of mung beans. Thus, the processed mung beans may be more suitable for developing food supplements for patients with hypercholesterolemia.
Citrus fruits are a rich source of (poly)phenols, a group of dietary bioactive compounds that protect against developing type 2 diabetes. Our review critically evaluates how experimental in vitro and animal models have elucidated some of the underlying mechanisms on how citrus (poly)phenols affect the markers of type 2 diabetes. According to animal studies, the beneficial effects derived from consuming citrus compounds appear to be related to long-term effects, rather than acute. There are some notable effects from citrus (poly)phenol metabolites on post-absorptive processes, such as modulation of hepatic glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in target tissues, but with a more modest effect on digestion and sugar absorption within the gut. experimental studies on cells and other systems in vitro have indicated some of the possible mechanisms involved, but ∼70% of the studies utilized unrealistically high concentrations and forms of the compounds, compromising physiological relevance. Future studies should discuss the relevance of concentration used in in vitro experiments, relative to the proposed site of action, and also examine the role of catabolites produced by the gut microbiota. Finally, it is important to examine the relationship between the gut microbiota and bioavailability on the action of citrus (poly)phenols.
α‐Amylase is an endoenzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of internal α‐l,4 glycosidic linkages in polysaccharides to produce maltose, maltotriose, and α‐limit dextrins. It is widely used in the laboratorial and industrial workflow for several applications. There are several methods utilizing different techniques and substrates to assess α‐amylase activity, among which the spectroscopic methods have found widespread applicability due to their ease of use and cost‐effectiveness. Depending upon the reaction principle, these assays are classified into four groups: reducing sugar, enzymatic, chromogenic, and amyloclastic methods. Despite the presence of numerous methods, there is no general reliable method to assess α‐amylase activity. Each method is shown to have its own merits and demerits. Many improvements have been made to make the available methods more accurate, reliable, and easy. This communication briefly discusses the basic reaction mechanisms and critically reviews the advantages and shortcomings associated with each method. Further recommendations are made for future development. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry
The present investigation was carried out to determine the nutritional and functional properties of T. cucumerina. Water extracts of freeze dried flowers, fruits, and leaves of T. cucumerina were evaluated for their total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), antioxidant activity, α-amylase inhibitory activity, and fiber and mineral contents. Antioxidant activity, TPC, and TFC were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in leaves than in flowers and fruits. A significant linear correlation was observed between the TPC, TFC, and antioxidant activities of plant extracts. Although, leaves and flower samples showed a significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) amylase inhibitory activity than the fruit samples, the overall amylase inhibition was low in all three parts of T. cucumerina. Soluble and insoluble dietary fiber contents were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in fruits than in flowers and leaves. Ca and K contents were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in leaf followed by fruit and flower and Mg, Fe, and Zn contents were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in leaves followed by flowers and fruits. In conclusion, T. cucumerina can be considered as a nourishing food commodity which possesses high nutritional and functional benefits for human health.
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