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Special Issue "Involvement of Medicinal Plants and Food in the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultiral Science, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: pharmacology; natural products; neurotransmission; behavioral pharmacology; experimental pharmacology; preclinical pharmacology; CB1 receptor; PPARs; cannabinoids; endocannabinoids; CB2 receptor
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Grazia Ferraro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: biological characterization of a new class of ruthenium-containing nucleolipidic liposomes; design edaspotential chemotherapeutic agents for breast cancer treatment both in vitro and in vivo (xenograft model); preclinical evaluation of nutraceutical formulations and medicinal plants; molecular investigations related to iron homeostasis in different physio-pathological conditions, such as hepaticsteatosis, Alzheimer'sdisease, viralinfection and cancer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Dietary habits are recognized as important for the well-being, longevity and prevention of various diseases. Healthy food lifestyles, such as the Mediterranean diet, are characterized by several beneficial bioactive components which include, in addition to the classic long-chain fatty acids, the antioxidant polyphenols, as well as a huge mass of new phytochemicals that spread throughout the kingdom vegetable, from fruit and its drinks, to whole grains, legumes and spices.

In addition to nutrition, medicinal plants also contribute to the prevention of various chronic and non-chronic diseases, just think of ginseng, valerian, arnica, licorice, garlic, turmeric, milk thistle, etc.

In addition, medicinal plants have always been used for the prevention of diseases and in recent years their interest and their use has increased significantly, and researchers have also invested heavily in identifying new pharmacological properties.

This Special Issue welcomes the submission of either original research manuscripts or reviews of the scientific literature, concerning biological properties of medicinal plants and new and classical dietary bioactive compounds, nutraceutical or functional food in different clinical and experimental settings of disease, focusing on potential molecular mechanisms.

PS: It is necessary to clarify the exact functional ingredient in the research paper.


Prof. Dr. Raffaele Capasso
Dr. Maria Ferraro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • medicinal plants
  • food
  • biological activity
  • plant side effects
  • pharmacological interactions
  • nutraceutical
  • microbiome
  • vitamins
  • metabolism
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • medical use
  • cancer

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms by Which Probiotic Bacteria Attenuate the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2606; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052606 - 05 Mar 2021
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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Chronic infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Chronic infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are the major extrinsic risk factors of HCC development. Genetic background is pivotal in HCC pathogenesis, and both germline mutations and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) are intrinsic risk factors of HCC. These HCC risk factors predispose to hepatic injury and subsequent activation of fibrogenesis that progresses into cirrhosis and HCC. Probiotic bacteria can mitigate HCC risk by modulating host gut microbiota (GM) to promote growth of beneficial microbes and inhibit HCC-associated dysbiosis, thus preventing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-mediated hepatic inflammation. Probiotics have antiviral activities against HBV and HCV infections, ameliorate obesity and risk of NAFLD/NASH, and their antioxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic, and anti-metastatic effects can prevent the HCC pathogenesis. Probiotics also upregulate the expression of tumor suppressor genes and downregulate oncogene expression. Moreover, metabolites generated by probiotics through degradation of dietary phytochemicals may mitigate the risk of HCC development. These multiple anticancer mechanisms illustrate the potential of probiotics as an adjuvant strategy for HCC risk management and treatment. Full article
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