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Special Issue "Properties and Activity of Molecules of Nutritional Interest"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Organic Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; safety; food safety; nutraceuticals; nanonutraceuticals; recovery from byproducts of the food industry; food contaminants; food supplements; contaminants; risk assessment; mycotoxins and secondary metabolites; chemistry and food education; food analysis; analytical chemistry; novel techniques for sustainable products; bioavailability; mechanism of action of nutraceuticals and nanonutraceuticals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The evaluation of nutrients and bioactive compounds and their possible synergistic interactions and effects should represent the first step in the investigation of potential benefits of food matrices. It could be also marked as a potential indicator of a "possible beneficial role" for health. Most people consume a combination of different foods containing a large variety of nutrients and bioactive components. Their incidence in foodstuffs and diet represent a key issue. Isolation studies, and the quantification of active components in food groups and along the food chain, is one of the topics of this Special Issue with a special focus on the multiple factors influencing food quality and nutritional characteristics, i.e., cultivar, agronomic conditions, processing technologies, preparation, and domestic cooking. The chemical diversity of compounds, besides their possible interactions, as well as their different mechanisms of action and biological role, will be considered. Current studies on the relationship between active components intake and human health will be also a hot topic of the Issue, as well as the possible interactions between foods and pharmaceuticals or between food and food supplements and nutraceuticals. Studies of bioactivities, starting from the evaluation of interactions between compounds by in vitro assays, through studies on cell lines and animal models, to bioavailability and intervention studies, to epidemiological and clinical trials in humans, are also welcome. The use and application of bioactive components in different sectors, both traditional and innovative, represent other key aspects that this Special Issue will take into account.

Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.

Keywords

  • nutrients
  • biologically active compounds
  • food quality and related factors
  • food groups
  • diet
  • chemistry
  • occurrence
  • mechanism of action
  • biological role
  • bioavailability
  • nutrition
  • applications

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Comparison of Ferroptosis-Inhibitory Mechanisms between Ferrostatin-1 and Dietary Stilbenes (Piceatannol and Astringin)
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1092; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26041092 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Synthetic arylamines and dietary phytophenolics could inhibit ferroptosis, a recently discovered regulated cell death process. However, no study indicates whether their inhibitory mechanisms are inherently different. Herein, the ferroptosis-inhibitory mechanisms of selected ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1) and two dietary stilbenes (piceatannol and astringin) were compared. [...] Read more.
Synthetic arylamines and dietary phytophenolics could inhibit ferroptosis, a recently discovered regulated cell death process. However, no study indicates whether their inhibitory mechanisms are inherently different. Herein, the ferroptosis-inhibitory mechanisms of selected ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1) and two dietary stilbenes (piceatannol and astringin) were compared. Cellular assays suggested that the ferroptosis-inhibitory and electron-transfer potential levels decreased as follows: Fer-1 >> piceatannol > astringin; however, the hydrogen-donating potential had an order different from that observed by the antioxidant experiments and quantum chemistry calculations. Quantum calculations suggested that Fer-1 has a much lower ionization potential than the two stilbenes, and the aromatic N-atoms were surrounded by the largest electron clouds. By comparison, the C4′O-H groups in the two stilbenes exhibited the lowest bond disassociation enthalpies. Finally, the three were found to produce corresponding dimer peaks through ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry analysis. In conclusion, Fer-1 mainly depends on the electron transfer of aromatic N-atoms to construct a redox recycle. However, piceatannol and astringin preferentially donate hydrogen atoms at the 4′-OH position to mediate the conventional antioxidant mechanism that inhibits ferroptosis, and to ultimately form dimers. These results suggest that dietary phytophenols may be safer ferroptosis inhibitors for balancing normal and ferroptotic cells than arylamines with high electron-transfer potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Properties and Activity of Molecules of Nutritional Interest)
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Article
Sucupira Oil-Loaded Nanostructured Lipid Carriers (NLC): Lipid Screening, Factorial Design, Release Profile, and Cytotoxicity
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25030685 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Essential oils are odorant liquid oily products consisting of a complex mixture of volatile compounds obtained from a plant raw material. They have been increasingly proven to act as potential natural agents in the treatment of several human conditions, including diabetes mellitus (DM). [...] Read more.
Essential oils are odorant liquid oily products consisting of a complex mixture of volatile compounds obtained from a plant raw material. They have been increasingly proven to act as potential natural agents in the treatment of several human conditions, including diabetes mellitus (DM). DM is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia closely related to carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism disturbances. In order to explore novel approaches for the management of DM our group proposes the encapsulation of sucupira essential oil, obtained from the fruits of the Brazilian plants of the genus Pterodon, in nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs), a second generation of lipid nanoparticles which act as new controlled drug delivery system (DDS). Encapsulation was performed by hot high-pressure homogenization (HPH) technique and the samples were then analyzed by dynamic light scattering (DLS) for mean average size and polydispersity index (PI) and by electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) for zeta potential (ZP), immediately after production and after 24 h of storage at 4 °C. An optimal sucupira-loaded NLC was found to consist of 0.5% (m/V) sucupira oil, 4.5% (m/V) of Kollivax® GMS II and 1.425% (m/V) of TPGS (formulation no. 6) characterized by a mean particle size ranging from 148.1 ± 0.9815 nm (0 h) to 159.3 ± 9.539 nm (at 24 h), a PI from 0.274 ± 0.029 (0 h) to 0.305 ± 0.028 (24 h) and a ZP from −0.00236 ± 0.147 mV (at 0 h) to 0.125 ± 0.162 (at 24 h). The encapsulation efficiency and loading capacity were 99.98% and 9.6%, respectively. The optimized formulation followed a modified release profile fitting the first order kinetics, over a period of 8 h. In vitro cytotoxicity studies were performed against Caco-2 cell lines, for which the cell viability above 90% confirmed the non-cytotoxic profile of both blank and sucupira oil-loaded NLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Properties and Activity of Molecules of Nutritional Interest)
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Article
Simultaneous Study of Anti-Ferroptosis and Antioxidant Mechanisms of Butein and (S)-Butin
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25030674 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1496
Abstract
To elucidate the mechanism of anti-ferroptosis and examine structural optimization in natural phenolics, cellular and chemical assays were performed with 2′-hydroxy chalcone butein and dihydroflavone (S)-butin. C11-BODIPY staining and flow cytometric assays suggest that butein more effectively inhibits ferroptosis in erastin-treated [...] Read more.
To elucidate the mechanism of anti-ferroptosis and examine structural optimization in natural phenolics, cellular and chemical assays were performed with 2′-hydroxy chalcone butein and dihydroflavone (S)-butin. C11-BODIPY staining and flow cytometric assays suggest that butein more effectively inhibits ferroptosis in erastin-treated bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells than (S)-butin. Butein also exhibited higher antioxidant percentages than (S)-butin in five antioxidant assays: linoleic acid emulsion assay, Fe3+-reducing antioxidant power assay, Cu2+-reducing antioxidant power assay, 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide radical (PTIO)-trapping assay, and α,α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH)-trapping assay. Their reaction products with DPPH were further analyzed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS). Butein and (S)-butin produced a butein 5,5-dimer (m/z 542, 271, 253, 225, 135, and 91) and a (S)-butin 5′,5′-dimer (m/z 542, 389, 269, 253, and 151), respectively. Interestingly, butein forms a cross dimer with (S)-butin (m/z 542, 523, 433, 419, 415, 406, and 375). Therefore, we conclude that butein and (S)-butin exert anti-ferroptotic action via an antioxidant pathway (especially the hydrogen atom transfer pathway). Following this pathway, butein and (S)-butin yield both self-dimers and cross dimers. Butein displays superior antioxidant or anti-ferroptosis action to (S)-butin. This can be attributed the decrease in π-π conjugation in butein due to saturation of its α,β-double bond and loss of its 2′-hydroxy group upon biocatalytical isomerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Properties and Activity of Molecules of Nutritional Interest)
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Review

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Review
Nanoparticle Delivery Systems in the Treatment of Diabetes Complications
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4209; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules24234209 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 3444
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus, an incurable metabolic disease, is characterized by changes in the homeostasis of blood sugar levels, being the subcutaneous injection of insulin the first line treatment. This administration route is however associated with limited patient’s compliance, due to the risk of pain, [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus, an incurable metabolic disease, is characterized by changes in the homeostasis of blood sugar levels, being the subcutaneous injection of insulin the first line treatment. This administration route is however associated with limited patient’s compliance, due to the risk of pain, discomfort and local infection. Nanoparticles have been proposed as insulin carriers to make possible the administration of the peptide via friendlier pathways without the need of injection, i.e., via oral or nasal routes. Nanoparticles stand for particles in the nanometer range that can be obtained from different materials (e.g., polysaccharides, synthetic polymers, lipid) and are commonly used with the aim to improve the physicochemical stability of the loaded drug and thereby its bioavailability. This review discusses the use of different types of nanoparticles (e.g., polymeric and lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, dendrimers, niosomes, micelles, nanoemulsions and also drug nanosuspensions) for improved delivery of different oral hypoglycemic agents in comparison to conventional therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Properties and Activity of Molecules of Nutritional Interest)
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