Mainstream drugs from edible plants

The background 'pharmaceutical noise' of dietary origin Certain active pharmaceutical ingredients occur naturally in food plants and spices. With a few notable exceptions (statins, xanthines, capsaicinoids), the concentrations are very low and unlikely to exert any direct significant pharmacological activity. This background dietary 'pharmaceutical noise' can, however, become significant under particular conditions, especially in the realm of exposure to recreational drugs like tobacco and...

Info

Daniell, H., Streatfield, S.J. and Wycoff, K. (2001) Medical molecular farming production of antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines in plants. Trends Plant Sci., 6, 219-226. De Jung, T.J. (1995) Why fast-growing plants do not bother about defence. Oikos, 74, 545-548. De Luca, V. and Laflamme, P. (2001) The expanding universe of alkaloid biosynthesis. Curr. Opin. Plant Btol., 4, 225-233. De Luca, V. and St Pierre, B. (2000) The cell and developmental biology of alkaloid biosynthesis....

Antioxidants

The main action of antioxidants in human health is realized through their free-radical scavenging and chain breaking features. Oxygen is a potentially toxic element for living systems since it can be transformed by metabolic processes into more reactive forms such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals, collectively known as active oxygen. In living cells, an enzyme called superoxide dis-mutase converts superoxide into H2O2. Hydrogen peroxide is able to cross all...

Regulations for herbal products in the member states

France has developed a list of 34 plants regarded as foods. These plants can be sold without registration. Combination of the herbs present in the list is allowed up to a maximum of eight herbs, but they must have the same claimed pharmacological indications or usage. There is also the category of traditional herbal medicines a list of 196 herbal ingredients that can be registered through a simplified pharmaceutical registration procedure. Mixtures containing herbs on this list are allowed if...

Concluding remarks

Our diet contains a host of secondary metabolites which can interact with important pharmacological targets, and for which biological activity can be demonstrated in in vitro and in vivo assays. The role of these interactions for human homeostasis is unknown, and the translation of dietary constituents into pharmaceutical leads is undoubtedly fraught with difficulties. Nevertheless, it is not unconceivable that in the near future progress in biomedical sciences will put us in the position to...

Sales and use of dietary supplements in the United States

The sale and use of dietary supplements in the United States initially grew dramatically after the passage of the DSHEA. Figures of individual and mixtures of botanical supplements drove the market. The growth and demand led to a consolidation of manufacturing and retail corporations as well as new growth in botanical supplements produced by the major pharmaceutical corporations in the US. Supplement sales in the United States It is estimated that from 30 53 per cent of Americans or 100 million...

Transgenic crops for improved medicinal plants and pharmaceutical products

Phytochemicals of plant origin are being widely examined for their ability to provide health benefits as bioactive compounds and as potential nutritionally active ingredients (Cowan, 1999). As discussed by Dillard and German (2000), the number of possible physiological and biochemical ways through which they could provide health benefits is enormous. Such phytochemicals include terpenoids, phenolic compounds and alkaloids. Even though the number of synthetically produced drugs has increased...

Oh

The cyanidin-based anthocyanin fraction from bilberry shows remarkable anti-ulcer and ulcer-healing properties, and this observation prompted the investigation of cyanidin itself (Magistretti and Pifferi, 1989). In animal studies, cyanidin turned out to be effective in preserving gastric mucosal integrity, an effect mediated by an increased gastric luminal release of the protective factor PGE2 (Mertznielsen et al., 1990). The activity was confirmed in phase II clinical studies, which disclosed...

The example of St Johns wort

Increasing numbers of people are seeking symptomatic relief of psychiatric disorders by using dietary supplements. Since this is generally without medical supervision (Fugh-Berman and Cott, 1999 Wong et al., 1998), it is essential that clinicians avail themselves of the extensive literature available on natural products so that potential problems can be avoided. Herb drug interactions can be of two primary types pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic. Dynamic interactions are those having to do...

A brief overview of dietary supplement ingredient regulation in the United States

In 1994 the United States Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA, Public law 103-417, October 25, 1994, 103rd Congress). This law modified the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and expanded the definition of dietary supplements to include botanical ingredients, hormones, and a diverse array of related products in addition to vitamins and minerals. The DSHEA also specified the role of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating dietary...

Transgenic Plants

Transgenic plants result from the insertion of genetic material from another organism so that the plant will exhibit a desired trait. Food biotechnology is a process that uses the tools of modern genetics to enhance the beneficial traits of plants and microorganisms for food production. It offers controlled, precise and time-effective ways to modify fruits, vegetables, grains and other food crops to produce desirable attributes for foods. These innovations include the way plants and foods are...

Biosynthesis Of Hypericin

Figure 7.30 Biosynthesis of the alkaloid capsaicin. From Medicinal Natural Products by P.M. Dewick, 1998, reproduced with permission from John Wiley amp Sons. Figure 7.30 Biosynthesis of the alkaloid capsaicin. From Medicinal Natural Products by P.M. Dewick, 1998, reproduced with permission from John Wiley amp Sons. which is used to cure bronchial asthma. Theobromine is found in cocoa and related chocolate products Dewick, 1998 . Purine bases like adenine and guanine are transformed in these...

Elisa

This method is able to detect and quantify the amount of a certain protein which is of interest in a sample that may contain numerous other dissimilar proteins. ELISA uses antibodies to bind specific proteins. Antibodies are soluble proteins produced by the immune system of animals in response to exposure to a foreign substance called an antigen . For GMOs, the antigen can be the newly synthesized protein. A colorimetric or fluorometric reaction can visualize and measure when the antigen and...

Introduction

'Biotechnology' is the name that has been given to a very wide range of agricultural, industrial and medical technologies that make use of living organisms e.g. microbes, plants or animals or parts of living organisms e.g. isolated cells or proteins to provide new products and services. These include enzymes for food and drink production processes, vitamins, amino acids and other useful chemicals, obtained via fermenter technology. Cell manipulation and genetic engineering techniques are at...

Bergapten

Biosynthesis Anthocyanins

Figure 7.14 Transformation of the coumarin umbelliferone gives rise to marmesin, which is transformed to psoralen by the action of psoralen synthase. Hydroxylation of psoralen and the following esterification give rise to the furanocoumarins bergaptol and bergapten, respectively. in humans remain unclear. Several beneficial health effects in adults have been associated with phyto-oestrogens, such as a protective role against the development of breast and prostate cancers Haddad and Fuqua, 2001...

Plant cell tissue culture for the production of active compounds

For plant compounds one can consider several possibilities of biotechnological production plant cell tissue cultures, transgenic plants or plant cells, transgenic microorganisms and isolated enzymes. For transgenic systems it is necessary to know the pathway of production involved and have the genes available. Isolated enzymes can be used only for bioconversions, that is going from a precursor to the next product. One application of PCTC is to provide an alternative method for producing food...

Druglike compounds from food plants and spices

Giovanni Appendino and Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati Since nutritional research has traditionally focused on macronutrients proteins, lipids, sugars and essential micronutrients vitamins, minerals , food plants have long been assumed to contain few if any secondary metabolites apart from those revealed by our senses and responsible for their taste and flavour. Over the past few decades, evidence has, however, been mounting that food plants also contain a host of secondary metabolites which,...