Emerging Trends in Dietary Components for Preventing and Combating Disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 80% of the consumers in the world utilize plant products as their first line of defense against diseases and as their primary sources of medicines; meanwhile, approximately 47% of the drugs approved by FDA during 1981-2006 were originally derived from natural products. Recent research from several laboratories around the world has confirmed the long-held belief that several agricultural and food derived products have a profound impact on human health. Here, interdisciplinary scientists including horticulturists, natural products chemists, and pharmacologists address this issue. The chapters presented here are selected from a special symposium entitled Agricultural and Food Derived Natural Products for Preventing and Combating Disease organized by the co-editors at the recent 240th American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 22-26, 2010, in Boston, MA. This book provides an integrated approach to address the chemistry of natural products for their application in disease prevention through in vitro, animal and human intervention studies.
The book covers three main areas: 1) Purification and characterization of certain natural compounds, 2) In vitro models for prevention and combating disease, 3) In vivo and human intervention models for prevention and combating diseases. The first area focuses on chemistry of natural products with studies involving isolation methods and elucidation of structural properties of natural compounds from various fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. Following up on the chemistry, in vitro models for preventing and combating disease are presented, notably models involving products derived from olives, hawthorn, goji, carrot, citrus, berry, and sugar maple. Several other indigenous plants from different regions of the world such as Chilean and Mediterranean wild plants Azadiracta indica and Echinacea pallida provide further understanding of the development of both traditional and innovative plant-based healing medicines. The third and fourth areas covered in the book impart an overview on the future applicability of the natural products.
Results from studies on anthocyanin based fruits and vegetables including berries, natural pigments, sesamol, Okra seeds, Grape seed extract, and Methyl jasmonate demonstrate their health benefits through modulation of different metabolic pathways. Given that the worldwide incidence of heart disease, cancer and other chronic human illnesses is rapidly increasing, intervention with agricultural and food derived natural products provides an attractive strategy for disease prevention. Therefore, the focused and timely discussions in this book will be of great interest to both basic and clinical researchers as well as other health care professionals. The book will facilitate further research in this area.