Intestinal epithelium provides the largest barrier protecting mammalian species from harmful external factors; however, it can be severely compromised by the presence of bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Antibiotics have been widely used for the prevention and treatment of GI bacterial infections, leading to antimicrobial resistance in human and veterinary medicine alike. In order to decrease antibiotic usage, natural substances, such as flavonoids, are investigated to be used as antibiotic alternatives. Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are potential candidates for this purpose owing to their various beneficial effects in humans and animals. In this study, protective effects of grape seed oligomeric proanthocyanidins (GSOPs) were tested in IPEC-J2 porcine intestinal epithelial cells infected with Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium of swine origin. GSOPs were able to alleviate oxidative stress, inflammation and barrier integrity disruption inflicted by bacteria in the co-culture. Furthermore, GSOPs could decrease the adhesion of both bacteria to IPEC-J2 cells. Based on these observations, GSOPs seem to be promising candidates for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal bacterial infections.
Because of our increased dependency on the use of radiation in areas such as the food industry, agriculture, space exploration, diagnostics and treatment of various diseases including cancer, the possibilities of unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation have considerably increased. Hence, there is a need to develop an effective radioprotective agent that can protect against the deleterious effects of ionizing radiation. So far, many synthetic and natural substances studied for use as radioprotectors have failed to reach clinics. Natural compounds are becoming more popular in radiation research due to their low toxicity, higher efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Plants and herbs contain a plethora of bioactive compounds having antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant properties which can act either in isolation or in combination to protect against the harmful effects of ionizing radiation This review mainly focuses on the radioprotective potential of various herbs and plants. The results obtained from various herbal extracts have shown protection against radiation-induced injuries in preclinical studies. This evaluation may help develop a potent radioprotector of desired efficacy.
Natural substances have traditionally been used in skin care for centuries. There is now an ongoing search for new natural bioactives that not only promote skin health but also protect the skin against various harmful factors, including ultraviolet radiation and free radicals. Free radicals, by disrupting defence and restoration mechanisms, significantly contribute to skin damage and accelerate ageing. Natural compounds present in plants exhibit antioxidant properties and the ability to scavenge free radicals. The increased interest in plant chemistry is linked to the growing interest in plant materials as natural antioxidants. This review focuses on aromatic and medicinal plants as a source of antioxidant substances, such as polyphenols, tocopherols, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and macromolecules (including polysaccharides and peptides) as well as components of essential oils, and their role in skin health and the ageing process.
Agriculture has become a sector with a huge impact on the natural environment. The interest of agriculture in the category of innovative bio-stimulants is due to the intensive search for preparations based on natural substances. This is not possible without developing and implementing innovative technologies, e.g., cold plasma, along with innovative technologies supporting farmers. Therefore, given the need to prevent environmental damage caused by intensive agriculture, plant production and protection must be targeted at merging the stimulation of crop growth and the elimination of threats to humans and the environment. The analysis of how cold plasma can influence the production of organic bio-stimulants seems to be an unavoidable step in future approaches to this topic. Since allelopathic plants represent a source of many chemical compounds promoting crop growth and development, the coupling of biologically-active compound extraction with plasma activation of allelopathic extracts has interesting potential in offering the most modern alternative to conventional agriculture. However, its implementation in practice will only be feasible after a comprehensive and thoughtful investigation of the mechanisms behind crops’ response to such bio-stimulants.
In sustainable development, one of the key factors is the usage of non-toxic and biodegradable natural substances for the development of green energy and technology. Photovoltaics and photoelectrochemical cells are...
Sport is an important aspect of human life, affecting mental and physical health. Physical activity is one of the most effective ways of preventing the diseases of civilisation, such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. There are many substances and methods that are used by athletes to improve physical performance, increase muscle mass and strength, increase concentration or suppress excessive emotions or reduce body weight to improve sports results. However, there is a need for research to find natural substances of plant origin, the use of which will lead to an increase in physical performance and will be fully legal and without side effects. Some scientists are conducting research into the use of ashwagandha root extract to improve physical performance.
The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of ashwagandha root extract in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and in reducing stress. Our study material consisted of publications, which were found in PubMed, ResearchGate and Google Scholar databases. In order to find the proper publications, the search has been conducted with the use of a combination of key words like: ''ashawagandha'', ''physical performance'', ''physical endurance'', ''muscle strength". The first step was to find proper publications from the last 15 years. The second step was to carry out an overview of the found publications.
Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental toxicant, capable of reducing mitochondrial ATP production and promoting the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with resultant oxidative stress conditions. The ovary and testis are the primary gonads in which female gametes (oocytes) and male gametes (spermatozoa), estrogen and testosterone are produced. These organs are particularly susceptible to Cd cytotoxicity due to their high metabolic activities and high energy demands. In this review, epidemiological and experimental studies examining Cd toxicities in gonads are highlighted together with studies using zinc (Zn), selenium (Se), and natural substances to reduce the effects of Cd on follicular genesis and spermatogenesis. Higher blood concentrations of Cd ([Cd]b) were associated with longer time-to-pregnancy in a prospective cohort study. Cd excretion rate (ECd) as low as 0.8 μg/g creatinine was associated with reduced spermatozoa vitality, while Zn and Se may protect against spermatozoa quality decline accompanying Cd exposure. ECd > 0.68 µg/g creatinine were associated with an increased risk of premature ovarian failure by 2.5-fold, while [Cd]b ≥ 0.34 µg/L were associated with a 2.5-fold increase in the risk of infertility in women. Of concern, urinary excretion of Cd at 0.68 and 0.8 μg/g creatinine found to be associated with fecundity are respectively 13% and 15% of the conventional threshold limit for Cd-induced kidney tubular effects of 5.24 μg/g creatinine. These findings suggest that toxicity of Cd in primary reproductive organs occurs at relatively low body burden, thereby arguing for minimization of exposure and environmental pollution by Cd and its transfer to the food web.
Helicobacter pylori is one of the most frequent human pathogens and a leading etiological agent of various gastric diseases. As stringent response, coordinated by a SpoT protein, seems to be crucial for the survivability of H. pylori, the main goal of this article was to use in silico computational studies to find phytochemical compounds capable of binding to the active site of SpoT from H. pylori and confirm the ability of the most active candidates to interfere with the virulence of this bacterium through in vitro experiments. From 791 natural substances submitted for the virtual screening procedure, 10 were chosen and followed for further in vitro examinations. Among these, dioscin showed the most interesting parameters (the lowest MIC, the highest anti-biofilm activity in static conditions, and a relatively low stimulation of morphological transition into coccoids). Therefore, in the last part, we extended the research with a number of further experiments and observed the ability of dioscin to significantly reduce the formation of H. pylori biofilm under Bioflux-generated flow conditions and its capacity for additive enhancement of the antibacterial activity of all three commonly used antibiotics (clarithromycin, metronidazole, and levofloxacin). Based on these results, we suggest that dioscin may be an interesting candidate for new therapies targeting H. pylori survivability and virulence.
Signed in 2009, the plant protection Commission Regulation EC No 1107/2009 created a new category of active substances, the low-risk substances, with specific status defined in Article 22. The initial and specific criteria, not suitable for microorganisms and natural substances, were modified in 2018, and the first low-risk substance, allocating Part D of Regulation EC No 540/2011, was granted in the same year. Since then, thirty-three low-risk substances have been granted with this specific status through approvals and renewals, while a larger list of potential low-risk substances from already-approved active substances was published. This list is only exploited during renewals, and this process would take another five years to complete. After four years of the implementation of this status, the number of such substances is still low, but is intended to increase slowly. Two more low-risk substances are already pending in 2021, which will bring the number of low-risk substances to thirty-five, while the initial list of potential low-risk substances (only renewals) included fifty-seven substances.