Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Pomegranate; Punica granatum L.; Pomegranate skin extract; Pomegranate fruit extract; Nutraceutical properties; Biological properties
Online: 8 September 2020 (05:05:55 CEST)
The pomegranate, an ancient plant native to Central Asia, cultivated in different geographical areas including the Mediterranean basin and California, consists of flowers, roots, fruits and leaves. Presently, it is utilized not only for the exterior appearance of its fruit but above all, for the nutritional and health characteristics of the various parts composing this last one (carpellary membranes, arils, seeds and bark). The fruit, the pomegranate, is rich in numerous chemical compounds (flavonoids, ellagitannins, proanthocyanidins, mineral salts, vitamins, lipids, organic acids) of high biological and nutraceutical value that make it the object of study for many research groups, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. Its interest is mainly addressed to the knowledge of its biological and functional properties and the research of new formulations to apply it in a wide range of diseases such as neoplastic, cardiovascular, viral, inflammatory, metabolic, microbial, intestinal, reproductive and skin diseases. In this review we highlight the health-promoting properties of pomegranate and its bioactive compounds against human diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0028.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: mercury; antioxidants; cardiovascular diseases; cardiotoxicity; chelating agents
Online: 10 October 2016 (09:49:50 CEST)
Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence show that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.