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Scapagnini G.,University of Molise | Scapagnini G.,Inter University Consortium SannioTech | Davinelli S.,University of Molise | Kaneko T.,University of Oregon | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2014

Obesity is a major health problem throughout the world, and it is increasing both in prevalence and severity. Pharmaceutical approaches developed for the treatment of obesity, despite short-term benefits, often are associated with rebound weight gain after the cessation of drug use and serious side effects deriving from the medication can occur. Resveratrol has been well recognized as an anti-obesity substance for its lipid-lowering function as well as calorie-restriction effect. This polyphenol induces hormetic dose responses in a wide range of biological models, affecting numerous endpoints of biomedical and therapeutic significance. From an hormetic standpoint, we will discuss the potential relevance of resveratrol in the management of obesity and related comorbid conditions, emphasizing its ability to control simultaneously various pathological mechanisms associated with obesity. © 2014, The International CCN Society.


Romanucci V.,University of Naples Federico II | D'Alonzo D.,University of Naples Federico II | Guaragna A.,University of Naples Federico II | Di Marino C.,University of Naples Federico II | And 4 more authors.
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Year: 2016

Aristotelia chilensis ([Molina], Stuntz) a member of the family Eleocarpaceae, is a plant native to Chile that is distributed in tropical and temperate Asia, Australia, the Pacific Area, and South America. The juice of its berries has important medicinal properties, as an astringent, tonic, and antidiarrhoeal. Its many qualities make the maqui berry the undisputed sovereign of the family of so-called "superfruits", as well as a valuable tool to combat cellular inflammation of bones and joints. Recently, it is discovered that the leaves of the maqui berry have important antibacterial and antitumour activities. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the traditional use, phytochemistry, and biological activity of A. chilensis using information collected from scientific journals, books, and electronic searches. Anthocyanins, other flavonoids, alkaloids, cinnamic acid derivatives, benzoic acid derivatives, other bioactive molecules, and mineral elements are summarized. A broad range of activities of plant extracts and fractions are presented, including antioxidant activity, inhibition of visible light-induced damage of photoreceptor cells, inhibition of α-glucosidase, inhibition of pancreatic lipase, anti-diabetic effects, anti-inflammatory effects, analgesic effects, anti-diabetes, effective prevention of atherosclerosis, promotion of hair growth, anti-photo ageing of the skin, and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Although some ethnobotanical uses have been supported in in vitro experiments, further studies of the individual compounds or chemical classes of compounds responsible for the pharmacological effects and the mechanisms of action are necessary. In addition, the toxicity and the side effects from the use of A. chilensis, as well as clinical trials, require attention. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.


Bracale R.,University of Molise | Petroni M.L.,IRCCS Institute Auxologico Italiano | Davinelli S.,University of Molise | Davinelli S.,Inter University Consortium SannioTech | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Ephedrine/caffeine combination (EC) has been shown to induce a small-to-moderate weight loss in obese patients. Several mechanisms have been proposed, among which an increased thermogenic capacity of skeletal muscle consequent to the EC-induced up-regulation of uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) gene expression. We did a parallel group double-blind, placebo-controlled, 4-week trial to investigate this hypothesis. Thirteen morbidly obese women (25-52 years of age, body-mass index 48.0±4.0 kg/m2, range 41.1-57.6) were randomly assigned to EC (200/20 mg, n = 6) or to placebo (n = 7) administered three times a day orally, before undergoing bariatric surgery. All individuals had an energy-deficit diet equal to about 70% of resting metabolic rate (RMR) diet (mean 5769±1105 kJ/day). The RMR analysed by intention to treat and the UCP3 (long and short isoform) mRNA levels in rectus abdominis were the primary outcomes. Body weight, plasma levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, triglycerides, free fatty acids, glycerol, TSH, fT4, and fT3 were assessed, as well as fasting glucose, insulin and HOMA index, at baseline and at the end of treatments. Body weight loss was evident in both groups when compared to baseline values (overall -5.2±3.2%, p<0.0001) without significant differences between the treated groups. EC treatment increased the RMR (+9.2±6.8%, p = 0.020), differently from placebo which was linked to a reduction of RMR (-7.6±6.5%, p = 0.029). No significant differences were seen in other metabolic parameters. Notably, no changes of either UCP3 short or UCP3 long isoform mRNA levels were evident between EC and placebo group. Our study provides evidence that 4-week EC administration resulted in a pronounced thermogenic effect not related to muscle UCP3 gene expression and weight loss in morbidly obese females under controlled conditions. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02048215. © 2014 Bracale et al.


Davinelli S.,University of Molise | Bertoglio J.C.,Hospital Clinico Regional Of Valdivia | Zarrelli A.,University of Naples Federico II | Pina R.,Equipe Enervit Srl | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition | Year: 2015

Objective: Berries are a rich source of anthocyanins, and clinical data suggest that a polyphenol-rich diet may exert health-promoting effects by reducing oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of dietary supplementation with Delphinol (trademark owned by MNL Chile) standardized maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) extract on products of lipid peroxidation in healthy, overweight, and smoker subjects. Methods: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 42 participants (age 45–65 years) consumed in random order either a standardized extract of maqui berry (162 mg anthocyanins) or a matched placebo, given 3 times daily for 4 weeks. The samples were collected at baseline, after the end of the supplementation, and 40 days after the end of the study. Primary outcome was the measure of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) and F2-isoprostanes in plasma and urine, respectively. Secondary outcomes included anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and lipid profile. Results: Delphinol supplementation was associated with reduced levels of Ox-LDL in the anthocyanin group compared to baseline (p < 0.05). There was also a decrease in urinary F2-isoprostanes (8-iso-prostaglandin F2α) at 4 weeks versus baseline in the Delphinol-supplemented group (p < 0.05). However, no differences in primary outcomes were evident at 40 days of follow-up. In the fourth week of the intervention, no significant differences were noted for anthropometric characteristics, ambulatory blood pressure, and lipid profile. Conclusions: Our observations suggest that dietary interventions with maqui berry extract may improve oxidative status (Ox-LDL and F2-isoprostanes) in healthy adults, overweight adults, and adult smokers. © 2015, American College of Nutrition Published by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Crescenzo R.,University of Naples Federico II | Bianco F.,University of Naples Federico II | Mazzoli A.,University of Naples Federico II | Giacco A.,University of Naples Federico II | And 6 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2015

High fat and/or carbohydrate intake are associated with an elevated risk for obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The harmful effects of a high fat diet could be different, depending on dietary fat quality. In fact, high fat diets rich in unsaturated fatty acids are considered less deleterious for human health than those rich in saturated fat. In our previous studies, we have shown that rats fed a high fat diet developed obesity and exhibited a decrease in oxidative capacity and an increase in oxidative stress in liver mitochondria. To investigate whether polyunsaturated fats could attenuate the above deleterious effects of high fat diets, energy balance and body composition were assessed after two weeks in rats fed isocaloric amounts of a high-fat diet (58.2% by energy) rich either in lard or safflower/linseed oil. Hepatic functionality, plasma parameters, and oxidative status were also measured. The results show that feeding on safflower/linseed oil diet attenuates the obesogenic effect of high fat diets and ameliorates the blood lipid profile. Conversely, hepatic steatosis and mitochondrial oxidative stress appear to be negatively affected by a diet rich in unsaturated fatty acids. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


PubMed | University of Naples Federico II and Inter University Consortium SannioTech
Type: Review | Journal: Journal of the science of food and agriculture | Year: 2016

Sideritis species have been used in folk medicine for their antimicrobial, antiulcerogenic, digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Over the years, the phytochemistry of the genus Sideritis has been studied, and various terpenoids, sterols, coumarins and especially flavonoid aglycones and glycosides have been identified. In particular, species from the Balkan Peninsula have been studied and were found to be rich in flavonoids, with valuable antioxidant activity. In the folk medicine of the Balkan countries, Sideritis raeseri is used as a herbal tea in the treatment of inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders and coughs, and also as a tonic, whereas extracts are used as a component of dietary supplements for anaemia. Its dried inflorescences are used to prepare a beverage called mountain tea. In light of the considerable interest generated in the chemistry, pharmacological properties and commercial value of S. raeseri Boiss. & Heldr., we review and summarise the available literature on these plants. The review details the chemical composition of the essential oil, its mineral and polyphenol contents, the naming of these plants and their physicochemical characterisation, and the nuclear magnetic resonance spectral data and biological properties associated with the plant extracts, with a focus on their potential chemotherapeutic applications. 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.


Scapagnini G.,University of Molise | Scapagnini G.,Inter University Consortium SannioTech | Davinelli S.,University of Molise | Davinelli S.,Inter University Consortium SannioTech | And 7 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2014

Cocoa has a rich history in human use. Skin is prone to the development of several diseases, and the mechanisms in the pathogenesis of aged skin are still poorly understood. However, a growing body of evidence from clinical and bench research has begun to provide scientific validation for the use of cocoa-derived phytochemicals as an effective approach for skin protection. Although the specific molecular and cellular mechanisms of the beneficial actions of cocoa phytochemicals remain to be elucidated, this review will provide an overview of the current literature emphasizing potential cytoprotective pathways modulated by cocoa and its polyphenolic components. Moreover, we will summarize in vivo studies showing that bioactive compounds of cocoa may have a positive impact on skin health. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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