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Vaquero M.R.,Research Group on Quality | Yanez-Gascon M.-J.,Research Group on Quality | Villalba R.,Research Group on Quality | Larrosa M.,Research Group on Quality | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) extracts (REs) exhibit hepatoprotective, anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties and are widely used in the food industry. REs are rich in carnosic acid (CA) and carnosol which may be responsible for some of the biological activities of REs. The aim of this study was to investigate whether inhibition of lipase activity in the gut may be a mechanism by which a RE enriched in CA (40%) modulates body weight and lipids levels in a rat model of metabolic disorders and obesity. Methods and Principal Findings: RE was administered for 64 days to lean (fa/+) and obese (fa/fa) female Zucker rats and body weight, food intake, feces weight and blood biochemical parameters were monitored throughout the study. Lipase activity (hydrolysis of p-nitrophenylbutyrate) was measured in the gastrointestinal tract at the end of the study and the contents of CA, carnosol and methyl carnosate were also determined. Sub-chronic administration of RE moderately reduced body weight gain in both lean and obese animals but did not affect food intake. Serum triglycerides, cholesterol and insulin levels were also markedly decreased in the lean animals supplemented with RE. Importantly, lipase activity was significantly inhibited in the stomach of the RE-supplemented animals where the highest content of intact CA and carnosol was detected. Conclusions: Our results confirm that long-term administration of RE enriched in CA moderates weight gain and improves the plasma lipids profile, primarily in the lean animals. Our data also suggest that these effects may be caused, at least in part, by a significant inhibition of gastric lipase and subsequent reduction in fat absorption. © 2012 Romo Vaquero et al.

Truchado P.,Research Group on Quality | Larrosa M.,Research Group on Quality | Garcia-Conesa M.T.,Research Group on Quality | Cerda B.,San Antonio de Murcia Catholic University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

The study of fruit and vegetable processing and its effects on the levels of health-promoting constituents and their bioavailability and metabolism is very relevant to understanding the role of these constituents in human health. Strawberry polyphenols, and particularly ellagitannins and ellagic acid, have been associated with the health benefits of this berry for humans. These compounds are transformed into urolithins by the gut microbiota, and these metabolites exert several biological activities that could be responsible for the health effects of strawberries. Processing potentially increases the extraction of ellagitannins from the strawberry achenes and the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins. It is of interest to evaluate the effect of processing on strawberry ellagitannin microbial metabolism compared with fresh strawberries. This study shows that no significant differences in the production and excretion of urolithins were found between the intake of fresh strawberries and that of a thermally processed strawberry puree containing the same amount of strawberries. Processing increases the amount of free ellagic acid 2.5-fold, but this had no effect on the transformation in urolithins by the gut microbiota or in the excretion of urolithin metabolites (urolithin glucuronides) in urine, showing that the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins is not a relevant factor affecting the microbial metabolism. All of the volunteers produced urolithin A, but only 3 of 20 volunteers produced and excreted urolithin B. It is confirmed that some volunteers were efficient producers of urolithins, whereas other produced much lower amounts. These results show that processing does not modify the potential health effects of strawberry polyphenols. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Gomez-Lopez V.M.,Research Group on Quality | Marin A.,Research Group on Quality | Allende A.,Research Group on Quality | Beuchat L.R.,University of Georgia | Gil M.I.,Research Group on Quality
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2013

Internalization of foodborne pathogens in fruits and vegetables is an increasing safety concern. The aim of this research was to assess the potential for internalization of an enteric pathogen (Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium) in a leafy vegetable (baby spinach) during washing as influenced by three postharvest handling conditions: (i) illumination, (ii) negative temperature differential, and (iii) relative humidity (RH). To compare these potential postharvest handling conditions, leaves were exposed to different levels of illumination (0, 1,000, and 2,000 lx), temperature differential (5, 11, 14, 20, and 26uC), and RH (99, 85, and 74%) for a short time before or during washing. Washing of baby spinach was carried out in water containing green fluorescent protein-tagged Salmonella Typhimurium (6.5 log CFU/ml) at 5uC for 2 min, followed by surface disinfection with chlorine (10,000 mg/ml) for 1 min, two rinses in water for 10 s, and spin drying for 15 s. Internalization was assessed by enumerating the pathogen on Salmonella-Shigella agar and by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Illumination of spinach leaves before and during washing and a negative temperature differential during washing did not significantly (P . 0.05) increase the number of internalized bacteria. However, exposure of leaves to low-RH conditions before washing, which reduced the tissue water content, decreased internalization of Salmonella compared with internalization in baby spinach exposed to high RH (P # 0.05). Green fluorescent protein-tagged Salmonella Typhimurium was visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy at a depth of up to 30 mm beneath the surface of spinach leaves after exposure to a high inoculum level (8 log CFU/ml) for an extended time (2 h). Results show that internalization of Salmonella into baby spinach leaves can occur but can be minimized under specific postharvest handling conditions such as low RH. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection.

Gonzalez-Sarrias A.,Research Group on Quality | Tome-Carneiro J.,Research Group on Quality | Bellesia A.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Tomas-Barberan F.A.,Research Group on Quality | Espin J.C.,Research Group on Quality
Food and Function | Year: 2015

Chemotherapy increases the overall survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) remains as a drug of first choice in CRC therapy over the last four decades. However, only 10-15% of patients with advanced CRC respond positively to 5-FU monotherapy. Therefore, new strategies to enhance the 5-FU effectiveness, overcome the tumor cell resistance and decrease the unspecific toxicity are critically needed. Urolithin A (Uro-A) is the main metabolite produced by the human gut microbiota from the dietary polyphenol ellagic acid. Uro-A targets the colonic mucosa of CRC patients, and preclinical studies have shown the anti-inflammatory and cancer chemopreventive activities of this metabolite. We evaluated here whether Uro-A, at concentrations achievable in the human colorectum, could sensitize colon cancer cells to 5-FU and 5′DFUR (a pro-drug intermediate of 5-FU). We found that both 5-FU and 5′DFUR arrested the cell cycle at the S phase by regulating cyclins A and B1 in the human colon cancer cells Caco-2, SW-480 and HT-29, and also triggered apoptosis through the activation of caspases 8 and 9. Co-treatments with Uro-A decreased IC50 values for both 5-FU and 5′DFUR and additionally arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase together with a slight increase in caspases 8 and 9 activation. Overall, we show that Uro-A potentiated the effects of both 5-FU and 5′DFUR on colon cancer cells. This suggests the need for lower 5-FU doses to achieve similar effects, which could reduce possible adverse effects. Further in vivo investigations are warranted to explore the possible role of Uro-A as a chemotherapy adjuvant. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Espin J.C.,Research Group on Quality | Larrosa M.,Research Group on Quality | Garcia-Conesa M.T.,Research Group on Quality | Tomas-Barberan F.,Research Group on Quality
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2013

The health benefits attributed to pomegranate have been associated with its high content in polyphenols, particularly ellagitannins. This is also the case for other ellagitannin-containing fruits and nuts including strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, walnuts, and muscadine grapes. The bioavailability of ellagitannins and ellagic acid is however very low. These molecules suffer extensive metabolism by the gut microbiota to produce urolithins that are much better absorbed. Urolithins circulate in plasma as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates at concentrations in the range of 0.2-20 M. It is therefore conceivable that the health effects of ellagitannin-containing products can be associated with these gut-produced urolithins, and thus the evaluation of the biological effects of these metabolites is essential. Recent research, mostly based on in vitro testing, has shown preliminary evidence of the anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antiglycative, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects of urolithins, supporting their potential contribution to the health effects attributed to pomegranate and ellagitannin-rich foods. The number of in vivo studies is still limited, but they show preventive effects of urolithins on gut and systemic inflammation that encourage further research. Both in vivo and mechanistic studies are necessary to clarify the health effects of these metabolites. Attention should be paid when designing these mechanistic studies in order to use the physiologically relevant metabolites (urolithins in gut models and their conjugated derivatives in systemic models) at concentrations that can be reached in vivo. © 2013 Juan Carlos Espín et al.

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