From Novel Compounds From Natural Products In The New Millennium: Potential and Challenges

Toshio Moritani
Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Japan


Sesamin is one of the lignans found exclusively and abundantly in sesame oil. It is known for its multiple health benefits including the reduction of cholesterol [1], anti-carcinogenic activity [2] and anti-hypertensive effect [3, 4, 5]. Sesamin has also been reported to protect against alcohol and carbon tetrachloride induced liver toxicity [6].

One of the proposed mechanisms underlying its liver protective action is via suppression of the free radical-mediated processes initiated by hepatotoxins, which potentially lead to lipid peroxidation and DNA damage. Sesamin itself, has no anti-oxidative properties, but can be metabolized to several catechol forms in the liver. Conversion of the methylenedioxyphenyl moiety of Sesamin to the dicatechol (bis (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)) moiety, yields a metabolite, which demonstrates free radical scavenging activity against OH, O 2-, 1, 1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydradyl (DPPH) and lipid peroxidation in vitro when enzymatically demethylated and activated by rat liver homogenate. In vivo, the same metabolite demonstrated OH and O 2- scavenging activity in rats, following oral administration at 500mg/kg [7]. Similarly an alternative catechol metabolite, 2-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-6-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-cis-dioxabicyclo [3.3.0]octane, has demonstrated the ability to scavenge superoxide radicals in vitro with an efficacy greater than that of vitamin E [8].

In addition to its independent anti-oxidant capacity, several studies have also shown its potential to work synergistically with vitamin E against lipid peroxidation, and increase the plasma and tissue levels of alpha-tocopherol [9, 10]. The bioavailability of the gammatocopherol isoform, is increased...

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Topics of Interest

Ajaya R Kumar, Srirnivas N, Dhanvanthri S Deevi, Chitkala S and Rajagopal Sriram Discovery Research, Dr. Reddy s Laboratories, Miyapur, Hyderabad, India 500050 INTRODUCTION Plants have been a source...

Yasuo Kiso a and Takatoshi Ishikawa b a Institute for Health Care Science, Suntory Limited. 1 1 1 Wakayamadai, Osaka 618 8503, Japan b University Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan INTRODUCTION Sesamin is a lignan...

Yasuo Matsumura Department of Pharmacology, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4-20-1 Nasahara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1094 Japan INTRODUCTION Sesamin is a lignan exclusively and abundantly...

G. W. PLUMB, K. O'LEARY, A. J. DAY AND G. WILLIAMSON 1 Introduction The implication of flavonoids in the diet is currently receiving much interest and the biological activity of these polyphenolic...

Hong-Yan Du a , Boon-Huat Bay a and Malini Olivo b a Department of Anatomy, National University of Singapore, 4 Medical Drive, Blk 10, Singapore 117597 b Laboratory of Photodynamic Diagnosis and...