Development of nutraceuticals and functional foods
Elrod, Susan Marie
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Nutraceuticals and functional foods are both part of complementary and alternative medicine. Nutraceuticals are natural products that may manage disease symptoms, whereas functional foods provide benefit when included in the diet, due to antioxidants and phenolics. Study of craft beer showed porters and stouts to have higher phenolic and antioxidant content than other beers. When the antioxidant content was determined 12 and 24 months after time of purchase, that content decreased significantly in beers higher in hops, likely due to degradation of antioxidants in hop plants. These data indicate craft beer may represent a functional beverage in the American diet. Elderberry has been used for influenza treatment and prevention, effects attributed the phenolics myricetin and quercetin. Both myricetin and quercetin are contained in muscadine, a grape that has been shown to benefit human health. Our research shows elderberry and muscadine decrease cytotoxicity in cells infected with influenza strains, including a Tamiflu®-resistant strain. This activity occurred at various time points and concentrations of elderberry and muscadine extracts. Craft beer, namely American pale ale and stout, also decreased cytotoxicity in Tamiflu®-resistant influenza at higher concentrations. Thus, elderberry and muscadine may represent nutraceutical agents for the treatment and prevention of influenza, whereas craft beer may prevent influenza infection as a functional beverage. Craft beer also had activity against protein glycation, a process responsible for the development of diabetic complications. All beers, particularly porter and stout, significantly inhibited protein glycation based on volume, and most beers inhibited glycation based on phenolic content. A commercial American domestic beer failed to inhibit glycation; all beers significantly inhibited protein glycation compared to the commercial American beer based on antioxidant content. A porter and Imperial India pale ale also inhibited dicarbonyl formation, a highly reactive compound formed in the process of protein glycation. Taken together, these results support the use of elderberry and introduce muscadine as a nutraceutical agent for the treatment and prevention of influenza, and suggest craft beer as a functional beverage for the delivery of phenolics to prevent influenza infection and diabetic complications.