Inflammation is the immune system’s first biological response to infection, injury or irritation. Evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory effect is mediated by the regulation of various inflammatory cytokines, such as nitric oxide, interleukins, tumor necrosis factor alpha and gamma interferon. Fruits, vegetables and legumes contain high levels of phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory effect. Then learn more about the anti-inflammatory-action phytochemicals present in fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the main inflammatory mediators. Phytochemicals reduce the production of NO by inducible NOS (iNOS) without affecting endothelial NOS or neuronal NOS, which may be beneficial for the development of anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, inhibition of iNOS activity or negative regulation of iNOS expression is desirable to reduce the extent of inflammatory response. In addition, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is involved with several inflammatory processes and is highly expressed in cell types related to inflammatory processes, including macrophages and mast cells, when stimulated with pro-inflammatory cytokines and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
Phytochemicals methatinate inflammation through kinases, such as protein kinase C and protein activated by mytogenkinase. Therefore, they inest these enzymes by altering the DNA binding capabilities of transcription factors, such as nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB). NF-kB is the main efetora pathway involved in inflammation. Consequently, the expression rate of the target gene is controlled.
Fruit, vegetable and legume phytochemicals have attracted a lot of attention because of their health-promoting effects in relation to the prevention of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Phenolic compounds, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, flavones, isoflavones, anthocyanins, are some of the compounds that have been identified and associated with their health-beneficial actions.
Fruit, vegetable and legumes phytochemicals can act as natural modulators of pro-inflammatory gene expressions and can be incorporated into new bioactive anti-inflammatory formulations of various nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In addition, these phytochemicals are discussed as a promotion strategy for the improvement of human health status. Phenolics and triterpenoids in fruits and vegetables showed higher anti-inflammatory activity than other compounds. In food legumes, lectins and peptides show anti-inflammatory activity in most cases.
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Watch the video on Science Play with Luciano Bruno:
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– Zhu F, Du B, Xu B. Anti-inflammatory effects of phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables, and food vegetables: A review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 May 24;58(8):1260-1270. Doi: 10.1080/10408398.2016.1251390. Epub 2017 Jun 12. PMID: 28605204.