Potential Health Benefits of Plant Food-Derived Bioactive Compounds

Chronic inflammatory diseases have become major causes of global morbidity and mortality. Inflammation is a natural process coordinated by the immune system, which primary function is to maintain the organism homeostasis. The inflammatory process is meant to protect the body against the attack of foreign agents, but it is also activated in response to other endogenous signals, such as tissue damage signals produced by injuries, thus playing a major role in tissue repairment. Occasionally, if the inflammatory response is not correctly resolved, the acute inflammatory process can evolve into a chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to different related diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), NALFD and cardiovascular disease (CVD), among many others. Furthermore, the existence of a direct relationship between the inflammatory process and cancer has also been established, making even more relevant the need for the study of this process’ pathogeny.

Schematic representation of the protocol followed for in vitro cell assays.

Natural compounds from vegetables and their derivatives are considered as an important source of active agents with a great potential to treat or prevent these pathologies. Vegetables are not only nutritious, but also rich sources of potentially active phytochemicals. In this research line we are testing the potential biological activity of several phytochemicals that would make them suitable to be used as potential therapeutic agents to treat or prevent human inflammatory related diseases, including T2D, NALFD and CVD, or even cancer.