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Functional Components and Medicinal Properties of Food

  • Christian Izuchukwu Abuajah
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

There is growing evidence that functional components (bioactives and phytochemicals) of food play an integral role in the link between food and the prevention of diseases. Although some functional components were labelled anti-nutrients, their role as potential healthy biochemical components of diets for the prevention of degenerative pathologies have been scientifically elucidated. Some properties which link functional components to potential health-modulating roles and functions can be classified into anti-oxidation, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, anti-microbial, immunomodulatory and anti-hypertensive. However, the mechanisms through which they impact on human health are not completely clear. Food processing techniques exercise effects on functional components of food. While some processing techniques increase their concentration in food, others decrease them. Therefore, in this era when the role of a healthy diet in preventing degenerative, non-communicable and chronic diseases is well accepted, the borderline between food and medicine is becoming very thin. Thus, the concept of food has obviously gone beyond basic nutrition only. While products intended to cure diseases are classified as medicine, a healthy diet consisting of foods with functional components can help optimize health and promote well-being as well as reduce or prevent the risk of developing certain diseases.

Keywords

Bioactives Diet Food Functional components Health Medicine Nutrition Phytochemicals Well-being 

Abbreviations

AK1

Adenylate kinase1 encoding gene

CAT

Catalase

CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid

CR3

Complementary receptor3

DF

Dietary fiber

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DP

Degree of polymerization

EGC3G

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

FOS

Fructo-oligosaccharide

GPX

Glutathione peroxidase

GR

Glutathione reductase

HD

High density lipoprotein

HG-2

Human hepatoma cells G2

HPP

High pressure processing

HTLV-1

Human T-celllymphotroic virus type1

HWE

Hot water extract

IL-1

Interleukin-1

LAB

Lactic acid bacteria

LacCer

Lactocylceramide (a bioactive lipid)

LDL

Low density lipoprotein

MAPK

Mitogen activated protein kinases

MP2

Microphage inflammatory protein2

mRNA

Messenger ribonucleic acid

MyD88

Myeloid differentiation primary receptor gene 88

NFAT

Nuclear factor of activated T cells

NF-kB

Nuclear factor kappa light-chain-enhancer of activated β cells.

NK

Natural killer

Nrf2

Nuclear factor2 pathway

NTP

Non-thermal processing

PEF

Pulsed electric field

Pi3k

Phosphatidyl inositol-4,5-biphosphate-3-kinase

PKC

Protein kinase C

PUFA

Poly-unsaturated fatty acid

RNS

Reactive Nitrogen species

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SIGNR3

Specific ICAM (intracellular adhesion molecule)-3 grabbing non-intergrin-related antigen

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

syk

Spleen tyrosine kinase encoding enzyme gene

TLR

Toll-like receptors

TNF-α

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

TRAF6

TNF receptor associated factor6

WBC

Water binding capacity

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author expresses grateful acknowledgement to Dr. Elena Barascu of Department of Food Engineering, Valahia University, Targoviste, Dambovita, Romania and Prof. Lavinia Buruleanu, the Editor-in-Chief, Annals Food Science and Technology for granting kind permission to reuse the original article, Current developments on β-glucans as functional components of food: a review published in volume 14, issue 2, and pages 217–229 of its 2013 edition in this work. It is further acknowledged that the journal article, Functional components and medicinal properties of food: a review which was first published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, volume 52, issue 5, pages 2522–2529 in 2015 also contributed to this book chapter project.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyUniversity of UyoUyoNigeria

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