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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Phytochemicals in Foods - 8 Health Benefits of Betalains

Betalains are Phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments found in cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants of which belongs to the group of flower plant Caryophyllales.

Health Benefits
1. Antioxidant
In the analyzing the stability of betalains in juices prepared from Moroccan yellow cactus pears (Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill.) as a function of temperature and pH, found that the presence of natural pigments reduces the corrosion rate of the tested metal, especially on addition of the red pigments (97%). The inhibition efficiency increases as the pigment concentration of extracts increases. It was also found that the pigments tested act as mixed inhibitors. The inhibitive action of the extracts is discussed in term of adsorption and that such adsorption follows a Langmuir adsorption isotherm, according to "Betalain: a particular class of antioxidant pigment" by El Gharras H.(1)

2. Cytotoxic effect
In the comparison of the cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot extract with anticancer drug, doxorubicin (adriamycin) in the androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and in the well-established estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), found that
Both doxorubicin and the beetroot extract exhibited a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect in the two cancer cell lines tested. Although the cytotoxicity of the beetroot extract was significantly lower when compared to doxorubicin, it continued to decrease the growth rate of the PC-3 cells (3.7% in 3 days vs. 12.5% in 7 days) when tested at the concentration of 29 µg/ml, according to "Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines" by Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Rao GS, Arai T, Iida A, Tokuda H.(2)

3. Antiradical activity
In the exploration of different structural features of the betalains, revealing the clues for the switch from yellow to violet color, and the loss of fluorescence, showed that A relevant series of 15 betalain-related compounds (both natural and novel semisynthetic ones) is obtained and characterized by chromatography, UV-vis spectrophotometry, fluorescence, and electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy. Antiradical properties of individual pure compounds in a broad pH range are studied under the ABTS(*+) radical assay. Relevance of specific bonds is studied, and differences between betaxanthins and betacyanins are used to explore in depth the structure-antiradical activity relationships in betalains, according to "Structural implications on color, fluorescence, and antiradical activity in betalains" by
Gandía-Herrero F, Escribano J, García-Carmona F.(3)

4. Breast cancer
In the investigation of the effect of a wide range of dietary phytochemicals on the activity and expression of DNMTs in human breast cancer MCF7 cell line and their effect on DNA and histone H3 methylation, found that all phytochemicals inhibited the DNA methyltransferase activity with betanin being the weakest while rosmarinic and ellagic acids were the most potent modulators (up to 88% inhibition), according to "The effect of dietary polyphenols on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in MCF7 breast cancer cells" by Paluszczak J, Krajka-Kuźniak V, Baer-Dubowska W.(4)

5. Cytotoxicity
In the determination of Juices of nine prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) characterized in terms of color, acidity, sugar content, phenolics, flavonoids, betalains and antioxidant activity and tested in vitro against four cancer cell lines, found that among the cancer lines tested, viability of prostate and colon cells were the most affected. Moradillo contained the highest flavonoids and diminished both prostate and colon cancer cell viability without affecting mammary or hepatic cancer cells. Rastrero reduced the growth of the four cancer cell lines without affecting normal fibroblast viability, according to "Phenolic composition, antioxidant capacity and in vitro cancer cell cytotoxicity of nine prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) juices" by Chavez-Santoscoy RA, Gutierrez-Uribe JA, Serna-Saldívar SO.(5)

6. Radioprotective activity
In the investigation of the radioprotective activity of betalains from red beets in mice irradiated by a (60)Co gamma (gamma) ray (6.0 Gy, at a dose of 1.5 Gy min(-1)), found that the administration of betalains from red beets is radioprotective in mice irradiated by (60)Co in vivo. The underlying mechanism remains unclear but appears to be mediated by the antioxidant activity of the betalains from red beets and modulation of the immune system, according to "Radioprotective activity of betalains from red beets in mice exposed to gamma irradiation" by Lu X, Wang Y, Zhang Z.(6)

7. Chronic myeloid leukemia Cell
In the evaluation of the antiproliferative effects of betanin, a principle betacyanin pigment, isolated from the fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica on human chronic myeloid leukemia cell line (K562) showed that dose and time dependent decrease in the proliferation of K562 cells treated with betanin with an IC(50) of 40 microM. Further studies involving scanning and transmission electron microscopy revealed the apoptotic characteristics such as chromatin condensation, cell shrinkage and membrane blebbing. Agarose electrophoresis of genomic DNA of cells treated with betanin showed fragmentation pattern typical for apoptotic cells, according to "Betanin a betacyanin pigment purified from fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica induces apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia Cell line-K562" by Sreekanth D, Arunasree MK, Roy KR, Chandramohan Reddy T, Reddy GV, Reddanna P.(7)

8. Low-density lipoproteins
In the study of the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in the presence of nitrite, now considered a key step in the pathophysiology of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, showed that betanin, a phytochemical of the betalain class, inhibits the production of lipid hydroperoxides in human LDL submitted to a MPO/nitrite-induced oxidation. Kinetic measurements including time-course of particle oxidation and betanin consumption, either in the presence or in the absence of nitrite, suggest that the antioxidant effect is possibly the result of various actions. Betanin scavenges the initiator radical nitrogen dioxide and can also act as a lipoperoxyl radical-scavenger, according to "Betanin inhibits the myeloperoxidase/nitrite-induced oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins" by Allegra M, Tesoriere L, Livrea MA.(8)

9. Etc.

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Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22164774
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21434853
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20467875
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19840838
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19468836
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19446548
(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482444
(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17364963