Botanical Phenolics and Neurodegeneration.
. PMID: 22593921
Many vegetables, fruits, grains, roots, flowers, and seeds are rich in polyphenolic compounds, and they offer beneficial effects in protecting against diseases involving oxidative stress, such as cancers and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Although the mechanisms through which these compounds exert beneficial effects are not well understood, there is a general consensus that they possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and are capable of chelating metal ions (Rice-Evans and Miller 1997; Martin et al. 2002; Ndiaye et al. 2005; Sun et al. 2008). Recent studies further reveal that some compounds may contribute specific biochemical effects that are beyond their antioxidant and radical-scavenging properties, for example, involvement in alterations of members of the “vitagene” system, such as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), heat shock protein (Hsp) 70, thioredoxin, and sirtuins. These effects may have an impact on the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. The understanding of these metabolic and signaling effects of polyphenols has paved the way for novel nutritional interventions (Calabrese et al. 2008, 2009). In this chapter, we review recent studies on four botanical phenolic compounds: resveratrol from grapes, curcumin from turmeric, apocynin from Picrorhiza kurroa, and epigallocatechin (EGC)- gallate from green tea. We discuss their potential beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on AD, PD, and stroke.