Forests and Human Health September-15-2011

Recent Publications

 

Watson R R and Preedy V R (eds). 2009. Bioactive foods in promoting health – Fruits and vegetables. Academic Press, ISBN 13: 978-0-12-374628-3

This book brings together experts working on different aspects of supplementation, foods, and plant extracts in health promotion and disease prevention. Their expertise and experience provide an up-to-date knowledge to promote future research. Most people’s dietary habits need to be altered and the conclusions and recommendations from the various chapters in this book will provide a basis for that change.

While vegetables have traditionally been seen to be good sources of vitamins, the role of other constituents have only recently become more widely recognized. This book reviews and often presents new hypotheses and conclusions on the effects of different bioactive components of diet, derived particularly from vegetables, to prevent diseases and to improve the health of various populations.

Zhong J.J. and Xiao J.H. 2009. Secondary metabolites from higher fungi: discovery, bioactivity, and bioproduction. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 113:79-150.

Many mushrooms such as Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum have been used as alternative medicine remedies to promote health and longevity for people in China and other regions of the world since ancient times. Nowadays there is an increasing public interest in the secondary metabolites of those higher fungi for discovering new drugs or lead compounds. Current research in drug discovery from medicinal higher fungi involves a multifaceted approach combining mycological, biochemical, pharmacological, metabolic, biosynthetic and molecular techniques.

This review provides lots of fresh information on new secondary metabolites from higher fungi and lead compounds for new drug discovery. It also points out that the commercial production of secondary metabolites from medicinal mushrooms is still limited, mainly due to a lack of information about secondary metabolism and its regulation.

Strategies for enhancing secondary metabolite production by medicinal mushroom fermentation include two-stage cultivation combining liquid fermentation and static culture, two-stage dissolved oxygen control, etc. The purification of bioactive secondary metabolites, such as ganoderic acids from G. lucidum, is also very important to pharmacological study and future pharmaceutical applications. This review outlines typical examples of the discovery, bioactivity, and bioproduction of secondary metabolites of higher fungi origin.

De Roman M. 2010. The contribution of wild fungi to diet, income and health: a world review. In: Rai E and Kövics G. (eds) Progress in Mycology, 327-348. New York, Springer.

This article highlights fungi, especially mushrooms in two different aspects. Mushrooms from the forest have a balanced and high nutritional value, are a rich source of protein and fibers, are low in fat and make a useful contribution to mineral and vitamin intake. They are a promising alternative source of food in areas where food shortage is a problem. Mushrooms are also expected to have an increasing importance in medicine and biotechnology in the future due to their unique biosythetic capabilities and metabolic products.

Wasser S P 2011. Current findings, future trends, and unsolved problems in studies of medicinal mushrooms. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 89: 1323-1332.

Wild fungi are a natural resource widely acknowledged for their nutritional and economic value and their medicinal properties. About 1200 species are recorded as being used in eighty-five different countries. This article discusses recurrent achievements in utilizing mushrooms as a non-wood product in functional foods and medicines..

Stoner G D and Seeram N P (Eds.) 2011. Berries and cancer prevention. 313p. Springer, ISBN: 978-1-4419-7553-9

This book provides an unprecedented compilation of current information on the following issues: 1) It describes the major groups of bioactive compounds in berries and their antioxidant potential. 2) It describes the cancer inhibitory effects of berry extracts and individual components in vitro, and discusses their mechanisms of action at a cellular and molecular level. 3) It discusses the cancer inhibitory effects of berries and berry components on tumor development in animals.4) It discusses recent results on the cancer-inhibitory effects of berries and berry components in humans and describes their mechanisms of action. 5) It discusses the relative merits of the use of whole berries, freeze-dried berries, berry extracts and individual berry components for cancer prevention, particularly in humans.

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Comments: Lu-Min Vaario, Firstname.lastname@metla.fi