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Fructans as Immunomodulatory and Antiviral Agents: The Case of Echinacea

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Throughout history, medicinal purposes of plants have been studied, documented, and acknowledged as an integral part of human healthcare systems. The development of modern medicine still relies largely on this historical knowledge of the use and preparation of plants and their extracts. Further research into the human microbiome highlights the interaction between immunomodulatory responses and plant-derived, prebiotic compounds. One such group of compounds includes the inulin-type fructans (ITFs), which may also act as signaling molecules and antioxidants. These multifunctional compounds occur in a small proportion of plants, many of which have recognized medicinal properties. Echinacea is a well-known medicinal plant and products derived from it are sold globally for its cold- and flu-preventative and general health-promoting properties. Despite the well-documented phytochemical profile of Echinacea plants and products, little research has looked into the possible role of ITFs in these products. This review aims to highlight the occurrence of ITFs in Echinacea derived formulations and the potential role they play in immunomodulation.
Tijdschrift: Biomolecules
ISSN: 2218-273X
Issue: 10
Volume: 9
Aantal pagina's: 12
Jaar van publicatie:2019