Evaluation of functional potentiality of selected commonly consumed foods of Bangladesh
Background: Rising tide of chronic nutrition related non-communicable diseases yoked with extant under nutrition problems makes it imperative to carry out scientific research for finding functional foods. Although the emergence of these diseases are believed to be related to a constellation of dietary, socio-economic and lifestyle related risk factors, central to the pathogenesis of these diseases (or disease states) are free radicals, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes typically accompanied by pain. Therefore, functional whole foods with physiologically active antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic compounds seem to be the most promising option to deal with the pathogenesis of existing and emerging chronic diseases burden of Bangladesh.
Methods: Edible portions of 70 commonly consumed Bangladeshi foods – including one cereal, five legumes, fourteen vegetables, four tea varieties, five oil seeds, twenty spices, and twenty one fruits – were evaluated for total phenol content (TPC) by Folin-Ciocalteau assay. To evaluate functional potentiality, in vitro antioxidant capacity (AC) of selected food items were evaluated by DPPH radical scavenging assays, in vitro anti-inflammatory potential by observing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α using J774A.1 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in vivo anti-inflammatory potential by measuring carrageenan induced rat paw edema reduction and in vivo analgesic potential by acetic acid induced writhing test in mice.
Results: Spices, oilseeds, and teas showed high concentration of TPC among the analysed foods while spices and teas exhibited notable AC. Green tea showed highest concentrations of TPC (2349 mg Gallic Acid Equivalent / g) and AC (2432 µmole Trolox Equivalent/g). Fourteen food items showed potential in vitro anti-inflammatory activity with confirmatory dose response effect shown by 8 items. In vivo, black sesame and yellow mustard expressed anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in a dose dependent manner.
Conclusion: This study found commonly consumed food items representing different food groups of Bangladesh to contain diverse range of polyphenols and antioxidant capacities. Of these, black sesame and yellow mustard demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic potential in animal model. The findings of this study can be used to promote polyphenols rich foods through dietary guidelines and facilitate epidemiological research investigating diet-disease relationships.
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