Antimicrobial Plant Metabolites: Structural Diversity and Mechanism of Action

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Flavonoids are different groups of phytonutrients which are known as plant chemicals and mostly found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients; according to the Global Healing Center, polyphenols have historically been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and they are associated with skin protection, brain function, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. Linus Pauling Institute explained that like other phytonutrients, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Flavonoids have numerous uses. As stated in a journal entitled Archives of Internal Medicine and being published in 1995, flavonoid consumption was significantly associated with longevity. It can also help with inflammation and weight loss. Based from George Mateljan Foundation’s World’s Healthiest Foods website, flavonoids may lower the risk of atherosclerosis through protecting LDL cholesterol from free radical damage. It can also help people with diabetes, according from the journal entitled Diabetic Medicine. In 2003, British Journal of Cancer found that flavonoids may help for cancer prevention. Flavonoids’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may also help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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Bonfilius Victor, a Former Associate Professor, Research Supervisor and College Administrator on 2014 noted that more than 10,000 different alkaloids have been discovered in species form over 300 plant families. Alkaloids are useful as drugs; it acts on the central nervous system as sympathomimetics, sympatholytics, parasympathomimetics, anticholinergins and ganglioplegics. It also acts as local anaesthetics agents to treat fibrillation, anti-tumor agents, anti-malarials, antibacterials, amoebicides and pain killer.

Tannin are a broad class of compounds that is present in tea, red wine, cocoa, chocolates, coffee, some herbal preparations, grapes and certain fruits like blackberries and cranberries. Most of the tannins fight cavities, diarrhea and some even protect from heart diseases and cancer. They disable the bacteria in the mouth which inhibits plaque formation. Most of the tannins are polyphenols, whereas, some others are antioxidant. It is also known for its astringent property and had been used as a base for herbal treatments.

Steroids are known for its benefits and numerous uses especially to the athletes and bodybuilders. It increase recovery times after intense workouts, it is because steroids regulate the production of cortisol, also known as stress hormone. Stress hormone causes damage to muscle tissues and slows down the time it takes for individual to recover from their workouts, but the steroids will help the body recover much more quickly and allow for more stamina during a workout, as well. Steroids also help to have a larger and stronger muscle that is why many bodybuilders around the world rely on them to help and add bulk. Steroids also multiply nitrogen content in the body, and these increase nitrogen levels and make it much easier for the body to produce more protein. Another of the best benefits of steroids is the fact that it can reduce body fat by improving the body’s metabolism. It also has an ability to amplify red blood cell production which leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen that the bloodstream can carry. This means that steroids are often great treatments for individuals suffering from certain types of anemia.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a gram negative bacteria commonly found in the internal organs of warm-blooded animals. Most types of Escherichia coli are not harmful but a healthful bacteria that helps the human intestines. However, some types of E. coli can cause illness in humans, including stomach pain, diarrhea, fever and sometimes vomiting. E. coli 0157:H7 is one of the strains which produce a toxin known as shiga. Shiga toxin- producing E. coli (STEC) is one of the powerful toxins and can cause gut infection.

Escherichia coli, rotaviruses, and noroviruses are the main causes of acute diarrhea. These pathogens are the main reason for the cause of child mortality in developing countries, because of inadequate sanitation there are about 90% diarrheal deaths and accounts for 18% of death among children under five. There is an estimated 1.5 million deaths of children from diarrhea and around the age of two and under there is an 80% death cases. Dehydration is the most threatening symptom of contagious diarrhea, which results from immediate deaths, foremost in newborn and children.

Some researchers claimed that the major health problem in the world is diarrhea, many people around the world used traditional medicines for the treatment of diarrhea, mainly they used the roots, leaves and flowers of different kinds of species for the same intention. Diarrhea can be acute or chronic, and the common form is acute diarrhea. Through the food intake, and infectious agents, there are more than 90% cases of acute diarrhea; it is often accompanied by fever, vomiting and stomach pain, while the remaining 10% are mostly caused by toxins, medications, and ischemia.

Plants with natural products may be the new source of antimicrobial agents with possibly novel mechanisms of action. In treating infectious diseases, they are effective while simultaneously making the side effects less severe that are often associated with conventional antimicrobial.

According to Shang-Yang, Di Giusto, Bain & Lien-Sang (2015) on Sexual specialization in phenology in dioecious Ficus benguetensis and its consequences for the mutualism, “timing of reproductive events has become central in ecological studies linking success in pollination and seed dispersion to optimizing the probability and periods of encounters with pollinators or dispersers”. The plant-insect interactions, Ficus- fig wasp mutualism, are an example of fine-tuned encounter optimization as biological cycles between partners that mutualized are dependent with each other and intertwined over the years. It resulted by mutualistic pollinating wasps and seed dispersers, rather than climatic factors, appeared to mainly shape fig phenology and allometry in F. benguetensis. They identified a new sexual specialization in dioecious fig trees: the position of fig production. The continuous male fig production on tree trunks can enhance the survival of pollinating fig wasps through faster localization of receptive figs while reducing the mutualistic conflict between the fig and its obligate pollinators.

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