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   Feb 11

Butein potential: Research review outlines case for butein as a ‘modern nutraceutical’

Writing in the journal Phytochemistry Letters, the research team noted that butein – which is a natural dietary chalcone – is a common ingredient of botanicals used in herbal medicine formulations, particularly in Asian countries, and suggested that there is a great potential to translate this traditional use in to use as a modern nutraceutical ingredient in functional foods.

Led by Ruchi Badoni Semwal from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa, the team suggested that although butein is a simple polyphenol, it exhibits ‘a range of pharmacological properties’ – “most notably acting as a potent protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor and as an antineoplastic agent.”

“Although this molecule is endowed with an impressive list of biological properties, which have acted as scientific support for its commercialization, there are no review articles that coherently discuss various aspects of this chalcanoid,” wrote the authors.

“Although butein and butein-rich plants have a rich history of use as food additives in various countries … it is clear that the compound has not been fully exploited in western countries.”

“Butein is a promising candidate for incorporation into health products geared at preventing and supporting a variety of conditions,” they concluded.

Review details

Semwal and colleagues noted that butein (2′,3,4,4′-tetrahydroxychalcone) is naturally found in a wide variety of unrelated plant genera including Butea Dahlia, Coreopsis and Searsia.

According to the review, the compound has a long history of use as a food ingredient and is ‘widely’ used in traditional herbal remedies in Asia.

While research has suggested that the polyphenol has potentially beneficial effects on a number of conditions and physiological systems, there is a current lack of data from human intervention studies to back up these claims, they warn.

“Butein is an important dietary polyphenol. It has been recognised for its ability to inhibit the enzyme protein tyrosine kinase, thereby preventing phosphorylation and affording protection against some cancers and inflammatory diseases,” said the team.

In addition, they suggested that a variety of in vivo research has shown that butein also exhibits promising anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antinephritic, antithrombin, anti-angiogenic and hepatoprotective activities.

“Despite these reports, it is evident from the literature that pure butein has never been tested in humans in a full clinical trial,” said the authors.

“Such a trial is crucial,” said the team – who noted repeated that the compound has ‘strong’ nutraceutical value and is a promising candidate for use in modern nutraceutical supplements and functional foods.

Source: Phytochemistry Letters
Volume 11, March 2015, Pages 188–201, doi: 10.1016/j.phytol.2014.12.014
“Butein: From ancient traditional remedy to modern nutraceutical”
Authors: Ruchi Badoni Semwal, et al

Source: Nutraingredients

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