Diabetes Mellitus in South Asia
By Viduranga Y. Waisundara and Naofumi Shiomi
The prevalence rates of diabetes mellitus and its complications in South Asia are much higher than in other developed and developing countries; therefore, diabetes mellitus has become a serious problem in this region. While the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in South Asia is remarkable, its characteristics and causes have not been well-elucidated. More than 85% of the diabetic population in South Asia suffer from type 2 diabetes, and the causes can be divided into two categories: internal/traditional causes and causes induced by rapid development. Factors such as age, gender, diet and lifestyle changes, including a lack of physical activity caused by modernization and urbanization, are major contributory factors. The majority of the healthcare costs associated with diabetes are due to its later complications and are not preventable. Therefore, inexpensive treatment at an early stage of diabetes is important. In this review, the following are recommended as preventive measures of the incidence of the disease: (1) induction of UCP1 through the diet, (2) increasing the intake of antidiabetic bioactive components and/or food and (3) evolution of the consensus through educational programs and government policy. National strategies and interventions should be implemented immediately for both the primary and secondary prevention of diabetes mellitus and its complications in order to advocate healthy living among the South Asian populations.
Part of the book: Diabetes and Its Complications
Assessment of Bioaccessibility: A Vital Aspect for Determining the Efficacy of Superfoods
By Viduranga Yashasvi Waisundara
Bioaccessibility is a vital aspect when qualifying food products to be superfoods. It could be defined as the amount of a food constituent which is present in the gut, as a consequence of its release from the solid food matrix. This chapter highlights the evaluation of the bioaccessibility of three studies using an in vitro model of digestion, involving potential superfoods which are as follows: (1) Five Sri Lankan endemic fruits (2) ten spices which are commonly used in culinary preparations in Sri Lanka as well as throughout the world, and (3) three Kombucha ‘tea fungus’ fermented beverages obtained through different microbial cultures. In all three studies, the antioxidant and starch hydrolase activities of the food products were evaluated, given the therapeutic importance of these characteristics. In the first study, it was observed that the antioxidant and activities had decreased, although the starch hydrolase inhibitory activities had been sustained. The remaining two studies demonstrated that both these functional properties had statistically significantly increased (???? < 0.05), or sustained. Overall, the studies emphasise the need for evaluating the bioaccessibility of functional properties of potential superfoods before they can be properly advocated for consumption to the general public.
Part of the book: Current Topics on Superfoods
Usage of Kombucha ‘Tea Fungus’ for Enhancement of Functional Properties of Herbal Beverages
By Viduranga Yashasvi Waisundara
The following herbal teas were fermented with the Kombucha “tea fungus” for 7 days: Acacia arabica, Aegle marmelos root bark, Aerva lanata, Asteracantha longifolia, Cassia auriculata, Hemidesmus indicus, Hordeum vulgare, Phyllanthus emblica, Tinospora cordifolia. Microbial enumerations of the bacteria and fungi present in the broth and the tea fungal mats were carried out. At the end of the period of fermentation, the pH values ranged from 4.0 to 6.0, while the titratable acidity (TA) ranging from 2.5 to 5.0 g/mL. The TA was within the acceptable limits of consumption for all beverages. The Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay indicated 5 of the fermented beverages to have statistically significant increases (P < 0.05) by the end of the period of fermentation. By day 7, the IC50 values of the α-amylase inhibitory activities ranged from 52.5 to 67.2 μg/mL, while the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity values ranged from 95.2 to 196.1 μg/mL by this time point. Overall, an enhancement of the antioxidant and starch hydrolase inhibitory potential of the seven herbal teas was observed as a result of the fermentation by addition of the tea fungus. Thus, this fermentation process could be highlighted as a novel and versatile methodology to obtain functional beverages.
Part of the book: Frontiers and New Trends in the Science of Fermented Food and Beverages
Amaranth as a Pseudocereal in Modern Times: Nutrients, Taxonomy, Morphology and Cultivation
By Asel C. Weerasekara and Viduranga Y. Waisundara
Amaranth is a cereal that has been around since ancient times. Its history is deeply embedded in the cultures of the pre-Colombian new world. There are reasons to believe that the Aztecs used it extensively. The grain is able to tolerate harsh weather conditions and also has a high nutrient profile, particularly proteins. Its lysine content in particular is noteworthy. Amaranth has been seen as a means of curbing malnutrition and food insecurity owing to these properties. There are several pseudocereals that have competed with Amaranth for the top spot as a candidate to prevent several nutrient deficiencies. Millet, barley, quinoa and buckwheat are some of those nutrient-dense pseudocereals. However, the nutrient profile of Amaranth is far superior, and the ease of its cultivation has led to it being selected as a grain for cultivation in continents such as Africa where malnutrition and food insecurity are significantly prevalent. Thus, due to the rising nutritional, health and wellness needs of the global population and to provide nutrition for the malnourished, Amaranth appears to be the most viable selection out of all cereals and pseudocereals.
Part of the book: Nutritional Value of Amaranth
Therapeutic Properties and Anti-Lipidemic Activity of Cordyceps sinensis
By Kanchana Samarasinghe and Viduranga Y. Waisundara
Cordyceps sinensis is an entomophagous medicinal mushroom, which is mainly endemic to the Tibetan Plateau including the adjoining high altitude areas. The fungus attacks many lepidopteran larvae caterpillars and mummifies it. The larvae along with the mummified insect are highly valued for their medicinal property. Cordyceps sinensis is one of the most efficient and expensive medicinal mushrooms in traditional medicinal systems such as those in China and Tibet, having multiple medicinal and pharmacological properties. It has been used to treat respiratory and immune disorders; pulmonary diseases; renal, liver, and cardiovascular diseases; hyposexuality; and hyperlipidemia. The extract of this mushroom and its bioactive compounds are noteworthy for their ability to regulate lipid metabolism and thereby exhibit anti-lipidemic activity. Cordycepin in particular, which is a bioactive compound existing in Cordyceps sinensis, has been identified as one of the primary compounds of interest in this aspect. Despite the global and scientific interest exerted toward Cordyceps sinensis, it appears to be of utmost importance that the price and other market factors owing to the rarity of this herb are managed through artificial means of synthesis.
Part of the book: Apolipoproteins, Triglycerides and Cholesterol
Analgesic Potential of Monoterpenes from Citrus Essential Oils View all chapters
By Ines Banjari, Jelena Balkić and Viduranga Yashasvi Waisundara
Chronic pain is a noteworthy health issue with immense impact on global healthcare systems. Although this issue has not come into the limelight as other noncommunicable diseases, it should be highlighted that modern medicine still has no efficient treatment to curb chronic pain. In this aspect, essential oils have been used for the prevention of several disease conditions including pain management. These odorous products, obtained from botanically defined raw material, have a variable and complex composition. Their composition largely depends on the extraction technique used, from simple hydro-distillation, to supercritical or microwave-assisted extraction. Monoterpenoids are some of the most biologically active and highly researched compounds when it comes to antinociceptive effects. They are volatile oils, primarily composed of two isoprene units with highly distinctive aromas and flavors. More than 90% of the essential oils of medicinal plants consist of monoterpenoids like limonene, myrcene, α-terpineol, linalool, pinene, p-cymene, and nerol. Besides strong anti-inflammatory effect, all essential oils with high D-limonene content pose a significant free radical scavenging effect, predominantly disabling the production of reactive oxygen species. Further studies in humans are encouraged to determine the real long-term potential in treating chronic pain.
Part of the book: Pain Management