Publications serve as the concrete art form for the scientist. It is his modus operandi. Authorship is akin to success and achievement. It cannot and should not deteriorate into a bargaining tool or commodity.
Badoni Semwal, R., Semwal, D.K., Vermaak, I., Viljoen, A. 2015. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcina cambogia. Fitoterapia 102: 134-148.
The fruit rind of Garcinia gummi-gutta, commonly known as Garcinia cambogia (syn.), is extensively used traditionally as a flavourant in fish curries due to
its sharp sour taste. Additional ethnobotanical uses include its use as a digestive
and a traditional remedy to treat bowel complaints, intestinal parasites and rheumatism.
This small fruit, reminiscent of a pumpkin in appearance, is currently most popularly
used and widely advertised as a weight-loss supplement. Studies have shown that
the extracts as well as (–)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a main organic acid component
of the fruit rind, exhibited anti-obesity activity including reduced food
intake and body fat gain by regulating the serotonin levels related to satiety,
increased fat oxidation and decreased de
novo lipogenesis. HCA is a potent inhibitor of adenosine triphosphate-citrate
lyase, a catalyst for the conversion process of citrate to acetyl-coenzyme A,
which plays a key role in fatty acid, cholesterol and triglycerides syntheses.
The crude extract or constituents from the plant also exerted hypolipidaemic,
antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anthelmintic, anticholinesterase and hepatoprotective activities in in
vitro and in vivo models. Phytochemical
studies of various plant parts revealed the presence of mainly xanthones (e.g.
carbogiol) and benzophenones (e.g. garcinol) together with organic acids (e.g.
HCA) and amino acids (e.g. gamma aminobutyric acid). Currently, a large number
of G. cambogia/HCA dietary
supplements for weight management are being sold although the possible toxicity
associated with the regular use of these supplements has raised concerns. In most cases, complaints
have been related to multicomponent formulations and at this stage G. cambogia has not been confirmed as the
potentially toxic culprit. This review presents a scientific overview of G. cambogia with reference to relevant botanical
aspects, ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry and biological activity as well as
Butein (2′,3,4,4′-tetrahydroxychalcone), a simple chalcone derivative, occurs in many unrelated genera including Butea,
Dahlia, Coreopsis and Searsia.It is a reputed food additive and a common ingredient of botanicals used in
herbal medicine formulations, particularly in Asian countries. Although a
simple polyphenol, this molecule exhibits a range of pharmacological
properties, most notably acting as a potent protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor and as an antineoplastic
agent. Researchers have convincingly demonstrated that butein inhibits the
epidermal growth factor receptor in HepG2 cells and the tyrosine-specific
protein kinase activities of the epidermal growth factor receptor. In addition,
it also exhibits promising anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antinephritic, antithrombin, anti-angiogenic and hepatoprotective activities in
various animal models. 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. This review aims to explore the pharmacological
relevance of butein, together with its structure-activity relationships and
mechanisms of action. In addition, the occurrence, chemical synthesis and
biosynthesis of butein are discussed.