Submitted: 13 Mar 2014
Accepted: 23 Jun 2014
ePublished: 17 Sep 2014
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Int J Phytocos Nat Ingred. 2014;1(1): 4.
doi: 10.15171/ijpni.2014.04
  Abstract View: 5194
  PDF Download: 3844

Review Article

Importance of a multidisciplinary evaluation of Piper genus for development of new natural products in Latin America

Armando Cáceres*, Massuo J. Kato


Piper species are basal angiosperms used by men as condiment and medicine since ancient times, and can be easily found in tropical and subtropical forest of America. This mini review article deals with the potential of this genus as a source of new natural and bioactive compounds. The large chemical diversity in Piper species encompasses the volatile components with frequent occurrence of phenylpropanoids besides terpenes, but also some specific classes of compounds such as amides, piperolides, kavalactones, chromenes and benzoic acid derivatives. Additional classes include lignans, neolignans and also flavonoids. Piper nigrum is the most known species because of its use as spices and also as medicinally all over the world for many centuries. Since several studies have been conducted on wild species of this genus in Latin America, this review summarize the bioactivity observed for 36 species, including biocidal (antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, larvicidal, acaricidal and cytotoxic), antioxidant, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-myotoxic, anxiolytic, estrogenic and serotonergic activities. Considering the task to examine over 1000 species of Piper, a multidisciplinary and international network is proposed to study topics covering the ethnobotany to the chemistry and bioactivity with the hope to contribute to the discovery of new natural products from biodiversity.
Keywords: Basal angiosperms, Biodiversity, Bioactivity, Bioprospecting, Secondary compounds
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