Multi-Functional Foods


Foods contain various biologically active substances. They exert various activities and some of them exert plural functions. Thus, foods are basically multifunctional. However, the contents and composition of these functional factors are fairly different from foods. Therefore, we have to take various foods to maintain our health. On the other hand, the unbalanced diet may lead to the occurrence of various food style dependent diseases. To avoid such diseases, it is important to produce and afford nutritionally balanced foods. In addition, excess intake of energy and some food components induce such diseases. Among food components, excess intake of lipids, especially unsaturated fatty acids, induces various diseases. To avoid the induction of such diseases, it is necessary to produce and afford multi-functional foods that prevent various diseases simultaneously. Fortunately, we can utilize multifunctional factors to produce multifunctional foods.

B Dietary fibers (DF) is a typical multifunctional factor presents in various plant foods and used for the production of healthy foods in various countries. Though oxidized products of unsaturated fatty acids induce various diseases, they can also inhibit the occurrence of other diseases. Thus, the addition of antioxidants is important to utilize the abilities of unsaturated fatty acids. Since antioxidants suppress the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, they can suppress the expression of their many inconvenient effects. In addition, antioxidants exert multifunctional effects independent of their anti-oxidative activity. Effective use of these multifunctional factors may greatly enhance the ability of multifunctional foods.

Some biologically active substances interact with other substances. For example, two anti-oxidative components, such as α-Toc and sesamin, exert a synergic effect. When rats were fed these compounds simultaneously, these components exert anti-allergic effects at the doses where each component exerts no activity. In addition, the tea polyphenol administration enhances the anti-allergic effect of n-3 PUFA. Though LTB4 productivity of peritoneal exudates cells isolated from the rats fed perilla oil rich in n-3 PUFA was significantly lower than that from the rats fed safflower oil rich in n-6 PUFA, administration tea polyphenol further decreased LTB4 of the cells. In the case of EGCg, the coexistence of phosphodiesterase inhibitor strongly enhanced the expression of its biological activity. Such combinational use of biologically active components allows us to decrease the dose of these components. This leads to the improvement of safety and reduction in production costs. Thus, the studies on the interaction of biologically active substances are also important to produce multifunctional foods with high safety.

Kind Regards,
Nicola B
Editorial Manager
Journal of Biochemistry & Biotechnology