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On this page you can consult numerous scientific research carried out on the prickly pear in the most prestigious research institutes in the world.
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In evidence

Gazzetta ufficiale UE sui prodotti contenenti idrossiantracene

3/2021

Rapporto EFSA sulla tossicità dei prodotti contenenti idrossiantracene

1/2018

1 / 10 Results on 77

Opuntia ficus-indica seed pomace, a by-product of seed oil extraction, was investigated due to its richness of phytochemical compounds and high antioxidant capacity. The pomace was subjected to hydrothermal extraction using water under subcritical conditions to solubilize various compounds. Different final heating temperatures 120 to 220 °C were applied, and the resulting filtered extracts were analyzed using HPLC and HPSEC to determine the monosaccharide profile and molecular weight of the oligomers. Notably, extractions performed at temperatures between 120 and 180 °C yielded extracts characterized by elevated levels of glucuronic acid and exhibited higher molecular weights. In contrast, extractions conducted at 200 and 220 °C were distinguished by their enriched xylose content and relatively low molecular weights, falling below 23.6 kDa. The extracts were tested for total phenolic compounds, as well as antioxidant activity using spectrophotometric methods such as TEAC, DPPH, and FRAP. Results showed that increasing temperature led to a corresponding increase in phenolic compounds (from 7.7 to 13.7 gGAE/100 g) and antioxidant activity, with the maximum observed at 200 °C. These phenolic compounds enriched extract were used to produce a body lotion with sun protection factor of 8, with rheological behavior similar to that of commercially available products but without the need for additional UV filters and antioxidants. The lotion was shown to be safe for topical use and did not cause skin irritation. This study highlights the potential of O. ficus-indica seed pomace as a valuable source of phytochemical compounds and demonstrates the feasibility of using hydrothermal extraction to produce eco-friendly commercially interesting compounds.

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy often result in undesirable and adverse effects. Natural products have emerged as a promising alternative for cancer treatment, with comparatively fewer side effects reported. Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., a member of the Cactaceae family, contains a diverse array of phytochemicals, including flavonoids, polyphenols, betalains, and tannins, which have been shown to exhibit potent anticancer properties. Various parts of the Opuntia plant, including the fruits, stems/cladodes, and roots, have demonstrated cytotoxic effects against malignant cell lines in numerous studies. This review comprehensively summarizes the anticancer attributes of the phytochemicals found in Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., highlighting their potential as natural cancer prevention and treatment agents. Bibliometric metric analysis of PubMed and Scopus-retrieved data using VOSviewer as well as QDA analysis provide further insights and niche to be explored. Most anticancer studies on Opuntia ficus-indica and its purified metabolites are related to colorectal/colon cancer, followed by melanoma and breast cancer. Very little attention has been paid to leukemia, thyroid, endometrial, liver, and prostate cancer, and it could be considered an opportunity for researchers to explore O. ficus-indica and its metabolites against these cancers. The most notable mechanisms expressed and validated in those studies are apoptosis, cell cycle arrest (G0/G1 and G2/M), Bcl-2 modulation, antiproliferative, oxidative stress-mediated mechanisms, and cytochrome c. We have also observed that cladodes and fruits of O. ficus-indica have been more studied than other plant parts, which again opens the opportunity for the researchers to explore. Further, cell line-based studies dominated, and very few studies were related to animal-based experiments. The Zebrafish model is another platform to explore. However, it seems like more in-depth studies are required to ascertain clinical utility of this biosustainable resource O. ficus-indica.

The beneficial nutrients and biologically active ingredients extracted from plants have received great attention in the prevention and treatment of several diseases, including hypercholesterolemic, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, edema, joint pain, weight control, eye vision problems, neuroprotective effects, and asthma. Highly active ingredients predominantly exist in fruit and cladodes, known as phytochemicals (rich contents of minerals, betalains, carbohydrates, vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols, and taurine), which are renowned for their beneficial properties in relation to human health. Polyphenols are widely present in plants and have demonstrated pharmacological ability through their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant capacity, and the multi-role act of Opuntia Ficus Indica makes it suitable for current and future usage in cosmetics for moisturizing, skin improvement, and wound care, as healthful food for essential amino acids, as macro and micro elements for body growth, in building materials as an eco-friendly and sustainable material, as a bio-composite, and as an insulator. However, a more comprehensive understanding and extensive research on the diverse array of phytochemical properties of cactus pear are needed. This review therefore aims to gather and discuss the existing literature on the chemical composition and potential applications of cactus pear extracts, as well as highlight promising directions for future research on this valuable plant.

Te goal of this study is to investigate the antiulcer efects of betalain-rich extract (BRE). Gastric ulcer was induced by the administration of ethanol by gastric gavage route. Tis study showed that the supplementation of the BRE from pulp and peel at 800 mg/kg to rats with ethanol-induced gastric-ulcer signifcantly reduced the volume of gastric secretion (VGS) by 35% (p = 0.001) and 34% (p = 0.0009), the ulcer index (UI) by 41% (p = 0.001) and 68% (p = 0.0008), and the curative radio (CR) by 41% and 68%, respectively, as compared to untreated ethanol-induced gastric ulcer. In addition, the administration of pulp and peel BRE to rats at dose 800 mg/kg signifcantly attenuates the variation in pH of gastric juice (p = 0.008 and p = 0.001) and its total acidity (TA) (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001). Te antiulcer efect of BRE was confrmed by macroscopic and histological evaluation. Furthermore, pulp and peel BRE attenuated gastric ulcer-induced stress oxidants in rats’ stomachs showed by a signifcant decrease in the lipid peroxidation rate (p = 0.007 and p = 0.001) and LDH activity (p = 0.01 and p = 0.008) and a potential increase in the superoxide dismutase (SOD) (p = 0.01 and p = 0.008), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) (p = 0.006 and p = 0.001), and catalase (CAT) (p = 0.001 and p = 0.0009). Conclusion. Terefore, this study shows for the frst time that BRE, a natural colorant from O. stricta, is efcient in the amelioration of ulcer and stomach infammation.

To evaluate the potential antimicrobial activity, Aloe vera and Opuntia ficus-indica plants were collected from the Jeddah, Al Baha, and Taif areas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (SA), and their ethanolic extracts were screened by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The di(2-propylpentyl) ester and hexadecenoic acid ethyl ester of phthalic acid were the most abundant compounds in the A. vera extract, and 1-(benzyloxy)-3,5-dinitrobenzene and phenol, 5-ethenyl-2-methoxy were the most abundant compounds in the O. ficus-indica extract. The antimicrobial activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of these plants against seven fungi and five pathogenic bacteria was also tested. Among all the tested fungi, A. chevalieri showed the largest inhibition zone when treated with the A. vera gel ethanolic extract, followed by P. funiculosum and P. minioluteum, which were more sensitive to and showed larger inhibition zones upon treatment with aqueous extract. For the O. ficus-indica ethanolic extract, T. funiculosus showed the largest inhibition zone. The aqueous extract of the O. ficus-indica showed low antimicrobial activity against all tested fungi. By contrast, both the A. vera and O. ficus-indica extracts showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus, Shigella sp., E. coli, and MRSA except S. typhimurium, which was the most resistant bacterium to both the aqueous and ethanol extracts of A. vera and O. ficus-indica.

Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) has been used in traditional folk medicine because of its role in treating a number of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemic, rheumatic pain, gastric mucosa diseases and asthma, in many countries over the world. Nowadays, the cactus, fruits and cladodes, is the focus of many studies because they contain bioactive (phytochemicals) compounds, well known for their health-related properties. It has been revealing a positive correlation between a diet rich in prickly pear cactus and a reduced risk of diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The Opuntia ficus-indica exhibits diverse pharmacological actions through its antioxidant activity: protects cells against oxidative damage, acts as radical scavengers, reduces lipid peroxidation and increases GSH levels. So far, there is no report about the adverse/toxic effects on humans. This review provides clinical and experimental evidences about the most important phytochemical that contribute to its action hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hipocholesterolemic and neuroprotective in order to give the basis of their use in the prevention and cure of some chronic diseases. More studies on Opuntia ficus-indica could help better understand its pharmacological mechanism of action to provide clear scientific evidence to explain its traditional uses, and to identify its therapeutic potential in other diseases.

Plants of the genus Opuntia spp are widely distributed in Africa, Asia, Australia and America. Specifically, Mexico has the largest number of wild species; mainly O. streptacantha, O. hyptiacantha, O. albicarpa, O. megacantha and O. ficus-indica. The latter being the most cultivated and domesticated species. Its main bioactive compounds include pigments (carotenoids, betalains and betacyanins), vitamins, flavonoids (isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin) and phenolic compounds. Together, they favor the different plant parts and are considered phytochemically important and associated with control, progression and prevention of some chronic and infectious diseases. Part 1 collected information on its preventive actions against atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, hepatoprotection, effects on human infertility and chemopreventive capacity. Now, this second review (Part 2), compiles the data from published research (in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies) on its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerative, antimicrobial, antiviral potential and in the treatment of skin wounds. The aim of both reviews is to provide scientific evidences of its beneficial properties and to encourage health professionals and researchers to expand studies on the pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Opuntia spp.

Plants of the genus Opuntia spp are widely distributed in Africa, Asia, Australia and America. Specifically, Mexico has the largest number of wild species; mainly O. streptacantha, O. hyptiacantha, O. albicarpa, O. megacantha and O. ficus-indica. The latter being the most cultivated and domesticated species. Its main bioactive compounds include pigments (carotenoids, betalains and betacyanins), vitamins, flavonoids (isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin) and phenolic compounds. Together, they favor the different plant parts and are considered phytochemically important and associated with control, progression and prevention of some chronic and infectious diseases. Part 1 collected information on its preventive actions against atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, dia- betes and obesity, hepatoprotection, effects on human infertility and chemopreventive capacity. Now, this second review (Part 2), compiles the data from published research (in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies) on its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerative, antimicrobial, antiviral potential and in the treatment of skin wounds. The aim of both reviews is to provide scientific evidences of its beneficial properties and to encourage health professionals and researchers to expand studies on the pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Opuntia spp.

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (OFI) is a plant with numerous beneficial properties known in traditional medicine. It has been a domesticated plant in Latin America, Africa, Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, India and Australia. Nowadays, the research concentrates his efforts on natural compounds to lower cost and the possible side effects exerted by synthetic compounds. The use of nutraceuticals, bioactive compounds of vegetable origin with important nutritional values, is encouraged. OFI has shown numerous activities due to its high content of antioxidants, including flavonoids and ascorbate, pigments, including carotenoids and betalains, phenolic acids and other phytochemical components, such as biopeptides and soluble fibers. The most important effects exerted by OFI are represented by the activity against acne, arthrosis, dermatosis, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, high blood pressure, prostatosis, rheumatism, stomachache, tumor, wart, allergy, wound, colitis and some viral diseases. Moreover, a promising role has been suggested in inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and metabolic syndrome. The most recent studies were addressed to the role of OFI for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 disease. In the light of the above, in this review the biological activities and health benefits that this plant may exert are summarized.

Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI), widely recognized as prickly pear, is native to Mexico and it is distributed in many areas of the world because of its socioeconomic, agronomic, and ecological benefits, besides its large amounts of functional, nutraceutical, and biological activities. Various parts of this plant including the fruit pulp and peel, cladode, and seeds are scientifically proven to have therapeutic potentials and are safe for human use. The contents of phytochemical compounds in each part of the OFI are different. Each pharmacological activity depends on the phytochemical compounds, the components used, and the extraction type. In this review, we summarize the active constituents from different parts of OFI and their pharmacological effects including the antioxidant, wound healing, skin protective, hepatoprotective, anticancer, antidiabetic, antihypercholesterolemic, and anti-obesity activities. Besides its effects on the bone health, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract, its gastroprotective, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, neuroprotective, sedative, analgesic, anxiolytic and antimicrobial effects and effects on cognitive and memory function are also mentioned. Practical applications Over the past few decades, the health benefits of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) have received much attention. All parts of the plant, including the fruit pulp and peel, cladode, and seeds have found use in the treatment of many diseases. The chemical composition of OFI provides both a high nutritional value and various health benefits. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present the up-to-date research carried out on OFI phytochemicals, showing the most important biological activities reported.

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