International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases

: 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-

Editorial for the first issue of the International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases

Gilles J Guillemin 
 Department of Pharmacology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Gilles J Guillemin
Department of Pharmacology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052

How to cite this article:
Guillemin GJ. Editorial for the first issue of the International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases.Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2011;1:2-2

How to cite this URL:
Guillemin GJ. Editorial for the first issue of the International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Sep 27 ];1:2-2
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Full Text

With the increasing longevity of the world population, the rate of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, has been concomitantly escalating. Over the last decade, researchers have been looking more keenly at natural biologically active molecules derived from plants, also known as phytochemicals, for their therapeutic potentials. Presently, most of the drugs approved by the FDA to treat these neurodegenerative diseases have failed to provide any significant clinical improvements. However, some of these most common neurodegenerative diseases have been shown to respond positively to nutritional interventions.

Even if the health benefits of the so-called "French paradox" or the Mediterranean diet" has been known for a long time, the number of studies related to diet and human health and medicine has been exponentially growing over the last decades. The relationship between nutrition and neurodegenerative diseases has been mostly limited to study the balance or unbalance between dietary intake of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. However, more recent studies looking at the roles of micronutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins E and C, resveratrol and other polyphenols, curcumin, green tea extract, co-enzyme Q10, lycopene, omega-3 fatty acid and the large range of other phytochemical-rich whole foods are currently leading to the generation of a new era for human health and, especially, for the neurodegenerative diseases.

Inflammation and oxidative stress are both involved in the decline of brain functions across a large spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. The central nervous system is far more vulnerable to oxidative stress in comparison with other organs as it consumes high amounts of oxygen, while having decreasing free radical scavenging abilities during ageing and/or inflammatory processes. Researchers have found that a large part of the deleterious effects generated by the reactive oxygen species in neurodegenerative diseases can be limited by an antioxidant-rich diet. Recent studies have shown that some phytochemicals can have potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities, and are able to protect the plasticity and integrity of the central nervous system. It is clear that the mechanisms of action of these dietary molecules are far to be limited at their antioxidant activities. Some of these compounds are known to act at several levels within the cells and tissues. They have key roles in mitochondrial functions, membrane fluidity, signal transduction, neurogenesis and synaptogenesis with the brain. One of the examples is the effect of resveratrol, one of the major natural polyphenols, on the sirtuin gene family and its association with ageing.

Reduced energy intake (caloric restriction) has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and is also known to extend lifespan and to retard age-related health decline in a number of different species, including primates.

The nutritional aspect of human health and preventive medicine, also called Nutraceuticals, is a growing field of research. Based on the common rule that "too much of a good thing can possibly turn to a bad thing," pharmacokinetic and better understanding of the cellular and molecular effects of the phytochemicals is critical. The purpose of the new journal, International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases, is to report significant scientific studies or clinical reports based on the physiologic actions of known natural molecules and combinations of these molecules, as they naturally occur, in highlighting their medicinal and nutritive mechanisms of action in the body.