Currently, importance of natural products is being revitalized to alleviate various health discrepancies. The link between health and diet is well documented and the consumers' trend reflects conscience towards their dietary habits. Probing these links has led to the emergence of functional, nutraceuticals and pharma foods, now taking hold over global nutrition market. Phytochemicals in diet could provide protection against several threats like free radical formation, degenerative disorders and lifestyle related diseases but still role of array of active ingredients should be unveiled. The review is intended to focus on rich phytochemistry of Morus alba L., its antioxidant potential, inhibition of LDL oxidation, neurodegenerative disorders and mode of action in boosting skin tone. It has a unique nutritional profile containing proteins, phenolics, flavonoids and anthocyanins that enhances its significance as promising nature's functional tonic. Chemistry of mulberry leaves enumerate that it contains some antimicrobial agents like kuwanon G and leachianone etc. Mulberry extracts or components especially flavonoids i.e. quercetin, rutin and isoquercitrin scavenge free radicals showing potential against oxidative stress. Presence of prenylated flavonoids further strengthened its antioxidant claims. Additionally, these antioxidants provide cardiovascular protection as these inhibit LDL oxidation and thus atherosclerosis. Likewise, some other components such as 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) and Moran 20K have been reported to be effective against hyperglycemia and lipid peroxidation in diabetics. Mulberry leaves as protein source in food formulations and neuroprotective functions can be used against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinsonism. Furthermore, it also demands special consideration to improve skin tone. Chemopreventive potential has been highlighted in some studies but still researchers should pay attention to validate the findings to enhance meticulousness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science