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The antimicrobial activity of compounds of natural origin.

The antimicrobial activity of compounds of natural origin.

Many recent studies have focused on the antimicrobial activity of certain naturally occurring compounds. Safety and bioavailability are paramount considerations for classifying antimicrobial agents by efficacy for use in the therapeutic field. Several studies have concluded the good bioavailability and rare power of Hydroxytyrosol found mainly in extra virgin olive oil in good quantities. Thus this component could be a promising antimicrobial agent that can be included in the various pharmacological treatments.

Not to mention that the typical components of the Mediterranean diet such as olive oil and fish, sources rich in omega, are considered as important factors in the preservation of good health. Also epidemiological data show that the Mediterranean diet has protective effects against cancer and coronary heart disease.

The reason many researchers are trying to find new sources of antimicrobial agents is that antibiotic resistance has increased. And there is a need to find and develop new antibiotics of natural origin capable of acting effectively. Thus, many studies have focused on antimicrobial properties on active ingredients derived from plants such as essential oils or spices; that have been used for a long time in traditional medicine to cure infections.

The fruits and leaves of the olive tree (Oleaeuropaea) contain a series of compounds that stimulate multichimic mechanisms of defense against microbes and insect attacks. The major phenolic compounds identified and quantified in olive oil belong to three different classes:

-The simple phenols "Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol"

-Secoiridoides Oleuropein, Ligstroside Aglycone and Decarboxylated Dialdehyde Derivative

-Lignans "Acetoxypinoresinol and Pinoresinol"

Recently, studies have concluded that Oleuropein, "the bitter molecule present in large quantities in extra virgin olive oil", and Hydroxytyrosol "which derives from Oleuropein by acid or enzymatic hydrolysis and is responsible for the high stability of olive oil "; can inhibit or further delay the growth rate of a wide variety of bacteria and fungi and could thus be effectively used as a dietary supplement or in pharmaceutical formulations.

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Source: American Society for Microbiology: Antimycoplasmic Activity of HydroxytyrosolPio Maria Furneri, Anna Piperno, Antonella Sajia, and Giuseppe Bisignano.