Miscllaneous compounds

5.4.16.1 Diarylheptanoids

Diarylheptanoids are rare compounds found in the family Zingiberaceae. They are found in rhizomes of Zingiber officinale, Alpinia galangal and Hedychium spicatum. Animal studies have shown diarylheptanoids to be potent anti-inflammatory agents as they selectively inhibit cycloxygenase enzyme responsible for inflammation. Gingerenone A and B and galangol are common examples. The pungent odor of Z. officinale and A. galangal is due to the presence of these compounds. This group of compounds has not been thoroughly investigated for pharmacological activity.

5.4.16.2 Isoflavones

Isoflavones are found in Glycine max (soybean). Clinical research has demonstrated soy isoflavones to be effective in menstrual diseases. They also have an antioxidant activity . Isoflavones belong to a group of compounds known as phyto-estrogens. The isoflavone content of soybean is 10 to 20 times more than other plants. Genistein is a potent tyrosine inhibitor, where as daidezein also has an antioxidant activity (Fig. 5.255). Recently isoflavones have been investigated for hypolipidemic activity.

OH O Genistein

OH O Genistein

Daidezein

Fig. 5.255 Structure of soy isoflavones.

Daidezein

Fig. 5.255 Structure of soy isoflavones.

5.4.16.3 Furochromones

Furochromones are a group of coumarins, derived from y-benzopyrone. They are related to furanocoumarins and are present in plants of the family Apiaceae and Rutaceae. Ammi visnaga is a potential source of furochromones like khellin and visnagin. Khellin was once used as coronary vasodilator drug (Fig. 5.256).

Benzopyrone

Benzopyrone o—CH3

Khellin

Fig. 5.256 Structure of common furochromones.

5.4.16.4 Phenylpropanoids

These contain a three-carbon side chain attached to a phenol. Common examples are hydroxycoumarins, lignans and phenyl-propenes. Volatile oil of Myristica fragrans contains phenylpropanoids, including myristicin, saffrole and elemicin (Fig. 5.257).

CH30

CH30

CH30

CH30

CH2 CH=CH2

CH2 CH=CH2

Saffrole

Fig. 5.257 Phenylpropanoids of Myristica fragrans.

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