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Chemical composition and nutraceutical properties of hempseed: an ancient food with actual functional value

Abstract

The seeds of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) have been an important source of nutrition for thousands of years in Chinese and European cultures but, nowadays, in spite of the multiple clinical evidence, which highlights their huge health-promoting properties, people are still unaware about their nutritional as well as nutraceutical benefits. Indeed, the extraordinary richness of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids is odds with oxidative stability of hemp seed by-products. This is the reason for which different and innovative extractive strategies are daily employed, as well as the preservation of antioxidant hemp seed phenols and polyphenols is claimed as a key issue to pursue. Recent insights into the phenol and cannabinoid baggage of hemp seed highlight it is an inestimable source of health promoting ingredients. This review aims to provide a detailed and updated background for research on seeds of this niche crop, pointing out the chemistry and bioactivity of their phytochemicals.

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Abbreviations

AKT:

Protein kinase B

BV2:

Mouse microglial cells

DPPH:

2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl

HepG2:

Human liver cancer cell line

HNE:

4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal

IPK:

Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research

8-iso-15(S)-PGF2α:

8-iso-15(S)-Prostaglandin F2α

LPS:

Lipopolysaccharide

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

mTOR:

Mammalian target of rapamycin

PC12:

Pheochromocytoma cells

PLP:

Pyridoxal phosphate

PAL:

Phenylalanine ammonia lyase

PUFA:

Poly-unsatured fatty acids

TNF-α:

Tumor necrosis factor

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Correspondence to Severina Pacifico.

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Crescente, G., Piccolella, S., Esposito, A. et al. Chemical composition and nutraceutical properties of hempseed: an ancient food with actual functional value. Phytochem Rev 17, 733–749 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-018-9556-2

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Keywords

  • Cannabis sativa L.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Phenols
  • Lignanamides
  • Functional food