Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(9):943-53. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.574802.

Recent advances in biologically active compounds in herbs and spices: a review of the most effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory active principles.

Author information

Department of Food Technology, XaRTA-UTPV, Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Agrària, Universitat de Lleida, Avda/Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain.


Spices, like vegetables, fruit, and medicinal herbs, are known to possess a variety of antioxidant effects and other biological activities. Phenolic compounds in these plant materials are closely associated with their antioxidant activity, which is mainly due to their redox properties and their capacity to block the production of reactive oxygen species. More recently, their ability to interfere with signal transduction pathways involving various transcription factors, protein kinases, phosphatases, and other metabolic enzymes has also been demonstrated. Many of the spice-derived compounds which are potent antioxidants are of great interest to biologists and clinicians because they may help protect the human body against oxidative stress and inflammatory processes. It is important to study the bioactive compounds that can modulate target functions related to defence against oxidative stress, and that might be used to achieve health benefits individually. In the present review, an attempt has been made to summarize the most current scientific evidence about the in vitro and in vivo effects of the bioactive compounds derived from herbs and spices, focused on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, in order to provide science-based evidence for the traditional uses and develop either functional foods or nutraceuticals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center