Molecular targets of dietary polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties
"Inflammation is the immunological defense mechanism by which the body fights infection or injury from bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. The defining clinical features of inflammation are known in Latin as rubor (redness), calor (warmth), tumor (swelling) and dolor (pain)."
"In the early 1970's, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were found to inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX), which produces prostaglandins (PG's), a class of physiological and pathophysiological inflammatory mediators. Since then, the biosynthetic cascade of arachadonic acid (AA) has been the subject of intense research. This is because AA, having been previously liberated from phospholipids using various stimuli, can be metabolized by the COX pathway into PG's and thromboxane A2, or by the lipoxygenase pathways to hydroperoxyeicosateraenoic acids, (HpETEs), hydroxyeicosateraenoic acids (HETEs), and leukotrienes (LTs). These proteins play a vital role in inflammation by controlling the intensitry and duration of pain, as well as the occurrence of fever, swelling and heat of an affected area."
“Given that certain polyphenols are known to affect more than one protein, it is necessary consider the possibility that any single com- pound may affect multiple mechanisms.”