Cucurbitacin - the bitter end
Despite toxic, cucurbitacin is being studied as a drug for its pharmacological potential, due to its antidiabetic and anticancer effects
Cucurbitacin is a term that gather many compounds mainly produced by members of the Cucurbitaceae family, such as cucumber and pumpkin. Compounds range from Cucurbitacin A to T - depending on when they were discovered - and are chemically classified as triterpenes .
These compounds produce a bitter taste in different parts of the plants . All parts of the plant are susceptible of carrying cucurbitacines, while some species typically present it only on the roots. In some parts of Asia, this bitterness is exploited in traditional dishes prepared with bitter gourd (Momordica charantia).
There has been some cases of poisoning for cucurbitacin in France, where hair loss cases were reported . Other symptoms of poisoning can encompass diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hypotension . Fortunately, its poisoning rarely ends in a fatal outcome, for its bitterness serve as an alarm. Moreover, cucurbitacin is being studied as a drug for its pharmacological potential, due to its antidiabetic and anticancer effects , .
SMILES (Cucurbitacin B): CC(=O)OC(C)(C)C=CC(=O)C(C)(C1C(CC2(C1(CC(=O)C3(C2CC=C4C3CC(C(=O)C4(C)C)O)C)C)C)O)O
- Cucumber: https://www.graphic.com.gh/lifestyle/health-benefits-of-cucumber.html
- Bitter gourd: https://www.popsugar.co.uk/fitness/What-Bitter-Melon-41576082?utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=:SE&utm_source=www.google.se
- Halloween pumpkin: https://www.bhg.com/halloween/pumpkin-carving/why-is-pumpkin-carving-halloween-tradition
- Structure: Pubchem
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ESR1 Inés Rodríguez Leal