Fermented papaya preparation (FPP) (a product of yeast fermentation of Carica papaya Linn) is a food supplement. Studies in chronic and degenerative disease conditions (such as thalassemia, cirrhosis, diabetes and aging) and performance sports show that FPP favorably modulates immunological, hematological, inflammatory, vascular and oxidative stress damage parameters. Neuroprotective potential evaluated in an Alzheimer's disease cell model showed that the toxicity of the β-amyloid can be significantly modulated by FPP. Oxidative stress trigger apoptotic pathways such as the c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) are preferentially activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress resulting in cell differentiation and apoptosis. FPP modulated the H₂O₂-induced ERK, Akt and p38 activation with the reduction of p38 phosphorylation induced by H₂O₂. FPP reduces the extent of the H₂O₂-induced DNA damage, an outcome corroborated by similar effects obtained in the benzo[a]pyrene treated cells. No genotoxic effect was observed in experiments with FPP exposed to HepG2 cells nor was FPP toxic to the PC12 cells. Oxidative stress-induced cell damage and inflammation are implicated in a variety of cancers, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular dysfunctions, neurodegenerative disorders (such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease), exercise physiology (including performance sports) and aging. These conditions could potentially benefit from functional nutraceutical/food supplements (as illustrated here with fermented papaya preparation) exhibiting anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunostimulatory (at the level of the mucus membrane) and induction of antioxidant enzymes.
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