Chemistry 2060

27 March, 2000

Allicin- C6H10OS2 - Allicin is a compound that occurs in garlic not in its natural state but when it is cut, crushed, or slightly cooked. It is suspected to be an antibacterial, anti-fungal agent with health benefits as a liquid oxide. Much of the research pertaining to allicin has not been conclusively proven but studies have shown that when at least two servings of garlic are consumed twice a week it enhances immunity; it improves circulation; it is a topical antibiotic; it reduces blood pressure; and it lowers cholesterol levels. Garlic\'s use in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer are the two most important modern applications. While documented evidence exists showing that garlic can help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol, reducing overall blood lipids, and decreasing blood pressure, promising research is pointing to the possible anti-cancer effects of garlic. One epidemiological study found that the risk of esophageal, colon, and stomach cancer dropped significantly. Other studies have suggested that garlic can inhibit cancers of the prostate and cervix, and may reduce growth of breast cancer cells. The functional groups include: 2 alkenes, and sulfides.

Capsaicin-C18H27NO3 - Pure capsaicin, or methyl-n-vanillyl-6-nonemamide, is a whitish powder which is insoluble in cold water. However, it is soluble in alcohol, fats, oils, benzene, chloroform, slightly soluble in carbon disulfide. It is found in many varieties of hot peppers and its content level in a pepper is determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method. Capsaicin has adverse effects on the peripheral nervous system. It also has adverse effects on several important centers in the brain, and on enzyme and neuroprotein function in the brain. Intestinal action on various nutrients, including protein, is altered to our injury. Furthermore, the blood vessels and heart are particularly sensitive to toxic factors in capsaicin. Capsaicin affects substance P an important nerve chemical related to endorphins by destroying it which could possibly be linked to other potential heath problems such as bladder retention, urinary tract infection, and cancer in parts of the digestive tract. However the are some medicinal uses for capsaicin such as a topical analgeisic in veterinary medicine, it works by deadening nerve endings. The functional groups include: alkenes, phenols, and amide.

Hesperidin-C28H34O15- hesperidin is one of the bioflavinoids, naturally occurring nutrients usually found in association with Vitamin C. Hesperidin is vital in their ability to increase the strength of the capillaries (blood vessels) and to regulate their permeability. It assists Vitamin C in keeping collagen, the intercellular "cement" in healthy condition; are essential for the proper absorption and use of vitamin C; prevents Vitamin C from being destroyed in the body by oxidation; beneficial in hypertension; helps hemorrhages and ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues and builds a protective barrier against infections. Hesperidin’s functional groups include alcohol, phenol, ketone, and ether.

Cellobiose-C12H22O11-Cellobiose, the disaccharide obtained by partial hydrolysis of cellulose, consists of two D-glucopyranoses joined by a 1,4\',-beta-glycoside bond. Cellobiose cannot be digested by humans and cannot be fermented by yeast. Cellobiose, the end product of the enzymic break-down of cellulose, is oxidized to cellobiono-d-lactone, while quinones or phenoxy radicals, that occur during the breakdown of lignin, are reduced. A cellobiose dehydrogenase was identified from a Sclerotium rolfsii strain and its production and induction investigated. Furthermore, the enzyme was partially purified and characterized. The only accepted substrates apart from cellobiose are lactose and cellooligosaccharides. A promising technological application for this enzyme is the production of lactobionic acid. This mild and sweet tasting acid can be used in the food, pharmaceutical and detergent industries. The functional groups are alcohol and ether.

Picrotoxin- C15H18O7 – Picrotoxin originates from a poisonous plant called Cocculus. Picrotoxin is a powerful convulsive poison used principally to check night sweats in phthisis by its action in accelerating respiration, but it is not always successful. It was at one time used to adulterate beers, increasing their reputation as intoxicants; it is an antidote in Morphine poisoning. Picrotoxin’s functional groups are ester, alcohol, and ether.

The five compounds that I chose were allicin, capsaicin, cellobiose, hesperidin, and picotoxin. These five compounds were similar in several ways most importantly because of their medicinal value, each is used to form either phamasuiticles or herbal supplements. Structurally they are similar in that almost all possess