Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#Healthy #Foods - Vegetables - Cucumbers (Cucumis Sativus)

Cucumber plant is a spicies of Cucumis Sativus, belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and native to Western Asia. It is a creeping vine with roots in the ground and grows up with the support of frames.

Nutritional Supplements
1. Carbohydrates
2. Fiber
3. Fat
4. Protein
5. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
6. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
7. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
8. Pantothenic acid (B5)
9. Vitamin B6
10. Folate (Vitamin B9)
11. Tryptophan
12. Molybdenum
13. Vitamin C
14. Vitamin K
15. Calcium
16. Iron
17. Magnesium
18. Manganese
20. Potassium
21. Zinc
22. Etc.

A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Antioxidants
In the assessment of the aqueous fruit extract of Cucumis sativus L. and its effect on free radical scavenging and analgesic activities found that the presence of flavonoids and tannins in the extract as evidenced by preliminary phytochemical screening suggests that these compounds might be responsible for free radical scavenging and analgesic effects, according to "Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract" by Kumar D, Kumar S, Singh J, Narender, Rashmi, Vashistha B, Singh N.(a)

2. Anti-hyaluronidase, and anti-elastase effects
In the study of the lyophilized juice of Cucumis sativus fruit (CSLJ) and its antioxidant, anti-hyaluronidase, and anti-elastase activity found that Content of ascorbic acid was calculated with respect to the standard compound and it was found to be 3.5 ± 0.23% w/w. CSLJ is the rich source of ascorbic acid and this study thereby rationalizes the use of C. sativus as potential anti-wrinkle agent in cosmetic products, according to "Cucumis sativus fruit-potential antioxidant, anti-hyaluronidase, and anti-elastase agent" by Nema NK, Maity N, Sarkar B, Mukherjee PK.(b)

3. Anti cancers
In the research of six plant parts (leaves, stems, roots, whole fruits, calyxes, and fruits without calyxes) of Cucumis sativus and theirs inhibitory effects on melanogenesis found that the depigmenting mechanism of extracts from leaves and stems of C. SATIVUS involves the expression of tyrosinase. Of eight compounds isolated from the leaves, lutein ( 1) (IC (50) = 170.7 microM) and (+)-(1 R,2 S,5 R,6 S)-2,6-di-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-3,7-dioxabicyclo[3.3.0]octane ( 2) (IC (50) = 270.8 microM) were found to suppress melanogenesis. Whereas 1 was found to markedly decrease the expression levels of tyrosinase, 2 only weakly reduced tyrosinase expression. This suggests that 1 is an active component in the leaves of C. sativus and is a potentially useful skin-whitening agent, according to "Inhibitory effect of Cucumis sativus on melanin production in melanoma B16 cells by downregulation of tyrosinase expression" by Kai H, Baba M, Okuyama T.(c)

4. Skin tumors
In the evaluation of sugar beet roots, cucumber fruits, New Zealand spinach leaves, and turmeric rhizomes and theirs effect against dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and croton oil-promoted skin tumors found that topical application of the nutraceuticals daily for 5 days before DMBA and 1 h before croton oil (Protocol 1) and immediately after croton oil (Protocol 3) did not have an additional protective effect against skin tumors compared with Protocol 2. Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance by ranks showed that Protocol 2 is the most effective, with the treatment groups belonging to different populations at the 0.05 level of significance compared with alpha = 0.20 for Protocols 1 and 3. Turmeric is the most potent nutraceutical, because the average number of tumors formed after application of tumeric is statistically different from the positive control at alpha = 0.01., according to "Comparative potencies of nutraceuticals in chemically induced skin tumor prevention" by Villaseñor IM, Simon MK, Villanueva AM.(d)

5. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin K
Vitamin K not only plays an important role in protecting our skin from aging, it is also needed for the proper clotting of blood, thus decreasing the risk of excessive bleeding, in a study of "Delayed vitamin K deficiency as a cause of bleeding: still a concern in the 21st century!" by Kasatkar P, Shetty S, Ghosh K., posted in PubMed, researchers found that Laboratory tests confirmed acquired bleeding diathesis due to vitamin K deficiency, which was corrected after adequate vitamin K supplementation. VKDB is not an uncommon phenomenon and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a child with bleeding diathesis.

2. Molybdenum
Molybdenum cofactor is vital for human enzymes, including xanthine oxidase, sulfite oxidase, and aldehyde oxidase, Deficiency may cause
a. Prenatal brain disruption, according to the study of "Prenatal brain disruption in molybdenum cofactor deficiency" by Carmi-Nawi N, Malinger G, Mandel H, Ichida K, Lerman-Sagie T, Lev D.(I)

b. Uniparental isodisomy with microcephaly and developmental delay, according to the study of "Maternal uniparental isodisomy is responsible for serious molybdenum cofactor deficiency" by Gümüş H, Ghesquiere S, Per H, Kondolot M, Ichida K, Poyrazoğlu G, Kumandaş S, Engelen J, Dundar M, Cağlayan AO.(II)

3. Vitamin C
In the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction. and it effects on pulmonary dysfunction found that At present, evidence from randomised-controlled trials is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma. Further methodologically strong and large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed in order to address the question of the effectiveness of vitamin C in children with asthma but some outcome data showed effectiveness on lung function, symptom scores, IgE levels and inhaled steroid use. One small study showed a significant difference in % drop in FEV1 post-exercise, according to the study of "Vitamin C supplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(III)

4. Potassium
Potassium beside is important in maintaining the regular contraction and relaxation of the muscle, that helps to reducing the risk of hypokalemia, it also helps the lymphatic system in regulating the levels of fluid in the body, thus lessening the risk of lymphedema, swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph fluid. In a study of "Narrative review: evolving concepts in potassium homeostasis and hypokalemia" by Greenlee M, Wingo CS, McDonough AA, Youn JH, Kone BC., posted in PubMed (, researchers found that recent experimental insights into the participation of feedback and feedforward control mechanisms in potassium homeostasis. New data make clear that feedforward homeostatic responses activate when decreased potassium intake is sensed, even when plasma potassium concentration is still within the normal range and before frank hypokalemia ensues, in addition to the classic feedback activation of renal potassium conservation when plasma potassium concentration decreases.

5. Manganese
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(1)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(IV)

6. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Cardiovascular health
Fiber in cucumber helps to bind the bad cholesterol through waste secretion before they can form plague to damage the arterial wall, causing heart diseases and stroke, according to the study of 'Dietary antioxidant vitamins and fiber in the etiology of cardiovascular disease and all-causes mortality: results from the Scottish Heart Health Study' by Todd S, Woodward M, Tunstall-Pedoe H, Bolton-Smith C., posted in PubMed(1)

2. Immune system
Vitamin C in cucumber beside is vital to strengthens the capillaries (small blood vessel) wall but also acts as an antioxidant in assisting immune system fighting again infection., according to the study of "Effect of oral administration of high vitamin C and E dosages on the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) innate immune system" by Ortuño J, Cuesta A, Angeles Esteban M, Meseguer J., posted in PubMed(2)

3. Skin health
Cucumber promotes skin health due to the substance of silica and vitamin K by soothing skin irritations, swelling and acting as coagulation in healing skin cut and wound, according to the
article of "Skin Benefits of Cucumber – Makes Your Skin Smooth" by Corwin Brown posted in ArticleBase(3), the author write that Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is a trace mineral that contributes to the strength of our connective tissue. Connective tissue is what holds our body together. Cucumbers are effective when used for various skin problems, including swelling under the eyes and sunburn.

4. Erepsin
Erepsin found in cucumber is an enzyme that digests protein into amino acids produced by the intestinal glands in the ileum found of the intestinal juices, thus enhancing the digestive system in absorbing vital nutrients for the needs of the body.

5. Herbal medicine
In herbal medicine, cucumber is considered as diuretic, thus increasing the function of urinary secretion according to the study of "Herbal medicines as diuretics: a review of the scientific evidence" by Wright CI, Van-Buren L, Kroner CI, Koning MM., posted in PubMed(4).

6. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Over consuming cucumbers may cause fluid and electrolyte disturbances.
2. Since it is one of many cool foods, traditional Chinese medicine warns that pregnant or breast-feeding women should avoid consuming cucumber.
3. Etc.

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