Carvacrol and human health: A comprehensive review.
Sharifi-Rad M1, Varoni EM2, Iriti M3, Martorell M4, Setzer WN5, Del Mar Contreras M6,7, Salehi B8,9, Soltani-Nejad A10, Rajabi S9,11, Tajbakhsh M12, Sharifi-Rad J13,14.
1 Department of Medical Parasitology, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, 61663-335, Iran.
2 Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy.
3 Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy.
4 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Pharmacy, University of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile.
5 Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, 35899, USA.
6 Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, Avda. Fuentenueva s/n, 18071, Granada, Spain.
7 Research and Development Functional Food Centre (CIDAF), Health Science Technological Park, Bioregión Building, Avenida del Conocimiento s/n, Granada, Spain.
8 Medical Ethics and Law Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
9 Student Research Committee, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
10 Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.
11 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
12 Pediatric Infections Research Center (PIRC), Research Institute for Children Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
13 Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
14 Department of Chemistry, Richardson College for the Environmental Science Complex, The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
Carvacrol (CV) is a phenolic monoterpenoid found in essential oils of oregano (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), pepperwort (Lepidium flavum), wild bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia), and other plants. Carvacrol possesses a wide range of bioactivities putatively useful for clinical applications such antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities. Carvacrol antimicrobial activity is higher than that of other volatile compounds present in essential oils due to the presence of the free hydroxyl group, hydrophobicity, and the phenol moiety. The present review illustrates the state-of-the-art studies on the antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer properties of CV. It is particularly effective against food-borne pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Bacillus cereus. Carvacrol has high antioxidant activity and has been successfully used, mainly associated with thymol, as dietary phytoadditive to improve animal antioxidant status. The anticancer properties of CV have been reported in preclinical models of breast, liver, and lung carcinomas, acting on proapoptotic processes. Besides the interesting properties of CV and the toxicological profile becoming definite, to date, human trials on CV are still lacking, and this largely impedes any conclusions of clinical relevance.
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