Hydroxycinnamic acids are a class of aromatic acids and phenylpropanoids with C6-C3 skeleton. These compounds are hydroxyl derivatives of cinnamic acid. These acids has subclasses such as caftaric, caffeic, coumaric, cinnamic, (neo)chlorogenic and ferulic acids and curcumin. These are phenolic compounds which belong to non-flavonoid polyphenols. It is found in all parts of fruits or vegetables. This group of compounds account about one-third of phenolic compounds in diet. They have gained increasing interest in health as they are regarded as potent antioxidants. These are regarded as chain breaking antioxidant which acts as radical scavenging activity which is related to hydrogen or electron donating capacity and able to stabilize phenoxyl radical within their structure. The ability of free radical scavenger is predicted from standard one electron potentials.
The dietary intake is associated with prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Health Benefits of Hydroxycinnamic acids
Here are some health benefits discussed below:
- Acts as antioxidant
Antioxidants are substances which prevent body cells from free radicals. Free radicals are regarded as harmful substances which are released into body’s cells during oxygen related reactions. Study shows that it could promote the chances of cancer, diabetes, accelerate ageing process and weaken immune system. Favorably both chlorogenic and caffeic acid are effective antioxidants which helps to avoid free radicals activity.
- Cancer prevention
Cancer develops when DNA in the bodily cell gets disorganized. It leads to rapid and uncontrollable cellular growth that develops into tumor ultimately. The tumor become cancerous and spread to other areas of the body and also damages cells around it. Both chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid possess cancer counteracting properties. Ferulic acid and coumarin helps to protect against cancer.
- Reduce inflammation
When people experience injury, infection, stress or irritation, body responds with inflammation. It shows symptoms such as pain, heat, swelling and redness. Though it seems to be unpleasant but it shows that body is trying to cope with threat and trying to fix any damage. In some circumstances inflammation is caused unnecessarily and damages body cells.
- Antiseptic properties
Courmarin is found to be helpful to lower the risk of contracting diseases. Evidence have shown that acts as antiseptic, a substance which prevents growth of disease caused by microorganisms.
- Maintains blood healthy
Blood is crucial for health as it delivers oxygen to the areas of the body demanding it and also helps to combat infection. Literally, chlorogenic acid maintains blood healthy by preventing the chances of atheroscleoris, a condition in which hard plaques are formed in artery walls and restrict flow of blood that promotes the chances of heart disease. It also lowers blood vessels of LDL cholesterol. Study shows that coumarin promotes blood health as it acts as anticoagulant and protects capillaries from damage and also lowers high blood pressure. Still further evidence is required before confirming the effects of ferulic acid and coumarin on blood.
- Make bones stronger
Hydroxycinnamic acids are an answer for strong and healthy bones. Research shows that coumarin could effectively prevent osteoporosis by lowering bone mineral density and ferulic acid prevents degeneration of bones. Further studies are essential before confirming the bone boosting properties.
- Cardiovascular health
Heart is a crucial organ which pumps blood around the body and supports to eliminate waste materials. Chlorogenic acid helps to keep heart healthy by clearing blockage in arteries and ensure that it has regular supply of blood. Study shows that coumarin promotes heart health by preventing the chances of arrhythmia.
- HIV prevention
HIV is a virus which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease abbreviated to AIDS which destroys immune system eventually. There is no cure for HIV but studies show that coumarin helps to prevent replication of this virus.
- Prevent UV damage
UV rays are regarded as invisible rays of energy from sun. When exposed to long term, it could burn skin and causes skin cancer. Early evidence have shown that ferulic acid helps to protect skin cells from UV damage.
- Lowers body fat
Those who are trying to lower body fat percentage should add chlorogenic acid to diet. Study shows that hydroxycinnamic acid could lower levels of body fat and assist to lose weight by forcing cells to use body fat for energy.
- Pain relief
Coumarin acts as a solution for those experiencing pain. Study has shown that hydroxycinnamic acid acts as analgesic which is a substance that provides relief from pain.
- Treatment for asthma
Asthma is an unpleasant respiratory disorder causing airways to narrow temporarily resulting breathing difficulties. Research shows that coumarin is able for treating asthma.
- Diabetes cure
Diabetes is a disease which forms when body’s cells stop responding to insulin or pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin. It causes blood glucose levels to become high and when left untreated, it could cause serious damage to body cells. Both chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid helps to treat diabetes by promoting insulin production, lowering blood glucose levels and slowing release of glucose into blood after consumption of meal.