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Art for Mental Health

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Myrica faya Aiton (fire tree, faya) is an underused species with a diverse flavonoid composition (anthocyanins, flavonols, ellagitannins) which can promote positive effects on human health. M. faya has been reported to possess high antioxidant activities, but its potential in the prevention of type II diabetes has not been evaluated so far. In the present study, eight M. faya samples from different areas of Madeira and Azores archipelagos (Portugal) were collected to determine their phytochemical profile and then tested for their in vitro anti-diabetic and antioxidant activities. The analyzed extracts showed strong inhibitory activities towards α -glucosidase, aldose reductase and glycation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and moderate effects towards α-amylase and lipase (by comparison with reference compounds). Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside and ellagitannins were the main bioactive agents involved in the anti-diabetic effects of M. faya. Such results may provide important scientific evidence for further utilization of M. faya as dietary or nutraceutical products for the prevention and/or control of hyperglycaemia-associated complications.

Originating from the Canary islands, Morella faya was most likely brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the Portuguese in the 1800s as an ornamental plant and for its berries, which were used in wine making. While Faya was later used in reforestation efforts among several of the Hawaiian Islands, it was considered an invasive species by 1937. It is found throughout the park and hinders the growth of native plants by changing the soil pH and shading out native understory species. Faya initially has a shrub-like appearance with smooth, light colored bark, but grows into a medium sized tree. The leaves are oblong, toothed, and dark green, although new growth has a bright green hue. Small flowers become small black or red berries, which are eaten and spread by birds. To control the spread of Faya, the trees are girdled and herbicide is applied. 59ce067264


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