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miRNA: a possible new scenario on nutraceuticals

Author(s): Roberto Cannataro

MicroRNA (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA sequences, expressed in every cells, powerful regulators of protein synthesis and therefore of various biochemical pathways. Each miRNA is paired with different regions of RNA, therefore a miRNA is capable of regulating more than one metabolic pathway. A very important feature is that of being circulating in plasma, but they have been found in practically all biological fluids, saliva, urine, milk to name a few. They are strongly conserved starting from the simplest organisms such as plants; therefore miRNAs are also taken through food, there is some evidence for which they could be assimilated and therefore have a regulatory action. Therefore they could represent an explanation of the beneficial action of some vegetable foods and even more of the beneficial action of milk, they are in fact present in both human milk and other mammals, with very strong analogies. therefore they could represent the future of nutraceuticals, both as products in their own right, but probably even more so to enrich foods that already contain them.

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