chicoric acid echinacea
Chicoric acid, a dicaffeoyl ester, is the most active compound in Echinacea pupurea. It is
also produced in lettuce especially under stress, such as heat shock, chilling etc. 
Researchers from Chungbuk National University is developing a cultivation method for this
compound using airlift bioreactors. 
What are the potential health benefits of chicoric acid?
Recently, Touseh D and co-workers from Université Montpellier 1, France, reported the
effects of chicoric acid purified from Cichorium intybus on glucose uptake and insulin
secretion in cell studies. Chicoric acid is considered as a candidate for diabetes. 
Chicoric acid and HIV
HIV integrase catalyzes the integration of HIV DNA copy into the host cell DNA, which is
essential for the production of progeny viruses. L-Chicoric acid and dicaffeoylquinic acids,
isolated from plants, are well known potent inhibitors of HIV integrase. The common
structural features of these inhibitors are caffeic acid derivatives connected to tartaric acid
or quinic acid through ester bonds. 
As discussed above, L-Chicoric acid is an inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type
1 (HIV-1) integrase in vitro and of HIV-1 replication in tissue culture.  The addition of
L-chicoric acid to either Zidovudine or protease inhibitor improved upon the observed
anti-HIV activity of either compound alone. Doses of both Zidovudine and protease
inhibitor could be reduced by more than 33% for an equivalent anti-HIV effect if L-chicoric
acid was added. 
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L, et al, Ursolic acid: an anti-tumorigenic and chemopreventive activity. Minireview. Neoplasma. 2001;48(4):241-6.
 Ikeda Y, et al, Ursolic acid: an anti- and pro-inflammatory triterpenoid. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Jan;52(1):26-42.
 Manu KA, Kuttan G. Ursolic acid induces apoptosis by activating p53 and caspase-3 gene expressions and
suppressing NF-kappaB mediated activation of bcl-2 in B16F-10 melanoma cells. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008
Jul;8(7):974-81. Epub 2008 Mar 26.  Oh MM, Carey EE, Rajashekar CB. Environmental stresses induce
health-promoting phytochemicals in lettuce. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2009 Feb 28.  Tousch D, Lajoix AD, Hosy E,
Azay-Milhau J, Ferrare K, Jahannault C, Cros G, Petit P. Chicoric acid, a new compound able to enhance insulin
release and glucose uptake. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Dec 5;377(1):131-5. Epub 2008 Oct 1.
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