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Review Article
Year : 2020   |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 44-49

Exploring phytochemicals as novel immunomodulators

Although synthetic and biological immunodrugs acting on single or, multiple targets have been used to treat immunity-related disorders and ailments, therapy is somehow irrational while treating the infection and presently most of immunostimulants and immunosuppressants in clinical use possess adverse side effects. There is a strong urge to use herbal medicines and natural products as multi-component agents in existing immunotherapy with a view to modulate the complex immune system in treating infection. Therapeutic efficacy of plant extracts has been suggested due to their wide array of immunomodulatory effects and influences on the immune system of the human body. Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, polysaccharides, lactones, diterpenoids, and glycosides have been reported to be responsible for the immunomodulating properties of medicinal plants. Thus, the search for natural products of plant origin as new leads for the development of potent and safe immunosuppressant and immunostimulant agents is gaining attention in today’s research and need. The present review will give an overview of secondary metabolites (alkaloids, polysaccharides, phenolics, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, and sterols) derived from natural origin exhibiting potent effects on cellular and humoral immune functions in preclinical investigations along with their clinical potential.
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