Natural Product of Medicine and Interest

natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural products (secondary metabolites) have been the most successful source of leads for potential drug discovery. Natural products have been well documented for their medicinal uses for thousands of years. Plants have evolved and adapted over millions of years to withstand bacteria, insects, fungi and weather to produce unique, structurally diverse secondary metabolites. Natural products can also be prepared by chemical synthesis (both semisynthesis and total synthesis) and have played a central role in the development of the field of organic chemistry by providing challenging synthetic targets. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients.

Natural products sometimes have therapeutic benefit as traditional medicines for treating diseases, yielding knowledge to derive active components as lead compounds for drug discovery Although natural products have inspired numerous U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, drug development from natural sources has received declining attention by pharmaceutical companies, partly due to unreliable access and supply, intellectual property concerns, seasonal or environmental variability of composition, and loss of sources due to rising extinction rates.

 

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