content='1;url=http://www.naturetohealth.blogspot.com/'http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eucalyptus Boost For Ulcer Treatment.

Besides okro, onions and cabbage,
Eucalyptus is another plant that has
attracted the interest of researchers.
Scientists have unveiled its potentials in
the management of gastric, duodenal and
peptic ulcers.
NIGERIAN and American researchers have
enlisted Eucalyptus species in the battle with
stomach ulcers. Helicobacter pylori (H.
pylori) is the bacteria responsible for most
ulcers and many cases of stomach
inflammation (chronic gastritis). The
bacteria can weaken the protective coating
of the stomach, allowing digestive juices to
irritate the sensitive stomach lining.
The results of the work by researchers from
the Department of Pharmaceutical
Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Oyo
State; and Department of Pharmacy Practice,
College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at
Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of
America (U.S.A.) concluded “that Eucalyptus
camaldulensis and Eucalyptus torelliana may
present new therapeutic alternative for the
treatment of gastrointestinal diseases
associated with Helicobacter pylori
infections, such as gastric and duodenal
ulcers.”
The study published in Pharmaceutical
Biology is titled “In vitro susceptibility of
Helicobacter pylori to extracts of Eucalyptus
camaldulensis and Eucalyptus torelliana.”
Eucalyptus camadulensis is commonly called
River Red Gum. Another study published in
lntemational Iournal of Pharmacology
investigated the antibacterial and gastro-
protective properties of crude extracts of
Eucalyptus torelliana.
Until now, Eucalyptus has been reported to
relieve catarrh and feverish condition. The
essential oil from the leaves is applied or
rubbed over the chest and throat. The
leaves are also chewed for bad breath. The
poultice of the leaves is applied over ulcers
and wounds.
According to the study, the in vitro
susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to
extracts of Eucalyptus camaldulensis and
Eucalyptus torelliana, Nigerian medicinal
plants, was investigated in six strains of H.
pylori, namely, ATCC 4504, ATCC 47619, A2,
TI8984, 019A, and A6. The susceptibility of
these strains was determined using a
standardised agar dilution method (National
Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards
guidelines) with Mueller–Hinton agar,
supplemented with defibrinated horse
blood. The minimum inhibitory
concentrations of the crude extracts against
all the tested strains ranged from 12.5 to
400 ?g/mL.
Phytochemical screening of the plant
extracts revealed the presence of tannins,
saponins, and cardenolides. The anti-H.
pylori activities demonstrated by these
plants may be attributed to their chemical
constituents, and explain their reported
traditional uses, as well as their
gastroprotective properties as
demonstrated previously in experimental
animals. The results of this work suggest
that, in accordance with their traditional
medical use in Nigeria, E. camaldalensis and
E. torelliana have some therapeutic potential
against H. pylori, and thus are of interest for
the treatment of H. pylori infections.
The researchers wrote: “The eradication of
H. pylori has proved difficult in parts of
Africa, including Nigeria, especially since
effective drugs are not available or
resistance has developed. Treatment of H.
pylori infection usually involves the
combination of two or more antibiotics and
a proton-pump inhibitor. However, the
organism has been found to develop
resistance to these antibiotics, leading to
relapse and the development of
complications from infections. Resistance
to metronidazole, the most commonly used
antimicrobial agent, has been reported
worldwide. It is higher in developing
countries and could reach 80 to 90 per cent
in Africa. The eradication of H. pylori in
patients with pre-existing ulcer cures the
ulcer disease and can prevent recurrence.
“The activity demonstrated by crude
extracts of Nigerian medicinal plants
justifies their use in folklore medicine in the
treatment of wounds and ulcers. This
indicates that the plants may be used in the
treatment of symptomatic and
asymptomatic forms of H. pylori infections.
“The anti-H. pylori properties of these plants
may be attributed to the presence of
tannins and saponins, which are known to
possess antimicrobial potential and offer
protection against ulcers. Eucalyptus species
have been reported to contain a large
variety of compounds such as triterpenoid
saponins and tannins that are effective in
the treatment of peptic ulcers. Essential oils
obtained from these plants have been
reported to have antimicrobial activity.
“The results of the present study indicate
that E. camaldulensis and E. torelliana may
present new therapeutic alternative for the
treatment of gastrointestinal diseases
associated with H. pylori infections, such as
gastric and duodenal ulcers. The data
further support the use of these two plants
in Nigerian traditional medicine. Further
phytochemical studies are in progress to
isolate specific compounds in the plants
responsible for the anti-H. pylori activity.”
The researchers added: “Since drugs for the
eradication of H. pylori are not always
effective, and antibiotic resistance is
becoming a problem worldwide, there is a
need to investigate potential new sources
of drugs that can eradicate H. pylori, treat
existing cases, and prevent recurrence and
the development of complications.
“In Nigeria, plants of the genus Eucalyptus
(Myrtaceae), including Eucalyptus
camaldulensis Dehnh. and Eucalytus
torelliana F. Muell., are used to treat
gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, a
decoction of the leaves is reported to be a
remedy for sore throat and other bacterial
infections of the respiratory and urinary
tracts. The poultice of the leaves is applied
over wounds and ulcers. The essential oils
of the leaves have been used in the
treatment of lung diseases and were stated
to have anti-tubercular effect. In animal
models, extracts of the leaves of E.
camaldulensis and E. torelliana are reported
to decrease gastric acid production and
thus appear useful for the treatment of
gastric ulcers.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Olive Oil Diet May Prevent Stroke.

A recent study suggests that consuming olive
oil may help prevent a stroke in older
people. The research is published in the
June 15, 2011, online issue of Neurology,
the medical journal of the American
Academy of Neurology.
Study author, Dr. C├ęcilia Samieri, with the
University of Bordeaux and the National
Institute of Health and Medical Research
(INSERM) in Bordeaux, France, said, “our
research suggests that a new set of dietary
recommendations should be issued to
prevent stroke in people 65 and older.
Stroke is so common in older people and
olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy
way to help prevent it. ”
For the study, researchers looked at the
medical records of 7,625 people ages 65
and older from three cities in France,
Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier.
Participants had no history of stroke. Olive
oil consumption was categorised as “no
use,” “moderate use“ such as using olive oil
in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and
“ intensive use,” which included using olive
oil for both cooking and as dressing or with
bread. Samieri said the study participants
mainly used extra virgin olive oil, as that is
98 per cent of what is available in France.
After a little over five years, there were 148
strokes.
After considering diet, physical activity,
body mass index and other risk factors for
stroke, the study found that those who
regularly used olive oil for both cooking
and as dressing had a 41 per cent lower risk
of stroke compared to those who never
used olive oil in their diet (1.5 per cent in six
years compared to 2.6 per cent).
Olive oil has been associated with
potentially protective effects against many
cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol and
obesity.
In an accompanying editorial, Nikolaos
Scarmeas, of Columbia University and a
member of the American Academy of
Neurology noted that it is not clear, which
particular elements of olive oil could be
protective, while the effects of olive oil
could even be indirect by making other
healthy foods tastier.
He also cautioned that only future clinical
trials could increase confidence in the
findings and potentially lead to stroke
prevention recommendations.

How African Locust Bean Boosts Immunity, Protects Against Snake Bites.

African locust bean popularly used in
seasoning traditional soups has shown
promise in boosting cellular immunity in
immune-compromised persons, as well as,
in management of diarhhoea, diabetes,
and heart attack. It could also serve as
antidote to snake bites.
THEY are used for local seasoning of soups,
from bitter-leaf soup (Onugbu in Ibo) to
palm fruit soup (Ofe akwu in Ibo). They
come with sometimes, offensive odour, but
make delicious meals.
Indeed, the fermented seeds of Parkia
biglobosa and Parkia bicolor are used in all
parts of Nigeria and the West Coast of Africa
for seasoning traditional soups. They
belong to the plant family Mimosaceae of
the order Leguminisae.
P. biglobosa popularly known as the African
locust bean tree is known in Yoruba as Igba,
or Irugba, in Hausa as Dorowa, Nune in Tiv,
and in lbo as Ogili. In Yoruba, P. bicolor is
referred to as Igba odo, Dorowa, in Hausa,
and in lbo as Ogili okpi.
According to a study published in Plant
Biology 2010, “the seed of African locust
bean when boiled and fermented is known
as dawadawa in Hausa language in Nigeria,
a black strong smelling tasty seasoning, rich
in lipid 29 per cent, protein 35 per cent,
carbohydrate 16 per cent, good source of
protein, fat and calcium for rural dweller.
“The bark is used as a mouthwash, vapour
inhalant for toothache, or for ear
complaints. It is macerated in baths for
leprosy and used for bronchitis, pneumonia,
skin infections, sores, ulcers, washes for
fever, malaria, diarrhoea, and sterility. Roots
are used in a lotion for sore eyes. ”
According to The Useful Plants of West
Tropical Africa by H. M. Burkill, “the
pulverised bark of P. bicolor is employed in
wound healing. P. biglobosa is known to
provide an ingredient that is used in
treating leprosy, and for treating
hypertension.
“In Gambia, the leaves and roots are used in
preparing a lotion for sore eyes. A
decoction of the bark of P. biglobosa is also
used as a bath for fever, as a hot
mouthwash to steam and relieve
toothache. The pulped bark is used along
with lemon for wound and ulcers. ”
But results of a recent study suggest that
the aqueous extract of leaves of Parkia
biglobosa stimulate the production of total
lymphocytes (white blood cells) and TCD4+
(a marker of the immune system).
The study published in Agriculture and
Biology Journal of North America is titled
“ Effects of aqueous extract of leaves of
Parkia biglobosa on markers of cellular
immunity in rabbit. ”
The studies of the aqueous extract of leaves
of Parkia biglobosa by Ivorien researchers
showed that doses of 25, 50, 75 and
100mg/kg of BW induced a significant
increase both in the count of total
lymphocytes count and TCD4+ count of
rabbits.
The researchers concluded, “the aqueous
extract of Parkia biglobosa leaves induced
an increase in both the count of total
lymphocytes and TCD4+ in blood. Thus,
doses of 75 and 100mg/kg Body Weight
(BW) mobilising more of total lymphocytes
and TCD4+ in peripheral blood, and over a
period of six days. To this end, the leaves of
this plant contain immunostimulatory
activity molecule.
“This assertion is supported by the increase
in the immunosuppressive activity of
Methylprednisolone by the aqueous extract
of leaves of Parkia biglobosa and the
isoprinosine. This leads us to suggest that
the aqueous extract of leaves of Parkia
biglobosa would have the same mode of
action than isoprinosine. Therefore, it could
help strengthen the immune system of
immuno-suppressed. ”
Methylprednisolone (Medrol) is in a class of
drugs called steroids. It prevents the release
of substances in the body that cause
inflammation. Methylprednisolone is used to
treat many different conditions such as
allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative
colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or
breathing disorders.
Isoprinosine (Ip) is a prescription drug
posited to have immune modulating and
anti-viral properties.
Also, results of another study published in
the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed
that the aqueous methanol extracts of all
the five medicinal plants, including Parkia
biglobosa, investigated have
pharmacological activity against diarrhoea.
This may explain their use in traditional
medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea.
The study titled: “Evaluation of five
medicinal plants used in diarrhoea
treatment in Nigeria, ” was carried out by
researchers at Ahmadu Bello University,
Zaria, Kaduna State.
Also, the results of a study published in
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and
Physiology demonstrated that both
aqueous and methanolic extracts of
fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa (PB)
exert a hypoglycaemic (reduces blood
glucose) effect, hence, PB has an anti-
diabetic property. However, only the
aqueous extract of PB ameliorated the loss
of bodyweight usually associated with
diabetes.
The researchers from the Department of
Biochemistry, College of Medicine,
University of Ibadan, wrote: “Although the
aqueous extract has a favourable lipid
profile, which is probably an indication of
its possible anti-arteriogenic property
(hypertension and ischaemic heart diseases
being common complications in diabetes
mellitus), the methanolic extract shows
possible contraindication to ischaemic heart
diseases. ”
Another research published in the Journal of
Ethnopharmacology found that
procyanidin-rich fractions from Parkia
biglobosa leaves caused a reduction in
blood pressure.
Also, researchers at the Department of
Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State,
have demonstrated the anti-snake venom
activities of Parkia biglobosa stem bark
extract.
The researchers wrote in the study
published in Toxicology: “We have studied
the ability of one such traditionally used
plant to reduce the effects of two snake
venoms (Naja nigricollis, and Echis ocellatus)
in several experimental models. A water-
methanol extract of P. biglobosa stem bark
significantly protected the chick biventer
cervicis (cbc) muscle preparation from N.
nigricollis venom-induced inhibition of
neurally evoked twitches when it was
added to the bath three to five minutes
before or after the venom.
“P. biglobosa extract (75, 150 and 300
microg/ml) significantly protected C2C12
murine muscle cells in culture against the
cytotoxic effects of N. nigricollis and E.
ocellatus venoms. The extract protected egg
embryos exposed to lethal concentrations
of E. ocellatus venom for more than 12
hours and completely blocked the
haemorrhagic activity of the venom at
concentrations of 5 and 10 microg/1.5
microl. ”
“ P. biglobosa extract (400 mg/kg) did not
protect mice injected i.p. with 5 and 2.5 mg/
kg of E. ocellatus and N. nigricollis venoms,
respectively. It, however, protected 40 per
cent of the mice from death caused by E.
ocellatus venom after the extract and
venom were pre-incubated for 30 min
before injecting the mixture.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pile (haemorrhoids).

Piles or haemorrhoids are swellings
containing dilated or varicose veins situated
in the mucous membranes of the rectum
or in the skin around the anus.
Veins, unlike arteries, have insufficient
strength in their walls to support much
blood pressure.
Therefore, veins often become distended.
Veins around the rectum do not have much
support from any other tissue, so they
distend easily.
Constipation (resulting from over-eating
and the presence of unassimilated bulk
foods) is known to cause haemorrhoids or
piles. Intoxicating liquors, artificial
flavourings or spices, white bread, cakes, all
other white flour products, fried foods,
food that can form acid and cause
fermentation, sugar and soft drinks also
cause piles.
Straining at stool is an important factor in
the development of piles, and the straining
associated with childbirth is a common
cause of haemorrhoids in women. People
with haemorrhoids may have pain in the
rectum, with itching. In many cases, blood
oozes from the haemorrhoids, usually in
connection with emptying the bowels. Piles
may protrude from the rectum; depending
on how high up in the rectum the affected
veins are located. When they protrude, the
sphincter muscle of the rectum partially
strangulates them and prevents their return.
It is strongly advocated
that the best way to control piles or
haemorrhoids is to avoid constipation, so
that the stools can pass regularly and with
least possible irritation. This is accomplished
by going back to nature. In that wise, it is
necessary to avoid heavy and stimulating
foods, tobacco, alcoholic drinks and soft
drinks.
Light and simple diets made from grains
and vegetables and generous eating of
fruits will ensure good digestive system.
Soya-bean products and very well ripe
bananas are good. High hot enema are
soothing and herbs like Nepeta cataria or
Myrica cerifera could be used to cleanse the
whole length of the colon. Aloe vera gel,
generously absorbed in cotton wool and
inserted as suppository overnight is also
very healing.
The natural remedy being suggested
for piles or haemorrhoids consists of a combination of natural extracts of herbs
such as Croton penduliflorus, Ocimmum
gratissimum , Securidaca
longepedunculata and Aloe vera.

Herbal Drug For Diabetes.

Researchers have enlisted another local
plant as potent weapon in the fight
against diabetes and degenerative
diseases.
NIGERIAN and United Kingdom researchers
have discovered a promising plant for the
management of diabetes of anti-diabetic
drugs. Besides, the plant, according to
Nigerian researchers, could serve as sources
of antioxidants and bioactive compounds
for therapeutic purposes.
Commonly called ginger lily, or bush-cane,
Costus afer belongs to the plant family
Costaceae. In Nigeria, it is ukhueruoha in
Edo, mbritem in Efik, kakii-zuwaa in Hausa,
mbiritem in Ibibio, okpete, okpoto or okpete
ohia in Ibo, andura in Jukun, achikku in Tiv
and atare tete-egun in Yoruba.
Previous studies have shown that the
succulent stem is chewed as a remedy for
cough. The root decoction is administered
for the treatment of sleeping sickness and
stomachache. It is also used in the treatment
of diabetes mellitus in folklore medicine.
Researchers at the School of Biological
Sciences, University of Reading, United
Kingdo; and Faculty of Natural Sciences, Kogi
State University, Anyigba in a recent work
validated the use of Costus afer as a
hypoglycaemic (reduces blood glucose/
sugar) plant in native medicine.
According to the study published in British
Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, the
plant extract did not reduce blood glucose
in fed rats, but significantly reduced blood
glucose when administered in combination
with a conventional anti-diabetes drug,
glibenclamide.
The researchers said that these effects
could be attributed to its phytochemical
constituents.
The study is titled “Evaluation of the
Phytochemical Composition and
Hypoglycaemic Activity of Methanolic
Leaves Extract of Costus afer in Albino Rats.”
Another study published in African Journal
of Biotechnology found that methanol and
aqueous extracts of Costus afer possess
anti-oxidative properties as well as
bioactive metabolites. “Thus, stem extracts
of Costus afer could serve as sources of
antioxidants and bioactive compounds for
nutrition and therapeutic purposes. ”
The study is titled “Phytochemical
constituents and antioxidant activities of
aqueous and methanol stem extracts of
Costus afer. ”
The results of the study by the researchers
from Babcock University, School of Science
and Technology, Department of Chemical
and Environmental Sciences, Ikeja, Lagos
and Redeemer ’s University, Department of
Biological Sciences, Lagos-Ibadan
Expressway, Mowe, Ogun State, showed
that aqueous extract of Costus afer with
high phenolic content showed higher
antioxidant and inhibition of lipid
peroxidative activity than methanol extract.
They concluded: “These suggest its
potential in the treatment and prevention of
various oxidative related diseases.
Therefore, stem extract of Costus afer could
be exploited as sources of free radical
scavengers and bioactive metabolites for
nutritional, medicinal and commercial
purposes.”
The researchers of the Costus afer/diabetes
study wrote: “Oral administration of the
methanolic leaf extract of Costus afer
showed a dose dependent hypoglycemic
effect as revealed. Doses of 200 mg/kg and
800 mg/kg produced significant
hyoglycemic effect in fasted normal rats by
34.22 per cent and 59.21 per cent. Oral
administration of five-mg/kg glibenclamide
(GB) also caused significant reduction in
fasting blood glucose comparable with 200-
mg/kg leaf extract (LE) but much less than
800mg/kg LE.
“Contrary to this is a rapid increase in
fasting blood glucose experienced when
glucose was co-administered with the LE.
Studies for complementarities of LE and GB
displayed positive results. Co-administration
of 400mg/kg LE and 2.5 mg/kg GB caused a
56.58 per cent and 36.84 per cent reduction
in fasting blood sugar over six hours in the
absence and presence of oral glucose
feeding respectively.
“From phytochemical analysis, it was found
that the major constituents of the extract
were terpenoids, flavonoids, phenols,
alkaloids, glycosides and tannins. Over 150
plants extracts and some of their active
principles including flavonoids are known
to be used for the treatment of diabetes.
Moreover, tannin-containing drug
demonstrated anti-diabetic activity.
Similarly, several phenolic compounds and
flavonoid possess marked anti-diabetic
activity. Possibly the insulin-like activity of
these bioactive compounds inherent in
Costus afer is responsible for its
hypoglycaemic effects.
“The bioactive agents possibly mobilised
glucose to their store while decreasing the
blood glucose level. On the contrary,
methanolic leaf extract of Costus afer
caused a rapid increase of blood glucose
level. While the explanation may be
farfetched, it could be reasoned that may be
glucose and the bioactives in the plant
material are competing for same binding
sites thereby inhibiting glucose uptake from
the blood. Positive results from the
experiments utilising both glibenclamide
and the plant extract points at the
possibility of using both in complementary
treatment of diabetes mellitus without fear
of drug-drug interaction. ”
The researchers of the Costus afer/
antioxidant study added: “Alkaloids are
known to have anti-microbial, antifungal
and anti-inflammatory effect and it also acts
as an anti-hypertensive agent. The folkloric
use of Costus afer in the treatment of sore
throat, diarrhoea, heamorrhage and wound
healing might be due to presence of
tannins. Cardiac glycosides and
anthraquinone tested positive in methanol
and aqueous extracts. Cardiac glycosides
had been reported to be effective in the
treatment of congestive heart failure and
regulation of heartbeat.
“Anthraquinones can induce laxative effect,
hence the use of Costus afer as laxative and
nervous system depressant may result from
the presence of anthraquinones. Flavonoids
and phenols were abundant in aqueous
extract than methanol extract. These are
potent water-soluble antioxidants, which
prevent oxidative cell damage suggesting
antiseptics, anticancer, anti-inflammatory
effects and mild anti-hypertensive
properties.
“Furthermore, plant phenolics are major
group of compounds acting as primary
antioxidants or free radical scavengers. The
therapeutic potential of antioxidants in
controlling degenerative diseases with
marked oxidative damage from reactive
oxygen species or free radicals have been
reported.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nigerian Plants Show Promise Against Polio Virus.

A plant, Sphenocentrum jollyanum (akerejupon in Yoruba), could
be the next best drug for poliomyelitis,
diabetes, impotence and multi-drug
resistant bacteria.
THREE Nigerian plants have shown promise
in the global effort to eradicate the Wild
Polio Virus (WPV).
The study, published in Nigerian Journal of
Natural Products and Medicine by J. O.
Moody and V. A. Roberts is titled “Antiviral
effect of selected medicinal plants:
Diospyros bateri, Diospyros monbutensis
and Sphenocentrum jollyanum on polio
viruses. ”
According to the study, methanolic extracts
of the different morphological parts of
three medicinal plants, Diospyros bateri,
Diospyros monbutensis and Sphenocentrum
jollyanum were evaluated for their antiviral
activities on polio virus Types 1, 2, and 3.
The leaf and root extracts of S. jollyanum,
the seed extracts of D. monbutensis as well
as the leaf extract of D. bateri were active
against polio virus Type 2 in both the ‘post-
treatment assay’ and ‘pre-treatment assay’
protocols.
The seed extract of D. bateri were active
against poliovirus Type 2 in ‘post-treatment
assay only’. Toxicity level of each plant
extract or indicator cell lines were also
determined and found to range from
Minimum Cytotoxic Dose (MCD50) of
3.9x10-3 mg ml-1 for crude methanol leaf
extract of S. jollyanum on Hep-2 (Human
Epithelia cell line) to MCD50 of 1.2x10-7 mg
ml-1 for leaf methanol extract of D. bateri
on Vero cell line (African Green Monkey
Fibroblast).
Phytochemical screening of the plants
revealed that tannins and saponins were
present in the three plants while only D.
monbutensis contain both combined and
free anthraquinones.
The plant Sphenocentrum jollyanum belongs
to menispermaceae family. In indigenous
Yoruba language, it is called akerejupon.
According to another study published in
African Journal Medicine and Medical
Sciences, the alcoholic extracts of leaves of
Diospyros bateri and D. monbuttensis
showed strong antibacterial activity against
a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-
negative bacteria, while only the aqueous
extract of D. bateri showed antibacterial
activity against all the bacteria tested.
Another study published in Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research concluded: “The
result of this finding clearly indicated that
the aqueous extract of S. jollyanum root
was effective in reducing the blood glucose
concentration of alloxan diabetic and
hyperglycaemic (high blood glcose) rabbits.
This is informative requiring that further
work be conducted. This may be a potential
source for the development of a new
effective oral anti-diabetic agent. ”
The study, titled “The effect of aqueous root
extract of Sphenocentrum jollyanum on
blood glucose level of rabbits, ” was
conducted by researchers from Olabisi
Onabanjo University, Ogun State and College
of Medicine, University of Lagos.
The researchers wrote: “Sphenocentrum
jollyanum, a perennial plant is an erect
shrub that belongs to the family
Menispermaceae. It is distributed along the
west coast of Africa from Sierra Leone
across Nigeria to Cameroun. The plant is
traditionally used as remedy for feverish
conditions, cough and wound dressing and
as an aphrodisiac. Studies have shown the
leaves to possess significant antipyretic and
analgesic activities. The roots and leaves
have been reported to be active against
Polio Type-2 virus. Investigations revealed
that different parts of the plant exhibited
significant antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory properties. ”
The bark of Sphenocentrum jollyanum has
been shown to stimulate sexual capability.
Its fruit tastes like mango and is edible.
Sphenocentrum jollyanum is believed by
medicine men to have unusual leading
properties, so explaining why the root
extract is swallowed for constipation and to
increase appetite as well as a stomachic in
southern Nigeria and Ghana.
However, results of a comprehensive
assessment of the effect of Sphenocentrum
jollyanum root extract on male reproductive
activity in albino rats published in
Reproductive Medicine and Biology suggest
that methanol extract of the Sphenocentrum
jollyanum root could produce harmful
effects on reproductive functions in male
albino rats which can be attributed to poor
sperm quantity (epididymal sperm count),
quality (sperm motility, viability and
morphology) and testicular degeneration.
The steroidogenic potential of the plant
could explain its use as an aphrodisiac
agent.
The researchers wrote: “Male albino rats
were treated orally with distilled water
(vehicle for the extract; control) and 50, 100
and 150 mg kg?1 body weight of
Sphenocentrum jollyanum root extract for
8 weeks. Each group had its own recovery.
Rats were killed 24 h after the last
treatment. Caudal epididymal sperm count,
motility, viability, morphology and organ
weights were determined. Hematological
indices, serum proteins, enzymes, testicular
superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and
testicular and epididymal histology were
determined.
“Compared with the control, the extract
caused a dose dependent significant
reduction in progressive motility of
spermatozoa, viability and total sperm
counts. The number of abnormal
spermatozoa and epididymal volume were
not statistically significant. There was a
significant increase in serum testosterone
levels in rats treated with 50 and
100 mg kg?1 of Sphenocentrum jollyanum.
“There was a significant increase in red
blood cell count, packed cell volume and
hemoglobin concentration, whereas there
was no change in white blood cell count,
mean total serum protein, albumin and
globulin in the sera of Sphenocentrum
jollyanum treated rats when compared with
the control.
“The extract caused a significant decrease
in serum aspartate and alanine
aminotransferase activities with a
significant increase in testicular SOD activity
at a dose of 50 mg kg?1 bodyweight.
Testicular cytoarchitecture of the extract
treated rats showed degeneration of
seminiferous tubules, whereas regeneration
of germinal epithelium and restructuring of
the germinal interstitium occurred in the
recovery rats. No lesions were observed in
the epididymis of the rats. ”

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tangerine Peels May Prevent Obesity, Cancer Bone Loss.

Eating of tangerine peels reduce the risk
of developing obesity, heart disease,
brittle bone disease and cancer.
THEY are usually thrown away, most times
left at the mercy of domestic animals. But
recent studies suggest they could be
effectively used to prevent obesity, heart
attacks, strokes, bone loss, and cancer. They
are called Tangerine peels.
Researchers have demonstrated how
tangerine peels reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol
(Low Density Lipo-protein) concentration,
and improve bone density and ‘good’
cholesterol (High Density Lipo-protein) in
post-menopausal women by acting as a
phytoestrogen.
Phytoestrogens are a group of chemicals
found in plants that can act like the
hormone estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone
necessary for childbearing and is involved
with bone and heart health in women.
Researchers said tangerine peels extract
could be used as a substitute for estrogen/
hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
because of its ability of to modulate the
blood cholesterol profile and increase the
bone density of ovariectomised rats.
Ovariectomised rat model has been
validated to represent the most important
clinical features of estrogen deficiency-
induced (or postmenopausal) bone loss in
the adult human, particularly during the
early stages of osteoporosis (brittle bone
disease).
New research from the University of
Western Ontario, United States of America
(U.S.A.) has demonstrated how a flavonoid
in tangerines called Nobiletin prevents the
buildup of fat in the liver by stimulating the
expression of genes involved in burning
excess fat, and inhibiting the genes
responsible for manufacturing fat.
According to the research published in the
journal Diabetes, mice were fed a “western”
diet high in fats and simple sugars. One
group became obese and showed all the
signs associated with metabolic syndrome:
elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high
blood levels of insulin and glucose, and a
fatty liver. These metabolic abnormalities
greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular
disease and type 2 diabetes.
The second group of mice, fed the exact
same diet but with Nobiletin added,
experienced no elevation in their levels of
cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or glucose,
and gained weight normally. Mice became
much more sensitive to the effects of
insulin. Nobiletin was shown to prevent the
buildup of fat in the liver by stimulating the
expression of genes involved in burning
excess fat, and inhibiting the genes
responsible for manufacturing fat.
Director of the Vascular Biology Research
Group at Robarts Research Institute and a
vascular biology scientist at the Schulich
School of Medicine & Dentistry, Murray Huff,
said: “The Nobiletin-treated mice were
basically protected from obesity. And in
longer-term studies, Nobiletin also protected
these animals from atherosclerosis, the
buildup of plaque in arteries, which can lead
to a heart attack or stroke. This study really
paves the way for future studies to see if
this is a suitable treatment for metabolic
syndrome and related conditions in people.”
Huff’s research has focused on the
pharmacological properties of naturally-
occurring bioactive molecules. Two years
ago, his research drew international
attention when he discovered a flavonoid
in grapefruit called Naringenin offered
similar protection against obesity and other
signs of metabolic syndrome. Huff said:
“ What’s really interesting to us is that
Nobiletin is ten times more potent in its
protective effects compared to Naringenin,
and this time, we ’ve also shown that
Nobiletin has the ability to protect against
atherosclerosis. ”
Also, another study published recently in
Indonesia Journal of Biotechnology has
shown tangerines extract potency to
modulate blood cholesterol profile, like
increase the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL)
concentration and decrease the bad
cholesterol (LDL), triglyceride, and total
cholesterol.
According to the study titled “Citrus
reticulata’s Peels Modulate Blood Cholesterol
Profile and Increase Bone Density of
Ovariectomised Rats, ” the extract also
increased the bone density of
ovariectomised rats.
The study reads: “The two of these
estrogenic effect complete the Citrus
reticulata ’s peels extract’s estrogenic effect.
In previous experiment, the extract could
improve the breast ’s epithelial cell
proliferation and also increase the uterus
volume … This experiment also strengthens
the proven that extract could be a
phytoestrogen …. The ability of the extract
to modulate the blood cholesterol profile
and increase the bone density of
ovariectomised rats in this experiment
indicated the Citrus recticulata ’s peels
extract could be used as a substitute for
estrogen/hormone replacement therapy
(HRT).
“…Bok et al. (1999) proved that naringin
and hesperidin, the citrus’s peels flavonoid,
could decrease the total cholesterol
concentration and blood triglyceride with
blocked activity of a reductase of rats
leading to inhibition of the cholesterol
synthesis in the body.
“Overall, the Citrus reticulata’s peels extract
had a potency to be developed as the
menopause women healthcare agent.
Beside that, the extract need to be utilized
for health because Citrus reticulata was a
local fruit and easy to be cultivated. From
this experiment, we need more experiments
to know the optimum dose of the extract as
a phytoestrogen. The using and application
of the extract suggest it is very good for
estrogen deficiency, for the example the
menopausal women.
“As the conclusion of this research, the
Citrus reticulata’s peels extract increase the
bone density and improve the blood
cholesterol profile of female ovariectomised
rats. ”
Phytochemical analysis has shown that
tangerine peels contain fat, protein, ash,
magnesium, carotenoids, dietary fiber, and
polyphenols.
A study published in Nutrition and Cancer
has shown how tangerines reduce the
proliferation of many cancer cells. The
antiproliferative effects of Citrus reticulata
(CR) extract, the immature tangerine peel, on
human gastric cancer cell line SNU-668 were
evaluated.
The researchers wrote: “From the results of
the morphological and biochemical assays,
CR (50 microg/ml) increased the apoptosis
of human gastric cancer cells with typical
apoptotic characteristics, including
morphological changes of chromatin
condensation and apoptotic body
formation… These results suggest that CR
may induce the apoptosis through the
caspase-3 pathway in human gastric cancer
cells. ”