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Mammalian Toxicity Assessment and Nutraceutical Properties of the Swallow Root Decalepis Hamiltonii

Shereen, Ms. (2005) Mammalian Toxicity Assessment and Nutraceutical Properties of the Swallow Root Decalepis Hamiltonii. PhD thesis, University of Mysore.


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In the normal course of metabolism, oxidant byproducts due to free radicals formed cause damage to the macromolecules in the cell. Oxidative stress is also caused by various exogenous sources of free radicals that include tobacco smoke, iodizing radiation, pollutants, organic solvents and pesticides. The free radical induced oxidative damage is implicated in several degenerative diseases of aging such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain dysfunction, cataracts, immunodeficiency and cancer. Living organisms have evolved their own antioxidant defenses against free radicals in the form of antioxidant molecules like glutathione and the antioxidant enzymes such as super oxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and other enzymes of detoxification. It is generally recognised that there is an inverse relationship between dietary intake of antioxidant-rich foods and incidence of human diseases. Several studies indicate that antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables offer protective effects against degenerative disease. Therefore, there is great deal of interest in the natural antioxidants or the so-called nutraceuticals as dietary supplements for better health. Several phytochemicals with antioxidant properties have been isolated from plant sources such as flavanoids and polyphenolic compounds. These phytochemicals possess beneficial properties such as anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory effects in experimental animals. Many studies have shown specific biochemical action against DNA damage, inhibition of membrane lipid per oxidation and cellular damage. Recent surge of interest in the area of herbal health supplements and nutraceuticals has resulted in a huge market potential in excess of 1 billion US $ in USA alone. In ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine a vast array of plants with medicinal and health promoting potential are known and several medicinal compounds have been isolated. Indian biodiversity offers a rich repertoire of bioactive molecules that are of value in agriculture and medicine. There is a great deal of scientific interest in this area. Decalepis hamiltonii (family: Ascelpediaceae) commonly known as the swallow root is a shrubby climber (colloquial names: kannada-makali beru; Tamil-magali kizhangu; Telugu-maredu ghaddalu) with jointed stem and elliptic obviate leaves. It grows wild in the forests of peninsular India. Its roots are elongated and tuberous with fleshy outer layer and woody inner core and possess strong vanilla-like aromatic odour. Traditionally it has been consumed as pickles and the juice made from it is thought to be good for health with “cooling properties”. The roots have also been used as a substitute for Hemidesmus indicus used in ayurvedic preparations. Early work on the chemical composition has revealed the presence of amyrins, lupeols, saponins, ketonic substances and 2-hydroxy,4-methoxy benzaldehyde is the flavoring compound present in its volatile fraction. Although the roots of D.hamiltonii are in use since ages with the tribal belief that it has positive health benefits, there has been scientific work that has investigated its health promoting potential. The objective of the work was to investigate the health promoting properties in the roots and its safety to mammals.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Swallow Root Decalepis hamiltonii Mammalian Toxicity Nutraceutical Properties
Subjects: 500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 10 Plants
Divisions: Food Protectants and Infestation Control
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 07 May 2009 05:57
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2011 10:08
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/8927

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