Ayurvedic herb shows anti-inflammatory promise, heart health potential
S. indicus extracts and its active ingredient, 7-hydroxy frullanoide (7-HF), were found to decrease levels of MCP-1, TNF-alpha and IL-6, according to findings published in Nutrition & Metabolism.
The extract was also found to reduce vascular damage in lab mice and hyperlipidemic hamsters by 22 % and 45 %, respectively.
The researchers also looked at the effects of the herb on the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and found a 54% inhibition. It is generally accepted that low circulating level of ICAM-1 is good.
“Here, we show that natural product, S. indicus extract along with one of its active constituent, 7-HF mediate anti-inflammatory effects by effectively modulating the expression of cell adhesion molecules,” wrote researchers from Piramal Life Sciences Ltd (Mumbai, India) and Integrated Pharma Solutions (Philadelphia), and Drexel University School of Medicine (Philadelphia).
The Ayurvedic market has been valued at about $1.6 billion, with the Indian market worth approximately US$ 1.2 billion, and the export market is US$ 400 million, according to industry sources.
Well-known ingredients include curcumin/turmeric, ashwagandha, Salacia reticulate, bacopa, and Indian gooseberry.
The new study examined the potential cardiovascular benefits of Sphaeranthus indicus. According to an extensive review in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research, the herb is currently widely used in Ayurveda for a variety of conditions, including, “epilepsy, mental illness, hemicrania, jaundice, hepatopathy, diabetes, leprosy, fever, pectoralgia, cough, gastropathy, hernia, hemorrhoids, helminthiasis, dyspepsia and skin diseases”.
The researchers performed in vitro tests of the methanolic extracts of S. indicus and 7-HF in mononuclear cells. Results showed that the S. indicus extract significantly inhibited the expression of the ICAM-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) by 64 %.
Additional studies in mice and hamsters indicated that the herb extract reduced aortic lesions by 22% and 45%, respectively. In comparison, the pharmaceutical product Fenofibrate was found to decrease aortic lesions by 26% and 84% in mice and hamsters, respectively, added the researchers.
Levels of inflammatory biomarkers were also significantly reduced, with interleukin-6 (IL-6) reduced by about 50% in mice fed a high-fat diet and supplemented with 100 mg/kg/day of the S. indicus extract. At a higher dose (300 mg/kg/day), IL-6 was reduced by 75%, said the researchers.
They also measured levels of MCP-1, a cell adhesion molecule and a proatherogenic marker. The data indicated that mice fed a high fat diet experienced a 4-fold increase in MCP-1 levels, but supplementation with the herb at 100 mg/kg/day decreased MCP-1 by more than 2-fold.
“[W]e showed that the main component of S. indicus preparation, 7-HF, is an anti-inflammatory agent that works through NF-kB-mediated pathway, and inhibits atherosclerosis progression,” wrote the researchers. “These findings offer promise for further clinical benefits to patients with inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.”
Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2015, 12:20, doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0018-1
“A novel anti-inflammatory natural product from Sphaeranthus indicus inhibits expression of VCAM1 and ICAM1, and slows atherosclerosis progression independent of lipid changes”
Authors: R.A.K. Srivastava, S. Mistry, S. Sharma