Monday, 11 November 2013

#Healthy #Foods - Vegetables - Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Asparagus is a flowering plant belong to species the genus Asparagus, native to the western coasts of northern Spain, north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany, northern Africa and western Asia. Asparagus has been used from early times as a vegetable and medicine, because of its delicate flavour and diuretic properties.

Nutritional Supplements

1. Vitamin K
2. Folate
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin A
5. Vitamin B Complex
a) Vitamin B1
b) Vitamin B2
c) Vitamin B3
d) Vitamin B6
6. Fiber
7. Manganese
8. Copper
9. Phosphorus
10. Potassium
11. Protein
12. Etc.

Health benefits

A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Anti cancers
In the investigation of A series of Sarsapogenin and Diosgenin derived steroidal constituents (1-12), isolated from Solanum xanthocarpum and Asparagus racemosus, found that Compound 10, from A. racemosus was found to be a potent inducer of apoptosis, according to "Apoptosis inducing activity of steroidal constituents from Solanum xanthocarpum and Asparagus racemosus" by Bhutani KK, Paul AT, Fayad W, Linder S.(a)

2. Immunomodulatory activity
In the research of Roots of Asparagus racemosus Willd (Shatavari in vernacular) and its effect on immunostimulation found that asparagus racemosus root aqueous extract (ARE) also showed higher antibody titres and DTH responses. ARE, in combination with LPS, Con A or SRBC, produced a significant proliferation suggesting effect on activated lymphocytes and suggested that mixed Th1/Th2 activity of ARE supports its immunoadjuvant potential, according to "Immunomodulatory activity of Asparagus racemosus on systemic Th1/Th2 immunity: implications for immunoadjuvant potential" by Gautam M, Saha S, Bani S, Kaul A, Mishra S, Patil D, Satti NK, Suri KA, Gairola S, Suresh K, Jadhav S, Qazi GN, Patwardhan B.(b)

3. Hepatocellular carcinoma
In the investigation of asparanin A, a steroidal saponin extracted from Asparagus officinalis L., and its cytotoxic activity found that asparanin A induces cell cycle arrest and triggers apoptosis via a p53-independent manner in HepG2 cells. These data indicate that asparanin A shows promise as a preventive and/or therapeutic agent against human hepatoma, according to "Asparanin A induces G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells" by Liu W, Huang XF, Qi Q, Dai QS, Yang L, Nie FF, Lu N, Gong DD, Kong LY, Guo QL.(c)

4. Health benefits
In the observation of Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), an oligosaccharides in onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, banana, artichoke, among many others found that consumption of above increases fecal bolus and the frequency of depositions, while a dose of 4-15 g/day given to healthy subjects will reduce constipation, considered one of the growing problems of modern society, and newborns during the first months of life, according to "Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential benefits on health" by Sabater-Molina M, Larqué E, Torrella F, Zamora S.(d)

5. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin K
Vitamin K found abundantly in Asparagus may associated in the prevention of osteoporosis and arterial calcification with few adverse effects, according to the study of "Vitamin K in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and arterial calcification" by Adams J, Pepping J.(I)

2. Vitamin A
Although vitamin A is best known to benefit the retina of the eye sight in the form of a specific metabolite for for both low-light and color vision, accoring to the study of "WHO's mission for vision' by [No authors listed], posted in PubMed (II) and guards us against bacterial, viral, parasitic infections, it is also an anti-oxidant, helping to protect our cells against cancer and other disease, according to the study of "Low serum-vitamin-A and subsequent risk of cancer. Preliminary results of a prospective study" by Wald N, Idle M, Boreham J, Bailey A., posted in PubMed (III), researchers indicated that measures taken to increase serum-retinol levels in man may lead to a reduction in cancer risk.

3. Folate
In the investigation of the prevalence and multifactorial etiology of anemia among Indian human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children and its effect on anemia, found that Anemia, particularly iron deficiency anemia and anemia of inflammation, is highly prevalent among children with HIV infection. Micronutrient supplements (iron and, folate) combined with ART(antiretroviral therapy) improved anemia in HIV-infected children, according to "The prevalence and etiology of anemia among HIV-infected children in India" by Shet A, Arumugam K, Rajagopalan N, Dinakar C, Krishnamurthy S, Mehta S, Shet AS.(IV)

4. Iron
Iron is one of important mineral in forming complexes with molecular oxygen in hemoglobin, according to the study of "Glutathionyl Hemoglobin Is Elevated in Iron Deficiency Anemia" by Shet AS, Pinto SM, Mitra G, Mandal AK., posted in PubMed(4), thus helping to carry oxygen to the muscles for energy and enhancing the brain performance, including memory and concentration(V)

5. Vitamin B1
With the concentration of 25% in one cup of corn, corn may be beneficial in preventing and treating Diabetes and Heart Disease as vitamin B1 analog benfotiamine (BFT) improved cardiac perfusion and reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and interstitial fibrosis. In hearts of untreated diabetic mice, the expression and activity of Akt/Pim-1 signaling declined along with O-N-acetylglucosamine modification of Akt, inhibition of pentose phosphate pathway, activation of oxidative stress, and accumulation of glycation end products, according to the study of "Vitamin B1 analog benfotiamine prevents diabetes-induced diastolic dysfunction and heart failure through Akt/Pim-1-mediated survival pathway" by Katare RG, Caporali A, Oikawa A, Meloni M, Emanueli C, Madeddu P.(VI)

6. Vitamin C
Besides is essential in preventing the breaking off small vein cause of hardening of the vessel wall, vitamin C also improves the digestive system in maximum absorption of vital nutrients. Overdoses can cause diarrhea, It also plays an important role in enhancing immune system fighting against the forming of free radicals that cause muscle damage, according to the study of "Does antioxidant vitamin supplementation protect against muscle damage?" by McGinley C, Shafat A, Donnelly AE., posted in PubMed (

7. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Oxygen transportationSince it contains measurable of amount of iron and copper, it enhances the production of red blood cells and formation of hemoglobin that is important for the absorption of oxygen and promote the circulatory functioning in oxygen transportation to the needs of body cells, according to the article of "Minerals" , posted in Vegan Peace(1)

2. Lymphatic function
Since it contains high amount of potassium, it increases lymphatic function in regulating body's fluids by balancing the ration of sodium in the body, thus reducing the risk of fluid retention cause of swelling, according to the article of "Potassium -A key factor in maintaining health", posted in Natural health Information Center(2)

3. Capillaries
Asparagus contains high amount of vitamin C, that not only helps to improve the digestive system in absorbing nutrient but also reduces the risk of breaking off of capillaries.

4. Immune function
Asparagus contains some kinds of antioxidant that help to improve the immune system in fighting against the forming of radicals, thus promoting synthesis DNA and regulates cell division, according to "The role of antioxidant supplement in immune system, neoplastic, and neurodegenerative disorders: a point of view for an assessment of the risk/benefit profile" by Brambilla D, Mancuso C, Scuderi MR, Bosco P, Cantarella G, Lempereur L, Di Benedetto G, Pezzino S, Bernardini R.(3)

5. Dietary Fiber
Fiber beside is essential for maintaining the secreting of waste easily, according to "A dietary fiber mixture versus lactulose in the treatment of childhood constipation: a double-blind randomized controlled trial" by Kokke FT, Scholtens PA, Alles MS, Decates TS, Fiselier TJ, Tolboom JJ, Kimpen JL, Benninga MA.(4), it also improves glucose metabolism in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals, by releasing glucose slowly into bloodstream, according to "Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus" by Wolfram T, Ismail-Beigi F.(5)
6. Etc.

Side effects

It may cause allergy and temporarily smelly urination.

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