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Friday, 3 January 2014

Food therapy - Asparagus and Immunomodulatory activity

Asparagus
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 flavor and diuretic properties.
The immune system is the set of cells and their activity against antigens or infectious agents that comprises of the body's defense system against diseases. The immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. Beside foods and nutritional supplements, herbs also play a important role in helping the immune system defend against viruses and bacteria attacks.

Nutrients and chemical constituents
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.
Its chemical constituents include essential oils, asparagine, arginine, tyrosine, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, and rutin), resin, and tannin.

The benefits
Immune system plays an important role in defend our body against invasion of  foreign invasion. Asparagus racemosus Linn. (Fam. Liliaceae) is considered as an ethno-pharmacologically acclaimed Ayurvedic medicinal plant of which may enhance immune function, according to study aqueous extract of A. racemosus (ARC) showed a dose-related stimulation of NK cell activity with a peak increase of 16.9±4.4% at 5.6 μg/ml. However, ARP demonstrated a higher stimulatory activity of 51.8±1.2% at 25 μg/ml. Other in the study of Asparagus racemosus ameliorates cisplatin induced toxicities and augments its antileishmanial activity by immunomodulation in vivo, A. racemosus in combination with cisplatin not only provided enhanced protective immune response but also resulted in remarkable improved kidney and liver function tests as manifested by normal levels of SGOT, SGPT, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine and urea in blood plasma with normal histological observations as compared to only cisplatin treated L. donovani infected BALB/c mice.

The Side effects
It may cause allergic effects and temporarily smelly urination.

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References
(1) Chemical constituents of Asparagus  J. S. Negi, P. Singh, [...], and V. K. Bisht (PubMed)
(2) Characterization and in vitro immunomodulatory screening of fructo-oligosaccharides of Asparagus racemosus Willd. by Thakur M, Connellan P, Deseo MA, Morris C, Praznik W, Loeppert R, Dixit VK.(PubMed)
(3) Asparagus racemosus ameliorates cisplatin induced toxicities and augments its antileishmanial activity by immunomodulation in vivo. by Sachdeva H, Sehgal R, Kaur S.(PubMed)