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Monday, 20 January 2014

Food therapy - The studied Asparagus

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.
1. Asparagus and Immunomodulatory activity
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.

Reference
(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)

2.  Asparagus and Blood cholesterol
Cholesterol is needed for our body to build cell walls, make hormones and vitamin D, and create bile salts that help you digest fat. However too much of it can be dangerous because cholesterol cannot dissolve in your blood. The special particle called lipoprotein moves this waxy, soft substance from place to place. If you have too much low density lipoprotein LDL that is known as bad cholesterol, overtime cholesterol can build up in your arterial walls causing blockage and leading to heart attack and stroke.

The Benefits
In the study of hypercholesterolemic rats, the saponin fraction (SF), the administration of lyophilized asparagus (LA), fiber fraction (FF), and flavonoid fraction (FVF) to hypercholesterolemic rats produced a significant hypolipidemic effect compare to a high-cholesterol diet (HCD). Other study also indicated that consumption of asparagus also improved antioxidant status, assayed superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes, and protected against lipid peroxidation and intake of green asparagus from Andalusia (Spain) helps to regulate plasma lipid levels and prevents oxidative damage in hypercholesterolemic conditions. dietary fiber and flavonoids found in Asparagus also found to improve the plasma lipid profile and prevent hepatic oxidative damage under conditions of hypercholesterolemia.

Reference
(1) Chemical constituents of Asparagus  J. S. Negi, P. Singh, [...], and V. K. Bisht (PubMed)
(2) Bioactive constituents from "triguero" asparagus improve the plasma lipid profile and liver antioxidant status in hypercholesterolemic rats. by Vázquez-Castilla S, De la Puerta R, Garcia-Gimenez MD, Fernández-Arche MA, Guillén-Bejarano R.(PubMed)
(3) Hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective effects of "triguero" asparagus from andalusia in rats fed a high cholesterol diet by García MD, De la Puerta R, Sáenz MT, Marquez-Martín A, Fernández-Arche MA. (PubMed)
(4) Bioactive constituents from "triguero" asparagus improve the plasma lipid profile and liver antioxidant status in hypercholesterolemic rats. by Vázquez-Castilla S, De la Puerta R, Garcia-Gimenez MD, Fernández-Arche MA, Guillén-Bejarano R.(PubMed)

3. Asparagus and Cancers
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells growing and multiplying disordered and uncontrollable way in our body, have become progressively worse and damaged other healthy tissues, sometimes spreads to other organs in the body via lymph or blood and results may be in death.

The benefits
The inedible bottom part (~30-40%) of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) containg Saponins
have been studied and found to suppress cell viability of breast, colon and pancreatic cancers in a concentration-dependent manner, with half-maximum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 809.42 to 1829.96 µg mL(-1) amd may considered as a inhibits tumour cell motility through modulating the Rho GTPase signalling pathway, and as a supplement in healthcare foods and natural drugs for cancer prevention and treatment. Other study also indicated that series of Sarsapogenin and Diosgenin derived steroidal constituents (1-12), isolated from Solanum xanthocarpum and Asparagus racemosus were screened for their ability to induce cell death and apoptosis of colon carcinoma cells.

Reference
(1) Chemical constituents of Asparagus  J. S. Negi, P. Singh, [...], and V. K. Bisht (PubMed)
(2) Saponins extracted from by-product of Asparagus officinalis L. suppress tumour cell migration and invasion through targeting Rho GTPase signalling pathway. by Wang J, Liu Y, Zhao J, Zhang W, Pang X.(PubMed)
(3) Apoptosis inducing activity of steroidal constituents from Solanum xanthocarpum and Asparagus racemosus. by Bhutani KK, Paul AT, Fayad W, Linder S.(PubMed)

4. Asparagus and  Liver Cancer
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells growing and multiplying disordered and uncontrollable way in our body, have become progressively worse and damaged other healthy tissues, sometimes spreads to other organs in the body via lymph or blood and results may be in death.

The benefits
 Asparagus may be one of potential herb used in future to treat liver cancers as it chemical constituents exert the their anti cancer property. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive malignancies in the world, but deproteinized asparagus polysaccharide exert potent selective cytotoxicity against human hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B and HepG2 cells. in vitro and in vivo, according to the researchers team lead by Dr. Xiang J, Others in the analysis of  shatavarin IV isolated from ethyl acetate insoluble fraction (AR-2B) of chloroform:methanol (2:1) (AR-2) extract of A. racemosus roots, indicated that shatavarin IVexhibits significant anticancer activity in both in vitro and in vivo experimental models.
In facts, intakes of celery, mushrooms, allium vegetables, composite vegetables (including asparagus lettuce and garland chrysanthemum), legumes and legume products were widely known to associate with reduced liver cancer risk.

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Reference
(1) Chemical constituents of Asparagus  J. S. Negi, P. Singh, [...], and V. K. Bisht (PubMed)
(2) Anticancer effects of deproteinized asparagus polysaccharide on hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. by Xiang J, Xiang Y, Lin S, Xin D, Liu X, Weng L, Chen T, Zhang M.(PubMed)
(3) Shatavarins (containing Shatavarin IV) with anticancer activity from the roots of Asparagus racemosus. by Mitra SK, Prakash NS, Sundaram R.(PubMed)
(4) Vegetable-based dietary pattern and liver cancer risk: results from the Shanghai women's and men's health studies. by Zhang W, Xiang YB, Li HL, Yang G, Cai H, Ji BT, Gao YT, Zheng W, Shu XO.(PubMed)

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