Herbal Cat'claw may process a potential effect in balancing the ratio of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, some scientists suggested.
Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons through chemical bonds with other atoms or molecules during a chemical reaction.
They may have positive, negative or zero charges. The unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive in the human body.
Imbalance of the ratio of free radicals and antioxidants linking to the expression of oxidative stress has been associated with the onset of chronic illness, including atherosclerosis, inflammatory condition, certain cancers.
In other words, the presence of oxidative stress may be attributed to either the overexpression of free radicals generated by our body by various endogenous systems, exposure to different physiochemical conditions or pathological states or reduced levels of antioxidant enzymes in the human.
Cat's claw found in in the tropical jungles of South and Central America, is a genus Uncaria, belonging to the family Rubiaceae.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine over two thousand years as a tonic, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory, and infectious agent, and to treat diarrhea, rheumatic disorders, acne, diabetes, cancer and diseases of the urinary tract, etc.
The chemical constituents of Cat's claw include ajmalicine, akuammigine, campesterol, catechin, carboxyl alkyl esters, chlorogenic acid, cinchonain, corynantheine, corynoxeine, daucosterol, epicatechin, Harman, hirsuteine, hirsutine, iso-pteropodine, etc.
In the aim to reaffirm the tradition use of Cat's claw as an anti-inflammatory disorder functional herbal medicine, researchers at the Albany Medical College, conducted an evaluation to examine the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of alkaloids and flavanols isolated from the herb.
In vitro, application of alkaloids and flavanols isolated from the herb demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of TNF-alpha, the proinflammatory cytokines found in the early phase of infection and nitrite production from RAW 264.7 cells exposed to LPS (50 ng/ml) and in vivo using the indomethacin-induced gastritis model.
The IC50 value for inhibition of TNF-alpha production was significantly (P < 0.01);s higher for Uncaria tomentosa (UT) (14.1 ng/ml) vs Uncaria guianensis (UG).(9.5 ng/ml) compared to alkaloid content of Cat's claw.
Finally, in the analysis of the antioxidant properties of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the Uncaria tomentosa bark, researchers showed that
* Both extracts process a high antioxidant capacity of the studied materials in comparison to the other extracts of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and medicinal plants.
* The alcoholic preparations exerts higher antioxidant activity and total phenolic compounds compared
Although the alcoholic preparations display a higher antioxidant potential, the highly elevated level of tannins in alcoholic extracts may cause undesirable gastric effects.
Taken altogether, Cat' claw and its extracts processed a strong antioxidant activity may be considered a functional food in the prevention of oxidative stress and combined with conventional medicine for treatment of overexpression of oxidative stress-related diseases.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content by Sandoval M1, Okuhama NN, Zhang XJ, Condezo LA, Lao J, Angeles' FM, Musah RA, Bobrowski P, Miller MJ. (PubMed)
(2) Antigenotoxic, antioxidant and lymphocyte induction effects produced by pteropodine by Paniagua-Pérez R1, Madrigal-Bujaidar E, Molina-Jasso D, Reyes-Cadena S, Alvarez-González I, Sánchez-Chapul L, Pérez-Gallaga J.(PubMed)
(3) Antioxidant activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC by Pilarski R1, Zieliński H, Ciesiołka D, Gulewicz K.(PubMed)
(4) Free radicals, antioxidants, and functional foods: Impact on human health by V. Lobo, A. Patil, A. Phatak, and N. Chandra. (PMC)