Biochemical Archives, Vol. 10, pp. 25-31, 1994.
Stephen C. Bondy, Tina M. Hernandez, and Cara Mattia.
Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, University of California (Irvine), Irvine, CA 92717
Two herbal preparations (MAK-4 and MAK-5) constituted of mixtures of several plants have been used over a long period of time by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine. In view of several reports on their health-related utility, this investigation was undertaken to study their properties in biological systems. Results of this study showed that ethanol and aqueous extracts of these preparations were able to quench generation of reactive oxygen species in vitro within an isolated cerebrocortical fraction enriched in mitochondria and nerve endings (synaptosomes). Both the ethanol and aqueous extracts of MAK-4 and MAK-5 exhibited potent antioxidant activity. The greatest effect was seen with the ethanol extracts of these herbal mixtures, and the most potent inhibition was found in ethanol-soluble materials derived from the MAK-5 product.
The ability of MAK-5 extracts to modulate chemically-induced oxidative stress was also examined in intact animals. The excess production of reactive oxygen species observed within the cerebellar mitochondrial fraction after exposure of rats to toluene, was prevented by pretreatment with MAK-5. This effect was not apparent when the ethanol and aqueous extracts of the preparation were tested separately. However, the ethanol extract from MAK-5 alone was able to inhibit the toluene-induced elevation of oxidative species within a mitochondrial fraction derived from the kidney. The results suggest that these herbally-derived mixtures possess distinctive qualities which may be of utility in the design of preventive or therapeutic approaches relating to the mitigation of excess oxidative events. See Research on Reduction of Chemical Toxicity for more information on this study.
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