Saturday, 22 March 2008

Tamarind good after fever, helps fight paracetamol poisoning


March 22, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 21: Just recovering from a bout of fever? Eat preparations containing tamarind like pulihora and you will be cleansing your body of the poisonous paracetamol traces that had accumulated in your body during medication.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, tamarind has properties that will remove the ill-effects of large doses of paracetamol, the medicine that is commonly prescribed for fevers.
Tamarind contains anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial and antioxidant properties. Since large doses of paracetamol cause acute dose-dependent necrosis (death of living cells) in both animals and human beings, the antioxidants present in tamarind inhibit the dangerous oxidative changes involved in paracetamol-induced toxicity, says Dr MJ Patil, who led the research
study.
As part of the study, the IPSR team used male Wistar rats weighing between 150 and 200 grams and divided them into control and paracetamol-treated groups. Paracetamol caused acute liver damage in rats fed with large doses. The trend reversed after they were fed with tamarind extracts.
The hepatotoxicity (liver poisoning) caused by paracetamol has been attributed to the formation a highly reactive chemical formed in the process of its breaking down by the liver. The results showed that tamarind extracts (from fruit, seed as well as leaves) caused significant decrease in liver toxicity. It also reduced the bilirubin (a digestive enzyme secreted by liver) level and increased the secretary mechanism of
liver cells.
"It has been established that since barbiturates (medicines that act on brain) are metabolised exclusively in the liver, the sleeping time after a given dose is a measure of liver functioning. If there is any pre-existing liver damage, in this case paracetamol-induced toxicity, the sleeping time after a given dose of paracetamol will be prolonged because the amount of hypnotic broken down per unit time will be less.
The ability of tamarind extracts to reduce the prolongation of sleeping time in rats is suggestive of the liver protection potential of these extracts," he said.
The study of the liver cells of the rats revealed that the necrosis was reduced to a few inflammatory cells in the animals treated with tamarind. Inflammation of portal veins was also reduced.

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