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Root extract protects brain from alcohol damage


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Geplaatst op 10 juli 2009 - 17:14

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If you have ever interacted with a drunk, you may have noticed that his or her brain functions were somewhat impaired. Fortunately, most of the effects from drinking wear off with time, but permanent neurological damage can take place with excessive or chronic ethanol abuse. In particular, alcohol causes oxidative stress on the brain—it increases the levels of reactive oxygen species like peroxides and free radicals, which harm everything from DNA to proteins. At the same time, alcohol slows down naturally occurring antioxidant activity in the brain.


To limit oxidative damage, it makes sense to use powerful antioxidants from outside sources. Anup Srivastava from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his colleague T. Shivanandappa knew from experience that the roots of Decalepis hamiltonii, a plant commonly used as folk medicine in southern India, are rich in biologically active antioxidants. Thus, they hypothesized that these tuberous roots could shield people from the neural damage of ethanol consumption.




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