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Water Hyacinths

Water hyacinth-choked lakeshore at Ndere Islan...

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Botanical Name:Eichhornia crassipes
Family: Pontederiaceae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Commelinales
Genus: Eichhornia
Species: E. crassipes
Kingdom: Plantae
Habitat :Water courses.Still or slow moving fresh water. Moist and boggy areas. Native of Amazon basin.Brazil, South America.
Common Name: Common Water Hyacinth , water-hyacinth, floating water-hyacinth,Kachuripana
Bengali Name :Kachuripana

Description: Floating plants with thick, glossy leaves, inflated petioles and spikes of lavender flowers.

A frost-tender aquatic perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 where it can be quite invasive. In St. Louis, it will generally not survive winter and is often grown as an annual. It is easily grown on still water in full sun. Needs hot summer weather and full sun to bloom. Scatter small bunches of plants on the water surface after last frost date. Plants spread quickly in optimum conditions by stolons that radiate outward from the mother plant. Remove excess plants as needed. Several plants may be lifted in fall before frost for overwintering in containers of wet, sandy loam in bright light at indoor temperatures of 60-70 degrees F. However, many St. Louis gardeners prefer to grow water hyacinth as an annual by simply repurchasing new plants each spring.

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Plant Type: This is a non-native herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 50cm in height (20inches). Spreading vegetatively it forms large floating masses. The roots hang in the water and may stick in mud and thus appear to be rooted there.

Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can reach 15cm in length (6inches). Each leaf is generally rounded and entire. Many of the petioles have inflated bases that keep the plant extremely buoyant.

Flowers: The flowers have 6 Regular Parts. They are blue to lavander and purple. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into late summer. The flowers are in spikes with about fifteen but up to thirty-five flowers.

Propagation
Seed – Seeds can tolerate submersion or desiccation for 15 years and still germinate. Scarification, but not light, may be required for germination.

History:
Invasion of Lake Victoria

The plant was introduced by Belgian colonists to Ruanda to beautify their holdings and then advanced by natural means to Lake Victoria where it was first sighted in 1988 There, without any natural enemies, it has become an ecological plague, suffocating the lake, diminishing the fish reservoir, and hurting the local economies. It impedes access to Kisumu and other harbors.

Noteworthy Characteristics:
Native to Brazil, water hyacinth is a free-floating, frost-tender aquatic perennial that is commonly used as an ornamental plant in water gardens. It produces rosettes of thick, leathery, ovate to rounded, glossy green leaves with inflated, bulbous leaf petioles that act as floats. Plants spread rapidly by stolons to form a dense mat of foliage (to 6” tall). Spikes of lilac to lavender flowers bloom atop erect stalks to 6-9” tall in summer. Each flowering spike typically has 8-15 flowers. One petal of each flower has a yellow spot at the base. Long greenish-purple roots dangle downward from the plants, providing shelter and spawning areas for many small fish. As an ornamental water garden plant, water hyacinth provides attractive flowers and dense foliage that inhibits growth of algae and helps keep water clear. The value of this plant is directly related to the climate in which it grows. In warm climates where it survives winter, water hyacinth is considered to be a noxious weed because of its ability to rapidly cover a pond or lake from shore to shore and to choke waterways. It has naturalized in the deep South in states such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas where expensive eradication programs have been implemented. It is included on the Federal List of Noxious Weeds. Several southern states have banned its sale. On the other hand, in areas where the plants are not winter hardy, they are being purposefully introduced into wastewater areas to clean up the water because they not only absorb many common pollutants but also absorb some toxic pesticides and heavy metals. Steyermark reports small populations in the Southeast lowlands area of Missouri.

Problems:
No serious insect or disease problems. Invasive in mild winter climates.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves and petioles – cooked. Virtually tasteless. Said to be used as a carotene-rich table vegetable in Formosa. Javanese sometimes cook and eat the green parts and inflorescence. Flower spikes – cooked.

Chemical Compositions:
chemical composition of water hyacinth was studied. It contained 49.6% protein, 16.0% total lipids, 26.9% total carbohydrates, 1.7% fibre and 5.8% ash. Calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese and potassium were determined. Nutritional properties of the isolate are discussed in relation to its amino acid composition and to its in vitro digestibility by proteolytic enzymes. Comparison with the FAO/WHO reference pattern showed that all of the essential amino acids were present at high levels in the leaf protein isolate. The limiting amino acid in the isolate was methionine (i.e., methionine + cystine). In vitro digestibility was highest with digestion by pepsin followed by pancreatin and lowest with digestion by pepsin alone. Digestion with pancreatin alone gave intermediate values.{As per Journal of Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (Formerly Qualitas Plantarum) Issue Volume: 34, Number 1 / March, 1984 }
Madicinal Uses:
The antoxidative properties of water hyacinth leaves were investigated by evaluating the scavenging capacity of liquid extracts in a competitive protective process against oxygenated free radicals (OFRs) released via electrolysis in a phosphate buffer with a Pt electrode. Colorimetric measurements carried out at 515 nm, through a N,N-diethyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (DPD) assay, showed a decreased absorbance of the sample, as compared to the blank obtained by electrolysis of the buffer without plant extract, revealing, thereby, the presence of antioxidizing agents in the liquid extracts. The antioxidative activity was estimated in terms of equivalent-glutathione (EG, in nmoles equivalent-glutathione per gram of dry plant material selected (eg/gdp)), and compared to those of soya beans and garlic bulbs. The EG value increased with decreasing dilution factors, regardless to the plant type, suggesting a strong influence of the medium pH on the antioxidizing agent extraction yields. Various plant drying procedures, namely: sunlight exposure (at 25–30 °C), heating (40 and 60 °C) and freeze-drying (at –70 °C) were also examined. The highest EG (ca. 40 nmol eg/gdp) was observed for freeze-dried leave extract, while the lowest value was obtained upon heating at 60 °C (16–17 nmol eg/gdp), presumably due to a detrimental effect of increased temperature. The glutathione content in the plant extracts was further determined spectroscopically at 412 nm, through an enzymatic assay, using glutathione reductase. Small but interesting contents of glutathione (ca. 40 nmol eg/gdp) were found in the hyacinth leaves, making this plant to be regarded as an alternative and convenient low-cost raw material for antioxidizing agent recovery.

 

Other Uses
Biomass; Pollution.
Water hyacinths are potentially an excellent source of biomass. Through an anaerobic fermentation process, polluted hyacinths can be converted to the natural gas methane – a costly process that may become more economical as supplies of underground natural gas are depleted. Dried and cleansed plants can be used as fertilizer and plant mulch. Eventually, living aquatic plants might serve aboard long-distance manned spacecraft, absorbing wastes and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, then being themselves converted into food. The plant can be cultivated for use in wastewater treatment, and can be incorporated into a system where the biomass is harvested for fuel production. Since this biomass is a by-product of wastewater treatment, it has a positive environmental impact, and thus poses no threat as competitor to food, feed, or fibre-producing plants. Wilted water hyacinth, mixed with earth, cow dung, and woodashes in the Chinese compost fashion, can yield useful compost in just two months. Although potential yields are incredible, so are the costs of removal or attempted eradication of this water weed. Standing crops have been estimated to produce 100-120 tonnes per hectare per year.. Under ideal conditions, each plant can produce 248 offspring in 90 days. Water hyacinth roots naturally absorb pollutants, including such toxic chemicals as lead, mercury, and strontium 90 (as well as some organic compounds believed to be carcinogenic) in concentrations 10,000 times that in the surrounding water. In Africa, fresh plants are used as cushions in canoes and to plug holes in charcoal sacks.
You may click to see:->WATER HYACINTH AND ITS USES

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichhornia_crassipes
http://nas.er.usgs.gov/taxgroup/plants/docs/ei_crass.html
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A621
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Eichhornia+crassipes
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H403.htm
http://www.springerlink.com/content/t312320413827880/

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080727181559AAXdHRe

 

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Acai Palm & Acai Berry

{{pt|Touceiras de açaí na beira do rio no Pará}}Image via Wikipedia

 

Botanical Name: Euterpe oleracea
Family:Arecaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Arecales
Genus:Euterpe
Species: E. oleracea

Synonyms:
*Euterpe brasiliana Oken
*Catis martiana O.F.Cook
*Euterpe badiocarpa Barb.Rodr.
*Euterpe beardii L.H.Bailey
*Euterpe cuatrecasana Dugand

Other Name :Brazilian berry
Habitat: Native to tropical Central and South America, from Belize south to Brazil and Peru, growing mainly in floodplains and swamps.

Parts Used: Fruits , roots and stems

Description:Euterpe are tall, slender, attractive palms growing to 15-30 meters, with pinnate leaves up to 3 meters long. Many of the palms that were once in the genus Euterpe have been reclassified into the genus Prestoea (Riffle, 2003). The species Euterpe oleracea is usually called Acai Palm, after the Portuguese derivation of the Tupi word ïwasa’i, fruit that cries or expells water. The vernacular name is also sometimes spelled Assai Palm in English.

You may click to see the pictures of  Acai Palm   tree

The fruit, a small, round, black-purple drupe about 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter, similar in appearance and size to a grape but with less pulp, is produced in branched panicles of 700 to 900 fruits. Two crops of fruit are produced per year. The fruit has a single large seed about 7 mm to 10 mm in diameter. The exocarp of the ripe fruits is a deep purple color, or green, depending on the kind of acai­ and its maturity. The mesocarp is pulpy and thin, with a consistent thickness of 1 mm or less. It surrounds the voluminous and hard endocarp which contains a seed with a diminutive embryo and abundant endosperm.The seed makes up about 80% of the fruit.


Harvesting and uses:

Stem:
Heart of palm, the soft inner growing tip of some palms (Euterpe edulis, Euterpe oleracea, Bactris gasipaes), is often consumed in salads.

Fruits:
The berries are also harvested as food. In a study of three traditional Caboclo populations in the Amazon region of Brazil. Acai­ palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up such a major component of diet (up to 42% of the total food intake by weight) and is economically valuable in the region (Murrieta et al., 1999).

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The juice and pulp of ruits (Euterpe oleracea) are frequently used in various juice blends, smoothies, sodas, and other beverages. In northern Brazil, ­ is traditionally served in gourds called “cuias” with tapioca and sometimes sugar. It­ has become a fad in southern Brazil where it is consumed cold as na tigela , mostly mixed with granola – a fad where it is considered as an energizer. This­ is also widely consumed in Brazil as an ice cream flavor or juice.

As it ­ deteriorates rapidly after harvest, its raw material is generally only available outside the immediate growing region as juice or fruit pulp that has been frozen, dried, or freeze-dried. However, several companies now manufacture juices, other health drinks, and sorbets made from acai  berries, often in combination with other fruits.

Constituents:Fiber, calcium vitamins C, A and iron. Amio acids, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. EFA: oleic , palmitic, and linoleic acids. A high amount of beta-sitosterol, polyphenols.

The acai berry is loaded with antioxidants, anthocyanins (approximately 20 times the amount in red wine), amino acids, essential omegas, fibers and protein. Some recent studies from the University of Florida indicate that Acai may even fight cancer cells: “Brazilian berry destroys cancer cells in lab, UF study shows.

Medicinal Uses: In traditional medical practices, fruit and roots have been used for treating gastrointestinal problems and sap as an astringent. The seeds are a source of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

Acai Roots is a delicious ready to eat acai pulp with a little touch of guarana. Formulated to exacting standards by local Brazilians from Rio de Janeiro who were born and raised eating Acai three times a day. Acai Roots is simply the best natural Acai available anywhere!
Acai Roots is 100% Natural, made with organic brown sugar. Acai Roots has a thick, rich taste and is lower in sodium and cholesterol free.

Other Uses:Apart from the use of its berries as food, the acai  palm has other purposes. Leaves may be used for making hats, mats, baskets, brooms and roof thatch for homes, and trunk wood, resistant to pests, for building construction.

Comprising 80% of the berry mass, seeds may be ground for livestock food or as a component of organic soil for plants. Planted seeds are used for new palm tree stock which, under the right growing conditions, requires only months to form seedlings, although açaí palm has not been successfully cultivated outside of South America (Schauss, 2006c). Seeds are also used to make a variety of jewelry and souvenirs.
Nutritional content:
A powdered preparation of freeze-dried açaí fruit pulp and skin was reported to contain (per 100 g of dry powder) 533.9 calories, 52.2 g carbohydrates, 8.1 g protein, and 32.5 g total fat. The carbohydrate portion included 44.2 g of dietary fiber and low sugar value (pulp is not sweet). The powder was also shown to contain (per 100 g): negligible vitamin C, 260 mg calcium, 4.4 mg iron, and 1002 U vitamin A, as well as aspartic acid and glutamic acid; the amino acid content was 7.59% of total dry weight (versus 8.1% protein).

The fat content of açaí consists of oleic acid (56.2% of total fats), palmitic acid (24.1%), and linoleic acid (12.5%). Açaí also contains beta-sitosterol (78–91% of total sterols)

Food product:
In the general consumer market, açaí is sold as frozen pulp, juice, or an ingredient in various products from beverages, including grain alcohol, smoothies, foods, cosmetics and supplements. In Brazil, it is commonly eaten as Açaí na tigela.

Dietary supplement:
See also: Enforcement actions against açaí berry supplement manufacturers
In 2004, it became popular to consume açaí as a supplement. The proliferation of various açaí supplement companies often misused celebrity names like Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray to promote açaí weight loss pills online.

Marketers of these products made unfounded claims that açaí and its antioxidant qualities provide a variety of health benefits, none of which has scientific confirmation to date. False claims include reversal of diabetes and other chronic illnesses, as well as expanding size of the penis and increasing men’s sexual virility. As of April 2012, there are no scientifically controlled studies providing proof of any health benefits from consuming açaí. No açaí products have been evaluated by the FDA, and their efficacy is doubtful. Specifically, there is no scientific evidence that açaí consumption affects body weight, promotes weight loss or has any positive health effect.

According to the Washington, D.C. based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) thousands of consumers have had trouble stopping recurrent charges on their credit cards when they cancel free trials of açai-based products. Even some web sites purporting to warn about açai-related scams are themselves perpetrating scams.

In late 2008, lawyers for The Oprah Winfrey Show began investigating statements from supplement manufacturers who alleged that frequent Oprah guest Dr. Mehmet Oz had recommended their product or açai in general for weight loss.

One laboratory study found that commercially available açaí powder added to the diet of fruit flies lengthened their lives when challenged by chemical or genetic oxidative stress. Dietary açaí also restored the flies’ circadian rhythm disturbed by the herbicide paraquat.

CLICK & SEE….....açaí pulp………Separation of açaí pulp from seeds in market Belém, Pará, Brazil

Polyphenols and antioxidant activity in vitro:
The oil compartments in açaí fruit contain polyphenols such as procyanidin oligomers and vanillic acid, syringic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, and ferulic acid, which were shown to degrade substantially during storage or exposure to heat. Although these compounds are under study for potential health effects, there remains no substantial evidence that açaí polyphenols have any effect in humans.

A comparative analysis from in vitro studies reported that açaí has intermediate polyphenol content and antioxidant potency among 11 varieties of frozen juice pulps, scoring lower than acerola, mango, strawberry, and grapes.

A powdered preparation of freeze-dried açaí fruit pulp and skin was shown to contain cyanidin 3-O-glucoside and cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside as major anthocyanins; (3.19 mg/g) however, anthocyanins accounted for only about 10% of the overall antioxidant capacity in vitro.[33] The powdered preparation was also reported to contain twelve flavonoid-like compounds, including homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin deoxyhexose, isovitexin, scoparin, as well as proanthocyanidins (12.89 mg/g), and low levels of resveratrol (1.1 ?g/g).

The anthocyanins of fruit likely have relevance to antioxidant capacity only in the plant’s natural defensive mechanisms and in vitro. The Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority state that dietary anthocyanins and other flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion. Unlike controlled test tube conditions, the fate of anthocyanins in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion.

When the entire scientific literature to date and putative health claims of açaí are assessed, experts concluded in 2011 that the fruit is more a phenomenon of Internet marketing than of scientific substance.

Juice blend studies:
Various studies have been conducted that analyze the antioxidant capacity of açaí juice blends to pure fruit juices or fruit pulp. Açaí juice blends contain an undisclosed percentage of açaí.

When three commercially available juice mixes containing unspecified percentages of açaí juice were compared for in vitro antioxidant capacity against red wine, tea, six types of pure fruit juice, and pomegranate juice, the average antioxidant capacity was ranked lower than that of pomegranate juice, Concord grape juice, blueberry juice, and red wine. The average was roughly equivalent to that of black cherry or cranberry juice, and was higher than that of orange juice, apple juice, and tea.

The medical watchdog website Quackwatch noted that “açaí juice has only middling levels of antioxidants — less than that of Concord grape, blueberry, and black cherry juices, but more than cranberry, orange, and apple juices.” The extent to which polyphenols as dietary antioxidants may promote health is unknown, as no credible evidence indicates any antioxidant role for polyphenols in vivo.

Other uses:
Apart from the use of its fruit as food or beverage, the açaí palm has other commercial uses. Leaves may be made into hats, mats, baskets, brooms and roof thatch for homes, and trunk wood, resistant to pests, for building construction. Tree trunks may be processed to yield minerals. The palm heart is widely exploited as a delicacy.

Comprising 80% of the fruit mass, açaí seeds may be ground for livestock food or as a component of organic soil for plants. Planted seeds are used for new palm tree stock, which, under the right growing conditions, can require months to form seedlings. The seeds are a source of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids

Orally administered açaí has been tested as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging of the gastrointestinal system.  Its anthocyanins have also been characterized for stability as a natural food coloring agent.

Antioxidant phytochemicals:

The dense pigmentation ­ has led to several experimental studies of its anthocyanins, a group of polyphenols that give the deep color to berries, other fruits and vegetables and are high in antioxidant value under active research for potential health benefits. A recent study using a standardized freeze-dried as a­ fruit pulp and skin powder found the total anthocyanin levels to be 319 mg per 100 grams (Schauss et al., 2006a). Cyandin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside are major açaí anthocyanins .

Twelve other flavonoid-like compounds were additionally found in the Schauss et al. 2006a study, including homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin deoxyhexose, isovitexin and scoparin, as well as several unknown flavonoids. Proanthocyanidins, another group of polyphenolic compounds high in antioxidant value, totalled 1,289 mg per 100 grams of the freeze-dried pulp/skin powder, with a profile similar to that of blueberries (Schauss et al., 2006a). Resveratrol was additionally found to be present in acai in this study, although at low levels of 1.1 microgram per gram.

A number of studies have measured the antioxidant strength of acai. Unfortunately, the sources of acai­ and preparations (e.g., whole fruit, juice, extract or soluble powder) for reporting the results vary. A recent report using a standardized oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC analysis on a freeze-dried acai  powder found that this powder showed a high antioxidant effect against peroxyl radical (1027 micromol TE/g). This is approximately 10% more than lowbush blueberry or cranberry on a dry weight basis (Wu, 2004). The ORAC value for this freeze-dried powder was significantly higher than when other methods of drying the fruit were tested (Schauss, 2006c). Other powders with ORAC values this high include cinnamon (2675 micromol TE/g), cloves (3144 micromol TE/g), turmeric (2001 micromol TE/g) and dried oregano (1593 micromol TE/g) (Wu, 2004).

The freeze-dried powder also showed very high activity against superoxide, with a SOD assay level of 1614 units/g. Superoxide is thought to be the initial producer of other more potent reactive oxygen species, and thus protection against it is very important as a first line of defense for the body. Antioxidant activity against both peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals was also observed, although effects were milder than that seen against peroxyl radical and superoxide. Additionally, antioxidant molecules from the freeze-dried powder were shown to actually enter freshly obtained human neutrophils and inhibit oxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide, even at very low concentrations of the acai ­ powder including 0.1 part per trillion (Schauss et al., 2006b). A previous report using a total oxygen scavenging capacity assay also found that acai  has extremely high antioxidant effects against peroxyl radical, as well as a high capacity against peroxynitrite, and a moderate capacity against hydroxyl radical when compared with other fruit and vegetable juices.

Only 10% of acai’s  high antioxidant effects could be explained by its anthocyanin content[4], indicating that other polyphenols contribute most of the antioxidant activity. Schauss et al. similarly found that that ratio of the hydrophilic ORAC levels to the total phenolics in the freeze-dried fruit was 50, a higher value than the typical fruit and vegetable ratio of 10.

Schauss et al. (2006b) also utilized the “Total Antioxidant” or TAO assay to differentiate the “fast-acting” (measured at 30 seconds) and “slow-acting” (measured at 30 minutes) antioxidant levels present in freeze-dried powder. Acai was found to have a higher “slow-acting” antioxidant components, suggesting a more sustained antioxidant effect compared to “fast-acting” components.

Antioxidant values of the seeds of the açaí fruit have also been reported (Rodrigues, 2006). Similarly to the berries, the antioxidant capacity of the seeds were strongest against peroxyl radicals, at a concentration in the same order of magnitude as the berries. The seeds had a stronger antioxidant effect than the berries for peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals, although still less than its effects against peroxy radical. The results of this study were not linear based on the concentration of the seeds that were used. The authors suggest the future use of the seeds (a by-product of juice making) for antioxidant benefits such as prolonging shelf-life of foods.

Other Research:
Acai­, in the form of a specific freeze-dried fruit pulp, has been shown to have mild ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, with more effect on COX-1 (Schauss et al., 2006b). These enzymes are important in both acute and chronic inflammation, and are targeted by many of the anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).[citation needed] Additionally, lower concentrations of the freeze-dried pulp were found to be slightly stimulating to macrophages in vitro. Macrophages are white blood cells that are an important part of the immune system of the body. Also in macrophages, freeze-dried açaí pulp was found to inhibit the production of nitric oxide that had been induced by the potent inflammatory inducer lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is part of the cell membrane of certain bacteria (Schauss et al. 2006b). This effect increased as the concentration of the acai increased.

In 2006, a study performed at the University of Florida showed that açaí fractions containing polyphenolics could reduce proliferation of HL-60 leukemia cells in vitro. This was most likely due to increased rapid cell death (apoptosis) as fractions were also found to activate caspase-3 (an enzyme important in apoptosis) which was inversely correlated to cell death. (Pozo-Insfran et al., 2006).

Due to its deep pigmentation, orally-administered açaí has been tested as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging of the gastrointestinal system (Cordova-Fraga et al., 2004). Its anthocyanins have been characterized for stability as a natural food coloring agent (Del Pozo-Insfran et al., 2004).

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acai
http://www.acairoots.com/
http://www.prevention.com/cda/vendorarticle/acai/HN4538007/health/herb.encyclopedia/0/0/0/1

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Fish Oils Offer Lupus Treatment

 

Scientists have found that low dose dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) – a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and other organs of the body – has a significant therapeutic effect on disease activity……click & see

It also improves endothelial function and reduces oxidative stress and may therefore confer cardiovascular benefits, according to a study presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

In a study, 60 patients with lupus were randomly assigned in a double-blind, placebo controlled trial to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on disease activity and endothelial function.

The researchers employed various methods to measure lupus disease activity, and to study endothelial function and cell damaging free radical molecules in this 24-week study.

Participants who had been taking omega-3 fish oil showed significant improvement in all areas of measurement, including improved blood vessel function and a reduction in cell damaging molecules, at the end of the study. This in turn provided the subjects with potential cardiovascular benefits.

According to the researchers, there was also a significant improvement in a number of the symptoms of active lupus.

This study confirms the beneficial effects of omega-3 fish oils in improving the symptoms of SLE and also provides evidence for the potential cardioprotective effect they may have in this group of patients,” said Dr Stephen Wright, specialist registrar in rheumatology, department of therapeutics and musculoskeletal education & research unit, Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and lead investigator in the study.

Source: The Times Of India