Herbs & Plants


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Botanical NamePlantago psyllium/ Plantago ovata
Family : Plantaginaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus: Plantago
Common Names :  Psyllium,ispaghula, isabgol

Habitat : P. ovata is a 119- to 130-day crop that responds well to cool, dry weather. In India, P. ovata is cultivated mainly in North Gujarat as a “Rabi” or post–rainy season crop (October to March). During this season, which follows the monsoons, average temperatures are in the range of 15–30 °C (59–86 °F), and moisture is deficient. Isabgol (P. ovata), which has a moderate water requirement, is given 5 to 6 light irrigations. A very important environmental requirement of this crop is clear, sunny and dry weather preceding harvest. High night temperature and cloudy wet weather close to harvest have a large negative impact on yield. Rainfall on the mature crop may result in shattering and therefore major field losses.The state of Rajasthan in India provides 60% of the world’s production, while the Jalore district alone accounts for 90% of Isabgol production in Rajasthan. Bhinmal agriculture Mandi is declared Isabgol special Mandi. Bhinmal area gives about 2,500 tons per year of Isabgol.

It is cultivated in 50,000 hectares in Mehsana, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts of Gujarat and Jalore, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Nagaur and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan.

Plantago ovata is an annual herb that grows to a height of 30–46 cm (12–18 in). Leaves are opposite, linear or linear lanceolate 1 × 19 cm (0.39 × 7.5 in). The root system has a well developed tap root with few fibrous secondary roots. A large number of flowering shoots arise from the base of the plant. Flowers are numerous, small, and white. Plants flower about 60 days after planting. The seeds are enclosed in capsules that open at maturity.

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The fields are generally irrigated prior to seeding to achieve ideal soil moisture, to enhance seed soil contact, and to avoid burying the seed too deeply as a result of later irrigations or rainfall. Maximum germination occurs at a seeding depth of 6 mm (1/4 in). Emerging seedlings are frost sensitive, therefore planting should be delayed until conditions are expected to remain frost free. Seed is broadcast at 5.5 to 8.25 kg/hectare (5 to 7.5 lb/acre) in India. In Arizona trials, seeding rates of 22 to 27.5 kg/ha (20 to 25 lb/acre) resulted in stands of 1 plant/25mm (1 inch) in 15 cm (6 inch) rows produced excellent yields. Weed control is normally achieved by one or two hand weedings early in the growing season. Control of weeds by pre-plant irrigation that germinates weed seeds followed by shallow tillage may be effective on fields with minimal weed pressure. Psyllium is a poor competitor with most weed species.

Plantago wilt “Fusarium oxyspirum” and downy mildew are the major diseases of Isabgol. White grubs and aphids are the major insect pests.

The flower spikes turn reddish brown at ripening, the lower leaves dry and the upper leaves yellow. The crop is harvested in the morning after the dew is gone to minimize shattering and field losses. In India, mature plants are cut 15 cm above the ground and then bound, left for a few days to dry, thrashed, and winnowing.

Harvested seed must be dried below 12% moisture to allow for cleaning, milling, and storage. Seed stored for future crops has shown a significant loss in viability after 2 years in storage.

The genus Plantago contains over 200 species. P. ovata and P. psyllium are produced commercially in several European countries, the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and India. Plantago seed, known commercially as black, French, or Spanish psyllium, is obtained from P. psyllium L., also known as P. arenaria. Seed produced from P. ovata is known in trading circles as white or blonde psyllium, Indian plantago, or Isabgol. Isabgol, the common name in Pakistan and India for P. ovata, comes from the Persian words asb and ghol, meaning “horse flower,” which is descriptive of the shape of the seed. India dominates the world market in the production and export of psyllium. Psyllium research and field trials in the U.S. have been conducted mainly in Arizona and Washington state.

Recent interest in psyllium has arisen primarily due to its use as an ingredient in high-fiber breakfast cereals, which is claimed to be effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels in those who consume it. Several studies point to a cholesterol reduction attributed to a diet that includes dietary fiber such as psyllium. Research reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that the use of soluble-fiber cereals is an effective and well-tolerated part of a prudent diet for the treatment of mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. Research also indicates that psyllium incorporated into food products is more effective at reducing blood glucose response than use of a soluble-fiber supplement that is separate from the food. Although the cholesterol-reducing and glycemic-response properties of psyllium-containing foods are fairly well documented, the effect of long-term inclusion of psyllium in the diet has not been determined. Cases of allergic reaction to psyllium-containing cereal have been documented.

: ascorbic acid, aucubin, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, calcium, chromium, cobalt, fiber, linoleic acid, magnesium, manganese, mucilage, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, stigmasterol, thiamine, tin, zi

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Cholesterol Control * Constipation * Weight Loss *
Properties: Astringent* Demulcent* Laxative* Antitussive*
Parts Used: Seeds and seed husks

The seeds of the Plantago ovata contain copious amounts of mucilage that are able to treat diarrhea, constipation and act as a safe and effective weight loss aid. Psyllium seed has been used since ancient times, with no ill effects. These seeds and their husks are a great source of natural fiber. The seed has less fiber than the husk but a wide range of nutrients the husks do not. Although it is traditionally used to treat constipation, research shows that psyllium seed reduces high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Exactly how it does isn’t known, but it appears to bind with dietary cholesterol and fat to prevent their absorption.

Credit mother nature for devising a substance that can treat both constipation and diarrhea. The seeds soak up fluids, adding bulk to the stool and inhibiting diarrhea. The same absorption of fluids softens the stool, and the larger volume helps pass it through the colon. This easier action makes this herb a good choice for those suffering from hemorrhoids,inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis. By bulking the stool, the seeds also relieve pain caused by ulcerative colitis. Unless you have a desire for sugar, artificial flavors and higher prices, try natural psyllium before turning to one of the name brand products such as Metamucil or Fiberall, or any number of commercial laxatives.

Psyllium is mainly used as a dietary fiber, which is not absorbed by the small intestine. The purely mechanical action of psyllium mucilage absorbs excess water while stimulating normal bowel elimination. Although its main use has been as a laxative, it is more appropriately termed a true dietary fiber and as such can help reduce the symptoms of both constipation and mild diarrhea.

Psyllium is produced mainly for its mucilage content, which is highest in P. ovata. The term mucilage describes a group of clear, colorless, gelling agents derived from plants. The mucilage obtained from psyllium comes from the seed coat. Mucilage is obtained by mechanical milling/grinding of the outer layer of the seed. Mucilage yield amounts to about 25% (by weight) of the total seed yield. Plantago-seed mucilage is often referred to as husk, or psyllium husk. The milled seed mucilage is a white fibrous material that is hydrophilic, meaning that its molecular structure causes it to attract and bind to water. Upon absorbing water, the clear, colorless, mucilaginous gel that forms increases in volume by tenfold or more.

The United States is the world’s largest importer of psyllium husk, with over 60% of total imports going to pharmaceutical firms for use in products such as “Metamucil”. In Australia, psyllium husk is used to make “Bonvit” psyllium products. In the UK, ispaghula husk is used in the popular constipation remedy “Fybogel”. In India, psyllium husk is used to make “Gulab Sat Isabgol” psyllium products. Psyllium mucilage is also used as a natural dietary fiber for animals. The dehusked seed that remains after the seed coat is milled off is rich in starch and fatty acids, and is used in India as chicken feed and as cattle feed.

Psyllium mucilage possesses several other desirable properties. As a thickener, it has been used in ice cream and frozen desserts. A 1.5% weight/volume ratio of psyllium mucilage exhibits binding properties that are superior to a 10% weight/volume ratio of starch mucilage. The viscosity of psyllium mucilage dispersions are relatively unaffected between temperatures of 20 and 50 °C (68 and 122 °F), by pH from 2 to 10 and by salt (sodium chloride) concentrations up to 0.15 M. These physical properties, along with its status as a natural dietary fiber, may lead to increased use of psyllium by the food-processing industry. Technical-grade psyllium has been used as a hydrocolloidal agent to improve water retention for newly-seeded grass areas, and to improve transplanting success with woody plants.

It is suggested that the isabgol husk is a suitable carrier for the sustained release of drugs and is also used as a gastroretentive carrier due to its swellable and floatable nature. The mucilage of isabgol is used as a super disintegrant in many formulations.

Adverse Reactions and Warnings:
Possible adverse reactions include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, especially among those who have had regular exposure to psyllium dust. Gastrointestinal tract obstruction may occur, especially for those with prior bowel surgeries or anatomic abnormalities, or if taken with inadequate amounts of water.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published that psyllium, among other water soluble gums, have been linked to medical reports of esophageal obstruction (Esophageal_food_bolus_obstruction), choking, and asphyxiation.

Specifically, the FDA reports “Esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation due to orally-administered drug products containing water-soluble gums, hydrophilic gums, and hydrophilic mucilloids as active ingredients are significant health risks when these products are taken without adequate fluid or when they are used by individuals with esophageal narrowing or dysfunction, or with difficulty in swallowing.” and “when marketed in a dry or incompletely hydrated form” are required to have the following warning labels:

“`Choking’ [highlighted in bold type]: Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty in swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention;” and

“`Directions’ [highlighted in bold type]:” (Select one of the following, as appropriate: “Take” or “Mix”) “this product (child or adult dose) with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other fluid. Taking this product without enough liquid may cause choking.”

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.


Herbs & Plants

White Bryony (Bryonia alba)

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Botanical Name :Bryonia alba
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Bryonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Violales
Species: B. alba

Common names: Kudzu of the Northwest, Devil’s Turnip, English Mandrake,
false mandrake, wild vine, and wild hops, wild nep, tamus, ladies’ seal, and tetterbury.

Habitat :White bryony is native to Europe and Northern Iran. It was first reported in the United States in 1975. It probably arrived as a medicinal plant; used to induce vomiting, the plant and berries are poisonous to people. Forty berries constitutes a lethal dose for adult humans.

Currently identified in only four states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) this invasive species is declared a Class B noxious weed. This classification indicates that bryony is already abundant in many areas. Containment is the goal in those areas, but it is to be prevented/eradicated in new regions.Vineyards and woods.Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Hedgerow;


An herbaceous, perennial vine of the cucumber family, white bryony is monoecious but diclinous (separate male and female flowers found on the same plant) with a tuberous yellow root. Greenish-white flowers are 1 cm across. Long curling tendrils, flowers, and fruit all stem from axils of palmately lobed leaves. The fruit is a 1.5 cm berry which blackens as it ripens, and seeds of which are disseminated by birds.


White bryony thrives in full sun. Due to birds depositing seeds where they like to eat and nest, bryony is prevalent in native hawthorn patches and in windbreak, shelterbelt, riparian buffer, and wildlife plantings.

This invasive weed grows aggressively; it can produce three vines at a time, which each grow up to 15 cm per day. Since the growth pattern of the vine leads it to climb, it emulates the growth pattern of kudzu, and will also simply grow into a mat when it cannot climb. Once it establishes itself, it will climb other plants and trees as well as fences and buildings. Effectively blocking the sun and even rain from its host, the dense shade of the bryony eventually destroys what it covers. If not the lack of sun, then winter snow or heavy rains weighing down the mat of bryony create too much extra weight leading to breakage of host limbs or even felling of entire host trees.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

A rapid grower, it is of easy cultivation succeeding in most soils that are well drained[1], avoiding acid soils in the wild[17]. A climbing plant, attaching itself to other plants by means of tendrils. Plants can be easily encouraged by scattering ripe seed at the base of hedgerows. Plants in the north of their range are monoecious, but those growing in the south are dioecious. Where necessary, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Bryonia alba spreads by seed.   Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

One report says that the young shoots are edible, though cautioned .

All parts of Bryonia alba contain bryonin which is poisonous and may cause illness or death. Livestock may also be poisoned by consuming the fruit and leaves. Forty berries constitutes a lethal dose for adult humans.

Medicinal Uses


The root is cathartic, hydrogogue, irritant, pectoral and purgative. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used either fresh or dried. It should be used with great caution, see notes above on toxicity. The fresh root, gathered before the plant comes into flower, is made into a homeopathic remedy. This is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints. It is said to be one of the best diuretics and an excellent remedy for gravel as well as all other obstructions and disorders of the urinary passage.

Other Uses:
Birds are the most common dispersal mechanism for this plant. They deposit seeds where they eat and nest, and so bryony is prevalent in native hawthorn patches and in windbreak, shelterbelt, riparian buffer, and wildlife plantings. Bryonia alba leaves may be used as a food plant by the larvae of Cabbage Moths.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant, and especially the root, are poisonous. The root can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, resulting in death within a matter of hours.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Balm of Gilead(Populus spp )

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Botanical Name :Populus spp, Populus balsamifera,Populus tremuloides,Populus grandidentata
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Salicales
Species: spp.

Common Name: aspens and poplars

Common Name Synonyms : cottonwood

Habitat:  Range:
Most of the following range description is taken from Fowells, H.A., compiler, 1965, Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, USDA Agriculture Handbook No. 271.

P. balsamifera: Newfoundland, Labrador to northwest Alaska, northeastern British Columbia, east through Alberta, northern portions of the Great Lakes states, northern New England, and locally from Iowa to Connecticut and in the Rocky Mountains.

P. grandidentata: Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to northeastern Missouri, east to Virginia, and locally in the eastern United States.

P. tremuloides: Newfoundland, Labrador to southern Alaska; British Columbia through Alberta to New Jersey. Locally in Virginia, Missouri and mountains of western United States and northern Mexico.

Climatic conditions vary throughout the ranges, but are often characterized by low seasonal temperature provided by high altitudes or northern latitudes, and short growing seasons.

Most of the following habitat description is taken from Fowells, H.A., compiler, 1965, Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, USDA Agriculture Handbook No. 271.

P. balsamifera most frequently grows in moist soils of various textures including subirrigated sandy and gravelly soils, calcareous clay loams, or silt loams. It grows at elevations from sea level to about 5,500 feet (1,676 m). It is usually found in cool lowlands such as alluvial bottoms, sandbars, stream banks, lake shores and swamps. It grows in pure stands or in the following forest types: aspen, balsam fir-paper birch, white spruce-balsam fir-paper birch, black ash-American elm-red maple, aspen-birch, white spruce-aspen, and black cottonwood-willow (Fowells 1965).

P. grandidentata is usually found on drier sites than the other two species, at elevations from 500 to 2,000 feet (152 to 660 m). Soil textures include sand, loamy sand, light sandy loams, and, less frequently, heavier textured soils. High water tables closer than 18″ (45.7 cm) to the surface reduce aeration, and increase chances of windfall (Fowells 1965). It is most commonly associated with quaking aspen, gray birch, paper birch and red maple.

P. tremuloides tolerates a wide range of soil conditions from rocky soils or loamy sands, to clay soils. The most favorable soils are porous, and loamy soils that have abundant lime and humus. Growth in clay soils is reduced because of poor aeration; growth in sand is poor because of low moisture and nutrient levels. Rocky soils can hinder the spread of lateral roots. Quaking aspen grows at elevations up to 5,800 feet (1768 m) in the north, and rarely below 8,000 feet (2438 m) in lower California. It grows at sea level only as far south as Maine and Washington. In the southwest United States, quaking aspen often grows in cool shaded mountain slopes, canyons, and on stream banks, at about 6,500 to 10,000 feet (1981 to 3048 m) in elevation. It grows with other aspens and often in the following forest types: Jack pine-aspen, white spruce, balsam fir-aspen, black spruce-aspen, aspen-paper birch (Fowells 1965).


The following descriptions are taken from Barnes and Wagner 1981 and Rosendahl 1970. Further taxonomic description is available in these texts.
Populus balsamifera is a shade-intolerant tree 6-30 m high with gray or greenish bark that becomes darker and furrowed on older trunks. Resinous buds are large; twigs are stout and lustrous turning gray-green with age. Alternate simple leaves are ovate-lanceolate or cordate-ovate with acute or acuminate tips and finely crenate margins. The aromatic leaves are glabrous and dark green above, and pale silver or rusty brown beneath. Staminate catkins are 3-5 cm long; pistillate catkins 3-5 cm long. The fruit is an ovoid capsule 7-9 mm long. Balsam poplar has numerous shallow spreading roots and forms clones.

Populus grandidentata is a shade intolerant tree 10-20 m high with smooth gray tan or yellowish-green bark that becomes furrowed and darker with age. Stout twigs are white tomentose becoming reddish brown to greenish-gray with age. The alternate leaves are ovate and coarsely sinuate-toothed. Young leaves are densely white tomentose beneath; older leaves are glabrous, yellow green or dark green. Young suckers often have larger leaves than mature plants. Staminate catkins, 4-7 cm long, are silky pubescent; pistillate catkins are 3-5 cm elongating in fruit to 10-15 cm.

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Bigtooth aspen has a wide spreading lateral root system with larger and fewer roots than P. tremuloides, and sinker roots (vertically penetrating roots) to 3 m. This species forms clones by root-suckering. Suckers are distinguishable from seedlings because they have a thickening that develops on the distal side of the parent root next to the sucker (Maini 1972).

P. tremuloides is a shade intolerant tree 6-20 m high with smooth greenish-white or gray bark, turning darker and slightly furrowed with age. Twigs are slender, glabrous and reddish-brown, turning gray with age. The thin, alternate leaves are ovate to orbicular, truncate or sub-cordate at the base and short acuminate at the tip. Leaves are glabrous when mature, have finely serrated margins, and range from bluish to dull green in color. Young suckers frequently have much larger leaves than older plants. Staminate catkins are 3-6 cm long with silky hairs. The fruit is a capsule about 5 mm long. This species is typically clonal, with suckers arising from extensive lateral roots. Quaking aspen has “sinker roots” like bigtooth aspen and distinction between seedlings and suckers is the same as with P. grandidentata.

Aspen Tree (Populus spp.)
These deciduous trees are tall and fast growing. In North America they are the most widely dispersed tree. They are great in rural areas because they have large root systems. They have triangular shaped leaves that provide beautiful colors in the fall. The bark is creamy white to a light olive-gray color. They are a lovely addition to any large open area.


Flowers of all three species appear before leaf expansion, usually in April or May. Phenology varies between clones, with air temperature, and geographic locations (Maini 1972). Following wind pollination, fruits ripen in May or June and are dispersed by wind or water May through July. The light seeds have a silky hair aiding in dispersal. P. grandidentata flowers, fruits, and disperses fruit about ten days later than P. tremuloides in Ontario (Maini 1972).

Most aspens are capable of flowering at ten years (Maini 1972) and 20 year old trees of P. tremuloides and P. grandidentata produce good seed crops every four or five years (Fowells 1965). A 23 year old P. tremuloides tree 33 feet tall in Ontario produced 1.6 million seeds (Maini 1972). Under favorable natural conditions, seeds of P. grandidentata and P. tremuloides maintain viability up to two or three weeks. P. balsamifera seed is viable for a few days (Fowells 1965).

Medicinal Uses:
Balm of Gilead Medicinal Properties & Benefits

Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Burns/SunBurn * Rheumatoid Arthritis *
Properties: Antibacterial* Analgesic* Anti-inflammatory* Antirheumatic* Astringent*
Parts Used: Leaf buds
Constituents: volatile oil, up to 2% (including cineole, bisabolene, bisabolol and humulene), resins, palicin and populin, phenolic acids.

Use popular buds in balms and pain relieving creams.

The dried, unopened buds of the poplar tree are used in ointments and skin treatments to reduce pain and inflammation, and to ease rheumatic pain. Salicin, a major constituent of this plant, is a painkiller, while bisabolol in the oil reduces inflammation and is antimicrobial.

Side Effects:
If you are sensitive to aspirin, you should not use Balm of Gilead.Recommended for external use only.

How to Us
: Balm of Gilead
Preparation Methods :Oils, salves and lotions.

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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.


News on Health & Science

Eating Popcorn is Good for Health

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Research suggests that popcorn could help to prevent cancer.

Scientists discovered the snack food contains ‘surprisingly large’ levels of health-boosting antioxidants called polyphenols.
Polyphenols in fruit and vegetables are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
The U.S. study was led by the chemist Dr Vinson from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. It is the first to establish that snack foods and some wholegrain breakfast cereals are a good source of polyphenols.
He said: ‘We really were surprised by the levels of polyphenols we found in popcorn. I guess its because it’s not processed. You get all the wonderful ingredients of the corn undiluted and protected by the skin. In my opinion it’s a good health food.’

The study measured polyphenol concentration in breakfast cereals and snacks, showing there are more antioxidants in less processed wholegrain cereals, while popcorn has the most among the snack foods tested.
Hot breakfast foods such as porridge oats had disappointingly low levels of polyphenols, said Dr Vinson.

The research supports the idea that is the polyphenols in whole grains, rather than their fibre content, that makes them healthy.
Dr Vinson, who presented his findings to the American Chemical Society in Washington last night, added: ‘Wholegrain products have comparable antioxidants per gram to fruits and vegetables.’

Source: Mail Online. 19th. Aug.2009

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Edible Coating Makes Fish Nutritious

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Oregon State University have extended the shelf life of lingcod fillets and possibly made them more nutritious by dipping them into an  edible, protective coating enriched with fish oil.

The research may give consumers a chance to eat longer-lasting, potentially healthier fish fillets.

“With this coating, you can easily keep the fillets in the display case for two to three more days,” said OSU food science professor Yanyun Zhao, the lead researcher in the study.

The liquid coating contained chitosan, which comes from crustacean shells and can be made into film for food wrapping to keep out bacteria and fungi and prolong storage life.

What’s unusual about the OSU study is that fish oil was added to the chitosan coating, which wasn’t visible once it dried. After the coating was applied, some fillets were refrigerated for three weeks while others were frozen for three months.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Food Chemistry, found that the coating tripled the omega-3 fatty acids in the refrigerated and frozen fish when compared against the uncoated fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, but lean fish such as cod, grouper, catfish and swordfish have lower amounts.

In addition to increasing the omega-3 levels in the lingcod, the OSU study also found that the coating reduced lipid oxidation, which causes rancidity, in the refrigerated and frozen samples when compared with the uncoated fillets.

The coating also kept the fish moister than the uncoated samples as the frozen ones were thawing. Additionally, the coating delayed the growth of microorganisms in the fresh fillets, and it prevented their growth in the frozen ones. The coating did not affect the color of the fillets.

Eating high levels of fructose may impair memory
Washington, July 17 (ANI): Diets high in fructose – a type of sugar found in most processed foods and beverages – could impair spatial memory, says a study on adult rats.

To reach the conclusion, Amy Ross, a graduate student in the lab of Marise Parent, associate professor at Georgia State’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, fed a group of Sprague-Dawley rats a diet where fructose represented 60 percent of calories ingested during the day.

She placed the rats in a pool of water to test their ability to learn to find a submerged platform, which allowed them to get out of the water. She then returned them to the pool two days later with no platform present to see if the rats could remember to swim to the platform’s location.

“What we discovered is that the fructose diet doesn’t affect their ability to learn,” Parent said.

“But they can’t seem to remember as well where the platform was when you take it away. They swam more randomly than rats fed a control diet,” the expert added.

Fructose, unlike another sugar, glucose, is processed almost solely by the liver, and produces an excessive amount of triglycerides – fat which get into the bloodstream. Triglycerides can interfere with insulin signaling in the brain, which plays a major role in brain cell survival and plasticity, or the ability for the brain to change based on new experiences.

Source: The Times Of India

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