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Spinacia oleracea Linn: A pharmacognostic and pharmacological overview

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Herbal and natural products of folk medicine have been used for centuries in every culture throughout the world. Scientists and medical professionals have shown increased interest in this field as they recognize the true health benefits of these remedies. “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food” was advised by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, over two million ago. It’s still true today that “you are what you eat.” Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that came originally from south-western Asia and is now grown in most parts of the world. Scientifically it is known as Spincia oleracea Linn. (Family-Chenopodiaceae). Though Spinach is most often used as a food, it has medicinal value as well. Spinach is packed with vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E and minerals like magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium and folic acid. Spinach is also a good source of chlorophyll, which is known to aid in digestion. Spinach is also rich in the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein. It is a good source of the bioflavonoid quercetin with many other flavonoids which exhibits anti-oxidant, antiproliferative, antiinfammatory, antihistaminic, CNS depressant, protection against gamma radiation, hepatoprotective properties in addition to its many other benefits. Spinach is also used to prevent the bone loss associated with osteoporosis and for its anti-inflammatory properties in easing the pain of arthritis. Spinach is good for the heart and circulatory system and has energy-boosting properties. Spinach is truly one of nature's most perfect foods.
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Otari K V et al / IJRAP 2010, 1 (1) 78-84
International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
Review Article Available online through
www.ijrap.net
SPINACIA OLERACEA LINN: A PHARMACOGNOSTIC AND
PHARMACOLOGICAL OVERVIEW
Gaikwad Priyanka Subhash, Shete Rajkumar Virbhadrappa, Otari Kishor Vasant*
Department of Pharmacology, Rajgad Dnyanpeeth College of pharmacy, Bhor, Pune, India
Received: 06-07-2010; Revised: 12-08-2010; Accepted: 16-09-2010
ABSTRACT
Herbal and natural products of folk medicine have been used for centuries in every culture
throughout the world. Scientists and medical professionals have shown increased interest in this field as they
recognize the true health benefits of these remedies. “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your
food” was advised by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, over two million ago. It’s still true today that “you
are what you eat.” Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that came originally from south-western Asia and is
now grown in most parts of the world. Scientifically it is known as Spincia oleracea Linn. (Family-
Chenopodiaceae). Though Spinach is most often used as a food, it has medicinal value as well. Spinach is
packed with vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E and minerals like magnesium, manganese,
iron, calcium and folic acid. Spinach is also a good source of chlorophyll, which is known to aid in digestion.
Spinach is also rich in the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein. It is a good source of the bioflavonoid
quercetin with many other flavonoids which exhibits anti-oxidant, antiproliferative, antiinfammatory,
antihistaminic, CNS depressant, protection against gamma radiation, hepatoprotective properties in addition
to its many other benefits. Spinach is also used to prevent the bone loss associated with osteoporosis and for
its anti-inflammatory properties in easing the pain of arthritis. Spinach is good for the heart and circulatory
system and has energy-boosting properties. Spinach is truly one of nature's most perfect foods.
KEYWORDS: Spinacia oleracea, Spinach, Flavonoids, Antioxidant.
*Corresponding author
Otari Kishor Vasant
Assistant Professor in Pharmacology
Rajgad Dnyanpeeth’s College of Pharmacy
Bhor, Pune, Pin- 412206
Mob: +91 9970060776, Fax: 02113 222841
Email: kvotari76@rediffmail.com
Otari K V et al / IJRAP 2010, 1 (1) 78-84
International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
INTRODUCTION
Plants are one of the most important sources of medicines. The medicinal plants are rich in secondary
metabolites (which are potential sources of drugs) and essential oils of therapeutic importance. The important
advantages claimed for therapeutic uses of medicinal plants in various ailments are their safety besides being
economical, effective and their easy availability1. Spinacia oleracea Linn. (SO) is an annual plant having
medicinal property native to central and southwestern Asia. It is cultivated for the sake of its succulent leaves
and was introduced in Europ in the 15th century. It is the favorite food among Indians in winter season2. The
Spinacia oleracea is commonly known as Spinach (English), Chhurika (Sanskrit), Palak (Hindi; Gujarati;
and Marathi), Palakh (Kashmiri), Palang (Bangla), Pasalai (Tamil), and Mathubucchali (Telugu)3. In
different traditional medicinal system it is known by different names. It’s Ayurvedic name is ‘Paalankikaa’,
in ‘Unani’ it is called as ’Paalak’, where as in ‘Siddha’ it is known by ‘Vasaiyila-keerai’4
Kingdom :
.
PLANT PROFILE
Spinacia oleracea Linn
Scientific Classification
Plantae
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Caryophyllidae
Order : Caryophyllales
Family : Chenopodiaceae
Genus : Spinacia L.
Species : Spinacia oleracea L.5
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTIONS
Stem: Erect from 30-60 cm high, round, smooth, piped, succulent, sometime reddish.
Leaves: Alternative, the lower ones very long petioled, variously lobed with lobes of an acute triangular
shape, smooth on both the side.
Flowers
Male- Flowers on long terminal glomerate spikes and on shorter ones from the axial, very numerous, sessile,
calyx 4-parted, stamen 4, anthers twin, very large.
Female- Flowers axillary, sessile, crowded. Calyx 2-tipped with a projecting horn in each side, growing into
spines when the seed is ripe. Styles generally 4, white tapering. Capsule 1-celled, 1-valved, armed, with 2
opposite short horns, and crowned with the small remaining calyx 3. (Figure 1)
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS
1. Flavonoids: Spinacia oleracea is very rich in the flavonoids. Various flvonoids reported to be present are
querecetin; myricetin; kampeferol6; apigenin; luteolin; patuletin; spinacetin; jaceidin; 4’-glu-curonide;
5,3’,4’-trihydroxy-3-methoxy-6:7-methylenedioxyflavone-4’-glucuronide; 5,4’-dihydroxy-3.3’-dimethoxy-
6:7-methylene dioxyflavone-4’-glu-curonide7; 5,4’-dihydroxi-3,3’-dimithoxi-6,7-methylene-dioxi- flavone
(C18H14O8.); 3,5,7,3’,4’pentahydroxi-6-methoxiflavone8.
2. Phenolic Compounds: The polyphenols isolated from the plant are para-coumaric acid, ferulic acid,
ortho- coumaric acid 9.
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International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
3. Carotinods: Spinach shows presence of different carotinoids like lutein, β-carotene, violaxanthin and 9’-
(Z)-neoxanhin2.
4. Vitamins: Spinacia oleracea contains high concentration of vitamin A, E, C, and K. and also folic acid,
oxalic acid2.
5. Minerals: Along with these chemicals various minerals present in the spinach. These are magnesium,
manganese, calcium, phosphorus, iron2, zink, copper and potash8.
DITRIBUTION
Native to South- west Asia; cultivated throughout India4.
TRADITIONAL USES
The plant is sweet, cooling, carminative, laxative, alexipharmic; useful in diseases of blood and brain,
asthma, leprosy, biliousness; causes “kapha” (Ayurveda). It has been used in the treatment of urinary calculi.
In experiments it has been shown to have hypoglycemic properties.
The leaves are cooling, emollient, wholesome, antipyretic, diuretic, maturant, laxative, digestiblle,
anthelmentic, useful in urinary concretion, inflammation of the lungs and the bowels, sore throat, pain in
joints, thirst, lumbago, cold and sneezing, sore eye, ring worm scabies, leucoderma, soalding urine, arrest
vomiting , biliousness, flatulence. And have been used in the treatment of febrile conditions.
The seeds are useful in fevers, leucorrhoea, urinary discharges, lumbago, diseases of the brain and of
the heart (Yunani). Seeds are laxative and cooling. They have been used in the treatment of difficulty in
breathing, inflammation of the liver and jaundice. The green plant is given for the urinary calculi3,10.
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES
Protection Against Gamma Radiation
The protective effect of 1100 mg/kg/day of 50% methanolic extract of Spinacia oleracea L. (MESO)
against radiation-induced oxidative stress were evaluated in terms of lipid peroxidation (LPO) product and
tissue levels of glutathione. The animals were exposed to gamma radiation at a rate of 1.07 Gy/min with a
source-to-surface distance of 77.5 cm. The animals were autopsied at 1, 3, 7, 15 and 30 days post-exposure.
LPO increased after irradiation up to day 15 in the untreated-irradiated mice and up to day 7 in MESO pre-
treated irradiated mice. LPO values were significantly lower in the MESO pre-treated irradiated mice as
compared to respective untreated-irradiated mice at all intervals, which reached normal values from day 7
onward.
It was found that radiation-induced augmentation in malondialdehyde contents and depletion in
glutathione changes in liver can be altered by MESO. The protection may be attributed to the combined
effects of its constituents rather than to any single factor as the leaves are rich in carotenoid content (b-
carotene, lutein, Zeaxanthine), ascorbic acid, flavonoids and p-coumaric acid11.
The radioprotective efficacy of spinach against radiation induced oxidative stress was studied by
Verma and Bhatia in 2003. For the experiments, Swiss albino male mice treated with Spinacia oleracea
leaves alcoholic extract (SE) once daily at the dose of 1100 mg/kg/day p.o. for 15 days. The animals are
exposed to single dose of 5 Gy of gamma radiation at the dose rate of 1.07 Gy/min. After the exposure mice
were sacrificed at different autopsy intervals viz. 1, 3, 7, 15 and 30 days. Brain was removed and processed
to estimate LPO.
Radiation induced significant elevation in the LPO values, which were lowered by supplementation
of SE prior to irradiation at all the intervals studied. The protection rendered with SE in LPO value of brain
in this study indicates the possible role Spinacia oleracea as radioprotector to some extent if taken
continuously which might be due to synergistic effect of antioxidant constituents present in the spinach12.
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International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
Antioxidant Activity
The chemical fraction of natural antioxidant (NAO) components in Spinacia oleracea was reported
by Grossman in 2001. Spinach leaves were extracted with water and the 20,000 g supernatant which
contained the antioxidant activity was extracted with a water:acetone (1:9) solution. The 20,000 g
supernatant obtained was further purified on reverse phase HPLC using C-8 semi-preparative column.
Elution with 0.1% TFA resulted intensive hydrophilic peaks.
Elution with acetonitrile in TFA resulted in seven additional hydrophobic peaks. All the peaks were
detected at 250 nm. All the fractions obtained showed antioxidant activity when tested using three different
assays. Based on 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy four of the hydrophobic fractions were identified as
glucuronic acid derivatives of flavonoids and three additional fractions as trans and cis isomers of p-coumaric
acid and others as meso-tartarate derivatives of p-coumaric acid. The study demonstrated for the first time the
presence of both flavonoids and p-coumaric acid derivatives as antioxidant components of the aqueous
extract of spinach leaves13.
Inhibition of Mammalian DNA Polymerases
The purification of the major glycolipids in the class of monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MGDG),
digalactosyl diacylglycerol (DGDG) and sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG), from green vegetable
spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) was reported. MGDG was an inhibitor of the growth of NUGC-3 human
gatric cancer cell, but the DGDG and SQDG has no cytotoxic effect. So researcher studied MGDG and its
monoacylglycerol-form, monogalactosyl monoacylglycerol (MGMG) in detail. MGMG with one fatty acid
molecule was obtained from MGDG with two fatty acid molecule by hydrolizing with the pancreatic lipase.
MGMG was also found to prevent the cancer cell growth. MGDG was the potent inhibitor of replicative
DNA polymerases such as α ό and ε. MGMG inhibited the activities of the all mammalian DNA polymerases
including repair-related DNA polymerases β with IC50 value of 8.5-36 µg/ml and the inhibition by the
MGMG was stronger than that by the MGDG. Both the MGDG and MGMG could halt the cell cycle at G 1
phase, and subsequently induced severe apoptosis14.
Sulphite Oxidase Activity
The spinach chloroplasts possess a sulphite oxidase activity coupled with oxygen consumption and
reduction of ferricyanide. This activity is associated with thylakoids and solubilized by non-ionic biological
detergents. The pH and temperature dependencies of sulphite oxidase activity solubilized by Triton X-100
from spinach thylakoids were consistent with those of an intrinsic membrane protein. This isolated activity
was insensitive towards radical scavengers (mannitol, mannose and fructose) and catalase, and was inhibited
only with very high concentrations of superoxide dismutase. Thus, observed sulphite oxidation was not
induced through the photosynthetic electron transport system, but achieved via a thylakoid membrane
enzymic system showing a sulphite oxidase activity. Kinetic parameters of thylakoid sulphite oxidase were
measured and compared with those of other sulphite oxidases15.
Hepatoprotective Activity
Gupta and Singh 2006 reported the amelioration by Spinacia oleracea L. leaves alcoholic extract (SE)
against the hepatosuppression induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). This was evaluated in terms of serum-
marker enzymes like GGT, AST, ALT , LDH, SDH, GDH, ALP, serum-total bilirubin and total protein
levels along with concomitant hepatic-antioxidants like SOD, CAT ,GSH , GPx GR, GST ,ascorbic acid
(vitamin-c), β-carotene and cytochrome P-450 enzyme. Whereas, LPO was monitored in both serum and
liver. These biochemical parameters were significantly (P<0.001) altered by the single dose of CCl4
Pretreatment with SE prior to the administration of CCl
(1.0
ml/kg, i.p., with olive oil, 1:1).
4, at the doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg/day, p.o.
for 7 days, significantly restored to all the serum and liver parameters near to the normal levels. The
hepatoprotective potential of S. oleracea L. against hepatosuppression possibly involves mechanism related
to its ability to block the P-450 mediated CCl4 bioactivation through selective inhibitors of ROS (reactive
Otari K V et al / IJRAP 2010, 1 (1) 78-84
International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
oxygen species). Thus S. oleracea L., showing protection in liver, may prove as a rich source of
antioxidants16.
Inhibition of Clastogenisity
The homogenate of spinach reduces induction of micronuclei by benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) by 43–50% in
the in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay. Inhibition of genotoxicity by spinach was not caused by
any delay in maturation of micronucleated erythrocytes as shown by experiments with sampling times of 24,
48, and 72 h after dosing of BaP. Pre-treatment of the mice with spinach 48, 24, and 12 h before application
of BaP resulted in a 44% reduction of micronuclei.
A post-treatment procedure administering spinach 6 h after dosing of BaP did not indicate any
protective effects. When trans-7,8-dihydroxy-7, 8-dihydrobenzo[a]pyrene (BaP-7,8-OH) was applied for
induction of micronuclei spinach reduced the number of micronuclei by 55%. Pre-treatment of mice with
spinach 96, 72, and 60 h before sacrifice caused a decline of hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD)
and of 7-pentoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (PROD) activities by factors of 2.2 and 1.4, respectively. However,
statistical significance was not reached17.
Anticancer Activity
In one study spinach ethanol extract (SE) and the three fractions by the hydrophobic column
chromatography were investigated for their inhibition of calf, DNA polymarases (pol). The spinach
glycoglycerolipid fraction dose dependent inhibited the activity of pol α with IC50 value of 43.0µg/ml and
the fat soluble fraction slightly inhibited the activity of pol α, although the water soluble fraction did not
show such an effect. The ethanol extract from spinach had no effect on pol α, although the extract contains
pol inhibitory glycoglycerolipid. This concluded that the spinach glycoglycerolipid fraction can inhibit
mammalian pol activity, human cultured cancer cell growth, and in vivo solid tumor proliferation with oral
administration. This fraction could help to prevent cancer and be a functional food with anticancer activity18.
CNS Depressant Effect
Treatment with Spinacia oleracea extract (SO; 400 mg/kg body weight) decreased the locomotor
activity, grip strength, increased pentobarbitone induced sleeping time and also markedly altered
pentylenetetrazole induced seizure status in Holtzman strain adult male albino rats. SO increased serotonin
level and decreased both norepinephrine and dopamine levels in cerebral cortex, cerebellum, caudate
nucleus, midbrain and pons and medulla. Result suggests that SO exerts its CNS depressive effect in PTZ
induced seizure by modulating the monoamines in different brain areas2.
Inhibition of Proliferation of Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma Cells
Four kinds of assays (i) cell growth assay, (ii) colony forming assay, (iii) MTT colorimetric assay,
and (iv) 3H-TdR incorporation assay, were used to study the effect of a fat-soluble extract of spinach powder
(SPFE) on the proliferation of human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line (SGC-7901) in vitro. The
concentrations of SPFE expressed as the level of beta-carotene in the medium were 2 x 10(-8), 2 x 10(-7) and
2 x 10(-6) mol/L beta-carotene in assay (i)-(iii), but 4 x 10(-8), 4 x 10(-7) and 4 x 10(-6) mol/L beta-carotene
in assay (iv) respectively. The results indicated that SPFE inhibited the proliferation and colony forming
ability of SGC-7901 cells. And in MTT assay, SPFE inhibited the viability of SGC-7901 cells, but no
inhibitory effect of SPFE was observed on the viability of lymphocytes in peripheral blood of healthy people.
Finally, in the 3H-TdR incorporation test, both SPFE and beta-carotene showed significant inhibitory effects
on DNA synthesis in SGC-7901 cells, but SPFE was more effective than beta-carotene19
Dave et al., 2009 evaluated the anthelmintic activity of crude extract of Spinacia oleracea Linn. and
different extract namely fresh juice extract and methanolic extract using Pheretima posthuma as test worms.
Different concentrations 10 mg/ml, 20 mg/ml, 30 mg/ml, 40 mg/ml and 50 mg/ml of fresh juice extract and
methanolic extract of Spinacia oleracea Linn (MSO) were studied to determine the time of paralysis and time
of death of worms. Both the extract performed invitro anthelmintic activity. Albendazole was used as
.
Anthelmintic Activity
Otari K V et al / IJRAP 2010, 1 (1) 78-84
International Journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Sep-Oct 2010 78-84
standard reference and saline water as control. The result was revealed that the fresh juice extract may show
more potent anthelmintic activity than MSO20.
CONCLUSION
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the goosefoot family.
1. Prakash P, Gupta N. Therapeutic uses of ocimum sanctum linn (tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its
pharmacological actions: a short review. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2005; 49 (2):125–131.
Various
pharmacological activities of Spinacia oleracea such as, anti-oxidant, antiproliferative, antiinfammatory,
antihistaminic, CNS depressant, protection against gamma radiation, hepatoprotective have been reported.
Various secondary metabolites like flavanoids, carotinoids, phenolic compounds have been reported from
this plant. Thus Spinacia oleracea merits further phytochemical, pharmacological and clinical investigations
for development of an effective natural remedy to provide therapeutically effective lead compounds or
extracts.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Authors are thankful to Rajgad Dnyanpeeth’s College of Pharmacy, Bhor for providing platform to
carryout this work.
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Figure 1: Spinacia oleracea
Source of support: Nil, Conflict of interest: None Declared
... Along with chlorophyll the plant also contains large quantities of bioactive compounds and nutrients such as ascorbate, carotenoids, tocopherols, phenolics, folate, and minerals [13]. The traditional wisdom of herbal science advocates that anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory [14] anti-anemic, vermifuge, hypoglycemic, expellant anti-pyretic [15], anticancer [16], and anti-inflammatory properties are associated with the leaves of Spinacia oleracea [17]. Many ...
... Consequently, in the current study we evaluated the anti-proliferating potency of candidate drugs on the exponential growth of meristematic tissue. [17] Briefly, healthy seeds of Cicer arietinum were allowed to germinate for 72 hrs. From germinated seeds six healthy seeds were selected. ...
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Aim: Synthetic lead molecules are associated with host of adverse effects while medicinal molecules isolated from natural sources are blessed with both safety as well as efficacy. The ancient doctrine of Ayurveda ardently advocates the therapeutic virtues contained in green leaves of Spinacia oleracea L. The principal constituent of the leaves is the class of metalloporphyrin chlorophyll, which is also the floral counterpart of faunal heme. Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and chlorophyll-b (Chl-b) are the cardinal members of the chlorophyll family. Study design: Herein, we have explored the anti-radical, cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative efficacy of Chl-a and Chl-b in reference to standard drug and crude extract of Spinacia leaves. The current study is aimed to establish, naturally mined metaloporphyrins as safe and efficacious replacement of synthetic leads that are associated with a wide range of toxicological issues. Methodology: Using a combination of Silica Gel-G column chromatography and preparative thin layer chromatography, the two principal green metallo-porphyrins (Chl-a and Chl-b) were sequentially extracted and isolated from crude extract of Spinacia oleracea L leaves. Antiradical efficacy, of the isolated green porphyrins was quantified by DPPH and Hydrogen peroxide radical scavenging assay. Cytoprotective efficacy was evaluated using ex-vivo hemolysis assay and anti-inflammatory potency was attested employing carrageenan induced paw edema bioassay. To enumerate on the anti-proliferative potency, MTT assay was employed, while toxicology of the isolates was evaluated employing OECD 420 acute toxicity guidelines. Findings: The study confirmed that isolated green porphyrins Chl-a and Chl-b as well as crude extract all exerts significant anti-radical, cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative efficacy however while potency of Chl-a was at par with that of reference standard and superior to the crude extract, Chl-b clocked in a value inferior to both. Furthermore, acute toxicity study indicated that even at p.o. dose of 2000mg/Kg b.w, no toxicity was manifested in either of the metalloporpyrin treated groups thus ascertaining the safe nature of the naturally mined metalloporphyrin entities. Also naturally mined Chl-a is not only a safer alternative to synthetic medicine but it is more potent and safe than its parent extract popularly used in herbal medicine. Conclusion: The results of the study indicates that Chl-a having a more profound structural resemblance to heme than Chl-b can be further modulated as a cost-effective and safe anti-radical alternative to synthetic leads in inhibiting inflammation and untoward cell proliferative while extending cyto-protection from pathological ROS generated in diseased states.
... 6 Traditionally it is considered to be Sheeta (coolant), Shleshmala (may increase Kapha), Bhedini (laxative effect) and useful in various conditions including hepatic inflammation and jaundice. 7 Manyscientific studies have proven the beneficial role of spinach in various liver diseases till to date. 8,9,10,1,12 But the impact of spinach on drug induced acute liver injury is not well evaluated. ...
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Context: Paracetamol overdose or toxicity often leads to acute liver injury. Spinach is a popular and traditionally revered green leafy vegetable. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) may be beneficial for treating this condition. Aims: To find out the effect of an aqueous extract of spinach in paracetamol induced liver injury. Methods and Material: Sixteen Swiss albino mice were randomly divided into four groups. Group-I served as control. Acute liver injury was induced in Group-II, III and IV with paracetamol. Group-III and IV were then treated with a green extract of spinach and silymarin respectively. Statistical Analysis Used: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Post-hoc analysis was performed. Results: Upon induction with paracetamol the serum levels of bilirubin, hepatic transaminases, total protein and lipid peroxidation in the liver were elevated. Superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione levels were decreased in the liver. All these parameters were reversed significantly (p<0.05) in Group-III comparable to Group-I and IV. Conclusions: This indicates that the green extract of spinach may be useful in the treatment of paracetamol induced acute liver injury.
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... Quercetin is a bioflavonoid present in spinach which exhibits antioxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties. Spinach is also associated with easing pain of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory property (Gaikwad, Shete & Otari, 2010). Other vegetarian sources like fruits, particularly pineapple contains nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamin C, β-carotene, protein, fat, ash and fibre, and bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and phenols which acts as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antimicrobial, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory agents (da Silva, Nogueira, Duzzioni & Barrozo, 2013;Goh, Mohd Adzahan, Leong, Sew & Sobhi, 2012). ...
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A process for preparation of a microgreen and fruit based beverage was optimized using spinach (Spinacia oleracea) microgreen, pomegranate (Punica granatum), pineapple (Ananascomosus) and sugar. The blended juice in different ratios was analysed for total soluble solids, viscosity, sedimentation, acidity, metal chelation activity, free radical scavenging activity and reducing power. The optimized beverage had, 17.26 mL 100 mL-1 spinach microgreen juice, 57.07 mL 100 mL-1 pomegranate juice, 1.01 g 100 g-1 sugar and 24.66 mL 100 mL-1 pineapple juice. The product was high in nutrients, particularly protein, minerals (sodium, potassium and iron), vitamins (vitamin C), bioactive compounds (total phenols and total carotenoids) and had high antioxidant activity (metal chelation activity, free radical scavenging activity and reducing power). The antioxidants and bioactive compounds present in juice were designed to help reduce oxidative stress during inflammatory cases such as arthritis.
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The concentrations of flavonols (kaempeferol, quercetin, myricetin) were determined in 22 plant materials (9 vegetables, 5 fruits, and 8 medicinal plant organs). The materials were extracted with acidified methanol (methanol/HCl, 100:1, v/v) and analyzed by reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (RP-HPLC) with UV detection. The total flavonols contents varied significantly (P<0.05) among vegetables, fruits and medicinal plant organs ranged from 0 to 1720.5, 459.9 to 3575.4, and 2.42 to 6125.6mgkg(-1) of dry matter, respectively. Among vegetables, spinach and cauliflower exhibited the highest amounts of flavonols (1720.5 and 1603.9mgkg(-1), respectively), however, no flavonols were detected in garlic. Within fruits, highest level of flavonols was observed in strawberry (3575.4mgkg(-1)), whereas, the lowest in apple fruit (459.9mgkg(-1)). Of the medicinal plant organs, moringa and aloe vera leaves contained the highest contents of flavonols (6125.6 and 1636.04mgkg(-1)), respectively, whereas, lowest was present in barks (2.42-274.07mgkg(-1)). Overall, leafy green vegetables, soft fruits and medicinal plant leaves exhibited higher levels of flavonols. Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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The carotenoid and phenolic acid contents in fresh, stored and processed (blanched, frozen and boiled) spinach were comparatively determined by spectrophotometric and HPLC analyses. The major carotenoids identified after HPLC analysis in saponified samples were lutein (37–53 μg/kg), β-carotene (18–31 μg/kg), violaxanthin (9–23 μg/kg) and neoxanthin (10–22 μg/kg). These carotenoids were all affected by storage and/or heating. The content of carotenoids was best preserved after storage for one day at 4 °C.The total phenolic content in the fresh spinach was 2088 mg GAE/kg FW. After LC–MS analysis three phenolic acids were identified and quantified. These being ortho-coumaric acid (28–60 mg/kg FW), ferulic acid (10–35 mg/kg) and para-coumaric acid (1–30 mg/kg) depending on the sample type. After storage of spinach at different temperatures (4 °C or −18 °C) the amount of total phenolic compounds decreased by around 20%, while the amount of individual phenolic acids increased by four times on average.
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Four kinds of assays were used to study the effect of a fat-soluble extract of spinach powder (SPFE) on the proliferation of human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line (SGC-7901) in vitro. These studies included: (i) cell growth assay, (ii) colony forming assay, (iii) MTT colorimetric assay, and (iv) 3H-TdR incorporation assay. The concentrations of SPFE expressed as the level of beta-carotene in the medium were 2 x 10(-8), 2 x 10(-7) and 2 x 10(-6) mol/L beta-carotene in assay (i)-(iii), but 4 x 10(-8), 4 x 10(-7) and 4 x 10(-6) mol/L beta-carotene in assay (iv) respectively. The results indicated that SPFE inhibited the proliferation and colony forming ability of SGC-7901 cells. And in MTT assay, SPFE inhibited the viability of SGC-7901 cells, but no inhibitory effect of SPFE was observed on the viability of lymphocytes in peripheral blood of healthy people. Finally, in the 3H-TdR incorporation test, both SPFE and beta-carotene showed significant inhibitory effects on DNA synthesis in SGC-7901 cells, but SPFE was more effective than beta-carotene.
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In previous studies we have elucidated the presence of powerful, natural antioxidants (NAO) in water extracts of spinach leaves and demonstrated their biological activity in both in vitro and in vivo systems. In the present study, the chemical identity of several of these antioxidant components is presented. Spinach leaves were extracted with water and the 20,000 g supernatant which contained the antioxidant activity was extracted with a water:acetone (1:9) solution. The 20,000 g supernatant obtained was further purified on reverse phase HPLC using C-8 semi-preparative column. Elution with 0.1% TFA resulted in five hydrophilic peaks. Elution with acetonitrile in TFA resulted in seven additional hydrophobic peaks. All the peaks were detected at 250 nm. All the fractions obtained showed antioxidant activity when tested using three different assays. Based on 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy four of the hydrophobic fractions were identified as glucuronic acid derivatives of flavonoids and three additional fractions as trans and cis isomers of p-coumaric acid and others as meso-tartarate derivatives of p-coumaric acid. The present study demonstrates for the first time the presence of both flavonoids and p-coumaric acid derivatives as antioxidant components of the aqueous extract of spinach leaves.
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In the in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay, homogenates of spinach, artichoke, peaches, and blue grapes as well as commercial concentrates of these vegetables and fruits reduced induction of micronuclei by benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) by 43-50%. Concentrates of strawberries (31% reduction) and of cauliflower (20% reduction) were less potent. Inhibition of genotoxicity by spinach and peaches was not caused by any delay in maturation of micronucleated erythrocytes as shown by experiments with sampling times of 24, 48, and 72 h after dosing of BaP. Pre-treatment of the mice with spinach 48, 24, and 12h before application of BaP resulted in a 44% reduction of micronuclei while peaches generated only a marginal effect. A post-treatment procedure administering spinach or peaches 6h after dosing of BaP did not indicate any protective effects. When trans-7,8-dihydroxy-7,8-dihydrobenzo[a]pyrene (BaP-7,8-OH) was applied for induction of micronuclei spinach and peaches reduced the number of micronuclei by 55 and 48%, respectively. Pre-treatment of mice with spinach 96, 72, and 60 h before sacrifice caused a decline of hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) and of 7-pentoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (PROD) activities by factors of 2.2 and 1.4, respectively. However, statistical significance was not reached. On the other hand, peaches had no influence on hepatic EROD or PROD activities. The flavonoids quercetin and its glucoside isoquercitrin, administered orally in doses of 0.03 mmol/kg body weight simultaneously with intraperitoneally given BaP, reduced the number of micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes of the bone marrow of mice by 73 and 33%. Ten-fold higher concentrations, however, reversed the effects with a particular strong increase observed with isoquercitrin (+109%; quercetin: +16%).