Article

Some Biological Activities and Safety of Mineral Pitch

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Mineral pitch, a form of mineral dripping from the cracks of the rocks, has been historically used through topical and oral administrations for health benefits. Its biological activities and safety have not been well characterized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antioxidative activity, antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity and heavy metal determination of mineral pitch in comparison to coal tar. The total phenolic content and antioxidative activity of mineral pitch were higher than those of coal tar. Antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli and Candida albicans of mineral pitch were less than coal tar. A dichloromethane extract of mineral pitch could inhibit the growth of those three microbes, while the butanol extract showed the growth inhibition on S. aureus and C. albicans . From the MTT assay, mineral pitch was notably toxic to normal human lung fibroblast (MRC-5), human breast carcinoma cells (MDA-MB-231), human lung carcinoma cells (A549), human cervical carcinoma cells (Hela), human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (SW-620), human ovarian carcinoma cells (SKOV-3) and human hepatocarcinama cells (HepG2). Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis indicated the high content of heavy metals, especially, As, Hg, and Pb in mineral pitch which might relate to the cytotoxicity.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... In the current study, shilajit extract's cytotoxic activity revealed a significant increase in inhibition percentage for the concentrations of 19 µg mL -1 on cell lines of Hep G2 (hepatocellular carcinoma). Similarly, another study confirmed inhibitory anticancer properties of mineral pitch on four cancerous cell lines with concentrations ranging from 25-250 µg mL -1 [45]. The 50% effective concentration (ED 50 ) are 89, 96, 225, and 286 µg mL -1 for A 549 (lung cancer), HepG2 (liver cancer), MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer), and SKOV-3 (ovarian carcinoma), respectively [45]. ...
... Similarly, another study confirmed inhibitory anticancer properties of mineral pitch on four cancerous cell lines with concentrations ranging from 25-250 µg mL -1 [45]. The 50% effective concentration (ED 50 ) are 89, 96, 225, and 286 µg mL -1 for A 549 (lung cancer), HepG2 (liver cancer), MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer), and SKOV-3 (ovarian carcinoma), respectively [45]. As indicated previously that the chemical constituents of shilajit extract exist in diverse ratios among different sources, which influenced their physical and chemical properties [10,43]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Enormous amounts of bioactive compounds incorporated in the shilajit extracts are accountable for many therapeutic properties. However, little is acknowledged concerning the chemical content and its correlation to the antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties of shilajit extract. Therefore, the current experiment aimed at the profiling of shilajit bioactive compounds with the aid of LC-HRESIMS technology, and assessing the antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties of in vitro and in vivo models. This method allowed the identification of a variety of bioactive compounds, which include fulvic acid, gallic acid, ferulic acid, naphsilajitone, fraxin, 3,8-dihydroxydibenzo-α-pyrone, and pregnane. The results confirmed significant antifungal activity against Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration of 100 µg disc-1 , and Candida albicans at concentrations down to 25 µg disc-1 and gave inhibition zones of 13±0.3 and 12±0.3 mm diameter, respectively. There was low inhibition detected at a concentration beneath 25µg disc-1 , and null activity of shilajit crude extract in opposition to all the different microbes at the distinct concentrations used in the current study. Cytotoxic percentage inhibition of applied cell lines was elevated via increasing extract concentration and significant percent inhibition (IC50: 19 µg mL-1) of the investigated test extract was revealed by the applied cell line Hep G2. These statistics supply a molecular foundation to explain at least a section of the advisable therapeutic properties of shilajit extract. Disciplinary: Biochemistry and Biochemical Engineering.
... All the test samples were administered by oral lavage in a volume of 1 ml/100 g body weight once a day to each rat. [17] Acetic acidinduced ulcer model ...
... The pylorus of the stomach and esophagocardiac junction were immediately ligated, and the stomach was then removed from each rat, and the gastric contents were collected, centrifuged, and the supernatants were used for pH measurement using pH meter (Ø 50 pH Meter, Beckman, Fullerton, CA, USA). [17] Ethical considerations ...
Article
Full-text available
Gastric ulcer is an important clinical problem, chiefly due to extensive use of some drugs. The aim was to assess the activity of Mumijo extract (which is used in traditional medicine) against acetic acid induced gastric ulcer in rats. The aqueous extract of Mumijo was prepared. Animals were randomly (n = 10) divided into four groups: Control, sham-operated group (received 0.2 ml of acetic acid to induce gastric ulcer), Mumijo (100 mg/kg/daily) were given for 4 days postacetic acid administration, and ranitidine group (20 mg/kg). The assessed parameters were pH and pepsin levels (by Anson method) of gastric contents and gastric histopathology. Ranitidine was used as reference anti-ulcer drug. The extract (100 mg/kg/daily, p.o.) inhibited acid acetic-induced gastric ulceration by elevating its pH versus sham group (P < 0.01) and decreasing the pepsin levels compared to standard drug, ranitidine (P < 0.05). The histopathology data showed that the treatment with Mumijo extract had a significant protection against all mucosal damages. Mumijo extract has potent antiulcer activity. Its anti-ulcer property probably acts via a reduction in gastric acid secretion and pepsin levels. The obtained results support the use of this herbal material in folk medicine.
... All calculated LCs of Mumio were higher for the normal cell line (SV-HUC-1) than for cancer cells (T24). However, 5637 cells had higher LC values than normal cells after 24 Real-time cell growth analysis. The results obtained with xCELLigence RTCA DP system confirmed that the lethal concentrations acquired via the MTT assay caused the decrease of viable cells by 10, 50 and 90%. ...
Article
Full-text available
Mumio (Shilajit) is a traditional medicinal drug known and used for hundreds of years. Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancer types and better treatments are needed. This study analysed the in vitro effect of Mumio on urinary bladder cancer cells (T24 and 5637) in comparison to normal uroepithelial cells (SV-HUC1). Cytotoxicity of Mumio was analysed in these cell lines via MTT and real-time cell growth assays as well via the assessment of the cytoskeleton, apoptosis, and cell cycle. Mumio affected the viability of both cell types in a time and concentration dependent manner. We observed a selectivity of Mumio against cancer cells. Cell cycle and apoptosis analysis showed that Mumio inhibited G0/G1 or S phase cell cycle, which in turn induced apoptosis. Our results showed that Mumio was significantly more cytotoxic to urinary bladder cancer cells than to normal cells. These results are promising and indicate Mumio as a great candidate for urinary bladder cancer treatment and further investigations should be performed.
... The prepared powder was finally dissolved in normal saline in order to be injected at the dose of 250 mg/kg/day. All the test samples were administered by oral gavage or intraperitoneally in a volume of 2 ml, once a day to each rat (Phaechamud et al., 2008;Ghaaazi et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective In this study, we elucidated the ameliorative effect of aqueous extract of leaves of Mumiju against acetic acid-induced experimental colitis in male rats. Materials and Methods The animals were randomly divided into four groups (n=7) including I: control group, II: vehicle group (injected with 2 ml acetic acid (4%) intra rectally), III and IV: treatment groups which received Mumiju (250 mg/kg) orally or intraperitoneally for 4 consecutive days after ulcer induction. Ulcer index, severity of inflammation, colonic levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA), and histological changes were recorded after the treatment regimen of 4 days. Results The ulcer index, severity of inflammation and colonic MDA levels were increased following intrarectal instillation of acetic acid. Also, acetic acid significantly decreased the SOD and GSH levels. Treatment with Mumiju for 4 days exhibited significantly lowered oxidative stress, while elevated of SOD and GSH levels. Regenerative-healing patterns also was seen by histopathological findings after treatment with Mumiju. Conclusion The present investigation demonstrates that Mumiju could be regarded as a herb with potent therapeutic value in the amelioration of experimental colitis in laboratory animals by modulation of oxidant- antioxidant system.
... The prepared powder was finally dissolved in normal saline in order to be injected at the dose of 250 mg/kg/day. All the test samples were administered by oral gavage or intraperitoneally in a volume of 2 ml, once a day to each rat (Phaechamud et al., 2008;Ghaaazi et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: A majority of people widely use acetaminophen as a sedative. Overusing the drug for prolonged periods of time can lead to acute liver damage. Mumijo, as a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drug, could possibly reduce some of the acetaminophen-induced side effects on the liver. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of Mumijo on the liver damage caused by the use of acetaminophen. Methods: 40 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups: sham, acetaminophen, low and high doses of mumijo, and vehicle. All groups except the sham group received a single dose of 500 mg/kg acetaminophen via ip injection. Then the groups that were under treatment received 150 mg/kg (low dose) and 250 mg/kg (high dose) of mumijo, and the vehicle group received distilled water as vehicle. After 24 hours, blood samples were taken for biochemical tests, and a part of the liver was extracted for histopathological examination. Results: acetaminophen increases the activities of functional liver enzymes including alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and gamma glutamine transferase (GGT). In groups under treatment, values of the mentioned enzymes were significantly reduced in comparison with the acetaminophen and vehicle groups (P <0.05), and on the other hand, malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and protein carbonyl (PC) increase caused by acetaminophen were reduced by mumijo. Furthermore, the amount of glutathione (GPX) was increased by mumijo (P <0.05). From a histopathological point of view, necrosis and liver damage caused by acetaminophen was decreased by mumijo. Conclusion: The findings showed that mumijo is salient in preventing liver damage caused by consumption of high doses of acetaminophen probably through reducing oxidant activities and also through increasing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. © 2018, Kerman University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved.
... Then, it was placed on shaker for 24 hr, centrifuged (5000 g; 10 min) and sterilized in the autoclave. The prepared powder was finally dissolved in normal saline in order to be injected at 150, and 250 mg/kg doses (21). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective(s): Brain edema is one of the most serious causes of death within the first few days after trauma brain injury (TBI). In this study we have investigated the role of Shilajit on brain edema, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, intracranial pressure (ICP) and neurologic outcomes following brain trauma. Materials and Methods: Diffuse traumatic brain trauma was induced in rats by drop of a 250 g weight from a 2 m high (Marmarou’s methods). Animals were randomly divided into 5 groups including sham, TBI, TBI-vehicle, TBI-Shi150 group and TBI-Shi250 group. Rats were undergone intraperitoneal injection of Shilajit and vehicle at 1, 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma. Brain water content, BBB permeability, ICP and neurologic outcomes were finally measured. Results: Brain water and Evans blue dye contents showed significant decrease in Shilajit-treated groups compared to the TBI-vehicle and TBI groups. Intracranial pressure at 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma had significant reduction in Shilajit-treated groups as compared to TBI-vehicle and TBI groups (P<0.001). The rate of neurologic outcomes improvement at 4, 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma showed significant increase in Shilajit-treated groups in comparison to theTBI- vehicle and TBI groups (P <0.001). Conclusion: The present results indicated that Shilajit may cause in improvement of neurologic outcomes through decreasing brain edema, disrupting of BBB, and ICP after the TBI.
... Then, it was placed on shaker for 24 hr, centrifuged (5000 g; 10 min) and sterilized in the autoclave. The prepared powder was finally dissolved in normal saline in order to be injected at 150, and 250 mg/kg doses (21). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective(s): Brain edema is one of the most serious causes of death within the first few days after trauma brain injury (TBI). In this study we have investigated the role of Shilajit on brain edema, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, intracranial pressure (ICP) and neurologic outcomes following brain trauma. Materials and Methods: Diffuse traumatic brain trauma was induced in rats by drop of a 250 g weight from a 2 m high (Marmarou's methods). Animals were randomly divided into 5 groups including sham, TBI, TBI-vehicle, TBI-Shi150 group and TBI-Shi250 group. Rats were undergone intraperitoneal injection of Shilajit and vehicle at 1, 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma. Brain water content, BBB permeability, ICP and neurologic outcomes were finally measured. Results: Brain water and Evans blue dye contents showed significant decrease in Shilajit-treated groups compared to the TBI-vehicle and TBI groups. Intracranial pressure at 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma had significant reduction in Shilajit-treated groups as compared to TBI-vehicle and TBI groups (P<0.001). The rate of neurologic outcomes improvement at 4, 24, 48 and 72 hr after trauma showed significant increase in Shilajit-treated groups in comparison to theTBI-vehicle and TBI groups (P <0.001). Conclusion: The present results indicated that Shilajit may cause in improvement of neurologic outcomes through decreasing brain edema, disrupting of BBB, and ICP after the TBI.
Article
Full-text available
Background: The levels of IL-13, IL-4, IL-1B, TNF-α and IL-10 alter in the colon of people with ulcerative colitis. previous studies, it was found that shilajit (asphaltum) was effective in the improvement of ulcerative colitis.we guessed that the shilajit has been able to improve the ulcerative colitis by affecting the amount of cytokines. Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of shilajit on IL-13, IL-4, IL-1B, TNF-α and IL-10 in ulcerative colitis. Methods: In this experimental study, 49 white male rats were randomly divided into 7 groups including sham groups, ulcerative colitis, Gavage vehicle, Gavage shilajit, sulfasalazine, Intra Anal Vehicle, Intra Anal shilajit. To produce ulcerative colitis 2 cc acetic acid (4%) was prescribed intra-rectal. 4 days after the induction of colitis, it was given 4 days: shilajit 250 mg / kg was used as a gavage or intra anal. Sulfasalazine was dosed at 250 mg / kg in the form of gavage. Results: The Gavage shilajit group increased IL-10, IL-4and decreased IL-1β, TNF-α compared to Gavage vehicle group. Shilajit has been able to close the levels of IL-4, IL-13, IL-10, TNF-α to normal values of the sham group. Conclusion: Considering that the weight ratio of intestinal rat to the body of rat in the shilajit groups was lower than that of the sulfasalazine group, it can be shown that shilajit has been able to more reduce inflammation by making a more suitable change in cytokines in comparison with sulfasalazine.
Article
Full-text available
Burn wounds are one of the main causes of skin damage. Based on World Health Organization statistics, almost 300 000 people worldwide die of burns each year. In severe burns, the cells and blood vessels are often injured and the blood supply to the wound is disturbed. Many factors such as oxygenation, infection, aging, hormones, and nutrition potentially can influence burn progression and disrupt repair with unbalanced release of various growth factors and cytokines. Different treatment approaches such as dressings and skin substitutes have been applied to aid wound healing. A thorough understanding of the effective factors on burns can improve wound healing outcomes. This review evaluates articles published on the Scopus, EMBASE, and PubMed databases that attempt to explain the pathophysiology, molecular components, and therapeutic approaches involved in the burn wound healing process.
Article
Background Shilajit (mumie), a natural multi-component herbomineral ethnomedicinal food, is used as a traditional medicine for enhancing the quality of life and for management of health ailments in many countries of the world. Use of Shilajit as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, rejuvenator and anti-aging substance is mentioned in many ancient texts. This review aims to provide comprehensive insights into its biochemical aspects, microbial role in biosynthesis, bioactivities and to establish correlation between traditional uses and scientifically validated research findings. Methods Scientific literature and ethnopharmacological information were compiled from the published peer-reviewed articles, unpublished materials, thesis, books, patent databases, clinical trial registries and from the websites of research councils of traditional medicine. The scientific databases, thesis repositories and books databases were searched with keywords Shilajit, mumie, mumijo, salajeet, asphaltum, fulvic acid, dibenzo-alpha-pyrones etc. Results Scientifically validated research and ancient texts suggest multifaceted benefits of Shilajit. It is endowed with anti-stress, memory and energy enhancing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, spermatogenic, neuroprotective, antiulcer and wound healing activities. These pharmacological effects are mainly attributed to the presence of humic acid, fulvic acid, dibenzo-α-pyrones, dibenzo- α-pyrones chromoproteins and trace elements. Conclusion This review summarizes the traditional importance of Shilajit for the treatment and prevention of several acute and chronic diseases and health ailments. Despite numerous health claims, there are still major gaps in our understanding of its mechanism of action, variability in efficacy and toxicity profile. Therefore, a coordinated interdisciplinary approach is needed to establish the underlying mechanisms of action, comprehensive toxicological profile, pharmacokinetics parameters and effects on different organ systems. Regulatory and governmental impetus to basic and clinical research, safety testing and formulations quality control is warranted.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of Shilajit was investigated for putative nootropic and anxiolytic activity, and its effect on rat brain monoamines using Charles Foster strain albino rats. Nootropic activity was assessed by passive avoidance learning and active avoidance learning acquisition and retention. Anxiolytic activity was evaluated by the elevated plus-maze technique. Rat brain monoamines and monoamine metaboliteswere estimated bya HPLC technique. The results indicated that Shilajit had significant nootropic and anxiolytic activity. The biochemical studies indicated that acute treatment with Shilajit had insignificant effects on rat brain monoamine and monoamine metabolite levels. However, following subacute (5days) treatment, there was decrease in 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid concentrations and an increase in the levels of dopamine, homovanillic acid and 3.4-dihydroxyphenyl-acetic acid concentrations, with insignificant effects on noradrenaline and 3-methoxy-4- hydroxyphenylethylene glycol levels. The observed neurochemical effects induced by Shilajit, indicating a decrease in rat brain 5-hydroxytryptamine turnover, associated with an increase in dopaminergic activity, helps to explain the observed nootropic and anxiolytic effects of the drug.
Article
Full-text available
Lead, mercury, and arsenic intoxication have been associated with the use of Ayurvedic herbal medicine product (HMPs). To determine the prevalence and concentration of heavy metals in Ayurvedic HMPs manufactured in South Asia and sold in Boston-area stores and to compare estimated daily metal ingestion with regulatory standards. Systematic search strategy to identify all stores 20 miles or less from Boston City Hall that sold Ayurvedic HMPs from South Asia by searching online Yellow Pages using the categories markets, supermarkets, and convenience stores, and business names containing the word India, Indian cities, and Indian words. An online national directory of Indian grocery stores, a South Asian community business directory, and a newspaper were also searched. We visited each store and purchased all unique Ayurvedic HMPs between April 25 and October 24, 2003. Concentrations (microg/g) of lead, mercury, and arsenic in each HMP as measured by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Estimates of daily metal ingestion for adults and children estimated using manufacturers' dosage recommendations with comparisons to US Pharmacopeia and US Environmental Protection Agency regulatory standards. A total of 14 (20%) of 70 HMPs (95% confidence interval, 11%-31%) contained heavy metals: lead (n = 13; median concentration, 40 microg/g; range, 5-37,000), mercury (n = 6; median concentration, 20,225 microg/g; range, 28-104,000), and/or arsenic (n = 6; median concentration, 430 microg/g; range, 37-8130). If taken as recommended by the manufacturers, each of these 14 could result in heavy metal intakes above published regulatory standards. One of 5 Ayurvedic HMPs produced in South Asia and available in Boston South Asian grocery stores contains potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. Users of Ayurvedic medicine may be at risk for heavy metal toxicity, and testing of Ayurvedic HMPs for toxic heavy metals should be mandatory.
Article
Full-text available
Potato tubers were evaluated as a source of antioxidants and minerals for the human diet. A genetically diverse sample of Solanum tuberosum L. cultivars native to the Andes of South America was obtained from a collection of nearly 1000 genotypes using microsatellite markers. This size-manageable collection of 74 landraces, representing at best the genetic diversity among potato germplasm, was analyzed for iron, zinc, calcium, total phenolic, total carotenoid, and total vitamin C contents. The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of each genotype was also measured using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The iron content ranged from 29.87 to 157.96 μg g-1 of dry weight (DW), the zinc content from 12.6 to 28.83 μg g-1 of DW, and the calcium content from 271.09 to 1092.93 μg g-1 of DW. Total phenolic content varied between 1.12 and 12.37 mg of gallic acid equiv g -1 of DW, total carotenoid content between 2.83 and 36.21 μg g-1 of DW, and total vitamin C content between 217.70 and 689.47 μg g-1 of DW. The range of hydrophilic ORAC values was 28.25-250.67 μmol of Trolox equiv g-1 of DW. The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity and the total phenolic content were highly and positively correlated (r = 0.91). A strong relationship between iron and calcium contents was also found (r = 0.67). Principal component analysis on the studied nutritional contents of the core collection revealed that most potato genotypes were balanced in terms of antioxidant and mineral contents, but some of them could be distinguished by their high level in distinct micronutrients. Correlations between the micronutrient contents observed in the sample and the genetic distances assessed by microsatellites were weakly significant. However, this study demonstrated the wide variability of health-promoting micronutrient levels within the native potato germplasm as well as the significant contribution that distinct potato tubers may impart to the intake in dietary antioxidants, zinc, and iron.
Article
Full-text available
Shilajit is a pale-brown to blackish-brown exudation, of variable consistency, exuding from layers of rocks in many mountain ranges of the world, especially the Himalayas and Hindukush ranges of the Indian subcontinent. It has been found to consist of a complex mixture of organic humic substances and plant and microbial metabolites occurring in the rock rhizospheres of its natural habitat. Shilajit has been used as a rejuvenator and an adaptogen for thousands of years, in one form or another, as part of traditional systems of medicine in a number of countries. Many therapeutic properties have been ascribed to it, a number of which have been verified by modern scientific evaluation. Shilajit has been attributed with many miraculous healing properties.
Article
A method for the screening of antioxidant activity is reported as a decolorization assay applicable to both lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants, including flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates, carotenoids, and plasma antioxidants. The pre-formed radical monocation of 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS*+) is generated by oxidation of ABTS with potassium persulfate and is reduced in the presence of such hydrogen-donating antioxidants. The influences of both the concentration of antioxidant and duration of reaction on the inhibition of the radical cation absorption are taken into account when determining the antioxidant activity. This assay clearly improves the original TEAC assay (the ferryl myoglobin/ABTS assay) for the determination of antioxidant activity in a number of ways. First, the chemistry involves the direct generation of the ABTS radical monocation with no involvement of an intermediary radical. Second, it is a decolorization assay; thus the radical cation is pre-formed prior to addition of antioxidant test systems, rather than the generation of the radical taking place continually in the presence of the antioxidant. Hence the results obtained with the improved system may not always be directly comparable with those obtained using the original TEAC assay. Third, it is applicable to both aqueous and lipophilic systems.
Article
The radicophilicity (antiradical–antioxidant effects) of processed shilajit (SJP) to oxygen-derived free radicals and nitric oxide (NO), and the attendant H2O2 cleaving effect were evaluated. SJP provided complete protection to methyl methacrylate (MMA) against hydroxyl radical-induced polymerization and acted as a reversible NO-captodative agent. SJP (20 and 50 mg/kg/day, i.p., for 21 days) induced a dose-related increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities in frontal cortex and striatum of rats. The data were comparable to those of (−)-deprenyl (2 mg/kg/day, i.p., for 21 days) in respect of SOD and CAT activities. These findings are consistent with the therapeutic uses of shilajit as an Ayurvedic rasayan (rejuvenator) against oxidative stress and geriatric complaints.
Article
The dose- and time-dependent effects of processed shilajit (SJP) on morphometric and functional changes of mouse peritoneal macrophages were evaluated. Several dynamic aspects of cellular modulations were observed in response to SJP treatment (0.025–900 mcg per mouse, i.p.) for different periods of time (0 min to several hours). A plausible mechanism of drug-receptor interactions, involving different types of transition states, is postulated. Dose and time dependent bond formation-deformation in the complex transitions were reflected in the morphometric and functional manifestations of the adherent cells. These findings suggest the necessity of carefully determining the dose and period of administration of shilajit even when accepted as a panacea.
Article
Fulvic acids (FA) and 4′-methoxy-6-carbomethoxybiphenyl (MCB, 1), two major organic compounds isolated from Shilajit (a humus product), were screened for anti-ulcerogenic activity in albino rats. Both FA and MCB showed significant anti-ulerogenic effects in the battery of tests accepted for this purpose. The mechanism of anti-ulcerogenic action was studied with MCB on the basis of its effects on mucin content (gastric juice carbohydrates and carbohydrate/protein ratio) and on the concentration of DNA and protein in the gastric juice. The MCB-induced changes in the mucosa provided resistance against the effect of ulcerogens and also against shedding of mucosal cells. A preliminary acute toxicity study indicated that both FA and MCB had a low order of toxicity.
Article
Shilajit, a panacea of oriental medicine, collected from different countries, exhibits overtly different levels of bioactivity. The effects of shilajit, collected from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Soviet Russia, and the effects of organic constituents isolated from a potent shilajit sample, were studied in a number of antistress and CNS activity paradigms. Shilajit from Kumaon (India), Dolpa (Nepal), and a combination (1:1) of the total ethylacetate extracts (TE) and fulvic acids (FAs), from Kumaon shilajit, produced statistically significant effects in forced swimming-induced immobility in albino mice; restraint stress and aspirin-induced gastric ulcers in pylorus ligated albino rats; and augmented the learning acquisition and memory retention in old rats. The potential risk of ingesting shilajit, in the native form as a 'health product', was appraised in view of its high stable free radical content and possible contamination with mycotoxin-producing fungi. Hence, there is an imperative need for formulation of shilajit on the basis of its isolated active constituents (TE and FAs). Additionally, the physical and spectral characteristics of active FAs (bioactivity-directed) were determined and compared with those of less active and inactive samples. These would provide predictability for selection of FAs for formulation of shilajit.
Article
Psoriasis is a common skin disease affecting ∼2% of the population. For those who contract the disease it is usually recurrent and sometimes very debilitating. The cause of psoriasis is unknown, although it appears to be an autoimmune disease with a likelihood for genetic predisposition. Past topical treatments such as emollients, coal tar and dithranol have been messy, cosmetically unacceptable and of low efficacy, while systemic therapies such as methotrexate, cyclosporin and acitretin have suffered from significant side effects. New therapies based on medicinal chemistry and an increased understanding of psoriasis have brought us closer to the goal of safe and efficacious treatment of the disease. The authors review some of these new topical and systemic therapies currently in use or in development.
Article
The organic chemistry industry is based on organic compounds derived from coal, petroleum and gas. Coal tars derived from the carbonisation process are complex mixtures, of which the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) are the main component. One of the most important PAH's is naphthalene, which represents between 10 to 12% of the sample. In recent years, new applications for industrial naphthalene have been developed. However, the naphthalene required for high level industry must be extremely pure. New routes in the purification process are being studied to reduce the economic cost and environmental impact resulting from the increase in demand for pure naphthalene. Any alternative method to that of sublimation for purification in the distillation process and/or catalytic hydrogenation must improve the quality of industrial naphthalene, to make it suitable for the new applications. In the present work, an alternative method for purifying industrial naphthalene has been investigated. A new process based on extraction with solvents such as phosphoric acid and acetic acid is reported and discussed. Industrial naphthalene was purified by means of a new technique and the stability and good properties of the product were verified.
Article
The volatility of mercury can cause large errors during quantification when methods based on acid digestion are applied. In this study, mercury levels in coals have been determined by an atomic-absorption- based instrument hitherto not used with coals or coal-derived materials. The results have been compared with ‘certified’ values of reference materials. The instrument is relatively easy to use: solid and liquid samples may be introduced directly, without pretreatment. The range of samples studied included the Argonne Premium Coal Samples and other coals, coal-derived products, biomass materials, sand and kaolin. The instrument gave correct mercury concentrations for certified reference materials. Samples of silver birch and forest residue contained similar concentrations of mercury as observed in coals; other biomass samples contained far smaller quantities of mercury. Thus, the use of biomass in power generation would not necessarily lead to any great reduction of mercury in emissions from power plant: careful selection appears necessary. Only 3% of the mercury of the original coal was detected in the filter cake (corresponding to undissolved coal and mineral matter) from a coal liquefaction pilot plant. Mercury in the original coal appears to have passed either to (i) gas formed during liquefaction (between 2 and 4% daf) or to (ii) the dissolved coal extract, possibly in the form of organometallic complexes. The presence of 0.15 ppm mercury in a coal tar pitch also suggests the organometallic retention of mercury in this fraction. All solid residue streams from a gasification pilot plant, operating at about 930–960°C, have shown nearly negligible mercury, compared to the original coal, indicating that the bulk of the mercury in the feedstock was released into the product gas.
Article
The authors have recently presented a new coal fractionation method that can separate a bituminous coal into several fractions, just like petroleum distillation, without decomposing coal. In this paper this method was applied to two bituminous coals and a brown coal. Sequential solvent extraction at different temperatures lower than 350 °C successfully separated the two bituminous coals into several fractions having different molecular mass compounds. Since all the extracted fractions are almost free from mineral matter, and some fractions were found to be fusible like a synthesized pitch when heated, the possibility of producing high performance carbon materials from the coal fractions was investigated. On the other hand, fractions obtained from the brown coal by the sequential solvent extraction were very close in both chemical composition and molecular mass, although the sequential extraction could greatly suppress the decomposition of the brown coal below 350 °C. The difference in the extraction behavior between the bituminous coals and the brown coal were attributed to the difference in their chemical structure.
Article
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) occur naturally in coal and petroleum and, in smaller amounts, in some fossilized woods, peat and lignite. Pitch, tar, and soot also contain PAH, and may induce skin tumours in those exposed to them in the course of their occupations. Soot was the first substance to be indicted as an occupational carcinogen, but is relatively unimportant nowadays compared with pitch and tar and mineral oil. Exposure to mineral oil has been shown to be the cause of most cases of scrotal cancer in the Birmingham (U.K.) region. In addition, there is a statistically significant excess of second primary tumours of the bronchus in men with a first primary tumour of the scrotum which appears to be related to their exposure to mineral oil. Benzo(a)pyrene is the most important carcinogen in soot; the carcinogenicity of crude oils seems to reside in the additive effects of a number of weak carcinogens, 4 or 5-ringed PAH. New products may be generated by cracking. The carcinogenicity of mineral oils can be modified by solvent extraction and industrialists are recommended to use oils so treated in order to reduce the risk to their employees.
Article
In folk medicine, shilajit has been used to treat diverse clinical conditions ranging from peptic ulcer to bone healing. The present study was conducted to evaluate the possible antiulcerogenic and antiinflammatory activities of shilajit obtained from the rocky mountains of Zarlek, Badekshan, Afghanistan. Shilajit increased the carbohydrate/protein ratio and decreased gastric ulcer index, indicating an increased mucus barrier. Shilajit was found to have significant antiinflammatory effect in carrageenan-induced acute pedal oedema, granuloma pouch and adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. The results of the present study thus substantiate the use of shilajit in peptic ulcer and inflammation.
Article
Weathered coal tar collected from the Connecticut River near Holyoke, Massachusetts, was toxic to shortnose sturgeon embryos and larvae in whole sediment flow-through and elutriate static-renewal laboratory exposures. Sterile laboratory sand and clean Connecticut River sand, collected upstream from the coal tar deposits, produced no significant difference in toxicity to sturgeon embryos-larvae, while coal tar-contaminated sediment produced over 95% embryo-larval mortality. Hydrocarbon transfer and subsequent toxicity appeared to be via direct contact of the embryos with contaminated sediment, rather than via exposure to soluble hydrocarbons. This conclusion was supported by exposure of embryos and larvae to elutriates (e.g., water soluble extract) of coal-tar sediments, that resulted in embryo and larval mortality at low molecular weight PAH concentrations-0.47 mg/L, higher than would occur naturally. No decrease in petroleum hydrocarbon concentration was observed in sediments exposed to flowing water for 14 d, supporting the contention that soluble hydrocarbons were not responsible for the observed toxicity in whole sediment exposures under the conditions employed in this study.
Article
We extracted polyphenols from carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) pods, and evaluated the in vitro antioxidant activity of the crude polyphenol fraction (CPP). The total polyphenol content in CPP determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method was 19.2%. The condensed tannin content determined by the vanillin and proanthocyanidin assay systems was 4.37% and 1.36%, respectively. beta-Carotene bleaching, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging, inhibition of lipid peroxidation by the erythrocyte ghost, and microsomal assay systems were used to evaluate the antioxidant activity. CPP showed a stronger inhibitory effect against the discoloration of beta-carotene than other polyphenol compounds such as catechins and procyanidins. CPP had weaker antioxidant activity in the DPPH free radical scavenging, the erythrocyte ghost, and microsomal systems than authentic polyphenol compounds at the same concentrations. The activity adjusted by the polyphenol concentration was, however, comparable to that of authentic polyphenol compounds. Considering most carob pods are discarded and not effectively utilized at present, these results suggested that carob pods could be utilized as a functional food or food ingredient.
Article
Crude coal tar has been used in the treatment of dermatoses for many decades. In the last few years its use has been limited to skin diseases such as psoriasis and chronic dermatitis. Newer topical modalities for psoriasis are being used increasingly for treatment, but have failed to replace crude coal tar as a first-line treatment of psoriasis. We review the pharmacology, chemistry and use of crude coal in order to reappraise its role as a therapeutic agent in dermatology.
Article
The intentional and accidental discharges of toxic pollutants into the lithosphere results in soil contamination. In some cases (e.g., wood preserving wastes, coal-tar, airborne combustion by-products), the contaminated soil constitutes a genotoxic hazard. This work is a comprehensive review of published information on soil mutagenicity. In total, 1312 assessments of genotoxic activity from 118 works were examined. The majority of the assessments (37.6%) employed the Salmonella mutagenicity test with strains TA98 and/or TA100. An additional 37.6% of the assessments employed a variety of plant species (e.g., Tradescantia clone 4430, Vicia faba, Zea mays, Allium cepa) to assess mutagenic activity. The compiled data on Salmonella mutagenicity indicates significant differences (p<0.0001) in mean potency (revertents per gram dry weight) between industrial, urban, and rural/agricultural sites. Additional analyses showed significant empirical relationships between S9-activated TA98 mutagenicity and soil polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentration (r2=0.19 to 0.25, p<0.0001), and between direct-acting TA98 mutagenicity and soil dinitropyrene (DNP) concentration (r2=0.87, p<0.0001). The plant assay data revealed excellent response ranges and significant differences between heavily contaminated, industrial, rural/agricultural, and reference sites, for the anaphase aberration in Allium cepa (direct soil contact) and the waxy locus mutation assay in Zea mays (direct soil contact). The Tradescantia assays appeared to be less responsive, particularly for exposures to aqueous soil leachates. Additional data analyses showed empirical relationships between anaphase aberrations in Allium, or mutations in Arabidopsis, and the 137Cs contamination of soils. Induction of micronuclei in Tradescantia is significantly related to the soil concentration of several metals (e.g., Sb, Cu, Cr, As, Pb, Cd, Ni, Zn). Review of published remediation exercises showed effective removal of genotoxic petrochemical wastes within one year. Remediation of more refractory genotoxic material (e.g., explosives, creosote) frequently showed increases in mutagenic hazard that remained for extended periods. Despite substantial contamination and mutagenic hazards, the risk of adverse effect (e.g., mutation, cancer) in humans or terrestrial biota is difficult to quantify.
Article
This study examined the possibility of using Shilajit as a fertility agent. The effects of Shilajit on spermatogenesis and ovogenesis were studied using male and female rats. Shilajit was administered orally to 7-week-old rats over a 6-week period. In the male rats, the number of sperms in the testes and epididymides was significant higher than in the control. A histological examination revealed an apparent increase in the number of seminiferous tubular cell layers in the testes of the treated rats. However, there were no significant differences in the weights of heart, spleen, liver, kidney, brain, testes and epididymides. In the female rats, the effect of Shilajit was estimated by the ovulation inducing activity. Over a 5-day, ovulation was induced in seven out of nine rats in the Shilajit administration group and in three out of nine rats in the control. It was estimated that Shilajit had both a spermiogenic and ovogenic effect in mature rats.
Shilajit Plus. [Online URL: http://www.tattvasherbs.com/shilajit
  • M Hartman
Hartman, M. (2007) Shilajit Plus. [Online URL: http://www.tattvasherbs.com/shilajit/htm] accessed on Jan 1, 2008.
Unearthing the evidence. [Online URL: http://www.msinp.com/herbs/product/ processed_shilajit
  • P Phillips
Phillips, P. (1997) Unearthing the evidence. [Online URL: http://www.msinp.com/herbs/product/ processed_shilajit/ezine_issue_No_3_Mar_ 1997_Unearthing_the_evidence.htm] accessed on April 27, 2008.