Living life the natural way-Wheatgrass and Health

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DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v1i11.112
Cite this publication
Abstract
The Human diet is enriched with young parts of plants (so called ―green foods‖), which can improve nutrient balance intake in natural way. Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) refers to young grass of the common wheat plant, which belongs to Poaceae family. This is the most commonly found herb in India, although its nativity is currently unknown. This plant is believed to have many nutritional values; it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, immunomodulatory, laxative, astringent, diuretic, antibacterial and anti-aging properties. Its use in acidity, colitis, kidney malfunctions, atherosclerosis and swelling has been shown to be beneficial. Wheatgrass juice helps in building red blood cells and stimulates healthy tissue cell growth. 100 g of wheatgrass powder is equal to 23 kg of fresh vegetables. Ideally, wheatgrass should be taken about an hour prior to meal. This allows the body to fully metabolize it without competing with other foods, and it may also curb hunger. It is recommended that lot of water (at least a liter) should be consumed with the juice to reap its maximum nutritional benefits. Taking wheatgrass as a supplement in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon is a great time for this "green" energy boost.
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Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 444 of 456
Review Open Access
Living life the natural way Wheatgrass and Health
Satyavati Rana, Jaspreet Kaur Kamboj, and Vandana Gandhi
Department of Gastroenterology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,
Chandigarh, India
Corresponding Author: Prof. Satyavati Rana, House Number 137, Sector 15A, Chandigarh
160015, India, Phone Number (91) 172-2756605
Submission date: August 19, 2011; Acceptance date: November 22, 2011; Publication date:
November 30, 2011
Abstract:
The Human diet is enriched with young parts of plants (so called ―green foods‖), which can
improve nutrient balance intake in natural way. Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) refers to young
grass of the common wheat plant, which belongs to Poaceae family. This is the most commonly
found herb in India, although its nativity is currently unknown. This plant is believed to have
many nutritional values; it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-
carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, laxative, astringent, diuretic, antibacterial and anti-aging
properties. Its use in acidity, colitis, kidney malfunctions, atherosclerosis and swelling has been
shown to be beneficial. Wheatgrass juice helps in building red blood cells and stimulates healthy
tissue cell growth. 100 g of wheatgrass powder is equal to 23 kg of fresh vegetables. Ideally,
wheatgrass should be taken about an hour prior to meal. This allows the body to fully metabolize
it without competing with other foods, and it may also curb hunger. It is recommended that lot of
water (at least a liter) should be consumed with the juice to reap its maximum nutritional
benefits. Taking wheatgrass as a supplement in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon is a great time
for this "green" energy boost.
Keywords: wheatgrass, anti-carcinogenic, detoxification, health.
INTRODUCTION:
Throughout human history, plants have played a key role in treating human diseases. In
thousands of years of trials, human found many plants which are good for treating ailments and
curing serious health problems like cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. They are a kind of
alternative medicine that is inexpensive, and has no side effects. For example: wheatgrass, aloe
vera, curcumin, alfalfa, garlic, ginger, German chamomile, grapefruit, green tea. In 2002, the
U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of National Institutes of
Health began funding clinical trials about the effectiveness of herbal medicines. In 2010, a
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 445 of 456
survey of 1000 plants was completed, out of which 356 had clinical trials published evaluating
their ―pharmacological activities & therapeutic applications‖. One of these plants, Wheatgrass,
has been an integral part of Indian culture for thousands of years, and has been known to have
remarkable healing properties. Scientifically known as Triticum aestivum, it belongs to Poaceae
family. Other plants included in this family are: Agopyron cristatum, Bambusa textilis, cynodon
dactylon, Poa annua, Zea mays, Aristida purpurea, etc. There is not much scientific data
available on these plants because of a lack of substantial research. Therefore, it is important to
study their properties to explore their maximum benefits. The cereal grasses- wheatgrass, barley,
and alfa-alfa, have been known to boost health and vitality both in humans and animals.
Wheatgrass’ culms are simple, hollow or pithy, glabrous, and the leaves are approximately 1.2 m
tall, flat, narrow, 20-38 cm long and 1.3 cm broad [1]. The spikes are long, slender, dorsally
compressed and somewhat flattened (figure 1).
Figure 1. Picture of wheatgrass Figure 2. Wheatgrass juice
Wheatgrass is a vegetable, harvested prior to the plant forming the flower head. Wheatgrass
packs a nutritional punch, including (per 3.5 grams) 860 mg protein, 18.5 mg chlorophyll, 15 mg
calcium, 38 mg lysine, 7.5 mg vitamin C and an abundance of micronutrients, such as B complex
vitamins and amino acids [2]. Phytochemical constituents of wheatgrass include alkaloids,
carbohydrates, saponins, gum and mucilages. Its water soluble extractive value is found to be
greater than its alcohol soluble extractive value. This is because of the chlorophyll content of
wheatgrass, which is about 70% water soluble [1]. Wheat grass juice is high in vitamin K, which
is a blood-clotting agent. People taking blood-thinning medications or people with wheat-related
allergies shouldn't drink wheat grass juice without consulting a health care professional. Wheat
allergies are generally a response to the gluten (a protein) found in the wheat berry [2].
Wheatgrass is available in form of extract, tablets (ready to use) and mixed juice (figures-2, 3)
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 446 of 456
Figure 3. Wheatgrass Tablets
Wheatgrass, Nature’s Finest Medicine
Wheatgrass has been shown to have potential anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties [3].
Ben et al, DeVogel et al, Ferruzia, and Blakesleeb have reported that regular ingestion of
wheatgrass leaf extract improves the digestive system, and promotes general well being [4,5,6].
It has higher nutritive value than broccoli and spinach [7]. Wheatgrass is promoted to treat a
number of conditions including the common cold, cough, bronchitis, fever, infections, inflamed
mouth and throat, and skin disorders like hemorrhoids, psoriasis, ivy, eczema, burns and
thalassemia [8]. A study done by Ben et al has found that patients who were given the extract of
wheatgrass showed significant improvement in rectal bleeding and abdominal pain associated
with ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. The authors gave theories that the
flavenoids, anti-inflammatory agents- apigenin and agropyrene contained in wheatgrass, played a
role in alleviating symptoms [4]. Another flavenoid present in wheatgrass is Indole, which helps
in synthesis of enzymes and deactivating carcinogens in the liver. [9]. The vitamins A, C, E,
which are present in wheatgrass, are examples of natural antioxidants. Wheatgrass contains all of
the essential amino acids, mainly alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, arginine, serine which are
helpful in providing a sufficient amount of protein in the body [10]. Other benefits of wheatgrass
are: removal of toxins from the body, improvement of blood sugar balance, prevention of tooth
decay, maintainance of healthy hair, aiding digestion, and reducing high blood pressure levels
[10].
Hemoglobin and Chlorophyll
Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll and enzymes. It contains more than 70% chlorophyll (which is
an important dietary constituent). The chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to
the hemoglobin in human blood. The only difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is
magnesium and in hemoglobin it is iron [11] (Figure 4). The molecular structure of chlorophyll
in wheatgrass and hemoglobin in the human body is similar, and because of this wheatgrass is
called 'Green Blood' [6]. A 70-83% increase in red blood cells and hemoglobin concentration
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 447 of 456
was noted within 10-16 days of regular administration of chlorophyll derivatives [12]. It was
reported that chlorophyll enhanced the formation of blood cells in anemic animals [13].
Chlorophyll is soluble in fat particles, which are absorbed directly into blood via the lymphatic
system. In other words, when the ―blood‖ of plants is absorbed in humans it is transformed into
human blood, which transports nutrients to every cell of the body. Chlorophyll present in
wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens; it strengthens the cells, detoxifies the liver and
blood stream, and chemically neutralizes the polluting elements.
Hemoglobin
Figure 4. Structure of Hemoglobin and Chlorophyll
Wheatgrass in Cancer prevention
Environmental factors play an important role in the multistage process of cancer development,
and nutritional intervention has been identified to play a very important role in its prevention.
Dietary compounds such as garlic, carotenoids, wheatgrass, etc are important due to their
antioxidant properties. These dietary products protect against many diseases because food and
degraded products come into direct contact with bowel mucosa, and can influence its physiology
and metabolism. Although many dietary compounds have been suggested to contribute to the
prevention of cancer, there is a strong likelihood that wheatgrass extract, which contains
chlorophyll, an antioxidant, may affect cancer prevention. Additionally, selenium and lactrile
present in wheatgrass have anti-cancer properties. Selenium builds a strong immune system, and
can decrease the risk of cancer [14]. Wheatgrass contains at least 13 vitamins (several of which
are antioxidants) including B12, abscisic acid, superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome
oxidase, mucopolysaccharide [15]. SOD converts two superoxide anions into a hydrogen
peroxide molecule, which has an extra oxygen molecule to kill cancer cells.
Although most people use wheatgrass as a dietary supplement or as serving of vegetables,
some proponents claim that a dietary program commonly called wheatgrass diet can cause cancer
to regress and extend lives of people with cancer [16]. The true cause of the cancerous
degeneration of cells has been revealed to be from the destruction of a specific respiratory
enzyme, cytochrome oxidase [17]. P4D1, a glycoprotein present in wheatgrass, also acts similarly
to antioxidants, stimulating the renewal of RNA and DNA. It is also thought to protect the body
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 448 of 456
from the attack of cancer cells by making the walls of cancer cells more open to attack by white
blood cells [18]. So, the use of wheatgrass in terminally ill cancer patients should be encouraged
[26, 19]. It was determined that chlorophyll is an active component in wheatgrass extract, which
inhibits the metabolic activity of carcinogens [20]. Adjuvant fermented wheatgrass extract
(Avemar nutraceutical) improves survival of high-risk skin melanoma patients [21]. Karager et al
has concluded that wheatgrass extract inhibits proliferation of 32Dp210 (BCR-ABL fusion gene
(+) mouse CML cell line) cells through the induction of apoptosis [22].
Wheatgrass juice may also inhibit hematological toxicity related to chemotherapy in
breast cancer patients [23]. It is also observed that people undergoing chemotherapy, who are on
wheatgrass, have sailed through this treatment, and have not required hospital admission, while
side effects such as nausea, vomiting and mouth ulcers have been virtually non-existent [24].
In another study, in vitro cytotoxic and antiproliferation activities of two extractsthe wheatgrass
and the mixture of fibers, were tested and demonstrated anti-leukemia potential with less or no
toxic effects towards the healthy immune system. Wheatgrass and fiber methanol extracts have
successfully exhibited to be cytotoxic towards HL60 cell lines without causing toxicity towards
normal human PBMC. Thus, these health products can be a potential alternative supplement for
cancer patients [25].
Hepatoprotective role of wheatgrass
Triticum aestivum leaf extract affects liver enzyme activities as well as lipid peroxidation [26].
Jain et al reported the hepatoprotective role of fresh wheatgrass juice has in CCl4 treated rats. It
showed a significant hepatoprotective effect with a dose of 100mg/kg/day in terms of SGOT,
SGPT, ALP and Bilirubin in serum [27]. Recently, the hepatoprotective effect of wheatgrass
tablets in CCl4 treated rats has been investigated in our lab (unpublished data). Maximum
hepatoprotection in this study has been observed with 80mg/kg /day dose of wheatgrass tablets.
This study indicated that wheatgrass treatment prevented the increase in liver enzymes
depending on the dose of wheatgrass [28]. Decreased oxidative stress and increased antioxidant
levels have also been observed with wheatgrass treatment [29]. Three compounds (Choline,
magnesium and Potassium), found abundantly in wheatgrass, help the liver to stay vital and
healthy. Choline works to prevent the deposition of fat. Magnesium helps to draw out excess fat
in the same way. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) draws pus from an infection, and potassium
acts as an invigorator and stimulant [9].
Wheatgrass as cardio protective and anti- hyperlipidemic agent
Chlorophyll, abundant in wheatgrass, increases the function of heart. Wheatgrass has been
claimed to reduce the blood pressure as it enhances the capillaries, supporting the growth of
lactobacilli [30]. Wheatgrass juice has a dilating effect on blood vessels; it makes the blood
vessels larger so that blood flows through them more easily. Increased dilation means better
nutrition to the cells, and more efficient removal of waste from them. Vitamin E, an antioxidant
and fertility vitamin found in wheatgrass is a protector of the heart. This vitamin, present in
wheatgrass, is ten times more easily assimilated by the body than synthetic vitamin E.
Wheatgrass is a good source of calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, and regulates
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 449 of 456
heartbeat, in addition to acting as a buffer that restores blood pH. Dried wheatgrass juice has as
much calcium as milk [9]. Wheatgrass also contributes 33.26 g potassium/100g and this mineral
plays an important role in regulating fluids and minerals in body cells. This helps in maintaining
normal blood pressure and other vital body functions.
An animal study by Kothari et al. found that wheatgrass reduced total cholesterol, LDL,
bad cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in rats treated with wheatgrass juice. Triglyceride levels
fell by 38 percent in rats given the highest dose of the juice, 10 ml/kg consumed orally once
daily for 21 days, which is equivalent to the results achieved by the common cholesterol-
lowering medication, atorvastatin [30]. A study by Sethi et al found that supplementation with
wheatgrass in subjects consuming high-fat diets resulted in the improvement of blood cholesterol
levels. This study involved 30 animal subjects; authors had noted that the antioxidant effects of
wheatgrass appeared to be responsible for the decreasing of total blood cholesterol levels, and
increasing good or HDL cholesterol, as well as the vitamin C blood levels. Therefore, the
beneficial role of wheatgrass in ameliorating hyperlipidemia and the associated oxidative stress
has also been reported [32, 33].
Wheatgrass A boon for thalassemia patients
The pH factor of human blood is 7.4 and the pH factor of wheatgrass juice is also 7.4, which is
why it is quickly absorbed into blood. Wheatgrass is an effective alternative to blood transfusion.
Wheatgrass has the potential to increase the hemoglobin (Hb) levels, increase the interval
between blood transfusions, and decrease the amount of total blood transfused in thalassemia
Major and intermediate Patients [35, 36]. Wheatgrass sprout extract has been tested for its ability
to induce fetal hemoglobin (HbF) production using advanced DNA technology. A rapid 3-5-fold
increase has been observed which is "significantly greater than any of the pharmaceutical
inducers available. The use of wheatgrass extract may eventually result in an improved quality
of life for thalassemics [37]. A pilot study showed that when 100 ml of wheatgrass juice,
extracted daily from a 5-6‖ tall plant, fed to human beings for up to 6 months, was given to 38
thalassemic children, and had beneficial effect on transfusion requirements in 50% patients of B-
thalassemia major. A recent study quoted that wheatgrass tablets, when taken in different
numbers in different age groups, showed significant results. 2-3, 6, 8 tablets/day, in divided
doses, were given to 40 thalassemia major children aged 1-3 years, 4-8 yrs and 8 or more years
respectively. Regular dosage resulted in increased Hb levels, increased interval between blood
transfusions, and decreased amount of blood transfused.
Wheatgrass extract has been effective in reducing activity of ulcerative colitis, and some
forms of genetic blood diseases including anemia [38]. Treatment with regenerating green
wheatgrass juice is associated with significant reduction in the overall disease activity, and in the
severity of rectal bleeding [4]. Animals with low red blood cell counts, when given wheatgrass,
had a healthy blood count level within five days. Wheatgrass juice is an effective iron chelator,
and its use in reducing serum ferritin should be encouraged in myelodysplastic syndrome and
other diseases where repeated blood transfusion is required [39]. Wheatgrass juice is also a
complete protein source. Proteins are responsible for an array of diverse functions throughout the
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 450 of 456
body ranging from cell renewal and building of hormones, to the repairing of muscles, blood,
and organs [34].
Wheatgrass and Diabetes
The Reduction in the quantity of fibrous foods in modern man’s diet is a major cause of many
ailments. Supplementing its intake through wheatgrass powder has shown good improvement in
resolving digestive system problems, (Diabetes) in particular. Abundance of natural fiber in
wheatgrass optimizes blood sugar levels. Instrumental characterization of wheatgrass (spray
dried powder of juice) confirmed the presence of chlorophyll, which is believed to be the
pharmacologically active component in wheatgrass, acting as an anti-diabetic agent [1]. The
hypoglycemic effect of wheatgrass juice in alloxan was induced in diabetic rats, shown by
Shaikh et al [40].
Wheatgrass and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis affects mainly younger individuals, and is three times more common in
females than in males. It can persist into old age, progressively becoming more disabling. Early
symptoms include redness, swelling, and soreness of joints. Often joints are affected
symmetrically, that is both wrists or knees are involved. Pain and stiffness may also travel to
other joints and affect the whole body. In later life, lumps and nodules may appear at the joints
and lead to deformities. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis often claim that their symptoms are
alleviated by a special diet, or by the simple elimination of certain constituents from their free-
choice diet. A study showed that an uncooked vegan diet, rich in lactobacilli, chlorophyll-rich
drinks, and increased fiber intake, decreased subjective symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis [41].
Another study showed that when 8.5g of fermented wheatgrass extract (Avemar ) taken twice per
day with water, in case of 15 Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis patients , showed decreased Ritchie
index, and according to a health assessment questionnaire, morning stiffness showed significant
improvement. Doses of steroids were reduced in half of patients. This may be due to presence of
wheatgrass which contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, vitamin C, E and K, Calcium,
Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, and many other minerals, including, superoxide dismutase, muco-
polysaccarides, and chlorophyll. Its anti-inflammatory properties exert a positive effect on bone
and joint problems, reducing pain and swelling [42].
Wheatgrass and inflammatory conditions
Wheatgrass extract (Dr Wheatgrass Skin Recovery Cream), a topical anti-inflammatory
immunomodulator, substance P inhibitor, topical hemostatic agent, and stimulant of fibroblastic
activity, with a wide range of healing properties, has been attracting lot of attention; it is also
inexpensive. It was observed that wheatgrass cream reduces skin toxicity from radiotherapy [43].
But, another study showed that the topical application of wheatgrass cream is no more effective
than a placebo cream for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis [44].
Chlorophyllin has bacteriostatic properties that aids in wound healing [45]. It has been
used to treat various kinds of skin lesions, burns, and ulcers, where it acts as a wound-healing
agent, stimulating granulation tissue and epithelialization [46]. It was reported that rate of
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 451 of 456
healing with chlorophyll is so rapid that its inclusion in armamentarium of burn treatment is
suggested because it completely supersedes sulphonamide compounds as primary dressing for
clean and potentially infected wounds [47].
Wheatgrass and general well being
Wheatgrass loaded with vitamins A, C, and E acts as an anti-oxidant and retards ageing of cells
in the body that causes brain and heart problems. Components of wheatgrass help in making
menopause more manageable. Wheatgrass is an effective tonic, beneficial for arthritis, skin
allergies, graying or hair loss, weakness, kidney stones, weak eyesight, pyorrhea, or dental
infections and fatigue. It is also super effective in serious cases of heart disease, acute stomach
ache, infection of digestive system, gas, paralysis, asthma, constipation, diabetes, leucoderma,
leukemia, and other cancers [48]. It restores fertility and promotes youthfulness because the high
magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore sex hormones. Wheatgrass helps
to detoxify the body by breaking impacted matter in the colon. Wheatgrass juice is a fast and
sure way to cleanse the body from environmental pollutants. Its high levels of enzymes and
amino acids work like a ―natural cleanser‖ to detoxify the liver, eliminate toxic heavy metals
from the blood stream, rid the body of waste matter, and slow down the aging process [34].
Wheatgrass and chlorophyll are phytonutrients, which are rich in amino acids, protein, fiber,
vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that work mutually to strengthen immunity. It builds up
resistance to diseases, eliminates body toxins, and because of its alkaline properties, it is good for
urinal problems.
Summary of doses of wheatgrass used in different studies and the outcome has been
listed in table 1.
Table 1: Dosages of Wheatgrass used in different studies and the outcome
Author
Dose
Disease
No. of
patients/
animals
Outcome / Benefits
Singh et al,
2010
Wheatgrass tablets→2-3,
6, 8 tablets/day in divided
doses in children aged 1-3
yrs, 4-8 yrs & > 8 yrs
respectively.
Thalasemmia
major children
40
Increases Hb level, increases
interval b/w blood transfusions,
decreases amount of blood
transfused.
Choudary et al,
2009
Wheatgrass tablets at a
dose of 100mg/kg in
divided doses for 6 months
& 200mg/kg for
1 year if no response at
6 months
Β-Thalasemmia
major
53
No beneficial effect was observed
Marwaha et al
100 ml of wheatgrass juice
daily extracted from 5-6‖
tall plant fed up to 6
months in human beings
Thalassemia major
38
Wheat grass juice had beneficial
effect on transfusion
requirements in 50% patients of
B-thalassemia major
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 452 of 456
Bar Sela et al
(2007)
16ml of wheatgrass juice
daily during first 3 cycles
of chemotherapy
Breast cancer
patients
60
Reduces myelotoxicity and
dose of chemotherapy
Mukhuopadhyay et
al
30ml fresh wheatgrass
juice extracted from 6
week old wheatgrass plant
given for 6 months
Thalassemia
Intermedia
200
It is an effective alternative to
blood transfusion in thalassemia
intermedia patients
Wheat et al (2006)
[9]
Wheatgrass extract, (Dr
Wheatgrass Skin Recovery
Cream)
Breast cancer
Reduces skin toxicity from
radiotherapy
Balint et al (2006)
Fermented wheatgrass
extract (Avemar ) 8.5g of
fermented wheatgrass
extract twice/day+water
Severe Rheumatoid
Arthritis
15
Ritchie index decreased & Health
assessment questionnaire &
morning stiffness showed
significant improvement. Doses
of steroids reduced in half of
patients. This may be due to
presence of wheat grass contains
vitamins A,B1,B2,B3,B5, B6 and
B12, vitamin C, E and K,
Calcium, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc,
and many other minerals,
superoxide dismutase, muco-
polysaccarides, and chlorophyll.
Its anti-inflammatory properties
exert a positive effect on bone
and joint problems, reducing pain
and swelling.
Kulkarni et al
(2006)
100g wheatgrass for 15
days
Healthy rats
8 rats in
each
group
highest antioxidant property in
both aqueous and ethanol extract,
250% higher potential in
alcoholic as compared to aqueous
extract
Ben Arya et al
(2002)
100ml Wheatgrass juice
daily for 1 month in
ulcerative colitis patients
Ulcerative Colitis
23
Severity of rectal bleeding
reduced Disease activity index
decreased
http://smilewheatgr
ass.webs.com/direc
tionforuse.html
Wheatgrass in form of
powder 1 spoon (3g) per
day for healthy people and
2 spoons for obese patients
Obese people
Weight control
Preliminary experimental work from our lab
1) Wheatgrass was administered orally at different doses of 30mg, 40mg, 60mg & 80mg/100g b.wt
in drinking water for a total duration of 4 weeks along with CCl4 injection given subcutaneously
at a dose of 2ml/kg.bwt twice a week. Wheatgrass dose was started two weeks prior to first
injection of CCl4. Carbon tetrachloride was administered at a dose of 2ml/kg b.wt in control
group for 4 weeks and one group was given only wheatgrass at a maximum dose of 80mg/100g
b.wt/day to check any adverse effect of wheatgrass on liver. The effect to different treatments
was studied on serum enzymes like alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase
Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011, 1(11):444-456 Page 453 of 456
(AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in rats at different time intervals of 2 and 4 weeks
and the rat liver was analysed histologically at the end of study. Serum ALP, AST, ALT activity
was significantly increased when estimated at the intervals of 2 and 4 weeks. Interestingly,
supplementation of wheatgrass to rats helped in regulating the altered activities of ALP, AST and
ALT in serum. However, wheatgrass treatment to rats did not indicate any significant change in
the activities of all above mentioned liver enzymes at the interval of 2 weeks. This study
indicated that wheatgrass treatment prevented the increase in liver enzymes depending on the
dose of wheatgrass [28].
2) 18 Wistar rats with body weight of 120-150gms were divided into 3 groups. Group 1: Rats in
this group were given normal saline injection subcutaneously twice a week for 4 weeks. Group
2: Carbon tetrachloride was administered subcutaneously at a dose of 2ml/kg b.wt twice a week
for 4 weeks in this group. Group 3: Wheatgrass was administered orally at 80mg/100g b.wt in
drinking water for 4 weeks along with CCl4 injection given subcutaneously twice a week at a
dose of 2ml/kg.bwt. Wheatgrass dose was started two weeks prior to first injection of CCl4.
Reduced Glutathione (GSH) was measured in liver tissue for antioxidant levels and lipid
peroxidation (LPO) for oxidative stress. GSH level was significantly decreased while LPO
increased in hepatic tissue of group2 (CCl4 treated rats) as compared to group1 (controls).In
group3 (CCl4 + wheatgrass treated rats), GSH level was increased while LPO decreased as
compared to group 2. This study shows that wheatgrass treatment decreased the oxidative stress
and increased the antioxidant levels in CCl4 induced hepatotoxicity [29].
CONCLUSION:
Wheatgrass juice generally contains no harmful substances with the exception of a possible
allergic reaction. Wheatgrass is known to help minimize fatigue, improve sleep, increase
strength, naturally regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, support weight loss, improve
digestion and elimination, support healthy skin, teeth, eyes, muscles and joints, improve the
function of our heart-lungs and reproductive organs, heal ulcers and skin sores, slow cellular
aging, improve mental function, and is beneficial in arthritis and muscle cramping. It is proven to
be beneficial under various conditions, such as anaemia, diabetes, cancer, eczema, constipation,
kidney swelling, and common cold. Thus, it should be made part of daily dietary intake in order
to explore its maximum benefits.
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  • ... Its use in acidity, colitis, kidney malfunctions, atherosclerosis and swelling has been shown to be beneficial. [16,17] Wheatgrass packs a nutritional punch, including (per 3.5 grams) 860 mg protein, 18.5 mg chlorophyll, 15 mg calcium, 38 mg lysine, 7.5 mg vitamin C and an abundance of micronutrients, such as B complex vitamins and amino acids. [17] www.wjpps.com ...
    ... [16,17] Wheatgrass packs a nutritional punch, including (per 3.5 grams) 860 mg protein, 18.5 mg chlorophyll, 15 mg calcium, 38 mg lysine, 7.5 mg vitamin C and an abundance of micronutrients, such as B complex vitamins and amino acids. [17] www.wjpps.com Phytochemical constituents of wheatgrass include alkaloids, carbohydrates, saponins, gum and mucilages. ...
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    Wheatgrass juice is nature's finest medicine and a complete source of protein, supplying all of the essential amino acids, and more. Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) refers to young grass of the common wheat plant, which belongs to Poaceae family. This is the most commonly found herb in India. This plant is believed to have many nutritional values; it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, immune-modulatory, laxative, astringent, diuretic, antibacterial and anti-aging properties. Wheatgrass extracts being natural medicine can be extremely valuable for treating various sicknesses from minor scratches and blazes to genuine infections. Plant products are of increasing interest in the search for new drugs and medicines in the treatment of diseases. There is a vast scope of research and innovations for wheat grass (Triticum aestivum) and its formulations as highly effective antimicrobial agents.
  • ... The Oxygen acts as a crucial element to numerous body parts, especially cerebrum utilizes 25% of the oxygen supply. This high oxygen in body results a sound body (Rana et al., 2011) [29] . Wheatgrass found to break down scars formed in the lungs also serves to remove various drug deposits from the body, filters the blood and organs and counteracts acids and poisons in the body. ...
    ... The Oxygen acts as a crucial element to numerous body parts, especially cerebrum utilizes 25% of the oxygen supply. This high oxygen in body results a sound body (Rana et al., 2011) [29] . Wheatgrass found to break down scars formed in the lungs also serves to remove various drug deposits from the body, filters the blood and organs and counteracts acids and poisons in the body. ...
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    Traditionally, wheatgrass has been used since ages for treating a number of diseases. There is no systematic experiment has been carried out on the effect of Wheat grass juice on ISO-induced myocardial ischemia. Therefore, the present study is to examine whether Wheat grass juice will attenuate the progression of myocardial ischemia induced by iso proterenol. The in vitro study shows, increased intracellular ROS levels were observed in ISO-induced H9C2 cells as evidenced by increased DCF florescence. Whereas WG (10 µM) treatment prior to ISO-induction significantly reduced intracellular ROS levels, this is due to the possible scavenging of ROS during ISO-induced cells. Based on our results and along with previous reports we state that the WG could scavenge ISO-induced free radicals. We also examined the involvement of mitochondrial damage in ISO-induced apoptosis. To investigate the effect on mitochondria, we performed Rh-123 staining in H9C2 cells. The present findings showed that ISO-induced loss of Δψm have been restored by WG pretreatment. It suggests that WG protects cells from apoptosis by inhibition of the mitochondrial alteration.
  • ... Wheatgrass is the mature shoot of Triticumaestivum Linn. belonging to the family Gramineae (Rana et al. 2011). Fortunately, wheatgrass considered a high nutritional phytoactive ingredients content that boost alternative medicine value as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, laxative, and anti-aging properties, and the use of WG in atherosclerosis, colitis, kidney malfunctions, and swelling has many remedies for many ailments. ...
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  • ... The supplement is available commercially in liquid, powdered or concentrated forms, depending on the supplier and can be consumed on its own, or mixed with fruit juices. Wheatgrass juice has been shown to have some medicinal value; a review of the scientific literature found studies reporting high levels of antioxidants [10,11,12] . It has demonstrated anti-cancer properties both in-vitro and in-vivo, [13,14,15,16] and has been found to reduce the frequency of blood transfusions in thalassemia patients [17,18] . ...
  • ... It has become one of the important supplemental nutrients for a healthy life (Ashish et al., 2012). Wheatgrass contains high amounts of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and enzymes (Rana et al., 2011). ...
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    This study was aimed to search the effect of wheatgrass on the Total Antioxidan (TAS)-Oxidan Status (TOS) and DNA damage in rat with diabetes. The rats used in the study were randomly divided into 4 groups that each of has 10 rats: Control group; 1 ml single dose phosphate-citrate buffer injected i.p (pH: 4.5), Diabetes group; 45 mg/kg single dose streptozotocin injected i.p., Wheatgrass group; was given oral wheatgrass (10 ml/kg/day) for 6 weeks, Diabetes +Wheatgrass group; 45 mg/kg single dose streptozotocin injected i.p. and wheatgrass (10 ml/kg/day) was given by oral during 6 weeks. After the process of experiment during 6 weeks, blood sample and pancreas tissue were taken. The analysis were done of blood glucose levels, TAS, TOS levels by colorimetric kits; DNA damage by ELISA kits in serum. The pancreas tissues were examined histopathologically. In the group of Diabetes+Wheatgrass was determined that the levels of glucose levels (p<0.001), TOS (p<0.05) and OSI (p<0.01) statistically decreased and heal histopatolojical compared to diabetes group. In the group of Wheatgrass was determined that the levels of TAS p<0.05 statistically increased from other groups. The statistical significance were not found in the level of serum 8OHdG differences between the groups. The beta cells were seen to increase in the group receiving wheatgrass for therapeutic purposes.As a conclusion, it was determined that wheatgrass strengthened the anti-oxidant defense system and reduced the glucose level in diabetic rats.
  • ... This experiment helps to increase the use of wheat grass [1]. Wheat grass (Triticum aestivum) belongs to the class of poaceae family that includes various grasses such as wheat grass [2]. Wheat grass is also called as "Green blood". ...
  • ... This experiment helps to increase the use of wheat grass [1]. Wheat grass (Triticum aestivum) belongs to the class of poaceae family that includes various grasses such as wheat grass [2]. Wheat grass is also called as "Green blood". ...
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    Young grass of Triticum aestivum is also called as wheat grass. Wheat grass is one of the important crop that provides nutrients to human body. This wheat grass is also called as "Green blood". It contains minerals, amino acids, vitamins and high content of chlorophyll. Wheat grass contains different phytochemicals such as alkaloid, flavonoid, phenol, tannin, glycosides etc. This review based on study of phenolic content in wheat grass extract by qualitative and quantitative analysis. The extraction is done by using two methods and with help of methanol solvent. This review also includes study of comparison of two methods in order to know best efficient method.
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    The present research study was designed for the development of functional drinks from wheat and barley grasses followed by their physicochemical and sensorial characterization. In 1st phase, wheatgrass and barley grass juices were prepared with different concentrations and were subjected for physicochemical analysis and sensorial evaluation. Moreover, these juices were analyzed for color indices, pH, acidity, and total soluble solids (TSS) during storage study at 0, 2, 4, and 6 days. Results showed that TSS and pH of juices were 1.321, 2.8900, 3.100, and 6.225, 6.032, 6.491 for T0, T1, and T2, respectively, whereas a slight decreasing trend in acidity was observed during storage. Furthermore, treatments and storage (days) showed nonsignificant effect on these traits; however, storage affected significantly except for a* value for color indices. Conclusively, with respect to sensory aspects, the cereal grass juices showed satisfactory indexes of acceptability and promising marketing potential. The current article elucidate about health benefits of cereal grasses such as anti‐anemic perspectives. Cereal grasses juices contain higher amount of iron content.
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    Background: Research on the association between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of colorectal adenoma is inconclusive. Objective: We studied whether intake of fruit, vegetables, or their subgroups is associated with a lower risk of prevalent colorectal adenoma. Design: In men and women (aged 55–74 y) who were screened for colorectal cancer in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) (1993–2001), we compared 3057 cases with at least one prevalent histologically verified adenoma of the distal large bowel with 29 413 control subjects. Using a food-frequency questionnaire, we quantified intake of fruit and vegetables in the 12 mo before screening as energy-adjusted pyramid servings/d (ps/d). Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were estimated by logistic regression. Results: Risk of distal adenoma was significantly lower among subjects in high (≈5.7 ps/d) versus low (≈1.2 ps/d) quintiles of total fruit intake (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.86, P for trend <0.001), which was not completely explained by dietary folate or fiber intake. Inverse associations between adenoma and total fruit intake were observed regardless of adenoma histopathology and multiplicity. However, the protective effect was seen only for colon and not rectal adenoma. Total vegetable intake was not significantly associated with reduced risk of adenoma. ORs for colorectal adenoma among persons with high versus low intakes of deep-yellow vegetables, dark-green vegetables, and onions and garlic were significantly related to lower risk of adenoma, although the P for trend for dark-green vegetables was not significant. Conclusion: Diets rich in fruit and deep-yellow vegetables, dark-green vegetables, and onions and garlic are modestly associated with reduced risk of colorectal adenoma, a precursor of colorectal cancer.
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    Wheatgrass has many characteristics desirable for health. It is known for its healing property. It is used as a cleansing and purifying agent and yet can be considered as a bodybuilder because of its nutritional value. It contains about 70% of chlorophyll which is very much comparable to alfalfa plant. Due to its high chlorophyll content it is also referred as Green Blood. Wheatgrass contain number of amino acids, vitamins, enzymes which contribute significantly to its health benefits. This article is nothing but an attempt to highlight one of the benefits of wheatgrass. The present investigation is undertaken in order to evaluate hypoglycemic property of wheatgrass juice. Alloxan induced diabetic rats model was used for this preclinical study. Significant decrease in blood glucose sugar level was observed in comparison to the standard drug Gliclazide. The liver glycogen level was also found to be increased on the other hand suggesting Wheatgrass as a reliable blood sugar maintainer.
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    Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum L.) belongs to the family Poaceae. Other plants belonging to this family include Agopyron cristatum, Bambusa textilis, cynodon dactylon, Poa annua, Zea mays, Aristida purpurea, etc. The present plant Triticum aestivum L. is mentioned in Ayurveda, herbal system of medicine and described as immunomodulator, antioxidant, astringent, laxative, diuretic, antibacterial and used in the acidity, colitis, kidney malfunction, swelling wounds and vitiated conditions of Kapha and Pitta. Wheatgrass is believed to be having property of optimizing blood sugar level. Now a days, its use as an antidiabetic agent is being popularized. But, still its scientific proof is not there. This project is just an attempt to provide evidence to its usefulness in management of diabetes mellitus.
  • Article
    s: Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research 2008 B139 Background The solid content of juice made from wheat grass is 70% chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is often referred to as “The blood of plant life” and has almost the same chemical structure as hemoglobin. Chlorophyll cleanses the blood by improving the supply of oxygen to the circulatory system. Wheat grass is also a complete protein with about 30 enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Wheat grass juice has been proven over many years to benefit people in numerous ways, building the blood, restoring balance in the body, removing toxic metals from the cells, nourishing the liver and kidneys and restoring vitality. The aim of our study was to see the effect of wheat grass juice in terminally ill cancer patients to improve the quality of life. Methods During period from January 2003 to December 2007 we selected 600 solid organ cancer patients in our palliative care unit of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute to see the effect of wheat grass on improvement of hemoglobin level, serum protein and performance status on terminally ill cancer patients. The age range of the patients was 22 year to 87 year (median age 42 years). The different types of cancers were lung (25%), breast (20%), esophagus (11%), colon (9%), ovary (8%), hepatocellular carcinoma (6%), stomach (6%) and others (15%) respectively. We cultivated wheat grass on our campus. When the grasses were 5 days old we took the fresh leaves including roots and made fresh juice out of that and gave 30 ml of juice to all our 400 cancer patients for 6 continuous months. Result The mean levels of hemoglobin, serum total protein, albumin and performance status were 8 gm%, 5.4 gm%, 2.2 gm% and 50%. Fifty patients required transfusion support and those patients were excluded from the study. Other 348 patients are evaluated 6 months after receiving wheat grass juice. The mean values for hemoglobin, total protein and albumin were improved significantly (p value < .005) and means of 9.6 gm%, 7.4 gm% and 3.1 gm% were observed. White blood cell and platelet count were the same in both the cases. The performance status was improved from 50% to 70% (Karnofsky) after wheat grass treatment. Conclusion We concluded that wheat grass juice is an effective alternative of blood transfusion. It’s use in terminally ill cancer patients should be encouraged. Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2008;1(7 Suppl):B139.
  • Article
    The growing body of epidemiological and experimental evidence associating diets rich in fruits and vegetables with prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer has stimulated interest in plant food phytochemicals as physiologically active dietary components. Chlorophyll and its various derivatives are believed to be among the family of phytochemical compounds that are potentially responsible for such associations. Dietary chlorophyll is predominantly composed of lipophilic derivatives including chlorophyll a and b (fresh fruits and vegetables), metal-free pheophytins and pyropheophytins (thermally processed fruits and vegetables), as well as Zn-pheophytins and Zn-pyropheophytins (thermally processed green vegetables). Water-soluble derivatives including chlorophyllides, pheophorbides, as well as a commercial-grade derivative known as sodium copper chlorophyllin (SCC) also contribute to the diversity of dietary chlorophyll derivatives. Although the use of chlorophyll derivatives, especially SCC, in traditional medical applications is well documented, it is perhaps the potential of chlorophyll as a cancer preventative agent that has drawn significant attention recently. Biological activities attributed to chlorophyll derivatives consistent with cancer prevention include antioxidant and antimutagenic activity, mutagen trapping, modulation of xenobiotic metabolism, and induction of apoptosis. Although most research has focused on commercial-grade SCC, the extent to which natural chlorophyll derivatives modulate biomarkers of cancer risk is also being explored. Recent research efforts have also included investigation of the impact of digestive factors on chlorophyll structure and bioaccessibility as a means to better understand the extent to which these pigments may be bioavailable in humans and therefore have more systemic impact in the prevention of cancer.