Akasha Greens

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  1. Guerrero-Beltr�n CE, Mukhopadhyay P, Horv�th B, Rajesh M, Tapia E, Garc�a-Torres I,Pedraza-Chaverri J, Pacher P. Sulforaphane, a natural constituent of broccoli, prevents cell death and inflammation in nephropathy. J Nutr Biochem. 2011; Jun 16.


*Quick Summary of Study: This study shows the benefit of phytochemicals, found in broccoli, on the renal system of an animal model. The animals were given a chemotherapy agent to treat various malignancies and sulforaphane aided this substance by reducing the damaging effects it has on the kidneys.

“Cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II, CIS) is a potent and widely used chemotherapeutic agent to treat various malignancies, but its therapeutic use is limited because of dose-dependent nephrotoxicity. Cell death and inflammation play a key role in the development and progression of CIS-induced nephropathy. Sulforaphane (SFN), a natural constituent of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc., has been shown to exert various protective effects in models of tissue injury and cancer. In this study, we have investigated the role of prosurvival, cell death and inflammatory signaling pathways using a rodent model of CIS-induced nephropathy, and explored the effects of SFN on these processes. Cisplatin triggered marked activation of stress signaling pathways [p53, Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38-α mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)] and promoted cell death in the kidneys (increased DNA fragmentation, caspases-3/7 activity, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine triphosphate nick-end labeling), associated with attenuation of various prosurvival signaling pathways [e.g., extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38-β MAPK]. Cisplatin also markedly enhanced inflammation in the kidneys [promoted NF-κB activation, increased expression of adhesion molecules ICAM and VCAM, enhanced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels and inflammatory cell infiltration]. These effects were significantly attenuated by pretreatment of rodents with SFN. Thus, the cisplatin-induced nephropathy is associated with activation of various cell death and proinflammatory pathways (p53, JNK, p38-α, TNF-α and NF-κB) and impairments of key prosurvival signaling mechanisms (ERK and p38-β). SFN is able to prevent the CIS-induced renal injury by modulating these pathways, providing a novel approach for preventing this devastating complication of chemotherapy.” (1)

PMID: 21684138

  1. Queiroz ML, Rodrigues AP, Bincoletto C, Figueir�do CA, Malacrida S. Protective effects of Chlorella vulgaris in lead-exposed mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes. Int Immunopharmacol. 2003 Jun;3(6):889-900.


*Quick Summary of Study: This study shows the chelating capacity that Chlorella vulgaris obtains when introduced into an animal system with lead toxicity. Conclusively, Chlorella vulgaris played an important role in safely removing lead from the body of the animal model.

“Chlorella vulgaris extract (CVE) was examined for its chelating effects on the myelosuppression induced by lead in Listeria monocytogenes-infected mice. The reduction in the number of bone marrow granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (CFU-GM) observed after the infection was more severe in the groups previously exposed to lead. Extramedullar hematopoiesis, which was drastically increased after the infection, was not altered by the presence of lead. Treatment with CVE, given simultaneously or following lead exposure, restored to control values the myelosuppression observed in infected/lead-exposed mice and produced a significant increase in serum colony-stimulating activity. The benefits of the CVE treatment were also evident in the recovery of thymus weight, since the reduction produced by the infection was further potentiated by lead exposure. The efficacy of CVE was evident when infected and infected/lead-exposed mice were challenged with a lethal dose of L. monocytogenes after a 10-day treatment with 50 mg/kg CVE/day, given simultaneously to the exposure to 1300 ppm lead acetate in drinking water. Survival rates of 30% for the infected group and of 20% for the infected/lead-exposed groups were observed. Evidence that these protective effects of CVE are partly due to its chelating effect was given by the changes observed in blood lead levels. We have observed in the group receiving the CVE/lead simultaneous exposure a dramatic reduction of 66.03% in blood lead levels, when compared to lead-exposed nontreated control. On the other hand, CVE treatment following lead exposure produced a much less effective chelating effect. CVE treatments for 3 or 10 days, starting 24 h following lead exposure, produced a reduction in blood lead levels of 13.5% and 17%, respectively, compared to lead-exposed nontreated controls. The significantly better response observed with the simultaneous CVE/lead administration indicates that the immunomodulation effect of CVE plays an important role in the ability of this algae to reduce blood lead levels. In this regard, additional experiments with gene knockout C57BL/6 mice lacking a functional IFN-gamma gene demonstrated that this cytokine is of paramount importance in the protection afforded by CVE. The antibacterial evaluation measured by the rate of survival demonstrated that, in face of a 100% survival in the control group composed of normal C57BL/6 mice, which are resistant to L. monocytogenes, we observed no protection whatsoever in the IFN-gamma knockout C57BL/6 mice treated with CVE and inoculated with L. monocytogenes.” (2)


  1. Stoner GD, Wang LS, Seguin C, Rocha C, Stoner K, Chiu S, Kinghorn AD. Multiple berry types prevent N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced esophageal cancer in rats. Pharm Res. 2010 Jun;27(6):1138-45.


*Quick Summary of Study: Phytochemicals in berries known as antioxidants play a beneficial role in preventing and reducing tumor progression in an animal model.

“PURPOSE: The present study compared the ability of different berry types to prevent chemically-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus. We also determined if berries influence the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the serum of carcinogen-treated rats.
METHODS: Rats were treated with the carcinogen N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA) for 5 weeks, then placed on diets containing 5% of either black or red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, noni, a�a� or wolfberry until the end of the study. The effects of the berries on tumor incidence, multiplicity and size were determined, as well as their effects on the levels of selected inflammatory cytokines in serum.
RESULTS: All berry types were about equally effective in inhibiting NMBA-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus. They also reduced the levels of the serum cytokines, interleukin 5 (IL-5) and GRO/KC, the rat homologue for human interleukin-8 (IL-8), and this was associated with increased serum antioxidant capacity.
CONCLUSIONS: Seven berry types were about equally capable of inhibiting tumor progression in the rat esophagus in spite of known differences in levels of anthocyanins and ellagitannins. Serum levels of IL-5 and GRO/KC (IL-8) may be predictive of the inhibitory effect of chemopreventive agents on rat esophageal carcinogenesis.” (3)


  1. Sabine Rohrmann, Edward Giovannucci, Walter C Willett and Elizabeth A Platz. Fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of micronutrients, and benign prostatic hyperplasia in US men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 2, 523-529, February 2007



*Quick Summary of Study: Micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables help to reduce the occurrence of benign prostatic hyperplasia in American Men.

“Background: Nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation might reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Objective: The objective was to evaluate the association of fruit, vegetable, and micronutrient intakes with BPH.
Design: The participants were members of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and were aged 46�81 y in 1992. In 1992 and biennially thereafter, the men reported having surgery for an enlarged prostate, and in 1992 and on 3 subsequent questionnaires they completed the American Urological Association symptom index (AUASI). BPH cases were men who reported having surgery or who had an AUASI score of 15�35 (n = 6092). Control subjects were men who had not had surgery and never had an AUASI score >7 (n = 18 373). Men with a score of 8�14 were excluded (n = 7800). Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and antioxidants were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire in 1986. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) of BPH and 95% CIs using logistic regression.
Results: Vegetable consumption was inversely associated with BPH (fifth compared with first quintile�OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.99; P for trend = 0.03), whereas fruit intake was not. Consumption of fruit and vegetables rich in �-carotene (P for trend = 0.004), lutein (P for trend = 0.0004), or vitamin C (P for trend = 0.05) was inversely related to BPH. With increasing vitamin C intake from foods, men were less likely to have BPH (P for trend = 0.0009). Neither α- nor γ-tocopherol intake from foods was associated with BPH (P for trend = 0.05 and 0.84, respectively).

Conclusion: Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the occurrence of BPH.” (4)

  1. Michael Aviram, Leslie Dornfeld, Mira Rosenblat, Nina Volkova, Marielle Kaplan, Raymond Coleman, Tony Hayek, Dita Presser and Bianca Fuhrman. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E�deficient mice. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 5, 1062-1076, May 2000



*Quick Summary of Study: Polyphenols from pomegranate consumption help to reduce the accumulation of plaque in a healthy human cardiovascular system.

“Background: Dietary supplementation with nutrients rich in antioxidants is associated with inhibition of atherogenic modifications to LDL, macrophage foam cell formation, and atherosclerosis. Pomegranates are a source of polyphenols and other antioxidants.
Objective: We analyzed, in healthy male volunteers and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E�deficient (E0) mice, the effect of pomegranate juice consumption on lipoprotein oxidation, aggregation, and retention; macrophage atherogenicity; platelet aggregation; and atherosclerosis.
Design: Potent antioxidative effects of pomegranate juice against lipid peroxidation in whole plasma and in isolated lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) were assessed in humans and in E0 mice after pomegranate juice consumption for ≤2 and 14 wk, respectively.
Results: In humans, pomegranate juice consumption decreased LDL susceptibility to aggregation and retention and increased the activity of serum paraoxonase (an HDL-associated esterase that can protect against lipid peroxidation) by 20%. In E0 mice, oxidation of LDL by peritoneal macrophages was reduced by up to 90% after pomegranate juice consumption and this effect was associated with reduced cellular lipid peroxidation and superoxide release. The uptake of oxidized LDL and native LDL by mouse peritoneal macrophages obtained after pomegranate juice administration was reduced by 20%. Finally, pomegranate juice supplementation of E0 mice reduced the size of their atherosclerotic lesions by 44% and also the number of foam cells compared with control E0 mice supplemented with water.
Conclusion: Pomegranate juice had potent antiatherogenic effects in healthy humans and in atherosclerotic mice that may be attributable to its antioxidative properties.” (5)

  1. Singh DK, Porter TD. Inhibition of sterol 4alpha-methyl oxidase is the principal mechanism by which garlic decreases cholesterol synthesis. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):759S-764S.


*Quick Summary of Study: This study shows that consumption of Garlic reduces the synthesis of cholesterol in the human body without having any negative side effects.

“Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that garlic ingestion lowers blood cholesterol levels, and treatment of cells in culture with garlic and garlic-derived compounds inhibits cholesterol synthesis. To identify the principal site of inhibition in the cholesterolgenic pathway and the active components of garlic, cultured hepatoma cells were treated with aqueous garlic extract or its chemical derivatives, and radiolabeled cholesterol and intermediates were identified and quantified. Garlic extract reduced cholesterol synthesis by up to 75% without evidence of cellular toxicity. Levels of squalene and 2,3-oxidosqualene were not altered by garlic, indicating that the site of inhibition was downstream of lanosterol synthesis, and identical results were obtained with 14C-acetate and 14C-mevalonate, confirming that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity was not affected in these short-term studies. Several methylsterols that accumulated in the presence of garlic were identified by coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as 4,4'-dimethylzymosterol and a possible metabolite of 4-methylzymosterol; both are substrates for sterol 4alpha-methyl oxidase, pointing to this enzyme as the principal site of inhibition in the cholesterolgenic pathway by garlic. Of 9 garlic-derived compounds tested for their ability to inhibit cholesterol synthesis, only diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and allyl mercaptan proved inhibitory, each yielding a pattern of sterol accumulation identical with that obtained with garlic extract. These results indicate that compounds containing an allyl-disulfide or allyl-sulfhydryl group are most likely responsible for the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis by garlic and that this inhibition is likely mediated at sterol 4alpha-methyl oxidase.” (6)


  1. Tiwari AK, Reddy KS, Radhakrishnan J, Kumar DA, Zehra A, Agawane SB, Madhusudana K. Influence of antioxidant rich fresh vegetable juices on starch induced postprandial hyperglycemia in rats. Food Funct. 2011 Sep 16;2(9):521-8.


Quick Summary of Study: This study shows how vegetable juice not only has high antioxidant concentrations but, how fresh vegetable juice has a balancing effect on glycemic levels in rats.

“This research analyzed the major chemical components and multiple antioxidant activities present in the fresh juice of eight vegetables, and studied their influence on starch induced postprandial glycemia in rats. A SDS-PAGE based protein fingerprint of each vegetable juice was also prepared. The yields of juice, chemical components like total proteins, total polyphenols, total flavonoids, total anthocyanins and free radicals like the ABTSË™(+) cation, DPPH, H(2)O(2), scavenging activities and reducing properties for NBT and FeCl(3) showed wide variations. Vegetable juice from brinjal ranked first in displaying total antioxidant capacity. Pretreatment of rats with vegetable juices moderated starch induced postprandial glycemia. The fresh juice from the vegetables ridge gourd, bottle gourd, ash gourd and chayote significantly mitigated postprandial hyperglycemic excursion. Total polyphenol concentrations present in vegetable juices positively influenced ABTSË™(+) scavenging activity and total antioxidant capacity. However, NBT reducing activity of juices was positively affected by total protein concentration. Contrarily, however, high polyphenol content in vegetable juice was observed to adversely affect the postprandial antihyperglycemic activity of vegetable juices. This is the first report exploring antihyperglycemic activity in these vegetable juices and highlights the possible adverse influence of high polyphenol content on the antihyperglycemic activity of the vegetable juices.” (7)


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