Mucuna pruriens,L-DOPA and its applications.
- Basic Botanical Data of Mucuna pruriens.
- Plant Description:Mucuna Pruriens.
- Phytochemicals and Constituents of Mucuna pruriens.
- Mucuna Pruriens Tribal and Herbal Medicine Uses.
- Herbal Properties and Actions:Mucuna Pruriens.
- Common Benefit and Application of L-Dopa and Mucuna Pruriens.
- Mucuna Pruriens Historical use and Additional Remarks.
- Parkinson's disease and Mucuna Pruriens.
- Mucuna Pruriens Biological Activities and Clinical Research.
- Monoterpene Alkaloid Isolated From Mucuna Pruriens.
- Beans,roots and leaves:a brief history of the pharmacological therapy of parkinsonism.
- L-DOPA:Discovery,Identification and Safety.
- L-DOPA:Cosmetic Applications.
- Research Update:Mucuna pruriens and L-Dopa.
Mucuna Pruriens Biological Activities and Clinical Research.:
Velvet bean has demonstrated little toxicity; however, it has been documented in animal studies to cause birth defects and should not be used during pregnancy. Traditionally, velvet bean has been used as a nerve tonic for nervous system disorders. Due to the high concentration of L-dopa in the seeds, it has been studied for its possible use in Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a common age-related neurodegenerative disorder affecting more than four million people worldwide. It is associated with progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in specific areas in the brain. Dopamine does not cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore cannot be used directly as a treatment. However, L-dopa (levodopa) does gain access to the brain-where it is converted to dopamine. There are two controversies surrounding side-effects of the current pharmaceutical supplementation of L-dopa.Over the long term, supplemented L-dopa appears to lose its effectiveness. A second area of controversy questions whether L-dopa is toxic to dopamine neurons; there is little evidence, though, to support this statement.
Velvet bean is now being considered as an alternative to the pharmaceutical medication levodopa. In one case study it was given to a Parkinson's patient for 12 years instead of the pharmaceutical L-dopa medication. It was found to slow the progression of Parkinson's symptoms (such as tremors, rigidity, slurring, drooling, and balance), and to have none of the side-effects of the current pharmaceutical L-dopa. Numerous in vivo studies also have been conducted in rats and humans. In one human study, the bean powder was given to 60 patients (26 previously treated with L-dopa and 34 had never taken L-dopa). There were statistically significant reductions of Parkinson's symptoms in all study subjects. In addition, a (2002) U.S. patent was awarded on Velvet bean citing its use "for the treatment of disorders of the nervous system, including Parkinson's disease."
Several in vivo studies have been conducted on the blood-sugar-lowering effect of Velvet bean. These studies all validate the traditional use of the plant for diabetes. An ethanol-water extract of the root, fruit, and seed dropped blood sugar levels in rats by more than 30%. At 200 mg an ethanol extract produced a 40% fall in blood glucose within one month, and a 51% reduction at four months. In other studies a decoction of the leaf reduced total cholesterol in rats; the seed had the same effect.
The root, fruit, leaf, and seed has shown significant in vivo antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and fever reducing activities in various clinical research with animals. Traditionally the seed has been used by indigenous peoples throughout the world for snakebite and several in vivo studies validate this traditional use. In rats, a water extract of the seed inhibited venom-induced blood and coagulation alterations, and reduced lethality of the venom. The antivenin effect of velvet bean is thought to be due to an immune mechanism, as proteins in the seed were documented to raise antibodies against the venom.
Velvet bean has a long history of traditional use in Brazil and India as an aphrodisiac. Clinical studies in India have validated that the plant does indeed have aphrodisiac activity. It also has reported with anabolic and growth hormone stimulant properties. The anabolic effect of the seed is due to its ability to increase testosterone. In 2002, a U.S. patent was filed on the use of velvet bean to stimulate the release of growth hormone in humans. Research cited in the patent indicated that the high levels of L-dopa in mucuna seed were converted to dopamine which stimulated the release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. L-dopa and dopamine are also effective inhibitors of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland; increased levels are considered to cause erection failure in males. In one study, oral intake of the seeds in 56 human males was able to improve erection, duration of coitus, and post-coital satisfaction after only four weeks of treatment. The seed also has documented fertility promoting and sperm producing effects in human males (being able to improve sperm count and motility).
- 1.Mucuna pruriens,L-DOPA and its applications.
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