February 4, 2011
RENDE, ItalyAn Iranian botanical may inhibit the activity of cholinesterase, suggesting it could fight memory loss associated with aging or Alzheimers disease, according to a new study (Nutr Res. 2010;30(12):823-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.09.016). Researchers from the University of Calabria, Italy, with colleagues from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, noted Salvia species have been used in traditional medicines for cognitive support; in the present study, they examined the in vitro antioxidant properties and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of fractions and extracts of Salvia leriifolia Benth (Lamiaceae).
In the first test, the team used the modified colorimetric Ellmans method against acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and found the n-hexane extract had inhibitory concentration 50 percent (IC50) values of 0.59 and 0.21 mg/mL for AChE and BChE, respectively. After fractionation and re-testing, fraction G, characterized by the presence of sesquiterpenes as major components, was most active against AChE. In addition, the team screened the antioxidant activity in three different assays, finding the ethyl acetate extract of S. leriifolia had the highest activity. While additional in vivo research is needed, the findings suggest S. leriifolia could help improve memory in the elderly or patients with Alzheimers disease.
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