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Extract from Aztec marigold demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties against ulcerative colitis

Researchers from the University of the Itajai Valley in Brazil investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of Tagetes erecta (Aztec marigold) using an animal model of ulcerative colitis (UC). Their findings were published in the journal Nutrition Research.

  • Oxidative stress plays a role in the etiology of UC.
  • Meanwhile, the dry hydroalcoholic extract of T. erecta flowers (DHETE) is said to contain high amounts of lutein, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties.
  • For the study, the researchers quantified the amount of lutein in DHETE using 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. They also measured total phenolic content and evaluated DHETE’s radical scavenger capability, cytotoxicity and effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) production in vitro.
  • The researchers induced UC using five percent dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Then, they analyzed the effects of DHETE (30 to 300?milligrams per kilogram [mg/kg], once a day for seven?days) on colon length and weight, disease activity index, body weight loss, histological score, mucin levels and biochemical parameters.
  • The researchers reported that the lutein concentration in DHETE was 8.2 percent. DHETE scavenged free radicals at a concentration of 1,000 micrograms per milliliter (mcg/mL).
  • DHETE did not affect the viability of intestinal epithelial cells upon exposure, but reduced ROS and NO production after lipopolysaccharide stimulation.
  • In vivo, DHETE (300?mg/kg) reduced weight loss, disease activity index, colon shortening and histopathological changes induced by DSS.
  • DHETE also increased mucin colonic staining and decreased myeloperoxidase activity, as well as tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 levels.
  • DHETE increased reduced glutathione levels and catalase activity and normalized superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase activities.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that DHETE can improve the endogenous antioxidant defense of mice with UC and reduce UC severity by attenuating inflammatory cytokine secretion.

Journal Reference:

Meurer MC, Mees M, Mariano LNB, Boeing T, Somensi LB, Mariott M, Rita De Cassia Melo Vilhena De Andrade Fonseca Da Silva, Santos ACD, Longo B, Franca TCS, et al. HYDROALCOHOLIC EXTRACT OF TAGETES ERECTA L. FLOWERS, RICH IN THE CAROTENOID LUTEIN, ATTENUATES INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINE SECRETION AND IMPROVES THE OXIDATIVE STRESS IN AN ANIMAL MODEL OF ULCERATIVE COLITIS. Nutrition Research. June 2019;66:95–106. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.03.005

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