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Ancient Science of Life, Vol No. XI No.1 & 2, July & October 1991, Pages 74 - 77 ANTI – DIARRHOEAL POTENTIAL OF MYRISTICA FRAGRANS SEED EXTRACTS
C. D. R. S. Pharmacological Research Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Medical College, Tiruvanathapuram – 695 011, Kerala, India. Received: 23 August, 1990 Accepted: 17 January, 1991
ABSTRACT: Serial extracts of the seeds of M.fragrans were investigated for their anti-
diarrhoeal potential in three experimental models. Though all the three extracts exhibited
significant activity, the petroleum ether and ethanol extracts were found to be more effective
above 200 mg | kg dose levels.
Myristica frgrans Houtt. (Jayphal) is
Adult male Holtzman rats weighing 150 to indigenously seen and its seeds or nutmegs 200g, maintained at room temperature at the College animal house and fed on Hindlever
diarrhoea. It is also aromatic, stimulant, feed, were used for the study. Animals were carminative and in large doses, narcotic. It housed separately and had free access to water. More than 8 animals in each group were used for each dose level. Good quality and successively extracted with pet. Ether diarrhoea in patients suffering from thyroid (60 – 80o), chloroform and ethanol as per carcinoma where the prostaglandin (PG) E2 and F2 levels are high2. Earlier attempts diarrhoea with indomethacin, aspirin and nutmeg. It has also been reported to be of Antidiarrhoeal activity was assessed using therapeutic value in diarrhoea associated the following three experimental models: with Crohn’s disease. This effect is due to a fall in PGE1 levels3. Experimental studies (a) Measurement of faecal output in
albino rats:
aqueous extracts of nutmeg showed a weak antidiarrhoeal activity4. In view of these Method of Bass et al5 was followed and
reports it was thought worthwhile to screen drug extracts were given in 100, 200 and the serial extracts, pet. Ether, chloroform 500 mg| kg dose levels. Percentage of faecal and ethanol for their antidiarrhoeal effects in output in treated rats and the percentage (b) Castor oil diarrhoea in rats:
(c) Enteropooling assay in rats:
In overnight-fasted male rats diarrhoea was Drug extracts were given in overnight fasted induced by oral administration of castor oil rats and one hour later they all received the (1 ml | rat)6. Test extracts were given orally diarrhoeal agent Magnesium sulphate (10% one hour prior to castor oil. Percentage of soln.) 2 ml | rats orally. All of them were animals not showing diarrhoeal droppings at killed 30 minutes later and entire small the end of 4th hour after castor oil was noted intestine collected, weighed and compared7. and compared. Pet. Ether extract in 100, Pet. Ether and ethanol extracts in 100 and 200 and 500 mg | kg dose levels, chloroform 500 mg | kg and chloroform extract in 200 etc. in 200 mg | kg and ethanol extract in mg | kg were used for the study. In all the three test patterns loperamide hydrochloride (10 mg | kg) was used as the standard drug for comparison. Statistical evaluation was carried out using the student’s ‘t’ test. Effect of Nutmeg extracts on faecal output in male rats.
Dry weight of
% reduction in
stool / 100g
faecal out-put
rat mean ± SE
P – values * < 0.001 n = no. of rats in the group. loperamide – treated group (Table 1). In enteropooling assay in rats, only the pet. I). In castor oil induced diarrhoea, the mg | kg) extracts significantly reduced (P < 0.05) the weight of intestine (Table 3). TABLE – 2
Nutmeg extracts on castor oil induced diarrhoea in albino rats
% of rats not
showing diarrhoea in
Effect of Nutmeg extracts on enteropooling in rats
Weight of small
intestine g / 100 g rat
(mean ± SE)
indicate that nutmeg extracts suppressed earlier findings of Shidore et al4 using
to the inhibition of PG – biosynthesis. castor oil diarrhoea in rats. Our earlier enteropooling in intestine was inhibited partially by the extracts. However, these significant antidiarrhoeal effect in all the intestine (in vivo) is activated by the
castor oil, which may well be associated with increased PG – mediated diarrhoea ACKNOWLEDGMENT
support and to the staff of CDRS unit for Authors are thankful to the Director,
CCRAS, New Delhi for financial
1. Nadkarni, K. M. Indian Materia Medica, Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., Bombay, 831

2. William, E. D. Proc. Res. Soc. Med. 59 : 602 (1966).
3. Shafran, I; Meurer, N. and Thomas, F. D. New Engl. J. Med. 296 : 694 (1966).
4. Shidore, P. P; Mujumdar, S. M. ; Shrotri, D. S. and Mujumdar A. M. Indian J. Pharm.
Sci. 47 : 188 (1985).
5. Bass, P.; Kennedy, J. A. ; and Wiley, J. N. Am. J. Dig. Dis. 17 : 925 (1972).
6. Niemegeers, C. J. E.; Lenarerts, F. M. and Janssen, PAJ. Arzneimettel Forsch. 25 :
7. Robert, A.; Nezamis, J. E. ; Lancaster, C.; Hanchar, A. J. and Klepper, M. S. Prostaglandins, 11 : 809 (1976).
8. Pillai, N. R. Unpublished data (1990). 9. Benett, A. and Gradidge, C. F. New Eng. J. Med. 290 : 110 (1974).
10. Miseiewicz, J. J and Walter S. L. Lancet. 1 : 648 (1968).


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