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Antimutagenic Activity of Seabuckthorn(2008/6/12 17:31:55)

It has been substantiated by information attained through epidemiological studies that it is realistic to avert cancer and other chronic diseases,some of which share common pathogenic mechanisms, such as DNA damage, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. An apparent approach is forestalling the exposure to well-acknowledged risk factors. As a complementary strategy, it may be possible to render the organism more resistant to mutagens/carcinogens and/or to inhibit progression of the disease by administering chemopreventive agents.

In fact, one of the most striking medical practices of the 21st century is the chemoprevention of cancer. Much development has been made in this latest and promising field, yet much needs to be done before prevalent use and implementation of cancer prevention becomes a routine practice. Many plant species are known to elicit antimutagenesis and thus have a full range of prospective applications in human healthcare. Even for populations which use herbs traditionally,encouraging the use of species with chemopreventive actions could be helpful as part of life expectancy improvement strategies: costs are significantly low, herbs have usually little or no toxicity during long-term oral administration and are relatively available at large scale. It has been suggested that regularly consuming anticarcinogens and antimutagens in the diet may be the most effective way of preventing human cancer and search for novel antimutagens acting in chemoprevention is a promising field in phytotherapy. Seabuckthorn, also known as ‘Leh Berry’ in northwestern Himalayas, is a deciduous spiny shrub widely distributed throughout the temperate zone of Asia and Europe. Various reports on its medicinal value have appeared including its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and wound healing activities.

The high vitamin concentrations make seabuckthorn fruit highly suitable for the production of nutritious soft drinks. Russian cosmonauts were supplied with seabuckthorn beverages,to enhance their health and resistance to stress. It has been claimed that seabuckthorn was the first fruit juice in. In fact, the plant is predicted as the next major health food and is being envisaged as a multipurpose plant with potential applications as nutritious food, medicine,soil enhancer, pollution reducer, soil conservator, landscape management tool and as an important source of firewood. Previously, studies carried out in our laboratory have determined the antimutagenic potential of some food and medicinal plants.

The present study was planned to evaluate antimutagenic potential of aqueous methanol extract of Hippophae rhamnoides employing Ames assay. The results obtained demonstrate the health-promoting potential of the seabuckthorn.

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