New hope for treating inflammation-induced anemia

New Delhi, August 19. By Dr. Aditi Jain.  (India Science Wire): Anemia is normally
caused due to iron deficiency, but cancers, autoimmune diseases, infections and
chronic kidney diseases may also lead to anemia. This is known as anemia of

The inflammation-induced
anemia occurs due to shorter life span of red blood cells in body
and also suppression in formation of new red blood cells. The
currently available treatments for this type of anemia have several side
effects. So scientists have been looking for safer medications.

Scientist in Pune have found that a
traditional herb Tinospora cardiofolia commonlyknown as gudduchi
or giloy could be useful in treating inflammation-induced
anemia. The study has been done in rats. “It is a traditional herbal medicine
but its benefits for anemia were not explored. So we decided to test it,” said Dr.
Prasad P. Kulkarni, leader of research team at Agharkar Research Institute,
Pune while speaking to India Science Wire.

Tinospora has been traditionally used for inflammatory diseases but its mechanism
of action was not known which restricted its use. For this study, the
scientists first induced inflammation in rats by injecting them with antigen
that causes inflammation. Extracts of tinospora were fed to animals in
different doses and it was found that a dose of tinospora extract increased
hemoglobin and red blood cells in rats having inflammation.

The herb works by decreasing levels of
hepicidin gene- a gene involved in regulating iron levels available for
developing red blood cells. By decreasing levels of hepicidin gene, tinopsora
allows iron to be available for developing red blood cells which in turn cures
anemia due to inflammation. Also, the herb decreases inflammation in body by
decreasing levels of major inflammatory proteins such as cytokines.

Gudduchi is
termed as ‘Amruta’ in Ayurvedic system of medicine and is known for its
use in the treatment of a variety of diseases. We would like to extend our work
to underline the beneficial effects of Gudduchi in other
ailments where inflammation is involved,” added Dr. Kulkarni.

The research team also included
Niraj S. Ghatpande, Ashwini V. Misar, Ravindra J. Waghole and Sachin H. Jadhav
from Agharkar Research Institute. The findings of the study have been published
in the journal Scientific Reports. (India Science Wire)

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