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Reducing stress-induced cognitive damage with the extract of the sycamore fig

The sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus) contains antidepressant-like properties which can be used to treat chronic mild stress. The study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, examined this biological effect using a depression model in rats that were subjected to various assays.

  • Researchers looked at whether the hydromethanolic extract of F. sycomorus stem bark can affect symptoms of depression, anxiety, and memory impairment caused by unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS).
  • Rats were subjected to UCMS and were examined for anxiety-related behavior, depression-related behavior, anhedonia-like behavior and the Y maze task. To determine anhedonia-like behavior, the rats underwent sucrose testing before and after UCMS.
  • F. sycomorus extract underwent multiple tests to determine its antioxidant content and chemical properties.
  • Results revealed that F. sycomorus extract improved sucrose consumption and swimming time – both of which have been reduced by UCMS. The extract also reduced the time and number of entries into the closed arms test and increased alternation in the Y-maze.
  • F. sycomorus extract also increase GSH content, which reduced oxidation biomarkers in the brain.
  • The major compound of the F. sycomorus extract is a flavonoid with the formula C22H28O14.

The findings indicated that F. sycomorus extract reversed the effects of UCMS in rats and contained an antidepressant property, based on multiple assays.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Foyet HS, Deffo ST, Yewo PK, Antioch I, Zingue S, Asongalem EA, Kamtchouing P, Ciobica A. FICUS SYCOMORUS EXTRACT REVERSED BEHAVIORAL IMPAIRMENT AND BRAIN OXIDATIVE STRESS INDUCED BY UNPREDICTABLE CHRONIC MILD STRESS IN RATS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 28 November 2017;17(508). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-2012-9

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