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Extracts of the bush apple tree found to have neuroprotective potential

Researchers from the Federal University of Technology and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi in Nigeria and the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil looked at the neuroprotective potentials of the extracts of bush apple (Heinsia crinite) leaf in vitro. They published their results in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

  • The leaves of bush apple are consumed either as a vegetable or as a component of concoctions for treating some diseases, such as bacterial infections, diabetes, hypertension, and infertility.
  • In this study, the researchers investigated the potential neuroprotective effect of bush apple leaf aqueous and methanol extracts on oxidative stress in rats’ brains and enzymes associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Oxidative stress plays a role in the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • The researchers also determined the total phenol and flavonoid contents of the extracts. The most abundant phenolic compounds in the leaves of bush apple were quercetin, ellagic, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids.
  • The researchers found that the aqueous extract had higher total phenol and flavonoid contents than the methanol extract.
  • The aqueous and methanol extracts from bush apple leaves modulate the activities of enzymes linked to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • The extracts also inhibited Fe2+-induced lipid peroxidation in isolated rat brain.
  • In addition, the extracts suppressed the production of malondialdehyde in rats’ brains.
  • Malondialdehyde is a toxic chemical that can cause oxidative damage to the brain cells and has been implicated in the development and progression of neurodegenerative conditions.
  • In addition, the aqueous extract displayed greater neuroprotective properties than the methanol extract.

Taken together, the researchers concluded that bush apple leaves could be used as a functional food and dietary intervention for treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Read the full text of this study at this link.

Learn more about functional foods like the bush apple tree at

Journal Reference:

Oboh G, Nwanna EE, Oyeleye SI, Olasehinde TA, Ogunsuyi OB, Boligon AA. IN VITRO NEUROPROTECTIVE POTENTIALS OF AQUEOUS AND METHANOL EXTRACTS FROM HEINSIA CRINITA LEAVES. Food Science and Human Wellness. June 2016; 5(2): 95-102. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2016.03.001

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