Ashwagandha Nanoemulsion Shields Brain from Pesticide Damage

Jenn Hoskins
19th April, 2024

Ashwagandha Nanoemulsion Shields Brain from Pesticide Damage

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at Mansoura University finds a plant extract may protect the brain from pesticide damage
  • Nano-sized version of the extract crosses the brain's protective barrier more effectively
  • Rats treated with the nano extract showed improved behavior and less brain damage
In recent years, the use of pesticides has raised concerns due to their potential health hazards, particularly regarding neurotoxicity—a condition where nerve tissues are damaged by toxic substances. Penconazole (PEN), a systemic triazole fungicide, is one such chemical used extensively in agriculture that has been linked to various health issues, including neurotoxic effects. This has prompted scientists to search for methods to mitigate these adverse effects. A study conducted by researchers at Mansoura University[1] has shed light on a promising approach to counteract the neurotoxicity caused by PEN. The research focused on the neuroprotective properties of Withania somnifera leaves extract (WSLE), known for enhancing memory and brain function. However, the challenge with WSLE is the limited ability of its bioactive metabolites to cross the blood-brain barrier—a protective shield around the brain that controls the passage of substances from the bloodstream into the brain tissue. The Mansoura University study explored the use of a nanoemulsion form of WSLE, designed to improve the delivery of these beneficial compounds across the blood-brain barrier. Researchers divided rats into five groups, administering various treatments including distilled water, WSLE nanoemulsion (WSLE NE), PEN, PEN with WSLE, and PEN with WSLE NE over a six-week period. The study assessed the effects of these treatments on neurobehavioral disorders, oxidative stress biomarkers, antioxidant enzyme activities, inflammatory cytokines, and gene expression patterns related to neuronal damage and apoptosis in brain tissue. The findings were significant. Rats exposed to PEN showed behavioral impairments, elevated oxidative stress markers, increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, and signs of neuronal damage. Conversely, rats treated with PEN and WSLE NE demonstrated notable improvements in behavior, a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation, and decreased neuronal damage. The WSLE NE treatment also downregulated genes associated with neurodegeneration and apoptosis, suggesting a protective effect against PEN-induced neurotoxicity. The results of this study build upon previous research[2], which highlighted the protective efficacy of epicatechin against cypermethrin-induced oxidative and inflammatory damage in rats. Similar to WSLE, epicatechin also possesses antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. The current research extends these findings by demonstrating that WSLE NE can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier to exert its protective effects, which could be a significant advancement in preventing or treating neurotoxicity caused by fungicides like PEN. Moreover, the study aligns with the neuroprotective benefits observed in Withanolide A, another natural compound found in Ashwagandha[3]. Withanolide A has been reported to extend lifespan, improve healthspan, and offer neuroprotection through mechanisms that include stress resistance and modulation of neural mediators. The current research supports the therapeutic potential of natural products in neuroprotection and suggests that enhancing their delivery to the brain can amplify their benefits. In conclusion, the Mansoura University study provides compelling evidence that WSLE NE can serve as a neuroprotective agent against PEN-induced neurotoxicity. By enhancing the bioavailability of WSLE's active compounds in the brain, this innovative approach could pave the way for new treatments that safeguard the nervous system from the harmful effects of widely used agricultural chemicals. This research represents a significant step forward in the ongoing effort to mitigate the risks associated with pesticide exposure and protect human health.



Main Study

1) Neuroprotective effect of Withania somnifera leaves extract nanoemulsion against penconazole-induced neurotoxicity in albino rats via modulating TGF-β1/Smad2 signaling pathway.

Published 17th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Oxidative stress and inflammation following sub-lethal oral exposure of cypermethrin in rats: mitigating potential of epicatechin.

3) Withanolide A offers neuroprotection, ameliorates stress resistance and prolongs the life expectancy of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙