AMLAMAX, 20 May 2022
Published on : Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 2006;68(4).

Effect of standardized Amla extract on atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia.

B. Antony*, B. Merina, V. Sheeba1 and J. Mukkadan

DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.27814



Emblica officinalis , commonly known as Indian gooseberry ( Amla ), is found to be effective for the reversal of dyslipidemia and intima-media thickening and plaque formation in the aorta in hypercholesterolaemic rabbits. In this study, cholesterol powder (100 mg/kg body weight) was administered orally to healthy NZ white rabbits for 4 mo to induce hypercholesterolaemia; and thereafter, amla extract was given in two doses (10 mg and 20 mg/kg/d orally) for 4 mo. Fasting lipid profile was done monthly and also at the end of treatment. After sacrificing the animals, tissue cholesterol (liver, heart and kidney) and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase activity of liver were estimated and part of aorta and myocardium were processed for histological studies. Feeding of amla extract (10 mg and 20 mg/kg) for 4 mo reversed these changes and the lumen of the aorta became normal as in the normal control group. Reversal of dyslipidemia and atheromatous plaques achieved by amla extract seems to be brought about by a number of factors, such as its ability to prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation, its antioxidant action, besides decreasing synthesis of cholesterol by inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase activity and elevating high-density lipoprotein level to enhance reverse cholesterol transport.

Emblica officinalis Gaertn; Euphorbiaceae is an herbal plant widely used in many of the indigenous medicinal preparations against a variety of diseases [1]. It is also known as Phyllanthus emblica Linn, Indian gooseberry or Amlaki and is used in Ayurveda as a cardiotonic. Earlier studies on the effect of Emblica officinalis in hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis were limited to its effect on total serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol [25]. A recent study conducted in rats showed that flavonoids from E. officinalis effectively reduced lipid levels in serum and tissues and had significant inhibitory effect on hepatic 3- hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase activity [6]. The tannoid principles of fruits of E. officinalis have been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity in vitro and in vivo. In a study conducted in rats, it was seen that emblicanin-A- and emblicanin-B- enriched fraction of fresh juice of Emblica fruits show antioxidant activity in ischemia-reperfusion-induced oxidative stress in rat hearts [7]. The E. officinalis fruit increases cardiac glycogen levels andaqueous extract of decreases serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase and LDL in rats having induced myocardial necrosis [8].

The present study confirms and further extends the earlier observations on the beneficial effects of the Emblica extract in hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis. Two significant findings, not reported before, of the present study are (1) enhancement of the beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and (2) reduction in the intima-media thickening in atherosclerotic animals.

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