Stroke and coronary heart disease share some common risk factors; however, stroke at times channels into coronary heart disease. Statistically speaking, Stoke is the second major global cause of mortality and morbidity after coronary thrombosis. According to the American Strokes Association, cerebral ischemia accounts for 87% of the death due to disruption of cerebral blood flow and lack of oxygen to the effected parts of brain. As per the recent statement given by WHO every year about 16 million people suffer from ischemic stroke worldwide 1.
Typically after the stroke reperfusion therapy restores blood flow in the arteries. Nonetheless, during reperfusion several cascades of reaction pathways get activated and in turn lead to hemodynamic disturbances 2, inflammatory responses, free radical formation, excitotoxicity 3, disruption of blood brain barrier (BBB) and apoptosis 4.
After an ischemic stroke, oxidative stress implicates brain injury and sequentially generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) 5.These ROS are the powerful agents of cerebral vasculature destruction. Thus, oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of ischemic brain injury followed by cerebral attack 6. The current therapeutic approaches used in the treatment of stroke are often proved to be ineffective; hence, a thorough investigation involving antioxidant strategies and the subsequent diminution of oxidative injury is more concentrated 5, 6.
With the emergence of Nutraceuticals as a new branch of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the modern medical treatment for various diseases has been so effectual 7. To be precise, nutraceuticals are the natural functional foods or bioactive phytochemicals. They are proven to be very productive in the prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases 8.Comparatively speaking, nutraceuticals are gaining attention over pharmaceuticals because of their assumed safety, potent nutritional value, therapeutic effect, availability and the cost effectiveness 9. The dietary intake of antioxidant nutraceuticals can reduce the prevalence of stroke, hence in the present study, three easily available nutraceuticals namely amla (Emblica officinalis), wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) and papaya (Caricca papaya) have been selected to conduct the feasibility study. The said nutraceutical powders possess natural antioxidant activity 10, anti-inflammatory activity 11, immunostimulant properties 12 etc., and are immensely used in ayurvedic preparations alone or in combinations while treating various diseases.
Fortification/Svarasa, is one of the oldest ayurvedic techniques 13 employed to concentrate the active constituents either by increasing or doubling to produce maximum efficacy with minimum dose 14. Hence, the present study aims to evaluate the neuroprotective activity of selected fortified amla, wheatgrass and papaya powders alone and in combination keeping their anti-oxidant properties in view.