Triphala, a formulation of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, shows protective effect against X-radiation in HeLa cells

Abstract

Ayurveda is a holistic medical system of traditional medicine, and Triphala is one of the most popular formulations in Ayurveda. Triphala is composed of three kinds of herb, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, and Emblica officinalis. Since Triphala is shown to exhibit a protective activity against ionizing radiation in mice, we investigated its activity in HeLa cells. We found that Triphala showed the protective effects against X-radiation and bleomycin, both of which generate DNA strand breaks, in HeLa cells. Further, Triphala efficiently eliminated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HeLa cells. Thus, the antioxidant activity of Triphala would likely play a role in its protective actions against X-radiation and bleomycin because both agents damage DNA through the generation of ROS. These observations suggested that the radioprotective activity of Triphala can be, at least partly, studied with the cells cultured in vitro. The simple bioassay system with human cultured cells would facilitate the understanding of the molecular basis for the beneficial effects of Triphala.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Ms Shigeno for her help in the X-ray experiments. This work was supported in part by a grant-in-aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan.

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Correspondence to Michihiko Fujii.

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[Takauji Y, Miki K, Mita J, Hossain MN, Yamauchi M, Kioi M, Ayusawa D and Fujii M 2016 Triphala, a formulation of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, shows protective effect against X-radiation in HeLa cells. J. Biosci.]

Corresponding editor: Subhash C Lakhotia

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Takauji, Y., Miki, K., Mita, J. et al. Triphala, a formulation of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, shows protective effect against X-radiation in HeLa cells. J Biosci 41, 569–575 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-016-9639-4

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Keywords

  • Ayurveda
  • bleomycin
  • reactive oxygen species
  • Triphala
  • X-radiation