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Characterization of Psyllium (Plantago ovata) Polysaccharide and Its Uses

Abstract

The Plantago is one of the genera in family Plantaginaceae, a large genus of herbs or sub-herbs distributed mostly in the temperate region and a few in the tropics. Psyllium has been in use as a medicinal agent since ancient times throughout the world. It is used for treatment of constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and high blood pressure. In olden days it was also used topically to treat skin irritations, such as poison ivy reactions and insect bites and stings. The husk of the seeds of various species of psyllium is used for its medicinal properties. The primary ingredient of the seeds and husk is a mucilaginous polysaccharide. Psyllium has been reported for the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), colon cancer, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. When mixed with water, the therapeutic efficacy of the drug is due to the swelling of the mucilaginous seed coat which gives bulk and lubrication. Psyllium increases the volume of the feces by absorbing water in the gastrointestinal tract, which stimulates peristalsis. Modification of the polysaccharide by cross-linking or derivatization has been done to investigate its use as pharmaceutical excipient with multifarious roles. Various cross-linkers that have been studied include methacrylamide, N,N-methylenebisacrylamide, and polymethacrylamide.

Keywords

  • Psyllium
  • Ispaghula
  • Dietary fibers
  • Constipation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Acrylamides
  • Excipients

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Abbreviations

AAm:

Acrylamide

APS:

Ammonium persulfate

DNA:

Deoxyribonucleic acid

GLUT-4:

Glucose transporter protein

HEMA:

Hydroxylethylmethacrylate

HLA-B2712:

Human leukocyte antigen

IBS:

Irritable bowel syndrome

IP:

Indian Pharmacopoeia

LDL:

Low-density lipoprotein

MAAm:

Methacrylamide

N,NMBAAm:

N,N-methylenebisacrylamide

NVP:

N-vinylpyrrolidone

PAM:

Polyacrylamide

PMA:

Polymethacrylic acid

PVA:

Polyvinyl alcohol

RAPD:

Random amplified polymorphic DNA

SCFA:

Short-chain fatty acids

SHP:

Seed husk of psyllium

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Madgulkar, A.R., Rao, M.R.P., Warrier, D. (2015). Characterization of Psyllium (Plantago ovata) Polysaccharide and Its Uses. In: Ramawat, K., Mérillon, JM. (eds) Polysaccharides. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16298-0_49

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