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Anticancer effects of Uncaria tomentosa

Silymarin and silybin are some of the major bioactive constituents of St Marys Thistle (Silybum marianum),displaying potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activity. These effects may be useful in reducing neurological injury induced by ischemic stroke. The major pathological mechanism underlying ischemic/reperfusion injury to brain tissue is a phenomenon known as ‘excitotoxicity’ in which excessive release of glutamate (which builds up in the extracellular spaces after stroke onset) causes an inappropriate activation of ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain. It basically excites neurons to death via excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).A number of free radical producing enzyme systems are involved. ROS and reactive nitrogen species damage brain tissue via lipid peroxidation or protein nitrosulation of cell organelles and cell membrane, as well as by direct attacks on DNA.