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Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Jun;40(6):639-55.

Immune system and antioxidants, especially those derived from Indian medicinal plants.

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Cell Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India.


During the functioning of the immune system, such as in phagocytosis, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are generated. If they are left unchecked they can affect the components of the immune system by inducing oxidative damage. This is more so in the elderly or during inflammation where there is excess generation of these reactive species than can be taken care of by the defenses in the form of antioxidants. Dietary supplementation with antioxidants may greatly help in such conditions. There are some indications of possible benefits of antioxidant supplementation. Natural compounds from medicinal plants having antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities have potential as therapeutic agents in this regard. Indian medicinal plants with these activities have been identified and their antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects reviewed. The possible future prospects in this regard are also outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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