Posted on Jul 24, 2020, 2 p.m.
Certain species from within the genus Juglans, which are the largest and most commonly distributed of the 8 genera in the walnut family, may have diverse biological activities including being anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, fat metabolizing, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-lipidemic, and containing anti-proliferative properties. These activities have been suggested to be useful in the treatment for a range of ailments varying from stomach pain and diarrhea to arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
Mexican walnut has been traditionally used to help treat ulcers and microbial infections. Bark extract from the Mexican walnut tree has been reported to have antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anti-mycobacterial activities. In a report recently published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine the researchers describe their investigation into the biological activity of Mexican walnut bark extract, and whether it can protect against damage caused by ischemia reperfusion, which is damage that occurs when blood supply to a section of tissue/organ returns after a period of ischemia or lack of oxygen.
To determine if Mexican walnut bark extract can protect the kidneys from this damage the researchers divided 24 rats into 4 groups which were designated as a control group, a I/R group, an extract group, and an extract plus I/R group. Two groups were pretreated with 300 mg/kg of the extract for 7 days before inducing I/R which involved clamping the renal hilums for 45 minutes then reperfusing the kidneys for 15 hours.
Blood samples were taken to evaluate the levels of kidney function markers, oxidative stress markers, and pro-inflammatory molecules. The extract plus I/R group was found to have had lower creatine, ALT, MDA, IL-1B, IL-6, and TNF-a levels than the I/R group. The extract plus I/R group also had higher levels of antioxidant SOD enzymes than the controls. Findings suggest that Mexican walnut bark extract can help to reduce kidney injury and improve blood antioxidant levels.
Compared to the control group no biochemical or histological damage was observed in animals that were treated with this extract. Additionally, animals in the extract plus I/R group also had less histrological damage than those in the I/R group.
Based on their findings the team concluded that Mexican walnut bark extract could protect against I/R induced kidney damage, and this activity may be attributed to its ability to decrease inflammation and modulate oxidative stress markers.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.