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NUTRACEUTICALS AND NEW TREATMENTS IN VASCULAR AND METABOLIC PROBLEMS
Belcaro G. 1, Maquart F.-X. 2, Scoccianti M. 1, Dugall M. 1, Hosoi M. 1, Cesarone M. 1, Luzzi R. 1, Cornelli U. 1, Ledda A. 1, Feragalli B. 1
1 Irvine3 Labs, Department of Biomedical Sciences Chieti - Pescara University, Pescara, Italy
2 Laboratory Of Biochemistry-Cnrs Umr 6237 Université De Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Faculté De Médicine, 51095 Reims, France
Plant-derived elements used for pharmacological applications constitute an increasing research field. Centella asiatica is widely used mainly as an extract (TECA). Triterpenic fractions, the primary constituents of Centella asiatica, produce a wide range of preventive and therapeutic effects. The modulation of collagen production and deposition in wound healing is of primary importance. TECA is also used to treat several microcirculatory problems, inflammatory skin conditions (leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis) and also intestinal problems, fever, amenorrhea and genitourinary conditions. Cognitive functions, anxiety and mental impairment may be also affected by TECA administration. New applications in neurology include nerve growth factor enhancement and applications in neurological degenerative conditions. Interaction with other products is also indicated in this document. The multiplicity of actions of TECA is associated to six important mechanisms, all inter-connected and modulating each other: 1) edema – and capillary filtration – control; 2) a strong antioxidant power, effective on several forms of oxidative stress associated to inflammation or infections and synergic with other antioxidant products; 3) an anti-inflammatory action; 4) a modulation of the collagen production avoiding slower scarring or faster, hyperthrophic scarring and cheloids; 5) a modulating action of local growth factors; 6) a modulation of angiogenesis.
This “status” paper – resulting from an expert meeting held in Cobham, Surrey, indicates most of the therapeutic potential of TECA, still to be explored in further studies. The status paper constitutes the basis for a consensus document on TECA to be developed in the next future. This “status” paper opens a new window on an ancient but still partially unexplored product that may become an important value in prevention and treatment of several pre-clinical and risk conditions and in clinically significant disease both as a single products and in association with other ‘natural’ products.