The human brain remains a mystery today, even after years of research into the biological processes underlying its specific actions. In addition to controlling and coordinating vital life processes, the brain regulates higher level operations such as memory and cognition, functions that provide us with the capacity to think reason and act. These mental abilities, however, have been observed to diminish significantly with advancing age as early as in the fifth decade of life, and factors such as emotional stress could precipitate these effects even earlier in life. Gradual deterioration may progress to a point where the person, often in good physical health, is unable to perform even simple daily tasks. Biovita is a natural nutritious health drink for improving general health condition among all patients. It is a poly-herbal formulation for anti-aging; memory enhancing; immunity strengthening; anxiety/tension relief; sound sleep; energizing muscles; relieving nervous exhaustion/weakness, in men, women & children.
Brahmi- Bacopa monniera:Beneficial effects on learning and memory: In a detailed study, the effects of an alcoholic extract of Bacopa plant fed to rats were evaluated on the learning ability of the animals. The rats were faced with three different situations which required learning new skills and memorizing the newly learned skills. One groups of rats received Bacopa extract at a dose of 40 mg/kg/day, while the other group served as the control (untreated) group. After three consecutive days of feeding with Bacopa extract, it was observed that the treated rats significantly improved in the acquisition of new skills compared to the control group. They were also able to retain the skills acquired for the entire duration of the three-day treatment. However, the animals forgot these skills once treatment with Bacopa extract was discontinued. In order to sustain these beneficial effects, the animals had to be fed a maintenance dose of the extract for a number of days. The authors of this report suggest that Bacopa extract might facilitate learning ability in rats due to qualitative improvements in the neurons and their message-carrying connections. Based on these experiments, Bacopa was proven to exert significant but short-lived effects on memory in rats (Fig. (a), (b)). The ease of acquisition of new skills indicated by the decrease in time taken to learn was enhanced by about 50% on treatment with Bacopa. In addition, the Bacopa treatment enhanced the retention of learning indicated by ease of "relearning" after a specific time interval by about 200%.
In a follow-up experiment, the same group of researchers evaluated the potential of the active saponin fractions of Bacopa monniera, Bacosides A and B, to enhance learning abilities in rats. The bacosides were fed to rats at a single dose of 10 mg/kg 90 minutes prior to teaching the animals a new skill. The treated animals were able to learn within a shorter time compared to the control group. In addition, their relearning ability was enhanced significantly even after the treatment was withdrawn. This implies that administration of bacosides improved learning abilities in the long run. (Singh, H.K. and Dhawan, B.N. (1997) Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 29:S359-S365.) A recent study tested the ability of rats to remember skills learned before amnesia was induced in order to confirm the mode of action of the bacosides on the memory process11. Retrograde amnesia was induced in rats by immobilization stress dministered for 18 hours or by administering electroconvulsive shock (0.5 mA, 50 Hz, 0.5 sec). Both treatments were administered immediately after completion of training. The training schedule involved a brightness discrimination reaction. The animals were divided into two groups; one group served as the untreated controls. Bacosides were administered to the second group at an oral dose level of 20 mg/kg for three days before induction of amnesia. The amnesic treatments led to a significant disruption of consolidation in control groups compared to the groups pretreated with bacosides (Fig).
Treatment of anxiety neurosis: The beneficial effects of Brahmi on memory retention and its effectiveness in alleviating anxiety neurosis have been validated by clinical trials on normal subjects as well as those with specific mental disorders. Preliminary clinical trials performed over thirty years showed encouragingresults. Only recently the studies on Brahmi have been extended to patients suffering from mild to moderate mental deficiencies. Study design: Singh and Singh performed clinical studies on the anti-anxiety effect of Bacopa monniera. Thirty-five patients suffering from anxiety neurosis were selected for this study. They were divided into two groups. One group was followed for two weeks from the commencement of the therapy, and the other group was followed for four weeks. After clinical diagnosis and baseline evaluation, the patients received a regimen of treatment with Brahmi syrup at a dose of 30 ml per day in two divided doses (the total daily dose provided 12 g of dry, crude Bacopa monniera) for a period of one month. The patients followed a uniform diet. Clinical assessment of the Brahmi treatment was based on the following performance parameters evaluated at weekly intervals: Anxiety level; Adjustment level; Mental fatigue rate; Immediate memory span; Disability level; Physiological changes (viz., pulse rate, blood pressure, body weight, rate of respiration and breath holding time). Biochemical changes (blood chemistry) Results: (1) Anxiety reduction: The mean total anxiety level of each patient over the selected time period (two or four weeks) was assessed using the Sinha anxiety scale. The mean, total, anxiety level in the group of patients evaluated during two weeks of therapy was 34.88 compared to the corresponding baseline value of 53.22 (p<0.01). Similarly, the mean total anxiety level in the patients followed after 4 weeks was 40.70 compared to the baseline pretreatment value of 49.05. (p < 0.01) (Fig). These results suggest that treatment with the extract helped to lower the anxiety levels significantly.
Behavioral Improvements: Anxiety neurosis often manifests itself in behavioral problems, such as inability to adjust to situations encountered in daily life, including social interactions and work-related activities (maladjustment). The mean total maladjustment level in patients was assessed using the guidelines provided by Asthana50. The degree of maladjustment in patients after two weeks of treatment was 138.17, compared to its corresponding pretreatment value of 166.0 (p<0.01). The mean maladjustment level in patients after four weeks of therapy was 53.58, which was significantly (p<0.01) lower than the corresponding pretreatment value of 166.28. (Fig).
Effects on Mental fatigue rate : The mental fatigue rate was determined in terms of total work output for a given time and the number of mistakes that a person made during work. The assessment was based on the results of Joshi’s digit cancellation test51. The mean work output in patients followed up for two weeks under treatment was 801.65 compared to the corresponding pretreatment value of 688.15 (p<0.01). Similarly, the mean work output in patients followed for four weeks was 855.80 compared to the corresponding pretreatment value of 711.15 (p<0.01) (Fig).
Effects on Immediate memory span Brahmi has been shown to significantly increase immediate memory span determined by the Joshi’s digit retention test51. The mean memory span in patients after two weeks was 5.89 compared to the corresponding pretreatment value of 5.43, (p<0.01). The mean immediate memory span in patients after 4 weeks was 6.37 compared to the initial value of 5.94 (p < 0.01) (Fig).
Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus Plauricaulis) & Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): A dose dependent enhancement of memory was observed with A. racemosus and C. pluricaulis treatment as compared to control group when tested on second day. A. racemosus and C. pluricaulis at the dose of 200 mg/kg, po showed significantly higher percent retentions, than piracetam. Multiple treatment with A. racemosus and C. pluricaulis for three days also demonstrated significant dose dependent increase in percent retentions as compared to control group. The effect was more prominent with C. pluricaulis as compared with piracetam and A. racemosus. A significantly lower percent retention in aged mice was observed as compared to young mice. Aged mice (18-20 months) showed higher transfer latency (TL) values on first and second day (after 24 h) as compared to young mice, indicating impairment in learning and memory. Pretreatment with A. racemosus and C. pluricaulis for 7 days enhanced memory in aged mice, as significant increase in percent retention was observed. Significantly higher retention was observed with C. pluricaulis (200 mg/kg; po) as compared with piracetam (10 mg/kg/; po). Post-trial administration of C. pluricaulis and A. racemosus extract demonstrated significant decrease in latency time during retention trials. Hippocampal regions associated with the learning and memory functions showed dose dependent increase in AChE activity in CA 1 with A. reacemosus and CA3 area with C. pluracaulis treatment. The underlying mechanism of these actions of A. racemosus and C. pluricaulis may be attributed to their antioxidant, neuroprotective and cholinergic properties ( Sharma K, Bhatnagar M, Kulkarni SK. B.N. PG College of Pharmacy, Udaipur 313 001, India.)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Over the past five years, the Institute of Natural Medicine at the Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan has conducted extensive research into the brain benefits of ashwagandha. The Institute’s scientists were looking for ways to encourage the regeneration of nerve cell components called axons and dendrites in validated models of the human brain. This important research may one day benefit those who have incurred brain injuries due to physical trauma, as well as those who suffer cognitive decline due to destruction of the nerve cell networks from diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Using a validated model of damaged nerve cells and impaired nerve-signaling pathways, re-searchers noted that ashwagandha supported significant regeneration of the axons and dendrites of nerve cells. Furthermore, ashwagandha extract supported the reconstruction of synapses, the junctions where nerve cells communicate with other cells. The investigators concluded that ashwagandha extract helps to reconstruct networks of the nervous system, making it a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.In another study at the same institute, researchers found that ashwagandha helped support the growth of nerve cell dendrites, which allow these cells to receive communications from other cells. This finding suggests that ashwagandha could help heal the brain tissue changes that accompany dementia. Finally, in a third published study, the researchers noted that ashwagandha helped promote the growth of both normal and damaged nerve cells, suggesting that the herb may boost healthy brain cell function as well as benefit diseased nerve cells.
Gokshuru: Tribulus terrestris is an herbal nutritional supplement that is promoted to produce large gains in strength and lean muscle mass in 5-28 days (15, 18). Although some manufacturers claim T. terrestris will not lead to a positive drug test, others have suggested that T. terrestris may increase the urinary testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio, which may place athletes at risk of a positive drug test. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of T. terrestris on strength, fat free mass, and the urinary T/E ratio during 5 weeks of preseason training in elite rugby league players. Twenty-two Australian elite male rugby league players (mean +/- SD; age = 19.8 +/- 2.9 years; weight = 88.0 +/- 9.5 kg) were match-paired and randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to either a T. terrestris (n = 11) or placebo (n = 11) group. All subjects performed structured heavy resistance training as part of the club's preseason preparations. A T. terrestris extract (450 mg.d(-1)) or placebo capsules were consumed once daily for 5 weeks. Muscular strength, body composition, and the urinary T/E ratio were monitored prior to and after supplementation. After 5 weeks of training, strength and fat free mass increased significantly without any between-group differences. No between-group differences were noted in the urinary T/E ratio. It was concluded that T. terrestris did not produce the large gains in strength or lean muscle mass that many manufacturers claim can be experienced within 5-28 days. Furthermore, T. terrestris did not alter the urinary T/E ratio and would not place an athlete at risk of testing positive based on the World Anti-Doping Agency's urinary T/E ratio limit of 4:1(Rogerson S, Riches CJ, Jennings C, Weatherby RP, Meir RA, Marshall-Gradisnik SM.Source School of Exercise Science and Sport Management, Southern Cross University Lismore, New South Wales, Australia). In animal research, the fruits of tribulus appears to protect the organs (mostly liver and kidneys) from oxidative damages at reasonably low dosages and also exert anti-stress effects; confirming the status of tribulus terrestris as an Adaptogen. In one of the study in chronic stress induced depression given 375-2,250mg/kg tribulus terrestris (80% saponins) noted dose-dependent antistress effects with the highest dose fully normalizing the increases in corticosterone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and corticotropin releasing factor. 750mg/kg was as effective as the clinical dose of fluoxetine (1.8mg/kg)(Wang Z, et al. Effect of tribulus terrestris saponins on behavior and neuroendocrine in chronic mild stress depression rats. J Tradit Chin Med. (2013))