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Medicines 2016, 3(3), 17; doi:10.3390/medicines3030017

Heteromeles Arbutifolia, a Traditional Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Phytochemistry and Safety

1
Tongji School of Pharmacy, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, China
2
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90899-9121, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Medicines for Clinical Trial)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [239 KB, uploaded 7 July 2016]

Abstract

Background: This study examined the chemistry and safety of Heteromeles arbutifolia, also called toyon or California holly, which is a traditional California Indian food and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: Plant extracts were examined by HPLC/MS, NMR and other techniques to identify compounds. Volunteers were recruited to examine the acute safety of the plant medicine using a standard short-term memory test. Results: The plant was found to contain icariside E4, dihydroxyoleanenoic acid, maslinic acid, betulin, trihydroxyoxo-seco-ursdienoic acid, catechin, vicenin-2, farrerol, kaempferide and tetrahydroxyoleanenoic acid. These compounds are anti-inflammatory agents that may protect the blood-brain barrier and prevent inflammatory cell infiltration into the brain. The dried berries were ingested by six volunteers to demonstrate the safety of the medicine. Conclusion: The plant medicine was found to contain several compounds that may be of interest in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The plant medicine was found to be safe. View Full-Text
Keywords: Heteromeles arbutifolia; toyon; California holly; Alzheimer’s disease; phytochemistry; safety Heteromeles arbutifolia; toyon; California holly; Alzheimer’s disease; phytochemistry; safety
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Dubois, R.; Young, C.; Lien, E.J.; Adams, J.D. Heteromeles Arbutifolia, a Traditional Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Phytochemistry and Safety. Medicines 2016, 3, 17.

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