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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 08

Phytother Res

Pharmacology of α-spinasterol, a phytosterol with nutraceutical values: A review.


Majeed M, Ahmad F, Mundkur L, Appian S
Phytother Res. 2022 Jul 08.
PMID: 35802356.


α-Spinasterol is a phytosterol found in various edible and non-edible plant sources. The edible plant materials containing α-spinasterol include spinach leaves, cucumber fruits, seeds of pumpkin and watermelon, argan seed oil, cactus pear seed oil and Amaranthus sp. It is a bioavailable nutraceutical, and it can cross the blood-brain barrier. It possesses several important pharmacological properties such as anti-diabetes mellitus, antiinflammation, hypolipidemic, antiulcer, neuroprotection, anti-pain and antitumour activities. For this review, literature search was made focusing on the pharmacological properties of α-spinasterol using PubMed and Google Scholar data bases. Recent studies show the promising antidiabetic properties of α-spinasterol. Its anti-diabetic mechanisms include enhancement of insulin secretion, reduction in insulin resistance, anti-diabetic nephropathy, increase in glucose uptake in muscle cells and inhibition of glucose absorption from intestine. Besides, it is a safe antiinflammatory agent, and its antiinflammatory mechanisms include inhibition of cyclooxygenases, antagonism of TRPV1 receptor and attenuation of proinflammatory cytokines and mediators. It is a promising and safe nutraceutical molecule for human health care. Food supplements, value-added products and nutraceutical formulations can be developed with α-spinasterol for the management of diabetes, chronic inflammatory diseases and improving general health. This review provides all scattered pharmacological studies on α-spinasterol in one place and highlights its immense value for human health care.