Cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Scientific Study, 2017

28 Pages, Grade: 1.5


Table of contents

Table of figures

Table of tables

List of abbreviations

Cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica): a brief overview


1. Introduction
1.1 Objectives

2. Review of literature

3. Hypothesis

4. Materials and Methods
4.1 Study area
4.2 Collection of plant material
4.3 Preparation of Tamarindus indica fruit pulp extracts
4.4 Phytochemical screening
4.5 Preparation of cholesterol samples
4.7 Estimation of cholesterol
4.8 Statistical analysis

5. Results and discussion

6. Conclusions



Table of figures

Figure 1. Map of Kerala showing the soil sample collection point. Authors own work

Figure 2. Details of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) a) fruits hanging on tree, b) harvested fruits, c) and e) fruits with outer skin removed and d) developing flower. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia.

Figure 3. Details of phytochemical analysis of Tamarind (Tamarindus indicus) fruit (water extract S1); A. terpenoids, B.leucoanthocyanins, C.flavonoids, D.proteins,E. alkaloids, F. anthraquinones, G. glycosides, H. coumarins, I. emodin J. carbohydrate, K. phenols, L. saponins, M. phlobatannins, N. steroids, O. anthocyanins. Authors own image.

Figure 4. Details of phytochemical analysis of Tamarind (Tamarindus indicus) fruit (water extract S2); A. terpenoids, B. leucoanthocyanins, C. flavonoids, D. proteins, E. alkaloids, F. anthraquinones, G. glycosides, H. coumarins, I. emodin J. carbohydrate, K. phenols, L. saponins, M. phlobatannins, N. steroids, O. anthocyanins. Authors own image.

Table of tables

Table 1. Chemical composition of Tamarindus indica fruit pulp.

Table 2. Preliminary phytochemical analysis of Tamarindus indica fruit extracts.

Table 3. Cholesterol estimation at different time intervals after treatment (n=3; values in mg/g sample).

List of abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Firstly we thank God Almighty whose blessing were always with us and helped us to complete this project work successfully.

We wish to thank our beloved Manager Rev. Fr. Dr. George Njarakunnel, Respected Principal Dr. Joseph V.J, Vice Principal Fr. Joseph Allencheril, Bursar Shaji Augustine and the Management for providing all the necessary facilities in carrying out the study. We express our sincere thanks to Mr. Binoy A Mulanthra (lab in charge, Department of Biotechnology) for the support. This research work will not be possible with the co-operation of many farmers.

Lastly, we extend our indebt thanks to patents, friends, and well wishers for their love and support.

Prem Jose Vazhacharickal*, Jiby John Mathew, Sajeshkumar N.K and Berin Babu

*Address for correspondence

Assistant Professor

Department of Biotechnology

Mar Augusthinose College


Kerala, India

Cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica): a brief overview

Prem Jose Vazhacharickal1*, Jiby John Mathew1, Sajeshkumar N.K1 and Berin Babu1


1Department of Biotechnology, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, Kerala, India-686576


Aqueous extract of the fruit pulp of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) were evaluated for cholesterol lowering effect, in vitro, against various fatty food materials. People consume food items made by chicken, beef, mutton, egg and fish and it contains large amount of fat. This study aims to analyze the effect of Tamarindus indica in reducing the cholesterol level in this fat compound using water extract of the pulp. For this fatty food samples like egg yolk, pork fat, chicken fat, ghee and cod liver oil were treated with the extract and cholesterol level was estimated by zak’s method for a period of time. Phytochemical constituents present in water extract of Tamarindus indica pulp includes Alkaloids, saponins, steroids, phlobatannins, carbohydrate, terpenoids, phenols, coumarins and leucoanthocyanins. The in vitro cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarindus indica pulp extract shows a positive result on chicken fat, ghee and egg yolk. But in case of pork fat and cod liver oil no beneficial change was observed.

Keywords: Tamarind; Cholesterol; Zak’s method.

1. Introduction

Tamarindus indica L. (Tamarind) belongs to the dicotyledonous family Fabaceae and subfamily caesalpiniaceae (Khanzada et al., 2008) known as Puli / Madhurappuli in Malayalam, has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Its fruits and leaves are the most valuable parts and have often used as a curative agent in several pharmacoeias. The leaves have an estimated protective activity associated with the presence of polyhydroxylated compounds with many of them flavonolic nature (Joyeux et al., 1995). Leaves also contain good levels of protein, fat, fiber and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, ascorbic acid and β-carotene (El-Siddig et al., 2006).

A recent study demonstrated the hypolipidaemic effect of Tamarindus indica fruit pulp in hamsters. However, the biochemical and molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects have not been fully elucidated.

An increased level of lipids in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides, is known as Hyperlipidaemia. This increase is one of the significant risk factors involved in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes (Pushparaj et al., 2007). CVD remains an important cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide (WHO, 2012). It is well recognized that increased levels of blood cholesterol particularly low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is an important risk factor for cardiovascular complications because it favours lipid deposition in blood vessels. Studies have clearly established that reduction of total cholesterol or LDLC is associated with decreased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (Sever et al., 2003).

The use of lipid-lowering drugs for the treatment of hyperlipidaemia lead to many side effect (Davidson et al., 2007). Therefore, there continues to be a high demand for new, more effective and less toxic oral hypolipidaemic drugs. Plant products are frequently considered to be less toxic and relatively free from side effects than synthetic drugs. So, plants play a major role in the introduction of new therapeutic agents and have received much attention as sources of biologically active substances including antioxidative, hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic agents.

Several studies have examined the pharmacological effect of Tamarindus indica L. The results showed that pectin of Tamarindus indica believed to have antioxidants that can reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) (Chong et al., 2012). The pulp of Tamarind finds important place in chutneys, pickles, jams, curries, sauces, ice cream, sharbat and “tamarind fish”. It is extensively used in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh cuisines, particularly in the preparation of Rassam and Sāmbhar. In these states of India many people were eating food product made up of meat and oil these leads to a high degree of CVD in these areas. They are consuming food items made by Chicken, Beef, Mutton, egg and fish and it contains large amount of fat. This study aims to analyse the effect of Tamarindus indica in reducing the cholesterol level in these fat compounds using aqueous extract of the pulp.

1.1 Objectives

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the phytochemical properties of water extract of Tamarindus indica L. fruit pulp and determine cholesterol lowering effect on various fatty food materials.

2. Review of literature

Plants have been used for medicinal purpose from prehistoric period. India has one of the richest plant medical traditions in the world. Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, refers to using a plant's seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. As herbs are natural products they are free from side effects, they are comparatively safe, eco-friendly and locally available. Medicinal plants are those plants which are rich in secondary metabolites and are potential source of drugs. These secondary metabolites include alkaloids, glycosides, coumarins, flavonoids, steroids etc. These chemicals work on the human body in exactly the same way as pharmaceutical drugs, so they can be beneficial and have harmful side effects just like conventional drugs. Scientific researchers in the recent past have come up to support the presence of medicinal activities in herbs recently, by carrying out research that can be found in the scientific literature (DeFeudis, 1991); these include herbs that produce an exceptional molecule to fight cancer and other diseases.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the blood plasma and in animal tissues. It is an organic compound (C27H460) in the steroid family and it is a white, crystalline substance that is odourless and tasteless in its pure state. Cholesterol is the most abundant sterol in animals; it is synthesized by the liver and consumed through diet. Cholesterol is essential for life serving as a building block for steroid hormones (testosterone and estrogen), and for cell walls. Generally in human body the liver makes about cholesterol 80% and other 20% is comes from daily diet. Cholesterol is not required in the diet because the body can synthesize all it needs for essential functions (St. Jean, 2008). Foods containing cholesterol are foods from animals such as: egg yolks, meat, poultry, shellfish and whole milk and other dairy products and is poorly absorbed by the gut into the body.

Cholesterol cannot be dissolved in blood and are carried in the blood by particles called lipoproteins. And they are classified into Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and High-density lipoproteins carrying cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) (Tabas, 2002). LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad cholesterol”, is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) on the other hand, carries about one forth blood cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for developing coronary heart disease which leads to heart attacks. Our total cholesterol should be under 200 mg/dL and anything over this number would be considered too high. Hypercholesterolemia is a condition when there is an extremely high level of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol plays an important role in our nervous system i.e., in the formation of synapses and also in manufacture of steroids or cortisone like hormones, including vitamin D and sex hormones.

Tamarind is extensively used in the Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. Scientifically known as Tarmarindus indica is a multipurpose tree of which almost every part is useful either nutritional or medicinal and a member of the family Fabaceae. Especially the fruit is beneficial; the sweetish acidic pulp of the fruit is a product of commercial importance (Kumar and Bhattacharya, 2008). It is extensively used in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh cuisines, particularly in the preparation of Rassam and Sambhar.

The tree averages 20-25m in height and 1m in diameter, slow growing, but long lived, with an average life span of 80-200 years. Flowering generally occurs in synchrony with new leaf growth, which in most areas is during spring and summer (Orwa et al., 2009).The bark of Tamarind tree is brown gray coloured. It can tolerate diversity of soils like loam, sandy, clay soil, but well drained slightly acidic soil is best for its growth. The leaves are elliptical ovular, alternate, pinnate with reticulate venation and are a mass of bright green, dense foliage with feathery appearance. Normally, the leaves are evergreen but during hot season, they may be shed briefly in dry areas. Leaves are 7.5-15 cm in length, each having 10 to 20 pairs of oblong leaflets (1.25-2.5 cm) and 5-6 mm wide. Leaves fold in cold damp weather and after sunset, due to the degradation of lupeol in dark, which is synthesized in light. Tamarind leaves are a fair source of vitamin C and ß-carotene and the mineral content is high, particularly potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium (El-Siddig et al., 2006). Flowers are attractive pale yellow or pinkish, in small, lax spikes about 2.5cm in width. Flower buds completely enclosed by 2 bracteoles, which fall very early; sepals 4, petals 5, the upper 3 well developed, the lower 2 minute.


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Cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
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Dr. Prem Jose Vazhacharickal (Author)Jiby John Mathew (Author)Sajeshkumar N.K. (Author)Berin Babu (Author), 2017, Cholesterol lowering effect of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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