Scientists use Vietnamese herbs to make products to prevent osteoporosis

Using nanotechnology, researchers from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology have created an anti-osteoporosis product from violet ba kich (Morinda officinalis).

In early 2019, the research team headed by Pharmacist Phan Ke Son and Dr Ha Phuong Thu from the Institute of Materials Science set to work on a state-level project to commercialize the technological process to produce functional food for osteoporosis prevention made from from ba kich, a tree grown in Quang Ninh province.

Scientists use Vietnamese herbs to make products to prevent osteoporosis

The project is part of the science and technology market development program to 2020 (Program 2075). It is implemented by the Institute of Materials Science in cooperation with CVI Pharmaceuticals with funding from the state budget and reciprocal capital from CVI, in charge of providing materials, machines and equipment.

According to Son, ba kich is a perennial herbal plant, a species of climbing plants, which has been used by Vietnamese for many generations. However, its value has not be fully exploited.

For many years, people have been using ba kich in simple ways, such as soaking in wine, extracting ba kich by slow cooking or making glue.

In recent years, experiments, both in vitro and in vivo, have confirmed the anti-osteoporosis supportive effects of active ingredients in ba kich.

For many years, people have been using ba kich in simple ways, such as soaking in wine, extracting ba kich by slow cooking or making glue.

An in vitro study on mouse bone marrow cells found that substances belonging to the anthraquinone group in ba kich have the ability to stimulate the proliferation of bone-forming cells.

Several other compounds in this group help reduce bone loss thanks to the ability of inhibiting osteoclasts. However, there is currently no medicine preparation made of ba kich used for anti-osteoporosis purpose on the market.

 

Scientists discovered a defect of anthraquinone which exists in ba kich roots: it is difficult to dissolve in water. Small iridoid molecules are easily eliminated from the body.

Therefore, they needed to find solutions to fix the problems and create a medicine product convenient for use at reasonable prices.

They discovered that a nano drug delivery system is the best solution. With nano size, the delivery systems can dissolve in biological fluid and be absorbed in the gastrointestinal mucosa to enter the blood vessel system, thus protecting the drug when passing through the liver. Also, it is not eliminated too quickly from the circulatory system. Thanks to this, the therapeutic effect of the drug increases significantly with low doses.

The research team has joined forces with the company to design the development of the ba kich material growing area to ensure material supply and quality.

The product is developed with domestic technology and has reasonable production costs.

Mai Lan

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