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Current Project

Chemistry and Human Health Division (VII)


Number: 2001-050-2-700

Title: Chemical, pharmacological aspects of natural products with medicinal and nutritive value

Task Group
Mukund S. Chorghade

Members: Jasjit S. Bindra, Joseph F Borzelleca, Isaac Bulka, John Cardellina, Sajid Hussain, A.V. Rama Rao, and B. N. Roy

To comprehensively survey the chemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of numerous natural products with medicinal and nutritive value.

The R&D thrust, in the pharmaceutical sector is focused on development of new drugs, innovative/indigenous processes for known drugs and development of plant based drugs through investigation of leads from the traditional systems of medicine. Increasingly, non -traditional systems of medicine such as ayurveda, yunani etc. are being increasingly explored as a source for drug discovery. In addition, many nutraceuticals are being consumed in an unregulated market for perceived benefits in health care and improvement of quality of life.

Natural pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals (herbal extracts) and cosmoceuticals are of great importance as a reservoir of chemical diversity aimed at new drug discovery and are explored for antimicrobial, cardiovascular, immunosuppressive, and anticancer drugs. Around 80% of all such products have a plant origin and sales based on these drugs exceeded $50 billion in 1996. Examples of plant chemicals used in drug manufacturing by the pharmaceutical industry include Paclitaxel, Vincristine, vinblastine, artemisinin, camptothecin, podophyllotoxin, etc. The nutraceutical marketplace in Europe is estimated to be $6 billion, while the US marketplace, estimated to be $3 billion in 1996, is expanding at a compounded rate of more than 20% per year. U.S. Congress has fueled the rapid growth in the nutraceutical marketplace with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994. Under DSHEA, traditional herbal products can be marketed with structure/function claims of efficacy without clinical trials and FDA regulatory approval.

We aspire to complete a comprehensive survey of products currently in use. The properties of these materials will be evaluated and tabulated.

March 2005 - A survey has been completed and the first draft prepared.

Last Update: 14 March 2005

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