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Hemalatha Sanagaram

National Institute of Nutrition, India

Title: Sesame lignans: Potent components as nutraceuticals/functional foods

Biography

Hemalatha Sanagaram was awarded her PhD in the year 2002 from Osmania University, Hyderabad. She has been working in the area of lipid chemistry with specifi c emphasis on the role of minor components present in the non glyceride fraction of oils in health and disease. She has published papers in peer reviewed International journals.

Abstract

Oxidative stress is a key component in several chronic degenerative disease including cancer. Sesame has long been known to have both nutritional and medicinal value. However, the scientifi c basis of the health claims of sesame is not clear yet. Th e fatty acid composition and the tocopherol levels do not completely explain the high stability of sesame oil and these unusual characteristics are attributed to its non-glyceride components, i.e. the lignans, namely sesamin and sesamolin. Sesamin has been shown to have hypocholesterolemic and immunomodulatory properties while sesamolin is the precursor ofsesamol and sesaminol. Studies at NIN were focused to evaluate the potency of sesame lignans in biological (invitro and invivo) systems and foods. Sesamin and sesamolin were isolated and crystallized from highlignan cultivars, and their purity was confi rmed by spectral analysis.Although lignansper se were weak antioxidants they enhanced the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, sugesting that sesame lignans may have sparing eff ects on tocopherols. Th e eff ects of feeding sesamin and sesamolin on Fe2+-induced oxidative stress in rats showedincreased bioavailability of tocopherols, probably due to regeneration of oxidized tocopherols. Addition of sesame lignans to edible oils resulted in increased thermal stability suggesting that sesame lignans may have potential application as natural antioxidants in the edible oil and food industry; Th e synergistic eff ects of lignans with tocols has nutritional and therapeutic implications. Th erefore sesame lignans may be considered as active ingredients of nutraceuticals/ functional foods.