Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Mohan Z Mani

"Thank you very much for having published my article in record time.I would like to compliment you and your entire staff for your promptness, courtesy, and willingness to be customer friendly, which is quite unusual.I was given your reference by a colleague in pathology,and was able to directly phone your editorial office for clarifications.I would particularly like to thank the publication managers and the Assistant Editor who were following up my article. I would also like to thank you for adjusting the money I paid initially into payment for my modified article,and refunding the balance.
I wish all success to your journal and look forward to sending you any suitable similar article in future"



Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dematolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
Knowledge is treasure of a wise man. The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help ones reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journalsNo manuscriptsNo authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011
Anuradha

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.


Dr. Anuradha
E-mail: anuradha2nittur@gmail.com
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Reviews
Year : 2012 | Month : February | Volume : 6 | Issue : 1 | Page : 130 - 135

Therapeutic Applications of Almonds (Prunus amygdalus L): A Review

Hari Jagannadha Rao, Lakshmi

1. Associate Professor, Dept of Pharmacology NRI Medical College, Guntur, A.P., India. 2. Lecturer, Dept of Pharmacology, NRI Medical College, Guntur, A.P., India. 3 M.D. (Microbiology) Department of Microbiology, Mamata Medical College, Khammam, AP, India.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. G. Hari Jagannadha Rao M.D,
Associate Professor, Dept of Pharmacology,
NRI Medical College, Chinakakani,
Mangalagiri Mandal, Guntur Dt.
PIN - 522503
Phone: 9440434207
E-mail: drhjrao@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

Almond trees are a source of beauty, inspiration, food and medicine. They are native to the region which extends from India to Persia; the almond tree had spread to east and west of its native region thousands of years before Christ. Almonds are good sources of anti-oxidant nutrients. Almonds contain proteins and certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium. They are a rich source of vitamin E, dietary fiber, B-vitamins, essential minerals mono-unsaturated fats and phytosterols which have cholesterol lowering properties. Almonds are a useful food remedy for anaemia. They are beneficial in the treatment of constipation and various skin diseases like eczema, pimples. Almonds are also useful in treating gastro-enteritis, kidney pains, diabetes, head lice, facial neuralgia and gastric ulcers. This review focuses on the phytochemical composition and the medicinal uses, along with the pharmacological properties of almonds.

Keywords

Prunus, Anti-oxidant, Nutrition, Vitamin E, Anaemia

Introduction
Almonds are prunes that belong to the rose family, the Rosaceae. They were traditionally placed in a sub-family, the Prunoideae (or Amygdaloideae), but sometimes, they are placed in their own family, the Prunaceae (or Amygdalaceae). More recently, it has become apparent that Prunus evolved from the sub-family, Spiraeoideae (1). The almond tree is a small deciduous tree which grows to between 4 and 10 meters in height, with a trunk of up to 30 centimeters in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, they become purplish when they are exposed to sunlight and then grey in their second year. The leaves are 3 to 5 inches long (2) with serrated margins and 2.5 cm (1 in) petioles. The flowers are pale pink and 3-5 cm in diameter with five petals; they are produced singly or in pairs before the leaves in early spring (3), (4). Almonds begin to bear an economic crop in the third year after the planting of the trees. The trees reach the full bearing status after five to six years after their planting. The fruit becomes mature in the autumn, 7-8 months after the flowering (4). In botanical terms, the almond is not a nut, but a drupe which is 3.5 to 6 cm long. The fruit consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed (“hut”) inside. Almonds are commonly sold shelled or unshelled. There are three varieties of almonds, all of which produce nuts, but some are edible and some are not. One almond variety produces the sweet nuts we eat, one produces poisonous, bitter nuts and a third variety produces a mixture of bitter and sweet nuts. Two major types of almonds are grown commercially, which can be categorized as sweet almonds (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) and bitter almonds (Prunus Amygdalus amara). The sweet almond producing plant and the bitter almond producing plant can be differentiated on the basis of their flowers, since the sweet almond flowers are white in colour, whereas the bitter almond flowers are pink in colour. The skin of almonds should always be removed before use, as it contains irritating properties. Almonds may cause allergy or intolerance. Cross reactivity is common with peach allergens (lipid Pharmacology Section transfer proteins) and tree nut allergens. The symptoms range from local symptoms (e.g. oral allergy syndrome and contact urticaria) to systemic symptoms, including anaphylaxis (e.g. urticaria, angiooedema and gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms) (5). So far, no comprehensive review has been compiled from the literature, which encompasses the efficacy of this plant in all the dimensions. Its versatile utility as a medicine and functional food motivated us to write a comprehensive review on the medicinal, phytochemical and pharmacological attributes of this plant which is of high economic value.
Nutritional Value
The edible portion of the Prunus amygdalus is it nuts, which are commonly known as almonds or badam, and it is a popular, nutritious food (6). The almond, which is known as the king of nuts, is a highly nutritious food. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. In addition to its nutritional values, it has some medicinal values that may be helpful for treating certain diseases and health problems. The almond is an effective health building food, both for the body and the mind; it is also a valuable food remedy for several common ailments. The nuts of Prunus amygdalus are found to possess various pharmacological properties, such as anti-stress (7), anti-oxidant (8), immunostimulant (9), lipid lowering (10), and laxative (11). The almond is highly beneficial in preserving the vitality of the brain, strengthening the muscles and prolonging life. Almonds are a useful food remedy for anaemia, as they contain copper, iron and vitamins.
Sweet and Biter Almonds
The sweet almond is more popular for obvious reasons. Like the olive, the almond provides food and oil, and both are produced with little effort from the former. A compound which is called ‘Amygdaline’ differentiates the bitter almond from the sweet almond (12). In the presence of water (hydrolysis), amygdaline yields glucose and the chemicals, benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid (HCN). HCN, the salt of which is known as cyanide, is poisonous.The bitter almond is slightly broader and shorter than the sweet almond and it contains about 50% of the fixed oil that occurs in sweet almonds. Bitter almonds yield 4-9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond (13).
Phytochemistry
Almonds are a good source of nutrients which are associated with the health of the heart, such as vitamin E, mono unsaturated fatty acids, poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), arginine, and potassium (14). Almonds are among the richest food sources of vitamin E, as RRR-α-tocopherol. Almonds also contain a variety of phenolic compounds which are localized principally in their skin, including flavonols (isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin, catechin and epicatechin), flavanones (naringenin), anthocyanins (cyanidins and delohinidin), procyanidins, and phenolic acids (caffeic acid, ferulic acid, P-coumaric acid and Vanillic acid) (15). The active constituents of almonds are globulins such as amandine and albumin and amino acids such as arginine, histidine, lysine, phenylalanine, leucine, valine, tryptophan, methionine and cystine. Almonds contain proteins and certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium. They are also rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals and mono unsaturated fat. Almonds also contain phytosterols which are associated with cholesterol-lowering properties. The phytosterol content of almonds is 187 mg/100mg (16). Almonds contain approximately 49% oils , of which 62% is mono-unsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 24% is linoleic acid (a poly unsaturated omega 6 essential fatty acid) and 6% is palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid) (17). A trace of arachidic acid has also been found. Oleum amygdale, the fixed oil, is prepared from either variety of almonds and it is a glyceryl oleate, with a slight odour and a nutty taste. It is insoluble in alcohol, but it is readily soluble in chloroform. Almond oil is produced by pressing the almonds without their peels. The sweet almond contains about 26% carbohydrates (12 % dietary fiber, 6.3 % sugars, 0.7 % starch and the rest are miscellaneous carbohydrates); and can therefore be ground into flour to make cakes and cookies for low carbohydrate diets. The sweet almond oil contains fatty acids like palimitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, alpha linoleic acid, arachidic acid, eicosanoic acid, behenic acid, and erucic acid. Sweet almond oil is obtained from the dried kernels of the almond tree and it has excellent emollient properties.
Phytosterols which are present in almonds
(Table/Fig 1)
Various Pharmacological Actions of Almonds
The Cholesterol Lowering Action
CE Berryman et al have found that almonds have a consistent LDLcholesterol lowering effect in healthy individuals and in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes, in the controlled and free – living settings. Almonds are low in saturated fatty acids and rich in unsaturated fatty acids and contain fiber, phytosterols, plant protein, α-tocopherol, arginine, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and potassium. The mechanism which is responsible for the LDL-cholesterol reduction which is observed with almond consumption is likely to be associated with the nutrients which are provided by the almonds, i.e., decreased absorption of cholesterol and bile acid, increased bile acid and cholesterol excretion and an increased LDL-cholesterol receptor activity. The nutrients which are present in almonds regulate the enzymes which are involved in cholesterol synthesis and bile acid production (18). David J.A. et al shown that almonds reduced the biomarkers of lipid per oxidation in hyper lipidaemic patients (19). The dose response effects of whole almonds which are considered as snacks, were compared with low saturated fat (<5% energy), whole –wheat muffins (control) in the therapeutic diets of hyperlipidaemic subjects. In a randomized cross over study, 27 hyperlipidaemic men and women consumed 3 isoenergetic (mean 423 kcal/d or 1770 kj/d) supplements, each for 1 month. The supplements consisted of full-dose almonds (73 ± 3g/d), half-dose almonds plus halfdose muffins (half dose almonds), and full dose muffins (control). The subjects were assessed at weeks 0, 2 and 4. Their mean body weights differed (≤ 300g) between the treatments, although the weight loss on the half-dose almond treatment was greater than the weight loss on the control (P<0.01). At 4 weeks, the full-dose almonds reduced the serum concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) (P= 0.040) and the creatinine-adjusted urinary isoprostane out put (P=0.026), as compared to the control. The serum concentrations of ∞- or γ- tocopherol, which were adjusted or unadjusted for total cholesterol, were not affected by the treatments. The anti-oxidant activity of almonds was demonstrated by their effect on 2 biomarkers of lipid peroxidation, serum MDA and urinary isoprostances, and this finding supported the previous finding that almonds reduced the oxidation of LDL-C. Their anti-oxidant activity provides an additional possible mechanism, in addition to lowering cholesterol, that may account for the reduction in CHD risk with nut consumption. Olivia J. et al, in their study, found that almond consumption was associated with improvements in the serum lipid profiles (20). They reported that the influence of almonds on the lipid parameters could help in defining the role of almonds as lipid modulators. Manual controlled trails (totaling 142 participants) met all the inclusion criteria. Upon meta-analysis, almond consumption, which ranged from 25 to 168g/day was found to significantly lower cholesterol (weighted mean difference-6.95 mg/dL (95% confidence interval [CI]-13.12 to -0.772) (0.18 m mol/L [95% Cl-0.34 to -0.02)] and this showed a strong trend towards reducing LDL cholesterol [weighted mean difference -5.79 mg/dL (95% CI-11.2 to0.00])] (0.15 m mol/L [95% CI-0.29 to 0.00])]. No significant effect on HDL cholesterol, triglycerides or the LDL: HDL ratio was found. No statistical heterogenicity was observed for any analysis.
Hypoglycaemic Action
David J.A. Jenkins et al showed that almonds lowered post-prandial glycaemia, insulinaemia and oxidative stress. The nut consumption in the Seventh Day Adventists study, the nurses health study, the physicians health study, the health professionals study and the Iowa women’s health study were all associated with the same actions which are mentioned above. Almonds decrease post-prandial glycaemia and oxidative damage in healthy individuals (21). Fifteen healthy individuals, 7 men and 8 women, with an age of 26.3 ± 8.6 years were studied. All the subjects completed 5 study sessions, each lasting 4hours, with a minimum 1 week washout between the tests. The subjects consumed the control meal on 2 occasions, and the almond, parboiled rice, and mashed potato meals only once. The blood glucose concentration over the 4 hour testing for each meal revealed that the almond (55±7) and rice meals (38± 6) showed lower values than that of the instant mashed potato meal (94± 11) (p≤0.003). The almond and rice meal glycaemic index values did not differ (P = 0.25). Similarly, the post-prandial glucose peak heights for the almond (5.9 ± 0.2 m mol /L) and rice (5.8 ± 0.1 m mol/L) meals were lower than the peak heights for the potato meal (6.6 ± 0.2 m mol/L) and the control white bread (6.9 ± 0.2 mmol/L) (P< 0.001). Shah KH, et al have shown in their study, that the ethanolic extract (250 and 500mg/kg) of the leaves, flowers and seeds of almonds was taken up to evaluate its anti diabetic activity against normal and streptozotocin induced diabetic mice. The oral administration of the extract for 21 days resulted in a significant reduction in the blood glucose levels. At the end of the experiment (15th day), the blood glucose levels were 80.6 ± 1.8 and 77.6 ± 1.4 mg/dl in the diabetic mice which were treated with 250 and 500 mg/kg b. w. of the leaf extract respectively. The flower and seed extracts, at a dose of 500mg/kg b. w., also showed significant reduction (P< 0.001) in the blood glucose levels of the diabetic mice on the 15th day of the study (22).
Immunostimulant Action
Adriana Arena, et al, evaluated in their study, that with almonds, high levels of cytokine production were observed i.e., interferon-α (INF-α), interleukins (IL-12), INF-gamma and tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α). Their data suggested that almonds improved the immune surveillance of the peripheral blood mono nuclear cells towards viral infections. Almonds also were found to induce a significant decrease in the Herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) replication (23).
In Amnesia
Kulkarni, et al, in their study, suggests that almonds possess a memory enhancing activity in view of its facilitatory effect on the retention of special memory in scopolamine induced amnesia. They concluded that almonds lowered the serum cholesterol in rats. They were also found to elevate the Ach level in the brain and ultimately improve the memory (special and avoidance) of rats. In the light of the above findings, it may be worthwhile to explore the potential of this plant in the management of cognitive dysfunction (24). The paste of the PA nuts was administered orally at three doses (150, 300, and 600 mg/kg) for 7 and 14 consecutive days to the respective groups of rats. Piracetam (200mg/kg ) was used as a standard nootropic agent. The learning and memory parameters were evaluated by using an elevated plus maze (EPM), passive avoidance and motor activity paradigms. The brain Ch E activity and the serum biochemical parameters like total cholesterol, total triglycerides and glucose were evaluated. It was observed that PA, at the above-mentioned doses, after 7 and 14 days of administration in the respective groups, significantly reversed scopolamine (1 mg/ kg i. p.)- induced amnesia, as was evidenced by a decrease in the transfer latency in the EPM task and in the step-down latency in the passive avoidance task. PA reduced the brain Ch E activity in rats. PA also exhibited a remarkable cholesterol and triglyceride lowering property and slight increase in the glucose levels in the present study. Kulkarni concluded that because the diminished cholinergic transmission and an increase in the cholesterol levels appeared to be responsible for the development of the amyloid plaques and the dementia in Alzheimer’s patients, PA could be a useful memoryrestorative agent. It would be worthwhile to explore the potential of this plant in the management of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pre-Biotic Potential
G. Mandalari et al demonstrated the prebiotic activity of almond seeds. Pre-biotics are non digestible-food ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of bacteria in the digestive system, in ways which are claimed to be beneficial to health. Typically, pre-biotics are carbohydrates (such as oligosaccharides). The most prevalent forms of pre biotics are nutritionally classified as soluble fibers. To some extent, many forms of dietary fibers exhibit some level of pre-biotic effects (29). It has been shown that almonds altered the composition of gut bacteria by stimulating the growth of bifid bacteria and Eubacterium rectale (25).
Anti-oxidant Action
Ali Jahanban Isfahan, et al demonstrated that the methanolic extracts of almonds possessed anti-oxidant and anti radical activities and that their phenolic extract may be helpful in preventing or slowing the processes of various oxidative stress related diseases. On the basis of the comparison between the anti-oxidant and the anti radical activity of wild almond hull and shell phenolic extracts, 4 almond species were selected. The fruits of these almonds were collected, their hulls and shells were dried and ground, and methanolic extracts were prepared from these hulls and shells. The total phenolic content was determined by using the Folin-Ciocalteu (F-C) method. The reducing power and the scavenging capacity of the extracts for radical nitrite, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide were evaluated. The hull and shell extracts, respectively, had a range of 122.2 ± 3.11-75.9 ± 1.13, 46.6 ± 0.94-18.1 ± 0.15 mg/g gallic acid equivalents/g extract in total phenolic content, 0.667-0.343, 0.267-0.114 AU at 700 nm in reducing power, 94.9 ± 0.97 %-63.7 ± 1.14 %, 65.7 ± 0.64 %-24.2 ± 1.31% in hydrogen peroxide,90.6 ± 1.11% -60.7 ± 2.13 %, 56.7 ± 1.33%-28.5 ± 1.65% in superoxide, and 85.2 ± 1.21%-53.4 ± 0.86 %-24.9 ± 1.63% in the nitrite radical scavenging percentage. The results showed that the anti-oxidant and the anti-radical activities of the almond hull were higher than those of its shell phenolic extract among correlated with the phenolic content and radical scavenging capacities of wild almond hull and shell extracts in different species were positively correlated with phenolic content and reducing power (26).
Aphrodisiac Action
Gopu Madhavan , et al, in their study with a polyherbal formulation (Tentex Royal) which contained Prunus amygdalus along with other herbal preparations, showed a significant improvement in all the parameters of the sexual indices. To assess the efficacy of Tentex royal, a polyherbal formulation, in enhancing the male sexual activity in an experimental model, the study involved virgin female rats which were in the oestrous state, which was induced by administering oestrogen, and male rats which were randomized into five groups and were classified into the control group, the sildenafil citrate reference standard group and the Tentex royal-treated group (125, 250 and 500 mg/kg) respectively, for 5 days. Parameters such as total sexual behaviour, mounting frequency, ejaculation frequency, ejaculation latency, serum testosterone levels and sperm count were carefully monitored. A significant improvement in all the parameters of the sexual indices was observed in the Tentex royal group. The treatment with Tentex royal also showed an increase in the sperm count and the testosterone levels. Histological evaluation of the anterior pituitary revealed an increase in the FSH-LHproducing basophils and a decrease in the ACTH producing cells. The study revealed that Tentex royal improved the erectile capacity. Considering the limitations of sildenafil citrate in clinical practice, Tentex royal may be considered a safe and alternative treatment for the correction of erectile dysfunction (27).
Hepato Protective Action
Manoj Soni et al reported the hepato protective activity of the Prunus extract against Paracetamol and Ccl4 induced hepatitis in rats. The extract of methanol: ethanol (70:30) of Prunus was prepared and tested for its hepato-protective effect against Paracetamol and CCl4 induced hepatitis in rats. An alteration in the levels of the biochemical markers of hepatic damage like SGPT, SGOT, ALP, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin and tissue LPO, GSH, catalase and SOD were tested in both the treated and untreated groups. Paracetamol (2g/kg) and CCl4 (1.5ml/kg) enhanced the SGPT, SGOT, ALP, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin and the tissue levels of GSH. The treatment with the extract of the Prunus fruits (150mg/kg and 300mg/kg) brought back the altered levels of the biochemical markers to near normal levels in a dose dependent manner (28).

Conclusion

In the present study, we have discussed the chemical composition, the nutritional value and the pharmacological actions of Prunus amygdalus. However, several recently published reports on the bio-active potential of almonds have indicated their rising pharmacological and medicinal significance. Prunus amygdalus has been considerably investigated for its chemical composition and bioactivities. In the past few years, many promising bioactivities such as hypolipidaemic, hypoglycaemic, immunostimulant, antioxidant and the nootropic activity of Prunus amygdalus have been reported. Also, for the first time, the bioactive potential of Prunus amygdalus as a hepato-protective agent, an aphrodisiac and an agent for increasing the fertility have been realized. The pharmacological and medicinal significance of Prunus amygdalus is gradually increasing. Studies which involve clinical trials in human subjects remain to be performed. Therefore, it is high time to investigate the chemical composition and the bioactivities of the unexplored plants of Prunus and to devote more efforts towards understanding the mechanism of action of the bioactive constituents which are present in them.

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Tables and Figures
[Table / Fig - 1]
DOI and Others

ID: JCDR/2012/3172.3656.3719:1836

FINANCIAL OR OTHER COMPETING INTERESTS: NONE.

Date of Submission: Aug 24, 2011
Date of Peer Review: Oct 30, 2011
Date of Acceptance: Nov 30, 2011
Date of Publishing: Feb 15, 2012

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