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Purple Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) Seed Oil in Human Health


Kitessa, SM and Nichols, PD and Abeywardena, M, Purple Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) Seed Oil in Human Health, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, Elsevier, RV Preedy, R Watson, and P Vinood (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 951-958. ISBN 978-012375688-6 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-375688-6.10112-4


This chapter summarizes the agronomic description, health benefits, and toxicity associated with the use of echium seeds for human health. Echium seed oil has a combination of specific n-3 and n-6 PUFAs that are involved in inflammatory processes in the body. In addition to the well-recognized benefits against CVD, conditions and diseases where the evidences of n-3 PUFAs are considered to be greater are asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. The oil has two main distinguishing features from other vegetable oils: (1) it is naturally rich in SDA, and (2) its n-6 fatty acid content includes γ-linolenic acid (GLA), which is thought to lead to production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. Animal experiments and direct human supplementation studies show that echium seed oil can bring about beneficial changes in biomarkers of chronic diseases, such as lowering triacylglycerol (TAG) in plasma and tissue. Anti-inflammatory relief can be considered the basis of both the herbal medicine and modern use of echium seed oil as an essential oil and nutritional supplement. However, echium plants produce alkaloids as a chemical defense mechanism. The specific echium alkaloids are called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). PAs are hepatotoxic and cause liver damage.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:health benefits, plants, seeds, human health
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and dietetics
Research Field:Nutrition and dietetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Nichols, PD (Dr Peter Nichols)
ID Code:119665
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-08-03
Last Modified:2017-09-07

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