Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine has given great emphasis to the promotion of health. Rasayana is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda which refers to rejuvenant therapy. It has been reported that rasayanas have immuno-modulatory, antioxidant and antitumor functions, however, the genotoxic potential and modulation of DNA repair of many rasayanas have not been evaluated.
The present study assessed the role of Brahmarasayana (BR) on Ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-and Methyl methanesulfonate (MMS)-induced genotoxicity and DNA repair in in vivo mouse test system. The mice were orally fed with BR (5 g or 8 mg / day) for two months and 24 h later EMS or MMS was given intraperitoneally. The genotoxicity was analyzed by chromosomal aberrations, sperm count, and sperm abnormalities.
The results have revealed that BR did not induce significant chromosomal aberrations when compared to that of the control animals (p >0.05). On the other hand, the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations induced by EMS (240 mg / kg body weight) or MMS (125 mg / kg body weight) were significantly higher (p<0.05) to that of the control group. The treatment of BR for 60 days and single dose of EMS or MMS on day 61, resulted in significant (p <0.05) reduction in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in comparison to EMS or MMS treatment alone, indicating a protective effect of BR. Constitutive base excision repair capacity was also increased in BR treated animals.
The effect of BR, as it relates to antioxidant activity was not evident in liver tissue however rasayana treatment was observed to increase constitutive DNA base excision repair and reduce clastogenicity. Whilst, the molecular mechanisms of such repair need further exploration, this is the first report to demonstrate these effects and provides further evidence for the role of brahmarasayana in the possible improvement of quality of life.