Recently, scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have found the first synthetic route for producing flavonoids molecules related to the treatment of tuberculosis and chikungunya.
ARI is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
It is for the first time that scientists have been able to synthesize the flavonoid molecules such as rugosa flavonoids, podocare flavone and isoflavone in a lab.
These three molecules have so far been isolated from plants only and are found to inhibit tuberculosis and chikungunya.
Flavonoids are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids (organic pigments), they are responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.
Polyphenols have historically been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and are associated with skin protection, brain function, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation.
These are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits as well.
A diet rich in flavonoids can protect from diseases related to heart, liver, kidney, brain and other infectious diseases.