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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Polypodium Leucotomos

Polypodium Leucotomos

Polypodium leucotomos extracts have been used for ages and comes from a tropical fern plant that grows in the South and Central America. The rhizome as well as the leaves and fronds of the plant are used to derive the extracts. Extracts of polypodium leucotomos are marketed and used for multiple indications like skin disease, inflammatory disorders, leukotriene inhibitory properties and cytokine suppresser. Recently a clinical trial proved its efficacy as an antioxidant and having photoprotective properties (when taken by mouth provides protection against the ultraviolet radiations of the sun). Polypodium leucotomos contains flavonoids, alkaloids and lipids.
Therapeutic activities of the plant is mainly attributed to these compounds mainly lipids and fatty acids. The active chemical of the plant documented is ‘sulphoquinovosyldiacylglycerols’ (a lipid).

Polypodium leucotomos may help to prevent sun burn, skin cancer and skin ageing by scavenging the free radicals and reactive oxygen species particularly superoxide anions (that are associated with direct cell damage and all types of cancers). It also protects the DNA by inhibiting the formation of cancer forming cells and preserves the skin tissue by inhibiting the release of mast cells in the skin that are associated with inflammation, redness and itching. Clinical trials performed on skin type 2 and 4 showed that polypodium leucotomos provides significant protection of the skin against UV radiations.  Due to these effects it may also serve as eczema remedy, multiple sclerosis, dementia cure, vitiligo and psoriasis treatment particularly to improve the skin appearance. Premature ageing of the skin (that is freckles, wrinkles or increased dryness) can increase the risk of skin cancer. Polypodium leucotomos can be used as a chemophotoprotector against premature skin aging and skin phototoxicity. Traditionally based on scientific theories it is also used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disease, asthma, fever, arthritis/ joint disease, edema and whopping cough. However to use polypodium supplements in these conditions more scientific researches are required for its safety and effectiveness over other proven treatment.

Polypodium leucotomos supplements when taken orally work better as a skin protector at deep cellular level of the skin, compared to tropical application of the antioxidant. Polypodium supplements when taken in recommended levels does not have any significant side effects, however some cases of stomach upsets, itching, sedation, altered blood pressure and heart function have been reported. Polypodium leucotomos supplements have not been studied for its safety in pregnancy, lactation and children, thus it is not advisable to take in these groups. Polypodium supplements may also react with some drugs (especially medication related to heart diseases), herbal or dietary supplements, thus it is advisable to take its supplements in recommended doses under the guidance and supervision of a health care professional.

Submitted on January 16, 2014