Journal of medicinal food

Therapeutic Potential of Ocimum tenuiflorum as MPO Inhibitor with Implications for Atherosclerosis Prevention.

PMID 25764050


Current experimental studies show that Ocimum tenuiflorum (commonly known as basil or Tulsi) possesses many health benefits. Ocimum is suggested to be antioxidative and anti-inflammatory. Eugenol, an orthomethoxyphenol, and ursolic acid have been identified as important components of basil. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), an oxidative enzyme, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. MPO-dependent oxidation of lipoproteins has been implicated in foam cell formation, dysfunctional HDL, and abnormalities in reverse cholesterol transport. Whole leaf extract of O. tenuiflorum and its major components, eugenol and ursolic acid, inhibit the oxidation of lipoproteins by myeloperoxidase/copper as measured by conjugated diene formation as well as by the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) assay. Whole basil leaf extract is able to attenuate the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 cells compared with its components. In addition, whole basil leaf extract and eugenol inhibited MPO enzyme activity against synthetic substrates. Based on these results, we conclude that basil extract could act as an inhibitor of MPO and may serve as a nonpharmacological therapeutic agent for atherosclerosis.