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PCHRD-Gruppo Medica recognizes outstanding undergraduate thesis in herbal medicine

2011 Winners of the PCHRD-Gruppo Medica for Undergraduate Thesis in Herbal Medicine.

Winners of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD)-Gruppo Medica Award were recognized during the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium (MMHRDC) research forum last August 26, 2011 at the Manila Doctors Hospital.

Three undergraduate students were awarded for their studies on herbal medicine that have shown potential for commercial applications.

Third prize was given to Ms. Luisa Gillian Angeles of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Institute of Chemistry for her study entitled, “Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory Activity of Mimosa pudica.” Mimosa pudica, more commonly known as “Makahiya,” was found to contain flavonoids which are essential in the treatment of gout. With this finding, Makahiya can be a possible alternative for allopurinol, a clinically approved drug used to treat gout.

Second prize went to Ms. Kristin Joyce Santos, Ms. Abegail Santillan, Ms. Chari Jane Rosales of the University of Santo Tomas for their research, “Fruit juice of unripe saba (Musa paradisiaca L.) inhibits free radicals, prevents lipid peroxidation and improves lipid profile.” The study showed that unripe saba can be used as a dietary supplement to reduce the risk of diseases associated with oxidative stress and hyperlipidemia.

First prize was awarded to Mr. Luis Tani, Mr. Leland Ustare, Mr. Von Luigi Valerio of the University of Santo Tomas for their project entitled, “A critical assessment of the cytotoxicity, hypoglycaemic and antioxidant potential of the ripe fruit of Musa sapientum var. saba on human fibroblasts in vitro.” Results of the study revealed that the crude aqueous extract of ripe Musa sapientum var. saba exhibits remarkable properties both as potentially effective antioxidant and as a probable nutraceutical agent for diabetics in the Philippines.

The PCHRD-Gruppo Medica Award provides motivation for students to view undergraduate thesis not merely as an academic exercise, but as an excellent opportunity to contribute to the national agenda.