Sunday August 25, 2019

Now Vitamin B12 Can be Found in Plants as well

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

0
//
Plant Species (representational Image), Wikimedia

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Arjuna plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential dietary component found especially in meat, fish and milk products.

 

However, plants do not make this nutrient, making vegetarians prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Researchers, led by Martin Warren from University of Kent, found that the common garden cress, also known as pepper grass, can absorb cobalamin depending upon the amount present in the growth medium. They also confirmed that the nutrient gets stored in the leaves of the plant.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Tulsi plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

Garden cress, known as “chandrashoor” in India, is considered as an ayurveda herb. It is genetically related to mustard and is used in making soups, sandwiches and salads because of its tangy flavour.

 

In the study, published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology, the team made a type of Vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser.

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.

Team Led by Indian-Origin Scientist Converts Plant Matter Into Chemicals
Ashwagandha plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

 

The researchers found that the Vitamin B12 accumulated in a specialised part of the leaf cell called a vacuole, providing definitive evidence that some plants can absorb and transport cobalamin.

“The observation that certain plants are able to absorb Vitamin B12 is important as they could help overcome dietary limitations in countries like India, with a high proportion of vegetarians. It may also be a way to address the global challenge of providing a nutrient-complete vegetarian diet,” the researchers said.

Also Read: Hydroponics: Growing Plants Without Soil!

According to the researchers, the study also has implications for combating some parasitic infections. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants be Set Up Only in Villages that Have Water Quality Problems

The study covered 21 gram panchayats (GPs), or village level local bodies, in seven states where the highest number of RO plants had been set up

0
RO, Plants, Water Quality
The institute undertook a study on the RO plants, which were set up as technology solutions to address quality related problems in drinking water. Pixabay

 National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has recommended that Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants be set up only in the villages that have water quality problems so as to avoid high costs and maintenance burden.

The institute undertook a study on the RO plants, which were set up as technology solutions to address quality related problems in drinking water.

The study covered 21 gram panchayats (GPs), or village level local bodies, in seven states where the highest number of RO plants had been set up, as per the data provided by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

The study looked at three GPs with RO plants in four southern states, two from west India and one from north India.

RO, Plants, Water Quality
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has recommended that Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants be set up only in the villages that have water quality problems. Pixabay

“Our hunch was that possibly, a GP President feels elated to say that he provides RO treated water to his voters, (when in reality the quality of the water is potable). Empirical verification revealed that we were right in every third case,” said Professor P. Sivaram, Head, Centre for Rural Infrastructure, NIRDPR.

Out of the 21 cases studied, eight units have come up at places where they were not required as no quality-related problem in water is observed there. This has several cost implications not only to the state but also to the GPs in terms of maintenance, he added.

In 16 of the 21 GPs, the RO plants are operated by the GP whereas in the other cases, they were found to be operated by private players for profit or by NGOs as part of their rural development programmes.

The study revealed that people were paying Rs 50 to Rs 150 per month depending on the usage. There have been certain unique modes of payment introduced such as swiping the ATM card, coin-operated systems, water coupons, among others, which are easing the burden on the GPs. Yet, challenges continue to persist in their uptake since several families feel the taste of RO-treated water is bland or that it is not affordable and they prefer piped water supply instead.

Also Read- India: MoC Signed to Enhance Collaboration in Education and Research in Acupuncture

In several of the under study states, it was found that the levels of calcium and magnesium fell drastically after the RO treatment, which could potentially cause calcium deficiency in the body.

In rural areas, however, which continue to struggle with contaminated water, the RO reject water can be utilised for other uses such as in school/anganwadi (child care centre) toilets which is being done in some villages in Rajasthan, the report said. (IANS)