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Interactive Research School For Health Affairs (IRSHA), Pune


Dr. Supriya Bhalerao

The prevalence of obesity is rising in Indian population. It is rapidly becoming an epidemic in all age groups, both in males and females. This situation is alarming since obesity is associated with other co-morbidities such as hypertension, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular diseases etc. The current management options include lifestyle modification, drugs and bariatric surgery which have limitations such as limited success, adverse effects and cost-effectiveness respectively.

Against this background, our main focus is on development of anti-obesity drugs taking leads from Ayurveda, the Indian Traditional system of Medicine. The focus is to use Ayurvedic insights in order to upgrade the knowledge of conventional disease biology and usage of modern parameters for validation of basic concept of Ayurveda

Current Research Projects:

  • Evaluation of Triphala and Trimad for their effects on adipocytes biology and lipid metabolism

    Funding agency: Ministry of AYUSH

    Triphala and Trimad are polyherbal combinations recommended in Ayurvedic texts for management of obesity (Refer Annexure 2 for Ayurvedic properties). Although there is clinical evidence available to support their efficacy in obesity, their mechanism of action has not been studied so far. The present project is therefore planned to elucidate their effects on adipocytes biology and lipid metabolism in 3T3 fibroblast cell-line model and High Fat Diet induced Obesity model in rats respectively.

  • Evaluation of the effect of Triphala on obesity induced cognitive deficits

    Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic with dramatic increase. It is found to be associated with various co-morbid conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disorders etc. Impairment in neuro-cognitive functioning linked to obesity is an important yet under-emphasized area. The mechanism(s) of obesity induced cognitive impairment are uncertain. Of various proposed mechanisms, altered lipid and glucose metabolism is one of the most important mechanisms. In present study we are planning to evaluate the effect of Triphala, a well known rasayana formulation from Ayurveda and its mechanism of action in experimental models of obesity and associated cognitive impairments. We are proposing to carry out both in vitro and in vivo studies. While in vitro model resembles the damage to brain cells by increased levels of free fatty acids in obesity, the in vivo model focuses on the behavioural and altered biochemical changes seen in obesity.

  • Elucidation of therapeutic potential of Trimad

    Trimad is one among Mishrak Varga, a specific combination of herbs which are based on common indications & pharmacological properties for achieving synergistic effects in terms of safe and effective use. Trimad comprises of Musta (tubers of C. rotundus), Chitrak (roots of P. zeylanica) and Vidanga (fruits of E. Ribes). The pharmacological properties and indications of the individual ingredient of the combination indicate a huge therapeutic potential of the combination, which has remained relatively untapped. Hence there is a need to study this combination based on concepts from Classical Ayurvedic literature and contemporary literature, experiences of Vaidyas and state- of- art tools to get better insights into the pharmacology. The present study has therefore been planned to elucidate the therapeutic potential of the combination ‘Trimad’ through concepts and tools of Dravyagunvidnyan(concept, Guna, Karma and indications of individual ingredients and combination), pharmacoepidemiology (documenting usage pattern of Trimad), network pharmacology(constructing network of bioactives, possible targets and disease indications from modern phytochemical perspectives using computational techniques) and experimental studies.

  • Study of prevalence and determinants of obesity in school going children of Pune

    The prevalence of child obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide. This high prevalence has been reported to have direct relationship with socio-economic status. The other contributory factors are imbalance of dietary constituents, physical activity, psychological and behavioral aspects. The present study is therefore planned to examine the frequency of obesity based on socio economic status in school going children of local population. The study also aims to document dietary pattern, food psychology and physical activity of the children.

  • Study of Body image perceptions among Indian women

    The perceptions of women about their body image often lead them to get engaged in unhealthy practices with respect to food and exercise with the hope to change the body shape. This can result in more intense negative feelings of disappointment putting them at greater risk for psychological as well as physical disorders. Hence, the present study is planned to explore the body image perceptions in Indian women.

  • Study of association between maternal Body Mass Index and Feto-maternal outcomes

    Ayurveda considers that in obese individuals, the food which is consumed is utilized only for the nourishment of the fat tissue and not the other structural elements of the body. In case of pregnant females generally, the diet consumed by the mother during pregnancy, is divided into three parts, one for nourishment of the mother, second for the fetus and the third portion facilitates the process of lactogenesis. In view of the fact that in obese individuals only the fat tissue gets nourished, it would be interesting to study the growth of the fetus and the process of lactogenesis in obese pregnant women as compared to the normal individuals. Against this background, the present study is planned to explore the association of weight gain patterns in the pregnant females categorized into three groups based on BMI viz. under weight, normal weight, overweight & obese and the feto-maternal outcomes in these groups.

Publications: 6

Industry projects:

Our lab is rigorously involved in industry sponsored clinical trials in all research areas

  • Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Capsule Longvida® in knee osteoarthritis: A randomized double-blind controlled clinical study

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao

    Funding Industry: Pharmanza Herbals Pvt. Ltd.

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest form of articular disorder that causes limitation in the everyday activities such as walking, dressing, bathing etc. thus making the patient disabled. Pain is the cardinal feature of the disease associated with inflammation, cerpitus in joints and lack of movements of the joints or painful movement of the joints. Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the first drugs of choice for the symptomatic treatment of OA. However due to the risks associated with the use of NSAIDs and other limitations, the use of alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and medicinal herbs, is on the rise. In Ayurveda, Haridra (turmeric) has been used for the treatment of various inflammatory disorders. The major constituent of Haridra is Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), which constitutes up to 90% of total Curcuminoid content.

  • Clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Herbal Formulation for Obesity (HFO-O2) in overweight individuals

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao

    Funding Industry:Shri Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhavan

    Tab. HFO-02 manufactured by Baidyanath Bhavan Pvt. Ltd. Is a combination of herbal drugs described in Ayurveda for the management of obesity. The product has been shown to be effective in Obesity in various experimental studies. The present study has been planned to evaluate safety and efficacy of Tab. HFO-02 in Overweight individuals.

Current Team:

  • Dr. Poonam Gupte, Senior Research Assistant
  • Shital Giramkar, Technical Assistant
  • Megha Salunke, PhD student
  • Jyotibala Banjare, PhD student
  • Dr. Sneha Kulkarni, PhD student

ICMR Centre for Advanced Research

Recognized “ICMR Centre for Advanced Research - Investigating mechanisms leading to preeclampsia” funded by Indian Council of Medical Research, Government of India. PI: Dr. Sadhana Joshi.

Nomination of Dr. Sadhana Joshi

Dr. Sadhana Joshi nominated to be part of an Expert Group formed to give recommendations to the State Project Directorate, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan RUSA, Department of Higher & Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra on Value Added Courses for emerging & high demand sector of Wellness


2nd David Barker Memorial Symposium on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) on Saturday 18th February 2017

CME by Ministry of AYUSH

CME on Basic Research Techniques for Ayurvedic PG Teachers Contact: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao - 27th February to 4th March 2017

World Obesity Day

On occasion of World Obesity Day, a workshop on Anthropometric assessment was organized by Obesity Research Lab, IRSHA on 13th October 2016. Dr. Sanjay Juvekar and Dr. Hemangi Lubree from Vadu Rural Health Program (VRHP), an initiative of KEM Hospital delivered a lecture on basic techniques of anthropometry followed by demonstration of the anthropometry assessment on volunteers by their team.

National Ayurveda Day

Ministry of AYUSH has declared Dhanateras to be celebrated as National Ayurveda Day. Prof. M S Baghel (Ex- Chairman, Ayurveda Chair University of Debrecan, Hungary) was the special invitee for the auspicious day. He threw light over the Ayurveda concepts of Diabetes, its consequences and its management. A lecture was delivered by Dr. Jyoti Shirodkar (Ayurvedic Diabetologist, Asso. Prof. Dept of Dravyaguna, TAMV) based on the theme Prevention and Control of diabetes using Ayurveda.

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