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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.

  • Title: Effect of Nishamlaki In Patients of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
    Funding agency: Pharmanza Herbals Pvt. Ltd.
    Collaboration: Dept. of Pharmacology, Bharati Medical College

    The polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the commonest endocrinopathy amongst women of reproductive age affecting 5-15% of the general female population characterized by hyperandrogenism and ovulatory dysfunction. It is one of the most common causes of infertility due to anovulation in women. Importance of PCOS lies in the fact that it can give rise to various health problems- like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, increased risk of endometrial cancer and cardiovascular problems. Insulin resistance plays an intrinsic role in the pathogenesis of PCOS and known medications like Metformin and Pioglitazone, useful in the treatment of the same, are discontinued by patients due to adverse effects. A polyherbal formulation Nishamalaki (NA) composed of Curcuma longa (turmeric) and Emblica officinalis (Indian goose berry), possesses antioxidant, hypoglycemic, anti-bacterial, cardio protective, lipid lowering effect, anti-cancer, cyto-protective and neuroprotective properties. It has been seen to increase glucose uptake in adipose tissue and effectively control all manifestations of PCOS. So, present study is planned to see the efficacy of NA in PCOS patients with insulin resistance.

  • Title: Risk assessment of Metabolic syndrome using Ayurvedic concept of Prakriti

    In Ayurveda, the concept of Prakriti represents the essence of personalized medicine. It is said that Prakriti of an individual is determined at the time of conception and remains constant throughout the life span of the individual. Prakriti of an individual can be identified on the basis of phenotypic characters like physique, physiological and psychological patterns. The prevalence of specific Prakriti types in various components of Metabolic syndrome (MS) viz. obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases has already been reported. These studies however lack in providing association between Prakriti and MS in absence of Controls and inadequate power of study (sample size). The present project is therefore planned to establish Prakriti as a risk factor for assessment of MS and further to explore the differences in patho-physiological mechanisms of MS in different Prakriti types.

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.

  • Evaluation of cardioprotective activity of an herbal formulation in rat model of isoprenaline induced myocardial infraction

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao

    Funding Industry: Dabur Research & Development Center, Dabur India Ltd.

    The present study has been planned to evaluate cardioprotective activity of an herbal formulation in rat model of isoprenaline induced myocardial infarction. The herbal formulation is manufactured by Dabur India Ltd.. Is a combination of herbal drugs described in Ayurveda.

Current Team:

  • Dr. Poonam Gupte, Senior Research Assistant
  • Shital Giramkar, Technical Assistant
  • Megha Salunke, PhD student
  • Jyotibala Banjare, PhD student
  • Ms. Shubhangi Harke, AYUSH JRF

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

Celebration of World Obesity Day & National Ayurveda Day

Dr Geeta Dharmatti (PhD Nutrition, Consultant) delivered a talk on Diet in Obesity (Modern Perspective) and Dr Rupali Pendse (M.D. Ayurved) on Diet in Obesity (Ayurvedic Perspective) Ethanopharmacology meeting was held

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