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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.

  • 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 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.

  • Effect of Nishamlaki In Patients of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao

    Funding Industry: Pharmanza Herbals Pvt. Ltd.

    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.

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

Conducted free health check up camp for screening of metabolic syndrome:

On the occasion of birthday of Hon. Dr. Patangrao Kadam (Chancellor), and Hon. Dr. Vishwajeet Kadam (Secretary), Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Obesity-Diabetes lab in collaboration with Dept. of Community Medicine, Medical college, Bharati Vidyapeeth. It was held on 8th – 13th Jan 2018 from 10 am to 1pm at Anganwadi hall, Dandekar Bridge.

Blood donation drive:

BVU-IRSHA in association with Rajiv Gandhi ITBT and Bharati Hospital Blood Bank also jointly conducted a blood donation drive on 15th Jan 2018 at BVU-IRSHA. Dr. Sahebrao Mahadik, Georgia Regent University, USA inaugurated the camp by cutting the ribbon. Dr. D B Vani, In-charge of Bharati Blood Bank addressed the gathering and encouraged the staff & students to join for the noble cause. A total of 37 persons have donated blood in this camp.

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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