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Emblicanins are a type of polyphenolic antioxidant found in Amla, which is also known as the Indian gooseberry or Emblica Officinalis in botanical terms. Emblicanin is different from most other antioxidants as it is a pro-oxidation free cascading antioxidant.[citation needed]

Many antioxidants intrinsically have a pro-oxidant action, especially in the presence of transition metals like iron and copper. Through a series of reactions with oxygen species known as Fenton reaction, iron causes generation of highly toxic hydroxyl radical with subsequent biomolecule damage. It means that the antioxidants which are meant to scavenge free radicals themselves create free radicals.[citation needed]

While most antioxidants go directly from an active to an inactive role, Emblicanin utilizes a multilevel cascade of antioxidant compounds resulting in a prolongation of its antioxidant capabilities.[citation needed]

Emblicanin A (one of the key compounds in Emblicanin) aggressively seeks and attacks free radicals. After it neutralizes a free radical, emblicanin A is transformed into emblicanin B, another antioxidant. Emblicanin B in turn also attacks free radicals and is transformed into Emblicanin oligomers. This makes emblicanins one of the best free radical scavenging antioxidant.[1]

Administration in rats of emblicanins extracts reduces chronic stress induced changes in rat brain[2]


  1. ^ International Conference on Newer Developments in Drug Discovery From Natural Products and Traditional Medicines-An Overview. K K Bhutan, 2008, page 16
  2. ^ Bhattacharya, A.; Ghosal, S.; Bhattacharya, S. K. (2000). "Antioxidant activity of tannoid principles of Emblica officinalis (amla) in chronic stress induced changes in rat brain". Indian journal of experimental biology. 38 (9): 877–880. PMID 12561944. 

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