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Elemental characterization and determination of 226Ra, 228Ra and 210Pb in common herbal medicines

Grant number: 06/06450-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2007
Effective date (End): May 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Paulo Sergio Cardoso da Silva
Grantee:Fábio Vitório Sussa
Host Institution: Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN). Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Since the early days of human kind, plants has been used as food and medicinal source. Observing animals feeding themselves, men stated to taste plants and realized that some kind of plants were able to relieve headaches, stomachaches and a variety of other diseases as muscular aches that were relieved by external use of the plants. Generally the main goal in fitoterapic researches is to characterize the active ingredient of the plant for scientific evidence of its therapeutical properties. Therefore, few information exist in literature about the activity concentration of radionuclides that belong to natural radioactive series of U-238 and Th-232. The knowledge of the elemental concentrations of these elements can be useful to verify possible interferences in therapeutic activity or if its amount represents some threat for human being. As for radionuclides, few papers are found in literature about the stable elements concentration in plants used with this objective in Brazil. Instrumental neutron activation analysis is one of the most used methods for elemental characterization. The major amount of Ra and Pb that enter the human body occurs via ingestion. Approximately 20% of Ra and 10 to 15% of the Pb ingested reaches the blood stream and is distributed for the whole body and follows the same metabolism of Ca. The objective of this work it to determine the activity concentration of Ra-226, Ra-228 and Pb-210 as well as chemically characterize samples of common medicinal plants in its elemental concentration.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SUSSA, F. V.; SILVA, P. S. C.; DAMATTO, S. R.; FAVARO, D. I. T.; MAZZILLI, B. P.. Radioactive and stable elements' concentration in medicinal plants from Brazil. JOURNAL OF RADIOANALYTICAL AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY, v. 281, n. 2, p. 165-170, . (06/06450-4)

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