Volume 2 Number 2 May 2004

 

Review Articles
67 Chemical and Biochemical Basis of the Potential Anti-Tumor Properties of Ganoderma lucidum
H.W. YEUNG, Q.-Y. LU, Q. ZHANG, V.L.W. GO[ABSTRACT]
79 Nutritional Significance and Measurement of Carotenoids
CARSTEN R. SMIDT AND DOUGLAS S. BURKE[ABSTRACT]
93 Targeting ceramide by dietary means to stimulate apoptosis in tumor cells
ATIF B AWAD, MEENALAKSHMI CHINNAM, CAROL S FINK AND PETER G BRADFORD[ABSTRACT]
101 Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid prevention of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death: cellular or circulating?
PETER L. MCLENNAN[ABSTRACT]
113 Functional Food Attributes of n-3 Polyunsaturated and Conjugated Linoleic Acid Enriched Chicken Eggs
GITA CHERIAN[ABSTRACT]
Research Articles
119 Efficacy of ground flaxseed on constipation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
S. TARPILA, A. TARPILA, P. GR…HN, T. SILVENNOINEN, AND L. LINDBERG[ABSTRACT]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 67-77 (2004)
Chemical and Biochemical Basis of the Potential Anti-Tumor Properties of Ganoderma lucidum
H.W. YEUNG, Q.-Y. LU, Q. ZHANG, V.L.W. GO

ABSTRACT: Ganoderma lucidum antitumor substances are divided mainly into alcohol-soluble and water-soluble compounds. Chemical studies on the alcohol-soluble, nonpolar compounds resulted in the structure determination of some 20 highly oxygenated lanostanoid-type triterpenes of a diverse chemical nature, including acids, aldehydes and alcohols, which were shown to be cytotoxic against a panel of human and murine tumor cell lines. Preliminary studies on the mechanism of action of some of these cytotoxic triterpenes showed that they inhibited cancer cell growth and reduced Ras oncogene activities. Another group of antitumor compounds, namely polysaccharides, were isolated from hot water extracts of Ganoderma lucidum.. The antitumor polysaccharides were found to be _-D-glucans, heteroglycans and peptidoglycans; the structures of some of these polysaccharides have been determined. Mechanistic studies indicated that the antitumor polysaccharides do not have direct cytotoxicity against tumor cells, but activate the host immune system to mount an effective cell-mediated antitumor response. Most of the chemical structures of Ganoderma lucidum antitumor triterpenes and polysaccharides have now been characterized, and should be investigated for their respective mechanisms of action on the carcinogenesis pathway as well as their bioavailability and efficacy in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 79-91 (2004)

Nutritional Significance and Measurement of Carotenoids
CARSTEN R. SMIDT AND DOUGLAS S. BURKE

ABSTRACT: Carotenoids are found in many foods fruits and are partly responsible for the well-documented health benefits of diets rich in fruits and vegetables. For example, lutein and zeaxanthin prevent cataracts and macular degeneration; b-carotene and lycopene protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage; lutein and lycopene may benefit cardiovascular health, and lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer. Because of these and other marked health benefits, an accurate assessment of human carotenoid status is important. Carotenoid status can serve as a tool to monitor compliance to healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables or dietary supplements. Currently, carotenoid levels are assessed with blood serum or plasma HPLC measurements. However, such methods are invasive, expensive and impractical for general use in large populations. Skin carotenoid levels correlate well with blood levels and may more accurately indicate carotenoid status, because unlike bloodskin carotenoids are not influenced by postprandial fluctuations. Recently, a convenient, rapid and non-invasive measurement of skin carotenoid status using Raman spectroscopy has been developed. This method can become a strong motivator for people to consume the recommended five to nine fruits and vegetables daily and well-balanced dietary supplements.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 93-100 (2004)

Targeting ceramide by dietary means to stimulate apoptosis in tumor cells
ATIF B AWAD, MEENALAKSHMI CHINNAM, CAROL S FINK AND PETER G BRADFORD

ABSTRACT: The objective of this review is to summarize present knowledge concerning specific dietary components that increase intracellular ceramide and that promote apoptosis in tumor cells. The production of ceramide and the initiation of apoptosis or programmed cell death in tumor cells in response to nutraceuticals or dietary factors may offer a model to understand how specific dietary components offer protection from select cancers. The review summarizes the central role that ceramide plays in sphingolipid metabolism and the experimental evidence that ceramide induces apoptosis in tumor cells. The review identifies several isolated nutrients and dietary supplements that increase ceramide production in tumor cells both in vitro and in some cases in vivo. These dietary components include the phytosterol b-sitosterol, the fat-soluble vitamins vitamin A and vitamin D, sphingolipids, and some select fatty acids including palmitic acid. The formation of ceramide in tumors cells by these dietary components is reviewed and shown to be either from de novo ceramide synthesis or from the stimulated action of sphingomyelinases on membrane sphingomyelin. The review concludes that the consumption of specific nutraceuticals either individually or in combination may provide a nontoxic means to protect humans from several types of common cancers.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 101-111 (2004)

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid prevention of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death: cellular or circulating?
PETER L. MCLENNAN

ABSTRACT: Regular fish consumption is associated with reduced risk of fatal cardiac events by virtue of the long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Clinical and animal studies concur in identifying arrhythmia prevention as perhaps the key property of the omega-3 fatty acids at low intakes. Fish oil feeding in animals (providing both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3)) selectively increases myocardial membrane phospholipid DHA content. Prevention of arrhythmias, either in vivo or in vitro does not depend on circulating fatty acids but rather on prior incorporation into myocardial cells. Amongst the potential mechanisms of action, modulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum and sarcolemmal calcium handling to reduce the probability of cellular calcium overload contributes to a range of different effects, including improved metabolic efficiency and altered electrophysiological properties leading to reduced arrhythmia vulnerability. The omega-3 fatty acids also influence the phosphoinositide and eicosanoid second messenger systems, which in turn integrate with cellular calcium homeostasis. Further research is needed to confirm which cellular properties contribute to the in vivo antiarrhythmic action. Preferential accumulation of DHA in myocardial cell membranes, its association with arrhythmia prevention and metabolic efficiency and the selective ability of pure DHA to prevent ventricular fibrillation all point to DHA as the active component of fish oil. The evidence presented in this review suggests that antiarrhythmic effects of omega-3 fatty acids rely on the incorporation of DHA into myocardial cell membranes and are dependent upon habitual consumption of fish oil rather than acute ingestion.

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 113-118 (2004)

Functional Food Attributes of n-3 Polyunsaturated and Conjugated Linoleic Acid Enriched Chicken Eggs
GITA CHERIAN

ABSTRACT: Animal products contribute to 70% of total fatty acids and 100% of cholesterol in the typical western diet. Concern by health professionals over the possible health risk of a high fat diet has led to a decrease in consumption of animal products over the past 25 years, especially chicken eggs. Epidemiological and clinical studies have documented the health benefits of certain types of fatty acids especially n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA). The health-enhancing properties of these fatty acids include (1) triglyceride lowering, antiatherosclerotic and antiarrythmic properties of n-3 PUFA, (2) anti-cancer activity of CLA, (3) immune enhancing properties of n-3 PUFA and CLA. Several different strategies have been adopted by the poultry food industry to enhance the nutritional value of eggs. The major emphasis has been focused on modification of fatty acid composition and fat soluble vitamins. Chicken eggs due to their high content of nutrients, low cost and versatility in food preparation are a popular food item for all cultures and incorporation of n-3 PUFA and CLA to eggs could lead to alternate sources of these nutrients to humans. This may also lead to novel food products and may increase marketability and economic returns to the poultry industry. The enrichment of chicken eggs with n-3 PUFA and CLA through diet manipulation and the reported positive human and animal health effects are discussed.

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 119-125 (2004)

Efficacy of ground flaxseed on constipation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
S. TARPILA, A. TARPILA, P. GR…HN, T. SILVENNOINEN, AND L. LINDBERG

ABSTRACT: We studied in an investigator-blinded trial the efficacy of roughly ground partly defatted flaxseed on constipation in 55 patients suffering from constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Fifty-five patients were randomised to receive 6-24 g/d either flaxseed or psyllium for 3 months. During the blinded treatment period 26 patients received flaxseed and 29 received psyllium. In flaxseed group, constipation and abdominal symptoms were decreased significantly (p=0.002) whereas in psyllium group the reduction was not statistically significant. After the blinded treatment period, the difference between groups was statistically significant in constipation (p=0.05) and in bloating and pain (p=0.001). Forty patients continued to the open period with flaxseed treatment only, 18 from flaxseed group and 22 from psyllium group. After the open period of 3 months, constipation and abdominal symptoms were further significantly reduced (p=0.001). Safety laboratory values were unchanged with exception of serum thiocyanate that increased from 40.9 to 153.7 mmol/l in flaxseed group. After additional 3 months treatment with flaxseed this value was decreased to 104 mmol/l. Blood cadmium was normal (3.4 nmol/l) after six months flaxseed treatment.