Volume 3 Number 1 February 2005

 

Review Articles
1 THE COMET ASSAY: A biomonitoring tool for nutraceutical research
VINCY W.C.WONG, Y.T.SZETO, ANDREW R.COLLINS, AND IRIS F.F.BENZIE[ABSTRACT] [Full Article as PDF]
15 Utility of food phytoestrogens in preventing and treating postmenopausal osteoporosis
LUIGI MARIO CHIECHI, AND LOREDANA MICHELI[ABSTRACT] [Full Article as PDF]
29 Rice bran and its main components: Potential role in the management of cardiovascular disease risk
A.F.G.CICERO, AND G.DEROSA[ABSTRACT] [Full Article as PDF]
47 Ginseng Drugs - Molecular And Chemical Characteristics And Possibility AS ANTIDEMENTIA DRUGS
KATSUKO KOMATSU, CHIHIRO TOHDA AND SHU ZHU[ABSTRACT] [Full Article as PDF]
Research Articles
65 The effect of acute administration of 400mg of Panax ginseng on cognitive performance and mood in healthy young volunteers
S.I. SüNRAM-LEA, R.J.BIRCHALL, K.A.WESNES, AND O.PETRINI[ABSTRACT] [Full Article as PDF]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 1-15 (2005)

THE COMET ASSAY: A biomonitoring tool for nutraceutical research
VINCY W.C.WONG, Y.T.SZETO, ANDREW R.COLLINS, AND IRIS F.F.BENZIE

ABSTRACT: The comet assay is a relatively simple, but sensitive and well-validated tool for measuring strand breaks in DNA in single cells. Cells are embedded in a thin layer of agarose on a microscope slide and lysed with detergent and high salt solution. This procedure also removes proteins and histones, leaving a nucleoid from each embedded cell lying within a cavity in the gel. The presence of breaks in DNA causes a local relaxation in the supercoiled loops of DNA in the nucleoid. When a small electrical charge is passed through the gel, the relaxed areas of the DNA loops are pulled towards the anode, forming a comet tail9, the DNA in the nucleoid being the comet head 9. Comets are visualized by fluorescent microscopy, and the amount of DNA in the tail, relative to the head, is proportional to the amount of strand breaks. Cells can be incubated in vitro with an agent of interest prior to the comet assay, and the resulting DNA damage can then be measured. The effect of a challenge 9to DNA after treated cells have been exposed to a putative protective agent can also be investigated, and cells (usually lymphocytes) can be collected pre-and post-supplementation with an agent of interest to assess possible genoprotective or genotoxic effects. There are various versions of the comet assay, and these make it a highly versatile biomonitoring tool for nutraceutical research. In this review, the principles and applications of the comet assay are described and its application in nutraceutical research highlighted.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 15-29 (2005)

Utility of food phytoestrogens in preventing and treating postmenopausal osteoporosis
LUIGI MARIO CHIECHI, AND LOREDANA MICHELI

ABSTRACT: Because of its incidence and the health-related problems it gives rise to, postmenopausal osteoporosis has become a social problem requiring appropriate management strategies. Replacement therapy is effective for both prevention and therapy, but recent findings have shown that its long-term administration is not as safe as was previously thought; so alternative treatments are urgently needed. Dietary phytoestrogens are emerging as a valid alternative to estrogens in the treatment of menopause-related diseases, such as the climacteric syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, dementia. This review summarizes the main epidemiological, in vitro, animal and clinical evidence related to the effects of phytoestrogens on bone metabolism and bone density. It also argues the possibility that dietary changes in Western habits favoring an increased intake of phytoestrogens-rich foods, could contribute to prevent and to reduce the incidence of postmenopausal osteoporosis in this population.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 29-47 (2005)

Rice bran and its main components: Potential role in the management of cardiovascular disease risk\
A.F.G.CICERO, AND G.DEROSA

ABSTRACT: The prevention of cardiovascular disease events is related to a complex management of conventional and non-conventional risk factors. The first approach to reduce the cardiovascular disease risk is a correct dietary approach. Rice bran and its main components (Fibers, unsaturated fatty acids, triterpene alcohols, phytosterols, tocotrienols, alpha-tocopherol) have demonstrated their property to improve the plasma lipid pattern of rodents, rabbits, non-human primates and humans, reducing total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentration and increasing the high density lipoprotein cholesterol level. Other potential properties of rice bran components have been studied both in vitro and in animal models such as modulation of the pituitary secretion, inhibition of the gastric acid secretion, antioxidant action and inhibition of the platelet aggregation. The main aim of this paper is to review the available data on pharmacology and toxicology of rice bran and its main components with a particular attention to those data suggesting a potential efficacy in reducing the cardiovascular disease risk.

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 47-65 (2005)

Ginseng Drugs - Molecular And Chemical Characteristics And Possibility AS ANTIDEMENTIA DRUGS
KATSUKO KOMATSU, CHIHIRO TOHDA AND SHU ZHU

ABSTRACT: Ginseng drugs derived from the underground parts of Panax species show high potential to cure various kinds of diseases. In spite of traditional uses for several clinical evidences and systematical comparison have been rarely reported. One of the reasons is that herbal drugs from natural resources have difficulties of quality control in botanical sources and chemical constituents. Our studies on gene sequences and quantitative determination of 11 main saponins showed that Panax taxa had the species-specific sequences in plastid trnK gene and nuclear 18S rRNA gene, and each taxon possessed the characteristic pattern in chemical composition. Furthermore, we focused on the Ginseng drugs to find out candidates capable of regenerating neuronal network in the dementia brain. The protopanaxadiol (ppd) type saponins were found to have neurite outgrowth activity in SK-N-SH cells. Since ppd-type saponins are known to be completely metabolized into 20 -O -b -D-glucopyranosyl -(20S)-protopanaxadiol (M1) by intestinal bacteria when taken orally, further studies on M1 suggested that M1 had axonal extension activity in degenerated neurons, and ameliorate memory disorder and synaptic loss in Alzheimer9s mouse model induced by Ab (25-35).M1 was shown to be effective in vitro and in vivo, indicating that Ginseng drugs containing ppd-type saponins may reactivate neuronal function in AD by p.o. administration.

 

 

 

 

Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 65-75 (2005)

The effect of acute administration of 400mg of Panax ginseng on cognitive performance and mood in healthy young volunteers
S.I. SüNRAM-LEA, R.J.BIRCHALL, K.A.WESNES, AND O.PETRINI

ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that single dose administration of ginseng can improve certain aspects of cognitive performance and mood in healthy young volunteers in a dose and time dependent manner. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute administration of 400 mg of a standardized Panax ginseng extract (G115 .,Pharmaton SA)on mood and cognitive performance. Following a double-blind, placebo controlled, balanced, cross-over design, thirty healthy young adult volunteers received 400 mg of ginseng, and a matching inert placebo, in a counterbalanced order, with a 7-day washout period between treatments. Following baseline evaluation of cognitive performance and mood measures, participants9 cognitive performance and mood was assessed again 90 minutes after drug ingestion. Ginseng improved speed of attention, indicating a beneficial effect on participants9 ability to allocate attentional processes to a particular task. No significant effect was observed on any other aspect of cognitive performance and on self-reported mood measures. Previous research demonstrated no improvement on attentional processes, but significant improvements on tasks associated with episodic memory performance following administration of 400 mg of ginseng when participants were tested 1h,2.5h,4,h and 6h post ingestion. Consequently, it may be the case that ginseng offers alternative windows of therapeutic opportunity on different aspects of cognitive performance at different time points.