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Passion Fruit
Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):253-6
Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women.
Conceicao de Oliveira M, Sichieri R, Sanchez Moura A.
Instituto de Medicina Social, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We investigated the effect of fruit intake on body weight change.Hypercholesterolemic, overweight (body mass index > 25 kg/m(2)), and non-smoking women, 30 to 50 y of age, were randomized to receive, free of charge, one of three dietary supplements: apples, pears, or oat cookies. Women were instructed to eat one supplement three times a day in a total of six meals a day. Participants (411 women) were recruited at a primary care center of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fifty-one women had fasting blood cholesterol levels greater than 6.2 mM/L (240 mg/dL) and 49 were randomized. Subjects were instructed by a dietitian to eat a diet (55% of energy from carbohydrate, 15% from protein, and 30% from fat) to encourage weight reduction at the rate of 1 kg/mo.After 12 wk of follow-up, the fruit group lost 1.22 kg (95% confidence interval = 0.44-1.85), whereas the oat group had a non-significant weight loss of 0.88 kg (0.37-2.13). The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.004). To explore further the body weight loss associated with fruit intake, we measured the ratio of glucose to insulin. A significantly greater decrease of blood glucose was observed among those who had eaten fruits compared with those who had eaten oat cookies, but the glucose:insulin ratio was not statistically different from baseline to follow-up. Adherence to the diet was high, as indicated by changes in serum triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, and reported fruit intake. Fruit intake in the oat group throughout treatment was minimal.Intake of fruits may contribute to weight loss.

Ann Nutr Metab. 1993;37(1):1-7
Hepatic acylcoenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase activity is low in hamsters fed apples in addition to a standard diet.
Sable-Amplis R, Sicart R.
Laboratoire des Regulations des Metabolismes et Nutrition, CNRS, Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.

The effect of consumption of apples as a supplement to a standard diet on hepatic acylcoenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity was investigated in adult golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). The experimental diet was given for 2 months. IN response to the high-fruit intake, the level of cholesteryl esters was reduced in the liver, and hepatic ACAT activity, determined in vitro under various conditions of incubation, was lowered by about 30%. Moreover, plasma cholesterol was redistributed among the lipoproteins, with a decrease in the cholesterol transported in the ApoB-rich lipoproteins.

Clin Prev Dent. 1989 Jan-Feb;11(1):8-12
The effect of a high consumption of apples or grapes on dental caries and periodontal disease in humans.
Grobler SR, Blignaut JB.

The intent of this study was to determine the effect of a high consumption of either apples or grapes on the caries experience (DMFT), and periodontal health. Farm workers employed by apple-producing, grape-producing and grain (control) producing farms in low fluoride areas (F less than 0.10 ppm) were investigated. To avoid contamination, only these farms where either apples, grapes or grain were cultivated solely, were included in the study. The caries incidence was found to be the highest for the apple group (24.2), lower for the grape group (17.4), and the lowest for the control group (9.9). The caries incidence differed statistically significantly (P less than 0.01) among the three groups. A higher caries incidence was found in the group of older subjects (35+ years) than in the 15-34 year old group. In general, for both age groups the control group showed conspicuously the highest number of dentate sextants with advanced periodontitis. Significantly less (P less than 0.01) advanced periodontitis and pocket formation could be seen in the youngest age group (15-34 years) of all three test groups. Thus, to conclude, it was found that the consumption of a high amount of apples and to a lesser degree grapes contributed significantly to dental caries. However, the above fruits had a beneficial effect on the periodontal status.

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Mar 12;51(6):1676-83
Apple peels as a value-added food ingredient.
Wolfe KL, Liu RH.
Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-7201, USA.

There is some evidence that chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, may occur as a result of oxidative stress. Apple peels have high concentrations of phenolic compounds and may assist in the prevention of chronic diseases. Millions of pounds of waste apple peels are generated in the production of applesauce and canned apples in New York State each year. We proposed that a valuable food ingredient could be made using the peels of these apples if they could be dried and ground to a powder without large losses of phytochemicals. Rome Beauty apple peels were treated with citric acid dips, ascorbic acid dips, and blanches before being oven-dried at 60 degrees C. Only blanching treatments greatly preserved the phenolic compounds, and peels blanched for 10 s had the highest total phenolic content. Rome Beauty apple peels were then blanched for 10 s and dried under various conditions (oven-dried at 40, 60, or 80 degrees C, air-dried, or freeze-dried). The air-dried and freeze-dried apple peels had the highest total phenolic, flavonoid, and anthocyanin contents. On a fresh weight basis, the total phenolic and flavonoid contents of these samples were similar to those of the fresh apple peels. Freeze-dried peels had a lower water activity than air-dried peels on a fresh weight basis. The optimal processing conditions for the ingredient were blanching for 10s and freeze-drying. The process was scaled up, and the apple peel powder ingredient was characterized. The total phenolic content was 3342 +/- 12 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g dried peels, the flavonoid content was 2299 +/- 52 mg catechin equivalents/100 g dried peels, and the anthocyanin content was 169.7 +/- 1.6 mg cyanidin 3-glucoside equivalents/100 g dried peels. These phytochemical contents were a significantly higher than those of the fresh apple peels if calculated on a fresh weight basis (p < 0.05). The apple peel powder had a total antioxidant activity of 1251 +/- 56 micromol vitamin C equivalents/g, similar to fresh Rome Beauty peels on a fresh weight basis (p > 0.05). One gram of powder had an antioxidant activity equivalent to 220 mg of vitamin C. The freeze-dried apple peels also had a strong antiproliferative effect on HepG(2) liver cancer cells with a median effective dose (EC(50)) of 1.88 +/- 0.01 mg/mL. This was lower than the EC(50) exhibited by the fresh apple peels (p < 0.05). Apple peel powder may be used in a various food products to add phytochemicals and promote good health.

Z Ernahrungswiss Suppl. 1981 Sep;20(3):208-15
Unconventional protein sources: apricot seed kernels.
Gabrial GN, El-Nahry FI, Awadalla MZ, Girgis SM.

Hamawy apricot seed kernels (sweet), Amar apricot seed kernels (bitter) and treated Amar apricot kernels (bitterness removed) were evaluated biochemically. All kernels were found to be high in fat (42.2--50.91%), protein (23.74--25.70%) and fiber (15.08--18.02%). Phosphorus, calcium, and iron were determined in all experimental samples. The three different apricot seed kernels were used for extensive study including the qualitative determination of the amino acid constituents by acid hydrolysis, quantitative determination of some amino acids, and biological evaluation of the kernel proteins in order to use them as new protein sources. Weanling albino rats failed to grow on diets containing the Amar apricot seed kernels due to low food consumption because of its bitterness. There was no loss in weight in that case. The Protein Efficiency Ratio data and blood analysis results showed the Hamawy apricot seed kernels to be higher in biological value than treated apricot seed kernels. The Net Protein Ratio data which accounts for both weight, maintenance and growth showed the treated apricot seed kernels to be higher in biological value than both Hamawy and Amar kernels. The Net Protein Ratio for the last two kernels were nearly equal.

J Nutr. 2002 Jul;132(7):2015-8
Defatted avocado pulp reduces body weight and total hepatic fat but increases plasma cholesterol in male rats fed diets with cholesterol.
Naveh E, Werman MJ, Sabo E, Neeman I.
Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion, Israel.

The potential use of avocado as a fiber source was evaluated. The total dietary fiber content of fresh avocado fruit of the Ettinger variety was 5.2 g/100 g. Approximately 75% was insoluble, and 25% soluble. The water-holding capacity of dry defatted avocado pulp was similar to that of cellulose, and trypsin inhibitors were not detected. The dietary and metabolic consequences of the avocado pulp were studied in male rats fed normal and hypercholesterolemic diets. Rats consumed semipurified diets containing either avocado pulp as the dietary fiber source or cellulose (control) with or without 10 g/kg cholesterol and 5 g/kg cholic acid. Food consumption and body weight gain were lower in rats fed avocado compared with those fed cellulose. Relative cecum weight was higher in avocado-fed rats. Plasma and hepatic cholesterol levels did not differ in rats fed diets without cholesterol, but plasma cholesterol was greater in avocado-fed than in cellulose-fed rats that consumed cholesterol. Regardless of dietary cholesterol, hepatic total fat levels, as evaluated histologically, but not directly, were lower in avocado-fed rats. These data suggest the presence of an appetite depressant in avocado and that avocado pulp interferes with hepatic fat metabolism.

Dermatology. 2001;203(2):141-7
Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis.
Stucker M, Memmel U, Hoffmann M, Hartung J, Altmeyer P.
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.

BACKGROUND: There are already many effective topical therapies available for use in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis. Unfortunately, these treatments are often associated with a rather significant risk of undesirable effects. OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: In this randomized, prospective clinical trial, the effects of the vitamin D(3) analog calcipotriol were evaluated against those of a recently developed vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in an intraindividual right/left-side comparison. The trial population consisted of 13 patients, 10 men and 3 women, with chronic plaque psoriasis. The observation period was 12 weeks; the effects of therapy were assessed on the basis of a PASI score adapted to the right/left-side comparison technique, the subjective evaluations of the investigator and patients and the results of 20-MHz sonography. RESULTS: There was a more rapid development of beneficial effects with the use of calcipotriol in the initial 8 weeks, although differences in effects were significant only at the time point of therapy week 8 (p < 0.05). After 12 weeks, neither the PASI score nor 20-MHz sonography showed significant differences between the two treatments. While the efficacy of the calcipotriol preparation reached a maximum in the first 4 weeks and then began to subside, the effects of the vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil remained at a constant level over the whole observation period. This would indicate that the vitamin B(12) preparation containing avocado oil may be suitable for use in long-term therapy, a hypothesis further supported by the fact that the investigator and the patients assessed the tolerability of the vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil as significantly better in comparison with that of calcipotriol. CONCLUSION: The results of this clinical trial provide evidence that the recently developed vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil has considerable potential as a well-tolerated, long-term topical therapy of psoriasis.


Arch Med Res. 1997 Winter;28(4):537-41
Effects of a vegetarian diet vs. a vegetarian diet enriched with avocado in hypercholesterolemic patients.
Carranza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, Alvizouri-Munoz M, Alvarado-Jimenez MR, Chavez-Carbajal F.
Departamento de Investigacion Clinica y Biomedica, Hospital General Dr. Miguel Silva, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico.

To determine the effects of a vegetarian diet with avocado as a source of monounsaturated fat on serum lipids, thirteen patients with phenotype II (twelve with IIa and one with IIb) dyslipidemia were included in a prospective, transversal and comparative study in which three four-week diets randomly assigned were assessed. One vegetarian diet (ALVD) was composed of 70% carbohydrates, 10% proteins and 20% lipids. Another was composed of 60% carbohydrates, 10% proteins and 30% lipids, 75% of which was supplied by avocado (AVD). A third diet was an avocado-added free diet (FDWA). Body weight, body mass index (BMI), and serum lipids (total cholesterol (TC), high (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides (TG)) were evaluated. AVD produced a significant decrease in LDL. ALVD did not change TC and LDL, while FDWA increased them slightly. The three diets reduced TG levels, but only ALVD did so significantly. All three diets reduced HDL levels, particularly ALVD, which produced the greatest reduction. Low-fat, carbohydrate-rich vegetarian diets may be harmful to hypercholesterolemic patients. The avocado addition to a vegetarian diet does not correct these undesirable effects. To obtain beneficial effects on lipid profile with avocado, lower amounts of carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fatty acids are probably needed.

Indian J Exp Biol. 2001 Jul;39(7):719-22
Role of gastric antioxidant and anti-Helicobactor pylori activities in antiulcerogenic activity of plantain banana (Musa sapientum var. paradisiaca).
Goel RK, Sairam K, Rao CV.
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Studies with plantain banana (Musa sapientum var. paradisiaca) have indicated its ulcer protective and healing activities through its predominant effect on various mucosal defensive factors [Sanyal, Arch Int Pharmacodyn, 149 (1964) 393; 155 (1965) 244]. Oxidative stress and Helicobactorpylori colonization are considered to be important factors in the pathogenesis of gastric ulcers. In the present study methanolic extract of plantain banana pulp (BE) was evaluated for its (i) antiulcer and antioxidant activities in 2 hr cold restraint stress and (ii) anti-H.pylori activity in vitro. The extract (BE, 50 mg/kg, twice daily for 5 days) showed significant antiulcer effect and antioxidant activity in gastric mucosal homogenates, where it reversed the increase in ulcer index, lipid peroxidation and super oxide dismutase values induced by stress. However it did not produce any change in catalase values, which was significantly decreased by stress. Further, in the in vitro study. BE (0.32-1,000 microg/ml) did not show any anti-H.pylori activity. The results suggest absence of anti-H. pyloric activity of methanolic extract of banana in vitro and its antioxidant activity may be involved in its ulcerprotective activity.

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Mar;48(3):844-8
High content of dopamine, a strong antioxidant, in Cavendish banana.
Kanazawa K, Sakakibara H.
Laboratory of Food and Nutritional Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Kobe University, Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.

A strong water-soluble antioxidant was identified in the popular commercial banana Musa cavendishii. It is dopamine, one of the catecholamines. For suppressing the oxygen uptake of linoleic acid in an emulsion and scavenging a diphenylpicrylhydrazyl radical, dopamine had greater antioxidative potency than glutathione, food additives such as butylated hydroxyanisole and hydroxytoluene, flavone luteolin, flavonol quercetin, and catechin, and similar potency to the strongest antioxidants gallocatechin gallate and ascorbic acid. Banana contained dopamine at high levels in both the peel and pulp. Dopamine levels ranged from 80-560 mg per 100 g in peel and 2.5-10 mg in pulp, even in ripened bananas ready to eat. Banana is thus one of the antioxidative foods.

Indian J Med Res. 1999 Jul;110:27-9
Effect of banana on cold stress test & peak expiratory flow rate in healthy volunteers.
Sarkar C, Bairy KL, Rao NM, Udupa EG.
Department of Pharmacology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.

The effect of banana on cold stress induced hypertension, peak expiratory flow rate and plasma ACE activity in healthy human volunteers was tested. Systolic blood pressure (P < 0.005), diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.025) and mean arterial blood pressure (P < 0.005) were significantly decreased during cold stress after banana treatment compared to controls subjected to cold stress. There was no significant changes in heart rate and peak expiratory flow rate but only significant decrease in plasma ACE activity after banana treatment. Banana decreased the rise of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in healthy volunteers subjected to cold stress test without much effect on heart rate and peak expiratory flow rate.

Nutr Clin Pract. 1997 Apr;12(2):72-5
Banana flakes control diarrhea in enterally fed patients.
Emery EA, Ahmad S, Koethe JD, Skipper A, Perlmutter S, Paskin DL.
Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, USA.

Diarrhea occurs frequently in the critically ill tube-fed population and may result from a multitude of causes. Despite the availability of antidiarrheal medications, diarrhea associated with enteral feedings remains a problem for clinicians and for the patients affected by it. We tested the hypothesis that administration of banana flakes would control diarrhea in critically ill patients receiving enteral feedings. Thirty-one patients with diarrhea and receiving enteral feedings were randomized to receive either banana flakes or medical treatment for diarrhea. Medical treatments included the use of pharmacological agents according to the discretion of the patient's physician or reducing feeding rates. Both banana flakes and medical treatments reduced the severity of diarrhea in critically ill tube-fed patients. Over the course of treatment, mean diarrhea scores were 21.64 +/- 7.81 for the banana flake group and 25.41 +/- 9.76 for the medical group. These differences were not statistically significant. Both groups achieved similar levels of nutrition support. The banana flake group had less diarrhea clinically, with 57% of the subjects diarrhea free on their last study day as opposed to 24% of the medically treated subjects. This occurred despite a threefold increase in the number of patients testing positive for Clostridium difficile toxin in the banana flake group. We conclude that banana flakes can be used as a safe, cost-effective treatment for diarrhea in critically ill tube-fed patients. Banana flakes can be given concurrently with a workup for C. difficile colitis, thereby expediting treatment of diarrhea.

Nutr Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(6):427-31
Feeding rats diets enriched in lowbush blueberries for six weeks decreases ischemia-induced brain damage.
Sweeney MI, Kalt W, MacKinnon SL, Ashby J, Gottschall-Pass KT.
Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada C1A 4P3.

Oxidative stress is an important element in the etiology of ischemic stroke. Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) have a high antioxidant capacity and thus we determined whether consumption of lowbush blueberries would protect neurons from stroke-induced damage. Rats were fed AIN-93G diets containing 0 or 14.3% blueberries (g fresh weight/100 g feed) for 6 weeks. Stroke was then simulated by ligation of the left common carotid artery (ischemia), followed by hypoxia. One week later, plasma and urine were collected, and neuronal damage in the hippocampus was determined histologically. In control rats, hypoxia-ischemia resulted in 40 +/- 2% loss of neurons in the hippocampus of the left cerebral hemisphere, as compared to the right hemisphere. Rats on blueberry-supplemented diets lost only 17 +/- 2% of neurons in the ischemic hippocampus. Neuroprotection was observed in the CA1 and CA2 regions, but not CA3 region, of the hippocampus. The blueberry diet had no detectable effects on the plasma or urine oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) or plasma lipids. We conclude that consumption of lowbush blueberries by rats confers protection to the brain against damage from ischemia, suggesting that inclusion of blueberries in the diet may improve ischemic stroke outcomes.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 18;50(26):7731-7
Absorption of anthocyanins from blueberries and serum antioxidant status in human subjects.
Mazza G, Kay CD, Cottrell T, Holub BJ.
Food Research Program, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia, Canada.

In recent years, numerous studies have shown that the polyphenolics present in fruit and vegetable products exhibit a wide range of biological effects. However, there is little reliable information on the absorption of glycosylated and acylated anthocyanins in humans. In the present study, the absorption of anthocyanins in humans was investigated after the consumption of a high-fat meal with a freeze-dried blueberry powder containing 25 individual anthocyanins including 6 acylated structures. Nineteen of the 25 anthocyanins present in the blueberries were detected in human blood serum. Furthermore, the appearance of total anthocyanins in the serum was directly correlated with an increase in serum antioxidant capacity (ORAC(acetone), P < 0.01). These results show that anthocyanins can be absorbed in their intact glycosylated and possibly acylated forms in human subjects and that consumption of blueberries, a food source with high in vitro antioxidant properties, is associated with a diet-induced increase in ex vivo serum antioxidant status.

Br J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):389-98
The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects.
Kay CD, Holub BJ.
Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

The aim of the present study was to determine whether the consumption of wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium), a concentrated source of non-nutritive antioxidant phytochemicals, would enhance postprandial serum antioxidant status in healthy human subjects. A single-blinded crossover study was performed in a group of eight middle-aged male subjects (38-54 years). Subjects consumed a high-fat meal and a control supplement followed 1 week later by the same high-fat meal supplemented with 100.0 g freeze-dried wild blueberry powder. Upon brachial vein catheterization, fasting and postprandial serum samples were taken sequentially and analysed for lipids and glucose and for serum antioxidant status. Serum antioxidant status was determined using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay and the total antioxidant status (TAS) assay. The wild-blueberry treatment was associated with a significant treatment effect as determined by the ORAC assay (water-soluble fraction ORAC(perchloric acid (PCA)), P=0.04). Significant increases in serum antioxidant status above the controls were observed at 1 h (ORAC(PCA) (8.5 % greater), P=0.02; TAS (4.5 % greater), P=0.05), and 4 h (ORAC(total) (15.0 % greater), P=0.009; ORAC(acetone) (16.0 % greater), P=0.007) post-consumption of the high-fat meal. In conclusion, the consumption of wild blueberries, a food source with high in vitro antioxidant properties, is associated with a diet-induced increase in ex vivo serum antioxidant status. It has been suggested that increasing the antioxidant status of serum may result in the reduced risk of many chronic degenerative diseases.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;54(5):405-8
Effects of blueberry and cranberry juice consumption on the plasma antioxidant capacity of healthy female volunteers.
Pedersen CB, Kyle J, Jenkinson AM, Gardner PT, McPhail DB, Duthie GG.
Technical University of Denmark, 2800-Lyngby, Copenhagen, Denmark.

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether consumption of 500 ml of blueberry juice or cranberry juice by healthy female subjects increased plasma phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. DESIGN: Latin square arrangement to eliminate ordering effects. After an overnight fast, nine volunteers consumed 500 ml of blueberry juice, cranberry juice or a sucrose solution (control); each volunteer participated on three occasions one week apart, consuming one of the beverages each time. Blood samples were obtained by venipuncture at intervals up to four hours after consumption of the juices. Urine samples were also obtained four hours after consuming the juice. RESULTS: Consumption of cranberry juice resulted in a significant increase in the ability of plasma to reduce potassium nitrosodisulphonate and Fe(III)-2,4, 6-Tri(2-pyridyl)-s-triazine, these measures of antioxidant capacity attaining a maximum after 60-120 min. This corresponded to a 30% increase in vitamin C and a small but significant increase in total phenols in plasma. Consumption of blueberry juice had no such effects. CONCLUSION: The increase in plasma antioxidant capacity following consumption of cranberry juice could mainly be accounted for by an increase in vitamin C rather than phenolics. This also accounted for the lack of an effect of the phenolic-rich but vitamin C-low blueberry juice. Sponsorship: Funded by the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department and the Danish Government.

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Feb;48(2):140-6
Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage.
Wang SY, Lin HS.
Fruit Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.

Fruits and leaves from different cultivars of thornless blackberry (Rubus sp.), red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.), black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.), and strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa D.) plants were analyzed for total antioxidant capacity (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC) and total phenolic content. In addition, fruits were analyzed for total anthocyanin content. Blackberries and strawberries had the highest ORAC values during the green stages, whereas red raspberries had the highest ORAC activity at the ripe stage. Total anthocyanin content increased with maturity for all three species of fruits. Compared with fruits, leaves were found to have higher ORAC values. In fruits, ORAC values ranged from 7.8 to 33.7 micromol of Trolox equivalents (TE)/g of fresh berries (35. 0-162.1 micromol of TE/g of dry matter), whereas in leaves, ORAC values ranged from 69.7 to 182.2 micromol of TE/g of fresh leaves (205.0-728.8 micromol of TE/g of dry matter). As the leaves become older, the ORAC values and total phenolic contents decreased. The results showed a linear correlation between total phenolic content and ORAC activity for fruits and leaves. For ripe berries, a linear relationship existed between ORAC values and anthocyanin content. Of the ripe fruits tested, on the basis of wet weight of fruit, cv. Jewel black raspberry and blackberries may be the richest source for antioxidants. On the basis of the dry weight of fruit, strawberries had the highest ORAC activity followed by black raspberries (cv. Jewel), blackberries, and red raspberries.

J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9
Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women.
Jacob RA, Spinozzi GM, Simon VA, Kelley DS, Prior RL, Hess-Pierce B, Kader AA.
U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

To assess the physiologic effects of cherry consumption, we measured plasma urate, antioxidant and inflammatory markers in 10 healthy women who consumed Bing sweet cherries. The women, age 22-40 y, consumed two servings (280 g) of cherries after an overnight fast. Blood and urine samples were taken before the cherry dose, and at 1.5, 3 and 5 h postdose. Plasma urate decreased 5 h postdose, mean +/- SEM = 183 +/- 15 micro mol/L compared with predose baseline of 214 +/- 13 micro mol/L (P < 0.05). Urinary urate increased postdose, with peak excretion of 350 +/- 33 micro mol/mmol creatinine 3 h postdose compared with 202 +/- 13 at baseline (P < 0.01). Plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and nitric oxide (NO) concentrations had decreased marginally 3 h postdose (P < 0.1), whereas plasma albumin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were unchanged. The vitamin C content of the cherries was solely as dehydroascorbic acid, but postdose increases in plasma ascorbic acid indicated that dehydroascorbic acid in fruits is bioavailable as vitamin C. The decrease in plasma urate after cherry consumption supports the reputed anti-gout efficacy of cherries. The trend toward decreased inflammatory indices (CRP and NO) adds to the in vitro evidence that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways.

Anticancer Res. 1997 Mar-Apr;17(2A):913-6
Effects of coffee cherry on the activation of splenic lymphocytes in mice.
Kobayashi T, Yasuda M, Iijima K, Toriizuka K, Cyong JC, Nagasawa H.
Experimental Animal Research Laboratory, Meiji University, Kawasaki, Japan.

We previously observed that the ingestion by mice of a hot water extract (CC) and the methanol-extracted and water-soluble fraction (CC-W) of coffee cherry, the residue remaining after the removal of coffee beans from the fruit, enhanced the differentiation of thymocytes and the activation of peripheral T-lymphocytes; and the anti-mammary tumour effects of coffee cherry extract was considered to be associated with this immunomodulation. To study further these effects, mitogen response and some immune parameters were examined in a high mammary tumour strain of SHN mice. While the T-lymphocyte response to concanavalin A was not significantly changed by either CC or CC-W, the lipopolysaccharide response was significantly enhanced by both treatments. The proportion of CD45R/B220+ (B) cells in the splenic lymphocytes was significantly increased by CC, and the percentage of activated (CD25+) cells in B-lymphocytes was increased by CC and CC-W. These data indicate that coffee cherry extract can enhance B-lymphocyte response, and suggest that this immunopotentiation contributes to the antitumourigenic role of coffee cherry.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(3):CD001321
Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections.
Jepson RG, Mihaljevic L, Craig J.
1F1, 130 Portobello High Street, Edinburgh, UK, EH15 1AH.

BACKGROUND: Cranberries (particularly in the form of cranberry juice) have been used widely for several decades for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of cranberries in preventing such infections. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of cranberry juice and other cranberry products in preventing UTIs in susceptible populations. SEARCH STRATEGY: Electronic databases and the Internet were searched using English and non English language terms; companies involved with the promotion and distribution of cranberry preparations were contacted; reference lists of review articles and relevant trials were searched. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised or quasi randomised controlled trials of cranberry juice/products for the prevention of urinary tract infections in susceptible populations. Trials of men, women or children were included. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed and extracted information. For each included trial, information was collected on methods, participants, interventions and outcomes (urinary tract infections (symptomatic and asymptomatic), side effects and adherence to therapy). We were unable to perform statistical analysis due to the nature of the data available for review, so a narrative synthesis was undertaken. Quality was assessed using the Cochrane criteria. MAIN RESULTS: Five trials met the inclusion criteria (four cross-over, one parallel group). Four compared the effectiveness of cranberry juice versus placebo juice or water, and one compared the effectiveness of cranberry capsules versus placebo. Two further trials were excluded. Data from two out of the five trials indicated that cranberries were effective for either symptomatic or asymptomatic UTIs, but this result was not obtained in an intention-to-treat analysis. Side effects were common, and dropouts high. Overall, the quality of the five included trials was poor, the sample sizes were small, and thus the reliability of the results must be questionable. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: The small number of poor quality trials gives no reliable evidence of the effectiveness of cranberry juice and other cranberry products. The large number of dropouts/withdrawals from the trials indicates that cranberry juice may not be acceptable over long periods of time. There is no conclusive evidence to recommend cranberry juice for the prevention of UTIs. Further properly designed trials with relevant outcomes are needed.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Oct;56(10):1020-3
Effect of blackcurrant-, cranberry- and plum juice consumption on risk factors associated with kidney stone formation.
Kessler T, Jansen B, Hesse A.
Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of plum-, cranberry- and blackcurrant juice on urinary stone risk factors. DESIGN: Investigations were carried out in 12 healthy male subjects aged 18-38 y. All subjects received a standardized diet formulated according to the dietary recommendations of the German Society of Nutrition. The subjects provided 24 h urine collections in a control, three loading phases. In each loading phase a neutral mineral water was substituted for 330 ml of the particular juice. RESULTS: Cranberry juice decreased the urinary pH, whereas the excretion of oxalic acid and the relative supersaturation for uric acid were increased. Blackcurrant juice increased the urinary pH and the excretion of citric acid. The excretion of oxalic acid was increased too. All changes were statistically significant. The plum juice had no significant effect on the urinary composition. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that blackcurrant juice could support the treatment and metaphylaxis of uric acid stone disease because of its alkalizing effect. Since cranberry juice acidifies urine it could be useful in the treatment of brushite and struvite stones as well as urinary tract infection.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):5844-9
Antioxidant activities and antitumor screening of extracts from cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon).
Yan X, Murphy BT, Hammond GB, Vinson JA, Neto CC.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts 02747, USA.

Polyphenolic compounds in cranberries have been investigated to determine their role in protection against cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Extracts of whole fruit were assayed for radical-scavenging activity and tumor growth inhibition using seven tumor cell lines. Selective inhibition of K562 and HT-29 cells was observed from a methanolic extract in the range of 16-125 microg/mL. Radical-scavenging activity was greatest in an extract composed primarily of flavonol glycosides. Seven flavonol glycosides were isolated and purified from whole fruit for further evaluation; the anthocyanin cyanidin 3-galactoside was also purified for comparison with the flavonoids. Three flavonol monoglycosides were newly identified by (13)C NMR as myricetin 3-alpha-arabinofuranoside, quercetin 3-xyloside, and 3-methoxyquercetin 3-beta-galactoside (isorhamnetin); the other four isolated were the previously identified myricetin 3-beta-galactoside, quercetin 3-beta-galactoside, quercetin 3-alpha-arabinofuranoside, and quercetin 3-alpha-rhamnopyranoside. These compounds were evaluated for 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging activity and ability to inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro. Most of the flavonol glycosides showed antioxidant activity comparable or superior to that of vitamin E; cyanidin 3-galactoside showed activity superior to that of the flavonoids as well as vitamin E or Trolox in both antioxidant assays.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 30;50(3):610-7
Antioxidant and antimutagenic properties of aqueous extract of date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L. Arecaceae).
Vayalil PK.
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait.

Fruits of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. Arecaceae) are very commonly consumed in many parts of the world and are a vital component of the diet in most of the Arabian countries. This preliminary study documents for the first time its antioxidant and antimutagenic properties in vitro. There was a dose-dependent inhibition of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals by an aqueous extract of date fruit. The amount of fresh extract required to scavenge 50% of superoxide radicals was equivalent to 0.8 mg/mL of date fruit in the riboflavin photoreduction method. An extract of 2.2 mg/mL of date fruit was needed for 50% hydroxyl-radical-scavenging activity in the deoxyribose degradation method. Concentrations of 1.5 and 4.0 mg/mL completely inhibited superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, respectively. Aqueous date extract was also found to inhibit significantly the lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in a dose-dependent manner. In an Fe(2+)/ascorbate system, an extract of 1.9 mg/mL of date fruit was needed for 50% inhibition of lipid peroxides. In a time course inhibition study of lipid peroxide, at a 2.0 mg/mL concentration of date extract, there was a complete inhibition of TBARS formation in the early stages of the incubation period that increased during later stages of the incubation. Similarly, in the high Fe(2+)/ascorbate induction system a concentration of 2.3 mg/mL inhibited carbonyl formation measured by DNPH reaction by 50%. Moreover, a concentration of 4.0 mg/mL completely inhibited lipid peroxide and protein carbonyl formation. Date fruit extract also produced a dose-dependent inhibition of benzo(a)pyrene-induced mutagenecity on Salmonella tester strains TA-98 and TA-100 with metabolic activation. Extract from 3.6 mg/plate and 4.3 mg/plate was found required for 50% inhibition of His+ revertant formation in TA-98 and TA-100, respectively. These results indicate that antioxidant and antimutagenic activity in date fruit is quite potent and implicates the presence of compounds with potent free-radical-scavenging activity.

Mycopathologia. 2002;154(1):25-8
Edible dates (Phoenix dactylifera), a potential source of Cladosporium cladosporioides and Sporobolomyces roseus: implications for public health.
Moore JE, Xu J, Millar BC, Elshibly S.
Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Northern Ireland.

Edible dates (Phoenix dactylifera) were examined for the presence of endogenous yeasts and filimentous fungi. Mean counts of fungi were 530 colony forming units (cfu) per gram of fruit, representing a mixture of two phenotypic colony types. Subsequent DNA extraction and PCR amplification of these two morphotypes yielded an amplicon of approximately 350 bp with the 5.8S-28S rRNA ITS region. Sequence analysis identified these to be Cladosporium cladosporioides (230 cfu/g) and Sporobolomyces roseus. Both organisms have been previously reported in opportunistic infections involving skin or in immunocompromised patients. This is the first report of edible dates being a source of these organisms and we emphasize the importance of the common practice of washing hands following the consumption of these fruits by hand.

Mech Ageing Dev. 2002 Apr 30;123(8):997-1006
Bioavailablility of elderberry anthocyanins.
Milbury PE, Cao G, Prior RL, Blumberg J.
Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Room 507, 711 Washington St. Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Considerable epidemiological evidence suggests a link between the consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Anthocyanins have received attention as important dietary constituents that may provide health benefits and contribute antioxidant capacity beyond that provided by essential micronutrients such as ascorbate, tocopherols, and selenium. The emergence of renewed interest by industrial countries in traditional herbal medicines and the development of 'functional foods' are stimulating the need for more information regarding the bioavailability and efficacy of plant polyphenols. Flavonoids represent a numerous group of secondary plant metabolites based on the structure of a pyran ring flanked by two or more phenyl rings and varying subtly in the degree of unsaturation and the pattern of hydroxylation or methylation. Flavonoids also vary in the type of sugar attached or the degree of polymerization. Anthocyanins, potent flavonoid antioxidants widely distributed in fruits, vegetables and red wines, normally occur in nature as glycosides, a form not usually considered as bioavailable. We have examined the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins in humans. Anthocyanins were detected as glycosides in both plasma and urine samples. The elimination of plasma anthocyanins appeared to follow first-order kinetics and most anthocyanin compounds were excreted in urine within 4 h after feeding. The current findings appear to refute assumptions that anthocyanins are not absorbed in their unchanged glycosylated forms in humans.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1998 Jan;39(1):19-22
Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-I diabetic patients.
Serraclara A, Hawkins F, Perez C, Dominguez E, Campillo JE, Torres MD.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Badajoz and Serv. Endocrinology, University Hospital 12 Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

The effect of a decoction of fig leaves (Ficus carica), as a supplement to breakfast, on diabetes control was studied in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients (six men, four women, age 22-38 years, body mass index (BMI): 20.8 +/- 3.0 kg/m2, HbA1c 7.6 +/- 0.9% with a mean duration of diabetes of 9 +/- 6.3 years). The patients were managed with their usual diabetes diet and their twice-daily insulin injection. During the first month, patients were given a decoction of fig leaves (FC) and during the next month a non-sweet commercial tea (TC). The patients were divided into two groups (n = 5) with random allocation and cross-over design. A standard breakfast was given at the beginning and end of each month-run. C-peptide, 2 h pre- and post-prandial glycemia, HbA1c, cholesterol, lipid fractions and hematology data, were analyzed during each visit. Glycemic profiles (7/day per week) were recorded by patients. Only two patients had intolerance dropout. Post-prandial glycemia was significantly lower during supplementation with FC 156.6 +/- 75.9 mg/dl versus TC 293.7 +/- 45.0 mg/dl (P < 0.001) without pre-prandial differences 145.0 +/- 41.5 and 196.6 +/- 43.2 mg/dl, respectively. Medium average capillary profiles were also lower in the two sub-groups of patients during FC 166.7 +/- 23.6 mg/dl, P < 0.05 and 157.1 +/- 17.0 mg/dl versus TC 245.8 +/- 14.2 mg/dl and 221.4 +/- 27.3 mg/dl. Average insulin dose was 12% lower during FC in the total group. The addition of FC to diet in IDDM could be of help to control postprandial glycemia.

Appl Microbiol. 1975 Aug;30(2):238-41
Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin production in fig fruits.
Buchanan JR, Sommer NF, Fortlage RJ.

Immature fig fruits did not support colonization and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus Lk. but became susceptible when ripe. While sun-drying on the tree, fruits were particularly vulnerable to fungal infection and colonization. Aflatoxin accumulation equaled levels frequently reported for such seeds as peanuts and cereal grains.

Ann Pharmacother. 2003 Feb;37(2):297-300
Figs--the earliest known ancient drug for cutaneous anthrax.
Ben-Noun LL.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Health in the Community, Department of Family Medicine, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 572, Kiryat-Gat 82104, Israel.

BACKGROUND: Anthrax is an often fatal bacterial infection, occurring in cutaneous, inhalational, gastrointestinal, and meningeal forms. Evaluation of anthrax treatment from ancient history may help healthcare providers to handle this serious disease more efficiently. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the biblical descriptions of anthrax, focusing on its therapy in ancient times. STUDY SELECTION: All biblical texts associated with anthrax were examined and passages relating to this disease were studied closely. DATA SYNTHESIS: Biblical passages such as: "Take a cluster of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil [anthrax], and he recovered," and "Let them take a cluster of figs, and lay it upon the boil [anthrax], and he shall recover," convincingly indicate that figs have healing properties in cutaneous anthrax lesions. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of this study, the National Institutes of Health together with the pharmaceutical industry may consider to work on isolation of compounds from fig plants to develop products against cutaneous and possibly other forms of anthrax once screening tests are completed.

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1999;53(4):343-9
Effect of plant fruits--Indian gall nut, bedda nut and gooseberry--on hypercholesterolemic rats.
Nalini D, Kapoor R.
Department of Home Science, Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur, AP, India.

The effect of supplementation of three fruits, Indian gall nut, bedda nut and gooseberry, on serum lipid levels and excretion of bile acids was investigated. Rats made hypercholesterolemic by feeding hypercholesterolemia inducing diet (HID) for a period of 30 days were used as the test model. Feeding of a dried powder of these fruits along with the HID resulted in significant (p<0.01) reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. HDL cholesterol remained unchanged in groups fed gall nut and bedda nut. However, the levels were significantly (p<0.01) higher in groups fed mixed and gooseberry diets in comparison to the control diet. Excretion of bile acids was found to be significantly (p<0.01) higher in animals receiving the three fruits in combination in comparison to those receiving the individual fruits.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1988 Nov;42(11):939-44
Effect of the Indian gooseberry (amla) on serum cholesterol levels in men aged 35-55 years.
Jacob A, Pandey M, Kapoor S, Saroja R.
Department of Foods and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.

The effect on total serum cholesterol and its lipoprotein fractions of supplementation of the diet with amla (Emblica officinalis, Gaertn., the Indian gooseberry) was studied in normal and hypercholesterolaemic men aged 35-55 years. The supplement was given for a period of 28 d in the raw form. Both normal and hypercholesterolaemic subjects showed a decrease in cholesterol levels. Two weeks after withdrawing the supplement, the total serum cholesterol levels of the hypercholesterolaemic subjects rose significantly almost to initial levels.

Dig Liver Dis. 2002 Sep;34 Suppl 2:S160-3
Effect of acute load of grapefruit juice on urinary excretion of citrate and urinary risk factors for renal stone formation.
Trinchieri A, Lizzano R, Bernardini P, Nicola M, Pozzoni F, Romano AL, Serrago MP, Confalanieri S.
Department of Urology, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore, Milan, Italy.

The effect of citrus fruit juice ingestion on the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation is still debated. The present study was undertaken to investigate changes in urinary stone risk factors after administration of a soft drink containing grapefruit juice. Seven healthy subjects, with no history of kidney stones, were submitted to an acute oral load (20 ml/kg body weight over 60 min) of a soft drink containing grapefruit juice diluted (10%) in mineral water. After a 7-day wash-out period, each subject underwent an oral load with mineral water alone under the same conditions. Urine specimens were collected before (for 120 min) and after each oral fluid load (for 180 min). Urinary flow was significantly increased after both grapefruit juice (46+/-26 vs 186+/-109 ml/h, p = 0.01) and mineral water (42+/-16 vs 230+/-72 ml/h, p=0.001) compared to baseline. Compared to mineral water, grapefruit juice significantly (p=0.021) increased urinary excretion of citrate (25.8+/-9.3 vs 18.7+/-6.2 mg/h), calcium (6.7+/-4.3 vs 3.3+/-2.3 mg/h, p=0.015) and magnesium (2.9+/-1.5 vs 1.0+/-0.7 mg/h, p=0.003). Citrus fruit juices could represent a natural alternative to potassium citrate in the management of nephrolithiasis, because they could be better tolerated and cost-effective than pharmacological calcium treatment. However, in order to obtain a beneficial effect in the prevention of calcium renal stones a reduced sugar content is desirable to avoid the increase of urinary calcium due to the effect of sugar supplementation.

Fitoterapia. 2000 Aug;71 Suppl 1:S29-37
Grapefruit: the last decade acquisitions.
Tirillini B.
Istituto di Botanica, Universita di Urbino Via Bramante, 28-61029, Urbino, Italy.

This review reports the last decade acquisitions on grapefruit. New coumarins and limonoids were isolated and characterised. The bioavailability of many drugs was tested with grapefruit juice (GJ) coadministration; the inhibition on cytochrome P450 seems due to a synergic action between flavonoids and coumarins. Antimicrobial, antifeeding, insecticidal, and antitumour activities were also reported.

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 1999 Jul;51(4-5):418-20
The effect of paracetamol on peritoneal reflex after single and multiple grapefruit ingestion.
Samojlik I, Raskovic A, Dakovic-Svajcer K, Mikov M, Jakovljevic V.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia.

In the last few years, more attention has been paid to the influence of grapefruit juice on metabolism on many drugs. It has been reported that grapefruit juice increases the plasma concentrations of orally administrated drugs, that undergo metabolism in liver. However, all these experiments were done with a single dose of grapefruit juice. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate if the chronical ingestion of grapefruit juice could also cause these effects. Paracetamol is metabolized by reactions of oxidation and conjugation to nontoxic ineffective metabolites. These reactions, partly catalyzed by cytochrome P450 izoenzymes, take place in liver. The analgesic effect of paracetamol was examined by Writhing tests, where we used acetic acid as an irritating agent. We used three groups of male mice: the control group, the group which was administrated 0.2 mL of grapefruit juice per os 10 days (GPOch) and the group which was administrated single dose of 0.5 mL grapefruit juice per os 90 min. before the experiment (GPOac). Dose of 50 mg/kg of paracetamol was applicated s.c. 5 min. before i.p. application of 3 % acetic acid. The writhing phenomenon was observed in periods of 5-15 min. and 15-30 min. after the application of paracetamol. The results show that paracetamol in GPOch group significantly decreases irritant effect of acetic acid in the period of 15-30 min. after the application in relation to the control group. However, the acetic acid shows stronger irritant effect in GPOch group than in the control group and less irritant effect in GPOac group than in the control group. In the period of 5-15 min. after the application, paracetamol shows analgesic effect neither in the control nor in the other groups.

Clin Cardiol. 1988 Sep;11(9):589-94
The effects of grapefruit pectin on patients at risk for coronary heart disease without altering diet or lifestyle.
Cerda JJ, Robbins FL, Burgin CW, Baumgartner TG, Rice RW.
Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610.

Dietary intake of cholesterol has been linked to coronary heart disease. The effect of grapefruit pectin (Citrus paradisi) on plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the low-density lipoprotein:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio was studied. The study design was a 16-week double-blind, crossover (placebo or pectin) using 27 human volunteers screened to be at medium to high risk for coronary heart disease due to hypercholesterolemia. The study did not interfere with the subjects' current diet or lifestyle. Grapefruit pectin supplementation decreased plasma cholesterol 7.6%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 10.8%, and the low-density lipoprotein:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio 9.8%. The other plasma lipid fractions studied showed no significant differences. We conclude that a grapefruit pectin-supplemented diet, without change in lifestyle, can significantly reduce plasma cholesterol.

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1988;58(4):414-7
Ingestion of grapefruit lowers elevated hematocrits in human subjects.
Robbins RC, Martin FG, Roe JM.
Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville.

This study was based on in vitro observations that naringin isolated from grapefruit induced red cell aggregation and evidence that clumped red cells are removed from the circulation by phagocytosis. The effect on hematocrits of adding grapefruit to the daily diet was determined using 36 human subjects (12 F, 24 M) over a 42-day study. The hematocrits ranged from 36.5 to 55.8% at the start and 38.8% to 49.2% at the end of the study. There was a differential effect on the hematocrit. The largest decreases occurred at the highest hematocrits and the effect decreased on the intermediate hematocrits; however, the low hematocrits increased. There was no significant difference between ingesting 1/2 or 1 grapefruit per day but a decrease in hematocrit due to ingestion of grapefruit was statistically significant at the p less than 0.01 level.

Nahrung. 2002 Oct;46(5):353-6
Hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant activities of grapes.
Alcolea JF, Cano A, Acosta M, Arnao MB.
Departamento de Biologia Vegetal (Fisiologia Vegetal), Facultad de Biologia, Campus Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, E-30100 Murcia, Spain.

The 2,2'-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)/H2O2/horseradish peroxidase (ABTS/H2O2/HRP) decoloration method permits the evaluation of the antioxidant activity of complex food samples. This method is capable of determining both hydrophilic (in buffered media) and lipophilic (in organic media) antioxidant properties in the same sample. Its application to the study of the antioxidant properties of grapes, one white and two black, has permitted us to establish important differences in the antioxidant activity. The black grapes showed higher antioxidant activity than the white variety. The determination of hydrophilic antioxidant activity (HAA) and lipophilic antioxidant activity (LAA) in the three grapes showed that a minor contribution (4-13%) of total antioxidant activity (TAA) was due to LAA in all cases. The experimentally determined HAA could be approximated using the relative contributions of the calculated values of reference compounds (total phenols as gallic acid and anthocyanins as malvidin).

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;40(5):762-9
Cardioprotection with grapes.
Cui J, Juhasz B, Tosaki A, Maulik N, Das DK.
Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.

Epidemiologic studies suggest that mild-to-moderate wine consumption is associated with a reduced incidence of mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease. Because wines are produced from grapes, this study was done to determine whether the grapes were equally cardioprotective. Sprague-Dawley male rats were given (orally) standardized grape extract (SGE) (obtained from the California Table Grape Commission, Fresno, CA, U.S.A.) (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg body weight per day) for 3 weeks. Time-matched control experiments were performed by feeding the animals 45 microg/100 g of glucose plus 45 microg/100 g of fructose per day for 3 weeks. After 21 days, rats were killed and the hearts excised and perfused via working mode. Hearts were made ischemic for 30 min followed by 2 h of reperfusion. At 100 mg/kg and at 200 mg/kg, grapes provided significant cardioprotection as evidenced by improved postischemic ventricular recovery (aortic flow, developed pressure, the maximum first derivative of the developed pressure) and reduced amount of myocardial infarction. There were no differences in results between the two groups (100 mg/kg versus 200 mg/kg). No cardioprotection was apparent when rats were given grape samples at a dose of 50 mg/100 g/d. SGE reduced the malonaldehyde content of the heart, indicating reduction of oxidative stress during ischemia and reperfusion. In vitro studies demonstrated that the SGE could directly scavenge superoxide and hydroxyl radicals that are formed in the ischemic reperfused myocardium. The results demonstrate that the hearts of the rats fed SGE are resistant to myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury, suggesting a cardioprotective role of grapes.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:230-8
Resveratrol, a component of wine and grapes, in the prevention of kidney disease.
Bertelli AA, Migliori M, Panichi V, Origlia N, Filippi C, Das DK, Giovannini L.
Department of Human Anatomy, University of Milan, 20133 Milan Italy.

Ischemia is an inciting factor in 50% of incidences of acute renal failure, and it increases the risk of organ rejection after renal transplantation. We have previously demonstrated that resveratrol (RSV) reduces ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury of rat kidney both by antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. However, a clear morphological demonstration of this activity has not been made. To answer this question we have performed a new set of experiments following the experimental protocol reported below to investigate the effects of I/R injury and RSV pretreatment on kidney morphology by computerized morphometric analysis. Both renal arteries were clamped for 40 minutes in 40 male Wistar rats (b.w. 220 +/- 20 g); 20 rats were pretreated with RSV 1 microM e.v. 40 minutes before clamping. All animals were reperfused for 24 hours and then sacrificed. Histological examination showed tissue conservation in treated rats. I/R-induced glomerular collapse (as revealed by mean glomerular volume and glomerular shape factor) was significantly reduced by RSV pretreatment. Capillary tuft/Bowman's capsule area ratio was enhanced in the I/R group suggesting tubular hypertension. RSV pre-treatments significantly reduced this parameter to the control value. The number of platelet clots in the capillary tuft and tubular necrosis were also reduced by RSV versus I/R group. L-NAME administration worsened both functional and structural damage. Finally, cGMP urinary levels were markedly reduced from 12.1 +/- 8.4 nmol/day to 0.10 +/- 0.10 nmol/day in the I/R group. RSV provided cGMP (5.01 +/- 1.5 nmol/day, P < 0.05). As expected, L-NAME administration significantly reduced cGMP in urine (0.71 +/- 0.6 nmol/day). The present study confirms the protective effect of RSV pretreatment in I/R injury of rat kidney and suggests multiple mechanisms of action.

Cardiovasc Res. 2000 Aug 18;47(3):549-55
Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol, a natural antioxidant derived from grapes.
Hung LM, Chen JK, Huang SS, Lee RS, Su MJ.
Institute of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 1, Jen-Ai Road, Taipei, Taiwan.

BACKGROUND: The major objective of the present study was to examine the cardioprotective effect of resveratrol, an antioxidant presents in red wines, in the rat after ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion (I-R). METHODS: The left main coronary artery was occluded for 30 or 5 min followed by a 30-min reperfusion in anesthetized rats. Animals were preinfused with and without resveratrol before occlusion and the severity of ischemia- and I-R-induced arrhythmias and mortality were compared. RESULTS: Resveratrol pretreatment had no effect on ischemia-induced arrhythmias nor on mortality. In contrast, a dramatic protective effects were observed against I-R-induced arrhythmias and mortality. Resveratrol pretreatment both reduced the incidence and duration of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF). During the same period, resveratrol pretreatment also increased nitric oxide (NO) and decreased lactate dehydrogenase levels in the carotid blood. CONCLUSIONS: Resveratrol is a potent antiarrhythmic agent with cardioprotective properties in I-R rats. The cardioprotective effects of resveratrol in the I-R rats may be correlated with its antioxidant activity and upregulation of NO production.

Int J Tissue React. 1999;21(4):93-104
Resveratrol, a natural stilbene in grapes and wine, enhances intraphagocytosis in human promonocytes: a co-factor in antiinflammatory and anticancer chemopreventive activity.
Bertelli AA, Ferrara F, Diana G, Fulgenzi A, Corsi M, Ponti W, Ferrero ME, Bertelli A.
Institute of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan, Italy.

Trans-resveratrol, a natural stilbene present in wine and grapes, has been studied mainly for its antiinflammatory and anticancer activities. In this study the activity of resveratrol on proliferative immunological parameters (differentiation, apoptosis, phagocytosis and intracellular killing) was studied using a U937 human promonocytic cell line in comparison with another polyphenol, quercetin. After incubation of the pathogen, Candida albicans, intracellular killing by macrophage-like cells was decreased by quercetin and resveratrol 10 microM but was enhanced by resveratrol 1 microM after 20 h of treatment. Phagocytosis rate, expressed as phagocytosis frequency, (i.e., percentage number of phagocytosing cells/total cells) at 20 h was highest with resveratrol 10 microM and was higher with quercetin 10 microM than with resveratrol 1 microM. The phagocytosis index exhibited the same trend. While both polyphenols demonstrated cytostatic activity on U937 growth, a prointraphagocytic effect for resveratrol 10 microM-treated cells at 10 min, resveratrol 1 microM-treated cells at 20 h and resveratrol 10 microM-treated cells at 48 h was observed. Morphological examination with optic microscopy demonstrated both apoptotic and differentiating cells, even after 10 min treatment. Resveratrol-induced apoptosis (following 4 h treatment) was confirmed by flow cytometry at concentrations as low as 1 microM and 100 nM in the assay for detection of membrane phosphatidylserine. Resveratrol- or quercetin-treated, but unstimulated cells, did not produce tumor necrosis factor-alpha protein. As phosphatidylserine externalization triggers specific recognition by monocytes and macrophages, removal of intact apoptotic cells is important a) in cell population selection and differentiation for antiblastic therapy, and b) in preventing the release of toxic inflammatory substances such as reactive oxygen substances and proteolytic enzymes by dying cells. This observation suggests that wine polyphenols, at the same concentrations as those found in plasma after moderate wine consumption, are important cofactors in antiinfective, antiinflammatory and anticancer nonspecific immune reactions.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Jul;94(1):70-6
Kiwi fruit allergy: a new birch pollen-associated food allergy.
Gall H, Kalveram KJ, Forck G, Sterry W.
Department of Dermatology, University of Ulm, Germany.

BACKGROUND: To determine the cross-reacting antigens of kiwi fruit and other foods and pollen, we investigated 22 patients allergic to kiwi fruit: 10 with severe systemic reactions and 12 with localized symptoms confined to oral and pharyngeal mucosa (oral allergy syndrome). Seven patients with birch pollen allergy who tolerated kiwi fruit were included as a control group. METHODS: All patients were evaluated by skin testing and RAST; three patients were evaluated by RAST inhibition assays. RESULTS: Prick tests showed positive reactions to kiwi fruit in all patients, whereas specific IgE to kiwi fruit could be demonstrated only in patients with generalized severe symptoms. Surprisingly, all 22 patients with clinical kiwi allergy showed positive prick test results and elevated IgE to birch pollen. Clinically, all complained of rhinitis during birch pollen season. Many patients showed sensitization to grass and mugwort pollen. Also, food allergy was found to be associated with kiwi allergy: we found strong reactions to apple and hazelnut; moderate reactions to carrot, potato, and avocado; and weak reactions to wheat and rye flour, pineapple and papaya, and their enzymes bromelain and papain. RAST inhibition studies revealed cross-reacting antigens between birch pollen and kiwi fruit. Interestingly, patients with birch pollen allergy without clinical signs of kiwi allergy had positive prick test reactions to kiwi. Patients with kiwi allergy showed higher concentrations to birch pollen IgE compared with patients with isolated birch pollen allergy. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that kiwi allergy is a new manifestation of birch pollen-associated food allergy and is mediated by cross-reacting antigens in the kiwi fruit. Kiwi allergy can be expected in patients with birch pollen allergy exhibiting high levels of IgE to birch pollen.

Eur J Nutr. 2002 Feb;41(1):19-26
The hypocholesterolemic effect of lemon peels, lemon pectin, and the waste stream material of lemon peels in hybrid F1B hamsters.
Terpstra AH, Lapre JA, de Vries HT, Beynen AC.
Department of Laboratory Animal Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: We found in preliminary studies with hamsters that citrus peels have a cholesterol lowering effect comparable to that of pectin extracted from these peels. AIM OF THE STUDY: We wanted to examine whether the cholesterol lowering effect of the peels could be completely accounted for by the pectin in the peels. METHODS: We fed cholesterol enriched (0.1 %,w/w) semipurified diets containing 3% (w/w) of cellulose, lemon peels, lemon pectin, and the waste stream material of the lemon peels to hybrid F1B hamsters for a period of 8 weeks. The waste stream of the lemon peels is the left over after extraction of the lemon pectin. RESULTS: Feeding the semipurified diets resulted in an increase of plasma cholesterol levels in all the dietary groups after 2 and 4 weeks on the diets. Cholesterol concentrations in the cellulose fed hamsters continued to increase after 4 weeks on the diet, whereas cholesterol levels in the other groups had reached a plateau. As a consequence, the plasma cholesterol levels in the hamsters fed the peels (5.59 +/- 0.74 mmol/L, mean +/- SD, n = 14), pectin (5.19 +/- 0.48 mmol/L), or waste stream (5.53 +/- 0.94 mmol/L) were lower than those in the hamsters fed cellulose (6.71 +/- 1.52 mmol/L) after 8 weeks on the diets. Differences in total plasma cholesterol were reflected in differences in both VLDL and LDL cholesterol concentration, but this effect was more distinct for the VLDL. There was no effect of the type of fiber on HDL cholesterol levels. Liver cholesterol concentrations paralleled. the concentrations of plasma cholesterol and the liver cholesterol concentrations in the hamsters fed the peels (3.57+/- 1.01 micromol/g liver, mean +/- SD, n = 14), pectin (4.86 +/- 1.42), and the waste stream (4.96 +/- 1.89) were lower than those in the cellulose group (7.19 +/- 2.32). The hamsters fed the peels, pectin, or waste stream tended to have a higher excretion of fecal bile acids and neutral sterols then the cellulose fed hamsters. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that lemon peels and the waste stream of the lemon peels are as effective in lowering plasma and liver cholesterol in hamsters as the pectin extracted from the peels and that also compounds other than pectin are probably responsible for the cholesterol lowering effect of the citrus peels.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2000 Oct;23(10):1235-8
Bactericidal activity of lemon juice and lemon derivatives against Vibrio cholerae.
de Castillo MC, de Allori CG, de Gutierrez RC, de Saab OA, de Fernandez NP, de Ruiz CS, Holgado AP, de Nader OM.
Clinical Microbiology Department, Instituto de Microiologia Di. Luis C. Verna, Facultad de Bioquimica Qumica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional de Tucman, Argentina.

Food products can be possible vectors of the agent responsible for cholera epidemics, because some of these products allow Vibrio cholerae O1 to develop to concentrations above the dangerous level. This study deals with the behaviour of essential oils, natural and concentrated lemon juice and fresh and dehydrated lemon peel against V. cholerae O1 biotype Eltor serotype Inaba tox+. Our aim was to evaluate whether these products, used at different dilutions, exhibit bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity against the microorganism, when present at concentrations of 10(2), 10(4), 10(6) and 10(8) colony forming units (CFU) ml(-1), and after different exposure times. 10(8) CFU ml(-1) was considered an infectious dose. Concentrated lemon juice and essential oils inhibited V. cholerae completely at all studied dilutions and exposure times. Fresh lemon peel and dehydrated lemon peel partially inhibited growth of V. cholerae. Freshly squeezed lemon juice, diluted to 10(-2), showed complete inhibition of V. cholerae at a concentration of 10(8) CFU ml(-1) after 5 min of exposure time; a dilution of 2 x 10(-3) produced inhibition after 15 min and a dilution of 10(-3) after 30 min. It can be concluded that lemon, a natural product which is easily obtained, acts as a biocide against V. cholerae, and is, therefore, an efficient decontaminant, harmless to humans.

Lipids. 1998 Jul;33(7):689-95.
Protective effects of lemon flavonoids on oxidative stress in diabetic rats.
Miyake Y, Yamamoto K, Tsujihara N, Osawa T.
Central Research Laboratory of Pokka Corporation, Ltd., Aichi, Japan.

The effects of lemon flavonoids, as crude flavonoids prepared from lemon juice, were investigated in diabetic rats. The oxidative stress of eriocitrin (eriodictyol 7-O-beta-rutinoside) and hesperidin (hesperetin 7-O-beta-rutinoside) on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats was investigated. Diabetic rats were given a diet which contained 0.2% crude flavonoids, 0.2% eriocitrin, and 0.2% hesperidin. After the 28-d feeding period, the concentration of the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance in the serum, liver, and kidney of diabetic rats administered crude flavonoids, eriocitrin, and hesperidin significantly decreased as compared with that of the diabetic group. The levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, which is exchanged from deoxyguanosine owing to oxidative stress, in the urine of diabetic rats administered eriocitrin and hesperidin significantly decreased as compared with that of the diabetic rat group. Crude flavonoids, eriocitrin, and hesperidin suppressed the oxidative stress in the diabetic rats. These results demonstrated that dietary lemon flavonoids of eriocitrin and hesperidin play a role as antioxidant in vivo.

Int J Pancreatol. 1988 Dec;3(6):469-76
Pure pancreatic juice in humans: orange-lemon-juice-induced secretory effects. Comparative analysis with a regular meal, sorbitol, acidified peptone broth and secretin.
Tiscornia OM, Cresta MA, Celener D, Negri G, Vaccaro MI, Waisman H, Bustos Fernandez L, Dreiling DA.
Gastroenerologic Unit, Hospital de Clinicas (Universidad de Buenos Aires), Argentina.

The secretory effect elicited by the ingestion of 100 ml of orange-lemon juice (O.-L.J.) was studied on pure pancreatic juice obtained from a catheter placed in the human Wirsung duct at surgery. These changes were compared with those evoked by a regular meal (R.M.), the ingestion of a Sorbitol solution (S.S.), the intragastric infusion of an acidified peptone broth (A.P.B.) and an i.v. single injection of secretin (Boots, 1.0 U/kg). The O.-L.J. induced purer pancreatic secretion response (flow, bicarbonate and enzyme output) than that triggered by the R.M., S.S. and A.P.B. The O.-L.J. evoked peak values, were observed earlier (60 min) than with a R.M. (90 min) ingestion. The 120-min-cumulative values confirmed these findings and disclosed that O.-L.J. elicits a rate of secretion and bicarbonate output closely similar to that of an i.v. secretin injection and amylase response greater than that evoked by this hormone. Thus, O.-L.J. ingestion proved to be an unexpected powerful stimulus of exocrine pancreatic secretion.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Sep;77(1):85-90
Immunomodulatory effect of concentrated lime juice extract on activated human mononuclear cells.
Gharagozloo M, Ghaderi A.
Immunology Department, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 71345-1798, Shiraz, Iran.

In this study, the in vitro immunomodulatory effect of concentrated juice of Citrus aurantifolia cv. swingle (Lime) was investigated. Clarified fresh lime juice was concentrated by freeze-drying. After dialysis against phosphate buffered saline and sterilization by a Millipore filter, it was used for further experiments. Immunogenic property of the CLJ extract was documented by production of specific polyclonal antibodies in rabbits. The immunomodulatory effect of the extract was tested in mitogen activated cultured mononuclear cells. The culture results indicated that proliferation of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) activated mononuclear cells were significantly inhibited by 250 and 500 microg/ml of CLJ extract, whereas only 500 microg/ml of the extract could inhibit proliferation of staphylococcal protein A (SPA) activated mononuclear cells (P<0.05). The abrogation of this inhibitory effect of the CLJ extract was noted by adding anti-CLJ antibody to the lymphocyte culture. Considering these data, it can be concluded that the CLJ extract possesses immunomodulatory principles, which may mainly be due to the protein components of the extract.

Br J Nutr. 1999 Apr;81(4):281-8
Lime-treated maize husks lower plasma LDL-cholesterol levels in normal and hypercholesterolaemic adult men from northern Mexico.
Vidal-Quintanar RL, Mendivil RL, Pena M, Fernandez ML.
Departamento de Investigacion y Posgrado en Alimentos, University of Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico.

Lime-treated maize husks (LTCH), a by-product of tortilla manufacturing in Mexico, have been shown to decrease plasma LDL-cholesterol levels in guinea-pigs by specific alterations in hepatic cholesterol metabolism. To determine whether LTCH would also lower plasma cholesterol levels in normal and hyperlipidaemic individuals, the fibre content of a typical diet was increased by supplementing free-living subjects in North-West Mexico with cookies containing 450 g LTCH/kg. Normal subjects (n 11) with plasma cholesterol levels of less than 5.7 mmol/l and hypercholesterolaemic subjects (n 12) with plasma cholesterol levels higher than 5.7 mmol/l participated in the study. Plasma glucose, cholesterol, triacylglycerol, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, LDL:HDL values and blood pressure were determined at baseline and after 6 weeks of supplementation with LTCH. LTCH supplementation significantly lowered the plasma total cholesterol level by 11-15% and LDL-cholesterol by 25%, and improved the LDL:HDL value by 29-33% (P < 0.01) in both normal and hypercholesterolaemic subjects. HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerol and glucose concentrations did not change. Both groups consumed equal amounts of LTCH per week; individuals showed excellent compliance and good acceptance of the product. Neither group changed their dietary habits during the time of the experiment as determined by 3 d dietary records at baseline and at week 6. We conclude that LTCH supplements are suitable to increase fibre intake and reduce plasma LDL-cholesterol levels in healthy and hypercholesterolaemic subjects in this population.

Trop Med Int Health. 2000 Jun;5(6):418-22
Protection from cholera by adding lime juice to food - results from community and laboratory studies in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
Rodrigues A, Sandstrom A, Ca T, Steinsland H, Jensen H, Aaby P.
Servico de Epidemiologia, Ministerio de Saude Publica, Bissau, Guine-Bissau.

Epidemiological studies have shown that food plays an important role in the transmission of Vibrio cholerae, and different foods have been incriminated in many epidemic outbreaks of cholera. Storing contaminated meals at ambient temperatures allows growth of V. cholerae. Some ingredients such as lime juice may inhibit the survival of V. cholerae in foods. During an epidemic caused by V. cholerae O1 in Guinea-Bissau in 1996, a case control study was conducted in the capital Bissau, the main affected region with an attack rate of 7.4%. Cases were hospitalized patients and controls were matched for area, gender and age. Lime juice in the sauce eaten with rice gave a strong protective effect (odds ratio [OR] = 0.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.17-0.56), and tomato sauce was also protective (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.24-0.54). On the other hand, use of a bucket for storage of water in the house was associated with increased risk (OR = 4.4, CI = 2.21-8.74). Laboratory experiments to elucidate the inhibitory effect of different concentrations of lime juice on survival of V. cholerae in meals showed that V. cholerae thrives in rice with peanut sauce, but lime juice inhibited its growth. Since lime juice is a common ingredient of sauces, its use should be further encouraged to prevent foodborne transmission in the household during cholera outbreaks.

J Nutr. 2002 Dec;132(12):3693-9
A randomized, 4-month mango and fat supplementation trial improved vitamin A status among young Gambian children.
Drammeh BS, Marquis GS, Funkhouser E, Bates C, Eto I, Stephensen CB.
Department of Epidemiology and International Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

Supplementation with carotene-rich fruits may be an effective and sustainable approach to prevent vitamin A deficiency. To test the effectiveness of mango supplementation, 176 Gambian children, aged 2 to 7 y, were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: 75 g of dried mango containing approximately 150 micro g retinol activity equivalents with (MF) or without (M) 5 g of fat, 5 d/wk for 4 mo or 60,000 micro g of vitamin A (A) or placebo (P) capsule at baseline. After 4 mo, plasma beta-carotene was greater in both the M (P < 0.05) and MF (P = 0.07) groups compared with the P group. After controlling for baseline plasma retinol, elevated acute phase proteins and age, plasma retinol concentrations in the A and MF, but not M, groups were higher than in the P group at the end of the study (P < 0.01). Increases in retinol concentrations, however, were small in both groups. These results support the use of dietary supplementation with dried mangoes and a source of fat as one of several concurrent strategies that can be used to help maintain vitamin A status of children in developing countries where there is a severe seasonal shortage of carotenoid-rich foods.

J Med Assoc Thai. 2003 Jan;86(1):61-8
Effect of bitter melon (Momordica charantia Linn) on level and function of natural killer cells in cervical cancer patients with radiotherapy.
Pongnikorn S, Fongmoon D, Kasinrerk W, Limtrakul PN.
Lampang Regional Cancer Center, Lampang 52000, Thailand.

Cervical cancer patients have a defective immune system. There is a decrease of total white blood cell count including lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells, one type of lymphocytes, play a role to eliminate cancer cells by antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) mechanism. Previous studies have shown that P-glycoprotein (170 kDa, transmembrane protein) may be a transporter for cytokine releasing in ADCC mechanism. This study proposed to explore the role of bitter melon intake in cervical cancer patients undergoing normal treatment (radiotherapy). Subjects were divided into three groups: 1) normal control (women 35-55 years, n = 35), 2) patient control (n = 30) and 3) patient treatment (n = 30) groups. Patient control and patient treatment groups were cervical cancer patients (stage II or III) treated with radiotherapy (without or with bitter melon ingestion). Blood samples of patient control and patient treatment groups were analyzed for NK cells percentage and P-glycoprotein level. Bitter melon is a Thai herb. Previous studies have shown that bitter melon can stimulate lymphocyte activity in vitro and in vivo (mouse). The authors hope that bitter melon could stimulate the increase of NK cells percentage and P-glycoprotein level on the membrane in blood samples from cervical cancer patients who ingest bitter melon. The results showed an increased percentage of NK cells in patient control and patient treatment groups. The increase in each group is significant (p < 0.05) when compared with the percentage of NK cells from second and third blood sampling time (after radiation with of without bitter melon intake for 45 and 90 days) with first blood sampling time (before treatment). The results also show a significant decrease of P-glycoprotein level (p < 0.05) in second and third blood sampling times when compared with first blood sampling time of the patient treatment group. There was no significant difference of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) level from first, second and third blood sampling times in patient control group. Bitter melon ingestion did not affect NK cell level but it affected the decrease of P-gp level on NK cell membrane.

J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):1088-93
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) reduces adiposity, lowers serum insulin and normalizes glucose tolerance in rats fed a high fat diet.
Chen Q, Chan LL, Li ET.
Food and Nutritional Science Program, Department of Zoology, The University of Hong Kong, The People's Republic of China.

Bitter melon (BM) is known for its hypoglycemic effect but its effect on rats fed a hyperinsulinemic high fat diet has not been examined. In a dose-response (0.375, 0.75 and 1.5%) study, oral glucose tolerance was improved in rats fed a high fat (HF; 30%) diet supplemented with freeze-dried BM juice at a dose of 0.75% or higher (P < 0.05). At the highest dose, BM-supplemented rats had lower energy efficiency (P < 0.05) and tended (P = 0.10) to have less visceral fat mass. In a subsequent experiment, rats habitually fed a HF diet either continued to consume the diet or were switched to a HF+BM, low fat (LF; 7%) or LF+BM diet for 7 wk. BM was added at 0.75%. Final body weight and visceral fat mass of the two last-mentioned groups were similar to those of rats fed a LF diet for the entire duration. Rats switched to the HF+BM diet gained less weight and had less visceral fat than those fed the HF diet (P < 0.05). The addition of BM did not change apparent fat absorption. BM supplementation to the HF diet improved insulin resistance, lowered serum insulin and leptin but raised serum free fatty acid concentration (P < 0.05). This study reveals for the first time that BM reduces adiposity in rats fed a HF diet. BM appears to have multiple influences on glucose and lipid metabolism that strongly counteract the untoward effects of a high fat diet.

AIDS Asia. 1995 Jul-Aug;2(4):6-7
Bitter melon therapy: an experimental treatment of HIV infection.
Rebultan SP.

PIP: People in Asia often use a medicinal plant, bitter melon (Mamordica charantia), to treat various diseases (e.g., malaria). It has anti-viral, anti-tumor, and immune system boosting properties. Some Asians, especially Filipinos, eat bitter melon. They believe that bitter melon cleanses the blood and boosts the immune system. Rural Filipino midwives place a strong bitter melon extract in a newborn's mouth to activate the immune system. An HIV-infected man in California uses bitter melon therapy. Bitter melon therapy can be prepared by extracting juices from fresh leaves and fruits and adding purified water to the extract to control the potency. Another preparation involves bringing two pounds of leaves and fruits in a gallon of purified water to a boil, allowing it to simmer for five minutes, filtering the decoction in a sterile strainer, and storing it in the refrigerator. The therapy can be administered either orally or via the rectum. The HIV-infected California man drank 10 ounces of the juices or a combination of juices and decoction each day for five days a week during the first year. He then switched to rectal retention enema due to the bad taste. He increased the dosage to 16 ounces/day and the duration to seven days a week. He held an inserted enema bag or rectal syringe until the juices/decoction had been absorbed. Sometimes he would infuse most of the therapy two times a day. Within seven days of rectal retention enema delivery of the bitter melon therapy, his energy level increased rapidly and his physical stamina and appetite improved. One year after therapy began, his CD4 count increased greatly. Later, his CD4/CD8 ratios had returned to normal. He no longer experiences acute sinusitis or recurrent respiratory infections. He has had no serious side effects.

Gene. 1995 Aug 19;161(2):151-6
Anti-HIV and anti-tumor activities of recombinant MAP30 from bitter melon.
Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Chen HC, Huang PL, Bourinbaiar A, Huang HI, Kung HF.
Department of Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016, USA.

MAP30 is an anti-HIV plant protein that we have identified and purified to homogeneity from bitter melon (Momordica charantia). It is capable of acting against multiple stages of the viral life cycle, on acute infection as well as replication in chronically infected cells. In addition to antiviral action, MAP30 also possesses anti-tumor activity, topological inactivation of viral DNA, inhibition of viral integrase and cell-free ribosome-inactivation activities. We have cloned and expressed the MAP30 gene. The objective of this study is to characterize recombinant MAP30 (re-MAP30) and to determine its anti-HIV, anti-tumor and other activities. We report here that re-MAP30 inhibits HIV-1 and certain human tumors to the same extent as its native counterpart, natural MAP30 (nMAP30). The anti-HIV activity was measured by quantitative focal syncytium formation on CEM-ss cell monolayers, viral core protein p24 _expression and viral-associated reverse transcriptase activity in HIV-1-infected H9 cells. The anti-tumor activity was measured by metabolic labeling of protein synthesis in tumor cells. In the dose range of the assay, re-MAP30 exhibits little toxicity to the uninfected viral target cells and other normal human cells. Identical to nMAP30, re-MAP30 is also active in topological inactivation of viral DNA, inhibition of viral DNA integration and cell-free ribosome inactivation. The cloning and _expression of the gene encoding biologically active re-MAP30 provides an abundant source of homogeneous material for clinical investigations, as well as structure-function studies of this novel antiviral and anti-tumor agent.

J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):1043-50
Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta-carotene in humans.
Edwards AJ, Vinyard BT, Wiley ER, Brown ED, Collins JK, Perkins-Veazie P, Baker RA, Clevidence BA.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Phytonutrients Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, MD 20705, USA.

Watermelon is a rich natural source of lycopene, a carotenoid of great interest because of its antioxidant capacity and potential health benefits. Assessment of bioavailability of lycopene from foods has been limited to tomato products, in which heat processing promotes lycopene bioavailability. We examined the bioavailability of lycopene from fresh-frozen watermelon juice in a 19-wk crossover study. Healthy, nonsmoking adults (36-69 y) completed three 3-wk treatment periods, each with a controlled, weight-maintenance diet. Treatment periods were preceded by "washout" periods of 2-4 wk during which lycopene-rich foods were restricted. All 23 subjects consumed the W-20 (20.1 mg/d lycopene, 2.5 mg/d beta-carotene from watermelon juice) and C-0 treatments (controlled diet, no juice). As a third treatment, subjects consumed either the W-40 (40.2 mg/d lycopene, 5.0 mg/d beta-carotene from watermelon juice, n = 12) or T-20 treatment (18.4 mg/d lycopene, 0.6 mg/d beta-carotene from tomato juice, n = 10). After 3 wk of treatment, plasma lycopene concentrations for the W-20, W-40, T-20 and C-0 treatments were (least squares means +/- SEM) 1078 +/- 106, 1183 +/- 139, 960 +/- 117 and 272 +/- 27 nmol/L, respectively. Plasma concentrations of beta-carotene were significantly greater after W-20 (574 +/- 49 nmol/L) and W-40 (694 +/- 73 nmol/L) treatments than after the C-0 treatment (313 +/- 27 nmol/L). Plasma lycopene concentrations did not differ at wk 3 after W-20, W-40 and T-20 treatments, indicating that lycopene was bioavailable from both fresh-frozen watermelon juice and canned tomato juice, and that a dose-response effect was not apparent in plasma when the watermelon dose was doubled.

Med Res Rev. 2002 Jan;22(1):65-75
Antioxidant and other biological activities of phenols from olives and olive oil.
Visioli F, Poli A, Gall C.
Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Olive oil is the principal source of fats in the Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease and certain cancers. Phenolic compounds, e.g., hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, in extra-virgin olive oil are responsible for its peculiar pungent taste and for its high stability. Recent findings demonstrate that olive oil phenolics are powerful antioxidants, both in vitro and in vivo, and possess other potent biological activities that could partially account for the observed healthful effects of the Mediterranean diet.

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003 May;54(3):159-74
Safety evaluation of olive phenolic compounds as natural antioxidants.
Farag RS, El-Baroty GS, Basuny AM.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture Cairo University Giza.

Free and total polyphenolic compounds were extracted from the fruits and leaves of the Picual cultivar. The safety limits of these compounds were recognized by measuring the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and total lipids of rat serum. The free and total phenolic compounds (400, 800, and 1600 ppm) and butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT) (200 ppm) were daily ingested for 7 weeks. The administration of olive total and free phenolic compounds at 400 and 800 ppm did not cause any significant changes on ALT and AST activities and serum total lipids. These compounds at 1600 ppm caused significant increase in ALT and AST activities and the content of total lipids. Both olive phenolic compounds were superior to that of BHT in increasing HDL-cholesterol level. Nutritional experiments demonstrated that BHT at 200 ppm caused an enlargement in the kidney and liver of the rat compared with the administration of total and free olive phenolic compounds at 1200 and 1600 ppm. Microscopical examination of kidney and liver tissues of rats administered free and total phenolic compounds at 1200 ppm had the same histological character as that of control rats, while the administration of BHT (200 ppm) and phenolic compounds (1600 ppm) induced severe damage to the tissues of the rat kidney and liver.

Eur J Oral Sci. 2000 Apr;108(2):104-9
Dental erosion in Cuban children associated with excessive consumption of oranges.
Kunzel W, Cruz MS, Fischer T.
Dental School of Erfurt, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany.

Marked erosion at the mesial edges of upper front teeth was observed during an examination of Cuban children. The preferential erosion of mesial edges produced characteristic V-shaped defects on upper central incisors, and the aim of the present study, carried out on 12-yr-old children (N = 1010) in 10 communities in the Province of Havana was to establish the frequency of dental erosion and explain its occurrence. The symmetrical erosion of teeth 11 and 21 (excluding crown injuries and attrition) were clinically classified into four grades: 0.5 = objectionable; 1 = abnormal mesial shortening of incisal edges; 2 = V-shaped defect of cutting edges; 3 = exposure of dentine and extension of the erosive defect to the lateral incisors. In four of the communities, children did not show or rarely showed incisal erosion. In the other six communities, the frequency was surprisingly high (16.6-40.9%). Overall, 17.4% of children exhibited erosion, and the occurrence was significantly higher in girls (20.7%) than in boys (15.0%). The typical V-shaped pattern of erosion seems to be a consequence of the manner in which citrus fruits are eaten. There was also a positive correlation between the frequency of dental erosion and the proximity of citrus plantations, which presumably related to the extent of (daily) orange consumption.

Br J Nutr. 2002 Aug;88(2):199-203
Papaya (Carica papaya) consumption is unsafe in pregnancy: fact or fable? Scientific evaluation of a common belief in some parts of Asia using a rat model.
Adebiyi A, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260.

Using controlled in vivo and in vitro pharmacological methods, we evaluated the safety of papaya (Carica papaya) consumption in pregnancy with reference to its common avoidance during pregnancy in some parts of Asia. Ripe papaya (Carica papaya L. (Caricaecae) blend (500 ml/l water) was freely given to four groups of Sprague-Dawley rats at different stages of gestation (days 1-5, 6-11, 12-17 and 1-20). The control group received water. The effect of ripe papaya juice and crude papaya latex on pregnant and non-pregnant rats' uteri was also evaluated using standard isolated-organ-bath methods. The daily volumes (ml) of ripe papaya blend consumed by the treated group were significantly (P<0.05) more than water consumed by the control (control 40.3 (sd 11.6) v. treated 64 (sd 19.0)). There was no significant difference in the number of implantation sites and viable fetuses in the rats given ripe papaya relative to the control. No sign of fetal or maternal toxicity was observed in all the groups. In the in vitro study, ripe papaya juice (0.1-0.8 ml) did not show any significant contractile effect on uterine smooth muscles isolated from pregnant and non-pregnant rats; conversely, crude papaya latex (0.1-3.2 mg/ml) induced spasmodic contraction of the uterine muscles similar to oxytocin (1-64 mU/ml) and prostaglandin F(2 alpha) (0.028-1.81 microm). The response of the isolated rat uterine smooth muscles to 0.2 mg crude papaya latex/ml was comparable to 0.23 microm prostaglandin F(2 alpha) and 32 mU oxytocin/ml. In the 18-19 d pregnant rat uterus, the contractile effect of crude papaya latex was characterized by tetanic spasms. The results of the present study suggest that normal consumption of ripe papaya during pregnancy may not pose any significant danger. However, the unripe or semi-ripe papaya (which contains high concentration of the latex that produces marked uterine contractions) could be unsafe in pregnancy. Though evaluation of potentially toxic agents often relies on animal experimental results to predict risk in man, further studies will be necessary to ascertain the ultimate risk of unripe papaya-semi-ripe papaya consumption during pregnancy in man.

Hepatogastroenterology. 2000 Jul-Aug;47(34):1189-94
Cyanocobalamin absorption abnormality in alcoholics is improved by oral supplementation with a fermented papaya-derived antioxidant.
Marotta F, Tajiri H, Barreto R, Brasca P, Ideo GM, Mondazzi L, Safran P, Bobadilla J, Ideo G.
Hepatogastroenterology Dept., S. Giuseppe Hospital, Milano, Italy.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Thirty alcoholic patients and 24 teetotaler dyspeptic patients were considered and underwent baseline blood chemical evaluation and the Schilling test. METHODOLOGY: During gastroscopy, biopsy samples were taken to assay: routine histology, malonyldialdehyde, vitamin E and glutathione concentration and for testing vitamin B12-Intrinsic Factor binding. Examinations were repeated after 1-week supplementation with Bionormalizer. RESULTS: Plasma malonyldialdehyde level and lipid hydroperoxides concentration as well as either malonyldialdehyde and xanthine oxidase concentration in the gastric mucosa in alcoholics were significantly higher than in controls and despite unchanged alcohol consumption, significantly decreased after Bionormalizer supplementation. Gastric mucosal glutathione was markedly depressed in alcoholics and partly recovered after Bionormalizer supplementation. Although the alcoholics showed a normal intrinsic factor secretion in the gastric juice, they exhibited a markedly depressed intrinsic factor-cobalamin binding on the "ex vivo" study. Moreover, nearly 23% of them had an abnormal Schilling test. Both these impairments reverted to normal after Bio-normalizer supplementation. CONCLUSIONS: It can be postulated that the antioxidative action played by Bionormalizer, possibly due to its availability substrates for glutathione synthesis as well as to its effects on local oxidative burst from neutrophil, is able to recover a normal cobalamin absorption.

West Indian Med J. 2000 Mar;49(1):32-3
Topical use of papaya in chronic skin ulcer therapy in Jamaica.
Hewitt H, Whittle S, Lopez S, Bailey E, Weaver S.
Department of Advanced Nursing Education, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.

The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of the use of the fruit (papaya) of Carica papaya as topical ulcer dressings by registered nurses in the Spanish Town Hospital (STH), Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Jamaica. A ten-item pretested self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 285 randomly selected registered nurses at the UHWI, KPH and STH. There was a 72% response rate. The prevalence of topical papaya use among the respondents was 75%. Comments from the users of papaya suggested that topical application of the unripe fruit promoted desloughing, granulation and healing and reduced odour in chronic skin ulcers. It was cost effective. Papaya was considered to be more effective than other topical applications in the treatment of chronic ulcers. There was some difficulty in preparation of the fruit and occasionally a sensation of burning was reported by the patients. There was concern about the use of a non-sterile, non-standardised procedure but there were no reports of wound infection from its use. Papaya is widely used by nurses as a form of dressing for chronic ulcers and there is need for standardisation of its preparation and application.

Planta Med. 1994 Oct;60(5):400-4
Antifertility effects of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seeds in male rats.
Lohiya NK, Goyal RB, Jayaprakash D, Ansari AS, Sharma S.
Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.

The influence of the crude aqueous extract of Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae) seeds has been studied on semen profile, fertility, body and organ weight response, and toxicology in male albino rats. The extract was administered at the dose regimens of 10 and 50 mg/animal/day orally for 30, 60, and 90 days and 0.1 and 1.0 mg/animal/day intramuscularly for 15 and 30 days. Cauda epididymal sperm motility and count was reduced significantly at low and high dose regimens both in the oral as well as the intramuscular groups. The reduced sperm motility was associated with morphological defects. Testicular sperm counts were also reduced in all the treatment groups except the low dose intramuscular group. Fertility tests showed dose- and duration-dependent reduction and zero fertility was observed at high dose regimens of the oral and intramuscular groups following 60 and 30 days of treatment, respectively. Testicular weight was reduced in all the treatment groups, whereas accessory sex organs showed a variable response. Body weight and toxicological observations did not show any untoward response. Fertility and all other associated changes returned to normal within 45 and 30 days of treatment cessation in the oral and intramuscular groups, respectively. The data revealed that reversible sterility could be induced in male rats by papaya seeds aqueous extract treatment without adverse effects on libido and toxicological profile.

Life Sci. 1993;53(17):1383-9
Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of unripe papaya.
Osato JA, Santiago LA, Remo GM, Cuadra MS, Mori A.
Sun-O International Inc., Gifu, Japan.

The meat, seed and pulp of Carica papaya Linn., a popular traditional medicinal herb grown in the tropics, was shown by the agar-cup method to be bacteriostatic against several enteropathogens such as Bacillus subtilis, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The same parts of papaya were unequivocably demonstrated by electron spin resonance spectrometry to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (5.8 x 10(14) spins/ml), hydroxyl (5.1 x 10(14) spins/ml) and superoxide (1.2 x 10(14) spins/ml) radicals with the seed giving the highest activity at concentrations (IC50) of 2.1, 10.0 and 8.7 mg/ml, respectively. The superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity in the meat, seed and pulp amounts to about 32, 98 and 33 units/ml; comparable to those of soybean paste miso, rice bran and baker's yeast. Vitamin C, malic acid, citric acid and glucose are some of the possible antioxidative components in papaya. Our study correlates the bacteriostatic activity of papaya with its scavenging action on superoxide and hydroxyl radicals which could be part of the cellular metabolism of such enteropathogens. This is indicative of the pathophysiological role of these reactive oxygen species in gastrointestinal diseases and papaya's ability to counteract the oxidative stress.

J Nat Prod. 1982 Mar-Apr;45(2):123-7
Antibacterial substance from Carica papaya fruit extract.
Emeruwa AC.

Ripe and unripe Carica papaya fruits (epicarp, endocarp, seeds and leaves) were extracted separately and purified. All the extracts except that of leaves produced very significant antibacterial activity on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shigella flexneri. The MIC of the substance was small (0.2-0.3 mg/ml) for gram-positive bacteria and large (1.5-4 mg/ml) for gram-negative bacteria. The substance was bactericidal and showed properties of a protein. Other proteins previously found in C. papaya did not show antibacterial activity.

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Feb 12;51(4):935-41
Phytochemical composition and antioxidant stability of fortified yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis).
Talcott ST, Percival SS, Pittet-Moore J, Celoria C.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110370, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA.

Yellow passion fruit juice (PFJ, Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) is an important component of many tropical fruit beverages, but limited data exist on its antioxidant chemical composition and stability during processing and storage. PFJ fortified with ascorbic acid (450 mg/L) and sucrose (10%) was compared to a nonfortified control, and each was evaluated with and without vacuum deaeration to remove dissolved oxygen. Following pasteurization, juices were stored for 28 days at 37 degrees C to accentuate physicochemical changes. Pasteurization (85 degrees C for 30 min) resulted in minor changes to physicochemical attributes, but appreciable changes occurred during storage that resulted in termination of the study after 28 days. Oxygen control strategies proved to be ineffective for quality retention and indicated oxygen-independent reactions affecting juice color, phytochemical content, and antioxidant activity. Ascorbic acid and sucrose fortification had an overall preservation effect on total carotenoids, the former resulting in hyperchromic shifts in absorbance, indicating their chemoprotection. Pasteurization resulted in a 25% loss in l-ascorbic acid, which was completely destroyed after 14 days of storage; losses coincided with increased juice browning and formation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. Numerous polyphenolics were present in PFJ, and 16 of them were tentatively characterized on the basis of spectral similarities to known standards. Individually, polyphenolics increased during pasteurization, only to decline during storage at elevated temperatures. Antioxidant activity was measured in PFJ and in two subfractions (hydrophilic and lipophilic) after processing and storage, but antioxidant values were nonadditive. A significant chemical interaction affecting antioxidant capacity was found for hydrophilic juice components, but none was observed in the presence of lipophilic phytochemicals. Physicochemical attributes and overall quality of PFJ were retained following pasteurization but were significantly impacted by degradative reactions during accelerated storage.

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Feb;48(2):147-51
Low-density lipoprotein antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds and polyphenol oxidase activity in selected clingstone peach cultivars.
Chang S, Tan C, Frankel EN, Barrett DM.
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.

The antioxidant potential of eight clingstone peach cultivars was investigated by determining phenolic compounds and inhibition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation. Cultivars low in polyphenol oxidase (PPO) were also selected to minimize enzymatic browning. Inhibition of LDL oxidation varied from 17.0 to 37.1% in peach flesh extract, from 15.2 to 49.8% in whole peach extract, and from 18.2 to 48.1% in peel extract. Total phenols were 432.8-768.1 mg/kg in flesh extract, 483.3-803.0 mg/kg in whole extract, and 910.9-1922.9 mg/kg in peel extract. The correlation coefficient between relative LDL antioxidant activity and concentration of total phenols was 0.76. Peel PPO activity was higher than flesh activity in most cultivars. The lowest PPO and specific activities were found in the Walgant cultivar, followed by Kakamas and 18-8-23. These three cultivars combine the desirable characteristics of strong antioxidant activity, low PPO activity, and lower susceptibility to browning reactions.

Rev Saude Publica. 1996 Feb;30(1):61-6. Epub 2003 Jan 23
Effect of supplementation with peach palm as source of vitamin A: study with rats.
Yuyama LK, Cozzolino SM.
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Manaus, AM-Brasil.

The effect of supplementation with peach palm (Bactris gasipaes H.B.K.), as an alternative source of vit. A, in the regional diet of Manaus, AM, Brazil, in which the pulp was cooked and transformed into flour, was studied. The biological trial involved rats which were depleted in zinc and vitamin A, followed by repletion using the regional diet (RD), RD plus peach palm and RD plus vitamin A. The parameters used to determine the utilization of vitamin A were the vitamin A concentrations in the liver and plasma, and the growth of the animals. The diet was prepared according to the data of Shrimpton and Giugliano for families earning less than two legal minimum salaries. Adult post-partum rats were used, with six male pups each, which received a diet based on casein washed with 1% EDTA, without the addition of zinc or vitamin A for a period of 25 days, for the purpose of obtaining newly-weaned animals which were deficient in Zn and Vit.A. A control group received a diet also based on casein washed with 1% EDTA, but with all the nutrients in the quantities suggested by the Committee on Laboratory Animal Diets. The repletion period of the newly-weaned rats was of 30 days and the experimental design was entirely randomized with four groups of eight rats each. The diet supplementation followed the recommendations of the Committee on Laboratory Animal Diets. At the end of the experiment, it was observed that rats which consumed the diet based on the regional diet of Manaus supplemented with either peach palm or vitamin A showed a significantly greater concentration of vitamin A in the liver, 43.3 +/- 6.5 micrograms/g, 42.0 +/- 4.3 micrograms/g, respectively in relation to the regional diet, 5.5 +/- 1.1 micrograms/g (p < 0.05). The amount of zinc present in the regional diet, 10.7 mg per day, was bioavailable as determined by the concentration of zinc in the femurs. The results suggest that the regional diet of Manaus needs to be supplemented with vitamin A to maintain the hepatic reserves, and that such supplementation can be accomplished with peach palm, an abundant local commodity.

Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1992 Jun;42(2):146-54
Content and bioavailability of carotenoids from peach palm fruit (Bactris gasipaes) as a source of vitamin A.
Blanco A, Munoz L.
Instituto Costarricense de Investigacion y Ensenanza en Nutricion y Salud (INCIENSA), Tres Rios.

Four introductions of ripe peach palm fruit (Bactris gasipaes) were analyzed for ether extract, total carotenoids and their biological conversion into vitamin A. Also, edible portion in cooked fruit was estimated. Ether extract content in raw fruit ranged from 8.2 to 12.9% dry basis (DB), cooked between 5.7 to 12.4% DB and nutrient retention after cooking was 69 to 100%. Carotenoids content in raw and cooked pejibaye was similar, 4.8 to 29.6% DB and 4.8 to 29.9% DB, respectively, giving a nutrient retention after cooking greater than 85%. Average edible portion was 68 +/- 2%. The biological study showed significant differences (p < 0.05) of pejibaye carotenoids efficiency conversion in retinol, the values varied from 14 to 50%. Food efficiency results in the control and experimental diets were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Carotenoids content was inversely related (r = -0.8, p < 0.02) with ether extract. Cooking had no significant effect in ether extract and carotenoids content, except in one introduction. Based in the results generated in the study and vitamin A Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) it was estimated that one, in three introductions and seven in the remaining one satisfies an adult RDA's.

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2002 Oct 31;114(19-20):840-6
Effect of prickly pear (Opuntia robusta) on glucose- and lipid-metabolism in non-diabetics with hyperlipidemia--a pilot study.
Wolfram RM, Kritz H, Efthimiou Y, Stomatopoulos J, Sinzinger H.
Department of Angiology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

BACKGROUND: Besides others pectin, a soluble fibre, has been reported to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels in both animals and man with hyperlipidemia as well as being able to slow carbohydrate absorption and hence reduce the postprandial rise in blood glucose and serum insulin in patients with type-II diabetes. Aim of this pilot study was to assess the effect of prickly pear consumption on glucose- and lipid metabolism. DESIGN: In 24 non-diabetic, non-obese males (aged 37-55 years) suffering from primary isolated hypercholesterolemia (n = 12; group A) or combined hyperlipidemia (n = 12; group B) respectively, the influence of prickly pear pectin (Opuntia robusta)-intake on glucose- and lipid metabolism was examined. After an 8 week pre-running phase with a 7506 KJ step-I diet (phase I), 625 KJ were replaced by prickly pear edible pulp (250 g/day) for 8 further weeks (phase II). RESULTS: Prickly pear leads to a decrease of total cholesterol (12%), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (15%), apolipoprotein B (9%), triglycerides (12%), fibrinogen (11%), blood glucose (11%), insulin (11%) and uric acid (10%), while body weight, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I, and lipoprotein(a) remained unchanged. CONCLUSION: The hypocholesterolemic action of prickly pear may be partly explained by the fibre (pectin) content, but the hypoglycaemic actions (improvement of insulin sensitivity) in the non-obese, non-diabetic need further investigation to get more insights on the potential advantage of treating the metabolic syndrome.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 6;50(23):6895-901
Antioxidant activities of sicilian prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruit extracts and reducing properties of its betalains: betanin and indicaxanthin.
Butera D, Tesoriere L, Di Gaudio F, Bongiorno A, Allegra M, Pintaudi AM, Kohen R, Livrea MA.
Departments of Pharmaceutical, Toxicological and Biological Chemistry, and Medical Biotechnologies and Forensic Medicine, Policlinico, University of Palermo, 90134 Palermo, Italy.

Sicilian cultivars of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) produce yellow, red, and white fruits, due to the combination of two betalain pigments, the purple-red betanin and the yellow-orange indicaxanthin. The betalain distribution in the three cultivars and the antioxidant activities of methanolic extracts from edible pulp were investigated. In addition, the reducing capacity of purified betanin and indicaxanthin was measured. According to a spectrophotometric analysis, the yellow cultivar exhibited the highest amount of betalains, followed by the red and white ones. Indicaxanthin accounted for about 99% of betalains in the white fruit, while the ratio of betanin to indicaxanthin varied from 1:8 (w:w) in the yellow fruit to 2:1 (w:w) in the red one. Polyphenol pigments were negligible components only in the red fruit. When measured as 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox) equivalents per gram of pulp, the methanolic fruit extracts showed a marked antioxidant activity. Vitamin C did not account for more than 40% of the measured activity. In addition, the extracts dose-dependently inhibited the organic hydroperoxide-stimulated red cell membrane lipid oxidation, as well as the metal-dependent and -independent low-density lipoprotein oxidation. The extract from the white fruit showed the highest protection in all models of lipid oxidation. Purified betanin and indicaxanthin were more effective than Trolox at scavenging the [2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)] diammonium salt cation radical. Cyclic voltammetric measurements show two anodic waves for betanin and indicaxanthin, and differential pulse voltammetry shows three anodic waves for betanin, with calculated peak potentials of 404, 616, and 998 mV, and two anodic waves for indicaxanthin, with peak potentials of 611 and 895 mV. Betanin underwent complex formation through chelation with Cu(2+), whereas indicaxanthin was not modified. These findings suggest that the above betalains contribute to the antioxidant activity of prickly pear fruits.

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1998;52(2):141-9
Cactus pear fruit: a new source for a natural sweetner.
Saenz C, Estevez AM, Sepulveda E, Mecklenburg P.
Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, Santiago.

The use of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica L.) to obtain a new natural liquid sweetener was studied. The juice of the fruit (16.5 degrees Brix) was clarified with enzymes, treated with active carbon to take out the color and vacuum concentrated to obtain a 60 degrees Brix syrup or liquid sweetener. Physical and chemical characteristics determined included: a(w); reducing sugars (as inverted sugar); glucose (%); ash content (%); sugar composition by TLC; OD (420 nm) and Y, x, y chromaticity coordinates; viscosity (cps) and density (g/ml). Sensory analyses to determine the relative sweetness were also conducted. Cactus pear syrup contained 52.38% reducing sugar. The syrup had a pH of 4.31, a viscosity of 27.05 cps, an Aw of 0.83, a density of 1.2900 g/ml, an acidity (as citric acid) of 0.74% and an ash content of 1.4%. Compared with traditional sweeteners such as fructose and glucose syrup, the acidity was greater than that of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) of 0.035%, and the ash values were considered a little high compared to glucose syrup which is 1.0%; these disparities can be attributed to the different processing conditions employed. Sensory evaluation revealed the same relative sweetness for cactus pear syrup and glucose, but lower than fructose; cactus pear syrup had a relative sweetness value of 67 with respect to sucrose (100).

J Nutr. 1992 Dec;122(12):2330-40
Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin reverses low density lipoprotein receptor suppression induced by a hypercholesterolemic diet in guinea pigs.
Fernandez ML, Lin EC, Trejo A, McNamara DJ.
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.

The effects of prickly pear pectin on plasma LDL metabolism were investigated by feeding guinea pigs either a diet containing 15 g/100 g lard and 0.25 g/100 g cholesterol (LC diet) or the LC diet in which cellulose was partially replaced (2.5 g/100 g) by prickly pear pectin (LC-P diet). The LC-P diet lowered plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations by 33% (P < 0.001). Low density lipoprotein composition was modified by intake of prickly pear pectin; the relative percentages of free and esterified cholesterol were lower and triglycerides were higher in LDL from animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.05). Intake of prickly pear pectin did not affect hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity; however, hepatic free and esterified cholesterol concentrations were lowered by 46 and 64%, respectively. Hepatic apolipoprotein B/E receptor _expression (Bmax) was 60% higher in animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.01). Similar to the in vitro data, receptor-mediated LDL fractional catabolic rates were 190% higher in animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.05), whereas apolipoprotein LDL flux rates were not affected. Apolipoprotein LDL pool size and fractional catabolic rates exhibited a significant correlation (r = -0.52, P < 0.01). These data indicate that an increase in apolipoprotein B/E receptor _expression is a major metabolic response by which intake of prickly pear pectin decreases plasma LDL concentrations.

Gastrointest Endosc. 2002 Apr;55(4):581-3
Persimmon bezoars: a successful combined therapy.
Gaya J, Barranco L, Llompart A, Reyes J, Obrador A.
Endoscopy Unit, Gastroenterology Department, Son Dureta Hospital, Palma (Mallorca), Spain.

BACKGROUND: Persimmon phytobezoar, although an infrequent entity, is not rare in some countries. Because of their particular features, management of diospyrobezoars is difficult. A number of surgical, endoscopic, and pharmacologic treatments have been proposed with variable success. This is a description of our experience with 10 patients with a new combination therapy. METHODS: Ten patients (7 men, 3 women; mean age 46.4 years) were treated with a new fragmentation technique consisting of a saw-like effect with a large polypectomy snare followed by administration of cellulase, cysteine, and metoclopramide. RESULTS: Resolution was achieved in 8 patients. Complications (intestinal obstruction) developed in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our combined therapy is safe and highly efficacious but caution must be exercised because intestinal obstruction can occur if large fragments pass through the pylorus. A more extensive study is required to assess these clinical observations.

J Nutr. 1998 Nov;128(11):2023-7
Dietary persimmon improves lipid metabolism in rats fed diets containing cholesterol.
Gorinstein S, Bartnikowska E, Kulasek G, Zemser M, Trakhtenberg S.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

The effect of dietary persimmon (Pers, 7.0%) on lipid metabolism and antioxidant activity was investigated in 40 male Wistar rats adapted to cholesterol-free or 1% cholesterol diets. The rats were divided in four groups of 10. The basal diet contained wheat starch, casein, soybean oil, and mineral and vitamin mixtures. The control group (C) consumed the basal diet. To the basal diet were added 7 g/100 g dry persimmon (Pers), 1 g/100 g cholesterol (Chol), or both (Chol/Pers). The experiment lasted 4 wk. Plasma total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), total phospholipids (TPH), HDL phospholipids (HDL-PH), lipid peroxides (LP) and liver TC concentrations were measured. Groups did not differ before the experiment. In the Chol/Pers vs. Chol group, the persimmon-supplemented diet significantly (P < 0.05) lessened the rise in plasma lipids due to dietary cholesterol: TC (3.88 vs. 4. 88 mmol/L; -20%), LDL-C (2.24 vs. 3.27 mmol/L; -31%), TG (0.72 vs. 0. 89 mmol/L; -19%), LP (2.20 vs. 3.25 mmol/L; -32%) and TC in liver (32.8 vs. 49.9 micromol/g; -34%), (P < 0.001). The Chol/Pers diet significantly reduced the decrease in HDL-PH due to dietary cholesterol (0.73 vs. 0.58 mmol/L; -25.8%, P < 0.001) and decreased the level of TPH (1.32 vs. 1.73 mmol/L; -23%, P < 0.001). Persimmon in rats fed the basal diet without cholesterol did not significantly affect the variables measured. These results demonstrate that persimmon possesses hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties that are evident when persimmon is added to the diet of rats fed cholesterol. These properties are attributed to its water-soluble dietary fiber, carotenoids and polyphenols.

Trop Geogr Med. 1993;45(2):77-9
Systemic allergic reaction and diarrhoea after pineapple ingestion.
Kabir I, Speelman P, Islam A.
Clinical Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

Some foods may initiate allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis due to mangoes, oranges, nuts and other foods has been reported earlier. We report the clinical and laboratory features of 32 patients who became symptomatic shortly after they had eaten pineapples. Seventeen patients were males and 15 females with ages ranging from 5 to 70 years. Most of the patients complained of intense itching and urticarial rashes, followed by abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Sixty-eight percent of the patients became symptomatic within half an hour of eating the pineapple. On examination 18 patients had an urticarial rash and a flushed face. Although none of the patients were severely dehydrated, 20 patients presented with shock. Their peripheral pulse and blood pressure were low or absent suggesting an anaphylactoid reaction. The median total eosinophil count was 1850 (250-6375/mm3). The serum IgE level measured in 4 patients was raised. The patients were treated with intravenous fluids and antihistamine. Some patients also received steroid and adrenaline. All patients recovered uneventfully. Our findings suggest that ingestion of pineapple may occasionally cause an anaphylactoid reaction.

Eur J Nutr. 2003 Jan;42(1):18-28
Evaluation of the bioavailability and metabolism in the rat of punicalagin, an antioxidant polyphenol from pomegranate juice.
Cerda B, Llorach R, Ceron JJ, Espin JC, Tomas-Barberan FA.
Department of Food Science and Technology, CEBAS (CSIC), P. O. Box 4195, Murcia 30080, Spain.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Punicalagin is an antioxidant ellagitannin of pomegranate juice. This compound is responsible for the high antioxidant activity of this juice. Nothing is known about the bioavailability and metabolism of punicalagin or other food ellagitannins. The present work aims to evaluate the bioavailability and metabolism of punicalagin in the rat as an animal model. DESIGN: Two groups of rats were studied. One fed with standard rat diet (n = 5) and another with the same diet plus 6 % punicalagin (n = 5). Samples of urine and faeces were taken during 37 days and plasma every week. The different metabolites were analysed by HPLC-MS-MS. RESULTS: The daily intake of punicalagin ranged from 0.6 to 1.2 g. Values around 3-6 % the ingested punicalagin were excreted as identified metabolites in faeces and urine. In faeces, punicalagin is transformed to hydrolysis products and partly metabolites by the rat microflora to 6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one derivatives. In plasma, punicalagin was detected at concentrations around 30 microg/mL, and glucuronides of methyl ether derivatives of ellagic acid were also detected. 6H-Dibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one derivatives were also detected especially during the last few weeks of the experiment. In urine, the main metabolites observed were the 6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one derivatives, as aglycones or glucuronides. CONCLUSION: As only 3-6 % of the ingested punicalagin was detected as such or as metabolites in urine and faeces, the majority of this ellagitannin has to be converted to undetectable metabolites (i. e. CO(2)) or accumulated in non-analysed tissues, however with only traces of punicalagin metabolites being detected in liver or kidney. This is the first report on the absorption of an ellagitannin and its presence in plasma. In addition, the transformation of ellagic acid derivatives to 6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one derivatives in the rat is also confirmed.

Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2002;28(2-3):49-62
Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans.
Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hofman A, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Hayek T, Fuhrman B.
Lipid Research Laboratory, Technion Faculty of Medicine, Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel, 31096.

The beneficial health effects attributed to the consumption of fruit and vegetables are related, at least in part, to their antioxidant activity. Of special interest is the inverse relationship between the intake of dietary nutrients rich in polyphenols and cardiovascular diseases. This effect is attributed to polyphenols' ability to inhibit low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, macrophage foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. Pomegranate polyphenols can protect LDL against cell-mediated oxidation via two pathways, including either direct interaction of the polyphenols with the lipoprotein and/or an indirect effect through accumulation of polyphenols in arterial macrophages. Pomegranate polyphenols were shown to reduce the capacity of macrophages to oxidatively modify LDL, due to their interaction with LDL to inhibit its oxidation by scavenging reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species and also due to accumulation of polyphenols in arterial macrophages; hence, the inhibition of macrophage lipid peroxidation and the formation of lipid peroxide-rich macrophages. Furthermore, pomegranate polyphenols increase serum paraoxonase activity, resulting in the hydrolysis of lipid peroxides in oxidized lipoproteins and in atherosclerotic lesions. These antioxidative and antiatherogenic effects of pomegranate polyphenols were demonstrated in vitro, as well as in vivo in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E deficient mice. Dietary supplementation of polyphenol-rich pomegranate juice to atherosclerotic mice significantly inhibited the development of atherosclerotic lesions and this may be attributed to the protection of LDL against oxidation.

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2002 Feb;71(3):203-17
Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer.
Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, Neeman I, Livney T, Amichay A, Poirier D, Nicholls P, Kirby A, Jiang W, Mansel R, Ramachandran C, Rabi T, Kaplan B, Lansky E.
Department of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Korea.

Fresh organically grown pomegranates (Punica granatum L.) of the Wonderful cultivar were processed into three components: fermented juice, aqueous pericarp extract and cold-pressed or supercritical CO2-extracted seed oil. Exposure to additional solvents yielded polyphenol-rich fractions ('polyphenols') from each of the three components. Their actions, and of the crude whole oil and crude fermented and unfermented juice concentrate, were assessed in vitro for possible chemopreventive or adjuvant therapeutic potential in human breast cancer. The ability to effect a blockade of endogenous active estrogen biosynthesis was shown by polyphenols from fermented juice, pericarp, and oil, which inhibited aromatase activity by 60-80%. Fermented juice and pericarp polyphenols, and whole seed oil, inhibited 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase Type 1 from 34 to 79%, at concentrations ranging from 100 to 1,000 microg/ml according to seed oil >> fermented juice polyphenols > pericarp polyphenols. In a yeast estrogen screen (YES) lyophilized fresh pomegranate juice effected a 55% inhibition of the estrogenic activity of 17-beta-estradiol; whereas the lyophilized juice by itself displayed only minimal estrogenic action. Inhibition of cell lines by fermented juice and pericarp polyphenols was according to estrogen-dependent (MCF-7) >> estrogen-independent (MB-MDA-231) > normal human breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A). In both MCF-7 and MB-MDA-231 cells, fermented pomegranate juice polyphenols consistently showed about twice the anti-proliferative effect as fresh pomegranate juice polyphenols. Pomegranate seed oil effected 90% inhibition of proliferation of MCF-7 at 100 microg/ml medium, 75% inhibition of invasion of MCF-7 across a Matrigel membrane at 10 microg/ml, and 54% apoptosis in MDA-MB-435 estrogen receptor negative metastatic human breast cancer cells at 50 microg/ml. In a murine mammary gland organ culture, fermented juice polyphenols effected 47% inhibition of cancerous lesion formation induced by the carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). The findings suggest that clinical trials to further assess chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic applications of pomegranate in human breast cancer may be warranted.

Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):195-8
Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure.
Aviram M, Dornfeld L.
The Lipid Research Laboratory, Technion Faculty of Medicine, The Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, 31096 Haifa, Israel.

Consumption of pomegranate juice which is rich in tannins, possess anti-atherosclerotic properties which could be related to its potent anti-oxidative characteristics. As some antioxidants were recently shown to reduce blood pressure, we studied the effect of pomegranate juice consumption (50 ml, 1.5mmol of total polyphenols per day, for 2 weeks) by hypertensive patients on their blood pressure and on serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity. A 36% decrement in serum ACE activity and a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure were noted. Similar dose-dependent inhibitory effect (31%) of pomegranate juice on serum ACE activity was observed also in vitro. As reduction in serum ACE activity, even with no decrement in blood pressure, was previously shown to attenuate atherosclerosis, pomegranate juice can offer a wide protection against cardiovascular diseases which could be related to its inhibitory effect on oxidative stress and on serum ACE activity.

J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;11(1):61-8
Dried plums improve indices of bone formation in postmenopausal women.
Arjmandi BH, Khalil DA, Lucas EA, Georgis A, Stoecker BJ, Hardin C, Payton ME, Wild RA.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-6141, USA.

Menopause drastically increases the risk of osteoporosis. Aside from drug therapy, lifestyle and nutritional factors play an important role in the maintenance of skeletal health. Our recent findings suggest that dried plums, a rich source of phenolic and flavonoid compounds, are highly effective in modulating bone mass in an ovarian hormone-deficient rat model of osteoporosis. The objective of this study was to examine whether the addition of dried plums to the diets of postmenopausal women positively influences markers of bone turnover. Fifty-eight postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were randomly assigned to consume either 100 g dried plums or 75 g dried apples daily for 3 months. Both dried fruit regimens provided similar amount of calories, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. Serum and urinary biochemical markers of bone status were assessed before and after treatment. In comparison with corresponding baseline values, only dried plums significantly increased serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) activity. Higher levels of both serum IGF-I and BSAP are associated with greater rates of bone formation. Serum and urinary markers of bone resorption, however, were not affected by either dietary regimen. The results of this study suggest that dried plums may exert positive effects on bone in postmenopausal women. Longer duration studies are needed to confirm the beneficial effects of dried plum on bone mineral density (BMD) and the skeletal health of postmenopausal women.

Anticancer Res. 2002 Nov-Dec;22(6C):4005-15
Chemoprevention of oral cancer by black raspberries.
Casto BC, Kresty LA, Kraly CL, Pearl DK, Knobloch TJ, Schut HA, Stoner GD, Mallery SR, Weghorst CM.
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

Oral cavity cancers represent 2.5% of the cancers that occur in the United States and are ranked sixth worldwide. Since current therapeutic protocols are relatively ineffective, alternative strategies for prevention need to be developed and tested in appropriate animal models. In the study reported herein, the hamster cheek pouch (HCP) was used to evaluate the ability of black raspberries to inhibit oral cavity tumors. Male Syrian Golden hamsters, 3-4 weeks of age, were fed 5% and 10% lyophilized black raspberries (LBR) in the diet for two weeks prior to treatment with 0.2% 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene in dimethylsulfoxide and for 10 weeks thereafter. HCPs were painted 3X/week for eight weeks. The animals were sacrificed 12-13 weeks from the beginning of DMBA treatment and the number and volume of tumors (mm3) determined. There was a significant difference (p = 0.02) in the number of tumors between the 5% LBR and control groups (27 tumors/14 animals and 48 tumors/15 animals, respectively) and an intermediate number of tumors in the 10% berry-treated animals (39 tumors/15 animals). These experiments support previous studies from our laboratories showing the chemopreventive activity of black raspberries and show, for the first time, that dietary black raspberries will inhibit tumor formation in the oral cavity.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):2926-30
Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of raspberries.
Liu M, Li XQ, Weber C, Lee CY, Brown J, Liu RH.
Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

Raspberries are rich in phenolic phytochemicals. To study the health benefits of raspberries, four fresh raspberry varieties (Heritage, Kiwigold, Goldie, and Anne) were evaluated for total antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. The total amount of phenolics and flavonoids for each of the four raspberry varieties was determined. The Heritage raspberry variety had the highest total phenolic content (512.7 +/- 4.7 mg/100 g of raspberry) of the varieties measured followed by Kiwigold (451.1 +/- 4.5 mg/100 g of raspberry), Goldie (427.5 +/- 7.5 mg/100 g of raspberry), and Anne (359.2 +/- 3.4 mg/100 g of raspberry). Similarly, the Heritage raspberry variety contained the highest total flavonoids (103.4 +/- 2.0 mg/100 g of raspberry) of the varieties tested, followed by Kiwigold (87.3 +/- 1.8 mg/100 g of raspberry), Goldie (84.2 +/- 1.8 mg/100 g of raspberry), and Anne (63.5 +/- 0.7 mg/100 g of raspberry). The color of the raspberry juice correlated well to the total phenolic, flavonoid, and anthocyanin contents of the raspberry. Heritage had the highest a/b ratio and the darkest colored juice, and the Anne variety showed the lowest phytochemical content and the palest color. Heritage raspberry variety had the highest total antioxidant activity, followed by Kiwigold and Goldie, and the Anne raspberry variety had the lowest antioxidant activity of the varieties tested. The proliferation of HepG(2) human liver cancer cells was significantly inhibited in a dose-dependent manner after exposure to the raspberry extracts. The extract equivalent to 50 mg of Goldie, Heritage, and Kiwigold fruit inhibited the proliferation of those cells by 89.4 +/- 0.1, 88 +/- 0.2, and 87.6 +/- 1.0%, respectively. Anne had the lowest antiproliferative activity of the varieties measured but still exhibited a significant inhibition of 70.3+/- 1.2% with an extract equivalent to 50 mg of fruit. The antioxidant activity of the raspberry was directly related to the total amount of phenolics and flavonoids found in the raspberry (p < 0.01). No relationship was found between antiproliferative activity and the total amount of phenolics/flavonoids found in the same raspberry (p > 0.05).

J Med Food. 2001 Spring;4(1):49-51
Anticarcinogenic Activity of Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry Extracts to Breast and Cervical Cancer Cells.
Wedge DE, Meepagala KM, Magee JB, Smith SH, Huang G, Larcom LL.
USDA-ARS, Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, The Thad Cochran National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677.

Freeze-dried fruits of two strawberry cultivars, Sweet Charlie and Carlsbad, and two blueberry cultivars, Tifblue and Premier were sequentially extracted with hexane, 50% hexane/ethyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and 70% acetone/water at ambient temperature. Each extract was tested separately for in vitro anticancer activity on cervical and breast cancer cell lines. Ethanol extracts from all four fruits strongly inhibited CaSki and SiHa cervical cancer cell lines and MCF-7 and T47-D breast cancer cell lines. An unfractionated aqueous extract of raspberry and the ethanol extract of Premier blueberry significantly inhibited mutagenesis by both direct-acting and metabolically activated carcinogens.

on the Adriatic Coast
The Anti-Aging Fasting Program consists of a 7-28 days program (including 3 - 14 fasting days). 7-28-day low-calorie diet program is also available .
More information
    The anti-aging story (summary)
Introduction. Statistical review. Your personal aging curve
  Aging and Anti-aging. Why do we age?
    2.1  Aging forces (forces that cause aging
Internal (free radicals, glycosylation, chelation etc.) 
External (Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, wrong habits, environmental pollution, stress, poverty-change "poverty zones", or take it easy. etc.) 
    2.2 Anti-aging forces
Internal (apoptosis, boosting your immune system, DNA repair, longevity genes) 
External (wellness, changing your environment; achieving comfortable social atmosphere in your life, regular intake of anti-aging drugs, use of replacement organs, high-tech medicine, exercise)
    2.3 Aging versus anti-aging: how to tip the balance in your favour!
    3.1 Caloric restriction and fasting extend lifespan and decrease all-cause mortality (Evidence)
      Human studies
Monkey studies
Mouse and rat studies
Other animal studies
    3.2 Fasting and caloric restriction prevent and cure diseases (Evidence)
Hypertension and Stroke
Skin disorders
Mental disorders
Neurogical disorders
Asthmatic bronchitis, Bronchial asthma
Bones (osteoporosis) and fasting
Arteriosclerosis and Heart Disease
Cancer and caloric restriction
Cancer and fasting - a matter of controversy
Eye diseases
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Sleeping disorders
Rheumatoid arthritis
Gastrointestinal diseases
    3.3 Fasting and caloric restriction produce various
      biological effects. Effects on:
        Energy metabolism
Lipids metabolism
Protein metabolism and protein quality
Neuroendocrine and hormonal system
Immune system
Physiological functions
Reproductive function
Cognitive and behavioral functions
Biomarkers of aging
    3.4 Mechanisms: how does calorie restriction retard aging and boost health?
        Diminishing of aging forces
  Lowering of the rate of gene damage
  Reduction of free-radical production
  Reduction of metabolic rate (i.e. rate of aging)
  Lowering of body temperature
  Lowering of protein glycation
Increase of anti-aging forces
  Enhancement of gene reparation
  Enhancement of free radical neutralisation
  Enhancement of protein turnover (protein regeneration)
  Enhancement of immune response
  Activation of mono-oxygenase systems
  Enhance elimination of damaged cells
  Optimisation of neuroendocrine functions
    3.5 Practical implementation: your anti-aging dieting
        Fasting period.
Re-feeding period.
Safety of fasting and low-calorie dieting. Precautions.
      3.6 What can help you make the transition to the low-calorie life style?
        Social, psychological and religious support - crucial factors for a successful transition.
Drugs to ease the transition to caloric restriction and to overcome food cravings (use of adaptogenic herbs)
Food composition
Finding the right physician
    3.7Fasting centers and fasting programs.
  Food to eat. Dishes and menus.
    What to eat on non-fasting days. Dishes and menus. Healthy nutrition. Relation between foodstuffs and diseases. Functional foods. Glycemic index. Diet plan: practical summary. "Dr. Atkins", "Hollywood" and other fad diets versus medical science

Bread, cereals, pasta, fiber
Glycemic index
Meat and poultry
Sugar and sweet
Fats and oils
Dairy and eggs
Nuts and seeds
Food composition

  Anti-aging drugs and supplements
    5.1 Drugs that are highly recommended
      (for inclusion in your supplementation anti-aging program)
        Vitamin E
Vitamin C
Co-enzyme Q10
Lipoic acid
Folic acid
Flavonoids, carotenes
Vitamin B
Vinpocetine (Cavinton)
Deprenyl (Eldepryl)
    5.2 Drugs with controversial or unproven anti-aging effect, or awaiting other evaluation (side-effects)
        Phyto-medicines, Herbs
      5.3 Drugs for treatment and prevention of specific diseases of aging. High-tech modern pharmacology.
        Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Immune decline
Infections, bacterial
Infections, fungal
Memory loss
Muscle weakness
Parkinson's disease
Prostate hyperplasia
Sexual disorders
Stroke risk
Weight gaining
    5.4 The place of anti-aging drugs in the whole
      program - a realistic evaluation
    6.1 Early diagnosis of disease - key factor to successful treatment.
      Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Cataracts and Glaucoma
Genetic disorders
Heart attacks
Immune decline
Infectious diseases
Memory loss
Muscle weakness
Parkinson's disease
Prostate hyperplasia
Stroke risk
Weight gaining
    6.2 Biomarkers of aging and specific diseases
    6.3 Stem cell therapy and therapeutic cloning
    6.4 Gene manipulation
    6.5 Prosthetic body-parts, artificial organs
Bones, limbs, joints etc.
Heart & heart devices
    6.6 Obesity reduction by ultrasonic treatment
  Physical activity and aging. Experimental and clinical data.
        Aerobic exercises
Weight-lifting - body-building
Professional sport: negative aspects
  Conclusion: the whole anti-aging program
    9.1 Modifying your personal aging curve
      Average life span increment. Expert evaluation.
Periodic fasting and caloric restriction can add 40 - 50 years to your lifespan
Regular intake of anti-aging drugs can add 20-30 years to your lifespan
Good nutrition (well balanced, healthy food, individually tailord diet) can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
High-tech bio-medicine service can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
Quality of life (prosperity, relaxation, regular vocations) can add 15-25 years to your lifespan
Regular exercise and moderate physical activity can add 10-20 years to your lifespan
These approaches taken together can add 60-80 years to your lifespan, if you start young (say at age 20). But even if you only start later (say at 45-50), you can still gain 30-40 years

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    9.2 The whole anti-aging life style - brief summary 
    References eXTReMe Tracker
        The whole anti-aging program: overview

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