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   ARTICHOKE 
   
Phytomedicine 2002 Dec;9(8):694-9
Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study.
Marakis G, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Booth JC, Wright J, Pike DJ.
Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, The University of Reading, UK.

A recent post-marketing study indicated that high doses of standardised artichoke leaf extract (ALE) may reduce symptoms of dyspepsia. To substantial these findings, this study investigated the efficacy of a low-dose ALE on amelioration of dyspeptic symptoms and improvement of quality of life. The study was an open, dose-ranging postal study. Healthy patients with self-reported dyspepsia were recruited through the media. The Nepean Dyspepsia Index and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed at baseline and after 2 months of treatment with ALE, which was randomly allocated to volunteers as 320 or 640 mg daily. Of the 516 participants, 454 completed the study. In both dosage groups, compared with baseline, there was a significant reduction of all dyspeptic symptoms, with an average reduction of 40% in global dyspepsia score. However, there were no differences in the primary outcome measures between the two groups, although relief of state anxiety, a secondary outcome, was greater with the higher dosage (P = 0.03). Health-related quality of life was significantly improved in both groups compared with baseline. We conclude that ALE shows promise to ameliorate upper gastro-intestinal symptoms and improve quality of life in otherwise healthy subjects suffering from dyspepsia.

   
   
Phytother Res 2001 Feb;15(1):58-61
Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study.
Walker AF, Middleton RW, Petrowicz O.
The Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, School of Food BioSciences, The University of Reading, PO Box 226, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, UK.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem reported to affect 22% of the general population. It is characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habit, but has so far defied elucidation of its pathogenesis and proved difficult to treat. There is a growing body of evidence which indicates therapeutic properties for artichoke leaf extract (ALE). Dyspepsia is the condition for which the herb is specifically indicated, but the symptom overlap between dyspeptic syndrome and IBS has given rise to the notion that ALE may have potential for treating IBS as well. A sub-group of patients with IBS symptoms was therefore identified from a sample of individuals with dyspeptic syndrome who were being monitored in a post-marketing surveillance study of ALE for 6 weeks. Analysis of the data from the IBS sub-group revealed significant reductions in the severity of symptoms and favourable evaluations of overall effectiveness by both physicians and patients. Furthermore, 96% of patients rated ALE as better than or at least equal to previous therapies administered for their symptoms, and the tolerability of ALE was very good. These results provide support for the notion that ALE has potential value in relieving IBS symptoms and suggest that a controlled trial is justified.

   
   
Life Sci 2002 Nov 1;71(24):2897-08
Protective properties of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) against oxidative stress induced in cultured endothelial cells and monocytes.
Zapolska-Downar D, Zapolski-Downar A, Naruszewicz M, Siennicka A, Krasnodebska B, Koldziej B.
Chair of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnoastic, Regional Ctr. Atherosclerosis Research, Pomeranian Academy of Medicine, ul. Powstancow Wlkp. 72, PL-70-111, Szczecin, Poland.

It is currently believed that oxidative stress and inflammation play a significant role in atherogenesis. Artichoke extract exhibits hypolipemic properties and contains numerous active substances with antioxidant properties in vitro. We have studied the influence of aqueous and ethanolic extracts from artichoke on intracellular oxidative stress stimulated by inflammatory mediators (TNFalpha and LPS) and ox-LDL in endothelial cells and monocytes. Oxidative stress which reflects the intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was followed by measuring the oxidation of 2', 7'-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH) to 2', 7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF). Agueous and ethanolic extracts from artichoke were found to inhibit basal and stimulated ROS production in endothelial cells and monocytes in dose dependent manner. In endothelial cells, the ethanolic extract (50 microg/ml) reduced ox-LDL-induced intracellular ROS production by 60% (p<0,001) while aqueous extract (50 microg/ml) by 43% (p<0,01). The ethanolic extract (50 microg/ml) reduced ox-LDL-induced intracellular ROS production in monocytes by 76% (p<0,01). Effective concentrations (25-100 microg/ml) were well below the cytotoxic levels of the extracts which started at 1 mg/ml as assessed by LDH leakage and trypan blue exclusion. Penetration of some active substances into the cells was necessary for inhibition to take place as juged from the effect of preincubation time. These results demonstrate that artichoke extracts have marked protective properties against oxidative stress induced by inflammatory mediators and ox-LDL in cultured endothelial cells and monocytes.

   
   
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;(3):CD003335
Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia.
Pittler MH, Thompson CO, Ernst E.
Department of Complementary Medicine, University of Exeter, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK, EX2 4NT.

BACKGROUND: Hypercholesterolaemia is directly associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease and other sequelae of atherosclerosis. Artichoke leaf extract (ALE), which is available as an over-the-counter remedy, has been implicated in lowering cholesterol levels. Whether ALE is truly efficacious for this indication, however, is still a matter of debate. OBJECTIVES: To assess the evidence of ALE versus placebo or reference medication for treating hypercholesterolaemia defined as mean total cholesterol levels of at least 5.17 mmol/L (200 mg /dL). SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Amed, Cinahl, CISCOM and the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register. All databases were searched from their respective inception until June 2001. Reference lists of articles were also searched for relevant material. Manufacturers of preparations containing artichoke extract and experts on the subject were contacted and asked to contribute published and unpublished material. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials of ALE mono-preparations compared with placebo or reference medication for patients with hypercholesterolaemia were included. Trials assessing ALE as one of several active components in a combination preparation or as a part of a combination treatment were excluded. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data were extracted systematically and methodological quality was evaluated using a standard scoring system. The screening of studies, selection, data extraction and the assessment of methodological quality were performed independently by two reviewers. Disagreements in the evaluation of individual trials were resolved through discussion. MAIN RESULTS: Two randomised trials including 167 participants met all inclusion criteria. In one trial ALE reduced total cholesterol levels from 7.74 mmol/l to 6.31 mmol/l after 42 +/- 3 days of treatment whereas the placebo reduced cholesterol from 7.69 mmol/l to 7.03 mmol/l (p=0.00001). Another trial did state that ALE significantly (p<0.05) reduced blood cholesterol compared with placebo in a sub-group of patients with baseline total cholesterol levels of more than 230 mg/dl. Trial reports and post-marketing surveillance studies indicate mild, transient and infrequent adverse events. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Few data from rigorous clinical trials assessing ALE for treating hypercholesterolaemia exist. Beneficial effects are reported, the evidence however is not compelling. The limited data on safety suggest only mild, transient and infrequent adverse events with the short term use of ALE. More rigorous clinical trials assessing larger patient samples over longer intervention periods are needed to establish whether ALE is an effective and safe treatment option for patients with hypercholesterolaemia.

  ASPARAGUS 
   
J Ethnopharmacol 2003 May;86(1):1-10
Gastroduodenal ulcer protective activity of Asparagus racemosus: an experimental, biochemical and histological study.
Sairam K, Priyambada S, Aryya NC, Goel RK.
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, 221005, Varanasi, India.

Asparagus racemosus is an Ayurvedic rasayana, which finds mention in ancient Indian texts for treatment of gastric ulcers. The ulcer protective effect of methanolic extract of fresh roots of A. racemosus (ARM), 25-100mg/kg given orally, twice daily for 5 days, was studied on different gastroduodenal ulcer models. ARM 50mg/kg, twice daily, orally (total saponins 0.9%) showed significant protection against acute gastric ulcers induced by cold restraint stress (CRS), pyloric ligation, aspirin plus pyloric ligation, and duodenal ulcers induced by cysteamine. ARM in the above dose also significantly healed chronic gastric ulcers induced by acetic acid after 10 days treatment. However, ARM was ineffective against aspirin- and ethanol-induced gastric ulcers. Further, gastric juice and mucosal studies showed that ARM significantly increased the mucosal defensive factors like mucus secretion, cellular mucus, life span of cells and also possessed significant anti-oxidant effect, but had little or no effect on offensive factors like acid and pepsin.

   
   
J Ethnopharmacol 2000 Oct;72(3):421-7
Antidiarrhoeal and antiulcerogenic effects of methanolic extract of Asparagus pubescens root in rats.
Nwafor PA, Okwuasaba FK, Binda LG.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri. P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Nigeria.

The effect of methanolic extract of Asparagus pubescens root on experimentally-induced diarrhoea and ulceration was investigated in rats. The extract (500-1500 mg/kg) dose-dependently, reduced significantly the intestinal propulsive movement, castor oil-induced diarrhoea and intestinal fluid accumulation. Yohimbine an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor blocker attenuated the antidiarrhoeal effect of the extract. The extract also reduced the ulcer indices induced by indomethacin and ethanol in a dose-related manner. The results indicate that its antidiarrhoeal and antiulcerogenic effects might in part be due to its alpha(2)-adrenoceptor stimulation and its active constituents respectively.

   
   
J Ethnopharmacol 2000 Aug;71(3):425-35
Antioxidant properties of Asparagus racemosus against damage induced by gamma-radiation in rat liver mitochondria.
Kamat JP, Boloor KK, Devasagayam TP, Venkatachalam SR.
Cell Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, 400 085, Mumbai, India.

The possible antioxidant effects of crude extract and a purified aqueous fraction of Asparagus racemosus against membrane damage induced by the free radicals generated during gamma-radiation were examined in rat liver mitochondria. gamma-Radiation, in the dose range of 75-900 Gy, induced lipid peroxidation as assessed by the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH). Using an effective dose of 450 Gy, antioxidant effects of A. racemosus extract were studied against oxidative damage in terms of protection against lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, depletion of protein thiols and the levels of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. An active fraction consisting of polysaccharides (termed as P3) was effective even at a low concentration of 10 microg/ml. Both the crude extract as well as the P3 fraction significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. The antioxidant effect of P3 fraction was more pronounced against lipid peroxidation, as assessed by TBARS formation, while that of the crude extract was more effective in inhibiting protein oxidation. Both the crude extract and P3 fraction also partly protects against radiation-induced loss of protein thiols and inactivation of superoxide dismutase. The inhibitory effects of these active principles, at the concentration of 10 microg/ml, are comparable to that of the established antioxidants glutathione and ascorbic acid. Hence our results indicate that extracts from A. racemosus have potent antioxidant properties in vitro in mitochondrial membranes of rat liver.

   BEETS 
   
J Agric Food Chem 2001 Nov;49(11):5178-85
Betalains--a new class of dietary cationized antioxidants.
Kanner J, Harel S, Granit R.
Department of Food Science, Institute of Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.

Antioxidant nutrients from fruits and vegetables are believed to be a class of compounds that exert their effects in humans by preventing oxidative processes which contribute to the onset of several degenerative diseases. This study found a new class of dietary cationized antioxidants in red beets (Beta vulgaris L.). These antioxidants are betalains, and the major one, betanin, is a betanidin 5-O-beta-glucoside. Linoleate peroxidation by cytochrome c was inhibited by betanin, betanidin, catechin, and alpha-tocopherol with IC(50) values of 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, and 5 microM, respectively. In addition, a relatively low concentration of betanin was found to inhibit lipid peroxidation of membranes or linoleate emulsion catalyzed by the "free iron" redox cycle, H(2)O(2)-activated metmyoglobin, or lipoxygenase. The IC(50) inhibition of H(2)O(2)-activated metmyoglobin catalysis of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by betanin was <2.5 microM and better than that of catechin. Betanin and betanidin at very small concentrations were found to inhibit lipid peroxidation and heme decomposition. During this reaction, betanidin was bleached completely, but betanin remained unchanged in its absorption. This difference seems to derive from differing mechanisms of protection by these two compounds. The high affinity of betanin and betanidin for membranes was demonstrated by determining the rate of migration of the compounds through a dialysis tube. Betanin bioavailability in humans was demonstrated with four volunteers who consumed 300 mL of red beet juice, containing 120 mg of the antioxidant. The betacyanins were absorbed from the gut and identified in urine after 2-4 h. The calculated amount of betacyanins found in the urine was 0.5-0.9% of that ingested. Red beet products used regularly in the diet may provide protection against certain oxidative stress-related disorders in humans.

   BROCCOLI 
   
Nutr Cancer 2000;38(2):168-78
Disposition of glucosinolates and sulforaphane in humans after ingestion of steamed and fresh broccoli.
Conaway CC, Getahun SM, Liebes LL, Pusateri DJ, Topham DK, Botero-Omary M, Chung FL.
Division of Carcinogenesis and Molecular Epidemiology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

The cancer-chemopreventive effects of broccoli may be attributed, in part, to isothiocyanates (ITCs), hydrolysis products of glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to their respective ITCs by the enzyme myrosinase, which is inactivated by heat. In this study, the metabolic fate of glucosinolates after ingestion of steamed and fresh broccoli was compared in 12 male subjects in a crossover design. During each 48-hour baseline period, no foods containing glucosinolates or ITCs were allowed. The subjects then consumed 200 g of fresh or steamed broccoli; all other dietary sources of ITCs were excluded. Blood and urine samples were collected during the 24-hour period after broccoli consumption. Total ITC equivalents in broccoli and total ITC equivalents in plasma and urine were assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography as the cyclocondensation product of 1,2-benzenedithiol. The content of ITCs in fresh and steamed broccoli after myrosinase treatment was found to be virtually identical (1.1 vs. 1.0 micromol/g wet wt). The average 24-hour urinary excretion of ITC equivalents amounted to 32.3 +/- 12.7% and 10.2 +/- 5.9% of the amounts ingested for fresh and steamed broccoli, respectively. Approximately 40% of total ITC equivalents in urine, 25.8 +/- 13.9 and 6.9 +/- 2.5 micromol for fresh and steamed broccoli, respectively, occurred as the N-acetyl-L-cysteine conjugate of sulforaphane (SFN-NAC). Total ITC metabolites in plasma peaked between 0 and 8 hours, whereas urinary excretion of total ITC equivalents and SFN-NAC occurred primarily between 2 and 12 hours. Results of this study indicate that the bioavailability of ITCs from fresh broccoli is approximately three times greater than that from cooked broccoli, in which myrosinase is inactivated. Considering the cancer-chemopreventive potential of ITCs, cooking broccoli may markedly reduce its beneficial effects on health.

   
   
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001 May;10(5):501-8
Chemoprotective glucosinolates and isothiocyanates of broccoli sprouts: metabolism and excretion in humans.
Shapiro TA, Fahey JW, Wade KL, Stephenson KK, Talalay P.
Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Broccoli sprouts are a rich source of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that induce phase 2 detoxication enzymes, boost antioxidant status, and protect animals against chemically induced cancer. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinase (an enzyme found in plants and bowel microflora) to form isothiocyanates. In vivo, isothiocyanates are conjugated with glutathione and then sequentially metabolized to mercapturic acids. These metabolites are collectively designated dithiocarbamates. We studied the disposition of broccoli sprout glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in healthy volunteers. Broccoli sprouts were grown, processed, and analyzed for (a) inducer potency; (b) glucosinolate and isothiocyanate concentrations; (c) glucosinolate profiles; and (d) myrosinase activity. Dosing preparations included uncooked fresh sprouts (with active myrosinase) as well as homogenates of boiled sprouts that were devoid of myrosinase activity and contained either glucosinolates only or isothiocyanates only. In a crossover study, urinary dithiocarbamate excretion increased sharply after administration of broccoli sprout glucosinolates or isothiocyanates. Cumulative excretion of dithiocarbamates following 111-micromol doses of isothiocyanates was greater than that after glucosinolates (88.9 +/- 5.5 and 13.1 +/- 1.9 micromol, respectively; P < 0.0003). In subjects fed four repeated 50-micromol doses of isothiocyanates, the intra- and intersubject variation in dithiocarbamate excretion was very small (coefficient of variation, 9%), and after escalating doses, excretion was linear over a 25- to 200-micromol dose range. Dithiocarbamate excretion was higher when intact sprouts were chewed thoroughly rather than swallowed whole (42.4 +/- 7.5 and 28.8 +/- 2.6 micromol; P = 0.049). These studies indicate that isothiocyanates are about six times more bioavailable than glucosinolates, which must first be hydrolyzed. Thorough chewing of fresh sprouts exposes the glucosinolates to plant myrosinase and significantly increases dithiocarbamate excretion. These findings will assist in the design of dosing regimens for clinical studies of broccoli sprout efficacy.

   
   

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1997 October 14; 94 (21): 11149–11151
Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme systems: Clinical, dietary, and policy implications.
Marion Nestle.
Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, 35 West 4th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10012-1172.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States; it accounts for nearly one-fourth of annual deaths. Although the rates of some cancers have been declining, rates of others have increased. Thus, despite advances in early detection and treatment, overall death rates from cancer have remained largely unchanged since the early 1970s, suggesting the need for a stronger research focus on prevention. Approaches to prevention necessarily include smoking cessation and dietary changes, because each is believed to contribute to about one-third of annual cancer deaths. For two decades, dietary advice to prevent cancer has emphasized fruit and vegetable consumption, and recent recommendations, such as those listed in Table 1, give highest priority to consuming plant-based diets. Such advice is entirely consistent with recommendations for prevention of heart disease and other diet-related chronic diseases. It is supported by substantial, increasing, and extensively reviewed evidence linking intake of plant foods to impressive reductions in cancer risk at several major sites. On the basis of this evidence, researchers recently have estimated that plant-based diets prevent 20% to 50% of all cases of cancer.
Epidemiologic and animal studies have associated certain food plants with pronounced reductions in cancer risk. Among such plants are cruciferous (mustard family) vegetables of the genus Brassica: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, among others. National committees have recommended consumption of these vegetables for cancer prevention since the early 1980s. What characteristics of these vegetables might protect against carcinogenesis? Fahey et al. directly address this important question. Brassica vegetables contain little fat, are low in energy, and are sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all aspects linked to cancer protection. They also contain a large number of phytochemicals, some of which protect against carcinogenesis in various in vitro and animal testing systems.
The research of Fahey et al aims to identify specific phytochemicals in Brassica vegetables that may confer protection and the mechanisms by which they do so. The hypothesis underlying this work is that certain phytochemicals might raise the activity of enzyme systems that detoxify carcinogens. Several enzyme systems oxidize, reduce, or hydrolyze (phase 1) and then conjugate or otherwise affect (phase 2) drugs, metabolites, carcinogens, and other toxic chemicals, thereby increasing their polarity and excretability. Phase 1 enzymes activate or deactivate carcinogens, depending on the experimental conditions. Phase 2 enzymes are more likely to detoxify. For 20 years or more, consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been known to induce enzyme detoxification in experimental systems. Such observations have led Paul Talalay and his colleagues to conduct an elegant series of studies on the effects of cruciferous vegetable extracts on phase 2 enzyme induction and animal tumorigenesis. They have developed an in vitro assay to distinguish bifunctional phytochemicals that induce both phase 1 and phase 2 enzyme systems from monofunctional phytochemicals that induce only phase 2 enzymes. They then used this assay to demonstrate that Brassica vegetables are particularly rich sources of monofunctional phase 2 inducers and to identify the isothiocyanate sulforaphane as the principal phase 2 inducer in broccoli extracts. They also have demonstrated that sulforaphane is a dose-related inhibitor of carcinogen-induced mammary tumorigenesis in rats.
These impressive accomplishments now have been extended to identify phase 2 inducer activity in sprouts of broccoli as well as in mature plants. Most of this activity derived from the glucosinolate precursor of sulforaphane, glucoraphanin. Because no net synthesis of phase 2 inducers occurs after sprouting, their concentration decreases as the plant grows. Extracts of broccoli sprouts contain 10–100 times the phase 2 inducer activity of mature broccoli plants and are more efficient inhibitors of rat tumorigenesis. In contrast, mature broccoli also contains significant amounts of indole compounds that induce phase 1 as well as phase 2 enzymes. Thus, sprouts would appear to offer at least two anticarcinogenic advantages over mature broccoli: they contain higher concentrations of inducers, and the inducers mainly affect phase 2 enzyme systems. On this basis, Fahey et al. conclude that small amounts of cruciferous vegetable sprouts may be just as protective against cancer as larger amounts of mature plants of the same variety.
These studies leave no doubt that sulforaphane does indeed induce phase 2 enzymes and inhibit carcinogenesis under these conditions. At issue, however, is the clinical significance of induction of such enzyme systems by single phytochemicals. Both phase 1 and phase 2 systems are highly multifunctional and inducible by a wide variety of dietary compounds. Food plants have evolved to contain thousands of chemicals that act as protective pesticides against infection or predation, and humans may consume as many as 10,000 of these compounds and their metabolic products when eating vegetables. The Ames group has identified 49 such compounds in cabbage, among them several that have been tested and found mutagenic or carcinogenic in animal test systems. Table 2 identifies the classes of phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables that contain at least one compound that has proved mutagenic or carcinogenic in such tests. Thus, cruciferous and other vegetables contain some phytochemicals that are carcinogenic and others that are anticarcinogenic in test systems.
This confusing situation is complicated further by the ability of both phase 1 and phase 2 enzyme systems to inactivate some carcinogens, but activate others, depending on circumstances. Chemicals that induce activating enzymes also will induce activation of any other compounds present that are metabolized by the same system; the same is true of substances that induce inactivation. This dual nature of the enzyme systems, the vast number of compounds that can induce them, the presence in broccoli of chemicals that induce both activation and inhibition of carcinogenesis, and the complexity of the interactions among food phytochemicals and enzyme systems, constitute the basis of ongoing debates as to whether sulforaphane or any other single phytochemical or nutrient can explain the cancer-protective effects of cruciferous vegetables.
Fortunately, the dietary implications of this work are less complicated. The precise role in carcinogenesis of specific vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals may be uncertain, but the overall anticarcinogenic properties of vegetables clearly outweigh any effects of their constituent carcinogens or carcinogen-inducers. The value of eating more vegetables in general, and Brassica vegetables in particular, is well supported by current evidence if for no other reason than this food group is a principal source of antioxidant vitamins; vegetables provide more than 80% of the carotene, 50% of the vitamin C, and 25% of the folate in the American food supply.
Dietary recommendations for prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases always have emphasized the value of consuming a variety of plant foods. Each vegetable contributes nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals, but in varying amounts and proportions. Fahey et al found an 8-fold variation in phase 2 inducer activity among different samples of fresh broccoli, a variation that was independent of appearance or growing conditions. Broccoli may be especially rich in sulforaphane, but tomatoes are especially rich in lycopenes, peppers in carotenoids, and onions and garlic in allium compounds—all demonstrably protective against carcinogenesis.
President George Bush did not like broccoli; the mass appeal of broccoli sprouts is even less certain. My local health food store sells cruciferous sprouts of cabbage, radish, and mustard, but not yet broccoli; broccoli sprouts taste like milder versions of the mature vegetable and are slightly pungent or peppery. The store does offer dessicated broccoli in the form of 500-mg supplements labeled as containing 200 µg sulforaphane; 50 such tablets cost $14.70.
Price considerations aside, supplements confer little advantage. Fresh vegetables provide a higher content of vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber, and a balance of phytochemicals that favor overall protection against carcinogenesis. The full range of nutrients contained in foods must be present to detoxify carcinogens; iron, niacin, and riboflavin, for example, are essential cofactors in phase 1 and phase 2 enzyme systems. Just as single-nutrient approaches to cancer prevention have yielded disappointing results, single phytochemical approaches are likely to prove equally disappointing and are not recommended.
The policy implications of this research also seem quite straightforward. Policies are needed to promote consumption of vegetables among a greater proportion of the population. Recent data suggest that the average American consumes slightly more than two standard half-cup servings of vegetables (other than white potatoes) daily; at least 10% of the population reports consuming less than one daily serving of any vegetable whatsoever. Although broccoli and cabbage rank among the top 10 vegetables purchased in supermarkets, and U.S. annual production (though not necessarily consumption) of fresh broccoli rose from 0.8 to 4.1 pounds per capita from 1973 to 1997, this quantity translates to just 5 g per day per capita. Thus, the current situation leaves considerable room for improvement. From the standpoint of public health policy, existing data are more than sufficient to promote greater consumption of broccoli and its sprouts along with other vegetables. Educational campaigns to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption have achieved some success, but a greater range of policies and programs targeted to food producers as well as to consumers might prove more effective in raising consumption levels.
From the standpoint of cancer research policy, information about the role of each nutrient and phytochemical is of vital interest; such information may well explain why diet-related cancer risks vary across different sites and among individuals and populations. The effects of single anticarcinogenic phytochemicals, however, no matter how well characterized, cannot be understood in isolation, just as the anticarcinogenic effects of single nutrients cannot be understood except as part of an overall dietary pattern. Dietary patterns, of course, are difficult to study. If research to date has focused on the effects of isolated nutrients and phytochemicals, it is because such systems are far more amenable to investigation. Debates about the significance of the effects of sulforaphane on cancer risk are best interpreted as evidence of the need for high-quality research on the health effects of dietary patterns and their determinants—behavioral, environmental, economic, and cultural—as well as on the scientific basis of these relationships.

   BRUSSELS SPROUTS 
   
Am J Clin Nutr 1994 May;59(5 Suppl):1166S-1170S
Cancer preventive properties of varieties of Brassica oleracea: a review.
Beecher CW.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago 60612.

Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other members of the genus Brassica have been widely regarded as potentially cancer preventative. This view is often based on both experimental testing of crude extracts and epidemiological data. The experimental evidence that provides support for this possibility is reviewed for the commonly consumed varieties of Brassica oleracea. In a majority of cases the biological activities seen in testing crude extracts may be directly related to specific chemicals that have been reported to be isolated from one of these closely related species, thus the chemical evidence further supports the data from testing extracts and epidemiology.

   
   
Free Radic Res 1998 Mar;28(3):323-33
Prevention of oxidative DNA damage in rats by brussels sprouts.
Deng XS, Tuo J, Poulsen HE, Loft S.
Department of Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Panum, Denmark.

The alleged cancer preventive effects of cruciferous vegetables could be related to protection from mutagenic oxidative DNA damage. We have studied the effects of Brussels sprouts, some non-cruciferous vegetables and isolated glucosinolates on spontaneous and induced oxidative DNA damage in terms of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in groups of 6-8 male Wistar rats. Excess oxidative DNA damage was induced by 2-nitropropane (2-NP 100 mg/kg). Four days oral administration of 3 g of cooked Brussels sprouts homogenate reduced the spontaneous urinary 8-oxodG excretion by 31% (p<0.05) whereas raw sprouts, beans and endive (1:1), isolated indolyl glucosinolates and breakdown products had no significant effect. An aqueous extract of cooked Brussels sprouts (corresponding to 6.7 g vegetable per day for 4 days) decreased the spontaneous 8-oxodG excretion from 92 +/- 12 to 52 +/- 15 pmol/24 h (p<0.05). After 2-NP administration the 8-oxodG excretion was increased to 132 +/- 26 pmol/24 h (p<0.05) whereas pretreatment with the sprouts extract reduced this to 102 +/- 30 pmol/24 h (p<0.05). The spontaneous level of 8-oxodG in nuclear DNA from liver and bone marrow was not significantly affected by the sprouts extract whereas the level decreased by 27% in the kidney (p<0.05). In the liver 2-NP increased the 8-oxodG levels in nuclear DNA 8.7 and 3.8 times (p<0.05) 6 and 24 h after dose, respectively. The sprouts extract reduced this increase by 57% (p<0.05) at 6 h whereas there was no significant effect at 24 h. In the kidneys 2-NP increased the 8-oxodG levels 2.2 and 1.2 times (p<0.05) 6 and 24 h after dose, respectively. Pretreatment with the sprouts extract abolished these increases (p<0.05). Similarly, in the bone marrow the extract protected completely (p<0.05) against a 4.9-fold 2-NP induced increase (p<0.05) in the 8-oxodG level. These findings demonstrate that cooked Brussels sprouts contain bioactive substance(s) with a potential for reducing the physiological as well as oxidative stress induced oxidative DNA damage in rats. This could explain the suggested cancer preventive effect of cruciferous vegetables. The correspondence between the urinary excretion and 8-oxodG levels in 2-NP target organs supports its being the main repair product that reflects the rate of guanine oxidation in DNA.

   
   
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001 May;10(5):501-8
Chemoprotective glucosinolates and isothiocyanates of broccoli sprouts: metabolism and excretion in humans.
Shapiro TA, Fahey JW, Wade KL, Stephenson KK, Talalay P.
Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Broccoli sprouts are a rich source of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that induce phase 2 detoxication enzymes, boost antioxidant status, and protect animals against chemically induced cancer. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinase (an enzyme found in plants and bowel microflora) to form isothiocyanates. In vivo, isothiocyanates are conjugated with glutathione and then sequentially metabolized to mercapturic acids. These metabolites are collectively designated dithiocarbamates. We studied the disposition of broccoli sprout glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in healthy volunteers. Broccoli sprouts were grown, processed, and analyzed for (a) inducer potency; (b) glucosinolate and isothiocyanate concentrations; (c) glucosinolate profiles; and (d) myrosinase activity. Dosing preparations included uncooked fresh sprouts (with active myrosinase) as well as homogenates of boiled sprouts that were devoid of myrosinase activity and contained either glucosinolates only or isothiocyanates only. In a crossover study, urinary dithiocarbamate excretion increased sharply after administration of broccoli sprout glucosinolates or isothiocyanates. Cumulative excretion of dithiocarbamates following 111-micromol doses of isothiocyanates was greater than that after glucosinolates (88.9 +/- 5.5 and 13.1 +/- 1.9 micromol, respectively; P < 0.0003). In subjects fed four repeated 50-micromol doses of isothiocyanates, the intra- and intersubject variation in dithiocarbamate excretion was very small (coefficient of variation, 9%), and after escalating doses, excretion was linear over a 25- to 200-micromol dose range. Dithiocarbamate excretion was higher when intact sprouts were chewed thoroughly rather than swallowed whole (42.4 +/- 7.5 and 28.8 +/- 2.6 micromol; P = 0.049). These studies indicate that isothiocyanates are about six times more bioavailable than glucosinolates, which must first be hydrolyzed. Thorough chewing of fresh sprouts exposes the glucosinolates to plant myrosinase and significantly increases dithiocarbamate excretion. These findings will assist in the design of dosing regimens for clinical studies of broccoli sprout efficacy.

   CABBAGE 
   
Nutr Cancer 2002;43(1):82-9
Induction of tumor necrosis factor production and antitumor effect by cabbage extract.
Komatsu W, Miura Y, Yagasaki K.
Department of Applied Biological Science, Tokyo Noko University, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan.

The effect of cabbage extract on the production of tumor necrosis factor and its implication in the antitumor effect were examined in vitro and in vivo. Cabbage extract stimulated the production of tumor necrosis factor by rat spleen cells and showed cytotoxic activity in a rat ascites hepatoma cell line (AH109A) when hepatoma cells were cultured with cabbage-stimulated spleen cells. When the extract was adminstered orally to AH109A-bearing rats in combination with lipopolysaccharide injection, the hepatoma weights were reduced to one-half of the vehicle control. The cytotoxic activity of tumor-infiltrating macrophages was induced by simultaneous treatment with cabbage extract and lipopolysaccharide. These results indicate that cabbage extract contains macrophage-stimulating component(s) and can implement the antitumor effect by stimulating the cytotoxicity of tumor-infiltrating macrophages.

   
   
Lipids 1998 May;33(5):499-503
Suppression of hypercholesterolemia in hepatoma-bearing rats by cabbage extract and its component, S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide.
Komatsu W, Miura Y, Yagasaki K.
Department of Applied Biological Science, Tokyo Noko University, Fuchu, Japan.

The effect of cabbage extract on cholesterol metabolism was studied in Donryu rats subcutaneously implanted with an ascites hepatoma cell line (AH109A). The hepatoma-bearing rats exhibited hypercholesterolemia induced by increasing cholesterogenesis in the host liver and decreasing steroid excretion into feces. The cabbage extract intake or administration reduced serum cholesterol level and enhanced fecal bile acid excretion and cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase activity, the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid biosynthesis, in the microsomal fraction of the liver. Furthermore, S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide, a component of cabbage, could mimic the effect of cabbage extract when orally administered. These results suggest that cabbage suppresses hypercholesterolemia responding to hepatoma growth by upregulating cholesterol catabolism and that S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide in cabbage is one of the factors suppressing hypercholesterolemia in the hepatoma-bearing rats.

   
   
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2000 Aug;64(8):1600-7
Preventive effects of dietary cabbage acylated anthocyanins on paraquat-induced oxidative stress in rats.
Igarashi K, Kimura Y, Takenaka A.
Department of Bioresource Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University, Tsuruoka-shi, Japan.

The preventive effects of acylated anthocyanins from red cabbage on paraquat-induced oxidative stress were determined in rats. Decreased food intake and body weight gain, and increased lung weight and atherogenic index by feeding the rats on a diet containing paraquat were clearly suppressed by supplementing acylated anthocynins to the paraquat diet. Paraquat feeding increased the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in liver lipids, and decreased the liver triacylglycerol level. These effects tended to be suppressed by supplementing acylated anthocynins to the paraquat diet. In addition, the catalase activity in the liver mitochondrial fraction was markedly decreased by feeding on the paraquat diet, this decrease being partially suppressed by supplementing the paraquat diet with acylated anthocyanins. An increase in the NADPH-cytochrome-P450-reductase activity in the liver microsome fraction by paraquat was suppressed by supplementing the paraquat diet with acylated anthocyanins. These results suggest that acylated anthocyanins from red cabbage acted preventively against the oxidative stress in vivo that may have been due to active oxygen species formed through the action of paraquat.

   
   

J Ethnopharmacol 1983 Dec;9(2-3):261-72
Physiological effects of cabbage with reference to its potential as a dietary cancer-inhibitor and its use in ancient medicine.
Albert-Puleo M.

Interest in the potential of cabbage and other Brassica species as possible dietary cancer-inhibitors has been expressed. Preliminary data in support of this include the following: dietary cabbage has been reported to enhance the aromatic hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) microsomal enzyme system and increase the rate of metabolism of certain drugs and carcinogens and to affect chemically-induced tumor formation. Bacterial studies also indicate that cabbage has demutagenic activity in the Ames assay. Cabbage has also been reported to have a protective effect against radiation exposure. In addition, cabbage has been shown to have a variable ability to induce goiter formation in otherwise healthy laboratory animals. Other effects discussed in the literature include an affect on blood sugar, gastric secretion and antibacterial activity. Reference is made to claims found in ancient herbal literature regarding cabbage's alleged therapeutic benefit in putatively cancerous conditions.

   
   

Birth 1993 Jun;20(2):61-4
Do cabbage leaves prevent breast engorgement? A randomized, controlled study.
Nikodem VC, Danziger D, Gebka N, Gulmezoglu AM, Hofmeyr GJ.

A randomized, controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of cabbage leaves on mothers' perceptions of breast engorgement and the influence of this treatment on breastfeeding practices. The subjects, 120 breastfeeding women 72 hours postpartum, were randomly allocated to an experimental group who received application of cabbage leaves to their breasts, or to a control group who received routine care. The experimental group tended to report less breast engorgement, but this trend was not statistically significant. At six weeks, women who received the cabbage leaf application were more likely to be breastfeeding exclusively, 76 and 58 percent (35/46 vs 29/50; P = 0.09), and their mean duration of exclusive breastfeeding was longer (36 vs 30 days; P = 0.04). The greater breastfeeding success in the experimental group may have been due to some beneficial effect of cabbage leaf application, or may have been secondary to reassurance and improved confidence and self-esteem in these mothers.

  CARROTS 
   
Wien Med Wochenschr 2002;152(15-16):379-81
Acid oligosaccharides as the active principle of aqueous carrot extracts for prevention and therapy of gastrointestinal infections.
Kastner U, Glasl S, Follrich B, Guggenbichler JP, Jurenitsch J.
Institut fur Pharmakognosie der Universitat Wien, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Wien.

Adherence of microorganisms to the intestinal mucosa is an important and initial step in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal infections and mediated by carbohydrate structures on the cell surface. Adherence can be blocked by carbohydrate receptor analogues. Aqueous extracts from carrots (carrot soup) contain acidic oligosaccharides, which are able to block adherence of various enteropathogenic microorganisms to HEp-2 cells and human intestinal mucosa in vitro. Dependent on the grade of polymerisation the most potent blocking ability was seen for trigalacturonic acid. Clinical studies revealed, that aqueous carrot extracts are significantly superior to the basic glucose-electrolyt-solution for oral rehydration in acute gastrointestional infections of children.

   
   
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001 Aug;108(2):301-7
Carrot allergy: double-blinded, placebo-controlled food challenge and identification of allergens.
Ballmer-Weber BK, Wuthrich B, Wangorsch A, Fotisch K, Altmann F, Vieths S.
Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

BACKGROUND: Allergic reactions to carrot affect up to 25% of food-allergic subjects. Clinical manifestations of carrot allergy and IgE responses to carrot proteins, however, have never been studied in subjects with carrot allergy confirmed by means of double-blinded, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC). OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this investigation were to confirm clinically relevant sensitizations to carrot by means of DBPCFC, to validate current diagnostic methods, and to identify IgE-reactive carrot proteins in patients with true allergy. METHODS: DBPCFCs were performed in 26 subjects with histories of allergic reactions to carrot. Patients underwent skin prick tests with carrot extract, fresh carrot, and various pollen extracts. Specific IgE to carrot, celery, birch, and mugwort pollen and to rBet v 1, rBet v 2, and rBet v 6 were measured through use of the CAP method. Carrot allergens were identified by means of immunoblotting and blotting inhibition. RESULTS: Twenty of 26 patients had positive DBPCFC results. The sensitivity of the determination of carrot-specific IgE antibodies through use of the CAP method (> or =0.7 kU/L) was 90%, the sensitivity for skin prick testing with commercial extracts was 26%, and the sensitivity for prick-to-prick tests with raw carrot was 100%. The Bet v 1--related major carrot allergen Dau c 1 was recognized by IgE from 85% of patients; 45% were sensitized to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants and 20% to carrot profilin. In 1 subject, a Bet v 6--related carrot allergen was recognized. In 4 patients, IgE binding to Dau c 1 was not inhibited or was weakly inhibited by rBet v 1 or birch pollen extract. CONCLUSION: This study confirmed the allergenicity of carrot by means of DBPCFC. DBPCFC-positive patients had exclusively specific IgE antibodies to birch pollen--related carrot allergens, Dau c 1 being the major allergen. The lack of inhibition of IgE binding to Dau c 1 by birch allergens in a subgroup of patients might indicate an secondary immune response to new epitopes on the food allergen that are not cross-reactive with Bet v 1.

   
   
J Agric Food Chem 2001 Mar;49(3):1410-6
Comparison of volatiles, phenolics, sugars, antioxidant vitamins, and sensory quality of different colored carrot varieties.
Alasalvar C, Grigor JM, Zhang D, Quantick PC, Shahidi F.
Food Research Center, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, Brayford Pool, Lincoln LN6 7TS, United Kingdom.

Four different colored carrots, orange, purple with orange core, yellow, and white, were examined for their content of phenolics, antioxidant vitamins, and sugars as well as their volatiles and sensory responses. A total of 35 volatiles were identified in all carrots, 27 positively. White carrot contained the highest content of volatiles, followed by orange, purple, and yellow. In total, 11, 16, 10, and 9 phenolic compounds were determined for the first time in orange, purple, yellow, and white carrots, respectively. Of these, chlorogenic acid was the most predominant phenolic compound in all carrot varieties. Differences (p < 0.05) in relative sweetness, the contents of vitamin C and alpha- and beta-carotenes, and certain flavor characteristics were observed among the colored carrot varieties examined. Purple carrots contained 2.2 and 2.3 times more alpha- and beta-carotenes (trace in yellow; not detected in white) than orange carrots, respectively. Purple carrot may be used in place of other carrot varieties to take advantage of its nutraceutical components.

   
   
Phytomedicine 2000 Oct;7(5):423-6
Hypotensive action of coumarin glycosides from Daucus carota.
Gilani AH, Shaheen E, Saeed SA, Bibi S, Irfanullah, Sadiq M, Faizi S.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan.

Daucus carota (carrot) has been used in traditional medicine to treat hypertension. Activity-directed fractionation of aerial parts of D. carota resulted in the isolation of two cumarin glycosides coded as DC-2 and DC-3. Intravenous administration of these compounds caused a dose-dependent (1-10 mg/kg) fall in arterial blood pressure in normotensive anaesthetised rats. In the in vitro studies, both compounds caused a dose-dependent (10-200 microg/ml) inhibitory effect on spontaneously beating guinea pig atria as well as on the K+ -induced contractions of rabbit aorta at similar concentrations. These results indicate that DC-2 and DC-3 may be acting through blockade of calcium channels and this effect may be responsible for the blood pressure lowering effect of the compounds observed in the in vivo studies.

   
   
Br J Nutr 1996 Jul;76(1):51-61
Does chronic supplementation of the diet with dietary fibre extracted from pea or carrot affect colonic motility in man?
Guedon C, Ducrotte P, Antoine JM, Denis P, Colin R, Lerebours E.
Groupe de Physiopathologie Digestive et Nutritionnelle, Hopital Charles Nicolle, Rouen, France.

The aim of the present study was to assess, in healthy volunteers and under physiological conditions, the acceptability, clinical tolerance and effects on colonic motility of chronic supplementation of the usual diet with new dietary fibre sources. Three studies were carried out, one after a period of habitual diet, and two after randomized 3-week periods of supplementation with fibre extracted either from pea hulls or carrots, added to the meals as a fine powder. The 24 h motility was recorded on an unprepared colon at five levels to determine the initiation site and the number of high amplitude propagated contractions (HAPC) and to quantify motor activity every 30 min, particularly in the two periods following lunch and breakfast. With the habitual diet the motility pattern was an irregular alternation of quiescence and sporadic non-propagated contractions. HAPC always started from the ascending colon and occurred mainly after breakfast. With either type of fibre the 24 h motor profiles, the 24 h variations and the number of HAPC were not significantly modified but a more distal initiation of HAPC was found. The colonic postprandial motor response was more diffuse after dietary enrichment with carrot fibre than after enrichment with pea-hull fibre. In healthy volunteers the long-term addition of fibre extracted from pea hulls and carrots to the usual diet was easy and well-tolerated without clinical side-effects, but with limited colonic motor effects. However, the more distal initiation of HAPC observed could be deleterious.

   
   
Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1990;60(3):229-35
Vitamin A potency of carrot and spinach carotenes in human metabolic studies.
Hussein L, el-Tohamy M.
Department of Nutrition, National Research Center, Giza, Dokki, Egypt.

Changes in plasma retinol and carotenoids was measured in 17 young males after daily ingestion of grated carrots, carrot juice or spinach leaves for 2 weeks. Regression equations showed that the supply of 3350 and 4750 micrograms carotenes from 78 ml carrot juice (prepared from 185 g carrots) or 91 g grated carrots, respectively were adequate in maintaining plasma retinol at a constant level in subjects with initial plasma retinol of 1.2 mumol/l. Under similar experimental conditions, 280 g boiled spinach leaves providing 12,700 micrograms carotenes were required to maintain plasma retinol at a constant level. Apparent carotene digestibilities of 47 and 81% were obtained with carrot and spinach, respectively.

   CAULIFLOWER 
   
J Agric Food Chem 2003 Apr 9;51(8):2181-7
Valorization of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) by-products as a source of antioxidant phenolics.
Llorach R, Espin JC, Tomas-Barberan FA, Ferreres F.
Research Group on Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plan Foods, Department of Food Science and Technology, CEBAS-CSIC, P. O. Box 4195, Murcia 30080, Spain.

The present study reports the development of two extraction protocols, with potential industrial applicability, to valorize cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) byproducts as a source of antioxidant phenolics. In addition, the nonionic polystyrene resin Amberlite XAD-2 was used to obtain purified extracts. The extract yield, phenolic content, phenolic yield, and correlation between the antioxidant activity and the phenolic content were studied. The water and ethanol protocols yield a phenolic content of 33.8 mg/g freeze-dried extract and 62.1 mg/g freeze-dried extract, respectively. This percentage increased considerably when the extracts were purified using Amberlite XAD-2 yielding a phenolic content of 186 mg/g freeze-dried extract (water extract) and 311.1 mg/g freeze-dried extract (ethanol extract). Cauliflower byproduct extracts showed significant free radical scavenging activity (vs both DPPH(*) and ABTS(*)(+) radicals), ferric reducing ability (FRAP assay), and capacity to inhibit lipid peroxidation (ferric thiocyanate assay). In addition, the antioxidant activity was linearly correlated with the phenolics content. The results obtained indicate that the cauliflower byproducts are a cheap source of antioxidant phenolics very interesting from both the industrial point of view and the possible usefulness as ingredients to functionalize foodstuffs.

   CHARD 
   
J Med Food 2002 Spring;5(1):37-42
Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) extract on oxidative injury in the aorta and heart of streptozotocin-diabetic rats.
Sener G, Sacan O, Yanardag R, Ayanoglu-Dulger G.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Marmara University, 81010, Istanbul, Turkey.

In diabetes mellitus, increased free radical formation raises the incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Regardless of the type of diabetes, the objective of the therapy is to achieve normoglycemia and to prevent or delay the complications. Chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) is used as a hypoglycemic agent by diabetic patients in Turkey. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding chard on diabetes-induced free radical- mediated injury in rat aorta and heart tissues. Female Swiss albino rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, diabetic, chard, and diabetic + chard. Rats were subjected to intraperitoneal streptozotocin (STZ, 65 mg/kg) to induce diabetes. Chard extract (2 g/kg) was given for 28 days beginning on the 14th day of the study. Aorta and heart tissue lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels as well as blood glucose levels were determined. The results of the present study indicate that lipid peroxidation was increased and glutathione levels were decreased in both aorta and heart tissue of the diabetic rats. However, treatment with chard extract reversed the effects of diabetes on blood glucose and tissue lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels.

   
   
Phytother Res 2002 Dec;16(8):758-61
The effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) extract on the kidney tissue, serum urea and creatinine levels of diabetic rats.
Yanardag R, Bolkent S, Ozsoy-Sacan O, Karabulut-Bulan O.
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Istanbul University, 34850-Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey.

The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) extract on serum urea and creatinine concentrations and on kidney tissue in normal and streptozotocin-diabetic rats. The extract was administered to rats at a dose of 2 g/kg every day for 28 days, 14 days after animals were made diabetic. On day 42, kidney tissue and blood samples were examined. Significant degenerative changes in kidney tissue of diabetic rats were observed, but in the group given chard extract, the morphology of kidney tissue was found to be nearly the same as the controls. Serum urea and creatinine levels significantly increased in the diabetic groups, but the chard extracts significantly reduced serum urea and creatinine levels. It is concluded that the extract of this plant may reduce serum urea and creatinine levels and confer a protective effect on the kidney of diabetic rats.

   
   
Pharmazie 1998 Sep;53(9):638-40
The effect of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) on the skin of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.
Tunali T, Yarat A, Yanardag R, Ozcelik F, Ozsoy O, Ergenekon G, Emekli N.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Marmara University, Nisantasi, Turkey.

Chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) is one of the plants used as hypoglycaemic agent by diabetics in Turkey and it has been reported to reduce blood glucose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding chard on diabetes induced impairments in rat skins. Uncontrolled induced diabetes caused significant increases in nonenzymatic glycosylation of skin proteins, lipid peroxidation and blood glucose. Administration of chard extract inhibited these effects except the increase in lipid peroxidation. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed no significant differences in any protein bands between any of the groups. The data indicate that the use of chard may be effective in preventing or at least retarding the development of some diabetic complications.

   CORN 
   
Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Jun;75(6):1000-4
Phytosterols that are naturally present in commercial corn oil significantly reduce cholesterol absorption in humans.
Ostlund RE Jr, Racette SB, Okeke A, Stenson WF.
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.

BACKGROUND: Although supplementing the diet with large quantities of phytosterols reduces cholesterol absorption and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, very little is known about the smaller amounts of phytosterols present naturally in food. Vegetable oils are the richest dietary source of phytosterols; corn oil contains 0.77% phytosterols by weight. OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that removing phytosterols from corn oil would increase cholesterol absorption when measured in single-meal tests containing corn oil as a source of fat. DESIGN: Free and esterified phytosterols were removed from corn oil on a kilogram scale by a new technique of competitive saturation adsorption to silica. Healthy subjects with a mean (+/-SEM) serum cholesterol concentration of 5.10 +/- 0.18 mmol/L received an otherwise sterol-free test breakfast on 2 occasions 2 wk apart that contained 35 mg hexadeuterated cholesterol and 30-35 g of a corn oil preparation. The plasma enrichment of tracer was measured by negative ion mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Cholesterol absorption was 38.0 +/- 10.2% higher after consumption of the sterol-free corn oil than after consumption of commercial corn oil with an identical fatty acid content (P = 0.005; n = 10). When corn oil phytosterols were added back to sterol-free corn oil at a concentration of 150 mg/test meal, cholesterol absorption was reduced by 12.1 +/- 3.7% (P = 0.03; n = 5) and by 27.9 +/- 9.1% (P = 0.01; n = 10) after inclusion of 300 mg phytosterols. CONCLUSIONS: Phytosterols comprising < 1% of commercial corn oil substantially reduced cholesterol absorption and may account for part of the cholesterol-lowering activity of corn oil previously attributed solely to unsaturated fatty acids.

   
   
Am J Clin Nutr 1984 Jan;39(1):25-34
Effect of consuming fiber from corn bran, soy hulls, or apple powder on glucose tolerance and plasma lipids in type II diabetes.
Mahalko JR, Sandstead HH, Johnson LK, Inman LF, Milne DB, Warner RC, Haunz EA.

The effects of consuming corn bran, soy hulls, or apple powder on glucose and lipid metabolism were investigated in two studies of persons with type II diabetes. Fiber sources, completely or partially added to bread, were incorporated into subjects' self-selected diets. Low fiber white bread served as a control. In study A, 10 subjects consumed 26 g fiber source daily; in study B, eight subjects consumed 52 g fiber source. Biochemical tests, including a 2-h postprandial glucose test using a low fiber formula meal, were scheduled after 2 and 4 wk of each dietary treatment. Soy hull consumption slightly improved some measures of glucose tolerance, with results varying between the studies. Consumption of 52 g corn bran decreased very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycosylated Hb, but subject tolerance was poor with the particle size used. Consumption of 52 g apple powder increased low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels.

   
   
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1997 Sep;61(9):1474-81
The effects of corn peptide ingestion on facilitating alcohol metabolism in healthy men.
Yamaguchi M, Nishikiori F, Ito M, Furukawa Y.
Research Institute, Nihon Shokuhin Kako Co., Ltd., Fuji, Japan.

We prepared corn peptide (CP), a vegetable oligopeptide and tried to discover the effects of its ingestion on facilitating alcohol metabolism in healthy adult men. Ten healthy male volunteers ingested 5 g of CP, wheat peptide (WP), pea peptide (PP), alanine, or leucine 30 min before alcohol intake at a dose of 0.5 g/kg, and blood ethanol and plasma amino acid concentrations were measured during a 2-h observation period after alcohol intake. In subjects who ingested CP, the blood ethanol level was lower than that in the WP, alanine and leucine ingestion groups, but did not decrease as compared to the control when they ingested PP. Similarly there was a difference in the blood ethanol level between alanine and leucine ingestion groups, and leucine ingestion was more effective than alanine against the reduction of the increase in blood ethanol level. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the plasma concentrations of individual amino acids except alanine, leucine, or lysine after alcohol intake among experimental groups as compared to the control. CP ingestion significantly elevated plasma alanine and leucine rather than other groups during a 2-h observation period. These results suggested that CP may have the effect on the reduction of increase in blood ethanol level after alcohol intake by the marked elevation of plasma alanine and leucine, especially leucine, but neither by the delay of ethanol release from the stomach nor malabsorption of ethanol in the gastrointestinal tracts.

   
   
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1997 Aug;61(8):1358-61
Long-term effects of water-soluble corn bran hemicellulose on glucose tolerance in obese and non-obese patients: improved insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in obese subjects.
Hanai H, Ikuma M, Sato Y, Iida T, Hosoda Y, Matsushita I, Nogaki A, Yamada M, Kaneko E.
First Department of Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.

We examined the effect of soluble corn bran hemicellulose (CBH, 10 g/day) on glucose control and serum insulin in three groups: patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) with (20 subjects) or without (8 subjects) obesity and with healthy non-obese controls (10 subjects). Long-term supplementation (6 months) with CBH decreased the post oGTT curve for patients with impaired mild Type II diabetes, but not that for the controls. Hemoglobin A1c decreased significantly during CBH supplementation in the obese patients, while the fasting glucose level decreased in all three groups, although not significantly. A decreased serum insulin response by oGTT was found in those patients with IGT. The improved oGTT result was associated with improved insulin release and perhaps with peripheral insulin sensitivity. These findings suggest that CBH at a low dose might contribute to glycemic control and would play a useful role in treating Type II diabetes patients.

   
   
J Am Diet Assoc 1995 Jan;95(1):40-5
Corn bran supplementation of a low-fat controlled diet lowers serum lipids in men with hypercholesterolemia.
Shane JM, Walker PM.
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal 61790.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the lipid-lowering effects of dietary corn bran fed in moderate supplemental doses to men with hypercholesterolemia consuming a low-fat diet. DESIGN: The 98-day study was divided into one 2-week preperiod and two 6-week experimental periods in a cross-over design. SETTING: The study was conducted in the metabolic diet kitchen of the Department of Home Economics and the Nutrition Research Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture at Illinois State University, Normal. SUBJECTS: Twenty-nine sedentary men with hypercholesterolemia, aged 38 to 70 years, participated in the project. All of them completed the study. INTERVENTIONS: After a 2-week adjustment period in which subjects consumed a low-fat controlled diet, subjects were assigned to one of two experimental treatments: low-fat controlled diet plus 20 g corn bran supplement or low-fat controlled diet plus 20 g wheat bran supplement. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Lipid measurements included total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), and triglyceride concentrations. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Differences in lipid parameters were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures (P < .05). A paired t test was used to assess differences between treatment periods for each subject. RESULTS: The low-fat controlled diet significantly lowered all serum parameters analyzed except HDL-C. Corn fiber supplementation resulted in an additional lowering of serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, and VLDL-C concentrations. Serum LDL-C and HDL-C concentrations were not significantly altered by corn fiber or wheat fiber supplementation. APPLICATIONS: This study suggests that supplementing a low-fat diet with corn bran is affective in reducing serum lipid concentrations for men with hypercholesterolemia.

   CUCUMBER 
   
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1991 May;11(5):274-6, 260-1
Clinical and experimental study of tablet cucumber vine compound in treating essential hypertension.
Lu GL, Yuan WX, Fan YJ.
Geriatrics Institute, 1st Sanatorium, Dalian.

389 patients with essential hypertension were divided into two groups randomly. 241 patients were treated by tablet of cucumber vine compound and 148 patients by tablet of hypotension compound as control. The symptomatic marked improvement and total effective rate were 63.1% and 81.7% in the treated group and 39.2% and 67.0% (P less than 0.01) in the control group respectively. The marked effective rate in decrease of blood pressure and total effective rate were 52.7%, 90.9% and 58.1%, 92.6% (P greater than 0.05) respectively. Experiments with animals showed that tablet cucumber vine compound possessed persistently decreasing effect on the blood pressure and marked effect on increasing coronary blood flow and improving myocardial contraction. Clinical observation and toxicological test proved that tablet cucumber vine compound had no toxicity and had few side effects and that it was an effective, safe medicine for essential hypertension.

   
   
Food Addit Contam 1988 Apr-Jun;5(2):155-60
Report of illnesses caused by aldicarb-contaminated cucumbers.
Hirsch GH, Mori BT, Morgan GB, Bennett PR, Williams BC.
Health Protection Branch, Burnaby, B.C., Canada.

During May and June of 1985 the Health Protection Branch and several other agencies were involved in the investigation of over 300 reports of illness reported in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. Symptoms reported included nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle fasciculation and blurred vision. A review of the onset of symptoms and food consumed suggested that at least 140 people had become ill from eating cucumbers adulterated with a carbamate pesticide. The presence of residues of aldicarb in cucumbers from one particular producer was confirmed by laboratory analysis.

   
   
Am J Epidemiol 1980 Feb;111(2):254-60
Suspected foodborne carbamate pesticide intoxications associated with ingestion of hydroponic cucumbers.
Goes EA, Savage EP, Gibbons G, Aaronson M, Ford SA, Wheeler HW.

In the period April 1--15, 1977, nine residents of one Nebraska town experienced violent illnesses with short duration following ingestion of locally grown hydroponic cucumbers. Despite a thorough investigation, the etiologic agent of illness was not determined. From July 16--25, 1978, a second similar outbreak occurred in an adjacent city. Five individuals experienced illness similar to that which occurred in 1977, also following ingestion of hydroponic cucumbers grown at the same greenhouse involved in the 1977 outbreak. The carbamate insecticide, aldicarb, was detected in some cucumbers grown at the hydroponic greenhouse. The source of this chemical in the greenhouse could not be determined.

   EGGPLANT 
   
Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol 1998 Nov;102(2):175-87
Antioxidant activity of nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant.
Noda Y, Kaneyuki T, Igarashi K, Mori A, Packer L.
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, 94720-3200, USA.

Delphinidine-3-(p-coumaroylrutinoside)-5-glucoside (nasunin), an anthocyanin was isolated as purple colored crystals from eggplant peels, Solanum melongena L. 'Chouja'. Using an electron spin resonance spectrometer and 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO), spin trapping, hydroxyl (.OH) or superoxide anion radicals (02*-) generated by the Fenton reaction or the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase system were measured as DMPO-OH or DMPO-OOH spin adducts. L-Ascorbic acid 2-[3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetra-methyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-2 H-1-benzopyran-6yl-hydrogen phosphate] potassium salt (EPC-K1) and bovine erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) were used as standards for .OH and O2*-, respectively. Nasunin directly scavenged O2*- with a potency of 143+/-8 SOD-equivalent units/mg), and inhibited formation of DMPO-OH (0.65+/-0.07 EPC-K1 micromol/mg). A spectrophotometric study showed that nasunin formed an iron complex with a molar ratio of nasunin : Fe3+ of 2 : 1. Therefore, hydroxyl radical scavenging by nasunin is not due to direct radical scavenging but inhibition of .OH generation by chelating iron. Nasunin (1 microM) significantly protected against lipid peroxidation of brain homogenates (p<0.001) as measured by malonaldehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenals. These findings demonstrate that nasunin is a potent O2*- scavenger and iron chelator which can protect against lipid peroxidation.

   
   
Arq Bras Cardiol 1998 Feb;70(2):87-91
Effect of eggplant on plasma lipid levels, lipidic peroxidation and reversion of endothelial dysfunction in experimental hypercholesterolemia.
Jorge PA, Neyra LC, Osaki RM, de Almeida E, Bragagnolo N.
Faculdades de Ciencias Medicas, UNICAMP, Campinas, SP.

PURPOSE: To study the effect of egg plant on endothelium-dependent relaxation, and plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic rabbits, and to assess influence of this plant on the malondialdehyde (MDA) content of LDL particles and the arterial wall. METHODS: Thirteen male rabbits were randomly assigned to control (C), hypercholesterolemic (H) and egg plant (E) treated groups (n = 10 each). The H and E rabbits were fed a diet supplemented with cholesterol (0.5%) and coconut oil (10%) for 4 weeks. In addition, group E received 10 mL of the fruit juice/day during the last 2 weeks. The animals were killed and the aorta removed to measure MDA content and the endothelium dependent relaxation responses. Total plasma cholesterol, VLDL, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels were determined using commercial kits. MDA was quantified in native and oxidized LDL and in the arterial wall. RESULTS: After 4 weeks, the E group rabbits had a significantly lower weight, plasma cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride and aortic cholesterol content than group H(p < 0.05). The MDA content that was significantly increased in the LDL particles and in the arterial wall of H rabbits was reduced in the E group (p < 0.05). Endothelium-dependent relaxation were significantly higher in the E group compared H group rabbits (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In hypercholesterolemic rabbits egg plant juice significantly reduced weight, plasma cholesterol levels, aortic cholesterol content and the MDA concentrations in native-oxidized LDL and in the arterial wall and increased the endothelium-dependent relaxations.

   
   
Exp Pathol (Jena) 1975;10(3-4):180-3
Influence of an eggplant (Solanum melongena) preparation on cholesterol metabolism in rats).
Kritchevsky D, Tepper SA, Story JA.

To investigate the mechanism behind the hypocholesteremic properties of Solanum melongena diets containing 1% Sol. mel. leaf or fruit powder, alfalfa, or clofibrate were fed to rats. Sol. mel. did n ot lower the serum plus liver cholesterol pool of rats, whereas alfalfa and clofibrate did. However, all substances tested decreased the absorption of a single dietary dose of [4-14C] cholesterol. It appears that Sol. mel. exerts its reported hypocholesteremic effect in rabbits through an inhibition of absorption of dietary cholesterol. This inhibition is probably brought about partially through the binding of bile salts which are essential for cholesterol absorption.

   GARLIC 
   
Eur J Cancer Prev 2003 Jun;12(3):195-200
Tomato and garlic can modulate azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats.
Sengupta A, Ghosh S, Das S.

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and garlic (Allium cepa) are important constituents of the human diet. Compounds like diallyl sulfides, diallyl disulfides and quercetin, which are active components of garlic, have known anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic activities. Similarly, active components in tomato, such as kaempferol and chlorogenic acid, have antimutagenic activities and lycopene is the most active oxygen quencher with potential chemopreventive activities. In view of this, an endeavour was made to evaluate the anticarcinogenic effect, if any, of tomato and garlic consumption individually and in combination on azoxymethane-induced colonic precancerous lesion, the aberrant crypt foci in animal model. Sprague-Dawley rats (4-5 weeks old) were injected with azoxymethane (15 mg/kg b.w.) and orally administered with 2% (w/v) of tomato, garlic and a combination of both. After 12 weeks of first azoxymethane injection, colons were assessed for aberrant crypt foci and compared with the carcinogen control group. Lipid peroxidation level and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity were assessed in liver as well as in colon. Furthermore, in situ cell proliferation and apoptosis were estimated using the Brdu incorporation method and TUNEL method respectively. It was observed that aberrant crypt foci were reduced in all treated groups (by 32.11% in garlic, by 76.14% in tomato and by 55.96% in the combination group). Among treated groups, GST activity was found to be induced in both liver and colon, whereas considerable reduction in lipid peroxidation level was observed in liver as well as in colon with respect to the carcinogen control group. Significant reduction in Brdu labelling index and increase in apoptotic index in colon was noted in the treated groups. These results suggest that tomato and garlic suspensions have a protective effect on colon carcinogenesis, which is mediated by modulation of different biological pathways during carcinogenesis.

   
   
Life Sci 2003 May 23;73(1):81-91 Related Articles, Links
Protective effect of aqueous garlic extract against oxidative organ damage in a rat model of thermal injury.
Sener G, Satyroglu H, Ozer Sehirli A, Kacmaz A.
Marmara University, School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology, Istanbul, Turkey.

Oxygen free radicals have been implicated in mediating various pathological processes including burn-induced organ damage. This study was designed to determine the possible protective effect of aqueous garlic extract against oxidative organ damage distant from the original burn wound. Under ether anaesthesia, rats were subjected to severe skin scald injury covering 30% of total body surface area. Rats were decapitated either 2 h or 24 h after burn injury. Aqueous garlic extract (1 ml/kg) was administered i.p. immediately after burn injury. In the 24-h burn group injection was repeated once more (at 12 hour) following the burn injury. Liver, intestine and lung tissues were taken for the determination of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and protein oxidation (PO). Burn injury caused a significant decrease in GSH level, and significant increases in MDA and PO levels, and MPO activity at post-burn 2 and 24 hours. Since garlic extract reversed these oxidant responses it seems likely that garlic extract protects tissues against oxidative damage.

   
   
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2002;3(4):305-311
Garlic - A Natural Source of Cancer Preventive Compounds.
Das S.
Department of Cancer Chemoprevention, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata 700026 India.

Several epidemiological observations and a number of laboratory studies have indicated anticarcinogenic potential of garlic, which has been traditionally used from time immemorial for varied human ailments in different parts of the globe. The anticarcinogenic properties of garlic have been attributed to a wide variety of chemical compounds identified to be present in garlic but most studies have focused on specific thioallyl constituents. Garlic components have been found to block covalent binding of carcinogens to DNA, enhance degradation of carcinogens, have antioxidative and free radical scavenging properties and to regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis and immune responses. In view of the variety of effects produced by garlic and its chemical constituents, renewed interest has been generated in investigating its medicinal properties, particularly with reference to cancer prevention and prophylaxis. There are a number of mechanisms at work which jointly are responsible for eliciting the anticarcinogenic effects noted in laboratory studies in a wide range of experimental systems. This has opened up a new avenue for researchers in the field of cancer chemoprevention and merits further scrutiny to establish the role of garlic in prevention of human cancers.

   
   
Ethiop Med J 2002 Jul;40(3):241-9
Investigation on the antibacterial properties of garlic (Allium sativum) on pneumonia causing bacteria.
Dikasso D, Lemma H, Urga K, Debella A, Addis G, Tadele A, Yirsaw K.
Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, P.O. Box 1242, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The antibacterial activity of the crude aqueous extract of garlic was investigated against some pneumonia causing bacteria by an agar dilution technique. The results revealed that Streptococcus pneumoniae standard test organism was completely inhibited by 7.8 mg/ml of media and the clinical isolate of Klebsiella pneumoniae was completely inhibited by 24.38 mg/ml of media, indicating that Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most sensitive and Klebsiella pneumoniae the least. Garlic could be used as an effective antibacterial agent for these pathogenic microorganisms.

   
   
Phytother Res 2003 Feb;17(2):97-106
Garlic as an antioxidant: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Banerjee SK, Mukherjee PK, Maulik SK.
Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.

Garlic has played an important dietary and medicinal role throughout the history of mankind. In some Western countries, the sale of garlic preparations ranks with those of leading prescription drugs. The therapeutic efficacy of garlic encompasses a wide variety of ailments, including cardiovascular, cancer, hepatic and microbial infections to name but a few. However, the elucidation of its mechanism for therapeutic action has proved to be more elusive and a unifying theory, which could account for its reported multifarious activities, is yet to emerge. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) seem to be at the core of many disease processes and it is an attractive and convenient hypothesis that garlic might exert its activities through modulatory effects on ROS. A literature search on garlic and its antioxidant potential churned up a surprisingly large amount of data, some of it good, some bad and some of its definitely ugly.Various preparations of garlic, mainly aged garlic extract (AGE), have been shown to have promising antioxidant potential. However, the presence of more than one compounds in garlic, with apparently opposite biological effects, has added to the complexity of the subject. Raw garlic homogenate has been reported to exert antioxidant potential but higher doses have been shown to be toxic to the heart, liver and kidney.So where do we stand today on this issue of garlic? Is garlic always good for health? How safe is it? Is it necessary to isolate the antioxidant compounds for its medicinal use in a more effective way? These issues are addressed in this review.

   
   
J Cardiovasc Nurs 2002 Jul;16(4):33-49
Cardiovascular benefits of garlic (Allium sativum L).
Brace LD.
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Although garlic is believed to have health-promoting benefits, many of the claimed benefits are not supported by good scientific studies. This review critically examined current scientific literature concerning claims of cardiovascular benefits from regular consumption of garlic or garlic preparations. The vast majority of recent randomized, placebo-controlled studies do not support a role for garlic in lowering blood lipids. There also is insufficient evidence to support a role in reducing blood pressure. While there have been indications of antiatherosclerotic effects associated with garlic consumption, there are insufficient data in humans. Investigation of antithrombotic effects of garlic consumption appears to hold promise, but too few data exist to draw firm conclusions.

   
   
Ageing Res Rev 2003 Jan;2(1):39-56
Garlic and aging: new insights into an old remedy.
Rahman K.
School of Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, L3 3AF, Liverpool, UK

There has been an impressive gain in individual life expectancy with parallel increases in age-related chronic diseases of the cardiovascular, brain and immune systems. These can cause loss of autonomy, dependence and high social costs for individuals and society. It is now accepted that aging and age-related diseases are in part caused by free radical reactions. The arrest of aging and stimulation of rejuvenation of the human body is also being sought. Over the last 20 years the use of herbs and natural products has gained popularity and these are being consumed backed by epidemiological evidence. One such herb is garlic, which has been used throughout the history of civilization for treating a wide variety of ailments associated with aging. The role of garlic in preventing age-related diseases has been investigated extensively over the last 10-15 years. Garlic has strong antioxidant properties and it has been suggested that garlic can prevent cardiovascular disease, inhibit platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, prevent cancer, diseases associated with cerebral aging, arthritis, cataract formation, and rejuvenate skin, improve blood circulation and energy levels. This review provides an insight in to garlic's antioxidant properties and presents evidence that it may either prevent or delay chronic diseases associated with aging.

   KALE 
   
Am J Clin Nutr 1990 Apr;51(4):656-7
Calcium absorption from kale.
Heaney RP, Weaver CM.
Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178.

Absorption of calcium from intrinsically labeled kale was measured in 11 normal women and compared in these same subjects with absorption of calcium from labeled milk. The average test load was 300 mg. Fractional calcium absorption from kale averaged 0.409 +/- 0.101 (means +/- SD) and from milk, 0.321 +/- 0.089 (P less than 0.025). In contrast with the poor absorption previously reported for spinach calcium, kale, a low-oxalate vegetable, exhibits excellent absorbability for its calcium.

   LEEKS 
   
J Altern Complement Med 2001 Oct;7(5):517-22
A pilot study on anticancer activities of Chinese leek.
Shao J, Dai J, Ma JK.
Department of Pharmacy and Administrative Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY 11439, USA.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the anticancer activities of Chinese leek (Allium tuberosum Rottler; [CL]). DESIGN: Fresh CL was extracted and reconstituted in phosphate-buffered saline. The in vitro antiproliferation activities of the extract were tested with two murine cancer cell lines and four human cancer cell lines. The in vivo anticancer effects were tested in C57BL mice with lung metastases of B16-F10 melanoma. The mice were inoculated with B16-F10 melanoma cells by intravenous (IV) injection on day 1. CL extract was given on days 6-8 by either IV injection or oral gavage. The lung metastases were examined on day 16. RESULTS: The extract inhibited the in vitro growth of all six cancer cell lines studied. The dose-response curves were sigmoidal with IC50 (50% inhibition concentrations) in the range of 2.5-13.0 mg of raw material per milliliter for the six cancer cell lines. At the CL concentration of 8-100 mg of raw material per milliliter, all the cells underwent apoptosis, and no live cells were left after being exposed to CL for 4-6 hours. Typical apoptosis-specific cell morphology changes were observed under a microscope. The induction of cancer cell apoptosis by CL extract was further verified by the DNA ladder assay. Treatment with a daily oral dose of the extract (equivalent to 2.5 or 12.5 mg of raw material per gram of body weight) reduced the B16-F10 melanoma lung metastatic colonies in mice by 40% (p < 0.03). IV injection of the extract (equivalent to 1.25 or 6.25 mg of raw material per gram of body weight) did not show any effect. CONCLUSIONS: CL extract inhibited cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis in vitro. Oral administration of CL extract significantly reduced lung metastases in the present animal model.

   LETTUCE 
   
Br J Nutr 2002 Dec;88(6):615-23
Effect of acute ingestion of fresh and stored lettuce (Lactuca sativa) on plasma total antioxidant capacity and antioxidant levels in human subjects.
Serafini M, Bugianesi R, Salucci M, Azzini E, Raguzzini A, Maiani G.
Antioxidant Research Laboratory at the Unit of Human Nutrition, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione (INRAN), Rome, Italy.

The present study investigated whether storage under modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) affected the antioxidant properties of fresh lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Eleven healthy volunteers (six men, five women) consumed 250 g fresh lettuce, and blood was sampled before (0 h) and 2, 3 and 6 h after consumption. The protocol was repeated 3 d later with the same lettuce stored at 5 degrees C under MAP conditions (O2-N2 (5:95, v/v)). Results showed that after ingestion of fresh lettuce, plasma total radical-trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP), measured as area under the curve, was significantly higher (1.3 (sem 0.3) mmol/l per 6 h; P<0.05) than the value obtained with MAP-stored lettuce (0.1 (sem 0.2) mmol/l per 6 h). Plasma TRAP, quercetin and p-coumaric acid were significantly different from baseline values (P<or=0.05) 2 and 3 h after fresh lettuce ingestion. Caffeic acid increased significantly at 3 h (P<0.05). Plasma beta-carotene levels increased significantly at 6 h (P<0.05). Vitamin C concentrations (mg/l) rose from 10.9 (sem 2.0) to 12.7 (sem 3.0) (P<0.001), 12.7 (sem 2.0) (P<0.01) and 12.9 (sem 3.0) (P<0.05) at 0, 2, 3 and 6 h respectively. No changes were observed after ingestion of MAP-stored lettuce for all the measured markers. Our present results showed that ingestion of MAP-stored lettuce does not modify plasma redox status in healthy subjects. Further research is needed to develop post-harvesting techniques able to preserve the bioactive molecule content of plant food.

   
   
J Agric Food Chem 2002 Dec 18;50(26):7536-41
Antioxidant capacity of lettuce leaf tissue increases after wounding.
Kang HM, Saltveit ME.
Mann Laboratory, Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8631, USA.

Wounding induced the accumulation of phenolic compounds in Iceberg and Romaine lettuce leaf tissue. Phenolic concentrations were quantified after holding the leaf tissue at 10 degrees C for 48 h as the absorbance of a methanol extract at 320 nm, and by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Heat-shock treatments applied by immersing tissue in 45 degrees C water for 2.5 min before or after wounding reduced the accumulation of phenolic compounds. Compared to the nonwounded, nonheat-shocked controls, these and other wounding and heat-shock treatments produced leaf tissue with a 4-fold range in phenolic content. The antioxidant capacity of the tissue, measured as DPPH (alpha,alpha-diphenyl-beta-picrylhydrazyl)-radical scavenging activity, or as ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), increased after wounding. The increase was linearly correlated with the increase in phenolic compounds in Iceberg (R(2) > 0.97) and in Romaine (R(2) > 0.95) lettuce leaf tissue. Increased consumption of diets rich in phenolic antioxidants may contribute to reducing human diseases. Treatments that reduce the browning of wounded lettuce leaf tissue by preventing the oxidation of the accumulated wound-induced phenolic compounds may produce a healthier fresh-cut product than treatments that prevent the wound-induced synthesis and accumulation of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties.

   
   
J Clin Microbiol 1995 Mar;33(3):609-14
Outbreak of Shigella sonnei infection traced to imported iceberg lettuce.
Kapperud G, Rorvik LM, Hasseltvedt V, Hoiby EA, Iversen BG, Staveland K, Johnsen G, Leitao J, Herikstad H, Andersson Y, et al.
National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.

In the period from May through June 1994, an increase in the number of domestic cases of Shigella sonnei infection was detected in several European countries, including Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In all three countries epidemiological evidence incriminated imported iceberg lettuce of Spanish origin as the vehicle of transmission. The outbreaks shared a number of common features: a predominance of adults among the case patients, the presence of double infections with other enteropathogens, and the finding of two dominant phage types among the bacterial isolates. In Norway 110 culture-confirmed cases of infection were recorded; more than two-thirds (73%) were adults aged 30 to 60 years. A nationwide case-control study comprising 47 case patients and 155 matched control individuals showed that the consumption of imported iceberg lettuce was independently associated with an increased risk of shigellosis. Epidemiological investigation of a local outbreak incriminated iceberg lettuce from Spain, consumed from a salad bar, as the source. The presence of shigellae in the suspected food source could not be documented retrospectively. However, high numbers of fecal coliforms were detected in iceberg lettuce from patients' homes. Three lettuce specimens yielded salmonellae. The imported iceberg lettuce harbored Escherichia coli strains showing resistance to several antimicrobial agents, including ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. During the outbreak it is likely that thousands of Norwegians and an unknown number of consumers in other countries were exposed to coliforms containing antibiotic resistance genes.

   ONION 
   
Vopr Pitan 2002;71(5):3-6
Vitamin composition of wild onion species.
Kodentsova VM, Vrzhesinskaia OA, Beketova NA, Golubev FV, Gorbunov IuN.

The data on vitamins C, B1, B2, A, E and carotenoids content in fresh-cut leaves of some species of genus of Allium cultivated in the Main Botanical garden (Moscow) are submitted. Their significance as these nutrients source is evaluated. Onion leaves usually used as flavor-odour additive (10-20 g) give only 1-4 per cent of vitamin B group and E daily recommended allowance. At the same time this quantity supply with vitamin C (20 per cent of vitamin C daily recommended allowance) and carotenoids (20-50 per cent).

   TOMATOES 
   
World J Urol. 2003 May;21(1):9-14. Epub 2003 Mar 22
Tomatoes, lycopene and prostate cancer: a clinician's guide for counseling those at risk for prostate cancer.
Pohar KS, Gong MC, Bahnson R, Miller EC, Clinton SK.
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, 4841 UHC, 456 West 10th Avenue, OH 43210, Columbus, USA.

Prostate cancer has become a major public health issue and the search for etiologic risk factors and the development of chemopreventive agents has gained momentum over the last decade. An important epidemiologic finding has been the association between the consumption of tomato products and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Several investigators have proposed that lycopene, a carotenoid consumed largely from tomato products, may be the component responsible for lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Laboratory and clinical studies have been initiated with the goal of assessing the ability of pure lycopene to serve as a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. The focus on lycopene should continue, and an improved understanding of lycopene absorption, distribution, role in antioxidant reactions, and metabolism is critical in the quest to elucidate mechanisms whereby this compound may possibly reduce prostate cancer risk.

   
   
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(1):1-18
Tomatoes and cardiovascular health.
Willcox JK, Catignani GL, Lazarus S.
Dept. of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7624, USA.

Diet is believed to play a complex role in the development of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the Western world. Tomatoes, the second most produced and consumed vegetable nationwide, are a rich source of lycopene, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin E. The processing of tomatoes may significantly affect the bioavailability of these nutrients. Homogenization, heat treatment, and the incorporation of oil in processed tomato products leads to increased lycopene bioavailability, while some of the same processes cause significant loss of other nutrients. Nutrient content is also affected by variety and maturity. Many of these nutrients may function individually, or in concert, to protect lipoproteins and vascular cells from oxidation, the most widely accepted theory for the genesis of atherosclerosis. This hypothesis has been supported by in vitro, limited in vivo, and many epidemiological studies that associate reduced cardiovascular risk with consumption of antioxidant-rich foods. Other cardioprotective functions provided by the nutrients in tomatoes may include the reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, homocysteine, platelet aggregation, and blood pressure. Because tomatoes include several nutrients associated with theoretical or proven effects and are widely consumed year round, they may be considered a valuable component of a cardioprotective diet.

   
   
J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):3010-4
Thermal processing enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total antioxidant activity.
Dewanto V, Wu X, Adom KK, Liu RH.
Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

Processed fruits and vegetables have been long considered to have lower nutritional value than their fresh commodities due to the loss of vitamin C during processing. This research group found vitamin C in apples contributed < 0.4% of total antioxidant activity, indicating most of the activity comes from the natural combination of phytochemicals. This suggests that processed fruits and vegetables may retain their antioxidant activity despite the loss of vitamin C. Here it is shown that thermal processing elevated total antioxidant activity and bioaccessible lycopene content in tomatoes and produced no significant changes in the total phenolics and total flavonoids content, although loss of vitamin C was observed. The raw tomato had 0.76 +/- 0.03 micromol of vitamin C/g of tomato. After 2, 15, and 30 min of heating at 88 degrees C, the vitamin C content significantly dropped to 0.68 +/- 0.02, 0.64 +/- 0.01, and 0.54 +/- 0.02 micromol of vitamin C/g of tomato, respectively (p < 0.01). The raw tomato had 2.01 +/- 0.04 mg of trans-lycopene/g of tomato. After 2, 15, and 30 min of heating at 88 degrees C, the trans-lycopene content had increased to 3.11+/- 0.04, 5.45 +/- 0.02, and 5.32 +/- 0.05 mg of trans-lycopene/g of tomato (p < 0.01). The antioxidant activity of raw tomatoes was 4.13 +/- 0.36 micromol of vitamin C equiv/g of tomato. With heat treatment at 88 degrees C for 2, 15, and 30 min, the total antioxidant activity significantly increased to 5.29 +/- 0.26, 5.53 +/- 0.24, and 6.70 +/- 0.25 micromol of vitamin C equiv/g of tomato, respectively (p < 0.01). There were no significant changes in either total phenolics or total flavonoids. These findings indicate thermal processing enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the bioaccessible lycopene content and total antioxidant activity and are against the notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value than fresh produce. This information may have a significant impact on consumers' food selection by increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risks of chronic diseases.

   
   
J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Aug;49(8):3713-7
Processing effects on lycopene content and antioxidant activity of tomatoes.
Takeoka GR, Dao L, Flessa S, Gillespie DM, Jewell WT, Huebner B, Bertow D, Ebeler SE.
Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, California, USA.

Consumption of tomato products has been associated with decreased risk of some cancer types, and the tomato antioxidant, lycopene, is thought to play an important role in the observed health effects. In this study, four carotenoids, trans-lycopene, phytofluene, phytoene, and zeta-carotene, were quantified in tomato products. Samples of raw tomatoes, tomato juice after hot break scalder, and final paste were obtained from two different processing plants over two years. Comparison of carotenoid levels throughout processing indicated that lycopene losses during processing of tomatoes into final paste (25-30 degrees Brix) ranged from 9 to 28%. The initial Brix level of the raw tomatoes appeared to influence the amount of lycopene loss that occurred, possibly due to the differences in processing time required to achieve the final desired Brix level of the paste. In general, no consistent changes in the other carotenoids were observed as a function of processing. The antioxidant activity of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, and three fractions obtained from these products (i.e., aqueous, methanol, and hexane fractions) was also determined. In both a free radical quenching assay and a singlet oxygen quenching assay, significant antioxidant activity was found in both the hexane fraction (containing lycopene) and the methanol fraction, which contained the phenolic antioxidants caffeic and chlorogenic acid. The results suggest that in addition to lycopene, polyphenols in tomatoes may also be important in conferring protective antioxidative effects.

   
   
J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4723-7
Antioxidative activity and carotenoid and tomatine contents in different typologies of fresh consumption tomatoes.
Leonardi C, Ambrosino P, Esposito F, Fogliano V.
Dipartimento di Orto-Floro-Arboricoltura e Tecnologie Agroalimentari, Universita di Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy.

The phytonutrient intake associated with tomato consumption depends also on cultivar and fruit ripening stage. This work associates the antioxidative ability, the level of carotenoids, and the amount of glycoalkaloids to the main carpometric characteristics of four different typologies of tomatoes: "cherry", "cluster", "elongated," and "salad". These typologies have different weights and shapes, and they are usually consumed in the Mediterranean area at different ripening stages. Results showed that the considered tomato typologies also differ in their antioxidative ability and their carotenoid and glycoalkaloid contents. Growing conditions are also important in determining fruit characteristics: the analysis of the same cultivar of cherry tomato produced under the influence of moderate salt stress showed increases in the lipophilic antioxidative ability and the amount of carotenoid, whereas the level of glycoalkaloid decreased.

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FASTING / LOW CALORIE PROGRAMS
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)
        Obesity
Diabetes
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
Allergies
Rheumatoid arthritis
Gastrointestinal diseases
Infertility
Presbyacusis
    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
Radio-sensitivity
Apoptosis
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
     

Vegetables
Fruits
Bread, cereals, pasta, fiber
Glycemic index
Fish
Meat and poultry
Sugar and sweet
Legumes
Fats and oils
Dairy and eggs
Mushrooms
Nuts and seeds
Alcohol
Coffee
Water
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
Selenium
Flavonoids, carotenes
DHEA
Vitamin B
Carnitin
SAM
Vinpocetine (Cavinton)
Deprenyl (Eldepryl)
    5.2 Drugs with controversial or unproven anti-aging effect, or awaiting other evaluation (side-effects)
        Phyto-medicines, Herbs
HGH
Gerovital
Melatonin
      5.3 Drugs for treatment and prevention of specific diseases of aging. High-tech modern pharmacology.
        Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Arthritis
Cancer
Depression
Diabetes
Hyperlipidemia
Hypertension
Immune decline
Infections, bacterial
Infections, fungal
Memory loss
Menopause
Muscle weakness
Osteoporosis
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
Arthritis
Cancer
Depression
Diabetes
Cataracts and Glaucoma
Genetic disorders
Heart attacks
Hyperlipidemia
Hypertension
Immune decline
Infectious diseases
Memory loss
Muscle weakness
Osteoporosis
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
        Blood
Bones, limbs, joints etc.
Brain
Heart & heart devices
Kidney
Liver
Lung
Pancreas
Spleen
    6.6 Obesity reduction by ultrasonic treatment
  Physical activity and aging. Experimental and clinical data.
        Aerobic exercises
Stretching
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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