News From The American Chemical Society, Feb. 18, 2009

February 24, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment


Egg-irony: High cholesterol food may reduce blood pressure





Researchers in Canada are reporting evidence that eggs – often frowned upon for their high cholesterol content – may reduce another heart disease risk factor – high blood pressure.





They describe identification of egg proteins that act like a popular group of prescription medications in lowering blood pressure. The report appeared in the Feb. 11 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.





In the new study, Jianping Wu and Kaustav Majumder note that eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein and other nutrients. Egg consumption, however, has decreased during the last 40 years amid concerns about cholesterol. Recent studies do suggest that healthy people can eat eggs without increasing their heart disease risk. Other research hinted that certain egg proteins might have effects similar to ACE inhibitors, prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure.





Pursuing that lead in laboratory studies, the scientists identified several different peptides in boiled and fried eggs that act as potent ACE inhibitors. The scientists showed that enzymes in the stomach and small intestine produce these peptides from eggs. Fried eggs had the highest ACE inhibitory activity. It will take studies in humans to determine if the egg proteins do lower blood pressure in people, the scientists emphasized. Funding for the research came from livestock and poultry industry groups. -MTS





ARTICLE: “Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme Inhibitory Peptides from Simulated in Vitro Gastrointestinal Digestion of Cooked Eggs”





DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/jf8028557





CONTACT:


Jianping Wu, Ph.D.


Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science


University of Albert


Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2P5, Canada




New test to identify illegal steroids in cattle





In an effort to curb the illegal use of steroids in the European beef industry, scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting the development of a new test that can identify steroids with higher accuracy, more convenience, and less cost than conventional doping tests. Their report is in the current issue of Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal.





In the new study, Rodat Cunningham and colleagues note that the European Union banned use of growth-promoting agents in cattle. However, widespread abuse of steroids continues and remains difficult to detect, they say. The standard methods for detecting steroid abuse – mass spectrometry and gas chromatography – involve directly measuring these substances in cattle. But the tests are expensive and can’t detect some of the newer steroid hormones.





The scientists describe a new test that measures steroids indirectly based on chemical changes associated with growth and muscle development in steroid-treated cattle. Using a commercial blood analyzer commonly found in hospitals, the researchers measured 20 chemical markers, including proteins and cholesterol, in cattle treated with and without commonly used steroids over a 42-day study period. The new test detected the steroids with accuracy between 91 and 96 percent. The study opens the door to on-site steroid testing with portable instrumentation, the researchers say. – MTS





ARTICLE: “Feasibility of a Clinical Chemical Analysis Approach To Predict Misuse of Growth Promoting Hormones in Cattle”





DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/ac801966g





CONTACT:


Rodat T. Cunningham, Ph.D.


Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use


Queen’s University Belfast


Belfast, United Kingdom




Injections of licorice ingredient show promise as treatment for cocaine addiction





An ingredient in licorice shows promise as an antidote for the toxic effects of cocaine abuse, including deadly overdoses of the highly addictive drug, researchers in Korea and Pennsylvania are reporting. Their study is in the Jan. 2 issue of ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research, a monthly publication.





In the new study, Meeyul Hwang, Chae Ha Yang, and colleagues note that there is currently no effective medicine for treating cocaine abuse or addiction. Recent animal studies conducted by the researchers show that a licorice ingredient called isoliquiritigenin (ISL) can block the nervous system’s production of dopamine. That neurotransmitter is involved in emotion, movement, and other brain activities.





Cocaine and other addictive drugs stimulate dopamine and help produce the pleasurable and addictive effects. Drugs that block dopamine block this response. The scientists used rats as model animals to show that rats injected with ISL just prior to cocaine-administration showed 50 percent less of the behavioral effects associated with the illicit drug. They also showed that ISL injections protected nerve cells in the brain from cocaine-associated damage. -MTS





ARTICLE: “Proteomic and Behavioral Analysis of Response to Isoliquiritigenin in Brains of Acute Cocaine Treated Rats”





DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/pr800237s





CONTACT:


Meeyul Hwang, Ph.D.


The Research Center for Biomedical Resource of Oriental medicine


Daegu Haany University


Daegu, South Korea




Soybean product fights abnormal protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease





A vegan food renowned in Asia for its ability to protect against heart attacks also shows a powerful ability in lab experiments to prevent formation of the clumps of tangled protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease, scientists in Taiwan are reporting. Their study is in the Feb. 11 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.





Rita P. Y. Chen and colleagues point out that people in Asia have been eating natto – a fermented food made from boiled soybeans – for more than 1,000 years. Natto contains an enzyme, nattokinase, that has effects similar to clot-busting drugs used in heart disease.Nattokinase is sold a dietary supplement to improve the body’s circulatory system. The scientists term this the first study on whether nattokinase also can dissolve amyloids. Those tangled proteins are involved in Alzheimer’s disease and several other health problems.





In the study, the nattokinase degraded several kinds of amyloid fibrils, suggesting its possible use in the treatment of amyloid-related diseases. “Moreover, since natto has been ingested by humans for a long time, it would be worthwhile to carry out an epidemiological study on the rate of occurrence of various amyloid-related diseases in a population regularly consuming natto,” the scientists say. – JS





ARTICLE: “Amyloid-Degrading Ability of Nattokinase from Bacillus subtilis Natto”





DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/jf803072r





CONTACT:


Rita P. Y. Chen, Ph. D.


Academia Sinica


Taipei, Taiwan





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Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

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The American Chemical Society – the world’s largest scientific society – is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.





Source: Michael Woods


American Chemical Society

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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