Probiotics are live bacteria that could exert health beneficial effects upon consumption. In additional to their conventional use as gut modulators, probiotics are investigated for their role to prevent cancer. In-vivo and molecular studies have demonstrated encouraging outcomes, mainly attributed to its antimicrobial effects against carcinogen-producing microorganisms, antimutagenic properties, and alteration of the tumor differentiation processes. Prebiotics are indigestible food components that could promote the growth of beneficial bacteria including probiotics. Present studies have suggested that prebiotics also possess protective effect against colon carcinogenesis, mainly attributed to the production of short chain fatty acids upon its fermentation by gut microflora, and alteration of gene-expressions in tumor cells. Synbiotic (combination of probiotic and prebiotic) has been found to exert a synergistic effect in improving colon carcinogenesis compared to when both were used individually. This paper highlights the colon cancer preventive effects by probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics. In addition, the controversial outcomes on the insignificant effect of these food adjuncts will be discussed.
The (1)H-NMR shifts of the imidazolium protons of some novel dimeric ionic liquids were examined in various deuterated solvents. Interactions between the solvent and the imidazolium salt of butyl substituted ionic liquids were observed to give higher chemical shifts than methyl substitution.
Molecular imprinted polymers (MIP) are considered one of the most promising selective and novel separation methods for removal phenolic compound in wastewater treatment. MIP are crosslinked polymeric materials that exhibit high binding capacity and selectivity towards a target molecule (template), purposely present during the synthesis process. In this work MIP were prepared in a bulk polymerization method in acetonitrile using 2,4-dinitrophenol, acrylamide, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and benzoyl peroxide as template, functional monomer, cross-linker and initiator, respectively. An adsorption process for removal of nitrophenol using the fabricated MIP was evaluated under various pH and time conditions. The parameters studied for 2,4-dinitrophenol includes adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherm, and selectivity. The maximum adsorption of nitrophenol by the fabricated MIP was 3.50 mg/g. The adsorption of 2,4-dinitrophenol by the fabricated MIP was found effective at pH 6.0. A kinetics study showed that nitrophenol adsorption follows a second order adsorption rate and the adsorption isotherm data is explained well by the Langmuir model.
Mycobacterium neoaurum is a soil saprophyte and obligate aerobic bacterium. This group of mycobacterium is relatively fast-growing. They form colonies on nutrient agar at 37 masculineC within 3 - 4 days. In natural soil habitats, bioavailability of iron is limited. To facilitate iron uptake, most mycobacteria produce siderophores. One example is exochelin, which is extracellular and water-soluble. In this report, the production of exochelin in M. neoaurum was induced in iron-deficiency, but repressed under ironsufficiency growth conditions. It is however not induced under zinc-deficiency growth conditions. The growth of this mycobacterium was correlated with exochelin secretion under iron-deficiency culture conditions. When M. neoaurum was grown in defined medium containing 0.04 microg Fe(III)/mL (final concentration), the production of exochelin reached a maximum and the corresponding cell growth was comparable to that under iron-sufficiency conditions. In this study, exochelin was purified from spent supernatant of M. neoaurum by semi-preparative chromatography. When saturated ferric chloride solution was added into the purified exochelin, a ferri-exochelin complex was formed. It is proposed that iron uptake in M. neoaurum is exochelin-mediated.
One of the ultimate goals of wound healing research is to find effective healing techniques that utilize the regeneration of similar tissues. This involves the modification of various wound dressing biomaterials for proper wound management. The biopolymer chitosan (beta-1,4-D-glucosamine) has natural biocompatibility and biodegradability that render it suitable for wound management. By definition, a biocompatible biomaterial does not have toxic or injurious effects on biological systems. Chemical and physical modifications of chitosan influence its biocompatibility and biodegradability to an uncertain degree. Hence, the modified biomedical-grade of chitosan derivatives should be pre-examined in vitro in order to produce high-quality, biocompatible dressings. In vitro toxicity examinations are more favorable than those performed in vivo, as the results are more reproducible and predictive. In this paper, basic in vitro tools were used to evaluate cellular and molecular responses with regard to the biocompatibility of biomedical-grade chitosan. Three paramount experimental parameters of biocompatibility in vitro namely cytocompatibility, genotoxicity and skin pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, were generally reviewed for biomedical-grade chitosan as wound dressing.
This review is variously a presentation, reflection, synthesis and report with reference to more recent developments of an article - in a journal which has ceased publication - entitled "Some Electrode Theorems with Experimental Corroboration, Inclusive of the Ag/AgCl System" Internet Journal of Chemistry, (http://www.ijc.com), Special Issues: Vol. 2 Article 24 (1999). The results from new lemmas relating charge densities and capacitance in a metallic electrode in equilibrium with an ionic solution are used to explain the data and observed effects due to Esin, Markov, Grahame, Lang and Kohn. Size effects that vary the measured e.m.f. of electrodes due to changes in the electronic chemical potential are demonstrated in experiment and theory implying the need for standardization of electrodes with respect to geometry and size. The widely used Stern modification of the Gouy-Chapman theory is shown to be mostly inapplicable for many of the problems where it is employed. Practical consequences of the current development include the possibility of determining the elusive single-ion activity coefficients of solution ions directly from the expression given by a simplified capacitance theorem, the potential of zero charge and the determination of single ion concentrations of active species in the electrode reactions from cell e.m.f. measurements.
Probiotics are live organisms that are primarily used to improve gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, lactose intolerance, and to inhibit the excessive proliferation of pathogenic intestinal bacteria. However, recent studies have suggested that probiotics could have beneficial effects beyond gastrointestinal health, as they were found to improve certain metabolic disorders such as hypertension. Hypertension is caused by various factors and the predominant causes include an increase in cholesterol levels, incidence of diabetes, inconsistent modulation of renin and imbalanced sexual hormones. This review discusses the antihypertensive roles of probiotics via the improvement and/or treatment of lipid profiles, modulation of insulin resistance and sensitivity, the modulation of renin levels and also the conversion of bioactive phytoestrogens as an alternative replacement of sexual hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although various drugs for its treatment have been synthesized, the occurring side effects have generated the need for natural interventions for the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Dietary intervention such as the administration of prebiotics has been seen as a highly acceptable approach. Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that bypass digestion and reach the lower gut as substrates for indigenous microflora. Most of the prebiotics used as food adjuncts, such as inulin, fructooligosaccharides, dietary fiber and gums, are derived from plants. Experimental evidence from recent studies has suggested that prebiotics are capable of reducing and preventing hypertension. This paper will discuss some of the mechanisms involved, the evidence generated from both in-vitro experiments and in-vivo trials and some controversial findings that are raised.
This study aimed to test the sterility of new unused orthodontic buccal tubes received from manufacturers. Four different types of buccal tubes were used straight from the manufactures package without any additional sterilizing step. Of these buccal tubes tested, three genera of bacteria, implicated as opportunistic pathogens, namely Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus haemolyticus and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus were recovered from these buccal tubes. Our data showing microbial contamination on buccal tubes highlights the need of sterilization before clinical use. We also suggest that manufacturers should list the sterility state of orthodontic buccal tubes on their packaging or instructions stating the need for sterilization.
A gel-based proteomics approach was used to screen for proteins of differential abundance between the saliva of smokers and those who had never smoked. Subjecting precipitated proteins from whole human saliva of healthy non-smokers to two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) generated typical profiles comprising more than 50 proteins. While 35 of the proteins were previously established by other researchers, an additional 22 proteins were detected in the 2-DE saliva protein profiles generated in the present study. When the 2-DE profiles were compared to those obtained from subjects considered to be heavy cigarette smokers, three saliva proteins, including interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, thioredoxin and lipocalin-1, showed significant enhanced expression. The distribution patterns of lipocalin-1 isoforms were also different between cigarette smokers and non-smokers. The three saliva proteins have good potential to be used as biomarkers for the adverse effects of smoking and the risk for inflammatory and chronic diseases that are associated with it.
The removal of four parabens, methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and benzyl-paraben, by β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) polymer from aqueous solution was studied. Different β-CD polymers were prepared by using two cross-linkers, i.e., hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and toluene-2,6-diisocyanate (TDI), with various molar ratios of cross-linker. β-CD-HMDI polymer with molar ratio of 1:7 and β-CD-TDI polymer with ratio 1:4 gave the highest adsorption of parabens among the β-CD-HMDI and β-CD-TDI series, and were subsequently used for further studies. The adsorption capacity of β-CD-HMDI is 0.0305, 0.0376, 0.1854 and 0.3026 mmol/g for methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and benzyl-paraben, respectively. β-CD-TDI have higher adsorption capacities compared with β-CD-HMDI, the adsorption capacity are 0.1019, 0.1286, 0.2551, and 0.3699 mmol/g methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and benzyl-paraben respectively. The parameters studied were adsorption capacity, water retention, and reusability. Role of both cross-linker in adsorption, hydrophobicity of polymers, and adsorption capacity of different parabens were compared and discussed. All experiments were conducted in batch adsorption technique. These polymers were applied to real samples and showed positive results.
An organic solvent tolerant lipase gene from Staphylococcus epidermidis AT2 was successfully cloned and expressed with pTrcHis2 in E. coli TOP10. Sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame (ORF) of 1,933 bp in length which coded for a polypeptide of 643 amino acid residues. The polypeptide comprised of a signal peptide (37 amino acids), pro-peptide and a mature protein of 390 amino acids. Expression of AT2 lipase resulted in an 18-fold increase in activity, upon the induction of 0.6 mM IPTG after a 10 h incubation period. Interestingly, this lipase was stable in various organic solvents (25% (v/v), mainly toluene, octanol, p-xylene and n-hexane). Literature shows that most of the organic solvent stable bacterial lipases were produced by Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus sp., but very few from Staphylococcus sp. This lipase demonstrates great potential to be employed in various industrial applications.
Chrysin is a natural flavonoid currently under investigation due to its important biological anti-cancer properties. In most of the cancer cells tested, chrysin has shown to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis, and is more potent than other tested flavonoids in leukemia cells, where chrysin is likely to act via activation of caspases and inactivation of Akt signaling in the cells. Moreover, structure-activity relationships have revealed that the chemical structure of chrysin meets the key structural requirements of flavonoids for potent cytotoxicity in leukemia cells. It is possible that combination therapy or modified chrysin could be more potent than single-agent use or administration of unmodified chrysin. This study may help to develop ways of improving the effectiveness of chrysin in the treatment of leukemia and other human cancers in vitro.
Hyperglycemia exerts toxic effects on the pancreatic beta-cells. This study investigated the hypothesis that the common antidiabetic drugs glibenclamide and metformin, in combination with tualang honey, offer additional protection for the pancreas of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats against oxidative stress and damage. Diabetes was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by a single dose of STZ (60 mg/kg; ip). Diabetic rats had significantly elevated levels of lipid peroxidation (TBARS), up-regulated activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) while catalase (CAT) activity was significantly reduced. Glibenclamide and metformin produced no significant effects on TBARS and antioxidant enzymes except GPx in diabetic rats. In contrast, the combination of glibenclamide, metformin and honey significantly up-regulated CAT activity and down-regulated GPx activity while TBARS levels were significantly reduced. These findings suggest that tualang honey potentiates the effect of glibenclamide and metformin to protect diabetic rat pancreas against oxidative stress and damage.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) were successfully synthesized in the natural polymeric matrix. Silver nitrate, gelatin, glucose, and sodium hydroxide have been used as silver precursor, stabilizer, reducing agent, and accelerator reagent, respectively. This study investigated the role of NaOH as the accelerator. The resultant products have been confirmed to be Ag-NPs using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), UV-vis spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The colloidal sols of Ag-NPs obtained at different volumes of NaOH show strong and different surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks, which can be explained from the TEM images of Ag-NPs and their particle size distribution. Compared with other synthetic methods, this work is green, rapid, and simple to use. The newly prepared Ag-NPs may have many potential applications in chemical and biological industries.
Nowadays, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants are raising interest in consumers for their roles in the maintenance of human health. Phenolics and flavonoids are known for their health-promoting properties due to protective effects against cardiovascular disease, cancers and other disease. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the traditional folk medicinal plants and it is widely used in cooking in Malaysia. In this study, four levels of glasshouse light intensities (310, 460, 630 and 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1)) were used in order to consider the effect of light intensity on the production, accumulation and partitioning of total phenolics (TP), total flavonoids (TF) and antioxidant activities in two varieties of Malaysian young ginger (Zingiber officinale). TF biosynthesis was highest in the Halia Bara variety under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) and TP was high in this variety under a light intensity of 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The highest amount of these components accumulated in the leaves and after that in the rhizomes. Also, antioxidant activities determined by the 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay in both of varieties, increased significantly (p ≤ 0.01) with increasing TF concentration, and high antioxidant activity was observed in the leaves of Halia Bara grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The ferric reducing (FRAP) activity of the rhizomes was higher than that of the leaves in 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) of sun light. This study indicates the ability of different light intensities to enhance the medicinal components and antioxidant activities of the leaves and young rhizomes of Zingiber officinale varieties. Additionally, this study also validated their medicinal potential based on TF and TP contents.
The supramolecular structure of the inclusion complex of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) with 1,1',2,2'-tetramethyl-3,3'-(p-phenylenedimethylene) diimidazolium dibromide (TetraPhimBr), a dicationic ionic liquid, has been investigated. The inclusion complex with 1:1 molar ratio was prepared by a kneading method. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, (1)H NMR and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) confirmed the formation of the inclusion complex. The results showed that the host-guest system is a fine crystalline powder. The decomposition temperature of the inclusion complex is lower than that of its parent molecules, TetraPhimBr and β-CD individually.
In this study we used a laser ablation technique for preparation of silver nanoparticles. The fabrication process was carried out by ablation of a silver plate immersed in palm oil. A pulsed Nd:YAG laser at a wavelength of 1064 nm was used for ablation of the plate at different times. The palm coconut oil allowed formation of nanoparticles with very small and uniform particle size, which are dispersed very homogeneously within the solution. The obtained particle sizes for 15 and 30 minute ablation times were 2.5 and 2 nm, respectively. Stability study shows that all of the samples remained stable for a reasonable period of time.
The relationship between phenolics and flavonoids synthesis/accumulation and photosynthesis rate was investigated for two Malaysian ginger (Zingiber officinale) varieties grown under four levels of glasshouse light intensity, namely 310, 460, 630 and 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to identify and quantify the polyphenolic components. The results of HPLC analysis indicated that synthesis and partitioning of quercetin, rutin, catechin, epicatechin and naringenin were high in plants grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The average value of flavonoids synthesis in leaves for both varieties increased (Halia Bentong 26.1%; Halia Bara 19.5%) when light intensity decreased. Photosynthetic rate and plant biomass increased in both varieties with increasing light intensity. More specifically, a high photosynthesis rate (12.25 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (79.47 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Furthermore, plants with the lowest rate of photosynthesis had highest flavonoids content. Previous studies have shown that quercetin inhibits and salicylic acid induces the electron transport rate in photosynthesis photosystems. In the current study, quercetin was an abundant flavonoid in both ginger varieties. Moreover, higher concentration of quercetin (1.12 mg/g dry weight) was found in Halia Bara leaves grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a low photosynthesis rate. Furthermore, a high content of salicylic acid (0.673 mg/g dry weight) was detected in Halia Bara leaves exposed under 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a high photosynthesis rate. No salicylic acid was detected in gingers grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Ginger is a semi-shade loving plant that does not require high light intensity for photosynthesis. Different photosynthesis rates at different light intensities may be related to the absence or presence of some flavonoid and phenolic compounds.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote health benefits upon consumption, while prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics and/or prebiotics could be used as alternative supplements to exert health benefits, including cholesterol-lowering effects on humans. Past in vivo studies showed that the administration of probiotics and/or prebiotics are effective in improving lipid profiles, including the reduction of serum/plasma total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides or increment of HDL-cholesterol. However, other past studies have also shown that probiotics and prebiotics had insignificant effects on lipid profiles, disputing the hypocholesterolemic claim. Additionally, little information is available on the effective dosage of probiotics and prebiotics needed to exert hypocholesterolemic effects. Probiotics and prebiotics have been suggested to reduce cholesterol via various mechanisms. However, more clinical evidence is needed to strengthen these proposals. Safety issues regarding probiotics and/or prebiotics have also been raised despite their long history of safe use. Although probiotic-mediated infections are rare, several cases of systemic infections caused by probiotics have been reported and the issue of antibiotic resistance has sparked much debate. Prebiotics, classified as food ingredients, are generally considered safe, but overconsumption could cause intestinal discomfort. Conscientious prescription of probiotics and/or prebiotics is crucial, especially when administering to specific high risk groups such as infants, the elderly and the immuno-compromised.