Sunday, 9 December 2018

Beavers sighted in Italy after almost 500 years By Il Globo Editorial Team Published December 7, 2018 The European beaver has been spotted in Italy for the first time in almost 500 years. The male beaver has been spotted several times in the last week. (Photo: ANSA/Renato Pontarini) Camera traps captured images of a male beaver in the forests of Tarvisiano, in the north-eastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia which shares a border with both Austria and Slovenia. The beaver, who seems to be a lone ranger, has been caught on camera several times over the past week. Wildlife experts suspect he crossed the border to Italy from Austria. Locals believed the area had a visitor when they noticed unusual tracks on the ground and marks on branches, so they contacted conservation experts from the University of Turin, who then set up hidden cameras in the area. Researchers have nicknamed the historic creature “Ponta” in honour of Renato Pontarini, the photographer who first caught him on camera. The cute critter’s new name also refers to the bridges that beavers are famous for creating, as the word ponte is the Italian for “bridge”. European beavers were once common from Britain to China, but were hunted to near extinction for their fur and castoreum, an anal secretion the animals use to mark their territories, which – believe it or not – was once used to add scent to perfume and flavour to food. While the species has been successfully reintroduced in parts of its former habitat, including in Croatia, it remained extinct in Italy from the 16th century until now. Il Globo Editorial Team By Il Globo Editorial Team

First ethnobotanical inventory and phytochemical analysis of plant species used by indigenous people living in the Maromizaha forest, Madagascar.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Dec 3. pii: S0378-8741(18)30255-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2018.12.002. [Epub ahead of print] Riondato I1, Donno D2, Roman A3, Razafintsalama VE4, Petit T5, Mellano MG2, Torti V3, De Biaggi M2, Rakotoniaina EN6, Giacoma C3, Beccaro GL2. Author information 1 Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Science, University of Torino, Torino, Italy. Electronic address: 2 Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Science, University of Torino, Torino, Italy. 3 Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy. 4 Centre National d'Application de Recherches Pharmaceutiques, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 5 Laboratoire de Chimie des Substances Naturelles et des Sciences des Aliments, Université de La Réunion, La Réunion, France; Département Génie Biologique, IUT, Université de La Réunion, La Réunion, France. 6 Département de Biologie et Écologie Végétales, Université d'Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar; Institute Malgaches des Recherches Appliqués, Antananarivo, Madagascar. Abstract ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Characterized by one of the highest rates of endemism and biodiversity in the world, Madagascar provides a wide variety of medicinal plants, that could represent a potential source of new drugs. The main aim of this study was to investigate the potential medicinal properties of the plant species used by indigenous people in Maromizaha forest and to provide the first ethnobotanical inventory of the area. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected through open semi-structured interviews with local informants, the reported plants were collected and identified to create a specimen herbarium. Informant Consensus Factor (ICF) was calculated for each ailment category mentioned in the use-reports. A selection of seven medicinal plants was submitted to phytochemical and antimicrobial analysis. The results were discussed and compared with those described in ethnobotanical and pharmacological literature. RESULTS: One hundred and three villagers were interviewed and a total of 509 use-reports were recorded. Information on 117 plant species belonging to 57 botanical families were provided. 12 categories of indigenous uses were recognized, among them the higher ICF values were recorded for cardiovascular complaints (0.75), general and unspecific diseases (0.74), digestive disorders (0.69), and diseases of the skin (0.55). The traditional medicinal uses of 18 species (15 endemic) were described for the first time. In total, 22 different bioactive compounds were identified; polyphenols, monoterpenes, organic acids, and vitamin C were observed in the chemical composition of all the analyzed samples. Macaranga perrieri showed the highest values of both total polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity. Antimicrobial activity was observed in leaf and bark extracts of Dilobeia thouarsii. CONCLUSION: These results confirmed the importance of investigating the traditional use of plant species, suggesting the crucial role of ethnobotanical studies for rural development, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainable use of plant resources in the studied area. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V. KEYWORDS: Antimicrobial activity; Ascorbic acid; BENZOIC ACIDS; CATECHINS; CINNAMIC ACIDS; Caffeic acid; Castalagin; Catechin; Chlorogenic acid; Citric acid; Coumaric acid; Dehydroascorbic acid; Dilobeia thouarsii; Ellagic acid; Epicatechin; Ethnobotany; FLAVONOLS; Ferulic acid; Gallic acid; Hyperoside; Isoquercitrin; Limonene; MONOTERPENES; Macaranga perrieri; Malic acid; Medicinal plants; ORGANIC ACIDS; Oxalic acid; Phellandrene; Phytochemicals; Quercetin; Quercitrin; Quinic acid; Rutin; Sabinene; Succinic acid; TANNINS; Tartaric acid; Terpinolene; VITAMINS; Vescalagin; Vitamin C; γ-Terpinene

Polycyclic and organochlorine hydrocarbons in sediments of the northern South China Sea.

Mar Pollut Bull. 2018 Dec;137:668-676. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.10.039. Epub 2018 Nov 15. Kaiser D1, Schulz-Bull DE2, Waniek JJ3. Author information 1 Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany. Electronic address: 2 Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany. Electronic address: 3 Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany. Electronic address: Abstract We investigated the concentration distribution and composition of organic pollutants in sediments of the shelf and the deep northern South China Sea (NSCS). Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Σ15PAH; 10.69-66.45 ng g-1), Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (Σ4DDT; 0-0.82 ng g-1), and polychlorinated biphenyls (Σ24PCB; 0-0.12 ng g-1) are below established sediment quality guidelines, suggesting no environmental risk. Surprisingly, concentrations increase from the shelf to the deep NSCS, and are higher in the east of the study area. The organic pollutant composition indicates PAH mainly derived from pyrogenic sources, and mostly degraded DDT and PCB. However, in the deep NSCS, considerable contribution of petrogenic PAH, low chlorinated PCB and p,p'-DDT suggest more recent input from different sources compared to the shelf. From these results we infer that organic pollution in the NSCS does not originate from the Pearl River Estuary but from the NE SCS, SW of Taiwan. KEYWORDS: Organic pollution; Sediment; Source appointment; South China Sea

The effect of covering material on the yield, quality and chemical composition of greenhouse grown tomato fruit.

J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Dec 3. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9519. [Epub ahead of print] Petropoulos SA1, Fernandes Â2, Katsoulas N3, Barros L2, Ferreira ICFR2. Author information 1 Laboratory of Vegetable Production, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Street, 38446 N. Ionia, Magnissia Greece. 2 Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253, Bragança, Portugal. 3 Laboratory of Agricultural Constructions and Environmental Control, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Street, 38446 N. Ionia, Magnissia Greece. Abstract BACKGROUND: During the last decades, greenhouse technology for horticultural crops has focused on retaining optimum conditions within the greenhouse environment that could allow to finding the compromise between maximum yields and minimum production costs. The aim of the present manuscript was to evaluate the effect of three greenhouse covering materials and five harvesting dates on the yield and quality parameters of hydroponically produced tomato fruit, as well as on energy consumption. RESULTS: Plants had a higher growth rate at early stages for S-PE cover material, while differences were minimized at later stages. Tocopherols content was the highest for ID-PE material and harvesting later than 170 days after transplanting (DAT), while sugars content (fructose and glucose) was the highest for S-PE material and 157 DAT. Organic acids content was the highest at early harvestings, especially for 7-PE and S-PE cover materials, while it exhibited decreasing trends at later harvesting dates. Antioxidant properties showed a varied response to cover materials and harvesting dates, while β-carotene, carotenoids, and chlorophylls were the highest for 7-PE material. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the results showed that both cover materials and harvesting date may affect significantly tomato fruit quality, especially sugars and organic acids contents which are associated with fruit taste, as well as tocopherols which contribute to antioxidant properties and pigments that are associated with fruit ripening and earliness of marketable maturity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. KEYWORDS: Solanum lycopersicum L.; antioxidant activity; carotenoids; cover materials; double layer films; tomato fruit PMID: 30511352 DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.9519

Hibiscus extract, vegetable proteases and Commiphora myrrha are useful to prevent symptomatic UTI episode in patients affected by recurrent uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2018 Sep 30;90(3):203-207. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2018.3.203. Cai T1, Tiscione D, Cocci A, Puglisi M, Cito G, Malossini G, Palmieri A. Author information 1 Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento. Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a combination of Hibiscus extract, vegetable proteases and Commiphora myrrha extract in the prophylaxis of symptomatic episode in women affected by recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs). MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this phase II clinical trial, all patients with history and diagnosis of rUTI were enrolled. All patients underwent the following treatment schedule: 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening for 7 days and, then, 1 tablet in the evening for 10 days (1 cycle every each month, for 6 months) of a combination of Hibiscus extract, vegetable proteases and Commiphora myrrha extract. At the baseline, all patients underwent urologic visit with quality of life (QoL) questionnaires and mid-stream urine culture. After 3 and 6 months, all patients underwent urologic visit, urine culture and QoL questionnaires evaluation. RESULTS: Fifty-five women were enrolled (mean age 49.3; range: 28-61). At the enrollment time, the most common pathogen was Escherichia coli (63.7%). The median number of UTI per 6 months was 5 (IQR: 4-9). At the end of the second follow-up evaluation, 25 women did not reported any symptomatic episode of UTI (49%), 18 reported less than 2 episodes (35.3%), while 8 reported more than 2 episodes (15.7%). However, at the first and second follow-up evaluation the clinical statistically significant improvement (QoL) was reported by 38/51 (74.5%) (p < 0.001 from baseline) and 43/51 (84.3%) (p < 0.001 from baseline) women, respectively. The median number of UTI decreased to 2 (IQR: 0-3). At the end of the follow-up period, 30/51 had sterile urine (58.8%), while 21/51 (41.2%) reported a transition from symptomatic UTI to asymptomatic bacteriuria. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, this treatment, in motivated patients, is able to prevent symptomatic UTI symptomatic episode and improve patient's QoL. KEYWORDS: Ellirose; Myrliq; Protelix; Serrazimes; Urinary tract infection; antibiotic stewardship; plant extracts; treatment. PMID: 30362679 DOI: 10.4081/aiua.2018.3.203 Free full text

Double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of ginger ( Zingiber officinale Rosc.) addition in migraine acute treatment.

Cephalalgia. 2018 Jan 1:333102418776016. doi: 10.1177/0333102418776016. [Epub ahead of print] Martins LB1, Rodrigues AMDS1, Rodrigues DF1, Dos Santos LC1, Teixeira AL2, Ferreira AVM1. Author information 1 1 Department of Nutrition, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 2 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Abstract Background Previous studies have demonstrated the analgesic effects of ginger in different conditions, but evidence about its efficacy in migraine treatment is scarce. Objective This study aimed to evaluate the potential of ginger to improve acute migraine as an add-on strategy to standard treatment. Methods A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial in the emergency room of a general hospital was conducted. Patients who sought medical care at the time of migraine attack were enrolled in this study. Only adults with episodic migraine (one to six migraine attacks per month) with or without aura were included. Sixty participants were randomized into two groups in which they received 400 mg of ginger extract (5% active ingredient) or placebo (cellulose), in addition to an intravenous drug (100 mg of ketoprofen) to treat the migraine attack. Patients filled a headache diary before, 0.5 h, 1 h, 1.5 h and 2 h after the medication. Pain severity, functional status, migraine symptoms and treatment satisfaction were also recorded. Results Patients treated with ginger showed significantly better clinical response after 1 h ( p = 0.04), 1.5 h ( p = 0.01) and 2 h ( p = 0.04). Furthermore, ginger treatment promoted reduction in pain and improvement on functional status at all times assessed. Conclusions The addition of ginger to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may contribute to the treatment of migraine attack. This trial is registered at (NCT02568644). KEYWORDS: Migraine; complementary treatment; ginger; ketoprofen PMID: 29768938 DOI: 10.1177/0333102418776016

A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Study Demonstrates the Clinical Efficacy of a Novel Herbal Formulation for Relieving Joint Discomfort in Human Subjects with Osteoarthritis of Knee.

J Med Food. 2018 May;21(5):511-520. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0065. Epub 2018 Apr 30. Karlapudi V1, Prasad Mungara AVV2, Sengupta K3, Davis BA4, Raychaudhuri SP5. Author information 1 1 Pujitha Hospital , Vijayawada, India . 2 2 Vijaya Super Speciality Hospital , SPSR Nellore, India . 3 3 Laila Nutraceuticals R&D Center , Vijayawada, India . 4 4 PLT Health Solutions, Inc. , Morristown, New Jersey, USA. 5 5 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California Davis , Davis, California, USA. Abstract LI73014F2 is a novel composition prepared from extracts of Terminalia chebula fruit, Curcuma longa rhizome, and Boswellia serrata gum resin with synergistic benefit in 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LOX) inhibition. This herbal composition with strong anti-5-LOX activity exhibited significant pain relief as indicated through improvements in weight-bearing capacity in a monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis (OA) model of Sprague-Dawley rats. A 90-day randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study evaluates the clinical efficacy and tolerability of LI73014F2 in the management of symptoms of OA of the knee (Clinical Trial Registration No. CTRI/2014/01/004338). Subjects, (n = 105), were randomized into three groups: placebo (n = 35), 200 mg/day of LI73014F2 (n = 35), and 400 mg/day of LI73014F2 (n = 35). All study participants were evaluated for pain and physical function by using standard tools, that is, Visual Analog Scale, Lequesne's Functional Index, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) at the baseline (day 0) and on day 14 ± 3, 30 ± 3, 60 ± 3, and at the end of the study (day 90 ± 3). In addition, routine examinations on biochemical parameters in serum, urine, and hematological parameters were conducted on each visit to assess the safety of the study material. At the end of the trial period, LI73014F2 conferred significant pain relief, improved physical function, and quality of life in OA patients. In conclusion, preclinical and clinical data together strongly suggest that the herbal formulation LI73014F2 is a safe and effective intervention for management of joint discomfort, demonstrating efficacy as early as 14 days. KEYWORDS: Boswellia serrata; Curcuma longa; T. chebula; osteoarthritis PMID: 29708818 DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0065 [Indexed for MEDLINE]