Wednesday, 30 November 2016

No honourable man or woman could ever accept advice from people who never cared for us at the most difficult times

To so many Africans, Fidel Castro is a hero. Here’s why | Sean Jacobs

Turmeric: a spice for life?

Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it | George Monbiot

Evil Kermit: the perfect meme for terrible times

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The aloe vera gels many Americans buy at Walmart, Target and Walgreens contain no evidence of aloe vera at all via @business

Some 'aloe vera' products sold at Walmart, Target contain no aloe at all, study

Which Supplements, if Any, May Be Worth Your Money

Herbal Support for Sexual Health

Benefits of #herbal ingredients for #sexual #health. #botanicals via @NatProdInsider

GÖtz Harnischfeger 1939-2016

Issue: 112 Page: 78

by Hannah Bauman

HerbalGram. 2016; American Botanical Council

Götz Harnischfeger, PhD, died on April 26, 2016, at the age of 77. Harnischfeger was a botanist, chemist, and pharmacist who expanded the fields of plant biochemistry and medicinal plant research as both an educator and a member of the German phytomedicine industry. He spent most of his career at Schaper & Brümmer, a German company that developed the world’s leading clinically studied black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Ranunculaceae) extract.
Harnischfeger studied pharmacy at the University of Frankfurt in Germany before earning his PhD in the United States at Florida State University. He returned to Germany to complete his post-doctorate studies at the University of Göttingen in 1976, after which he served as a professor of botany for the university. In 1982, he was appointed as a professor of plant biochemistry.
After leaving academia, Harnischfeger joined the phytopharmaceutical industry in a variety of management and research positions, focusing his efforts on improving standardization of phytomedicines and embracing the challenge of staying ahead of rapidly evolving analytical methods. His reputation as an expert on natural product research grew, and he co-authored and assisted in the development of several landmark publications on the subject, including Stabilitätsprüfung in der Pharmazie(“Stability Testing in Pharmaceutics”) and an updated edition of Hermann Hager’s Handbook of Pharmaceutical Practice.
“I met Professor Harnischfeger in 1991 when I joined the natural product research-oriented pharmaceutical company Schaper & Brümmer, where he was manufacturing/production manager,” wrote Eckehard Liske, PhD, who was the head of the international medical department at Schaper & Brümmer (email to M. Blumenthal, June 27, 2016). “In the following years we had numerous discussions on central issues of rational phytotherapy regarding plant extraction, whole extract versus single marker substances, active ingredients, and quality control. Pretty soon I realized that Professor Harnischfeger was a world-renowned expert in this research field. Looking back, I must say that he made me familiar with the philosophy of rational phytotherapy resulting in evidence-based herbal medicine. I am very grateful to him for these discussions.”
Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, recalled the first time he met Harnischfeger. “I met Dr. Harnischfeger through the late Professor Varro E. Tyler, with whom he had formed a professional relationship and friendship over the years,” he said. “As a key scientist at Schaper & Brümmer, he made an excellent (and entertaining) presentation at one conference on his company’s production of black cohosh extract. He was instrumental in developing a unique program in which the company grew its own black cohosh in Germany — probably the first commercial-scale cultivation of this indigenous wild eastern North American medicinal plant outside of the United States — thereby reducing pressure on wild populations.”
Harnischfegers commitment to the safety and quality of herbal medicinal products drew him to a number of professional committees. He was a member of Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (German Chemical Society), Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft (German Botanical Society), and Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzen- und Naturstoff-Forschung (GA; Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research). He also served as an elected member of the Deutscher Arzneibuch Ausschuss Pharmazeutische Biologie (German Pharmacopeia Committee on Pharmacognosy) from 1992 to 2005, and a member of the expert group on phytochemistry for the European Pharmacopoeia for 15 years. In recognition for his work relating to public health, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999.
“The internationalization of GA is … due [in part] to his never-ending activities to promote this society to a global acceptance and impact,” noted Gerhard Franz in his remembrance of Harnischfeger for the July 2016 GA newsletter. “He attended all the annual member meetings and his criticism was feared by many members and even some presidents of the GA.”
In his personal life, Harnischfeger was a deeply devout Catholic and served as an archivist and church historian for his parish. He was also a member of the German Association of the Holy Land and was awarded the Star of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1996. He is survived by his wife Jeanne.

Hannah Bauman

Re: Bergamot Has Positive Quantitative and Qualitative Effects on Plasma Lipids, Decreases Oxidative Stress, and Improves Control of Plasma Glucose Levels

  • Bergamot Orange (Citrus bergamia, Rutaceae)
  • Dyslipidemia
Date: 11-15-2016HC# 041624-556

Giglio RV, Patti AM, Nikolic D, et al. The effect of bergamot on dyslipidemia. Phytomedicine. October 2016;23(11):1175-1181.

Dyslipidemia is often treated with statins, which inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme-A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Some patients with dyslipidemia have adverse reactions to prescription statins or do not reach target plasma lipid levels with statins alone. Herbal treatments may help patients reduce total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) levels. Citrus (Citrus spp., Rutaceae) fruits have been found to benefit lipid metabolism and may help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The fruit of bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is high in flavonoids and has been shown to be antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory, and to alter plasma glucose and lipid concentrations. The goal of this review was to summarize research of the effect of bergamot on plasma lipid concentrations and lipid metabolism.
PubMed and Scopus were searched up to September 2015 for preclinical and clinical studies with any of the following keywords: bergamot, cardiovascular risk, dyslipidemia, lipids, lipoproteins, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, lipid-lowering drugs, nutraceuticals, natural compounds, and statin.
Eleven preclinical studies were found. These studies were conducted in animal models and in isolated cell lines. Bergamot contains the flavonoids neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, naringin, rutin, neodesmin, poncirin, brutieridin, melitidin, and rhoifolin. In rats with hypercholesterolemia, brutieridin, melitidin, and neoeriocitrin have statin-like qualities and reduce TC, TGs, LDL-C, and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). Similar results were found in rats with hyperlipidemia. In addition, oxidation levels of LDL-C and malondialdehyde levels were lower in rats fed bergamot. These findings are consistent with a decrease in oxidative stress with bergamot consumption. Bergamot juice was also found to scavenge free radicals in vitro. Studies have also investigated the mechanisms by which bergamot acts on plasma lipid levels. A study in rats found increased excretion of sterols in fecal material with consumption of bergamot. Bergamot flavanones from the peel (brutieridin, melitidin, and HMG-neoeriocitrin) also have been found to bind to the active site of HMG-CoA reductase, causing inhibition of the enzyme in a manner similar to statins. In human hepatoma cells (HepG2), the bergamot constituents naringenin and hesperetin decreased synthesis of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins.
Three clinical studies were found. In one study, bergamot alone was compared to placebo, two dosages of rosuvastatin (10 or 20 mg per day), and bergamot plus the lower dose of rosuvastatin. Bergamot decreased TC and LDL-C to a similar extent as 10 mg per day of rosuvastatin. Bergamot also significantly reduced the ratio of LDL-C to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and markers of oxidative stress. Additionally, bergamot significantly enhanced the effect of rosuvastatin in patients with mixed hyperlipidemia. In a second study, the effect of bergamot versus placebo was compared in patients with metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease. Bergamot significantly reduced fasting glucose levels, LDL-C, TGs, and small, dense LDL levels, and increased HDL-C compared to placebo. In a final study, the effect of bergamot was assessed in patients who had to discontinue use of statins due to adverse effects. Patients were divided into four groups. One group had hypercholesterolemia, a second group had hyperlipidemia, the third group had hyperlipidemia plus metabolic syndrome, and the last group had discontinued statins due to muscle cramps and a significant increase in serum creatine kinase levels. In the first three groups, bergamot decreased plasma TC and LDL-C and increased HDL-C. In the group with metabolic syndrome, control of plasma glucose levels increased with bergamot consumption, and in the fourth group, TC and LDL-C decreased with bergamot consumption.
The results of these studies suggest that bergamot has positive quantitative and qualitative effects on plasma lipids, decreases oxidative stress, and improves control of plasma glucose levels. The dosages of bergamot used in human studies range between 500 mg and 1300 mg per day. It is unknown if these dosages are appropriate or if drug interactions could occur with bergamot consumption. In addition, the flavonoids are the most studied component of bergamot, but other active compounds are known to exist within bergamot. Studies of these compounds would be useful. The authors suggest that further studies should be conducted to determine appropriate dosage, drug interactions, and the mechanism of action of bergamot.
Cheryl McCutchan, PhD 

Re: Combining Whey Protein and Cocoa Decreases Spikes in Blood Glucose and Increases Adiponectin Production after Consumption

  • Cocoa (Theobroma cacao, Malvaceae)
  • Whey Protein
  • Lipid and Glucose Metabolism
  • Satiety
Date: 11-15-2016HC# 051633-556

Campbell CL, Foegeding EA, Harris GK. Cocoa and whey protein differentially affect markers of lipid and glucose metabolism and satiety. J Med Food. 2016;19(3):219-227.

Diets consisting of 30% or more calories from protein, and particularly, whey protein, have been shown to be effective in inducing satiety and reducing food intake. The high branched-chain amino acid content, specifically leucine, of whey proteins is associated with inducing satiety. Polyphenols found in cocoa (Theobroma cacao, Malvaceae), fruits, and tea (Camellia sinensis, Theaceae) have been shown to increase satiety, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism. These authors examined the combined health effects of cocoa polyphenolics and whey proteins and aimed to evaluate the effects of these ingredients upon lipid and glucose metabolism and markers of satiety in vitro and in a randomized, single-blind, crossover, clinical trial conducted at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In vitro, 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with 0.5-100 µg/mL cocoa polyphenolic extract (CPE) and/or 1-15 mM leucine and assayed for lipid accumulation and leptin production. Leptin is a hormone that increases the feeling of fullness between meals and affects weight management.1 The authors report that cellular lipid accumulation significantly decreased with preadipocyte treatment of 50 µg/mL (35%) and 100 µg/mL (50%) CPE. CPE plus 15 mM leucine reduced lipid accumulation by 22-36%. Leucine treatments of 1 mM to 15 mM significantly increased adipocyte leptin production by 26-37%. Though not statistically significant, CPE treatment of 0.5 µg/mL increased leptin secretion by 25% over a negative control plus solvent.
The effects of leucine upon leptin secretion in this study were not as great as those in previous studies. For example, in earlier studies, adipocyte treatment with 5 mM leucine was reported to increase leptin secretion 2- to 5-fold within 4 hours of treatment.2,3 The reduced effect observed in the current study may be due to the treatment method, say the authors, as complete growth media were supplemented with leucine rather than administering leucine in the absence of most essential nutrients. "Our approach was designed to prevent cellular nutrient starvation and provided a more realistic representation for higher animal studies. However, this approach may have diminished the observed effects of leucine upon leptin secretion," write the authors.
Nine healthy subjects aged between 18 and 35 years participated in the clinical trial, which included 4-hour sessions once weekly for 6 weeks. The subjects were not dieting, had not lost or gained significant weight during the preceding year, had not recently started or ended a regular exercise program, were not allergic to dairy or cocoa ingredients, and had no history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
For each session, the subjects arrived at the laboratory after fasting overnight and completed a baseline hunger questionnaire and underwent a blood draw. They were then randomly assigned to consume 1 of six 340-g beverages, each providing 130-150 calories. The beverages included a placebo (maltodextrin); whey protein isolate (WPI) (donated by Davisco Foods International, Inc.; Le Sueur, Minnesota); Dutch-process low-polyphenolic cocoa (LP) and high-polyphenolic cocoa (HP) (donated by The Hershey Company; Hershey, Pennsylvania); LP+WPI; and HP+WPI. The cocoa-containing beverages LP and HP each provided 36 g cocoa. The subjects ranked beverage liking, provided blood samples to measure glucose and adiponectin levels, and ranked their hunger levels at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 hours after beverage consumption.
The authors report blood glucose increases compared with baseline with the WPI (8%), HP+WPI (12%), LP+WPI (16%), HP (27%), LP (39%), and placebo (58%) interventions. The WPI intervention significantly lowered glucose levels 30 minutes after consumption (P<0.05). Compared with the LP intervention, HP significantly decreased the 30-minute spike in blood glucose (P<0.05). No significant differences were found between the HP+WPI and LP+WPI interventions. All beverages increased serum adiponectin levels above baseline, except for the placebo beverage, which lowered levels below baseline at all time points after consumption. Adiponectin concentrations peaked between 30 and 60 minutes after consumption. The greatest increases in adiponectin levels were seen with the WPI and HP beverages and were significantly higher than the placebo at 0.5-2 hours and 1 hour after consumption, respectively.
Compared with baseline, all hunger ratings significantly decreased at 30 and 60 minutes after consumption. No significant differences were found in the overall hunger ratings during the 4 hours among beverage treatments. The authors suggest that this lack of differences among treatments was likely due to the limited size of this pilot study, the low calorie content of the beverages, or the use of a robust placebo.
"Overall," state the authors, "our results reinforced those of previous studies: WPI and HP significantly decreased spikes in blood glucose and increased adiponectin production." These findings "indicate that combined cocoa and whey protein consumption may be a potential tool in the formulation of low calorie, satiety-inducing foods."
This study was partially supported by a grant from the Dairy Research Institute (Rosemont, Illinois).
Shari Henson
1Fantuzzi G. Adipose tissue, adipokines, and inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;115(5):911-919.
2Roh C, Han J, Tzatsos A, Kandror KV. Nutrient-sensing mTOR-mediated pathway regulates leptin production in isolated rat adipocytes. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003;284(2):E322-E330.
3Cammisotto PG, Bukowiecki LJ, Deshaies Y, Bendayan M. Leptin biosynthetic pathway in white adipocytes. Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;84(2):207-214. 

UK Government Uses Aid Money to Back Oil Drilling in UNESCO World Heritage Site via @truthout

New research shows that poverty, ethnicity and gender magnify the impact of austerity on BME women via @WomensBudgetGrp

Nature’s Emporium: The Botanical Drug Trade and the Commons Tradition in Southern Appalachia, 1847–1917

Environmental History 21 (4): 660-687. doi: 10.1093/envhis/emw063

Luke Manget

From the 1840s through the end of the nineteenth century, the southern Appalachian region emerged as the United States’ most important supplier of so-called crude botanical drugs to the growing pharmaceutical industry centered in the northeastern and Midwestern United States. This article investigates the role of ecology, markets, and local culture in sustaining this trend. It argues that mountain entrepreneurs and the remarkable biodiversity of the Appalachian ecosystems combined with harvesters’ intimate knowledge of the landscape and a local commitment to common rights to make the region the nation’s foremost supplier of crude drugs. The botanical drug trade provides an interesting divergence from the typical narrative of commodification. Instead of restructuring nature into productive landscapes governed by capitalist values, the commodification of medicinal herbs helped reinforce common rights and expand ecological knowledge of the landscape. This process shaped late nineteenth-century Appalachian life by increasing the importance of the forests in rural economies. Although mountain people continued to harvest medicinal herbs well into the twentieth century, resource depletion, habitat destruction, economic changes, and other factors fundamentally changed the dynamics of this gathering commons.                   

Monday, 28 November 2016

Conservatives, liberals team up against animal research

Phytochemical Content and Pharma-Nutrition Study on Eleutherococcus senticosus Fruits Intractum.

2016;2016:9270691. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 9 Marie Curie-Skłodowska Street, 85-094 Bydgoszcz, Poland.
  • 2Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Medical University of Lublin, 1 Chodźki Street, 20-093 Lublin, Poland.
  • 3Department of Pharmacognosy, Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, 9 Medyczna Street, 30-688 Cracow, Poland.
  • 4Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands.
  • 5Department of Biology and Genetics, Medical University of Lublin, 4a Chodźki Street, 20-093 Lublin, Poland.


In the past two decades public interest in herbal products has increased significantly in Europe, especially in the plant-based products from non-European traditions. Eleutherococcus senticosus has been used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis. The Eleutherococcus senticosus fruits intractum was examined for the content of phenolic acids (LC-ESI-MS/MS), minerals (AAS), TPC, and TFC (spectrophotometric assay). The antioxidant activity was determined using free radical scavenging assay and TLC-DB-DPPH dot-blot test. An anti-Hyal activity was evaluated by the spectrophotometric assay method. Cytotoxicity towards HL-60, HL-60/MX1, HL-60/MX2, CEM/C1, and CCRF/CEM leukemic cell lines was done using trypan blue test. Among eight phenolic acids, trans-caffeic acid was found in the largest amount (41.2 mg/g DE). The intractum presented a high amount of macroelements (Ca, Mg, K; 1750, 1300, and 21000 mg/kg) and microelements (Fe, Mn; 32.7, 54.3 mg/kg), respectively. The content of TPC and TFC was 130 and 92 mg/g DE, respectively. The intractum showed anti-Hyal activity (2.16-60%) and an antioxidant capacity (EC50; 52 μg/mL). The intractum most strongly inhibited the growth of HL-60, HL-60/MX1, and CCRF/CEM. A better understanding of the intractum health benefits is important in order to increase its utility and enrich dietary sources of health promoting compounds.

Optimization of the process of aromatic and medicinal plant maceration in grape marc distillates to obtain herbal liqueurs and spirits

2016 Nov;96(14):4760-4771. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7822. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences, University of Vigo (Campus Ourense), As Lagoas s/n, 32004, Ourense, Spain.
  • 2Laboratory of Agro-food Biotechnology, CITI-Tecnópole, Tecnological Park of Galicia, San Cibrao das Viñas, Ourense, Spain.
  • 3Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057, Braga, Portugal.
  • 4Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences, University of Vigo (Campus Ourense), As Lagoas s/n, 32004, Ourense, Spain.
  • 5Laboratory of Agro-food Biotechnology, CITI-Tecnópole, Tecnological Park of Galicia, San Cibrao das Viñas, Ourense, Spain.



Herbal liqueurs are alcoholic beverages produced by the maceration or distillation of aromatic and medicinal plants in alcohol, and are also highly valued for their medicinal properties. The process conditions, as well as the number and quantity of the plants employed, will have a great influence on the quality of the liqueur obtained. The aim of this research was to optimize these important variables.


A Box-Benhken experimental design was used to evaluate the independent variables: alcohol content, amount of plant and time during the experimental maceration of plants in grape marc distillate. Four plants were assessed, with the main compound of each plant representing the dependent variable evaluated with respect to following the evolution of the maceration process. Bisabolol oxide A in Matricaria recutita L., linalool in Coriander sativum L. and eucalyptol in Eucalyptus globulus Labill. were quantified using a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Glycyrrhizic acid in Glycyrrhiza glabra L was determined using a high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector. Other dependent variables were also evaluated: total phenolic content, color parameters and consumer preference (i.e. appearance).


The experimental designs allowed the selection of the optimal maceration conditions for each parameter, including the preference score of consumers: 70% (v/v) of ethanol, 40 g L-1 plant concentration and a maceration process of 3 weeks. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.


Box-Benhken design; aromatic and medicinal plant (AMP); color parameters; herbal liqueurs; herbal spirits; maceration process

Aloe vera-induced acute liver injury: A case report and literature review

2016 Nov 14. pii: S2210-7401(16)30150-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2016.10.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

  • 1AP-HP, Hôpital Antoine-Béclère, Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie et Nutrition, DHU Hepatinov, 92140 Clamart, France; Université Paris-Sud, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, 92140 Clamart, France.
  • 2AP-HP, Hôpital Antoine-Béclère, Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie et Nutrition, DHU Hepatinov, 92140 Clamart, France; Université Paris-Sud, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, 92140 Clamart, France; INSERM U996, IPSIT, Labex Lermit, 92140 Clamart, France.
  • 3Centre Médical Luxembourg, 75005 Paris, France.
  • 4AP-HP, Hôpital Antoine-Béclère, Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie et Nutrition, DHU Hepatinov, 92140 Clamart, France; Université Paris-Sud, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, 92140 Clamart, France; INSERM U996, IPSIT, Labex Lermit, 92140 Clamart, France. Electronic address:


Recent data suggest that herbal and dietary supplements are the second most common cause of liver injury. We herein report a case of acute liver injury in a 68-year old female caused by ingestion of Aloe vera. Upon discontinuation of the oral Aloe vera, liver function tests (LFT) returned to normal levels. Thus, it is crucial to consider the use of herbal products as causative agents of acute liver injury.

The botanical explorer's legacy: a promising bioprospecting tool.

2016 Nov 16. pii: S1359-6446(16)30429-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2016.11.011. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

  • 1Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:


Records about the traditional uses of medicinal plants can be considered useful in bioprospecting (i.e., the search for new active agents or lead structures in nature). Several sources like Egyptian papyri, early modern herbals and pharmacopoeias have been studied in this respect. It is proposed to use recordings of botanically interested explorers of the 19th and early 20th centuries as well. Some of them give detailed information about traditionally used medicinal plants and analysis shows that a considerable number of these have never been scientifically investigated. Existing studies, however, are confirming the traditional uses described to a great extent. Thus, the explorer's writings should not be neglected while looking for starting points for plant screening; success seems more likely than with screening at random.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

Faecal egg counts and immune markers in a line of Scottish Cashmere goats selected for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasite infection.

2016 Oct 15;229:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.08.027. Epub 2016 Sep 17.

Author information

  • 1Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, UK. Electronic address:
  • 2Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, James Clerk Maxwell Building, The King's Buildings, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh, UK.
  • 3Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, UK.


This study aimed to investigate the effect of selection for low faecal egg count (FEC) in Scottish Cashmere goats in comparison to a control line of unselected goats grazing the same pasture. Goats from generations F2 through to F9 were monitored for FEC, bodyweight, peripheral eosinophilia and IgG, IgA and IgE response against Teladorsagia circumcincta from the end of their first grazing season, through winter housing (during which a single artificial challenge dose of 10,000 drug susceptible T. circumcincta was given) and the following full grazing season. The study demonstrated that selected line animals excreted a significantly lower number of parasite eggs (P<0.01) in the majority of generations examined. Liveweight productivity was unaffected by selection. Although selected line animals had greater numbers of circulating eosinophils in many of the generations (four generations of males and six generations of females, P<0.05), there was no direct link between eosinophilia and reduced FEC. Immunoglobulin levels showed no consistent difference between selected and control lines. IgG, IgA and IgE levels were not different between lines over the whole dataset (P>0.05), although the selected line had significantly elevated or reduced levels (P<0.05) for all three within individual generations. There were significant associations between increased IgG and reduced FEC under artificial infection conditions (P=0.02). Increased IgA was also significantly associated with elevated FEC during the second grazing season (P<0.001). The study demonstrates that selection produced a line of goats with consistently reduced FEC compared with control animals, but did not identify a clear relationship between any of the immune markers measured and faecal egg output.


Gastrointestinal nematodes; Goats; Selection

A survey of UK prescribers' experience of, and opinions on, anthelmintic prescribing practices for livestock and equines

2016 Nov 1;134:69-81. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.10.001. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Author information

  • 1Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK.
  • 2Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZJ, UK.
  • 3Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZJ, UK.
  • 4Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK. Electronic address:


The aim of this study was to determine practices, attitudes and experiences of UK prescribers of anthelmintics for horses and livestock. A questionnaire was sent by direct email to groups licenced to prescribe these medicines. These were veterinarians, Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs, registered with the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) and veterinary pharmacists. The survey was also advertised through social media. It comprised questions relating to demographics, training experiences, current prescribing practices, as well as personal opinions on anthelmintic selection, diagnostics and anthelmintic resistance. A total of 193 veterinarians and 326 SQPs were included in final analysis. Pharmacists were excluded from detailed analysis due to the low numbers that responded (n=3). The results indicated that SQP participants were more likely to receive post-certification parasitology training than the veterinarians, and that both channels consulted similar sources for information about helminths and their control (paper articles in journals, online sources). The SQP participants stated a higher frequency of face-to-face interactions with clients/customers (96.1%) than the veterinarians (76.4%), who stated a higher frequency of telephone interactions (55.1% and 73.5%, respectively). Veterinarians were more likely to state that there were specific factors that limited interactions with their clients (54.1%) than SQPs (19.6%), such as competition from other suppliers. SQP participants considered a wider range of factors as important when deciding on which anthelmintic to recommend (i.e. knowledge of specific parasites, knowledge of specific anthelmintics, discussion of measures to avoid anthelmintic resistance and time to talk with clients/customers); however, the veterinarian participants were more likely to consider the results of diagnostic tests. While discussions about anthelmintic resistance were stated with similar frequency in both groups, less frequent were specific discussions about anthelmintic sensitivity testing. In-house faecal egg count analysis was more likely to be available from those that prescribed anthelmintics for equines alone, compared to prescribers who dispensed anthelmintics for livestock alone or livestock and equines. The SQP participants indicated that they felt a large number of organisations were responsible for ensuring that anthelmintics are used responsibly, whilst veterinarian participants were more likely to place responsibility on the prescribers alone. Taken together, these findings provide an insight into how prescribers of anthelmintics in the UK interact with their clients/customers before and at the point of sale and act as a unique source of information on how best practice advice pertaining to sustainable helminth control is disseminated by the various prescribing channels.


Anthelmintics; Equines; Helminths; Livestock; Prescribing practices; Suitably qualified persons; Veterinarians

Reprint of "Survey and first molecular characterization of Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (G1) in Pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus) in Buenos Aires province, Argentina".

2016 Nov 22. pii: S0001-706X(16)30932-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.11.008. [Epub ahead of print]

  • 1Laboratorio de Zoonosis Parasitarias, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina (FCEyN, UNMdP, Arg.), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Funes 3350, Nivel Cero, 7600 Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:
  • 2Laboratorio de Paleoparasitología, Departamento de Biología, (FCEyN, UNMdP, Arg.), CONICET, Funes 3350, 7600 Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 3Laboratorio de Ecología de Enfermedades, Instituto de Ciencias Veterinarias del Litoral, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, CONICET, R.P. Kreder 2805, 3080 Esperanza, Santa Fe, Argentina.
  • 4Laboratorio de Zoonosis Parasitarias, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina (FCEyN, UNMdP, Arg.), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Funes 3350, Nivel Cero, 7600 Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Echinococcosis is a zoonosis caused by tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus. Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s. l.) has a world-wide distribution and its transmission is primarily maintained in a synanthropic cycle with dogs as definitive hosts and livestock species as intermediate hosts. However, many wild canids also function as definitive hosts for E. granulosus s. l. Echinococcosis in humans is mainly caused by E. granulosus sensu stricto (s. s.) G1 genotype. In the present work, we expanded the epidemiological study on echinococcosis reported cases in Pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus) to provide a prevalence estimate for rural areas of southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Ninety-five whole intestines were analyzed using the sedimentation and counting technique with a result of 83 foxes (87.37%) harboring at least one helminth species. E. granulosus s. l. adults were found in one Pampas fox (1.05%). These adult helminthes were E. granulosus s. s. (G1) according to the genotyping analysis of a 450-bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene.


Echinococcosis; Epidemiology; Wildlife; Zoonoses; cox1

Small-Scale Farmers as Stewards of Useful Plant Diversity: A Case Study in Portland Parish, Jamaica

ArticleinEconomic Botany · October 2016with3 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s12231-016-9354-y
For centuries, small-scale farmers in Jamaica have managed and cultivated a variety of plants for use as subsistence and market crops, fodder, construction materials, and medicine. Free-listing, casual conversations, guided visits to 35 farm plots and 16 homegardens, semi-structured interviews with 16 farmers, and quantitative analysis were used to identify the factors that most correlate with useful plant richness on these lands. Jamaican farmers reported on average 87 different useful plant ethnotaxa (ethnovarieties, including single-variety species as one ethnotaxon) of cultivated and wild plants growing on all their land holdings, across an average of 62 biologically distinct species. The cumulative acreage controlled by a farmer (total land size), consisting of their homegarden (“yard”) and all their farm plots, explained 61% of the variation in useful plant richness recorded for each farmer (r = 0.78; p < 0.001). In contrast, there was no effect from the farmers’ age, their level of farming experience, or household size. Overall, mean ethnotaxa richness was higher on farm plots than homegardens (p = 0.012) because of their larger size. However, on a per-unit area basis (0.1 acres), homegardens contained more useful plants than farm plots (p = 0.005). While homegardens were important repositories of wild plants that are commonly used as medicines and as regular teas for consumption in the morning, farm plots were important repositories of timber trees. This nuanced understanding of factors that contribute to useful plant richness may help to direct efforts to support local farmers and better utilize the capacity of those farmers who most promote useful plants. These results underscore the complexity of agrobiodiversity conservation in rural Jamaica.

Perceived reasons for changes in the use of wild food plants in Saaremaa, Estonia.

2016 Dec 1;107:231-241. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.08.011. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Author information

  • 1Estonian Literary Museum, Vanemuise 42, Tartu, Estonia. Electronic address:


Recent studies on the use of wild food plants have identified various reasons for their use and underlined their importance as an emergency food supply. This work analysed the content of narratives obtained as comments regarding the reasons for using or not using wild food plants mentioned during 48 semi-structured recorded interviews. The results show that past demand for the diversification of food experiences and taste was essential for the consumption of wild plants, while the present concern for the disappearance of wild food taxa familiar from childhood is one of the main reasons for decrease in their consumption. This indicates that people do not really feel that they need to use wild food plants anymore (except for the health benefits), and that they are concerned that their favourite plants are no longer available. The erosion of the practical use of wild food plants is also supported by the very small frequency in which the influence of teachings coming from outside the community was mentioned in discussions of both the past and present, and thus the loss of traditional uses is not really substituted by new uses acquired from elsewhere. Further research is needed to understand lay perceptions of the changes that have occurred in nature, society and the economy, in the context of their influence on the everyday use of wild food plants to appreciate the ways in which knowledge erosion takes place and to find means of retaining this basic knowledge within the society.


Estonia; Ethnobotany; Perception of changes; Perception of the availability of plants; Saaremaa; Unlearning debt; Wild food plants

Chemical profile and biological activities of Cedrelopsis grevei H. Baillon bark essential oil

ArticleinPlant Biosystems · November 2016
DOI: 10.1080/11263504.2016.1255271
Cedrelopsis grevei H. Baillon bark, endemic plant from Madagascar, is used in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism, muscular pain, and for its antifungal and antibiotic activities. In this paper, the phytochemical composition, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and cytotoxic activities of C. grevei bark essential oil (EO), its non-polar (I and II) and polar (III) fractions and its main compounds (ishwarane, β-elemene and α-copaene) were investigated.
The GC–MS analysis pointed out the presence of 36 components, representing about 80% as semi-quantitative characterization of the total. The presence of ishwarane, β-elemene and α-copaene as the main constituents highlighted its peculiar composition as a sesquiterpene-rich phytocomplex. Moreover, the quantification was performed for the first time by means of the experimental and predicted response factors (ERFs and PRFs, respectively).
As regards the biological activity, C. grevei EO and its fractions showed weak antioxidant activity against Trolox. The whole EO demonstrated instead considerable antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, while its polar-fraction evidenced an interesting bioactivity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. Finally, C. grevei EO and its fractions exhibited an interesting cytotoxic activity on human lung cancer cells (A549) and human colorectal cancer cells (CaCo-2).


Article · December 2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.recqb.2015.09.003
En este trabajo, se presenta una revisión acerca de los estudios realizados por nuestro grupo de trabajo, enfocados a la generación de conocimiento sobre la fitoquímica y diferentes actividades biológicas de 10 especies vegetales empleadas en la medicina tradicional en el Valle de Tehuacán-Cuicatlán, Puebla. Las propiedades biológicas de los extractos, fracciones, compuestos puros y aceites esenciales, incluyeron, según el caso: la actividad antibacteriana, antifúngica, antioxidante, fotoprotectora, hipoglucemiante y antiinflamatoria. Los resultados obtenidos al evaluar las diferentes propiedades biológicas de las plantas indican una estrecha relación entre la fitoquímica, la farmacognosia y el uso de la planta en la medicina tradicional de las especies utilizadas en esta región del país