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   2015| July-December  | Volume 10 | Issue 2  
    Online since February 8, 2016

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Volatile compounds, antioxidants, and anticancer activities of Cape gooseberry fruit (Physalis peruviana L.): An in-vitro study
Manal M Ramadan, Ahmed H El-Ghorab, Kadry Z Ghanem
July-December 2015, 10(2):56-64
Background/aim Cape gooseberry is golden-colored spherical fruit commercially produced in Egypt. It is primarily used in folk medicine for treating some diseases. To identify the aroma compounds in Cape gooseberry and to evaluate its antioxidant activities as well as its anticancer (for colon and breast cancers) effects in human cell lines. Materials and methods The volatile compounds were identified using gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Polyphenols (phenolics and flavonoids) were also determined. Antioxidant activity was determined by three different methods: 2,2΄-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azinobis(3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Anticancer (for colon or breast cancer) activity was determined in cancer cell lines using 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Results A total of 34 components of the essential oil were identified by GC and GC-MS. The volatile compounds were grouped in classes of substances, including 11 terpene compounds (six monoterpenoids and five sesquiterpene), 11 esters, five alcohols, two phenolic compounds, two aldehydes, two ketones, and one lactone. Terpenes (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) were the most abundant volatile constituents, accounting for the largest portion of the total volatiles (36.09%). The next most abundant compounds were esters, comprising 17.17% of the total volatile components identified. Phenolic compounds were the next most abundant compounds, comprising 16.04% of the total volatiles. Alcohols and aldehydes represented 6.37 and 1.88% of the total volatile compounds, respectively. Ketones and lactones are less abundant in the profile of volatile compounds in Cape gooseberry. Ethanol extract had higher phenolic and flavonoid contents than did hexane extract. As ethanol extract of Cape gooseberry achieved higher antioxidant activity than did hexane extract, it tested as an anticancer (for colon or breast cancer) agent. Cape gooseberry extract was more potent in inhibiting colon cell lines (IC 50 : 142 μg/ml) compared with breast cell line (IC 50 : 371 μg/ml). Conclusion Egyptian Cape gooseberry fruits may be suggested as a potential source of natural antioxidants and anticancer agents.
  5,542 739 15
Role of some phytoestrogens in recovering bone loss: histological results from experimental ovariectomized rat models
Hafiza A Sharaf, Nermeen M Shaffie, Fatma A Morsy, Manal A Badawi, Naglaa F Abbas
July-December 2015, 10(2):65-75
Background/aim Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and is widely recognized as a major health problem. Ovarian hormone deficiency is a major risk factor for osteoporosis. A sharp decrease in ovarian estrogen production is the predominant cause of rapid bone loss and deterioration of bone architecture, resulting in increased bone fragility during the first decade after menopause. Materials and methods A total of 70 albino rats were used, divided into seven groups of 10 rats each. Group 1 was subjected to sham operation and used as a control group. In group 2, rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and used as a model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Three months after the operation the OVX rats (group 2) were divided into six subgroups: one was considered the positive control group; another one was treated with synthetic estrogen compound; and the other four subgroups were fed a diet containing red clover, fennel, carob, and a combination of the three plants. At the end of the experiment (after 3 months' treatment) the animals were killed, and the femur shafts were extracted, decalcified, and processed into paraffin blocks. Sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histopathological, image analysis, and morphometric studies. Other sections were stained with periodic acid Schiff for histochemical investigations. Results The histopathological results of this study revealed that ovariectomy caused a decrease in thickness of the cortical compact bone in the middle shaft of the femur and of the trabeculae in cancellous bone in the head of the femur bone. Histochemical results showed new bone formation in sections of rats treated with plants. The best results were detected in sections of rats treated with a combination of the three plants. Red clover, fennel, and carob individually or combined have a better ameliorating effect on ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis than does synthetic estrogen compound. Conclusion Treatment of OVX rats with phytoestrogens such as red clover, fennel, and carob might improve the histopathological and histochemical changes and morphometric parameters in bone with ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis.
  3,259 381 -
Improving the production of unsaturated fatty acid esters and flavonoids from date palm pollen and their effects as anti-breast-cancer and antiviral agents: An in-vitro study
Kadry Z Ghanem, Manal M Ramadan, Hassan Z Ghanem, Mohamed Fadel
July-December 2015, 10(2):47-55
Background/aim Pollens from different plants contain unsaturated fatty acid esters (USFAEs) and flavonoids that play a very important role as bioactive compounds. Therefore, the present study was designed to improve the production of volatile USFAEs and flavonoids from date palm pollen (DPP) in a culture of Trichoderma koningii and test its activities as an anti-breast-cancer and antiviral agent. Materials and methods The volatile esters of fermented and nonfermented date palm pollens (FDPPs) were identified using gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis. Antioxidant activities were determined using three different methods: the 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, the ferric reducing antioxidant power assay, and the 2,2-azinobis(3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assay. Polyphenols (phenolics and flavonoids) were also determined. Anti-breast-cancer and antiviral activities were determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Results GC-MS analysis showed an improvement in the level of USFAE in FDPP (47.99%) almost double that of the DPP results (24.11%) extract concentration. Flavonoids content of the FDPP extract (93.4 ± 6.3 mg/ml) was higher than that obtained by the DPP extract (45.4 ± 2.1 mg/ml), which was more than double the value. Antioxidant activity of the FDPP extract increased 3.16, 3.42, and 2.14 times that of the DPP extract as determined by the ABTS, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and DPPH assays, respectively. The extract of FDPP showed strong anticancer activity against the MCF-7 cell line (IC 50 : 9.52 μg/ml) compared with the DPP extract (IC 50 : 96.22 μg/ml). Also, the FDPP extract had strong antiviral activity (CC 50 : 16.5 μg/ml) compared with DPP (CC 50 : 38.8 μg/ml). This is the first report in which the FDPP extract is used in biological studies as anti-breast-cancer and antiviral agents. Conclusion Fermentation of DPP by T. koningii improves many bioactive volatile USFAE and flavonoid contents; these have anti-breast-cancer and antiviral activity.
  3,183 355 3
Hepatic impairment among workers of furniture manufacture occupationally exposed to solvents in Egypt
Ibrahim W Hasani, Nevin E Sharaf, Mohamed A El-Desouky, Alia A Abdel Shakour, Mervat S Mohamed
July-December 2015, 10(2):82-87
Background/aim Organic solvents, which are used in many processes in furniture manufacture, are the most common chemicals that may be associated with liver injury. The present study aimed to determine the potential impact among workers exposed to mixtures of organic solvents on liver function tests. Participants and methods The present study included 63 workers occupationally exposed to organic solvents and 27 healthy individuals who served as a control group. The exposed group was divided into three subgroups according to the duration of employment: less than 10 years (G2), from 10 to 20 years (G3), and more than 20 years (G4) of employment. Six air samples were collected in the different production units using activated charcoal tubes according to a standard method developed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Clinical data and demographic information were collected. Liver enzymes [alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), g-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities] were measured in all participants. Results The mean level of organic solvents at air work place was below the maximum allowable limits according to international regulations and Egyptian Environmental Law 4. Serum ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, and LDH activities were significantly higher in exposed workers than in the controls. Serum AST and ALP activities were elevated in subgroups with duration of employment more than 10 years compared with the controls. Serum ALT, ALP, and LDH activities showed a significant positive correlation with the duration of employment. Conclusion The relationship between occupational exposure to organic solvents and hepatic injury was propounded, even though the exposure was below the permissible exposure limit. Serum ALT is a good biomarker of hepatocellular injury and a sensitive biomarker for exposure to solvents.
  2,191 194 1
Iron status among obese Egyptian adolescents
Hayam K Nazif, Azza A El Shaheed, Karima A.I. El-Shamy, Manal A Mohsen, Nevein N Fadl, Rehab S.I. Moustafa
July-December 2015, 10(2):76-81
Background/aim Obesity and iron deficiency are the most common nutritional disorders in the world. The aim of this work was to assess the iron status, including serum total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation, serum ferritin and soluble serum transferrin receptor (sTfR), among obese Egyptian adolescents. Patients and methods A cross-sectional case-control study was conducted on 80 adolescents aged 12-14 years who attended the Nutritional Clinic of the National Research Centre. They were divided into two equal groups of 40 adolescents each: the obese group and the nonobese group. Thorough clinical examination including anthropometric measurements was performed. Haemoglobin level was assessed using the cyanmethaemoglobin method. Serum iron, TIBC, transferrin saturation, serum ferritin and sTfR were analysed using ELISA. Results Obese adolescents revealed significantly lower levels of haemoglobin, serum iron, ferritin and transferrin saturation, and significantly higher diastolic blood pressure and higher TIBC and sTfR, compared with the nonobese group. Obese adolescents had higher frequency of iron deficiency anaemia compared with nonobese adolescents (80 vs. 17.5%). Conclusion Weight loss programmes for obese adolescents are essential for correction of iron status. Iron fortification for obese adolescents is recommended.
  1,880 185 -
Erratum: Assessment of the osteogenic potential of alendronate on isolated adipose-derived stem cells: an ex-vivo and in-vivo study

July-December 2015, 10(2):88-88
  1,308 112 -