A prospective study evidencing rhinomanometric and olfactometric outcomes in women taking oral contraceptives.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the changes in olfactory sensitivity of oral contraceptive (pill) users. METHODS: Sixty women underwent rhinomanometric and olfactometric determinations during the follicular, periovular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle, and at day 7, 14 and 21 of contraceptive intake. Thirty-one women used 30 microg ethinyl oestradiol plus 75 microg gestodene and 29 women used 20 microg ethinyl oestradiol plus 150 microg desogestrel. RESULTS: Rhinomanometry showed higher but not statistically significant values during the periovular phase than in the follicular and luteal phases. Olfactometry showed a higher sensitivity during the follicular and periovular phases than during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The rhinomanometric surveys in pill users were statistically different from those of the luteal phase (P < 0.02) and the follicular and periovular phases (P < 0.001). The olfactometric thresholds during the period of contraceptive use were statistically different from those of the follicular phase for a few odorous substances, and from those of the periovular phase for each odorous substance, but similar to those of the luteal phase (P = NS). CONCLUSIONS: Unlike the rhinomanometric airflow and trans-nasal pressure, the olfactory threshold to odours seems to depend on the variations of the ovarian steroids during the menstrual cycle and on the iatrogenic effects of oral contraceptives. (+info)
The in vivo pediculicidal efficacy of a natural remedy.
BACKGROUND: Head louse infestations are prevalent worldwide. Over the past 20-25 years, 15-20% of all children in Israel between 4 and 13 years of age have been infested with head lice. This is mainly due to the existence of ineffective pediculicides on the market. OBJECTIVE: To examine the pediculicidal efficacy and safety of a natural remedy ("Chick-Chack") and to compare it in an open clinical study with a known pesticide spray. METHODS: The natural remedy, which contains coconut oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil, was applied to the hair of infested children three times at 5 day intervals. Each treatment lasted for 15 minutes. The control pediculicide was a spray formulation containing permethrin, malathion, piperonyl butoxide, isododecane and propellant gas, which was applied twice for 10 minutes with a 10 day interval between applications. RESULTS: Of 940 children, aged 6-14 years, from six schools in Jerusalem who were examined for head louse infestation, 199 (21.2%) were infested with lice and eggs, while 164 (17.4%) were infested only with nits. Altogether, 119 children were randomly treated with either the natural remedy or the control product. Treatment was successful with the natural remedy in 60 children (92.3%) and with the control pediculicide in 59 children (92.2%). There were no significant side effects associated with either formulation. CONCLUSIONS: The natural remedy was very effective in controlling louse infestations under clinical conditions and caused no serious side effects. (+info)
Water-soluble constituents of anise: new glucosides of anethole glycol and its related compounds.
From the water-soluble portion of the methanolic extract of the fruit of anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), which has been used as a spice and medicine since antiquity, twelve new and five known glucosides of phenylpropanoids, including four stereoisomers of anethole glycol 2'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside and four stereoisomers of 1'-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane-1',2'-diol 2'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside were isolated together with anethole glycols and guaiacyl glycerol. The structures of the new compounds were clarified by spectral investigation. (+info)
Key plant structural and allocation traits depend on relative age in the perennial herb Pimpinella saxifraga.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Perennial plant formations always include a mixture of various-aged individuals of community-creating species, but the physiological and competitive potentials of plants of differing age and the importance on whole community functioning are still not entirely known. The current study tested the hypothesis that ontogenetically old plants have limited biomass investments in leaves and enhanced foliage support costs. METHODS: Leaf structure, size and biomass allocation were studied in the perennial herb Pimpinella saxifraga during plant ontogeny from seedling to senile phases to determine age-dependent controls on key plant structural traits. The average duration of the full ontogenetic cycle is approx. 5-10 years in this species. Plants were sampled from shaded and open habitats. KEY RESULTS: Leaflet dry mass per unit area (M(A)) increased, and the fraction of plant biomass in leaflets (F(L)) decreased with increasing age, leading to a 5- to 11-fold decrease in leaf area ratio (LAR = F(L)/M(A)) between seedlings and senescent plants. In contrast, the fraction of below-ground biomass increased with increasing age. Leaflet size and number per leaf increased with increasing age. This was not associated with enhanced support cost in older plants as age-dependent changes in leaf shape and increased foliage packing along the rachis compensated for an overall increase in leaf size. Age-dependent trends were the same in habitats with various irradiance, but the LAR of plants of varying age was approx. 1.5-fold larger in the shade due to lower M(A) and larger F(L). CONCLUSIONS: As plant light interception per unit total plant mass scales with LAR, these data demonstrate major age-dependent differences in plant light-harvesting efficiency that are further modified by site light availability. These ontogenetic changes reduce the differences among co-existing species in perennial communities, and therefore need consideration in our understanding of how herbaceous communities function. (+info)
Salmonella agona outbreak from contaminated aniseed, Germany.
A nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Agona caused by aniseed-containing herbal tea occurred from October 2002 through July 2003 among infants in Germany. Consumers should adhere strictly to brewing instructions, although in exceptional cases this precaution may not be protective, particularly when preparing tea for vulnerable age groups. (+info)
Perinatal olfactory learning in the domestic dog.
The ability of individuals to learn about chemosensory stimuli in the prenatal, or immediate postnatal, period may be advantageous in acquiring information about "safe" foods after weaning. In this study, we examined the influence of perinatal exposure to aniseed via the mother's diet on a two-choice food test in the domestic dog. Pups were tested at 10 weeks of age following "prenatal" exposure to aniseed (the last 20 days of gestation), "postnatal" exposure to aniseed (the first 20 days after birth), "perinatal" exposure to aniseed (pre- and postnatal exposure combined), or no exposure to aniseed prenatally or postnatally (control). Perinatal exposure resulted in a significantly greater preference for the aniseed food than the other types of exposure. At 10 weeks, there was no evidence for the retention of any prenatal learning of the aniseed. It is suggested that exposure to a chemosensory stimulus across the perinatal period results in a greater effect than simply the sum of pre- and postnatal exposure due to priming of the chemosensory system via prenatal chemosensory experience. Such a system may confer survival advantages by promoting the acquisition of information about safe foods. (+info)
Effects of alfalfa extract, anise, capsicum, and a mixture of cinnamaldehyde and eugenol on ruminal fermentation and protein degradation in beef heifers fed a high-concentrate diet.
Four Holstein heifers (360 +/- 22 and 450 +/- 28 kg of BW in Exp. 1 and 2, respectively) fitted with ruminal trocars were used in 4 x 4 Latin square designs to evaluate the effects on ruminal microbial fermentation of the following: Exp. 1, no additive, alfalfa extract (30 g/d, AEX), a mixture of cinnamaldehyde (0.18 g/d) and eugenol (0.09 g/d; CIE1), and AEX and CIE1 in combination; and Exp. 2, no additive, anise oil (2 g/d), capsicum oil (1 g/d), and a mixture of cinnamaldehyde (0.6 g/d) and eugenol (0.3 g/d). Heifers were fed a 90:10 concentrate:barley straw diet (16% CP; 25% NDF) for ad libitum intake. Each period consisted of 15 d for adaptation and 6 d for sampling. On d 16 to 18, DM and water intakes were measured. On d 19 to 21 ruminal contents were sampled at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 h after feeding to determine ruminal pH and the concentrations of VFA, L-lactate, large peptides, small peptides plus AA (SPep+AA), and ammonia N. On d 20 and 21, samples of ruminal fluid were collected at 0 and 3 h after feeding to determine protozoal counts. In Exp. 1, CIE1 and AEX decreased (P < 0.05) total DMI, concentrate DMI, and water intake. The increase (P < 0.05) in SPep+AA and the decrease (P < 0.05) in ammonia N when supplementing CIE1 suggest that deamination was inhibited. Treatment AEX increased (P < 0.05) the acetate to propionate ratio, which is less efficient for beef production. Treatment CIE1 increased (P < 0.05) counts of holotrichs. Effects of AEX and CIE1 were not additive for many of the measured metabolites. In Exp. 2, treatments had no effect on ruminal pH, total VFA concentration, and butyrate proportion. The capsicum oil treatment increased (P < 0.05) DMI, water intake, and SPep+AA N concentration and decreased (P < 0.05) acetate proportion, branched-chain VFA concentration, and large peptide N concentration. The cinnamaldehyde (0.6 g/d) and eugenol (0.3 g/d) treatment decreased (P < 0.05) water intake, acetate proportion, branched-chain VFA, L-lactate, and ammonia N concentrations and increased (P < 0.05) propionate proportion and SPep+AA N concentration. The anise oil treatment decreased (P < 0.05) acetate to propionate ratio, branched-chain VFA and ammonia N concentrations, and protozoal counts. The results indicate that at the doses used a mixture of cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, anise oil, and capsicum oil may be useful as modifiers of rumen fermentation in beef production systems. (+info)
Aqueous suspension of anise "Pimpinella anisum" protects rats against chemically induced gastric ulcers.
AIM: To substantiate the claims of Unani and Arabian traditional medicine practitioners on the gastroprotective potential effect of a popular spice anise, "Pimpinella anisum L." on experimentally-induced gastric ulceration and secretion in rats. METHODS: Acute gastric ulceration in rats was produced by various noxious chemicals including 80% ethanol, 0.2 mol/L NaOH, 25% NaCl and indomethacin. Anti-secretory studies were undertaken using pylorus-ligated Shay rat technique. Levels of gastric non-protein sulfhydryls (NP-SH) and wall mucus were estimated and gastric tissue was also examined histologically. Anise aqueous suspension was used in two doses (250 and 500 mg/kg body weight) in all experiments. RESULTS: Anise significantly inhibited gastric mucosal damage induced by necrotizing agents and indomethacin. The anti-ulcer effect was further confirmed histologically. In pylorus-ligated Shay rats, anise suspension significantly reduced the basal gastric acid secretion, acidity and completely inhibited the rumenal ulceration. On the other hand, the suspension significantly replenished ethanol-induced depleted levels of gastric mucosal NP-SH and gastric wall mucus concentration. CONCLUSION: Anise aqueous suspension possesses significant cytoprotective and anti-ulcer activities against experimentally-induced gastric lesions. The anti-ulcer effect of anise is possibly prostaglandin-mediated and/or through its anti-secretory and antioxidative properties. (+info)