We developed a system in which patients at clinics in the community can directly consult dietitians in the university hospital about their nutritional problems using information technology (IT). Fifteen patients with hypercholesterolemia, and with their informed consent, took photos of their own food with digital cameras for any 3 consecutive days in 3 consecutive 10 day periods, and then sent them through the server to registered dietitians (RDs) via the Internet, administrated by the Asahi Kasei Corporation (AKC) using personal computers (PCs) with software made by AKC. After checking the foods, the RDs then sent back recommendations to the patients on their own PCs and to the patients' doctors via the Internet. Because the patients tried to change their eating habits using this system, their hypercholesterolemia was significantly improved after only 1 month. This proves that this new system using IT can be useful for providing nutritional advice in a community medical setting.
In a placebo-controlled double-blind study, we examined the effects on blood lipids during long-term consumption of mayonnaise containing phytosterolester in Japanese with borderline or mild hyperlipidemia. We also examined the safety of this mayonnaise. Fifty-five subjects were divided into 2 groups, one group of which was given for 3 months 15g/day of a placebo mayonnaise (Placebo), and the other, 15g/day of mayonnaise containing 884mg/day of phytosterolester (MSE) for the same period of time. Hematological testing and confirmation of objective and subjective symptoms were conducted every month. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels did not change in the Placebo group throughout the study, but they did significantly decrease 1, 2, and 3 months after the start of intake in the MSE group. Significant differences were seen between Placebo group and MSE group in the amount of changes in total cholesterol 1, 2, and 3 months after the start of intake, and in LDL cholesterol 1 and 2 months after the start of intake. Furthermore, the results of hematological testing other than for blood lipids and physician interview revealed no adverse events caused by long-term consumption of the test foods. We thus concluded mayonnaise containing phytosterolester to be safe and to lower total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
We examined how oxygen free radicals derived from xanthine oxidase (XOD) contribute to the development of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury in rats. In rats treated with CCl4 (1ml/kg), liver injury appeared 3h after the treatment and developed by 24h, judged from the serum levels of transaminases. Hepatic and serum XOD activities and serum uric acid concentration did not change 6h after CCl4 treatment, but they all increased at 12h and further increased at 24h. An increase in the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), an index of lipid peroxidation, and decreases in reduced glutathione concentration and Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, but not Mn-SOD activity, were observed in the liver at 6h after CCl4 treatment and these changes were further enhanced at 24h. When allopurinol (50mg/kg), an XOD inhibitor, was administered to CCl4-treated rats 6h after CCl4 treatment, liver injury progression was prevented with attenuation of increased hepatic and serum XOD activities, serum uric acid concentration, and hepatic TBARS concentration and decreased hepatic reduced glutathione concentration and Cu, Zn-SOD activity at 24h after CCl4 treatment. These results indicate that XOD-derived oxygen free radicals contribute to the progression of CCl4-induced acute liver injury in rats both by stimulating hepatic lipid peroxidation and by disrupting hepatic antioxidant defense system.
Although some trace amines have clearly defined roles as neurotransmitters in human, their exact role in the neurophysiology of headache remains unclear. In this study, plasma levels of one trace biogenic amine; serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite; 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were assayed by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection in 50 subjects suffering from chronic headache due to various aetiologies including migraine. Moreover, 30 normal healthy subjects were also included in the study as control group. Results of the present work demonstrated significant decrease in plasma levels of both 5-HT and 5-HIAA in patients with chronic headache as compared with control subjects. Furthermore, 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were not found to be correlated with the duration of headache, age and sex of the patient groups studied. Moreover, the two parameters exhibited significant decrease in subjects with migraine as compared with subjects with chronic headache due to causes other than migraine. This finding points to the major role played by 5-HT deficiency in the pathophysiology of headache in general and migraine in particular. The identifications of the exact pathophysiology of headache and migraine lead to the development of novel therapeutics for subjects with migraine as well as non migranous chronic headache.
Blood cholesterol-lowering effect and safety of tea catechins were examined in a placebo-controlled double-blind study in which a beverage containing tea catechins (a 250ml beverage containing 197.4mg of catechins) was given twice a day at breakfast and dinner for 12 weeks. The subjects used were adult males and females with mild and borderline hypercholesterolemia with the range of serum total cholesterol levels 180-259mg/dl (male/ female, 38/22; age, 48±9 years; total cholesterol, 222±20mg/dl), who were not taking drugs that may affect lipid metabolism. The study was initiated with a 2-week pre-observation period followed by a 12-week intake period and a 2-week post-observation period. The results revealed that the serum total cholesterol levels in the test beverage group (initial intake level) was significantly decreased at 8 weeks (228±23mg/dl to 220±21mg/dl, p<0.01) and the decrease was maintained until 12 weeks (222±20mg/dl, p<0.05). Such significant decreases in serum cholesterol levels were not observed in the placebo group at any time points. In terms of the safety, no abnormal findings were noted in blood tests, physical measurements and interviews by physicians. Thus these results demonstrated the benefits and safety of tea catechins in individuals with mild or borderline hypercholesterolemia.