We examined chronological changes in muscle relaxation in ICR mice after p. o. administration of ethanol. The effect of ethanol was found to be dose-dependent. We also carried out an investigation to determine whether or not the muscle relaxation induced in mice by ethanol and acetaldehyde-induced acute toxicity could be suppressed by sesamin. When sesamin (500mg/kg/day) was administered p. o. for 7 or 14 consecutive days, the muscle relaxation induced by ethanol (1.5g/kg, p. o.) was markedly suppressed. Sesamin pretreatment also markedly prevented acetaldehyde-induced acute toxicity (LD50) in mice, but the ethanol clearance in blood did not show any significant changes. We have not yet determined the mechanism by which sesamin inhibits ethanol-induced muscle relaxation, although the effects seen unlikely to be due to enhanced clearance of ethanol alone.
Selenium contents were determined fluorometrically in rice imported from the USA, China, Thailand and Australia, and domestic soybeans and soybeans imported from the USA, China, Brazil, Argentina and Canada. Except for rice imported from Australia, most imported rice contained less than 50ng/g selenium. Several imported soybean specimens contained more than 200ng/g selenium, whereas most of the domestic soybeans examined contained less than 100ng/g selenium. However, the IOM soybeans imported from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan in the USA, which is the major source of soybeans for food processing in Japan, showed a low selenium value similar to that of domestic soybeans; most of the soybeans with a high selenium content were used for oil production. These findings indicate that there is no difference in selenium content between imported and domestic rice, and suggest that most soybeans used for food processing in Japan contain less than 100ng/g selenium, irrespective of whether they are of domestic or foreign origin.