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Andernach, Germany

Begrow F.,University of Munster | Engelbertz J.,University of Munster | Feistel B.,Finzelberg GmbH and Co. KG | Lehnfeld R.,PhytoLab GmbH and Co. KG. | And 2 more authors.
Planta Medica | Year: 2010

Thyme is a herb with broncholytic und secretomotoric effects. Its activity on receptors as a possible mechanism of action was demonstrated. Major components are thymol and carvacrol which are claimed to be responsible for its effects and, therefore, used for standardization in the German pharmacopoeia (0.03% phenols calculated as thymol). Our aim was to investigate the impact of thymol by using thyme extracts with either normal or extremely low thymol concentrations (<0.005% or >0.038%). The antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles of the trachea and the ileum and the effect on ciliary activity (respiratory clearance) were investigated. In addition, pure thymol and carvacrol were investigated separately and in spiking experiments. Thymol and carvacrol had a concentration-dependent antispasmodic effect in the rat trachea either being stimulated by acetylcholine, K+ or Ba++. The same result was observed with respect to the increase of mucociliary transport in mice. Extracts with very low thymol contents are effective in all models used except acetylcholine-induced rat ileum contraction. When thyme extracts with normal thymol contents or with very low thymol contents were compared, the extract with normal thymol contents was more effective, both as a relaxant (rat ileum) and as an antispasmodic compound (rat trachea contraction induced by either acetylcholine, Ba++ or K+) and in ciliary transport experiments. Thyme extracts with very low thymol contents (practically free of volatile oil) were equally effective with respect to endothelin effects. When an extract with very low thymol contents is spiked with increasing concentrations of thymol, a concentration-dependent increase concerning the antispasmodic effect (Ba++-induced trachea contraction) is observed. In conclusion, the data show that in various models of antispasmodic effect (ileum and trachea) and by measuring ciliary activity, thymol (and carvacrol) is (are) active, although other not identified components of thyme extract appear to be very important as well, since extracts with very low thymol contents are active. On the basis of these results the standardization on thymol alone appears not to be justified. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart New York.

Obolskiy D.,University of London | Pischel I.,University of London | Pischel I.,Phytolab GmbH and Company KG | Feistel B.,Finzelberg GmbH and Co. KG | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

Artemisia dracunculus L. (tarragon) has a long history of use as a spice and remedy. Two well-described "cultivars" (Russian and French) are used widely and differ in ploidy level, morphology, and chemistry. Key biologically active secondary metabolites are essential oils (0.15-3.1%), coumarins (>1%), flavonoids, and phenolcarbonic acids. In vivo studies mainly in rodents, particularly from Russian sources, highlight potential anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and antihyperglycemic effects. Despite concerns about the toxic effects of two of its main constituents, estragole (up to 82%) and methyleugenol (up to 39%), no acute toxicity or mutagenic activity has been reported at doses relevant for human consumption. Water extracts of A. dracunculus contain very low amounts of estragole and methyleugenol and, therefore, are considered to pose a very limited risk. Overall, a stronger focus on clinical studies and precise taxonomic and phytochemical definition of the source material will be essential for future research efforts. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Godard M.P.,Western Illinois University | Ewing B.A.,Western Illinois University | Pischel I.,PhytoLab GmbH and Co. KG. | Ziegler A.,PhytoLab GmbH and Co. KG. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2010

Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute and chronic effects of OpunDia™ (Opuntia ficus-indica) in obese pre-diabetic men and women. Materials and methods: This double-blind placebo controlled study included participants (age range of 20-50 years) randomly assigned to one of the two groups and given a 16-week supply of either the 200. mg OpunDia™ (n= 15), or placebo (n= 14). The acute phase of the study consisted of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with a 400. mg bolus of OpunDia™ given 30. min before orally ingesting a 75. g glucose drink. Baseline and post 16-week concentrations of glucose, insulin, hsCRP, adiponectin, proinsulin, Hb1Ac, cholesterol, and a comprehensive metabolic panel were collected along with body composition measured via densitometry (BOD POD). A repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine any significant interactions between group and time. Follow-up analysis was performed to determine differences among groups at each time point. Paired t-tests were performed on all variables to determine if any within group differences existed across time. Results: There was a statistically significant decrease (P< 0.05) in the blood glucose concentrations at the 60 (205.92 ± 36.90 and 188.84 ± 38.43. mg/dL, respectively), 90 (184.55 ± 33.67 and 169.74 ± 35.16. mg/dL, respectively) and 120. min (159.24 ± 17.85 and 148.89 ± 24.86. mg/dL, respectively) time points with the pre-OGTT compared to the OpunDia™ bolus trial. There were no between-group differences found with the OGTT time points, area under the curve, blood chemistry variables (insulin, hsCRP, adiponectin, proinsulin, Hb1Ac), diet analysis variables (carbohydrates, fat, protein and total kcals), body composition variables (fat mass, fat free mass, percent body fat and total body weight), or blood chemistry safety parameters (comprehensive metabolic panel) pre-to-post 16-week intervention. Conclusions: This study shows the acute blood glucose lowering effects and the long-term safety of the proprietary product OpunDia™, thus supporting the traditional use of Opuntia ficus-indica for blood glucose management. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Walstab J.,University of Heidelberg | Kruger D.,TU Munich | Stark T.,TU Munich | Hofmann T.,TU Munich | And 5 more authors.
Neurogastroenterology and Motility | Year: 2013

Background: Beneficial effects of ginger in the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) problems and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting are well accepted. In rodents, the action of ginger seems to be mediated by the inhibition of 5-HT3 receptors, which are established targets to combat emesis and irritable bowel syndrome. Methods: Heterologously expressed human 5-HT3A or 5-HT3AB receptors were characterized by means of Ca2+influx studies using HEK293 cells. Complementing Ca2+ measurements in Fluo-4-AM-stained whole-mount preparations of the human submucous plexus were carried out. Furthermore, [3H]GR65630 binding assays were performed to reveal the mode of action of ginger and its pungent compounds. Key Results: We show for the first time that ginger extracts and its pungent arylalkane constituents concentration-dependently inhibit activation of human 5-HT3 receptors. Ginger extracts inhibited both receptors with increasing content of pungent compounds, confirming that these are part of ginger's active principle. Inhibition potencies of the arylalkanes 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol on both receptors were in the low micromolar range. A lipophilic ginger extract and 6-gingerol had no influence on 5-HT potency, but reduced the 5-HT maximum effect, indicating non-competitive inhibition. The non-competitive action was confirmed by [3H]GR65630 binding, showing that the ginger extract did not displace the radioligand from 5-HT3A and 5-HT3AB receptors. The potential relevance of the inhibitory action of ginger on native 5-HT3 receptors in the gut was confirmed in whole-mount preparations of the human submucous plexus. While a general neurotoxic effect of 6-gingerol was ruled out, it inhibited the 2-methyl-5-HT-mediated activation of 5-HT3 receptors residing on enteric neurons. Conclusions & Inferences: Our findings may encourage the use of ginger extracts to alleviate nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and to treat functional GI disorders. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Finzelberg GmbH and Co. KG | Date: 2013-06-10

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