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Valerio F.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Russo F.,Laboratory of Experimental Biochemistry | De Candia S.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Riezzo G.,National Institute of Digestive Diseases | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology

Goals: To determine whether the consumption of artichokes enriched with a probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei strain affects fecal microbiota composition, fecal enzyme activity, and short-chain fatty acids production and symptom profile in patients suffering from constipation. Background: Constipation is a common gastrointestinal disorder often related to the food diet. The beneficial effects of probiotics and prebiotics on human health are under investigation. Moreover, recent studies assessed the suitability of some vegetables, particularly olives and artichokes, to vehicle probiotic strains into the gastrointestinal tract. Study: For 15 days, 8 volunteers (3M/5F age 40a±14y) integrated their normal diet with artichokes (180gr) enriched with 20 billions of L. paracasei LMGP22043. Faecal samples were subjected to microbiologic and biochemical analyses. Besides, investigations on symptom profile of the volunteers and stool consistency were carried out by using a validated questionnaire (Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale) and the Bristol stool form chart. Results: The gut of all volunteers resulted to be colonized by the probiotic strain after 15 days feeding. No significant differences in the microbiological counts throughout the experimental period were registered, whereas a significant increase of butyric and valeric acids with a concomitant decrease of lactic acid was registered. At the same time, the fecal ?β-glucuronidase activity was significantly reduced. Finally, the analysis of symptom profile indicated a marked reduction in abdominal distension and feeling of incomplete evacuation. Conclusions: These preliminary data suggest that novel approaches for treating constipation can come through ingestion of probiotic vegetable products that, acting as symbiotics, can ameliorate this common disorder. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Laezza C.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Laezza C.,University of Naples Federico II | Malfitano A.M.,University of Salerno | Proto M.C.,University of Salerno | And 7 more authors.
Endocrine-Related Cancer

The endocannabinoid system regulates cell proliferation in human breast cancer cells. Recently, we described that a metabolically stable anandamide analog, 2-methyl-2′-F-anandamide, by activation of CB1 receptors significantly inhibited cell proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines. In this study, we observed that the activation of the CB1 receptor, in two human mammary carcinoma cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MCF7, caused the inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity due to a reduction of HMG-CoA reductase transcript levels. The decrease of HMG-CoA reductase activity induced the inhibition of the prenylation of proteins, in particular of the farnesylation of Ras oncogenic protein involved in cell proliferation of these cell lines. We suggest that the inhibitory effect of anandamide analog on tumor cell proliferation could be related to the inhibition of Ras farnesylation. © 2010 Society for Endocrinology. Source

Valerio F.,National Research Council Italy | de Candia S.,National Research Council Italy | Lonigro S.,National Research Council Italy | Russo F.,National Institute of Digestive Diseases | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology

Aims: To evaluate the positive influence of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei LMGP22043 carried by artichokes into the human gut with special reference to faecal bacterial balance, short-chain fatty acid concentrations and enzyme activities in a randomized, double-blind human trial in comparison with probiotic-free artichokes (control). Methods: Twenty subjects were randomized into two groups, which consumed daily 180g of the artichoke product (probiotic or control) during two 15-day study periods (periods 1 and 2) separated by a 15-day washout in a crossover manner. Faecal samples were subjected to microbiological and biochemical analyses, and a strain-specific PCR was performed to monitor the probiotic strain. Results: The probiotic strain, transported by the vegetable matrix, transiently colonized the gut of 17/20 subjects (median 6·87 logCFUg-1 faeces), antagonized Escherichia coli and Clostridium spp. and increased the genetic diversity of lactic population based on REP-PCR profiles, mainly after period 1. Conclusions: The probiotic L. paracasei LMGP22043 successfully colonized the human gut and positively influenced faecal bacteria and biochemical parameters. Significance and Impact of the Study: The association of the probiotic L. paracasei with a food carrier rich in fibre can represent a new strategy for favouring a daily supply of probiotics and attracting more consumers to vegetable food fortified with probiotic strains. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology. Source

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