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1.  Fibrinolytic effects of Ginkgo biloba extract 
A multitude of factors are involved in regulating the blood coagulation homeostatic processes in the body, which may ultimately lead to thromboemboli and thrombosis. The resolution of blood clots after healing is as important as clot formation at the site of a vascular lesion. This is accomplished by fibrinolytic drugs such as streptokinase (SK) and urokinase.
It must be noted that administration of SK may be accompanied by the lysis of blood clots in unwanted sites, and complications such as general lytic conditions, severe hemorrhaging, reduced serum fibrinogen and allergies can occur. Anti-SK antibodies neutralize the effects of SK. Studies on natural compounds and medicinal herbs with fewer side effects have been ongoing. In the present study, the fibrinolytic effect of Ginkgo biloba, an herb grown in Iran, was investigated.
A polyphenolic method was used to obtain Ginkgo extract from its leaves. The fibrinolytic effects of SK (positive control) were compared with those of Ginkgo extract using a fluorometry method.
In producing a labelled clot, fibrinogen was labelled with the fluorescent agent fluorescein isothiocyanate and precipitated in the presence of Ca2+. SK (100 U/mL to 1000 U/mL) and Ginkgo extract were added to labelled fibrin in a plasma environment at dilutions of 1, 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 (volume/volume). The fluorescence of the solution was measured between 15 min and 60 min later.
A linear relationship was observed between the fluorescence measured and SK concentrations ranging from 300 U/mL to 700 U/mL. Ginkgo extract displayed a remarkable effect in resolving the clot. As Ginkgo extract remained in the environment, fluorescence increased notably, showing a time-dependent relationship.
Overall, the results indicate that the effects of Ginkgo extract on the fibrinolytic system are similar to those of SK; hence, this herbal extract can be used as a complement to or a substitute for SK. Additionally, it is proposed that the effects of the active ingredients of Ginkgo extract should be studied in animals. Further studies are warranted for evaluating the possible side effects and toxicity of Ginkgo extract in human subjects.
PMCID: PMC2716226  PMID: 19641664
Fibrinolytic; Ginkgo; Streptokinase
2.  Serum Paraoxonase 1 Activity Is Associated with Fatty Acid Composition of High Density Lipoprotein 
Disease markers  2013;35(4):273-280.
Introduction. Cardioprotective effect of high density lipoprotein (HDL) is, in part, dependent on its related enzyme, paraoxonase 1 (PON1). Fatty acid composition of HDL could affect its size and structure. On the other hand, PON1 activity is directly related to the structure of HDL. This study was designed to investigate the association between serum PON1 activity and fatty acid composition of HDL in healthy men. Methods. One hundred and forty healthy men participated in this research. HDL was separated by sequential ultracentrifugation, and its fatty acid composition was analyzed by gas chromatography. PON1 activity was measured spectrophotometrically using paraxon as substrate. Results. Serum PON1 activity was directly correlated with the amount of stearic acid and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). PON1/HDL-C was directly correlated with the amount of miristic acid, stearic acid, and DGLA and was inversely correlated with total amount of ω6 fatty acids of HDL. Conclusion. The fatty acid composition of HDL could affect the activity of its associated enzyme, PON1. As dietary fats are the major determinants of serum lipids and lipoprotein composition, consuming some special dietary fatty acids may improve the activity of PON1 and thereby have beneficial effects on health.
doi:10.1155/2013/612035
PMCID: PMC3787566  PMID: 24167374
3.  Associations between high density lipoprotein mean particle size and serum paraoxonase-1 activity 
Background:
High density lipoprotein (HDL) particles are heterogeneous in composition, structure, size, and may differ in conferring protection against cardiovascular disease. HDL associated enzyme, paraoxonase-1 (PON1), has an important role in attenuation of atherogenic low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between HDL particle size and PON1 activity in relation to serum HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels.
Materials And Methods:
One hundred and forty healthy subjects contributed to this study. HDL was separated by sequential ultracentrifugation and its size was estimated by dynamic light scattering. Paraoxonase activity was measured spectrophotometrically using paraoxon as substrate.
Results:
Results of this study showed that PON1 activity had negative correlations with HDL mean particle size (r = −0.22, P < 01), HDL2/HDL3 ratio, and serum HDL-C levels (r = −0.25, P < 0.01). HDL mean particle size and HDL2/HDL3 ratio had negative correlation with body mass index (BMI), waist hip ratio (WHR), and serum triglyceride (TG) levels, and positive correlation with serum HDL-C levels. Serum HDL-C levels had significant positive correlations with age, total cholesterol (TC), and apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) and significant negative correlation with BMI, WHR, and TG.
Conclusion:
Based on the results of this study, determination of HDL mean particle size beside the serum PON1 activity may help to better understand the CAD risks, pathogenesis, and prognosis, and may also help to design therapeutic protocols toward beneficial modifications of HDL characteristics.
PMCID: PMC3702082  PMID: 23833575
Dynamic light scattering; high density lipoprotein size; HDL-C; paraoxonase-1 activity; zetasizer
4.  Validity and reproducibility of a food frequency questionnaire for assessment of fruit and vegetable intake in Iranian adults* 
BACKGROUND:
This study's aim was to design and validate a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for assessment of fruits and vegetables (FV) consumption in adults of Isfahan by comparing the FFQ with dietary reference method and blood plasma levels of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and retinol.
METHODS:
This validation study was performed on 123 healthy adults of Isfahan. FV intake was assessed using a 110-item FFQ. Data collection was performed during two different time periods to control for seasonal effects, fall/winter (cold season) and spring/summer (warm season). In each phase a FFQ and 1 day recall, and 2 days of food records as the dietary reference method were completed and plasma vitamin C, beta-carotene and retinol were measured. Data was analyzed by Pearson or Spearman and intraclass correlations.
RESULTS:
Serum Lipids, sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and educational level adjusted Pearson correlation coefficient of FV with plasma vitamin C, beta-carotene and retinol were 0.55, 0.47 and 0.28 in the cold season (p < 0.05) and 0.52, 0.45 and 0.35 in the warm season (p < 0.001), respectively. Energy and fat intake, sex, age, BMI and educational level adjusted Pearson correlation coefficient for FV with dietary reference method in the cold and warm seasons were 0.62 and 0.60, respectively (p < 0.001). Intraclass correlation for reproducibility of FFQ in FV was 0.65 (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS:
The designed FFQ had a good criterion validity and reproducibility for assessment of FV intake. Thus, it can serve as a valid tool in epidemiological studies to assess fruit and vegetable intake.
PMCID: PMC3430018  PMID: 22973322
Semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire; Criterion Validity; Reproducibility; Sensitivity; Specificity; Fruits and Vegetable
5.  Effect of Hydrogenated, Liquid and Ghee Oils on Serum Lipids Profile 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(1):16-22.
BACKGROUND
Trans fatty acids are known as the most harmful type of dietary fats, so this study was done to compare the effects of hydrogenated, liquid and ghee oils on serum lipids profile of healthy adults.
METHODS
This study was a randomized clinical trial conducted on 129 healthy participants aged from 20 to 60 years old who were beneficiaries of Imam-e-Zaman charitable organization. Subjects were randomly divided into 3 groups and each group was treated with a diet containing cooking and frying liquid, ghee, or hydrogenated for 40 days. Fasting serum lipids, including total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), apoprotein A (Apo A), and apoprotein B (Apo B) were measured before and after the study.
RESULTS
TC, TG and Apo B had a significant reduction in the liquid oil group compared to the hydrogenated oil group. In the ghee group TG declined and Apo A increased significantly (P < 0.01). Liquid oil group had a significant reduction in HDL-C, compared to the ghee oil group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION
It was concluded that consuming liquid oil along with frying oil caused to reduce all serum lipid levels. However, ghee oil only reduced TG and increased HDL-C levels.
PMCID: PMC3347809  PMID: 22577408
Serum lipids; Apoproteins; Liquid oil; Hydrogenated oil; Ghee; Clinical trial
6.  Effect of opium addiction on new and traditional cardiovascular risk factors: do duration of addiction and route of administration matter? 
Background
There is a belief among some society that opium has a number of beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present investigation as a cross-sectional study was to assess this hypothesis. Several biochemical factors (Fasting blood sugar, Cholesterol, Triglyceride, LDL-Cholesterol, HDL-Cholesterol, HbA1C, CRP, Fibrinogen, Factor VII, SGOT, SGPT, Lpa, apo A and apo B were evaluated in opium-addicted men (case) against non opium-addicted men(control). Three hundred and sixty opium-addicted men were divided into three groups according to the route of administration (Orally, Vafour and Sikh-Sang) and each group was divided into four subgroups according to the duration of addiction (5 months, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years). Blood morphine concentration was measured by ELISA method.
Results
The results show that morphine concentration was significantly higher in orally administration. In all routes, there was a direct correlation between blood morphine concentration and period of addiction. Regardless to the period and route of administration, the level of HbA1C, CRP, factor VII, Fibrinogen, apo B, Lpa, SGOT, and SGPT were significantly higher in the case subjects as compared with controls and HDL-Cholesterol and apo a were significantly lower in the case subjects.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated the deleterious effects of opium on some traditional and new cardiovascular disease risk factors. These deleterious effects are related to the period of addiction and their levels are significantly increased after 2 years of addiction. Route of administration impresses cardiovascular risk factors and "Sikh-Sang" showed the worst effect.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-7-42
PMCID: PMC2588593  PMID: 18980684

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