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1.  Potent inhibitory effect of alcoholic beverages upon gastrointestinal passage of food and gallbladder emptying 
Journal of Gastroenterology  2013;48:1311-1323.
Background and aims
Current knowledge about the effect of alcoholic beverages on postprandial functioning of the digestive system is scarce and inconsistent. This study addresses their influence upon meal movement along the gut and meal-induced gallbladder emptying.
Three examination blocks involved each 12 healthy volunteers. Ingestion of a solid 1485 kJ meal was followed by intake of 400 ml beer (4.7 %vol), 200 ml red wine (13.7 %vol) or 100 ml whisky (43.5 %vol) or matching volumes of control fluids. Gastric myoelectrical activity and emptying, orocecal transit and gallbladder emptying was monitored noninvasively.
Alcoholic beverages (beer, red wine, whisky) caused a significant slowdown of the gastric evacuation of the solid meal, the delay being the more potent, the greater was the concentration of ethanol. This inhibitory effect was not caused by interference with the gastric myoelectric activity. Alcoholic beverages produced only by fermentation (beer, red wine), at odds with the effect of their counterpartying aqueous ethanol solutions, did not elongate the orocecal transit of the solid food. Products of distillation—whisky and high proof ethanol solution—elicited a profound delay of the orocecal transit. Alcoholic beverages exerted an inhibitory effect upon the meal-stimulated gallbladder emptying, the magnitude of which increased in the order: beer → red wine → whisky.
Alcoholic beverages exert an inhibitory effect upon the gastric emptying of a solid food and the meal-induced gallbladder emptying, whereas the effect upon the orocecal transit depends on the type of a beverage—whisky elicits a delay but beer or red wine are devoid of this effect.
PMCID: PMC3889282  PMID: 23420574
Alcoholic beverages; Beer; Ethanol; Gallbladder emptying; Gastric emptying; Gastric myoelectrical activity; Orocecal transit; Whisky; Wine
2.  Comparative anatomy of the nectary spur in selected species of Aeridinae (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(3):327-345.
Background and Aims
To date, the structure of the nectary spur of Aeridinae has not been studied in detail, and data relating to the nectaries of ornithophilous orchids remain scarce. The present paper compares the structural organization of the floral nectary in a range of Aeridinae species, including both entomophilous and ornithophilous taxa.
Nectary spurs of Ascocentrum ampullaceum (Roxb.) Schltr. var. aurantiacum Pradhan, A. curvifolium (Lindl.) Schltr., A. garayi Christenson, Papilionanthe vandarum (Rchb.f.) Garay, Schoenorchis gemmata (Lindl.) J.J. Sm., Sedirea japonica (Rchb.f.) Garay & H.R. Sweet and Stereochilus dalatensis (Guillaumin) Garay were examined by means of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
Key Results and Conclusions
The diverse anatomy of the nectary is described for a range of Aeridinae species. All species of Ascocentrum investigated displayed features characteristic of ornithophilous taxa. They have weakly zygomorphic, scentless, red or orange flowers, display diurnal anthesis, possess cryptic anther caps and produce nectar that is secluded in a relatively massive nectary spur. Unicellular, secretory hairs line the lumen at the middle part of the spur. Generally, however, with the exception of Papilionanthe vandarum, the nectary spurs of all entomophilous species studied here (Schoenorchis gemmata, Sedirea japonica, Stereochilus dalatensis) lack secretory trichomes. Moreover, collenchymatous secretory tissue, present only in the nectary spur of Asiatic Ascocentrum species, closely resembles that found in nectaries of certain Neotropical species that are hummingbird-pollinated and assigned to subtribes Maxillariinae Benth., Laeliinae Benth. and Oncidiinae Benth. This similarity in anatomical organization of the nectary, regardless of geographical distribution and phylogeny, indicates convergence.
PMCID: PMC3043926  PMID: 21183455
Aeridinae; collenchyma; entomophily; floral anatomy; micromorphology; nectar; nectary spur; Orchidaceae; ornithophily; trichomes
3.  13C-methacetin breath test reproducibility study reveals persistent CYP1A2 stimulation on repeat examinations 
AIM: To find the most reproducible quantitative parameter of a standard 13C-methacetin breath test (13C-MBT).
METHODS: Twenty healthy volunteers (10 female, 10 male) underwent the 13C-MBT after intake of 75 mg 13C-methacetin p.o. on three occasions. Short- and medium-term reproducibility was assessed with paired examinations taken at an interval of 2 and 18 d (medians), respectively.
RESULTS: The reproducibility of the 1-h cumulative 13C recovery (AUC0-60), characterized by a coefficient of variation of 10%, appeared to be considerably better than the reproducibility of the maximum momentary 13C recovery or the time of reaching it. Remarkably, as opposed to the short gap between consecutive examinations, the capacity of the liver to handle 13C-methacetin increased slightly but statistically significantly when a repeat dose was administered after two to three weeks. Regarding the AUC0-60, the magnitude of this fixed bias amounted to 7.5%. Neither the time gap between the repeat examinations nor the gender of the subjects affected the 13C-MBT reproducibility.
CONCLUSION: 13C-MBT is most reproducibly quantified by the cumulative 13C recovery, but the exactitude thereof may be modestly affected by persistent stimulation of CYP1A2 on repeat examinations.
PMCID: PMC3236581  PMID: 22174547
13C-Methacetin; Breath test; Isotope application in medicine; Liver; Reproducibility

Results 1-3 (3)