Onion,Classifications,Tradition,History,Magical,Modern Updated.


Research Update:Allium cepa or common onion.:

Common Onion Extract INCI Name Allium Cepa Extract CAS 8054-39-5 EINECS ELINCS No 232-498-2 Onion Extract onion-extract aqueous onion extract AOE cycloalliin-enriched onion extract photo picture image   Food content, processing, absorption and metabolism of onion flavonoids.:Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(4):397-409. Review.Nemeth K, Piskula MK.VUP Food Research Institute, Priemyselna 4, 824 75 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

 The question as to how far the development of chronic diseases in humans depends on diet still remains open. Simultaneously, epidemiological studies suggest the consumption of a flavonoids rich diet might decrease the risk of degenerative changes and certain diseases. The intake of this group of compounds as to quality and quantity depends on dietary habits and a widespread presence of quercetin in the diet makes this compound one of the key factors. Onion, one of the richest and most common quercetin sources, was particularly often studied in different aspects. Quercetin is present in onion mainly as glycosides, of which the distribution within the onion bulb changes in onion processing, and biological activities attracted a lot of attention. Especially antioxidative activity demonstrated in vitro was initially associated with most of the beneficial effects of quercetin on the human body. However, after ingestion quercetin undergoes extensive metabolism and microbial action resulting in its altered or degraded structure; therefore, most of the effects shown in in vitro experiments with the pure compound cannot be directly extrapolated to in vivo systems. Yet, this does not mean that quercetin simultaneously loses its positive impact on consumer health. Even after being metabolized it may still affect the redox balance by inducing antioxidative and detoxifying enzymes or compounds which may be involved in sustaining homeostasis.

  Onion and garlic use and human cancer.:Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;84(5):1027-32.Galeone C, Pelucchi C, Levi F, Negri E, Franceschi S, Talamini R, Giacosa A, La Vecchia C.Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri," Milan, Italy, Italy. galeone@marionegri.it

 BACKGROUND: Interest in the potential benefits of allium vegetables, in particular, onion (Allium cepa) and garlic (Allium sativum), has its origin in antiquity, but the details of these benefits are still open to discussion. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the role of allium vegetables in the etiology of various neoplasms. Previous data are scanty and are based mainly on Chinese studies. DESIGN: Using data from an integrated network of Italian and Swiss case-control studies, we analyzed the relation between frequency of onion and garlic use and cancer at several sites. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) by using multivariate logistic regression models that were adjusted for energy intake and other major covariates. RESULTS: Consumption of onions varied between 0-14 and 0-22 portions/wk among cases and controls, respectively. The multivariate ORs for the highest category of onion and garlic intake were, respectively, 0.16 and 0.61 for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 0.12 and 0.43 for esophageal cancer, 0.44 and 0.74 for colorectal cancer, 0.17 and 0.56 for laryngeal cancer, 0.75 and 0.90 for breast cancer, 0.27 and 0.78 for ovarian cancer, 0.29 and 0.81 for prostate cancer, and 0.62 and 0.69 for renal cell cancer. CONCLUSIONS: This uniquely large data set from southern European populations shows an inverse association between the frequency of use of allium vegetables and the risk of several common cancers. Allium vegetables are a favorable correlate of cancer risk in Europe.

  Cytoplasmic channels and their association with plastids in male meiocytes of tobacco, onion and lily.:Cell Biol Int. 2006 May;30(5):406-11. Epub 2006 Apr 4.Wang CY, Li X, Wu QF, Wang XY.Institute of Cell Biology, School of Life Science, Lanzhou University, 222 Southern Tianshui Street, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, PR China.

 The ultrastructures of male meiocytes in tobacco, onion and lily were studied to elucidate the interaction between cytoplasmic channels (CCs) and plastids. Before meiosis, the male sporogenous cells had identically thickened cell walls (CWs) traversed by typical plasmodesmata (PDs). After entering meiosis, their CWs became uneven in thickness and 80-500nm aperture CCs were formed. Simultaneously, plastids or plastid-like bodies (PLBs) differing in size and morphology assembled at one or both ends of the CCs. These plastids and PLBs commonly orientated their sharper ends to face the CCs and were co-orientated on the axial line crossing the CC. Such pairs of plastids were often interconnected through the CC by thin (50-100nm) threads emanating from their membranes. Sometimes, plastids or PLBs extended directly from one side of a CW to the other, forming a bridge via the CC. In some cases, several plastids formed bridges between cells via one common CC. This is the first report that clearly demonstrates an intercellular continuum of, or communication between, plastids in male plant meiocytes.

  Seleno-compounds in garlic and onion.:J Chromatogr A. 2006 Apr 21;1112(1-2):23-30. Epub 2006 Feb 14. Review.Arnault I, Auger J.CRITT INNOPHYT, Université Fran?ois Rabelais, Parc de Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France.

 Garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (Allium cepa) are widely known for their biological properties but are far from having revealed all of their secrets even if the compounds involved in the biological mechanisms, flavenols, sulphur and seleno compounds have been identified. The beneficial effect of garlic on health including protection against cardiovascular diseases and cancers results from all of these compounds although their individual involvement is complex. Garlic and onion, broccoli, wild leek, have the ability to accumulate the selenium (Se) from soil. These Se-enriched plants present a greater protection against carcinogenesis than the common plants and two Se-compounds possessing anti-cancer activity have been identified: Se-methyl selenocysteine and gamma-glutamyl-Se-methyl selenocysteine. However, several Se-compounds from Se-enriched garlic or onion remain unidentified. The techniques for the detection of Se-species are numerous but few methods are able to identify the detected compounds. The very small quantities of Se-compounds present and the clear lack of standards do not make their analysis straightforward, particularly for non-enriched samples. Over the last 10 or so years development of the synthesis of Se-compounds and the use of GC-AED or EC/HPLC-ICP-MS have shown considerable possibilities. These techniques have allowed advances in the identification of Se-compounds, some of which are analogues of S-compounds in plants and yeasts. When these techniques are coupled to EC/HPLC-APCI-MS-MS, they provide a lot of information about the Se-biosynthesis in garlic. This has allowed the preferential formation of methylated compounds in Se-biochemistry to be identified, in contrast to the sulphur biochemistry of the Allium spp. in which compounds containing propenylic groups predominate. This review focuses on the recent advances in the analytical methods of Se-compounds in garlic and onion and particular attention is given to the biological properties of Se-species identified in Se-enriched plants.

  The analysis of onion and garlic.:J Chromatogr A. 2006 Apr 21;1112(1-2):3-22. Epub 2006 Jan 18. Review.Lanzotti V.Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agroalimentari, Ambientali e Microbiologiche, Università del Molise, Via F. De Sanctis, I-86100 Campobasso, Italy. lanzotti@unimol.it

 Onion (Allium cepa L.) and garlic (Allium sativum L.), among the oldest cultivated plants, are used both as a food and for medicinal applications. In fact, these common food plants are a rich source of several phytonutrients recognized as important elements of the Mediterranean diet, but are also used in the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases, including cancer, coronary heart disease, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes type 2, hypertension, cataract and disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. colic pain, flatulent colic and dyspepsia). These activities are related to the thiosulfinates, volatile sulfur compounds, which are also responsible for the pungent of these vegetables. Besides these low-molecular weight compounds, onion and garlic are characterized by more polar compounds of phenolic and steroidal origin, often glycosilated, showing interesting pharmacological properties. These latter compounds, compared to the more studied thiosulfinates, present the advantages to be not pungent and more stable to cooking. Recently, there has been an increasing scientific attention on such compounds. In this paper, the literature about the major volatile and non-volatile phytoconstituents of onion and garlic has been reviewed. Particular attention was given to the different methodology developed to perform chemical analysis, including separation and structural elucidation.

  Plant foods in the management of diabetes mellitus: spices as beneficial antidiabetic food adjuncts.:Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Sep;56(6):399-414. Review.Srinivasan K.Department of Biochemistry & Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore-570013, India.

 Diet has been recognized as a corner stone in the management of diabetes mellitus. Spices are the common dietary adjuncts that contribute to the taste and flavour of foods. Besides, spices are also known to exert several beneficial physiological effects including the antidiabetic influence. This review considers all the available information from animal experimentation as well as clinical trials where spices, their extracts or their active principles were examined for treatment of diabetes. Among the spices, fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenumgraecum), garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), and turmeric (Curcuma longa) have been experimentally documented to possess antidiabetic potential. In a limited number of studies, cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), mustard (Brassica nigra), curry leaves (Murraya koenigii) and coriander (Coriandrum sativum) have been reported to be hypoglycaemic.

  Induction of NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase by vegetables widely consumed in Catalonia, Spain..:Nutr Cancer. 2005;52(1):49-58.Laso N, Mas S, Lafuente MJ, Llobet JM, Molina R, Ballesta A, Kensler TW, Lafuente A.Departamento de Farmacología y Química Terapéutica, IDIBAPS, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain.

 Monofunctional inducers (MIs) enhance phase 2 enzymes such as nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide-phosphate [NAD(P)H] quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) without modifying oxidation enzymes. The induction of these protective enzymes appears to be mediated by genetic regulatory elements in their promoter regions known as the antioxidant response element (ARE). The aim of this study was to identify, through an in vitro study, which of the 30 fruits and vegetables commonly consumed in Catalonia, Spain, contain MIs of NQO1. We assayed the capacity of extracts of these fruits and vegetables to induce NQO1 [by more than 1.5-fold: ratio of induction (cells treated/control) >1.5, 8-mg/ml dose] in two murine hepatoma cell lines: Hepa 1c1c7 and BPrC1, a modified cell line that possesses a nonfunctional aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator system and is thus nonresponsive to bifunctional inducers. We also used a third cell line, papiloma (PE) murine keratinocytes, a stably transfected cell line with an ARE-luc+ plasmid (AREPE cell line) for verifying induction through the ARE with a simple luminescence screening assay. Broccoli (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=5.5; BPrC1, ratio=2.3), calcot (Allium cepa L.) (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=4.7; BPrC1, ratio=.5), green onion (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=4.6; BPrC1, ratio=2), green cabbage (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=3.6; BPrC1, ratio=2.7), purple cabbage (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=3.4; BPrC1, ratio=2), and black cabbage (Hepa 1c1c7, ratio=3; BPrC1, ratio=3) were active NQO1 inducers in both murine hepatoma cell lines. Extracts from broccoli (ratio=3.5), calcot (ratio=4.8), cauliflower (ratio=4.2), cabbage (ratio=2.2), green onion (ratio=3.2), green cabbage (ratio=3.6), black cabbage (ratio=4.5), and purple cabbage (ratio=3.7) were confirmed to contain MIs in the AREPE cell line. These results are very similar to those described for vegetables consumed in the United States, with the exception of calcot, which is common in Catalonia but is not grown or consumed widely in the United States.

  Type I arabinogalactan contains beta-D-Galp-(1-->3)-beta-D-Galp structural elements.:Carbohydr Res. 2005 Sep 26;340(13):2135-43.Hinz SW, Verhoef R, Schols HA, Vincken JP, Voragen AG.Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

 Arabinogalactan type I from potato was partially degraded by endo-galactanase from Aspergillus niger. High-performance anion-exchange chromatography revealed that several of the oligomeric degradation products eluted as double peaks. To investigate the nature of these products, the digest was fractionated by Bio-Gel P2 chromatography. The pool that contained tetramers was treated with a beta-D-Galp-(1-->4)-specific galactosidase from Bifidobacterium adolescentis to obtain a dimer with deviating linkage type, which was further purified by BioGel P2 chromatography. By obtaining all (1)H and (13)C chemical shifts and the presence of intra residual scalar coupling (HMBC) it could be concluded that the dimer contained a beta-(1-->3)-linkage instead of the expected beta-(1-->4)-linkage. Using the same NMR techniques as for the dimer, it was found that the pool of tetramers consisted of the following two galactose tetramers: beta-Galp-(1-->4)-beta-Galp-(1-->4)-beta-Galp-(1-->4)-alpha/beta-Galp-OH and beta-Galp-(1-->4)-beta-Galp-(1-->4)-beta-Galp-(1-->3)-alpha/beta-Galp-OH. The fact that the deviating beta-(1-->3)-linked galactose was found at the reducing end of the dimer showed that this deviating linkage is present within the backbone. The beta-(1-->3)-galactosyl interruption appeared to be a common structural feature of type I arabinogalactans with a frequency ranging from approximately 1 in 160 (potato, soy, citrus) to 1 in 250 (onion).

  A hypersensitive response-induced ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA) protein from tobacco plants.:Plant Mol Biol. 2004 Dec;56(6):973-85. Epub 2005 Apr 7.

 The hypersensitive response (HR) is one of the most critical defense systems in higher plants. In order to understand its molecular basis, we have screened tobacco genes that are transcriptionally activated during the early stage of the HR by the differential display method. Among six genes initially identified, one was found encoding a 57 kDa polypeptide with 497 amino acids not showing significant similarity to any reported proteins except for the AAA domain (ATPase associated with various cellular activities) spanning over 230 amino acids. The bacterially expressed protein exhibited ATP hydrolysis activity, and a green fluorescent protein-fusion protein localized in the cytoplasm of onion epidermis cells. The protein was subsequently designated as NtAAA1 (Nicotiana tabacum AAA1). NtAAA1 transcripts were induced 6 h after HR onset not only by TMV but also by incompatible Psuedomonas syringae, indicating that NtAAA1 is under the control of the N-gene with a common role in pathogen responses. Expression of NtAAA1 was induced by jasmonic acid and ethylene, but not by salicylic acid (SA). It also occurred at a high level in SA-deficient tobacco plants upon TMV infection. When NtAAA1 was silenced by the RNAi method, accumulation of transcripts for PR-1a significantly increased during the HR. Treatments with SA induced higher expression of PR-1a and acidic PR-2 in RNAi transgenic plants than in wild-type counterparts. These results suggest that NtAAA1 mitigates the SA signaling pathway, and therefore that NtAAA1 modulates the pathogen response of the host plants by adjusting the HR to an appropriate level.

  Nuclear ploidy is contingent on the microtubular cycle responsible for plant cytokinesis.:Protoplasma. 2004 Oct;224(1-2):41-7.Giménez-Abián MI, Giménez-Abián JF, Utrilla L, De la Torre C.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid.

 Division of the plant cell relies on the preprophase band of microtubules (PPB)-phragmoplast system. Cells of onion (Allium cepa L.) root meristems were rendered binucleate by preventing the consolidation of cell plate formation in telophase with 5 mM caffeine. These binucleates developed either a single PPB around one of their two nuclei or two PPBs, one per nucleus, in the prophase of the ensuing mitosis. Prophase cells developing one single PPB were shorter in length (42.3 +/- 4.1 microm) than those developing 2 PPBs (49.8 +/- 4.1 microm), and interphase duration was inversely related to cell length. Cells whose length was less than or equal to 42 microm, i.e., which had not even reached the mean size of the small binucleates in prophase, were followed throughout mitosis. In metaphase, they always assembled two mitotic spindles (one per nucleus). However, the cells that had assembled a single PPB also developed a single phragmoplast in telophase, leading to polyploidization. As these meristematic cells were not wide enough to accommodate the midzones of both mitotic spindles in any single plane transversal to the cell elongation axis, the spindles tilted until their midzones formed a continuum where the single common phragmoplast assembled. Its position was thereby uncoupled from that of the preceding PPB. Subsequently, the chromosomes from two different half-spindles were included, by a common nuclear envelope, in a single tetraploid nucleus. Finally, the cytokinetic plate segregated the two tetraploid nuclei formed at each side of the phragmoplast into two independent sister cells.

  Clastogenicity of atrazine assessed with the Allium cepa test.:Environ Mol Mutagen. 2004;43(2):137-41.Bolle P, Mastrangelo S, Tucci P, Evandri MG.Department of Pharmacology of Natural Substances and General Physiology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

 Atrazine is classified as a restricted use pesticide and it is currently included in an international revision program for re-evaluating the human and ecological (non-human populations) health risks associated with its release into the environment. The present study was undertaken to add new data on the genotoxic potential of atrazine using the Allium cepa chromosome aberration test. The test concentrations were based on the Maximum Contaminant Levels in water intended for human consumption set by European and US regulations. Atrazine produced a concentration-related increase in the number of total somatic chromosome aberrations, although this increase was statistically significant (p<0.05) only at the highest test concentration (5 microg/L). Analysis of the categories of structural chromosome damage indicated that breaks were the predominant lesion induced; the percent of cells per bulb with breaks also increased in a concentration-related manner, and the increase was statistically significant at the two highest test concentrations (1 and 5 microg/L) (p<0.05). The Allium cepa plant assay detected the clastogenicity of atrazine at concentrations that are likely to be encountered in water, a common site of atrazine contamination.

  Identification of specific plant nucleolar phosphoproteins in a functional proteomic analysis.:Proteomics. 2004 Feb;4(2):407-17.González-Camacho F, Medina FJ.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain. fgonzalez@cib.csic.es

 The soluble fraction of nuclear proteins is a functionally significant fraction, since it has been shown that it contains ribonucleoproteins active in nuclear RNA metabolism. The aim of this work was to detect variations associated with cell proliferation, by comparing two-dimensional proteomes obtained from the soluble fractions of onion nuclei isolated from actively proliferating root meristematic cells versus nonmeristematic root cells. In particular, we have studied the physicochemical features of the major nucleolar protein NopA100, a highly phosphorylated, nucleolin-like protein. A total of 384 spots were quantified in meristematic nuclei, while only 209 were detected in nonmeristematic nuclei. The comparison of both proteomes resulted in the determination of specific spots for each proliferative state and those which were common to both cases. Furthermore, among these latter, we could discriminate quantitative differences. Interestingly, well-known nucleolar proteins, such as RNA polymerase I, B23 and the nucleolin-like protein NopA100, were significantly increased in proliferating cells. Western blots with anti-NopA100 antibody demonstrated 26 spots in the meristematic sample. All the spots detected were clustered at 100 kDa and were distributed through an isoelectric point (pI) range of 4.3-6.6. In contrast, only seven spots were found in the extract from nonmeristematic nuclei, and the pI range was shortened to 4.8-6.1. These results indicate that the state of NopA100 phosphorylation correlates with the degree of nucleolar activity, i.e. the protein is more highly phosphorylated in cycling cells. We have also analyzed the bidimensional silver staining of the nucleolar organizing region (Ag-NOR) pattern of the soluble nuclear fraction in order to identify plant cell phosphoproteins that are considered to be markers of proliferation. These experiments demonstrated that NopA100, the onion, nucleolin-like protein, is an Ag-NOR protein. In addition we found that the plant homologue of the vertebrate nucleolar phosphoprotein B23 migrated as two clusters of acidic spots, 43 and 42 kDa respectively in molecular mass. The differences between these features and those described for mammalian cells is discussed. Our results demonstrate that the use of protein fractionation procedures with functional significance and the location of candidate spots by indirect techniques are advantageous, complementary methods to random selection procedures for proteomic studies involving further mass spectrometry analysis.

  Antimicrobial activity of extracts of local cough mixtures on upper respiratory tract bacterial pathogens.:West Indian Med J. 2003 Sep;52(3):188-90.Adeleye IA, Opiah L.Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Nigeria. adeyem121@yahoo.com

 The punched-hole and the paper disc diffusion methods were used in screening for the antimicrobial activity of six common ingredients used locally in cough mixtures, against the following bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus. Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Salmonella paratyphi, Shigella dysenteria, Shigella sonnei and Candida albicans. The results, evaluated as the diameter of zone of inhibition of microbial growth, showed that lime, garlic onion, onion and honey were active against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp and Shigella dysenteriae. Bitter-kola nut extract and palm kernel oil showed no antimicrobial activities against any of the tested organisms. None of the extracts inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi and Shigella sonnei and the most susceptible organisms were Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.

  Differential localisation of GFP fusions to cytoskeleton-binding proteins in animal, plant, and yeast cells. Green-fluorescent protein.:Protoplasma. 2002 Oct;220(1-2):69-78.Timmers AC, Niebel A, Balagué C, Dagkesamanskaya A.Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire des Relations Plantes-Microorganismes, Unité Mixte de Recherche du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Castanet-Tolosan. timmers@uni-bonn.de

 The structure and functioning of the cytoskeleton is controlled and regulated by cytoskeleton-associated proteins. Fused to the green-fluorescent protein (GFP), these proteins can be used as tools to monitor changes in the organisation of the cytoskeleton in living cells and tissues in different organisms. Since the localisation of a specific cytoskeleton protein may indicate a particular function for the associated cytoskeletal element, studies of cytoskeleton-binding proteins fused to GFP may provide insight into the organisation and functioning of the cytoskeleton. In this article, we focused on two animal proteins, human T-plastin and bovine tau, and studied the distribution of their respective GFP fusions in animal COS cells, plant epidermal cells (Allium cepa), and yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Plastin-GFP localised preferentially to membrane ruffles, lamellipodia and focal adhesion points in COS cells, to the actin filament cytoskeleton within cytoplasmic strands in onion epidermal cells, and to cortical actin patches in yeast cells. Thus, in these 3 very different types of cells plastin-GFP associated with mobile structures in which there are high rates of actin turnover. Chemical fixation was found to drastically alter the distribution of plastin-GFP. Tau-GFP bound to microtubules in COS cells and onion epidermal cells but failed to bind to yeast microtubules. Thus, animal and plant microtubules appear to have a common tau binding site which is absent in yeast. We conclude that the study of the distribution patterns of microtubule- and actin-filament-binding proteins fused to GFP in heterologous systems should be a valuable tool in furthering our knowledge about cytoskeleton function in eukaryotic cells.

  Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common vegetables.:J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 6;50(23):6910-6.Chu YF, Sun J, Wu X, Liu RH.Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

 Epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables containing high levels of phytochemicals has been recommended to prevent chronic diseases related to oxidative stress in the human body. In this study, 10 common vegetables were selected on the basis of consumption per capita data in the United States. A more complete profile of phenolic distributions, including both free and bound phenolics in these vegetables, is reported here using new and modified methods. Broccoli possessed the highest total phenolic content, followed by spinach, yellow onion, red pepper, carrot, cabbage, potato, lettuce, celery, and cucumber. Red pepper had the highest total antioxidant activity, followed by broccoli, carrot, spinach, cabbage, yellow onion, celery, potato, lettuce, and cucumber. The phenolics antioxidant index (PAI) was proposed to evaluate the quality/quantity of phenolic contents in these vegetables and was calculated from the corrected total antioxidant activities by eliminating vitamin C contributions. Antiproliferative activities were also studied in vitro using HepG(2) human liver cancer cells. Spinach showed the highest inhibitory effect, followed by cabbage, red pepper, onion, and broccoli. On the basis of these results, the bioactivity index (BI) for dietary cancer prevention is proposed to provide a simple reference for consumers to choose vegetables in accordance with their beneficial activities. The BI could be a new alternative biomarker for future epidemiological studies in dietary cancer prevention and health promotion.

  Total phenolics and antioxidant capacity of indigenous vegetables in the southeast United States: Alabama Collaboration for Cardiovascular Equality Project.:Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007 Sep 18;:1-9.Huang Z, Wang B, Eaves DH, Shikany JM, Pace RD.Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA.

 Collard greens, mustard greens, kale, okra, green onion, butter beans, butter peas, purple hull peas, rutabagas, and eggplant are frequently consumed by African Americans in the southeast United States. Sweet potato greens and purslane are two novel vegetables in this region. The objective of this study was to analyze total phenolics and antioxidant capacity in these indigenous vegetables. The total phenolic content was analyzed using the Folin-Ciocalteu method and ranged from 7.4 to 53.5 mg gallic acid equivalents per gram of dried sample. The antioxidant capacity was analyzed using the radical DPPH(*) scavenging capacity assay and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay (ORAC). At a concentration of 10.0 mg dried vegetable equivalent/ml, the extract of these vegetables was able to quench 13.2-88.5% DPPH(*) radical in 30 min. The ORAC value ranged from 2.5 to 100.7 micromoles of trolox equivalents per gram of dried sample. The antioxidant capacity of the vegetable samples was highly related to their total phenolic content. The results suggest that these indigenous vegetables consumed by African Americans in the southeastern United States are good sources of the phenolic compounds, which might provide anti-oxidative protection against free radicals in the human body. Consumption of these vegetables might reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

  The effects of onion extract on hypertrophic and keloid scars.:J Wound Care. 2007 Jun;16(6):251-4.Hosnuter M, Payasli C, Isikdemir A, Tekerekoglu B. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak, Turkey.

 OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the therapeutic activity of topical onion extract in gel form on hypertrophic and keloid scars, focusing on problems such as elevation, redness, hardness, itching and pain. METHOD: This comparative prospective study assigned 60 patients to three groups. Group I was treated with onion extract alone, group 2 with silicon gel sheet alone and 3 group with a combination of onion extract and silicon gel sheet. RESULTS: In the group comparisons, a significant difference was observed at the end of six months in the colour parameter between group I and group 2 and in the height parameter between group I and group 3 (ANOVA post-hoc Tukey's test, p<0.01 and p<0.05 respectively). The onion extract was more effective in relation to scar colour, while the silicon gel sheet was superior in decreasing the height of scar (paired sample t-test, p<0.001). In addition, the most effective therapeutic results were obtained when the silicon gel sheet treatment was combined with onion extract in group 3. CONCLUSION: Onion extract improved hypertrophic and keloids scars via multiple mechanisms. However, it was statistically ineffective in improving scar height and itching. For this reason, onion extract therapy should be used in combination with an occlusive silicon dressing to achieve a satisfying decrease in scar height.

  Bioavailability of selenium from selenium-enriched green onions (Allium fistulosum) and chives (Allium schoenoprasum) after 'in vitro' gastrointestinal digestion.:Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007 Jun;58(4):282-96.Kápolna E, Fodor P.Department of Applied Chemistry, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary. emese.kapolna@uni-corvinus.hu

 Three sample preparation methods--proteolysis to determine the initial species distribution, and an in vitro gastric and gastrointestinal digestion to assess the bioavailability of selenium--were applied to extract the selenium from selenized green onion and chive samples. Ion exchange chromatography was coupled to a high-performance liquid chromatography-ICP-MS system to analyze the selenium species of Allium samples. The difference in the selenium accumulation capability of green onions and chives was significant. Chive accumulated a one order of magnitude higher amount of selenium than did green onion. After proteolysis of both types of Allium plants, high amounts of organic selenium species such as MeSeCys, SeCys2 and SeMet became accessible. In the case of Se(VI)-enrichment, selenate was the main species in the proteolytic extract. After simulating the human digestion, the organic species were just slightly bioavailable compared with the results from proteolysis. The inorganic selenium content of the selenized samples increased significantly and SeOMet could be detected from the extracts. As an effect of the significant pH change between the gastric and the intestinal tracts, two oxidation processes took place: selenite oxidized to selenate, while SeMet oxidized to SeOMet.

  Onion flesh and onion peel enhance antioxidant status in aged rats.:J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2007 Feb;53(1):21-9.

 This study was designed to investigate the effects of dietary onion flesh or onion peel on lipid peroxides and DNA damage in aged rats. Sprague Dawley male rats (n=40, 16 mo old) were blocked into five groups and raised for 3 mo with either an onion-free control diet or onion diets (Allium cepa L., intermediate-day variety) containing either 5% (w/w) powdered dried onion flesh, 5% (w/w) powdered dried onion peel or ethanol extracts of the two powdered forms of onion. Total antioxidant status (TAS) and levels of total polyphenols and quercetin were greatest in onion peel ethanol extract, followed by onion peel powder, onion flesh ethanol extract, and onion flesh powder. Plasma quercetin and isorhamnetin levels were markedly increased by onion peel powder and onion peel ethanol extract. Rats fed onion flesh powder or onion peel powder had a higher plasma TAS than rats fed the control diet. Onion peel powder reduced liver thiobarbituric reactive substances relative to those of the control diet in aged rats (p<0.05). Brain 8-isoprostane levels were markedly decreased by all four onion diets and the decrease was significant for the onion flesh powder and onion peel powder diets (p<0.05). There was no significant decrease in cellular DNA damage in the kidney or brain tissue among rats fed the four onion diets. Onion flesh or onion peel enhanced antioxidant status in aged rats and may be beneficial for the elderly as a means of lowering lipid peroxide levels.

  3-Methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol as a major descriptor for the human axilla-sweat odour profile.:Chem Biodivers. 2004 Jul;1(7):1022-35.Troccaz M, Starkenmann C, Niclass Y, van de Waal M, Clark AJ.Firmenich SA, Corporate R&D Division, P.O. Box 239, CH-1211 Geneva 8.

 This study sets out to redress the lack of knowledge in the area of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in axillary sweat malodour. Sterile odourless underarm sweat (500 ml) was collected from 30 male volunteers after excessive sweating. Five strains of bacteria, Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum, Corynebacterium minutissimum, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, and Bacillus licheniformis, were isolated and characterised for their ability to generate an authentic axillary odour from the sweat material collected. As expected, all of the five bacterial strains produced strong sweat odours. Surprisingly, after extensive olfactive evaluation, the strain of Staphylococcus haemolyticus produced the most sulfury sweat character. This strain was then chosen as the change agent for the 500 ml of odourless underarm sweat collected. After bacterial incubation, the 500-ml sample was further processed for GC-olfactometry (GC-O), GC/MS analysis. GC-O of an extract free of organic acids provided three zones of interest. The first was chicken-sulfury, the second zone was onion-like, and the third zone was sweat, clary sage-like. From the third zone, a new impact molecule, (R)- or (S)-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol, was isolated and identified by GC/MS, MD-GC, and GC AED (atomic emission detector). (S)-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol was sniff-evaluated upon elution from a chiral GC column and was described as sweat and onion-like; its opposite enantiomer, (R)-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol, was described as fruity and grapefruit-like. The (S)-form was found to be the major enantiomer (75%).

  Topical treatments for hypertrophic scars.:J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Dec;55(6):1024-31. Epub 2006 Sep 18. Review.Zurada JM, Kriegel D, Davis IC.Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA.

 Hypertrophic scars represent an abnormal, exaggerated healing response after skin injury. In addition to cosmetic concern, scars may cause pain, pruritus, contractures, and other functional impairments. Therapeutic modalities include topical medications, intralesional corticosteroids, laser therapy, and cryosurgery. Topical therapies, in particular, have become increasingly popular because of their ease of use, comfort, noninvasiveness, and relatively low cost. This review will discuss the properties and effectiveness of these agents, including pressure therapy, silicone gel sheeting and ointment, polyurethane dressing, onion extract, imiquimod 5% cream, and vitamins A and E in the prevention and treatment of hypertrophic scars.

  Lipid lowering effect of S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide from Allium cepa Linn in high cholesterol diet fed rats.:J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Feb 12;109(3):367-71. Epub 2006 Aug 22.Kumari K, Augusti KT.Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Trivandrum 695581, Kerala, India. kumud_kumari@rediffmail.com

 The lipid lowering action of S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide (SMCS) isolated from Allium cepa Linn (family: Liliaceae) was investigated in Sprague-Dawley rats fed on 1% cholesterol diet, in comparison to the hypolipidemic drug gugulipid. Administration of SMCS at a dose of 200mg/kg body weight for 45 days ameliorated the hyperlipidemic condition. The lipid profile in serum and tissues showed that concentrations of cholesterol, triglyceride and phospholipids were significantly reduced when compared to their untreated counterparts. The total lipoprotein lipase activity in the adipose tissue was decreased with also a decrease in the free fatty acid levels in serum and tissues. The activities of the lipogenic enzymes glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme as also of HMG CoA reductase in the tissues remained low on treatment indicating that both the drugs did not favor lipogenesis and cholesterogenesis in the hyperlipidemic animals. The fecal excretion of bile acids and sterols was further increased upon treatment with the drugs. The results are directive to that both gugulipid and SMCS cause reduction of endogenous lipogenesis, increase catabolism of lipids and subsequent excretion of metabolic by-products through the intestinal tract. However, gugulipid is a better drug than SMCS at a low dose of 50mg/kg body weight.

  Use of onion extract, heparin, allantoin gel in prevention of scarring in chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos: a prospective randomized controlled trial.:Dermatol Surg. 2006 Jul;32(7):891-6.Ho WS, Ying SY, Chan PC, Chan HH.Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China. howsclinic@yahoo.com.hk

 BACKGROUND: With rapid advancement in cutaneous laser therapy, Q-switched lasers have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal. The longer wavelength Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is used when removing tattoos in darker skin patients to avoid scarring and permanent pigment changes. Nevertheless, the local experience revealed that nearly 25% of the Chinese patients developed scarring. Meanwhile, multiple clinical studies have shown that Contractubex gel (Merz Pharma, Frankfurt, Germany) was effective in the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic scars and keloids. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of Contractubex gel in the prevention of scarring after laser removal of tattoos in Chinese patients. METHODS: A total of 120 Chinese patients with 144 professional blue-black tattoos were recruited into the study. They were randomly assigned into the Contractubex group or the control group. All patients were treated with a QS 1,064-nm Nd:YAG laser using a 3-mm spot size, a 10-Hz repeat rate, a pulse duration of 6 nanoseconds, and fluences that ranged from 3.6 to 4.8 J/cm2 (mean fluence, 4.2 J/cm2). The treated areas were assessed 3 months after the last treatments for clinical clearance and complications. RESULTS: Fifty-two patients with 61 tattoos in the Contractubex group were able to achieve a mean clearing rate of 82.3+/-11.6%. There were 7 tattoos in 7 patients that developed scarring, 4 patients had permanent hypopigmentation, and 3 patients had transient hyperpigmentation. In contrast, 55 patients with 68 tattoos in the control group had a mean clearing rate of 80.4+/-11.3%. Among them, 16 tattoos in 14 patients developed scarring, 4 patients had permanent hypopigmentation, and 5 patients had transient hyperpigmentation. Although there was no significant difference in age, sex, fluence, treatment session, and clinical clearance between the two groups, the Contractubex group had a statistically significantly lower rate of scarring than the control group (p<.05). CONCLUSION: Contractubex gel is effective in scar prevention in Chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos.

  Antioxidative activity and ameliorative effects of memory impairment of sulfur-containing compounds in Allium species.:Biofactors. 2006;26(2):135-46.

 The antioxidative activity and ameliorative effects on memory impairment by sulfur-containing compounds which occur in Allium vegetables such as onion and garlic were investigated. The antioxidative activities of S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteines and their sulfoxides, volatile alk(en)yl disulfides and trisulfides, and vinyldithiins were examined by using human low-density lipoprotein. It was elucidated that the alk(en)yl substituents and the number of sulfur atoms in the compounds were important for the antioxidative activities. To demonstrate the ameliorative effects on memory impairment, onion extract and synthesized di-n-propyl trisulfide were administered to senescence-accelerated mouse P8. The behavioral experiments showed that onion extract and di-n-propyl trisulfide had highly ameliorative effect of memory impairment. Furthermore, it was found that the hippocampus lipid hydroperoxide in senescence-accelerated mouse P8 was decreased by the administration of di-n-propyl trisulfide. These results suggest that di-n-propyl trisulfide contained in onion ameliorates memory impairment in SAMP8 mouse by its antioxidant effect.

  Phytochemical and microbiological characterization of two Allium cepa L. extracts in order to include in dermo-cosmetics.:Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2005 Jul-Sep;109(3):676-9. Romanian.T?t?r?ng? G, H?ncianu M, Aprotosoaie C, Poiat? A, Vasilescu M, Gafi?anu E.Universitatea de Medicin? ?i Farmacie Gr.T. Popa Ia?i, Facultatea de Farmacie

 We have obtained two Allium cepa extracts (C1 and C2) which were characterized from chemical and microbiological point of view. The C1 extract is the richest concerning the content in flavonoids, triterpenic acids, amino acids, compounds recognized for their beneficial effects in wound healing. All this data shows us the possibility of using the Allium cepa extracts in the treatment of wounds, scars. As well, the antimicrobial activity of the two extracts was evaluated. The C2 extract was efficient as antimicrobial agent, but there are necessary special preserving conditions.

  Hypolipidemic activity of Allium porrum L. in cholesterol-fed rabbits..:J Med Food. 2006 Spring;9(1):98-101.Movahedian A, Sadeghi H, Ghannadi A, Gharavi M, Azarpajooh S.Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. movahedian@pharm.mui.ac.ir

 Allium porrum L. is a herbaceous plant from the Liliaceae family and has been widely used in Persian foods as a flavor component and in Iranian traditional medicine as an anti-atherogenic remedy. The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the antihypercholesterolemic effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of A. porrum L. bulbs. Rabbits were divided into five groups--control, hypercholesterolemic control, and three treatment groups (hypercholesterolemic diet + 250, 500, or 1,000 mg/kg of body weight of extract, respectively)--and were fed for 12 weeks. Blood samples were obtained to analyze plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), very LDL, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Body weight increased in all groups throughout the treatment without significant differences among them. Plasma total cholesterol increased with respect to the control in the positive control group at the end of the treatment. Plasma total cholesterol decreased in all groups treated with A. porrum extract in a dose-dependent fashion. Changes in the distribution of cholesterol in HDL or LDL were found, and LDL cholesterol decreased significantly in all of the groups treated with A. porrum extract with respect to the hypercholesterolemic group. Thus, these findings indicate that this plant may be useful for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

  FRS 1000, an extract of red onion peel, strongly inhibits phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE 5A).:Phytomedicine. 2006 Mar;13(4):236-9. Epub 2005 Sep 15.Lines TC, Ono M.Quercegen Holdings LLC, Newton, MA, USA.

 As part of our ongoing search for flavonoids that are bioactive in humans, it was determined that FRS 1000, a beverage containing flavonoids extracted from onion peel, showed unexpected improvement of male sexual function. An in vitro enzyme assay clearly showed that FRS 1000 has a strong phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE 5A) inhibitory activity, which is considered to be important for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Detailed assays of each major ingredient indicated that the antioxidative flavonoid quercetin was responsible for the activity. Results also suggested that PDE 5A inhibition is not directly related to the free radical scavenging activity of flavonoids.

  Onion extract gel versus petrolatum emollient on new surgical scars: prospective double-blinded study.:Dermatol Surg. 2006 Feb;32(2):193-7.Chung VQ, Kelley L, Marra D, Jiang SB.Dermatologic Surgery Unit, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

 BACKGROUND: Cutaneous scars resulting from surgical procedures can be erythematous, hypertrophic, pruritic, painful, or cosmetically unacceptable. An onion extract-based topical gel (Mederma, Merz Pharmaceuticals, Greensboro, NC, USA) has been marketed as a product to improve scar appearance and texture. However, few data are available to substantiate these claims. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy between the onion extract gel and a petrolatum-based emollient (Aquaphor, Beiersdorf, Inc., Wilton, CT, USA) in improving the appearance and symptoms of new surgical scars. METHODS: Twenty-four patients with new surgical wounds of at least 4 cm in length were enrolled in the study. Using a randomized, double-blinded, split-scar study design, each scar was divided into two equal portions, and each half was assigned treatment with either onion extract gel or petrolatum ointment at the time of suture removal. Each product was applied three times daily for 8 weeks, and patients were evaluated at 2, 8, and 12 weeks following initiation of treatment. A follow-up telephone interview was conducted at least 11 months postoperatively. RESULTS: Scar halves were evaluated by blinded investigators for overall cosmetic appearance, erythema, and hypertrophy. Patients also independently rated side-specific erythema, pruritus, burning, and pain. Using the paired t-test and the Wilcoxon signed rank test, we found no statistically significant difference (p < .1) between the two treatment groups in any of the outcome variables studied. CONCLUSION: Petrolatum-based topical agents constitute standard therapy in the management of postoperative wounds. In this side-by-side, randomized, double-blinded, split-scar study, the onion extract gel did not improve scar cosmesis or symptomatology when compared with a petrolatum-based ointment.

  Inhibitory effect of aqueous extracts of some herbs on human platelet aggregation in vitro.:Platelets. 2005 Dec;16(8):469-73.Pierre S, Crosbie L, Duttaroy AK. ENSBANA, Dijon, France.

 Effect of aqueous extract of several herbs on human platelet aggregation in vitro was investigated. Out of 28 herbs/nutriceuticals investigated, camomile, nettle alfalfa, garlic and onion exhibited most significant anti-platelet activity (>or=45% inhibition). Aqueous extracts of alfalfa, fresh nettle, and camomile inhibited ADP induced-platelet aggregation by 73, 65 and 60%, respectively, compared with control (P < 0.05). Camomile and alfalfa inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation by 84 and 65%, respectively, but nettle could not inhibit collagen-induced aggregation. In contrast, nettle was the most potent inhibitor (66%) of whole blood aggregation induced by collagen, followed by alfalfa (52%), and camomile (30%) compared with control (P < 0.05). None of these three herbs however could inhibit arachidonic acid or thrombin induced platelet aggregation. Camomile and alfalfa strongly inhibited thromboxane B2 synthesis induced by ADP or collagen, but nettle had no effect. Alfalfa and nettle increased cGMP levels in platelets by 50 and 35%, respectively, compared with the control (1.85 +/- 0.23 nM) (P < 0.005). All these data indicate that camomile, nettle and alfalfa have potent anti-platelet properties, and their inhibitory actions are mediated via different mechanisms.

  Antioxidative compounds from the outer scales of onion.:J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 19;53(21):8183-9.

 Antioxidative compounds were isolated from the methanol extract of dry outer scales of onion (Allium cepa L.). Nine phenolic compounds (1-9) were finally obtained by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and their structures were elucidated by NMR and mass spectrometry analyses. They were the six known compounds, protocatechuic acid (1), 2-(3,4-dihydroxybenzoyl)-2,4,6-trihydroxy-3(2H)-benzofuranone (2), quercetin 4'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (3), quercetin (5), 4'-O-beta-d-glucopyranoside of quercetin dimer (7), and quercetin dimer (8), and three novel compounds, condensation products of quercetin with protocatechuic acid (4), adduct of quercetin with quercetin 4'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (6), and quercetin trimer (9). These phenolic compounds were tested for their antioxidant properties using autoxidation of methyl linoleate in bulk phase or free radical initiated peroxidation of soybean phosphatidylcholine in liposomes. The flavonoid compounds having o-dihydroxy substituent in the B-ring were shown to be effective antioxidants against nonenzymic lipid peroxidation.

  Heat stable antimicrobial activity of Allium ascalonicum against bacteria and fungi.:Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Aug;43(8):751-4.Amin M, Kapadnis BP.Department of Microbiology, University of Pune, Pune 411 007, India.

 To study antimicrobial activity of shallot in comparison with that of garlic and onion against 23 strains of fungi and bacteria, water extracts of garlic, shallot and onion bulbs were prepared. Each extract was studied in different forms for their antimicrobial activity viz., fresh extract, dry extract and autoclaved extract. Minimal inhibitory concentration and minimal lethal concentrations of these extracts were determined against all organisms by broth dilution susceptibility test. Fresh extract of garlic showed greater antimicrobial activity as compared to similar extracts of onion and shallot. However, dried and autoclaved extracts of shallot showed more activity than similar extracts of onion and garlic. Fungi were more sensitive to shallot extract than bacteria. Amongst bacteria, B. cereus was most sensitive (MIC=5 mg ml(-1)). The lowest minimum bactericidal concentration of shallot extract amongst bacteria tested was 5 mg ml(-1) for B. cereus. Amongst fungi, Aureobasidium pullulans and Microsporum gypseum were most sensitive (MIC= 0.15 mg ml(-1)). The lowest minimum lethal concentration was 2.5 mg ml(-1) for Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. It was therefore, expected that the antimicrobial principle of shallot was different than the antimicrobial compounds of onion and garlic. In addition, the antimicrobial component of the shallot extract was stable at 121 degrees C.

  A gamma-glutamyl peptide isolated from onion (Allium cepa L.) by bioassay-guided fractionation inhibits resorption activity of osteoclasts.:J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 4;53(9):3408-14.Wetli HA, Brenneisen R, Tschudi I, Langos M, Bigler P, Sprang T, Schürch S, Mühlbauer RC.Laboratory for Phytopharmacology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 35, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.

 One gram of onion added to the food of rats inhibits significantly (p < 0.05) bone resorption as assessed by the urinary excretion of tritium released from bone of 9-week-old rats prelabeled with tritiated tetracycline from weeks 1 to 6. To isolate and identify the bone resorption inhibiting compound from onion, onion powder was extracted and the extract fractionated by column chromatography and medium-pressure liquid chromatography. A single active peak was finally obtained by semipreparative high-performance liquid chromatography. The biological activity of the various fractions was tested in vitro on the activity of osteoclasts to form resorption pits on a mineralized substrate. Medium, containing the various fractions or the pure compound, was added to osteoclasts of new-born rats settled on ivory slices. After 24 h of incubation, the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase positive multinucleated cells, that is, osteoclasts, were counted. Subsequently, the number of resorption pits was determined. Activity was calculated as the ratio of resorption pits/osteoclasts and was compared to a negative control, that is, medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum only and to calcitonin (10(-12) M) as a positive control. Finally, a single peak inhibited osteoclast activity significantly (p < 0.05). The structure of this compound was elucidated with high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, time-of-flight electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The single peak was identified as gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (GPCS). It has a molecular mass of 306 Da and inhibits dose-dependently the resorption activity of osteoclasts, the minimal effective dose being approximately 2 mM. As no other peak displayed inhibitory activity, it likely is responsible for the effect of onion on bone resorption.

  Purification and characterization of a fructosyltransferase from onion bulbs and its key role in the synthesis of fructo-oligosaccharides in vivo:New Phytol. 2005 Feb;165(2):513-24.

 A fructosyltransferase that transfers the terminal (2 --> 1)-beta-linked D-fructosyl group of fructo-oligosaccharides (1(F)(1-beta-D-fructofuranosyl)(n) sucrose, n >/= 1) to HO-6 of the glucosyl residue and HO-1 of the fructosyl residue of similar saccharides (1(F)(1-beta-D-fructofuranosyl)(m) sucrose, m >/= 0) has been purified from an extract of the bulbs of onion (Allium cepa). Successive column chromatography using DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B, Toyopearl HW65, Toyopearl HW55, DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B (2nd time), Sephadex G-100, Concanavalin A Sepharose, and Toyopearl HW-65 (2nd time) were applied for protein purification. The general properties of the enzyme, were as follows: molecular masses of 66 kDa (gel filtration chromatography), and of 52 kDa and 25 kDa (SDS-PAGE); optimum pH of c. 5.68, stable at 20-40 degrees C for 15 min; stable in a range of pH 5.30-6.31 at 30 degrees C for 30 min, inhibited by Hg(2+), Ag(+), p-chloromercuribenzoic acid (p-CMB) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), activated by sodium deoxycholate, Triton X-100 and Tween-80. The amino acid sequence of the N-terminus moiety of the 52-kDa polypeptide was ADNEFPWTNDMLAWQRCGFHFRTVRNYMNDPSGPMYYKGWYHLFYQHNKDFAYXG and the amino acid sequence from the N-terminus of the 25-kDa polypeptide was ADVGYXCSTSGGAATRGTLGPFGLL VLANQDLTENTATYFYVSKGTDGALRTHFCQDET. The enzyme tentatively classified as fructan: fructan 6(G)-fructosyltransferase (6G-FFT). The enzyme is proposed to play an important role in the synthesis of inulin and inulinneo-series fructo-oligosaccharides in onion bulbs.

  Antispasmodic saponins from bulbs of red onion, Allium cepa L. var. Tropea.:J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 23;53(4):935-40.Corea G, Fattorusso E, Lanzotti V, Capasso R, Izzo AA.Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, I-80131 Napoli, Italy.

 A phytochemical analysis of the polar extract from the red bulbs of Allium cepa L. var. Tropea, typical of Calabria, a southern region of Italy, was performed extensively for the first time, leading to the isolation of four new furostanol saponins, named tropeoside A1/A2 (1a/1b) and tropeoside B1/B2 (3a/3b), along with the respective 22-O-methyl derivatives (2a/2b and 4a/4b), almost certainly extraction artifacts. High concentrations of ascalonicoside A1/A2 (5a/5b) and ascalonicoside B (6), previously isolated from Allium ascalonicum Hort., were also found. This is the first report of furostanol saponins in this A. cepa variety. The chemical structures of the new compounds were established through a combination of extensive nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry and chemical analyses. High concentrations of quercetin, quercetin 4(I)-glucoside, taxifolin, taxifolin 7-glucoside, and phenylalanine were also isolated. The new saponins were found to possess antispasmodic activity in the guinea pig isolated ileum; such an effect might contribute to explaining the traditional use of onion in the treatment of disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract.

  Cardiac glycosides: From ancient history through Withering's foxglove to endogeneous cardiac glycosides.:Dan Medicinhist Arbog. 2004;:119-32. Danish. Norn S, Kruse PR.

 For centuries, drugs that increase the power of contraction of the failing heart have been used for the treatment of congestive heart failure (dropsy). The cardiac effect is due to the content of cardiac glycosides. Squill or sea onion, Urginea (Scilla) maritima, a seashore plant, was known by the ancient Romans and Syrians and possibly also by the ancient Egyptians. Squills were used erratically, but some prescriptions indicate that they may have been used for the treatment of oedematous states. The toxic effect of strophanthus species was known from poisoned arrows used by the natives in Africa. Digitalis, derived form the foxglove plant, Digitalis purpurea, is mentioned in writings as early as 1250; a Welsh family, known as the Physicians of Myddvai, collected different herbs and digitalis was included in their prescriptions. However, the druge was used erratically until the 18th century, when William Withering, an English physician and botanist, published a monograph describing the clinical effects of an extract of the foxglove plant. Later, in 1785, the indication and the toxicity of digitalis were reported in his book, "An account of the Foxglove and some of its medical uses with practical remarks on dropsy, and other diseases". In Denmark, the leaves of Digitalis purpurea or Digitalis lanata were tested for cardiac glycoside activity. The standardized digitalis powder was used in tinctures, infusions, and tablets. The preparations were included in successive editions of the Danish pharmacopoeia, some of the tinctures already in 1828, i.e. before the standardization of the drug. Isolation of cardiac glycosides from digitalis, strophanthus and squill and determination of their chemical structures initiated biochemical and pharmacological studies. The scientific advances led to an understanding of cardiac muscle contractility and the Na,K pump as the cellular receptor for the inotropic action of digitalis. Examination of putative endogenous ligands to the receptor revealed some endogenous cardiac glycosides of similar or identical structures as those found in digitalis, strophanthus and squill. Increased concentrations of these glycosides are found in patients with heart failure. Further investigations are needed to determine whether the secretion of glycosides might be a physiologic response to a diminished cardiac output.

  Morphological evidences for onion-induced growth inhibition of Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.:Fitoterapia. 2004 Dec;75(7-8):645-55.Ghahfarokhi MS, Goodarzi M, Abyaneh MR, Al-Tiraihi T, Seyedipour G.Department of Mycology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran. shamsm@@modares.ac.ir

 The antifungal activity of onion (Allium cepa L.) on two important dermatophytes, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes, with special reference to morphological aspects was studied. Growth of both fungi was found to be strongly inhibited by aqueous onion extract (AOE) as a dose-dependent manner. The extract showed fungicidal effect for both fungi at concentrations >3.12% (v/v). The fungus T. mentagrophytes was more affected by the onion as compared to T. rubrum at all concentrations used. Morphological effects of onion exposure were examined in correlation with fungal growth. Corresponding to the growth inhibition, light and electron microscopy observations revealed morphological anomalies in hyphal compartments. The results demonstrated that AOE targets the cell membrane of the fungi as breaking down of both inner and outer membranes with consequent extrution of materials into the surrounding medium. Cytoplasmic membranes and other membranous structures of organelles, such as nuclei and mitochondria, were also disrupted. In correlation to the fungal growth, morphological alterations occurred to a less content for T. rubrum compared with T. mentagrophytes. The hyphae of T. rubrum were found to be mainly affected by converting to resistant forms, i.e., chlamidospores as a consequence of phenotype switching response to AOE. Plasmolysis accompanied by an almost complete depletion and disorganization of cytoplasmic structures were found to be the final event which led to cell death. Ultrastructural evidences obtained from this study strongly support that morphological changes of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes caused by AOE are associated with its fungistatic and fungicidal activities. With respect to the morphological results and the preliminary data on fungal biochemistry, a mechanism of action by interacting of AOE with thiol (-SH) groups present in essential compartments of the fungal cells was postulated.

  High-performance liquid chromatographic-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric evidence for Se-"alliins" in garlic and onion grown in Se-rich soil.:J Chromatogr A. 2004 Apr 2;1032(1-2):103-7.Auger J, Yang W, Arnault I, Pannier F, Potin-Gautier M.I.R.B.I. UMR 6035 CNRS, Université F. Rabelais, Parc de Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France. auger@univ-tours.fr

 Garlic and onion, are well known for their medical value, especially in against cancer and anticardiovacular diseases. "Alliins" (S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulphoxides) are sources of major active compounds in Allium plants. Se incorporation into garlic significantly increases activities of garlic in cancer prevention and inhibition. Selenomethionine, selenocysteine and Se-methylselenocysteine have been identified in garlic and onion. Previously we identified gamma-glutamyl-Se-methyl-L-selenocysteine, in extracts of garlic cultivated in Se-rich soil [Med. Res. Rev. 16 (1) (1996) 111], suggesting the possible existence of Se-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine selenoxides (Se-"alliins") in garlic. Several comparative experiments were carried out to demonstrate the existence of Se-"alliins" in Se-enriched garlic and onion. We found that there was one similar time-dependent Se signal in HPLC-inductively coupled plasma MS chromatograms of cold-water extracts of freeze-dried garlic powder and fresh garlic. This signal was lost when the extracts of garlic powder and fresh garlic were stored for 1 day at >4 degrees C, but remained in fresh onion extract at the same storage conditions. These phenomena and possible mechanisms are discussed. An additional experiment showed that Allium species cultivated in Se-rich soil might contain two different Se-"alliins".

  Antimutagenic, antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of ethyl acetate extracts from white, yellow and red onions.:Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Apr;42(4):659-66.

 The beneficial effects of red, yellow and white onion extracts have been assessed by antioxidant activity and antimutagenic activity. And the effects compared to BHT and ascorbic acid. Total phenolic compounds and flavonoids in onion extracts were determined. Yellow onion extract had more organic acid and free sugar than those detected in the white and red onion extract. The scavenging activity of DPPH radical and H(2)O(2) were increased depending on the concentration. The antioxidant activities using beta-carotene-linoleate system and reducing power were increased but the effect was small to that of BHT and ascorbic acid. After digested, extracts showed antimutagenic activities, and it seems that they inhibit the mutagenicity for digesting. This study demonstrated that the antimutagenicities and antioxidant properties of ethyl acetate extract against mutagens were related to their phenols and flavonoids, which are heat stable and losses digestive juices are relatively low.

  Inhibition of proteasome activity by various fruits and vegetables is associated with cancer cell death.:In Vivo. 2004 Jan-Feb;18(1):73-80.Chen MS, Chen D, Dou QP.The Prevention Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA

 There is a large amount of scientific evidence showing that fruits and vegetables lower the risk of cancer. However, the responsible molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Our previous studies have demonstrated that inhibition of proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity is associated with cancer cell apoptosis, which may also be the major mechanism responsible for the anticancer effects of green tea polyphenols. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that some fruits and vegetables inhibit tumor cell proteasome activity and that this inhibition contributes to their cancer-preventative activities. We report that the extracts of apple and grape are more potent than onion, tomato and celery in: (i) inhibiting the proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity in leukemia Jurkat T cell extract; (ii) accumulating the polyubiquitinated proteins in intact Jurkat T cells; (iii) inducing activation of caspase-3/-7 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in intact Jurkat T cells; and (iv) inducing the appearance of spherical cells preferentially in prostate cancer PC-3 over the normal NIH 3T3 cell line. We also found that strawberry extract had some effect on Jurkat T cell extract and the prostate PC-3 cell line but not on intact Jurkat T cells. Our findings suggest that the proteasome is a cancer-related molecular target for, at least, the extracts of apple, grape and onion, and that the inhibition of proteasome activity by these fruits or vegetable may contribute to their cancer-preventative effects, although other molecular mechanisms may also be involved.

  Identification of specific plant nucleolar phosphoproteins in a functional proteomic analysis.:Proteomics. 2004 Feb;4(2):407-17.González-Camacho F, Medina FJ.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain. fgonzalez@cib.csic.es

 The soluble fraction of nuclear proteins is a functionally significant fraction, since it has been shown that it contains ribonucleoproteins active in nuclear RNA metabolism. The aim of this work was to detect variations associated with cell proliferation, by comparing two-dimensional proteomes obtained from the soluble fractions of onion nuclei isolated from actively proliferating root meristematic cells versus nonmeristematic root cells. In particular, we have studied the physicochemical features of the major nucleolar protein NopA100, a highly phosphorylated, nucleolin-like protein. A total of 384 spots were quantified in meristematic nuclei, while only 209 were detected in nonmeristematic nuclei. The comparison of both proteomes resulted in the determination of specific spots for each proliferative state and those which were common to both cases. Furthermore, among these latter, we could discriminate quantitative differences. Interestingly, well-known nucleolar proteins, such as RNA polymerase I, B23 and the nucleolin-like protein NopA100, were significantly increased in proliferating cells. Western blots with anti-NopA100 antibody demonstrated 26 spots in the meristematic sample. All the spots detected were clustered at 100 kDa and were distributed through an isoelectric point (pI) range of 4.3-6.6. In contrast, only seven spots were found in the extract from nonmeristematic nuclei, and the pI range was shortened to 4.8-6.1. These results indicate that the state of NopA100 phosphorylation correlates with the degree of nucleolar activity, i.e. the protein is more highly phosphorylated in cycling cells. We have also analyzed the bidimensional silver staining of the nucleolar organizing region (Ag-NOR) pattern of the soluble nuclear fraction in order to identify plant cell phosphoproteins that are considered to be markers of proliferation. These experiments demonstrated that NopA100, the onion, nucleolin-like protein, is an Ag-NOR protein. In addition we found that the plant homologue of the vertebrate nucleolar phosphoprotein B23 migrated as two clusters of acidic spots, 43 and 42 kDa respectively in molecular mass. The differences between these features and those described for mammalian cells is discussed. Our results demonstrate that the use of protein fractionation procedures with functional significance and the location of candidate spots by indirect techniques are advantageous, complementary methods to random selection procedures for proteomic studies involving further mass spectrometry analysis.

  Antileishmanial activity of aqueous onion extract in vitro.:Fitoterapia. 2004 Jan;75(1):9-13.Saleheen D, Ali SA, Yasinzai MM.The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. danishsaleheen@hotmail.com

 Onion has had an important dietary and medicinal role for centuries. In this study the antileishmanial effect of aqueous onion extract (AOE) was investigated. Five leishmanial strains in the promastigote stage were studied in vitro. Seventy-two hour inoculation of AOE gave an IC100 and average IC50 values of 1.25 mg/ml and 0.376 mg/ml, respectively, against all leishmanial strains tested.

  Antimicrobial activity of extracts of local cough mixtures on upper respiratory tract bacterial pathogens.:West Indian Med J. 2003 Sep;52(3):188-90.Adeleye IA, Opiah L.Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Nigeria. adeyem121@yahoo.com

 The punched-hole and the paper disc diffusion methods were used in screening for the antimicrobial activity of six common ingredients used locally in cough mixtures, against the following bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus. Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Salmonella paratyphi, Shigella dysenteria, Shigella sonnei and Candida albicans. The results, evaluated as the diameter of zone of inhibition of microbial growth, showed that lime, garlic onion, onion and honey were active against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp and Shigella dysenteriae. Bitter-kola nut extract and palm kernel oil showed no antimicrobial activities against any of the tested organisms. None of the extracts inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi and Shigella sonnei and the most susceptible organisms were Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.

  Antioxidants and radical scavenging properties of vegetable extracts in rats fed aflatoxin-contaminated diet.:J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Apr 9;51(8):2409-14.Abdel-Wahhab MA, Aly SE.Department of Food Toxicology and Contaminants, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt. Mosaad_attia@yahoo.com

 The present study evaluated the protection role of garlic, cabbage, and onion extracts against the toxic effects of aflatoxin. One hundred and twenty mature male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to eight experimental groups and treated for 15 days with extracts with or without aflatoxin. Blood samples were collected from all animals from the retro-orbital venous plexus at the end of the experimentation period for biochemical analysis. Livers and kidneys were removed at the end of the treatment period for determination of glutathione, malondialdehyde, and superoxide dismutase. The results indicated that animals treated with aflatoxin showed significant signs of aflatoxicosis. Extracts alone had insignificant effects on all parameters tested, whereas cotreatment with aflatoxin and extracts resulted in a significant improvement in all parameters; moreover, garlic extract was found to be the most effective in the prevention of aflatoxin-induced toxicity and free radical generation in rats.

  Studies on the stabilities of bioactive selenocompounds in selenium-enriched garlic and onion.:Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2002 Aug;31(4):252-5. Chinese.Yang W. Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing 100050, China.

 It is reported that selenium (Se) incorporation into garlic increases the bioactivities of garlic. Hence, the chemical changes of selenocompounds during processing and storage will influence the bioactive effectiveness of Se-enriched garlic. The principal selenocompounds in Se-enriched garlic are water-soluble, and several comparative experiments are thus conducted to examine the stabilities of the selenocompounds in water extracts of Se-enriched garlic and Se-enriched onion. The results show that preparing the garlic powder by freeze-drying technique can maintain the chemical properties of the selenium compounds in Se-enriched garlic. Se-methyl-selenocysteine is unstable in water extract of Se-enriched garlic when the extract is prepared and stored at room temperature. Specific alliinase inhibitor hydroxylamine (NHOH.HCl) effectively prevents the loss of Se-methyl-selenocysteine, which suggests that the decomposition of Se-methyl-selenocysteine may be catalyzed by alliinase. Se-methyl-selenocysteine is one of the main bioactive selenocompounds in Se-enriched garlic. The procedures of processing and storage should be carefully chosen to prevent the loss of selenocompounds and the decrease of the bioactivity of Se-enriched garlic. Se-enriched onion also contains alliinase and Se-methyl-selenocysteine, but its Se-methyl-selenocysteine is proved to be stable in the same water extract as that of Se-enriched garlic. The stability differences of Se-methyl-selenocysteine in Se-enriched garlic and onion, the mechanism of selenocompound decomposition and the bio-activities of decomposed compounds in Se-enriched garlic need to be further studied.

  Determination of S-methyl-, S-propyl-, and S-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxides by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after tert-butyldimethylsilylation.:J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 31;50(16):4445-51.

 A gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric method for the determination of S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (1), S-propyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (2), and S-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (3), specific marker compounds in the genus Allium, is described. The target amino acids were converted to the tert-butyldimethylsilyl derivatives. The products were silylated on the amino and carboxyl groups and on an additional oxygen atom and were separated on a nonpolar capillary column. That incorporation of three tert-butyldimethylsilyl groups had occurred was verified by mass spectrometry, which gave an m/z 302 fragment as base peak (amino acid side chain eliminated ion) and m/z 436 (1), 464 (2), or 462 (3) as major peaks (tert-butyl function eliminated ion), by electron impact ionization. The detection limits for 1 and 2 under selected ion monitoring at m/z 436 (1) and m/z 464 (2), respectively, were determined to be 0.3 and 1.8 ng per injection. To clean up the analytes from the solvent extract of onion, as a representative food material, onion, the sample solution was subjected to combined solid phase extraction. The eluate from a Sep-Pak C(18) cartridge was applied to a Bond Elut SCX cartridge (H(+) form), followed by washing with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid and elution with 0.5 M ammonia. From a simulated matrix solution containing 5% sucrose, 1 and 2 were extracted quantitatively, and the detection yield was approximately 75%. The contents of 1, 2, and 3 in commercial onion were estimated to be 0.3, 3.1, and 3.0 mg, respectively, per gram of fresh weight.

  Acid and heat stability of the anticoagulative activity of an onion extract.:Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Apr;66(4):859-61.

 An onion extract possessed anticoagulative activity apparently by inhibiting thrombin, and it was dependent upon the concentration of onion extract added. Boiling the onion extract at 100 degrees C for 30 min made no difference to its anticoagulative activity compared to that of fresh onion. The anticoagulative activity of the onion extract was also retained after an acid treatment by incubating at pH 2.0 for 4 hrs. However, dialyis of the extract substantially eliminated the anticoagulative activity. Therefore, the anticoagulant in the onion extract seems to have been a heat- and acid-stable substance of low molecular weight.

  Prevention of browning in potato with a heat-treated onion extract.:Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Apr;66(4):856-8.

 The inhibitory effect of an onion extract on browning of potato was investigated. The addition of the heated onion extract to potato exhibited a marked inhibitory effect on potato polyphenol oxidase and the formation of a brown color. The inhibitory effect of the onion extract was dependent upon its heating temperature. The addition of both glycine and glucose increased the inhibitory effect of the onion extract toward potato polyphenol oxidase.

  The antioxidant activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflects their phenolic and vitamin C composition.:Free Radic Res. 2002 Feb;36(2):217-33.Proteggente AR, Pannala AS, Paganga G, Van Buren L, Wagner E, Wiseman S, Van De Put F, Dacombe C, Rice-Evans CA.Antioxidant Research Group, Centre for Age-Related Diseases, GKT School of Biomedical Sciences, King's College London, UK.

 Recent studies are emphasising the importance and putative modes of action of specific flavonoids as bioactive components of the diet in in vivo and in vitro models. Thus, it is important to have a clear idea of the major phenolic families of which fruit and vegetables are comprised and the levels contained therein. Regularly consumed fruit and vegetables of mixed varieties available on the UK market were analysed for the composition of the major individual phenolic components. The total phenolic content (applying the Folin assay) and the vitamin C levels were also determined. The antioxidant capacities of aqueous/methanolic extracts were comparatively assessed using the TEAC (Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity), the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma) and ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) assays, which comprise contributions from polyphenols, simple phenols and the ascorbate component. The results were calculated in terms of 100 g fresh weight (FW) uncooked portion sizes. Fruit and vegetables rich in anthocyanins (e.g. strawberry, raspberry and red plum) demonstrated the highest antioxidant activities, followed by those rich in flavanones (e.g. orange and grapefruit) and flavonols (e.g. onion, leek, spinach and green cabbage), while the hydroxycinnamate-rich fruit (e.g. apple, tomato, pear and peach) consistently elicited the lower antioxidant activities. The TEAC, FRAP and ORAC values for each extract were relatively similar and well-correlated with the total phenolic and vitamin C contents. The antioxidant activities (TEAC) in terms of 100 g FW uncooked portion size were in the order: strawberry>> raspberry = red plum >> red cabbage >>>grapefruit = orange > spinach > broccoli > green grape approximately/= onion > green cabbage > pea > apple > cauliflower tomato approximately/= peach=leek > banana approximately/= lettuce.

  Flavonoids increase the intracellular glutathione level by transactivation of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase catalytical subunit promoter.:Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Mar 1;32(5):386-93.Myhrstad MC, Carlsen H, Nordstr?m O, Blomhoff R, Moskaug J?.Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

 Fruits and vegetables protect against cancer by so far not well-characterized mechanisms. One likely explanation for this effect is that dietary plants contain substances able to control basic cellular processes such as the endogenous defense against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is pivotal in many pathological processes and reduced oxidative stress is implicated in prevention of disease. Our results demonstrate that extract from onion and various flavonoids induce the cellular antioxidant system. Onion extract and quercetin were able to increase the intracellular concentration of glutathione by approximately 50%. Using a reporter construct where reporter expression is driven by the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) heavy subunit (GCS(h)) promoter we show that onion extract, quercetin, kaempferol, and apigenin increased reporter gene activity, while a fourth flavonoid, myricetin and sugar conjugates of quercetin were unable to increase reporter expression. Quercetin was also able to induce a distal part of the GCS(h) promoter containing only two antioxidant-response/electrophile-response elements (ARE/EpRE). Our data strongly suggest that flavonoids are important in the regulation of the intracellular glutathione levels. This effect may be exerted in part through GCS gene regulation, and may also contribute to the disease-preventing effect of fruits and vegetables.

  Growth promotion of rice seedlings by allelopathic polysaccharide from Welsh onion.:Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Jun;65(6):1296-301.

 The underground portion of the Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum) was extracted and separated into seven fractions to purify allelopathic compounds that were found to promote the growth of rice seedlings (Oryza sativa). The 80% (v/v) ethanol-insoluble fraction of the hot water extract showed the highest growth-promoting effect. Purification by DEAE-cellulose chromatography gave four fractions, AD-1, 2, 3 and 4. AD-3 at 1000 ppm stimulated root and shoot growth by about 2.4 and 1.5 times over the respective water and sucrose-treated controls. The molecular weight of AD-3 was roughly estimated as 630 kDa by gel permeation chromatography. Seventy two percent (by wt.) of AD-3 was a carbohydrate and no proteins were detected. A GC analysis of the neutral sugar composition revealed the presence of Gal (50.1%), Man (17.9%), Ara (10.4%), Rha (8.8%), Glc (7.2%) and Xyl (5.6%). About 3% (by wt.) of the total carbohydrate was uronic acid, which was identified as GalU by a GC analysis. The remainder of AD-3 was extracted in ethyl acetate after its hydrolysis with 2 M HCl. The major component of the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction was identified as unsaturated linear primary alcohols, 1-tetradecanol and 1-octadecanol (16% and 84% by peak areas from GC, respectively) by means of NMR and GC-MS. Sole or combined treatment of these alcohols did not affect the growth of rice seedlings. After partial hydrolysis with 0.2 M trifluoroacetic acid or by a sodium periodate treatment, the activity of AD-3 had completely disappeared, suggesting that the sugar moiety and/or molecular size were important for the activity.

  Anaphylactic reaction to the ingestion of raw onion. A case report.:Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2000 Sep-Oct;28(5):287-9.Arena A, Cislaghi C, Falagiani P.Ambulatorio di Allergologia, Azienda USL 5, Messina, Italy.

 A case of severe systemic reactions (intense itching, urticaria, confusion, blurred vision, transient loss of consciousness, sweating, tachycardia) after ingestion of raw or lightly-cooked onion is described. The patient, a 44-year-old woman, had no troubles with well-cooked onions. Differently from the cases of sensitivity to onion described in literature, this patient was monosensitized, being skin tests negative to pollens, inhalants and other foods. The patient had 3.7 kU/L of onion-specific segum IgE, as determined by REAST. The density of onion-specific IgE (calculated as percent ratio to total IgE) was 30.8%. The reactivity of patient's serum IgE towards thermolabile and thermostable components has been tested with unheated and heated (30' at 100 degrees C) onion extracts bound to polystyrene beads and tested in the RAST system. Unheated extract resulted positive in class 2, heated extract negative, demonstrating that this patients, differently from similar clinical cases described in literature, had IgE antibodies recognizing just thermolabile onion fraction. This is the first case described in literature of a monosensitization to the thermolabile component of onion, negative also to related foods (Liliacee) and characterized by severe systemic reactions. The importance of specific-IgE density (%) rather their absolute amount (kU/L) as parameter predictive for the clinical severity of allergic reactions is discussed.

  Effects of Welsh onion extracts on human platelet function in vitro.:Life Sci. 2000 Mar;66(17):1571-9.Chen JH, Chen HI, Wang JS, Tsai SJ, Jen CJ.Department of Food Health, Chia Nan College of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC.

 Welsh onion has been consumed for prevention of cardiovascular disorders. However, its underlying mechanisms are still unclear. This study investigated whether Welsh onion extracts can alter human platelet function (ie, platelet adhesion, aggregation, and thromboxane release). To clarify the underlying mechanisms, we also measured the intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) and cyclic nucleotide levels in platelets. Our results showed that 1) boiled extracts directly induced platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent manner; 2) raw extracts inhibited platelet adhesion and ADP-evoked platelet aggregation, while boiled extracts enhanced them; 3) raw green extract suppressed ADP-stimulated platelet [Ca2+]i elevation and thromboxane production, whereas boiled green extract enhanced them; 4) raw green extract elevated platelet cAMP level, whereas boiled green extract had no effect on cAMP level. Furthermore, the boiled green extract, but not the raw extract, induced pronounced platelet morphological changes. In conclusion, raw extracts of Welsh onion inhibit platelet function in vitro while boiled extracts activate platelets.

  Protective Effect of Broccoli, Onion, Carrot, and Licorice Extracts against Cytotoxicity of N-Nitrosamines Evaluated by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium Bromide Assay.:J Agric Food Chem. 1998 Feb 16;46(2):585-589.Martínez A, Cambero I I, Ikken Y, Marín ML, Haza AI, Morales P.Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología III, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

 The protective effect of nine fruit and vegetable aqueous (H(2)O) and ethanolic (EtOH) extracts against the cytotoxicity of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR), N-nitrosodibutylamine (NDBA), and N-nitrosopiperidine (NPIP) was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The fruit extracts under investigation did not show a protective effect against any N-nitrosamines tested. Four vegetable extracts exhibited a protective effect (to 100% of survival) and a stimulation of cellular proliferation (>100% of survival) in decreasing order against NDMA and NPYR: broccoli(EtOH) > onion(H2O) > carrot(EtOH) > onion(EtOH) > licorice(H2O). Decreasing orders against NDBA and NPIP were, respectively, broccoli(EtOH) > licorice(H2O) > carrot(EtOH) > onion(EtOH) and broccoli(EtOH) > carrot(EtOH) > licorice(H2O) > onion(EtOH). Thus, broccoli(EtOH) extract (19-20 mg/mL) showed greater protective effect and stimulation of cellular proliferation (160% of survival) against all N-nitrosamines studied than the other vegetable extracts tested.

  Thromboxane-B(2) levels in serum of rabbits receiving a single intravenous dose of aqueous extract of garlic and onion.:Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000 Oct;63(4):217-21.Thomson M, Mustafa T, Ali M.Department of Biological Science, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait.

 We have shown previously that fresh garlic extract is effective in reducing thromboxane formation by platelets both in vivo and in vitro animal models of thrombosis. In the present study, the effect of different concentrations of a single dose of aqueous extracts of garlic and onion were evaluated on serum thromboxane-B(2)synthesis in rabbits. Different concentrations of garlic and onion were administered as single doses in the ear vein of rabbits. Rabbits were bled before and at different intervals after the infusion of garlic or onion extracts. Venous blood was collected and allowed to clot at 37 degrees C for 1 h. Thromboxane-B(2)level was measured in the serum by radioimmunoassay. It was observed that garlic inhibits the thrombin-induced platelet synthesis of TXB(2)in a dose-and time-dependent manner. Maximum inhibition of TXB(2)occurred between 0.5 h and 6 h at 25 and 100 mg kg(-1)garlic. At 24 h post-garlic infusion TXB(2)inhibition was reduced to 15% of the control and TXB(2)levels were comparable to that of the control values at 72 h pots-garlic infusion. Infusion of 100 mg kg(-1)onion extract did not elicit any inhibitory effect on TXB(2)synthesis in the serum of rabbit during the treatment period. The rapid recovery of platelet cyclooxygenase activity after infusion of a single dose of garlic suggests that garlic should be taken more frequently in order to achieve beneficial effects in the prevention of thrombosis.

  Mechanism for antiplatelet effect of onion: AA release inhibition, thromboxane A(2)synthase inhibition and TXA(2)/PGH(2)receptor blockade.:Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000 May;62(5):277-83.

 Antiplatelet actions of aqueous extract of onion were investigated in rat and human platelet. IC(50)values of onion extract for collagen-, thrombin-, arachidonic acid (AA)-induced aggregations and collagen-induced thromboxane A(2)(TXA(2)) formation were 0.17 +/- 0. 01, 0.23 + 0.03, 0.34 +/- 0.02 and 0.12 +/- 0.01 g/ml, respectively. [(3)H]-AA release induced by collagen (10 microg/ml) in rat platelet was decreased by onion compared to control (22.1 +/- 2.13 and 5.2 +/- 0.82% of total [(3)H]-AA incorporated, respectively). In fura-2 loaded platelets, the elevation of intracellular Ca(2+)concentration stimulated by collagen was inhibited by onion. Onion had no cytotoxic effect in platelet. Onion significantly inhibited TXA(2)synthase activity without influence on COX activity. Platelet aggregation induced by U46619, a stable TXA(2)mimetic, was inhibited by onion, indicating its antagonism for TXA(2)/PGH(2)receptor. These results suggest that the mechanism for antiplatelet effect of onion may, at least partly, involve AA release diminution, TXA(2)synthase inhibition and TXA(2)/PGH(2)receptor blockade.

  Antimutagenic effect of fruit and vegetable ethanolic extracts against N-nitrosamines evaluated by the Ames test.:J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Aug;47(8):3257-64.Ikken Y, Morales P, Martínez A, Marín ML, Haza AI, Cambero MI.Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología III, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.

 The inhibitory effect of nine fruit and vegetable ethanolic extracts against the mutagenicity of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR), N-nitrosodibutylamine (NDBA), and N-nitrosopiperidine (NPIP) was evaluated by means of the Ames test. Licorice ethanolic extract was the only one that showed an inhibitory effect (ranging from moderate to strong) against mutagenicity of all N-nitrosamines tested. This ethanolic extract showed the greatest inhibition effect against NPIP (72%), NDMA (45%), and NPYR (39%). The greatest inhibition effect (51%) of the mutagenicity of NDBA was shown by kiwi ethanolic extract. Vegetable and fruit ethanolic extracts that exhibited an antimutagenic effect (at the range 50-2000 microg/plate), in decreasing order, against NDMA and NPYR were as follows: licorice > kiwi > carrot and licorice > broccoli > pineapple > kiwi, respectively. Decreasing orders against NDBA and NPIP were, respectively, kiwi > onion > licorice = garlic > green pepper > carrot and licorice > garlic > pineapple > carrot.

  Pilot study evaluating topical onion extract as treatment for postsurgical scars.:Dermatol Surg. 1999 Apr;25(4):267-9.Jackson BA, Shelton AJ.Department of Medical Specialities, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030-4095, USA.

 BACKGROUND: Post surgical scars can be erythematous, raised, pruritic and painful. Numerous modalities are available to improve the appearance and symptomatology of these scars. A topical onion gel extract is the newest in the armamentarium of scar treatments. The active ingredient in this gel is allium cepa. Published studies evaluating the usefulness of this gel in the treatment of scars are not available. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of topical onion gel extract in improving the appearance and symptomatology of postsurgical scars and to compare the results of its use to those of a topical emollient ointment. METHODS: Seventeen patients with surgical scars resulting from Mohs surgery were assigned to 1 of 2 groups on the day of suture removal. Each group applied a designated topical product 3 times a day for 1 month. Photographic documentation and questionnaires using a visual analog scale were completed for each scar enrolled in the study. RESULTS: Using the Fischer's exact test, no statistically significant difference between pre- and posttreatment evaluations of scar erythema and pruritus in patients using topical onion extract gel was found. A statistically significant reduction in scar erythema was found in patients using a petrolatum based ointment. CONCLUSIONS: Scar hydration is an important factor in wound healing and can be achieved with topical petrolatum-based ointment. Topical onion gel extract was ineffective in improving scar erythema and pruritus in our patients.

  Inhibition of aflatoxin-producing fungi by Welsh onion extracts.:J Food Prot. 1999 Apr;62(4):414-7.Fan JJ, Chen JH.Department of Food Health, Chia Nan College of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China. ifanjj@chna.chna.edu.tw

 Welsh onion ethanol extracts were tested for their inhibitory activity against the growth and aflatoxin production of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. The survival of spores of A. flavus and A. parasiticus depended on both the extract concentration and the exposure time of the spores to the Welsh onion extracts. The mycelial growth of two tested fungi cultured on yeast extract-sucrose broth was completely inhibited in the presence of the Welsh onion ethanol extract at a concentration of 10 mg/ml during 30 days of incubation at 25 degrees C. The extracts added to the cultures also inhibited aflatoxin production at a concentration of 10 mg/ml or permitted only a small amount of aflatoxin production with extract concentration of 5 mg/ml after 2 weeks of incubation. Welsh onion ethanol extracts showed more pronounced inhibitory effects against the two tested aflatoxin-producing fungi than did the same added levels of the preservatives sorbate and propionate at pH values near 6.5.

  Effect of raw versus boiled aqueous extract of garlic and onion on platelet aggregation.:Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999 Jan;60(1):43-7.Ali M, Bordia T, Mustafa T.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Safat, Kuwait.

 The effects of aqueous extracts of raw and boiled garlic and onions were studied in vitro on the collagen-induced platelet aggregation using rabbit and human platelet-rich plasma. A dose dependant inhibition of rabbit platelet aggregation was observed with garlic. Onion also showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on the collagen-induced platelet aggregation but this inhibition was of a lesser magnitude compared to garlic when related to dose. The concentration required for 50% inhibition of the platelet aggregation for garlic was calculated to be approximately 6.6 mg ml(-1) plasma, whereas the concentration for onion was 90 mg ml(-1) plasma. Boiled garlic and onion extracts showed a reduced inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation. Garlic but not onion significantly inhibits human platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent fashion. The potency of garlic in inhibiting the collagen-induced platelet aggregation is approximately similar to that of rabbit platelets (8.8 mg ml(-1) produced 50% inhibition of platelet aggregation). The results of this study show that garlic is about 13 times more potent than onion in inhibiting platelet aggregation and suggest that garlic and onion could be more potent inhibitors of blood platelet aggregation if consumed in raw than in cooked or boiled form.

  Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) extracts alter vascular responses in rat aortae.:J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1999 Apr;33(4):515-20.Chen JH, Tsai SJ, Chen HI.Department of Food Health, Chia Nan College of Pharmacy and Science, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC.

 Welsh onion, a member of the genus Allium, has been consumed for prevention of cardiovascular disorders. However, its underlying mechanisms are still unclear. We investigated whether Welsh onion extracts (green or white portion, raw or boiled) can alter vascular responses in vitro in the thoracic aortae of Sprague-Dawley rats. The possible roles of endothelium-derived factors in the Welsh onion extract-induced vascular responses were examined by applying various inhibitors, such as Nomega-nitro-L-arginine (10(-4) M), tetraethylammonium (10(-3) M), and SQ29548 (10(-5) M). Our results showed that Welsh onion extracts caused vasodilation on precontracted vessel rings. These effects were most pronounced in vessel rings treated with raw green-leaf extract (RG). Low doses of RG induced vasorelaxation, which was mediated by endothelium-derived nitric oxide. High doses of RG induced endothelium-independent vasorelaxation. On the other hand, the boiled Welsh onion extract also stimulated the release of an endothelium-derived contracting factor, which might be thromboxane A2. We conclude that Welsh onion extract can modulate vascular tone in both endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent manners.

  Effects of aqueous extract of onion on the liver and lung of rats.:J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Jun;61(2):91-9.Thomson M, Alnaqeeb MA, Bordia T, Al-Hassan JM, Afzal M, Ali M.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, Safat. martha@kuc01.kuniv.edu.kw

 The toxic effects of oral and intraperitoneal administration of onion extracts on lung and liver tissue of rats were investigated. Oral or intraperitoneal administration of low doses of onion (50 mg/kg) to rats had little effect on lung and liver tissues when compared to control animals. In contrast, administration of high doses of onion (500 mg/kg) resulted in apparent histological changes in lung and liver tissues of rats. Intraperitoneal administration of the high dose of onion was more damaging to lung and liver tissue than oral administration and resulted in a 25% rate of mortality in this treatment group. These results suggest that low doses of onion are nontoxic and may be administered with few ill effects.

  Cell cycle arrest in antheridial extract-treated root meristems of Allium cepa and Melandrium noctiflorum.:Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 1998;36(1):35-43.Maszewski J, Ka?mierczak A, Polit J.Department of Cytophysiology, University of Lód?, Poland.

 Previous results have demonstrated that extracts derived from maturing male sex organs of Chara tomentosa are capable of inducing profound structural and functional effects upon M-phase cells in the primary root meristems of Melandrium noctiflorum and Allium cepa. Evident changes produced by a putative factor engaged in morphogenesis of antheridial filaments are manifested by: (1) significant shortening of chromosomes, (2) decreased mitotic indices, and (3) altered proportions estimated for the prophase and telophase transit times. The present image analysis of late G2 phase nuclei in antheridial filaments of C. tomentosa supports the concepts that progressive changes of their functional activities correspond closely to the increasing proportion of condensed chromatin. Cytophotometric measurements of Feulgen-stained cell nuclei in root meristems after a prolonged incubation in antheridial extracts revealed that cells which previously divided asynchronously became preferentially arrested in G1 (M. noctiflorum) and G2 (A. cepa). The stages at which the cells arrest are supposed to counterpart restriction checkpoints that prevent the initiation of DNA synthesis and mitosis. This assumption has been confirmed by autoradiographic studies using 3H-thymidine. In terms of the "Principal Control Points" (PCP) hypothesis, the obtained results suggest that two PCPs regulate G1-->S and G2-->M transition in a nuclear structure-dependent and a species-specific manner. Although in antheridial extract-treated roots of both M. noctiflorum and A. cepa there are only slight changes in the levels of chromatin condensation, the relative proportions of G1- and G2-arrested cells and their nuclear density profiles differ, as compared with the control and carbohydrate-starved plants.

  Effect of onion extract on immune response in rabbits.:Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 1996 Aug;22(2):81-5.Chisty MM, Quddus R, Islam B, Khan BR.Department of Pathology, Dhaka Medical College.

 A total of 40 NZW rabbits were selected for this study to see the effect of onion extract on immune response following antigenic challenge. These animals were randomly divided into four groups, each composed of ten rabbits. Group I and II were challenged with typhoid H (TH) antigen and groups III and IV with sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Groups I and III were considered as control and II and IV as treated groups. The latter two groups were treated with onion extract orally. The immunosuppressive effect of onion extract was evaluated by estimating antibody levels by Widal test and hemolysin titer. It was found that mean antibody titers were significantly lower in the treated groups than in controls. The weights of thymus and lymph nodes were higher and of adrenal glands were lower in the control groups than in the treated groups. It appeared from the current study that onion extract has an inhibitory effect on immune response.

  An evaluation of garlic and onion as antithrombotic agents.:Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1996 Mar;54(3):183-6.Bordia T, Mohammed N, Thomson M, Ali M.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, 13060 Safat, Kuwait.

 Garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (Allium cepa) have been evaluated as possible antithrombotic agents. Rats were given aqueous extracts of garlic and onion, orally or intraperitoneally, daily for a period of 4 weeks after which the rats were sacrificed. The blood was collected from the heart without anticoagulant and the serum was prepared. The level of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) in the serum was measured by radioimmunoassay. TXB2 levels in serum of rats treated with the low dose of aqueous extract of garlic (50 mg/kg) was significantly inhibited regardless of the mode of administration (orally or intraperitoneally). At the high dose of garlic and onion (500 mg/kg), a further decrease of TXB2 levels in the serum of the rats was observed. Boiled garlic and onion at high concentration (500 mg/ kg) had very little effect on TXB2 synthesis. This shows that garlic and onion should be consumed in a raw rather than cooked form in order to achieve a beneficial effect. Boiling of these plants may cause the decomposition of the potential antithrombotic ingredient present in these herbs. Garlic was found to be more potent than onion in lowering the TXB2 levels. A high dose of garlic and onion produces toxicity in the rats (unpublished observation). These results show that garlic and onion can be taken frequently in low doses without any side effects, and can still produce a significant antithrombotic effect.

  Inhibition of aflatoxin production & growth of Aspergillus flavus by eugenol & onion & garlic extracts.:Indian J Med Res. 1992 Jun;96:171-5.Bilgrami KS, Sinha KK, Sinha AK.University Department of Botany, Bhagalpur University.

 Efficacy of natural non-toxic materials including extracts of onion and garlic as well as eugenol was tested against aflatoxin production by A. flavus in liquid SMKY medium and in maize grains. Maximum inhibition in the mycelial growth occurred with garlic extract (61.94%), whereas inhibition of aflatoxin production was highest (60.44%) due to onion extract. Eugenol was most suitable for inhibiting aflatoxin production (60.35%) on maize grains.

  Effect of oral ingestion of different fractions of Allium cepa on the blood and erythrocyte membrane lipids and certain membrane-bound enzymes in rats.:J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1989 Apr;35(2):155-61.Ahluwalia P, Mohindroo A.Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

 The effect of oral ingestion of different fractions of onion (Allium cepa)--extract, residue, and whole--at a dose level equivalent to intake of 50 g of onion per day for a 70-kg man, for 30 days, to male adult, normal, albino rats was studied on blood and erythrocyte membrane lipids and certain membrane-bound enzymes. Onion extract and residue showed hypercholesterolemic effect, while whole onion showed hypocholesterolemic effect in blood. In erythrocyte membranes, all the fractions had hypocholesterolemic and hypolipidemic effect, which was accompanied by changes in the erythrocyte membrane enzymes studied, i.e., alkaline and acid phosphatase, 5'-nucleotidase, total and Mg2+ ATPase. The above study indicated that it is safer to take whole onion rather than onion residue or extract, because whole onion could lower the blood cholesterol level even in normal condition and has a less pronounced effect on the micro-environment of the cells.

  Effect of intracerebrally injected aminophylline, vinpocetinum, vasoactive intestinal peptide and onion extract on breathing pattern of rats.:Z Erkr Atmungsorgane. 1989;173(2):134-7.Vertes C, Debreczeni LA.Pathophysiological Research Unit, National Koranyi Institute for TBC and Pulmonology, Budapest/Hungary.

 Aminophylline or VIP (Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide) given ip. or iv. have marked bronchodilatory effects. The onion extracts protect guinea pigs as well as human patients against allergen-induced bronchial spasms (Dorsch et al.). Recently it has been shown that lipophilic components of onions seem to be responsible for the antiasthmatic effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of intracerebrally injected aminophylline (3 microM), Vinpocetinum (0.1 mg/kg), VIP (5 micrograms) and onion oils (30 microliters of extracts) on the respiratory center and on the resistance of lower airways of rats. The following respiratory parameters were evaluated: respiratory rate (RR), tidal volume (VT), mean inspiratory flow (Vin), respiratory minute volume (VE), and dynamic lung resistance (R). Respiratory rate was increased and values of all the other parameters were decreased after aminophylline treatment. VIP increased the tidal volume, minute ventilation and the respiratory drive. After injection of onion extracts the respiratory rate and the dynamic lung resistance decreased, but the tidal volume increased. The beneficial effects of onion oil are manifested not only peripherally acting on bronchial smooth muscle but via the reflexogenic pathways.

  In vitro inhibitory effect of onion extract on hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.:Nutr Cancer. 1987;10(3):137-44.Niukian K, Schwartz J, Shklar G.

 In vitro studies were performed that used varying concentrations of onion extract added to cell cultures of an epidermoid carcinoma cell line derived from hamster buccal pouch carcinoma (HCPC-1). The studies demonstrated tumor growth inhibition beginning after 24 hours of incubation at an onion extract concentration of 25% and above in culture media. After 4 days and 10 days of incubation, there was a noted decrease in tumor proliferation. The plating efficiency for 24 hours was observed to produce a 54-89% inhibition in plating density. The results indicated here provide in vitro evidence of the inhibitory and cytotoxic activity on an oral carcinoma cell line.

  Antiasthmatic effects of onions. Inhibition of platelet-activating factor-induced bronchial obstruction by onion oils.:Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1987;82(3-4):535-6.Dorsch W, Ettl M, Hein G, Scheftner P, Weber J, Bayer T, Wagner H.

 Lyophilized onion extract and ether extracts of onions were separated by chromatographic methods into several subfractions and tested for their effects on asthmatic reactions of guinea pigs to allergen, histamine, acetylcholine and platelet-activating factor (PAF) inhalation as well as on thromboxane biosynthesis of human platelets and lung fibroblasts. Onion oils are counteracting the bronchial obstruction due to PAF inhalation.

  Effects of onion extract on the development of hamster buccal pouch carcinomas as expressed in tumor burden.:Nutr Cancer. 1987;9(2-3):171-6.Niukian K, Schwartz J, Shklar G.

 One-hundred male, young-adult Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were divided into five equal groups of 20 animals each. Groups 1, 2, and 3 were painted three times a week in the left buccal pouches with a 0.5% solution of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) in mineral oil. Group 1 animals also received a 20% onion extract in their drinking water and were also painted in left buccal pouches three times a week with a 50% onion extract in mineral oil. Group 2 animals received the onion extract in their drinking water, but they received only mineral oil in buccal pouches as a control for the painting with onion extract in mineral oil. Group 3 animals received DMBA but no onion extract. Group 4 animals received onion extract but no DMBA, and Group 5 animals were left untreated. Onion extract was found to significantly delay tumor formation in Groups 1 and 2 compared with Group 3 DMBA controls.

  Onion exerts antiaggregatory effects by altering arachidonic acid metabolism in platelets.:Prostaglandins Leukot Med. 1986 Sep;24(1):43-50.

 In vitro effects of an oily extract of onion were examined on the metabolism of arachidonic acid (AA) in human platelets. Onion was found to reduce the formation of thromboxane and lipoxygenase products from exogenous arachidonic acid in platelets; it did not inhibit the incorporation of AA into platelet phospholipids. While not affecting the platelet phospholipase activity it did reduce the formation of thromboxane B2 and lipoxygenase products in platelets that were prelabelled with arachidonic acid and then activated by A23187. This suggests that onion inhibits the formation of AA metabolites by exerting its effect at steps later than the liberation of AA. With concentrations of onion extract producing abolition of AA-induced aggregation, only partial inhibition of aggregation was observed with ADP- and epinephrine-induced aggregation. Onion did not inhibit A23187 induced aggregation. The results suggest that inhibition of platelet aggregation by onion is mediated largely by its effect on platelet thromboxane production.

  Extraction and identification of different prostaglandins in Allium cepa.:Comp Biochem Physiol C. 1986;85(1):163-6.Al-Nagdy SA, Abdel Rahman MO, Heiba HI.

 Green onions (Allium cepa) were homogenized in a blender and extracted by normal extraction methods except that diethyl ether was used as the first extracting solvent. Different analytical procedures were used for the identification of the prostaglandins separated. TLC was applied using silica gel 60 F254 plates and a mixture of benzene, dioxane and acetic acid (20:10:1) as eluent, and the Rf values were compared with those of authentic samples. GC analysis on an SE 30 packed column and FID was applied; relative retention times of the onion extract components were measured and matched with authentic prostaglandin samples using cholesterol as an internal standard. GC-MS analyses using the same conditions adopted for GC analysis were conducted on a Finnigan MAT 112S instrument. Four peaks were identified. The prostaglandins identified were F1 alpha, E1, B1 and A2.

  Prevention of allergen-induced bronchial obstruction in sensitized guinea pigs by crude alcoholic onion extract.:Agents Actions. 1984 Jun;14(5-6):626-9. Dorsch W, Weber J.

 Thirteen guinea pigs, sensitized to ovalbumin, were pretreated with either 1 ml alcoholic onion extract (= 12% v/v ethanol) or 1 ml 12% ethanol solution (control) according to a randomized crossover protocol. Thirty minutes later the animals were challenged twice for 30 sec (n = 5), respectively 60 sec (n = 8), by the inhalation of ovalbumin (1 ml 1% ovalbumin solution nebulized in 10 l air). The intensity of bronchial obstruction was measured by whole body plethysmography using as parameter the amount of 'compressed air'. Oral pretreatment of guinea pigs with onion extract markedly reduced the asthmatic response (p less than 0.02). After onion pretreatment near normal values were obtained after 30 sec challenge (0.04 +/- 0.06 ml compared to 0.24 +/- 0.15 ml in the control) and only slightly increased values after 60 sec challenge (0.16 +/- 0.07 ml compared to 0.33 +/- 0.25 ml in the control).

  Effects of aqueous extracts of onion, garlic and ginger on platelet aggregation and metabolism of arachidonic acid in the blood vascular system: in vitro study.:Prostaglandins Leukot Med. 1984 Feb;13(2):227-35.Srivas KC.

 Aqueous extracts of onion, garlic and ginger were found to inhibit aggregation induced by ADP, epinephrine, collagen and arachidonate in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. In the case of onion and garlic extracts relatively much higher volumes were need to bring about even a modest inhibition (by ca. 13-18%) of thromboxane synthesis in washed platelets from labelled AA. On the other hand a good correlation was found between the amounts of ginger extract needed to inhibit platelet aggregation and those to inhibit platelet thromboxane synthesis. Ginger extract reduced also platelet prostaglandin-endoperoxides. A dose-related inhibition of platelet thromboxane- and prostaglandin (PGF2 alpha, PGE2 and PGD2) synthesis was affected by ginger extract. Extracts of onion, garlic and ginger inhibited biosynthesis of prostacyclin in rat aorta from labelled AA. Ginger extract mildly inhibited the synthesis of prostacyclin from endogenous pool of AA in rat aorta; the other two extracts were without effect.

  Aqueous extracts of onion, garlic and ginger inhibit platelet aggregation and alter arachidonic acid metabolism.:Biomed Biochim Acta. 1984;43(8-9):S335-46. Srivastava KC.

 Aqueous extracts of onion, garlic and ginger inhibited platelet aggregation induced by several aggregation agents, including arachidonate (AA), in a dose-dependent manner. While onion and garlic extracts were found to be weak inhibitors of platelet thromboxane synthesis, ginger extract inhibited the platelet cyclooxygenase products and this effect correlated well with its inhibitory effects on the platelet aggregation induced by the above aggregation agents. These two effects were dose-dependent. Although the three aqueous extracts inhibited the biosynthesis of 6-keto-F1 alpha in rat aortic rings from labelled AA, they did not reduce prostacyclin production from endogenous AA pool in aortic rings. Aqueous ginger extract was extracted into three organic solvents in order of increasing polarity (n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate). An analysis of the n-hexane extract revealed at least three clearly separated TLC bands containing materials that inhibited platelet thromboxane generation simultaneously increasing lipoxygenase products (HETE). The results indicate that if the same were happening in vivo, onion, garlic and ginger could be useful as natural antithrombotic materials.

  Suppression of immediate and late anti-IgE-induced skin reactions by topically applied alcohol/onion extract.:Allergy. 1984 Jan;39(1):43-9.Dorsch W, Ring J.

 In a double blind study, alcohol/onion extract (5% ethanol) was injected simultaneously with 20 IU and 200 IU rabbit anti-human-IgE intradermally in 12 adult volunteers (6 atopics, 6 non-atopics). Diameters of wheals and flares were measured 10 min after and compared with control sites challenged with 20 IU and 200 IU anti-IgE in a 5% ethanol solution. The skin sites were then treated epidermally with 45% alcohol/onion extract and 45% ethanol under occlusion. Diameters of late cutaneous reactions were measured hourly. Oedema formation was clinically estimated according to an arbitrary scale and skin thickness measured with a calliper. In the onion-treated skin sites the wheal areas were significantly reduced (20 IU: control: 108 +/- 53 mm2; onion 69 +/- 42 mm2, P less than 0.05; 200 IU anti-IgE: control: 152 +/- 25 mm2, onion: 138 +/- 26 mm2, P less than 0.02). The oedema formation during the late phase skin reaction was markedly depressed (P less than 0.005 at 2 h, P less than 0.01 at 4 and 6 h, P less than 0.02 at 8 h). The extent of late skin reactions was slightly, but not significantly reduced. Obviously, onions contain pharmacologically active substances with anti-inflammatory and/or allergic properties.

  The antimicrobial activity of garlic and onion extracts.:Pharmazie. 1983 Nov;38(11):747-8.Elnima EI, Ahmed SA, Mekkawi AG, Mossa JS.

 Aqueous extracts of garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (Allium cepa) were tested for activity against Gram-positive organisms, Gram-negative organisms and fungi. A significant growth inhibition was shown by most of the organisms, tested at random. A quantitative assessment of the activity was carried out by determining the minimum bacteriostatic and bactericidal concentrations of the extracts against Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Garlic extract showed greater activity as compared to the extract of onion. The activity of the garlic extract on the mouth flora of volunteers was then investigated. A mouth wash containing 10% garlic in quarter Ringer solution produced a drastic reduction in the number of oral bacteria.

  Effect of onion and garlic on blood coagulation and fibrinolysis in vitro.:Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1983 Apr-Jun;27(2):141-5.Nagda KK, Ganeriwal SK, Nagda KC, Diwan AM.

 The effects of aqueous extracts of onion and garlic as well as of garlic oil were studied on the process of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis in vitro. Only onion was found to exhibit anti-coagulant and fibrinolytic activity while garlic extract as well as garlic oil were inactive.

  Changes in shape of erythrocytes in rabbits on atherogenic diet and onion extracts.:Atherosclerosis. 1980 May;36(1):39-45.Vatsala TM, Singh M.

 The effects of administration of cholesterol alone and of cholesterol and fresh whole onion extract, on the shape of erythrocytes, were studied in albino rabbits. In animals on a cholesterol-enriched diet, the erythrocytes changed shape and showed an increased tendency to aggregate, whereas they retained their normal appearance in animals on cholesterol and onion extract, and did not differ from those of normal control rabbits.

  Effects of onion in induced atherosclerosis in rabbits: I. Reduction of arterial lesions and lipid levels.:Artery. 1980;7(6):519-30.Vatsala TM, Singh M, Murugesan RG.

 The effects of dietary cholesterol alone and of cholesterol in combination with fresh whole onion extract on the lesions and aortic lipid concentrations were studied in albino rabbits. The lesions produced were significantly greater in cholesterol-fed animals. In animals given the cholesterol diet, the aortic cholesterol levels were significantly greater than in the onion extract and cholesterol-fed animals. The aortic total lipid levels in latter group were comparable to the levels of control group.

  Effects of onion (Allium cepa) extract on platelet aggregation and thromboxane synthesis.:Prostaglandins Med. 1979 Jun;2(6):413-24.Makheja AN, Vanderhoek JY, Bailey JM.

 Oral administration of onion and garlic reportedly decreases platelet aggregation in both human and animal subjects. An oily chloroform extract of onion (Allium Cepa) was prepared and separated by column chromatography on silicic acid into six fractions by elution with solvents of increasing polarity. The least polar fraction contained most of the inhibitory activity towards platelet aggregation induced by either ADP or arachidonic acid. Further purification was afforded by thin-layer chromatography. The specific activity of this major active fraction (I50 per ml of PRP) was approximately 7 units per milligram. Platelets incubated in the presence of onion inhibitor and (1-14C)-arachidonic acid showed striking changes in the pattern of arachidonic acid metabolites formed. Thromboxane B2 synthesis was almost completely suppressed without significant decreases in total hydroxy fatty acid formation. It was concluded that the observed antiplatelet activity of onion relates to the presence of a non-polar, heat stable inhibitor of thromboxane synthesis. This appears to be the first demonstration of this type of inhibitor present in significant quantities in a common foodstuff.

  The hypolipidemic effect of onion (Allium cepa Linn) in sucrose fed rabbits.:Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1979 Jan-Mar;23(1):27-30.Sebastian KL, Zacharias NT, Philip B, Augusti KT.

 Long term administration of sucrose significantly increased triglyceride levels in normal rabbits. Effects of an aqueous extract of onion on the sucrose fed rabbits have been investigated. Administration of onion extract significantly reduced serum, liver and aorta triglycerides and serum and liver proteins. On the other hand liver free amino acids have been significantly increased in the onion treated group as compared to the sucrose fed control. The effects of onion have been ascribed to its sulfur containing principles which oxidize thiol compounds either present free or combined in a protein and NADPH which are necessary for lipid synthesis.


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  • Name:Common Onion Extract
  • Serie No:P028.
  • Specifications:10:1 TLC.
  • EINECS/ELINCS No.:232-498-2
  • CAS:8054-39-5
  • Chem/IUPAC Name:Allium Cepa Extract is an extract of the bulbs of the onion, Allium cepa, Liliaceae

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