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Life Extension Magazine


August 2005

Free radicals and antioxidants in primary fibromyalgia: an oxidative stress disorder?

The role of free radicals in fibromyalgia is controversial. In this study, 85 female patients with primary fibromyalgia and 80 age-, height-, and weight-matched healthy women were evaluated for oxidant/antioxidant balance. Malondialdehyde is a toxic metabolite of lipid peroxidation used as a marker of free radical damage. Superoxide dismutase is an intracellular antioxidant enzyme and shows antioxidant capacity. Pain was assessed by visual analog scale. Tender points were assessed by palpation. Age, smoking, body mass index (BMI), and duration of disease were also recorded. Malondialdehyde levels were significantly higher and superoxide dismutase levels significantly lower in fibromyalgic patients than controls. Age, BMI, smoking, and duration of disease did not affect these parameters. We found no correlation between pain and number of tender points. In conclusion, oxidant/antioxidant balances were changed in fibromyalgia. Increased free radical levels may be responsible for the development of fibromyalgia. These findings may support the hypothesis of fibromyalgia as an oxidative disorder.

Rheumatol Int. 2005 Apr;25(3):188-90

Inhibition of cell growth by overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in human pancreatic carcinoma.

Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) levels have been found to be low in human pancreatic cancer [Pancreas 26, (2003), 23] and human pancreatic cancer cell lines [Cancer Res. 63, (2003), 1297] when compared to normal human pancreas. We hypothesized that stable overexpression of pancreatic cancer cells with MnSOD cDNA would alter the malignant phenotype. MIA PaCa-2 cells were stably transfected with a pcDNA3 plasmid containing sense human MnSOD cDNA or containing no MnSOD insert by using the lipofectAMINE method. G418-resistant colonies were isolated, grown and maintained. Over expression of MnSOD was confirmed in two selected clones with a 2-4-fold increase in MnSOD immunoreactive protein. Compared with the parental and neo control cells, the MnSOD-over-expressing clones had decreased growth rates, growth in soft agar and plating efficiency in vitro, while in vivo, the MnSOD-over-expressing clones had slower growth in nude mice. These results suggest that MnSOD may be a tumor suppressor gene in human pancreatic cancer.

Free Radic Res. 2004 Nov;38(11):1223-33

Influence of an orally effective SOD on hyperbaric oxygen-related cell damage.

In a prospective, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled study, we tested the hypothesis that a new formulation consisting of wheat gliadin chemically combined with a vegetal (thus orally effective) preparation of superoxide dismutase (SOD) allows to prevent hyperbaric oxygen (HBO)-induced oxidative cell stress. Twenty healthy volunteers were exposed to 100% oxygen breathing at 2.5 ATA for a total of 60 min. DNA strand breaks (tail moments) were determined using the alkaline version of the comet assay. Whole blood concentrations of reduced (GSH) and oxidised (GSSG) glutathione and F2-isoprostanes, SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (Cat) activities and red cell malondialdehyde (MDA) content were determined. After HBO exposure the tail moment (p = 0.03) and isoprostane levels (p = 0.049) were significantly lower in the group that received the vegetal formulation. Neither SOD and Cat nor GSH and GSSG were significantly affected by this preparation or HBO exposure. By contrast, blood GPx activity, which tended to be lower in the SOD-group already before the HBO exposure (p = 0.076), was significantly lower afterwards (p = 0.045). We conclude that an orally effective SOD-wheat gliadin mixture is able to protect against DNA damage, which coincided with reduced blood isoprostane levels, and may therefore be used as an antioxidant.

Free Radic Res. 2004 Sep;38(9):927-32

Supplementation with gliadin- combined plant superoxide dismutase extract promotes antioxidant defences and protects against oxidative stress.

The potential benefits to health of antioxidant enzymes supplied either through dietary intake or supplementation is still a matter of controversy. The development of dietary delivery systems using wheat gliadin biopolymers as a natural carrier represents a new alternative. Combination of antioxidant enzymes with this natural carrier not only delayed their degradation (i.e. the superoxide dismutase, SOD) during the gastrointestinal digestive process, but also promoted, in vivo, the cellular defences by strengthening the antioxidant status. The effects of supplementation for 28 days with a standardized melon SOD extract either combined (Glisodin) or not with gliadin, were evaluated on various oxidative-stress biomarkers. As already described there was no changeeither in superoxide dismutase, catalase or glutathione peroxidase activities in blood circulation or in the liver following non-protected SOD supplementation. However, animals supplemented with Glisodin showed a significant elevation in circulated antioxidant enzymes activities, correlated with an increased resistance of red blood cells to oxidative stress-induced hemolysis. In the presence of Sin-1, a chemical donor of peroxynitrites, mitochondria from hepatocytes regularly underwent membrane depolarization as the primary biological event of the apoptosis cascade. Hepatocytes isolated from animals supplemented with Glisodin presented a delayed depolarization response and an enhanced resistance to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. It is concluded that supplementation with gliadin-combined standardized melon SOD extract(Glisodin) promoted the cellular antioxidant status and protected against oxidative stress-induced cell death.

Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):957-62

Shark Liver Oil

In vitro cytoprotective activity of squalene on a bone marrow versus neuroblastoma model of cisplatin-induced toxicity. implications in cancer chemotherapy.

The development of a non-toxic selective cytoprotective agent that preferentially protects normal tissues from chemotherapy toxicity, without protecting malignant tissues, is a major challenge in cancer chemotherapy research. The available cytoprotective agents are either toxic or lack selective cytoprotective activity. Here, we report the in vitro selective cytoprotective activity of squalene, an isoprenoid molecule with antioxidant properties. Normal human bone marrow (BM) derived colony-forming unit (CFU) growth was increased by squalene in a dose-dependent manner. Squalene (12.5-25 microM) treatment significantly protected the CFUs from cisplatin-induced toxicity; the protective effect was equivalent to reduced glutathione (GSH), a known cytoprotective agent. Squalene also increased the long-term survival of cisplatin-treated 4-week-old CFUs. Cisplatin-induced apoptosis of CFUs as measured by the TUNEL assay was reduced by squalene. To examine the squalene-induced protection of tumours, several neuroblastoma cell lines, including five MYCN-amplified cell lines, were grown in monolayers, as well as in anchorage-independent cultures, in the presence of squalene and cisplatin. Squalene did not protect the neuroblastoma (NBL) cell lines from cisplatin- induced toxicity. In addition, squalene did not protect the NBL cells from carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and doxorubicin-induced toxicity. In conclusion, our results suggest that squalene has a selective in vitro cytoprotective effect on BM-derived haematopoietic stem cells that is equipotent to GSH.

Eur J Cancer. 2003 Nov;39(17):2556-65

Squalene: potential chemopreventive agent.

Squalene is a triterpene that is an intermediate of the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway and it can be obtained from the diet. Olive oil contains 0.2-0.7% squalene. The average intake of squalene is 30 mg/day in the United States, however, when consumption of olive oil is high, the intake of squalene can reach 200-400 mg/day as observed in Mediterranean countries. The decreased risk for various cancers associated with high olive oil consumption may be due to the presence of squalene. Experimental studies have shown that squalene can effectively inhibit chemically-induced colon, lung and skin tumourigenesis in rodents. The protective effect is observed when squalene is given before and/or during carcinogen treatment. The mechanisms involved for the chemopreventive activity of squalene may include inhibition of Ras farnesylation, modulation of carcinogen activation and anti- oxidative activities. However, several factors must be taken into consideration when the evidence for the inhibition of carcinogenesis by squalene is examined, these include the effective dose used and the time of exposure. The information obtained is from animal bioassays and the long-term effects from consuming increased levels of squalene are not known. Although animal studies have enhanced our understanding of the possible action of squalene in decreasing carcinogenesis, one must apply caution in extrapolating the information obtained in animal studies to humans, because of possible species differences. In order to evaluate the overall implications of squalene to human cancer prevention, further studies are needed to fully identify its protective effects, as well as possible detrimental effects.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2000 Aug;9(8):1841-8

1-O-alkylglycerols improve boar sperm motility and fertility.

1-O-alkylglycerols are naturally occurring ether lipids with potent biological activities. They may interfere with lipidic signaling, and they amplify platelet-activating factor (PAF) biosynthesis in a monocyte cell line. The PAF is produced by mammalian sperm and is an important activator of sperm motility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of in vitro treatment of boar spermatozoa with natural 1-O-alkylglycerols (10 microM) on 1) boar sperm motility; 2) production of PAF and its metabolite, lyso-PAF, by spermatozoa; and 3) fertility in artificial inseminations of breeding sows. Using a computer-assisted spermatozoa analyzer, we found that 1-O-alkylglycerols increased percentage motility as well as velocity parameters after 24 h. These effects were partially or totally reversed by the PAF receptor-antagonist SR 27417. After [3H]-1-O-alkylglycerol incubation with boar spermatozoa, we identified [3H]lyso-PAF by high-performance liquid chromatography. Production of PAF and lyso-PAF was measured with a biological assay using [3H] serotonin release from rabbit platelets. 1-O-alkylglycerols significantly increased lyso-PAF production but had no effect on PAF production. The effect of 1-O-alkylglycerols on fertilization was also evaluated in industrial breedings: 1-O-alkylglycerol-treated or untreated semen dilutions were alternately used for artificial inseminations of sows on 12 farms. 1-O-alkylglycerol treatment increased the number of farrows but had no effect on the mean size of the litters. This study demonstrates that 1-O-alkylglycerol treatment of boar spermatozoa in vitro improves their motility and fertility, and it suggests that this effect is related to PAF metabolism and function in boar spermatozoa.

Biol Reprod. 2002 Feb;66(2):421-8