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   2021| April-June  | Volume 11 | Issue 2  
    Online since April 22, 2021

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Identification and Prevalence of Food Colors in Candies Commonly Consumed by Children in Muscat, Oman
Majed AbuKhader, Dhanalekshmi UM, Abdulsalam Nazmi
April-June 2021, 11(2):128-136
Background: A food color, or a color additive, is any dye, pigment, or a chemical substance that imparts colors to food. There have been several concerns about the safety of food colors reported in the literature that require further evaluation. Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the type, synthetic and natural, frequency, and prevalence of food colors in candy confectionary items commonly consumed by children. Methods: A random cross-sectional product survey approach was followed in selected supermarkets and convenience stores in Muscat, Oman. The ingredient label was utilized as a reliable source of information about food colors used in the selected candy confectionery items. Results: A greater variety of natural food colors were used in candy confectionery when compared with the synthetic ones. It seems, however, that synthetic food colors were more frequently used. Brilliant Blue FCF (E133) and Allura Red AC (E129) are synthetic food colors used more frequently in the studied sample. Although a general observation of the collected data highlights some variation in the frequency of food colors used in candy confectionery sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, statistical analysis has revealed an insignificant correlation. Conclusion: Both synthetic and natural food colors were found to be used in the studied sample. There was no correlation between the type of food colors used in candies and the outlets where these items were sold. This research encourages further exploration of consumption patterns among young children and the actual levels of food colors in food items including candy confectionery marketed in Oman.
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Stem Cells Therapy: A Ray of Hope for Huntington Disease
Vasavi Rakesh Gorantla, Abid Bhat, Abhinav Raj Ghosh, Srinivasa Rao Bolla, Saravanan Bhojaraj, Surapaneni Krishna Mohan, Vishnu Priya Veeraraghavan, Saravana Babu Chidambaram, Musthafa Mohamed Essa, M. Walid Qoronfleh
April-June 2021, 11(2):95-104
Huntington disease is an autosomal neurodegenerative disease that is induced by a repeated trinucleotide sequence of a gene that encodes Huntingtin and is characterized by motor, behavioral, and cognitive manifestations. It is a progressive disorder with symptoms worsening over time. The prevalence of this disease is predominant in the United States as well as the UK. The five main progression stages of this disease are Early stage, Early intermediate stage, Late intermediate stages, Early advanced stage, and Advanced stage. The risk factors at the molecular level are CAG is trinucleotide repeat, CAG instability, and genetic modification. The drugs currently used for this disease are useful only in treating the symptoms of the disease but not as useful long-term therapies. Stem cells remedy on the other hand are much more versatile and might prove effective in the treatment of neurodegeneration. Stem cells, which may be employed in Huntington research, are pluripotent stem cells, embryonic stem cells, neural stem cells, adipose stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells. Each type of cell line has its essential properties for combating this disease. Although extensive investigations have been carried out for this disease, there is no successful therapy as of today. This review provides comprehensive information on novel stem cell therapy research that has been channeled out for the treatment of this genetic neurodegenerative disorder.
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Academic Writing in India: A Research Scholar’s View
Haseena Ismail, Vimala Balasubramanian
April-June 2021, 11(2):105-107
Writing, like any art, can only be improved through practice, and not just by following the rules. India is third in line when it comes to academic writing and publishing. Yet, most of the research scholars find it very difficult to excel in academic and business writing. Here, we discuss the state of academic writing among research scholars, the various factors impacting this issue, and what the possible practices could be to overcome these from a research scholar’s perspective.
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A Hidden Gem in the World of Natural Syrup Market: Consumer’s Preferences of Date Syrup in an Emerging Market
Maha Khamis Al-Belushi, Irfan Butt, Amanat Ali, Shahid Bhuian
April-June 2021, 11(2):108-117
Background: Understanding consumer’s preferences in the development and marketing of date syrup is crucial for developing its global market. Limited studies have attempted to understand the issues related to consumer’s preferences for date syrup, even though such understandings are essentials for its effective marketing as a promising alternative natural syrup. The present study was therefore conducted to investigate the sensory properties, purchase attributes, and usages of date-syrup among the consumers in Pakistan. Design, Methodology, and Approach: A total of 135 consumers, comprising students, faculty, and staff from three different universities in Pakistan, participated in this study. The study questionnaire included sensory tests, rank order of brands tests, and rating of purchase-related attribute tests to evaluate the consumer preferences for date-syrup. Findings and Implications: The results showed that consumers prefer a great taste, least sweet, least thick, smoothest, most soluble, medium dark in color, and mouthfeel date syrup. Additionally, a reasonable price, good packaging, and no added sugar were the purchase-important attributes of date syrup. The purchase attributes did not differ across varying demographics. These findings indicate that the enterprises striving to promote date syrup as an alternative sweetener should pay greater attention to customer-preferred sensory properties, usages, and purchase-related attributes. Conclusion: This is the first study that evaluated the consumer’s preferences for date syrup in Pakistan. The results suggest that consumers prefer the great taste, smoothness, reasonable price, good packaging, and no added sugar as purchase-important attributes for date syrup. Therefore, enterprises promoting the use of date syrup as an alternate sweetener must concentrate on these aspects for its effective marketing.
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A randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of children’s health supplement with micronutrient fortification to promote growth, health, and wellbeing in children
Priya Khare, Omkar Kulkarni, Anuj Agrawal, Gayatri Ganu, Madhavi Deodas
April-June 2021, 11(2):118-127
Background: Proteins are one of the strong pillars of sound physical health and cognitive abilities. Protein and micronutrient deficiency can hamper the health and growth of many children globally, delaying their physical and mental improvement and increase proneness to infections. The current research depicts the efficacy and safety of the children’s health supplement with micronutrient fortification to promote growth, health, and wellbeing in children. A multicenter randomized controlled trial. Material and Methods: Two centers one being a teaching institute with a hospital and the second one private hospital. Total 105 subjects visiting the out patient department (OPD) section participated of which 100 completed the trial with five being dropped out as lost to follow-up. Children’s health supplement (NRL/2019/5PNK) contains essential vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts together with a blend of whey, soy, pea, rice proteins, and milk solids. It was consumed as 90 days’ treatment in a dose of 10 g daily with 150 mL milk. Children’s health supplements improved anthropometric parameters and growth of children indicated by height-to-age and weight-to-age z-scores defined by world health organization (WHO). Results: There was a 45.70% increased physical endurance by children’s health supplement. Enhanced immunity status indicated by reduced illness episodes and missed school days. Children’s health supplements improved child’s eating behavior and cognitive performance better than the marketed product. It was found better in improving digestive behavior in children. Conclusion: Children’s health supplement found safe and effective in promoting growth, health, and wellbeing in healthy children.
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Neuroprotective Effect of Tephrosia purpurea Against Mitochondrial Dysfunction by Regulation of the Caspase3/9 and Pink1/Parkin Complexes
Swathi Kesh, Rajaretinam Rajesh Kannan
April-June 2021, 11(2):137-147
Background: Tephrosia pupurea is a perennial shrub that has been widely incorporated in Indian traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects. Recent studies have identified T. purpurea as a source of acetylcholine esterase inhibitors. Aim: In this study, we have established the potential of T. purpurea as a potential source of drugs against Parkinsonism using an oxidopamine (6-OHDA) model. Methods: Metabolomics profiling of T. purpurea extract (TPE) was obtained using the HR-LCMS method. Enzymatic activities of Catalase, Glutathione, Superoxide Dismutase and Malondialdehyde were measured in vitro. Reactive Oxygen Species generation capacity and the mitochondrial membrane potential were also determined. The zebrafish embryos were treated with oxidopamine along with varying concentrations of T. purpurea extract and the swimming pattern and total distance travelled was evaluated. The mRNA expression of mitophagy related genes were measured using RT-PCR studies. Results: The metabolite profile of T. purpurea identified the presence of various polyphenols such as Genistein, Esculetin, and Chrysin that have neuroprotective effects. 6-OHDA-induced PD causes an increase in oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species generation, and affects mitochondrial stability. There was a significant increase in the catalase, glutathione, and superoxide dismutase levels and a decrease in Malondialdehyde and Reactive Oxygen Species levels in cells treated with TPE when compared to 6-OHDA treated cells. We then treated zebrafish embryos with 6-OHDA along with varying concentrations of T. purpurea extract, and the mRNA expression and swimming pattern were evaluated. The embryos cotreated with TPE showed improved swim pattern similar to untreated embryos, whereas those treated with the positive control failed to do so. T. purpurea extract also significantly decreased the expressions of casp3, casp9, lrrk2, and increased pink1 and parkin expression. Conclusion: Our study identifies Tephrosia purpurea extract as a viable candidate against 6-OHDA induced-neurotoxicity, and further studies of its effect in models of neurodegenerative diseases are required.
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Data Analysis of Autism Disorder and Micronutrition using PubMed Abstracts
Seo-Yeong Choe, Dong-Wook Lee, Hwee-Soo Jeong
April-June 2021, 11(2):148-153
Aim: This study was conducted to identify the notable nutrients mentioned in abstracts of articles about autism disorder using the big data analysis method. Methods and Materials: Abstracts of articles on nutrients related to autism disorder were extracted from MEDLINE using PubMed. Text mining was performed to extract nutrient-related words from collected research abstracts. Network analysis was performed using nutrients keywords and showed more than 100 occurrences among extracted words. Results: As a result of text mining 932 abstracts, the top 10 Nutrients that appeared more than 100 times were vitamin D omega 3, zinc, iron, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, and probiotics, in decreasing order. Folate and copper were central nutrients in the central analysis of the network made by 10 nutrients. Grouping the 10 nutrients showed folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, omega 3 in group 1, probiotics in group 2, and vitamin D in group 3. Conclusions: A variety of nutrients, including vitamin D, folate, and copper, were found to be related to autism disorder by big data analysis of abstracts of nutrition research studies related to this disorder.
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Effect of Methanol Extract of Polygonum minus on Neuropathic Pain and Cognitive Dysfunction in Rats
Parayil Varghese Christapher, Arunachalam Muthuraman, Liew Shi Zhang, Koh Sing Yap Jordon, Koay Hean Huat Jonathan
April-June 2021, 11(2):154-162
Introduction: Polygonum minus is one of the traditional medicinal plants. It contains various bioactive ingredients such as flavonoids and essential oil. It possesses the potential pharmacological actions, cytotoxicity, and antiproliferative actions. The role of Polygonum minus on neuropathic pain and cognitive functions remains to be explored. The present study was designed to evaluate the role of methanolic extract of Polygonum minus (PM) in paclitaxel (PT) and scopolamine (SCO) induced neuropathic pain and cognitive dysfunction in rats respectively. Methods: The PT (2 mg/kg; i.p. for 10 days) and SCO (1 mg/kg; i.p. for 4 days) were used for the induction of neuropathic pain and cognitive dysfunction in rats. The PM (200 and 400 mg/kg; for 10 days) was used for testing neuro-analgesic effect and the PM (150 mg/kg; for 4 days) was used for cognitive function study. The neuropathic pain was assessed by plantar, tail immersion, and pinprick tests. The cognitive function was assessed by the Morris water maze test. The reference drugs, that is, pregabalin (10 mg/kg) and donepezil (1 mg/kg) used for the assessment of neuropathic pain and cognitive function. Besides, the hippocampal tissue samples were used for the estimation of acetylcholinesterase activity, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, reduced glutathione, and total protein levels. Results: The administration of PM ameliorated the PT- and SCO-induced neuropathic pain and cognitive dysfunctions in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusion: The PM possesses the potential neuroprotective actions due to its potential antioxidant, lipid peroxidation inhibition, and regulation of cholinergic neurotransmitter functions.
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Clinical Implications of Undernutrition in Childhood Cancer: A Single Centre Experience from a Developing Country
Lakshmanan Sakthikumar, Latha M Sneha, Shobana Chandran, Julius Scott, Lakshmipriya Soundarapandiyan, Yogesh Kumar
April-June 2021, 11(2):163-168
Introduction: Coexisting malnutrition is one of the known influencing factor of the survival rates in childhood cancer. Malnutrition contributes to poor immune function, altered drug metabolism—thereby causing drug toxicities and adverse clinical outcome. This study was done to assess the impact of undernutrition during treatment for childhood cancer, among the children diagnosed at our center. Methods: All children ≤18 years diagnosed with cancer between June 2011 and June 2019 treated at our institution were included in this study. Nutrition was assessed using body mass index (BMI) Z-score and a Z-score < −2SD was classified as undernourished. Weight loss of more than 10% or a decrease in BMI Z-score by ≥1SD below the previous Z-score was considered significant. All adverse effects and outcomes were compared between malnourished and adequately nourished children. Results: Three hundred six patients were included in this study, 114 (37.2%) were undernourished at diagnosis. One hundred two (33.3%) of 306 had significant weight loss. Malnutrition at diagnosis and significant weight loss was associated with an increased risk of febrile neutropenia, anemia, dosage modifications, and mucositis. Patients undernourished and those with significant weight loss showed a worse outcome (death or relapse) (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Nutritional status represents a modifiable risk factor long suggested to affect survival and treatment-related toxicity in pediatric malignancies and hence early nutritional intervention should be an essential part of the multi-disciplinary treatment protocol.
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A Prospective Observational Study of the Outcome of Treatment with Kabasura Kudineer among Patients with SARS-nCOV-2 Infection
J. Ezhil Ramya, G. Subash Chandran, S. Alagesan, M. Ravichandran, S. Victoria, M. Rathi Devi, S. Justus Antony, K. Shantaraman
April-June 2021, 11(2):169-173
Introduction: The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been considered a major life-threatening danger to the human population worldwide. The traditional Indian medicines also play an important role as possible novel therapeutic approaches, exclusively targeting SARS-CoV-2 and its pathways. Among the Siddha medicines, Kabasura kudineer is a formulation composed of 15 ingredients used against fever caused by respiratory infections. Aim: To determine the outcome of Kabasura kudineer, among SARS CoV-2 patients admitted in a tertiary care hospital of Tamil Nadu with mild to moderate symptoms or asymptomatic patients. Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out in Covid care Hospital, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, Tirunelveli after the approval of Institutional Ethics Committee. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the patients. A total of 100 patients with positive Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-nCov-2 with asymptomatic and mild to moderate symptoms were included in this study. Among them, 50 patients were included in the control group and the other 50 patients were provided with 60 mL Kabasura kudineer for 5 days. Again on the sixth day, RT-PCR was repeated. Results: Among 50 participants in each group, by the sixth day, RT-PCR converted into negative for 27 patients in group B, by 10th day 25 in group A and 22 in group B, by 14th day 25 in group A and remaining 1 in group B became negative. Conclusion: The present study showed Kabasura kudineer was effective when compared with the control group against SARS-nCoV-2 patients with no symptoms and mild symptoms and also the conversion of RT-PCR.
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Cardioprotective Effects of Gallic Acid on an Isoprenaline-Induced Myocardial Infarction Rat Model
Abdelbaset Taher Abdelhalim, Sayed A.M Mahmoud, Nuruddin Mohammed Nur, Mossad Abdelhak Shaban, Sherif Mansour, Suhaidah Ibrahim
April-June 2021, 11(2):174-179
The use of antioxidants to protect against a wide range of human disease, including ischemic heart disease, has moved to the forefront in cardiovascular research. Gallic acid has shown promising effects against oxidative stress-induced disease; however, its effect in ischemic heart disease has not been well-studied. We designed the current work to investigate the potential protective effect of gallic acid against isoprenaline (ISO)-induced myocardial infarction (MI). Rats were injected subcutaneously with ISO, 100 mg/kg for 2 days, to induce MI. Gallic acid treated rats received 15 mg/kg gallic acid orally for 10 days prior to ISO injection. The histopathological examination of the Hematoxylin and Eosin-stained heart sections from the ISO treated rats shows karyopyknosis, hypereosinophilia, loss of striation, infiltration of macrophage in the interstitium, and thrombosis of the blood vessels, all of which indicate the induction of MI. In addition, ISO treatment significantly increased the plasma level of malondialdehyde and troponin-I, as well as the activity of alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase, compared to untreated controls. Pretreatment with gallic acid significantly attenuated the ISO-induced biochemical and histopathological changes, compared to untreated controls. Our results show that ISO induced oxidative stress-mediated MI, and that gallic acid protects the rat heart from MI, at least in part, through antioxidant mechanisms.
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