Dr. Ron’s Research Review – February 23, 2011

This week’s research review contains information on hCG, organic strawberries and Cherry tomatoes.

Utility of an Oral Presentation of HCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double Blind Study

(Belluscio, Ripamonte et al. 2009)

Female obese volunteers participating in a double blind study, and submitted to the administration of an oral presentation of hCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) plus a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet), decreased specific body circumferences and skinfold thickness from conspicuous body areas more efficiently than Placebo+VLCD -treated subjects.

Organic Strawberries

         (Reganold, Andrews et al. 2010)

Organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds, but lower concentrations of phosphorus and potassium. In one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. We also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients

Cherry tomatoes

         (Rosales, Cervilla et al. 2010)

Cherry tomato fruits grown during environmental stress higher phytonutrients content and antioxidant activity, together with the sweeter-milder flavour, conferred a notable nutritional benefit, which considerably improved the nutritional and organoleptic quality of these tomatoes.

Dr. Ron


Articles

Utility of an Oral Presentation of HCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double Blind Study

            (Belluscio, Ripamonte et al. 2009) Download

Female obese volunteers participating in a double blind study, and submitted to the administration of an oral presentation of hCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) plus a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet), decreased specific body circumferences and skinfold thickness from conspicuous body areas more efficiently than Placebo+VLCD -treated subjects.

Since a significant fat proportion from total body fat is subcutaneously located (50 to 65 percent, depending on sex and fat distribution), this hCG metabolic activity would result in a reduction of the total body fat mass, the main cause for obesity. We suggested that the combina- tion of a VLCD and oral hCG could not only trigger clinically significant changes in subcutaneous fat stores but simultaneously decrease body weight and modelate body contour.

hCG oral administration proved to be a safe and effective procedure on obese treated volunteers. No side effects were observed during the study. There are no reports in the literature regarding this administration route to compare our findings.

Compared to placebo treated subjects, volunteers who were managed with an oral administration of hCG coped more efficiently with daily irritating situations, were in a better mood, and handled home conflicts without stepping up family discussions.

Fruit and soil quality of organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems

            (Reganold, Andrews et al. 2010) Download

BACKGROUND: Sale of organic foods is one of the fastest growing market segments within the global food industry. People often buy organic food because they believe organic farms produce more nutritious and better tasting food from healthier soils. Here we tested if there are significant differences in fruit and soil quality from 13 pairs of commercial organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems in California. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: At multiple sampling times for two years, we evaluated three varieties of strawberries for mineral elements, shelf life, phytochemical composition, and organoleptic properties. We also analyzed traditional soil properties and soil DNA using microarray technology. We found that the organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds, but lower concentrations of phosphorus and potassium. In one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. We also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients. Organically farmed soils also exhibited greater numbers of endemic genes and greater functional gene abundance and diversity for several biogeochemical processes, such as nitrogen fixation and pesticide degradation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress. These findings justify additional investigations aimed at detecting and quantifying such effects and their interactions.

The effect of environmental conditions on nutritional quality of cherry tomato fruits: evaluation of two experimental Mediterranean greenhouses

            (Rosales, Cervilla et al. 2010) Download

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine how different environmental factors (temperature, solar radiation, and vapour-pressure deficit [VPD]) influenced nutritional quality and flavour of cherry tomato fruits (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Naomi) grown in two types of experimental Mediterranean greenhouses: parral (low technology) and multispan (high technology). RESULTS: Fruits were sampled three times during 3 years (2004, 2005 and 2006): at the beginning, middle and end of the fruit production period. Values for temperature, solar radiation, and VPD peaked in the third sampling in both greenhouses; values were higher in the parral-type greenhouse, triggering abiotic stress. This stress reduced the accumulation of lycopene and essential elements, augmenting the phytonutrient content and the antioxidant capacity of tomatoes. During the third sampling, sugars were increased while organic acid content diminished, producing tomatoes with a sweeter-milder flavour. The parral greenhouse produced tomatoes with higher phenolic compounds and ascorbic acid contents, together with a greater antioxidant capacity, without showing differences in flavour parameters. CONCLUSION: The higher phytonutrients content and antioxidant activity during the environmental stress, more pronounced in parral than multispan greenhouse, together with the sweeter-milder flavour, conferred a notable nutritional benefit, which considerably improved the nutritional and organoleptic quality of these tomatoes.


References

Belluscio, D. O., L. Ripamonte, et al. (2009). "Utility of an Oral Presentation of HCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double Blind Study." The Original Internist: 197-210.

Reganold, J. P., P. K. Andrews, et al. (2010). "Fruit and soil quality of organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems." PLoS One 5(9).

Rosales, M. A., L. M. Cervilla, et al. (2010). "The effect of environmental conditions on nutritional quality of cherry tomato fruits: evaluation of two experimental Mediterranean greenhouses." J Sci Food Agric 91(1): 152-62.