Iris F F Benzie

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Publications (123)312.46 Total impact

  • Cyrus K Ho, Siu-Wai Choi, Parco M Siu, Iris F F Benzie
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    ABSTRACT: Regular intake of green tea (Camellia sinensis) lowers DNA damage in humans, but molecular mechanisms of genoprotection are not clear. Protection could be via direct antioxidant effects of tea catechins, but, paradoxically, catechins have pro-oxidant activity in vitro, and it is hypothesized that mechanisms relate to redox-sensitive cytoprotective adaptations. We investigated this hypothesis, focusing particularly on effects on the DNA repair enzyme human oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (hOGG1), and heme oxygenase-1, a protein that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. A randomized, placebo-controlled, human supplementation study of crossover design was performed. Subjects (n = 16) took a single dose (200 mL of 1.5%, w/v) and 7-days of (2 × 200 mL 1%, w/v per day) green tea (with water as control treatment). Lymphocytic DNA damage was ∼30% (p < 0.001) lower at 60 and 120 min after the single dose and in fasting samples collected after 7-day tea supplementation. Lymphocytic hOGG1 activity was higher (p < 0.0001) at 60 and 120 min after tea ingestion. Significant increases (p < 0.0005) were seen in hOGG1 activity and heme oxygenase-1 after 7 days. Results indicate that molecular triggering of redox-sensitive cytoprotective adaptations and posttranslational changes affecting hOGG1 occur in vivo in response to both a single dose and regular intake of green tea, and contribute to the observed genoprotective effects of green tea.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 02/2014; · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • Iris F F Benzie, Siu-Wai Choi
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    ABSTRACT: There are a multitude of antioxidants in foods, especially in foods of plant origin. Higher intake of antioxidant-rich foods is clearly associated with better health and functional longevity. The specific agents and mechanisms responsible are not yet clear, but there is convincing evidence that including more plant-based, antioxidant-rich foods, herbs, and beverages in the diet is effective in promoting health and lowering risk of various age-related diseases. The content of some individual antioxidants, such as vitamin C, in food can be measured, but it is not feasible to attempt to measure each antioxidant separately, and methods have been developed to assess the "total antioxidant content" of foods. One of the most widely used methods is the ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, which is relatively simple, quick, sensitive, and inexpensive to perform. There are many published studies that have used the FRAP assay, and these have generated a very large database of total antioxidant content of foods that can help guide food choices for increased antioxidant intake. The FRAP assay has also been used to assess the bioavailability of antioxidants in foods and to investigate the effects of growing conditions, storage, processing, and cooking method on the total antioxidant content of food. The test can be employed as a quality control check device, and to detect adulteration of food. Furthermore, in a modified form (FRASC), the assay can measure ascorbic acid content almost simultaneously with the total antioxidant content of the sample. In this chapter, basic concepts of oxidation and the role of antioxidants, as well as the types and action of different antioxidants in foods will be reviewed briefly, and the underpinning concepts and evidence for health benefits of increased intake of dietary antioxidants will be discussed, with some focus on vitamin C, and also in the context of our evolutionary development. The basic concepts and limitations of measuring "total antioxidant content" of food will be presented. The FRAP assay and the modified version FRASC will be described, and the total antioxidant content (as the FRAP value) of a range of foods will be presented. Finally, issues of bioavailability and redox balance will be discussed in relation to the biological significance and molecular action of antioxidants in foods, some caution and caveats are presented about overcoming biological barriers to absorption of antioxidant phytochemicals, and research needs to further our understanding in the important area of food, antioxidants, and health will be highlighted.
    Advances in food and nutrition research 01/2014; 71:1-53.
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    ABSTRACT: Doxorubicin is an effective chemotherapeutic agent used to treat malignancies but it causes cardiomyopathy. This study examined the cellular effects of desacyl ghrelin on myocardial fibrosis and apoptosis in a doxorubicin cardiomyopathy experimental model. Adult C57BL/6 mice received an intraperitoneal injection of doxorubicin to induce cardiomyopathy, followed by 4-day treatment of saline (control) or desacyl ghrelin with or without [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6 (a growth hormone secretagogue receptor or GHSR1a antagonist). Ventricular structural and functional parameters were evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography. Molecular and cellular measurements were performed in ventricular muscle to examine myocardial fibrosis and apoptosis. Cardiac dysfunction was induced by doxorubicin as indicated by significant decreases in ventricular fractional shortening and ejection fraction. This doxorubicin-induced cardiac dysfunction was prevented by the treatment of desacyl ghrelin no matter with or without the presence of [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6. Doxorubicin induced fibrosis (accumulated collagen deposition and increased CTGF), activated apoptosis (increased TUNEL index, apoptotic DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity and decreased Bcl-2/Bax ratio), and suppressed phosphorylation status of prosurvival signals (ERK1/2 and Akt) in ventricular muscles. All these molecular and cellular alterations induced by doxorubicin were not found in the animals treated with desacyl ghrelin. Notably, the changes of the major markers of apoptosis, fibrosis and Akt phosphorylation were found to be similar in the animals following the treatment of desacyl ghrelin with and without GHSR antagonist [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6. These findings clearly demonstrate that desacyl ghrelin protects the cardiomyocytes against the doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy by preventing the activation of cardiac fibrosis and apoptosis.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 12/2013; · 4.51 Impact Factor
  • Wai-Yuen Chung, Iris F F Benzie
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    ABSTRACT: Allantoin in human plasma is a specific biomarker of oxidative stress. We describe a sensitive method to measure plasma allantoin using isocratic liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Direct injection of deproteinized plasma into the LC-MS/MS system was performed. The method was technically evaluated. Results on 200 healthy and 35 Type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects were compared. Dose-response of allantoin was linear to at least 21 pmol (20 μmol/l in plasma); LOD was 0.16 pmol; recovery 99.2-100.2% at 1-5 μmol/l; accuracy, 98.5-100.8%; within-day and between-day CVs (n=6), <4.0% (at 5.00-40 μmol/l) and <2.0% (at 1-5 μmol/l), respectively. Plasma allantoin in diabetic patients was ~8-fold higher than in healthy subjects; mean(SD): 8.82(7.26) and 1.08(0.86) μmol/l, respectively (p<0.0001). Allantoin was slightly higher in healthy men than in age- and BMI-matched women: 1.21(0.99) μmol/l, n=88 compared to 0.97(0.74) μmol/l, n=112; p<0.001. No association with age was seen. Gender difference was also seen in the diabetes patients: men, n=14, 11.57(8.57) μmol/l; women, n=21, 6.99(5.75) μmol/l, p<0.05. Based on 95th percentiles of the healthy subjects, plasma allantoin >2.2 μmol/l in women and >3.1 μmol/l in men indicates increased oxidative stress. Allantoin in diabetes subjects is clearly and markedly increased. The method will facilitate future studies of oxidative stress in human biomonitoring studies.
    Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry 06/2013; · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The comet assay is widely used in human biomonitoring to measure DNA damage as a marker of exposure to genotoxic agents or to investigate genoprotective effects. Studies often involve small numbers of subjects, and design may be sub-optimal in other respects. In addition, comet assay protocols in use in different laboratories vary significantly. In spite of these difficulties, it is appropriate to carry out a pooled analysis of all available comet assay biomonitoring data, in order to establish baseline parameters of DNA damage, and to investigate associations between comet assay measurements and factors such as sex, age, smoking status, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. With this as its major objective, the ComNet project has recruited almost 100 research groups willing to share datasets. Here we provide a background to this project, discussing the history of the comet assay and practical issues that can critically affect its performance. We survey its diverse applications in biomonitoring studies, including environmental and occupational exposure to genotoxic agents, genoprotection by dietary and other factors, DNA damage associated with various diseases, and intrinsic factors that affect DNA damage levels in humans. We examine in depth the quality of data from a random selection of studies, from an epidemiological and statistical point of view.
    Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research 01/2013; 753:24-40. · 6.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regular intake of green tea associates with lower DNA damage and increased resistance of DNA to oxidant challenge. However, in vitro pro-oxidant effects of green tea have been reported. Both effects could be mediated by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which is generated by autoxidation of tea catechins. In large amounts, H2O2 is genotoxic, but low concentrations could activate the redox-sensitive antioxidant response element (ARE) via the Keap-1/Nrf2 redox switch, inducing genoprotective adaptations. Our objective was to test this hypothesis. Peripheral lymphocytes from healthy volunteers were incubated for 30 minutes at 37°C in freshly prepared tea solutions (0.005, 0.01, 0.05%w/v (7, 14, 71 µmol/l total catechins) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), with PBS as control) in the presence and absence of catalase (CAT). H2O2 in tea was measured colorimetrically. Oxidation-induced DNA lesions were measured by the Fpg-assisted comet assay. H2O2 concentrations in 0.005, 0.01, and 0.05% green tea after 30 minutes at 37°C were, respectively, ∼3, ∼7, and ∼52 µmol/l. Cells incubated in 0.005 and 0.01% tea showed less (P < 0.001) DNA damage compared to control cells. Cells treated with 0.05% green tea showed ∼50% (P < 0.001) more DNA damage. The presence of CAT prevented this damage, but did not remove the genoprotective effects of low-dose tea. No significant changes in expression of ARE-associated genes (HMOX1, NRF2, KEAP1, BACH1, and hOGG1) were seen in cells treated with tea or tea + CAT. Genoprotection by low-dose green tea could be due to direct antioxidant protection by green tea polyphenols, or to H2O2-independent signalling pathways.
    Redox report: communications in free radical research 01/2013; 18(4):150-154. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechin profiles in plasma and urine following single dosing and regular ingestion of green tea are not clear. We performed a placebo-controlled intervention study with sixteen healthy volunteers to determine changes in total and free catechins after a single dose and following 1 week of twice-daily green tea. Blood and urine samples were collected before (fasting) and after (60 and 120 min for blood; 90 and 180 min for urine) drinking 200 ml of 1·5 % (w/v) green tea or water (n 8 each), and fasting samples were again collected after 7 d of 150 ml of 1 % (w/v) supplemental green tea or water twice daily. After a 4-week washout, subjects were crossed onto the other treatment and procedures repeated. Plasma results at 1 h post-ingestion showed elevated (P < 0·05) mean epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG; 310 (sd 117) nmol/l; all in free form), epigallocatechin (EGC; 192 (sd 67) nmol/l; 30 % free) and epicatechin gallate (ECG; 134 (sd 51) nmol/l; 75 % free). Fasting plasma after 7 d of regular intake showed increased (P < 0·05) EGCG (80 v. 15 nmol/l at baseline) and ECG (120 v. 40 nmol/l), with ≥ 90 % of both in their conjugated forms. Total EGC was < 10 nmol/l. Post-ingestion conjugation and renal loss of EGC and epicatechin were rapid and high, but were negligible for EGCG and ECG. In the green tea consumed, the content was EGCG >EGC >ECG, and the acute plasma response mirrored this. However, after chronic consumption there was almost no EGC found in fasting plasma, some EGCG was present, but a rather high level of ECG was maintained.
    The British journal of nutrition 10/2012; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX-1) is activated by oxidative stress, and gene responsiveness is reportedly determined by the number of dinucleotide (GT(n)) repeats in its highly polymorphic promoter region. "Short" (S; GT(n)<25) alleles reportedly associate with higher response, lower oxidative stress, lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (type 2DM), and better glycemic control and outcome, but data are conflicting. We investigated GT(n) in type 2DM subjects (all ethnic Chinese) in relation to basal glycemic control, oxidative stress, and outcome during up to 9 years' follow-up. Fasting blood from 418 type 2 DM subjects was collected at entry for GT(n) genotyping, glycated hemoglobin, glucose, lipids, and biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidants. A subset (n=368) was followed for up to 9 years for incident complications or death. GT(n) genotype distribution was 128, 182, and 108 for, respectively, S/S, S/L, and L/L. No significant differences in glycemic control, lipids, or oxidative stress were seen across genotypes. During follow-up, 168/368 subjects developed complications. No association was seen with GT(n). No difference in plasma HO-1 was seen between genotypes in a small substudy (S/S n=21 vs L/L n=23). Glycated hemoglobin and lymphocytic DNA damage was higher (p<0.05) at entry in the incident complications group. No other significant differences were seen in oxidative stress or antioxidants. Data do not support the postulated link between HMOX-1 microsatellite polymorphism and type 2 DM or the putative beneficial effect of the S allele on glycemic control, oxidative stress, or outcome in type 2 DM patients, at least in this particular population.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 04/2012; 53(1):60-3. · 5.27 Impact Factor
  • Iris F F Benzie, Sissi Wachtel-Galor
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    ABSTRACT: A commonly held belief is that higher intake of antioxidants will promote better health through enhanced antioxidant status and lowered oxidative stress. However, the benefits of antioxidant-rich foods have not been reproduced in supplementation trials with pure antioxidants. This has driven research and commercial interest in foods, including traditional foods and their components, with enhanced antioxidant content and improved antioxidant bioavailability, which in many cases is very low. In this paper, evidence for the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods and methods to increase the antioxidant content and bioavailability of food antioxidants are reviewed briefly, and the concept that increased food antioxidant content/intake per se is beneficial is examined from a cautionary perspective, considering issues of low bioavailability, rapid catabolism, biotransformation and the paradoxical pro-oxidant effects of dietary antioxidants.
    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 03/2012; 63 Suppl 1:62-70. · 1.26 Impact Factor
  • Cyrus K Ho, Siu-Wai Choi, Parco M Siu, Iris F F Benzie
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    ABSTRACT: The comet assay measures DNA damage in individual cells (usually lymphocytes) and is widely used in biomonitoring studies. Lymphocytes are harvested and are usually cryopreserved for batch testing. We investigated cell loss during harvesting, cryopreservation, thawing, and washing of human peripheral lymphocytes and compared DNA damage, using the Fpg-assisted comet assay for oxidation-induced DNA lesions, in freshly harvested cells and cells that were thawed and tested after cryopreservation of 2-3 days and 4 weeks. Lymphocyte numbers were measured in fresh venous blood and after the steps of harvesting, cryopreservation, and washing. Results showed that >50% of lymphocytes in whole blood were harvested, but ∼60% were lost during washing. Loss during washing was not different (P>0.05) between fresh cells and cells thawed and washed after 2-3 days or 4 weeks cryopreservation. No change in DNA damage was seen after cryopreservation and thawing: mean (SD) % DNA in comet tail was 11.2 (1.53) in freshly harvested cells, 12.9 (1.39) in 2-3 days cryopreserved cells, and 12.9 (2.0) in cells tested after 4 weeks cryopreservation (P>0.05). Results indicate that there is no predominant loss of more highly damaged cells during cryopreservation and thawing and there is no induction of oxidation-induced DNA lesions in cryopreserved cells stored for up to 4 weeks.
    Biopreservation and Biobanking 12/2011; 9(4):343-7. · 1.50 Impact Factor
  • Kris Y.W. Lok, Y.W. Chung, I.F.F. Benzie, Jean Woo
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    ABSTRACT: An HPLC method with photodiode array detection was used for the quantification of 11 synthetic dyes in 87 snack food products commonly consumed by children in Hong Kong, China. Dietary exposure to synthetic colours was estimated using food-frequency questionnaire data obtained from 142 primary school children aged 8–9 years in three districts of Hong Kong. Dietary exposure to synthetic colours for an average primary school student was considerably lower than the threshold for acceptable daily intake (ADI) for their ages, except for sunset yellow FCF. Data obtained showed that the average daily intake of sunset yellow FCF (E110) was 51% over the ADI threshold in 9-year-old boys. The higher intakes of sunset yellow FCF were mainly due to the high consumption of soft drinks and desserts such as jellies, which have high concentrations of this synthetic colour additive.
    Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B Surveillance 09/2011; 4:162-167.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum) has antioxidant effects and possibly beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma lipids and glucose, but these have not been confirmed in subjects with mild hypertension or hyperlipidaemia. The objective of the present study was to assess the cardiovascular, metabolic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory responses to therapy with Lingzhi in patients with borderline elevations of blood pressure and/or cholesterol in a controlled cross-over trial. A total of twenty-six patients received 1·44 g Lingzhi daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with placebo-controlled run-in and cross-over periods. Body weight, blood pressure, metabolic parameters, urine catecholamines and cortisol, antioxidant status and lymphocyte subsets were measured after each period. Lingzhi was well tolerated and data from twenty-three evaluable subjects showed no changes in BMI or blood pressure when treated with Lingzhi or placebo. Plasma insulin and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were lower after treatment with Lingzhi than after placebo. TAG decreased and HDL-cholesterol increased with Lingzhi but not with placebo in the first treatment period, but significant carry-over effects prevented complete analysis of these parameters. Urine catecholamines and cortisol, plasma antioxidant status and blood lymphocyte subsets showed no significant differences across treatments. Results indicate that Lingzhi might have mild antidiabetic effects and potentially improve the dyslipidaemia of diabetes, as shown previously in some animal studies. Further studies are desirable in patients with hyperglycaemia.
    The British journal of nutrition 08/2011; 107(7):1017-27. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The underlying mechanisms of adaptation from staying physically active are not completely revealed. This study examined the effects of 8 and 20 weeks of habitual voluntary exercise on the susceptibility of lymphocytes to oxidant-induced DNA damage, antioxidant enzyme activities in cardiac and skeletal muscles, and circulatory antioxidant profile. Forty young adult rats were randomly assigned to sedentary control and exercise groups for an experimental period of 8 or 20 weeks. Animals assigned to exercise groups were subjected to 24 h daily free access to an in-cage running wheel with circumference of 1.19 m. A magnetic digital counter was attached to the running wheel to record daily exercise distance run by the animals. Control rats were housed in cages without a running wheel, located next to the exercised animals. Body weight and food intake were recorded weekly. After the experimental periods of 8 and 20 weeks, blood, left ventricle, soleus and plantaris muscles were collected for analysis. No significant difference was found in plasma total antioxidant capacity between exercised and control animals in the 8 and 20 week groups according to our ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) analysis. However, modified FRAP for ascorbic acid (FRASC) analysis indicated that plasma ascorbic acid content was significantly increased by 46 and 34% in 8 and 20 week exercise groups, respectively, when compared with the corresponding control groups. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was significantly elevated by 39% in erythrocytes of animals exercised for 8 weeks relative to control animals. In the 20 week exercise group, Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in ventricle and plantaris was significantly upregulated by 477 and 290%, respectively, relative to control values. As demonstrated by comet assay, the oxidant-induced DNA damage was significantly reduced by 21 and 45% in lymphocytes of animals exercised for 8 and 20 weeks, respectively, when compared with the corresponding control lymphocytes. Our qRT-PCR analysis showed that the transcript expression of SOD2 was significantly elevated by 939% in lymphocytes of animals exercised for 8 weeks relative to control animals. Increased expressions of SOD2 (by 19%), catalase (25%), APEX nuclease (multifunctional DNA repair enzyme) 1 (APEX1; 46%), Protein kinase, DNA-activated, catalytic polypeptide (Prkdc; 9%) and O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (Mgmt; 26%) were found in lymphocytes of animals exercised for 20 weeks relative to control rats. These results demonstrate that habitual exercise confers increased resistance of lymphocytes to oxidant-induced DNA damage, and this protective effect is possibly attributed to the regular exercise-induced elevated expression of antioxidant and DNA repairing enzymes.
    Experimental physiology 05/2011; 96(9):889-906. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    Bee T Teng, Eric W Tam, Iris F Benzie, Parco M Siu
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    ABSTRACT: There are currently no effective therapies for treating pressure-induced deep tissue injury. This study tested the efficacy of pharmacological inhibition of caspase in preventing muscle damage following sustained moderate compression. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to prolonged moderate compression. Static pressure of 100 mm Hg compression was applied to an area of 1.5 cm2 in the tibialis region of the right limb of the rats for 6 h each day for two consecutive days. The left uncompressed limb served as intra-animal control. Rats were randomized to receive either vehicle (DMSO) as control treatment (n =8) or 6 mg kg⁻¹ of caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk; n =8) prior to the 6 h compression on the two consecutive days.Muscle tissues directly underneath the compression region of the compressed limb and the same region of control limb were harvested after the compression procedure.Histological examination and biochemical/molecular measurement of apoptosis and autophagy were performed. Caspase inhibition was effective in alleviating the compression-induced pathohistology of muscle. The increases in caspase-3 protease activity, TUNEL index, apoptotic DNA fragmentation and pro-apoptotic factors (Bax, p53 and EndoG) and the decreases in anti-apoptotic factors (XIAP and HSP70) observed in compressed muscle of DMSO-treated animals were not found in animals treated with caspase inhibitor. The mRNA content of autophagic factors (Beclin-1, Atg5 and Atg12) and the protein content of LC3, FoxO3 and phospho-FoxO3 that were down-regulated in compressed muscle of DMSO-treated animals were all maintained at their basal level in the caspase inhibitor treated animals. Our data provide evidence that caspase inhibition attenuates compression-induced muscle apoptosis and maintains the basal autophagy level. These findings demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of caspase/apoptosis is effective in alleviating muscle damage as induced by prolonged compression.
    The Journal of Physiology 05/2011; 589(Pt 13):3349-69. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genoprotective effect of American and Asian ginseng on human lymphocytic DNA was studied. Using the comet assay, aqueous extracts of both types of ginseng were shown to diminish hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage. In contrast, and in accordance with traditional Chinese medicine beliefs, addition of the juice from Chinese turnip counteracted the beneficial effect of ginseng. Results showed that incubating ginseng along with turnip juice abolished the DNA protective effect of both American and Asian ginseng. Although the exact mechanism has not been elucidated, the counteracting effect of turnip on ginseng seems unlikely to be mediated by enzymatic action as the effect was seen with boiled as well as unboiled turnip extract.
    Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 03/2011; 66(2):97-100. · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • B T Teng, X M Pei, E W Tam, I F Benzie, P M Siu
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanism that contributes to the pathogenesis of deep pressure ulcer remains to be elucidated. This study tested the hypotheses that: (1) apoptosis and autophagy are activated in compression-induced muscle pathology and (2) apoptotic and autophagic changes precede pathohistological changes in skeletal muscle in response to prolonged moderate compression. Methods:  Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to an experimental model of pressure-induced deep tissue injury. Static pressure of 100 mmHg was applied to an area of 1.5 cm(2) over the mid-tibialis region of right limb of rats for one single session of 6-h compression (1D) or two sessions of 6-h compression over two consecutive days with rats sacrificed one day (2D) or immediately after (2D-IM) the compression. The left uncompressed limb served as the intra-animal control. Muscle tissues underneath compression region were collected for analysis. Our histological analysis indicated that pathohistological characteristics including rounding contour of myofibres and massive nuclei accumulation were apparently demonstrated in muscles of 2D and 2D-IM. In contrast, these pathohistological changes were generally not found in muscle following 1D. Apoptotic DNA fragmentation, terminal dUTP nick-end labelling index and caspase-3 protease activity were significantly elevated in compressed muscles of all groups. Caspase-9 enzymatic activity was found to be significantly increased in compressed muscles of 2D and 2D-IM whereas increase in caspase-8 activity was exclusively found in compressed muscle of 1D. According to our immunoblot analysis, FoxO3 was significantly reduced in compressed muscles of all groups whereas Beclin-1 was decreased only in 2D. LC3-I was significantly reduced in compressed muscles of all groups while LC3-II was decreased in 2D and 1D. No significant differences were found in the protein abundance of Akt and phospho-Akt in muscles among all groups. These data demonstrate the opposing responses of apoptosis and autophagy to moderate compression in muscle. Moreover, our findings suggest that cellular changes in apoptosis and autophagy have already taken place in the very early stage in which apparent histopathology has yet to develop in the process of compression-induced muscle pathology.
    Acta Physiologica 02/2011; 201(2):239-54. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is increasing worldwide and affects ∼11% of the Hong Kong population. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common cause of vision loss in type 2 DM. Risk of DR is increased by poor glycemic control, elevated lipids, and blood pressure, but it is not possible to predict the development or progression of DR at an individual level. Increased oxidative stress is thought to play a role. The use of a wider biomarker profile incorporating biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress may aid identification of individuals at higher risk or at very early stages of developing DR. Four hundred twenty type 2 DM subjects without diabetic complications were investigated. Eyes were examined for DR and anterior and posterior ocular segment pathology. DR was graded according to Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study criteria. Demographic data were collected. Traditional risk factors plus biomarkers of antioxidant status and oxidative stress in fasting blood and urine were determined. Overall DR prevalence was 89%. No significant differences in any demographic measures or biomarkers were found among those subjects with different DR grades, or in those without DR. Significant correlations (p < 0.0001) between HbA1c and DNA damage, (ρ = 0.32) and fasting plasma glucose and DNA damage (ρ = 0.52) were seen. DNA damage was also significantly and inversely correlated (p < 0.0001) with both plasma ascorbic acid (ρ = -0.41) and plasma total antioxidant level (ρ = -0.21). DR prevalence was very high in this group, but no biomarker differences were seen in those with DR compared to those free of DR, or in those with different degrees of severity of DR. This group of 420 subjects is being followed up to investigate whether the extended biomarker profile at baseline is related to progression of and/or incident DR.
    Optometry and vision science: official publication of the American Academy of Optometry 02/2011; 88(2):251-6. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Camus Kar Man Choy, Pauline Cho, Iris F F Benzie
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    ABSTRACT: Dry eye syndrome is a common age-related disorder, and decreased antioxidant/ultraviolet (UV) radiation protection in tears may be part of the cause. This study aimed to compare the tear antioxidant content and flow rate in young and older adults. The total antioxidant content and UV absorbing properties of various commercially available ophthalmic solutions used to alleviate dry eye symptoms were also examined. Minimally stimulated tears were collected from 120 healthy Chinese adults with no ocular pathology. Two age groups were studied: 19 to 29 years (n = 58) and 50 to 75 years (n = 62). Tear samples from each subject and 13 ophthalmic solutions were analyzed for total antioxidant content (as the Ferric Reducing/Antioxidant Power value). Tear flow rates were estimated from time taken to collect a fixed volume of tear fluid. UV absorbance spectra of pooled fresh reflex tear fluid and the ophthalmic solutions were determined. Results showed that the antioxidant content of minimally stimulated tears from older subjects (398 ± 160 μmol/l) was not significantly lower than that of younger subjects (348 ± 159 μmol/l; p = 0.0915). However, there was a significant difference in the tear flow rates between the two groups (p < 0.0001), with the younger group having three to four fold higher flow rate. None of the commercial preparations tested had detectable antioxidant content, and none showed the UV absorption characteristics of natural reflex tears. The effect of low flow rate on the dynamic antioxidant supply to the corneal surface indicates that older subjects have poorer overall defense against photooxidative and other oxidative processes. This could predispose older persons to corneal stress and development of dry eye syndrome. The commercially available artificial tears tested lack both the antioxidant content and UV absorbing characteristics of natural tears. Artificial tears formulations that help restore natural antioxidant and UV absorbing properties to the tear film of the aging eye may help prevent or improve dry eye symptoms and promote ocular health.
    Optometry and vision science: official publication of the American Academy of Optometry 02/2011; 88(4):507-11. · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    K C Han, W C Wong, Iris F F Benzie
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    ABSTRACT: Green tea is rich in polyphenolic antioxidants and has widely reported but largely unsubstantiated health benefits. In the present study, genoprotective effects of two types of green tea were studied both in an in vitro and in a human supplementation trial. For the in vitro study, human lymphocytes were pre-incubated in tea (0·005-0·1 %, w/v), washed and subjected to oxidant challenge induced by H2O2. In a placebo-controlled, cross-over supplementation study, eighteen healthy volunteers took 2 x 150 ml/d of 1% (w/v) green tea ('Longjing' green tea or 'screw-shaped' green tea) or water (control) for 4 weeks (n 6). Subjects took all the three treatments in a random order, with 6 weeks' washout between each treatment. Fasting blood and urine were collected before and after each treatment. The comet assay was used to measure the resistance of lymphocytic DNA to H2O2-induced challenge. Basal oxidation-induced DNA damage was measured using the formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (Fpg) enzyme-assisted comet assay. Urine 7,8-dihydro-2-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG, mol/mmol creatinine), a biomarker of whole-body oxidative stress, was measured by liquid chromatography with tandem MS. In vitro testing results of tea-treated cells showed increased (P < 0·05) resistance of DNA to the challenge. In the supplementation trial, a significant (P < 0·05) increase in resistance was also observed. Furthermore, the FPg comet data showed .20% decrease in DNA damage with tea supplementation: mean and standard deviation changes in %DNA in comet tail in the Fpg-assisted comet assay were: -5·96 (SD 3·83) % after Longjing tea; -6·22 (SD 3·34) % after screw-shaped tea; +0·91 (SD 5·79) % after water (P < 0·05). No significant changes in urine 8-oxodG were seen. The results indicate that green tea has significant genoprotective effects and provide evidence for green tea as a 'functional food'.
    The British journal of nutrition 01/2011; 105(2):171-9. · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems. 01/2011; 107(1):98-105.

Publication Stats

6k Citations
312.46 Total Impact Points


  • 1995–2014
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
      • • Department of Health Technology and Informatics
      • • School of Optometry
      • • School of Nursing
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2001–2011
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
      • • Prince of Wales Hospital
      • • Department of Biology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2009
    • Macau University of Science and Technology
      Macao, Macau, Macao
  • 2007
    • Macao Polytechnic Institute
      • School of Health Sciences
      Macao, Macau, Macao
    • Chongqing University of Medical Science
      Ch’ung-ch’ing-shih, Chongqing Shi, China
  • 2005
    • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2002
    • Caritas Medical Centre
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2000
    • University of Ulster
      • Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE)
      Belfast, NIR, United Kingdom
  • 1999
    • Kwong Wah Hospital
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong