Pharmacist – Formulator Phytotherapy expert

Scientific publications
 

The love for our four legged-friends led me to investigate on food related intolerances and the restoration of health through what nature provides us.

#thepowerofnature

Clinical Evaluation of a Nutraceutical Diet as an Adjuvant to Pharmacological Treatment in Dogs Affected by Epiphora

Epiphora is defined as tear overflow due to impaired tear drainage by way of the nasolacrimal duct. We evaluated a combined therapeutic approach for epiphora based on drug and a commercially available nutraceutical diet administration over a 30 days period in dogs poorly responsive or unresponsive to the only immune-suppressive
treatment. Forty-five client-owned household dogs of different breeds (19 females and 31 males) and aged 6.5 years were enrolled. Schirmer tear test-1, conjunctival inflammation, corneal keratinization and blepahritis were evaluated before and at the end of the evaluation.
Schirmer’s test value significantly decreased from 22.96 ± 0.37 mm, at T0 to 18.86 ± 0.24 mm, at T30 (***p < 0.001), conjunctival inflammation significantly decreased from 1.30 ± 0.11, at T0 to 0.14 ± 0.04 at T30 (***p < 0.001), corneal keratinization significantly decreased from a T0 value of 0.17 ± 0.05 to a T30 value of 0.07 ±
0.03 (*p < 0.05) and blepharitis significantly decreased from 0.64 ± 0.1, at T0 to 0.03 ± 0.02 at T30 (***p < 0.001). This clinical evaluation represents the first evidence of the usefulness of a specific nutraceutical diet as a reliable tool to improve pharmacological treatment of epiphora.

Mechanical phenotyping of K562 cells by the Micropipette Aspiration Technique allows identifying mechanical changes induced by drugs

In the present study, we investigated the efect of a pharmaceutical formulation (OTC – Ossitetraciclina liquida 20%) used as antibiotic, on the mechanical properties of K562 cells by using the Micropipette Aspiration Technique (MAT). This formulation has been shown to increase in a time dependent way the infammation and toxicity in terms of apoptosis in in vitro experiments on K562 and other types of cells.

Nutrition: From the First Medicine to the First Poison

Severe adverse reactions of the organism to environmental elements have been dizzily rising in humans and pets over the last 50 years. Such reactions can be expulsive (vomit, diarrhea, dandruff, and abundant secretion or excretion) or driven by an inflammatory process (which has been considered as healing process) in charge to destroy every toxic introduced into the body. Thus, it is clear that if a contaminated food is assumed daily, the inflammatory process becomes inevitably chronic.
Most common inflammatory processes of dogs and cats originate from this condition, which we observed to be frequently caused by welldefined contaminants: toxic residues of oxytetracycline (OTC). In fact, once everything containing in this compound is eliminated, all inflammatory processes tend to rapidly and spontaneously regress. Here, we reviewed and discussed the problem related to the amount of pharmacological and chemical substances, which are used to increase the production
of fruits, vegetables, intensive farming-derived meat and fish, milk, eggs, and grain. Such substances can persist within the products in variable amount and, gradually or rapidly (often in a few hours), poison the organism causing reactions such as allergies, anaphylactic shocks (not so frequent), autoimmune diseases (fortunately not so frequent but continuously increasing), and inflammatory processes, the most common reaction. In this context, nutrition, as a daily and frequent habit, should be taken seriously into account; given that wild animals do not seem to have the same pathologic reactions, there are no doubts that many foods deriving from intensive farming have become a poison rather than a remedy.

Oxytetracycline-Protein Complex: The Dark Side of Pet Food

Worldwide antibiotic abuse represents a huge burden, which can have a deep impact on pet and human health through nutrition and medicalization representing another way of antibiotic resistance transmission.
We aimed our research to determine a possible complex formation between biological bone substrates, such as proteins, and Oxytetracycline (OTC), an approved antibiotic for use in zootechny, which might determine a toxic effect on K562 cells.
Cell viability and HPLC-ESI/QqToF assays were used to assess potential toxicity of bone extract derived from OTC-treated chickens according to standard withdrawal times and from untreated chickens at 24, 48 and 72h of incubation.
Cell culture medium with ground bone from chickens reared in the presence of of OTC (OTC-CCM) resulted significantly cytotoxic at every incubation time regardless of the bone concentration while cell culture medium with ground bone from chickens reared without OTC (BIO-CCM) resulted significantly cytotoxic only after 72h of incubation. HPLC-ESI/QqToF assay ruled out the possible presence of OTC main derivatives possibly released by bone within culture medium until 1 μg/mL.
The presence of a protein complex with OTC is able to exert a cytotoxic effect once released in the medium after 24-48h of incubation.

Adverse food reactions in dogs due to antibiotic residues in pet food

In the last decades, adverse food reactions have increased considerably in dogs and cats. In this study we report on the possible onset of food intolerances symptoms, including otitis, diarrhoea, generalised anxiety, and dermatitis in a cohort of 8 dogs consuming commercial diets. All dogs received an organic chicken-based diet for 15 days. We performed analysis of blood biochemical parameters, kibble composition, and oxytetracycline (OTC) serum concentration before and after 15 days of organic chicken-based diet supplementation. We hypothesised that a chronic intake of contaminated food enhanced by the presence of nanoparticle aggregates might be at the base of the onset of pharmacologic or idiopathic food intolerances.

Clinical efficacy of nutraceutical diet for cats with clinical signs of cutaneus adverse food reaction (CAFR)

Food allergies and food intolerances are clinically difficult to discriminate. Most often, along with cutaneous adverse food reactions or CAFR, they are classified as adverse food reactions, whose causes are numerous, including toxic compounds.
Eighteen indoor-housed domestic cats with evident clinical symptoms related to CAFR (drooling, back and neck intense itching, neck eczema, chronic conjunctivitis and stomatitis) involving skin lesions were studied. Cytological evaluations of ear, skin and gingival swabs revealed an increased turnover of keratinocytes while the oxytetracycline ELISA determination showed an unexpected high amount of oxytetracycline in all cats at the first visit. All cats were then randomly assigned to receive a standard (SD group) or a nutraceutical diet (ND group) for 60 days.
In the ND group a significant reduction of the mean serum concentration of oxytetracycline, pruritus intensity and skin lesion severity (**p<0.01, ***p<0.001, and ***p<0.001, respectively) was observed after 60 days, and associated with a significant improvement in the clinical picture. Although a direct correlation between oxytetracycline presence within cat sera and CAFR-related symptoms has never been described, this study highlights the benefit of a specific nutraceutical diet supplementation in improving clinical symptoms and skin lesions in cats with CARF.

Nutraceutical Approach for Struvite Uroliths Management in Cats

Urolithiasis accounts for 15% to 23% of cases of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), with struvite uroliths occurring more frequently, followed by calcium oxalate, ammonium urate, cystine, and xanthine calculi. In this clinical evaluation, we tested the efficacy of a commercially available nutraceutical diet in 33 cats affected by struvite uroliths. Results clearly indicated a significant urine color, turbidity, pH, RBC, WBC, weight and proteins decrease (***p < 0.001, *p < 0.05), and a significant decrease of struvite uroliths in all treated cats. The nutraceutical diet enriched by botanicals, such as, Hieracium pilosella, Urtica dioica, Lespedeza spp, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Taraxacum officinale formulated with DL-methionine, and a controlled addition of minerals and amino acids resulted particularly effective for struvite uroliths management. This work can pave the way for a new, safe, and long lasting natural approach to treat struvite uroliths.

Functional foods in pet nutrition: Focus on dogs and cats

Functional foods provide health benefits if they are consumed on a regular basis as part of a varied diet. In this review, we discuss the availability and role of functional foods in pet nutrition with a focus on dogs and cats. Indeed, functional foods modify gastrointestinal physiology, promote changes in biochemical parameters,
improve brain functions and may reduce or minimize the risk of developing specific pathologies. This evidence derives largely from clinical studies while only limited evidence is available from studies in dogs and cats. Therefore, functional food consumption should be further investigated in pet nutrition to understand how
dietary interventions can be used for disease prevention and treatment.

Oxytetracycline induces DNA damage and epigenetic changes: a possible risk for human and animal health?

Background. Oxytetracycline (OTC), which is largely employed in zootechnical and veterinary practices to ensure wellness of farmed animals, is partially absorbed within the gastrointestinal tract depositing in several tissues. Therefore, the potential OTC toxicity is relevant when considering the putative risk derived by the entry and accumulation of such drug in human and pet food chain supply. Despite scientific literature highlights several OTC-dependent toxic effects on human and animal health, the molecular mechanisms of such toxicity are still poorly understood.
Methods. Here, we evaluated DNA damages and epigenetic alterations by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, quantitative polymerase chain reac-tion, chromatin immuno-precipitation and Western blot analysis.
Results. We observed that human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) expressedDNAdamage features (activation ofATMand p53, phosphorylation ofH2AX and modifications of histone H3 methylation of lysine K4 in the chromatin) after the in vitro exposure to OTC. These changes are linked to a robust inflammatory response indicated by an increased expression of Interferon (IFN)- and type 1 superoxide dismutase (SOD1).
Discussion. Our data reveal an unexpected biological in vitro activity of OTC able to modify DNA and chromatin in cultured human PBMC. In this regard, OTC presence in foods of animal origin could represent a potential risk for both the human and animal health.

Functional Petfood

Functional foods provide health benefits if they are consumed on regular basis. Some nutraceutical pet diets have been demonstrated to exert health benefits in vitro and in vivo while also exhibiting palatability to the animals. The aim ofthis chapteris to provide an overall update of commercially available pet diets with proven efficacy against pathologies with an inflammatory background. Research on pet food is still scarce and biased. The ultimate success of functional pet foods will depend on delivering bioactive components in a predictable and assured mannerto effectively reduce the risk of disease and/or support the body. Our investigations outlined the improved health status of sick dogs by means of a commercially available nutraceutical pet diet approach. Therefore, additional investigations into the consumption of functional foods in domestic animal nutrition should be done in order to study dietary interventions for disease prevention and treatment.

Behavioral Disturbances: An Innovative Approach to Monitor the Modulatory Effects of a Nutraceutical Diet

In dogs, diets are often used to modulate behavioral disturbances related to chronic anxiety and stress caused by intense and restless activity. However, the traditional ways to monitor behavioral changes in dogs are complicated and not efficient. In the current clinical evaluation, a new, simple monitoring system was used to assess the effectiveness of a specific diet in positively modulating the intense and restless activity of 24 dogs of different ages and breeds. This protocol describes how to easily and rapidly evaluate improvement in a set of symptoms related to generalized anxiety by using a specific sensor, a mobile phone app, a wireless router, and a computer. The results showed that dogs treated with specific diets showed significant improvement in the times spent active and at rest after 10 days (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). These dogs also showed an overall significant improvement in clinical and behavioral symptoms. A specific sensor, along with its related hardware, was demonstrated to successfully monitor behavioral changes relating to movement in dogs.

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Italy

Pharmacist – Formulator
Phytotherapy expert

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