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  • Author or Editor: S. Fekete x
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A large number of soybean components have diverse biological activities. These include hormonal, immunological, bacteriological and digestive effects. The presently known allergens are listed. The divergence between chemical evaluation and biological value is highlighted. The following components are discussed: Kunitz inhibitor, Bowman-Birk inhibitor, saponins, soyacystatin, phytoestrogens (daidzein, glycitein, genistein), Maillard products, soybean hydrophobic protein, soy allergens, lecithin allergens, raffinose, stachyose, 2-pentyl pyridine. The studies describing the effects of the isolated components are reviewed.

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Nutrigenomics examines nutrient-gene interactions on a genome-wide scale. Increased dietary fat or higher non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) from starvation-induced mobilisation may enhance hepatic oxidation and decrease esterification of fatty acids by reducing the expression of the fatty acid synthase gene. The key factors are the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Dietary carbohydrates — both independently and through insulin effect — influence the transcription of the fatty acid synthase gene. Oleic acid or n-3 fatty acids down-regulate the expression of leptin, fatty acid synthase and lipoprotein lipase in retroperitoneal adipose tissue. Protein-rich diets entail a shortage of mRNA necessary for expression of the fatty acid synthase gene in the adipocytes. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) are activators of PPAR and also induce apoptosis in adipocytes. Altered rumen microflora produces CLAs that are efficient inhibitors of milk fat synthesis in the mammary gland (‘biohydrogenation theory’). Oral zinc or cadmium application enhances transcription rate in the metallothionein gene. Supplemental CLA in pig diets was found to decrease feed intake and body fat by activating PPARγ-responsive genes in the adipose tissue. To prevent obesity and type II diabetes, the direct modulation of gene expression by nutrients is also possible. Nutrigenomics may help in the early diagnosis of genetically determined metabolic disorders and in designing individualised diets for companion animals.

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Various animal models in farm and laboratory animals indicate the possible pathological effect of soybean feeding. Immunity and tolerance to oral soybean intake and a generalised meta-model of effects are discussed. It seems that FAO/WHO recommendations will have to be considered in assessing the biological value of soybean feed sources. Determination of hull content, antigenic potential, conglycinin and trypsin inhibitor content is warranted in view of the future component pricing of soybean meals.

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The nutritive value of dog foods declared by the manufacturer as nutritionally complete and balanced can be best assessed by feeding trials with dogs. A protocol of a feeding trial has been developed and tested with working dogs fed two different commercial complete and balanced diets for 8 weeks. The parameters used for evaluating the effect of diets were general health status, body and hair coat condition, change of body weight, haematological parameters (white blood cell (WBC) count, red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin, packed cell volume), and biochemical parameters in blood serum (alanine aminotransferase, urea, albumin). The trial protocol proved to be appropriate to monitor the dogs' nutritional status and to reveal differences between diets. This method of evaluation is recommended for use in supporting the nutritional claims (labelling) of dog foods.

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In order to investigate the effects of exposure to possible environmental pollutants such as Cd, Pb and Hg on haematological and serum biochemistry values, New Zealand White female rabbits were treated orally with distilled water solutions of CdSO4·H2O, Pb(NO3)2 and HgCl2 (n = 4/treatment) in concentrations of 2.3, 4.1, and 30 mg/kg dry matter, respectively, for 28 days. The initial concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Hg in serum were significantly increased by the treatment. Exposure to Pb significantly decreased the red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin (Hgb) concentration and the haematocrit (Hct) value. The Zn-protoporphyrin concentration did not change as a result of Pb exposure. Pb and Hg loading significantly increased the aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity was also increased by both Hg and Cd exposure. Comparing the treated and the control rabbits, all the trace elements studied significantly reduced the activity of enzymes in the pancreatic tissues. The haematological results indicate that hyperchromic macrocytic anaemia developed in rabbits treated with Pb. The increased activities of both AST and ALT indicate pathophysiological changes of the liver parenchyma, which was verified by focal fatty infiltration seen histopathologically. Cd exposure could exert a toxic effect on the kidneys, although the slight tubulonephrosis developed would not possibly affect the renal function. The reduced activities of amylase, trypsin, protease and lipase induced by Cd, Pb and Hg suggest toxicity to the pancreas.

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The aim of this study was to examine the changes of the daily energy amount of lactose, protein and fat throughout the lactations, and compare them to each other. A total of 309 Israeli Holstein-Friesian cows from one kibbutz were investigated in three lactations, and information was given for a period of five years from 1996 to the end of 2000. The distribution of milk components and milk yield during lactation, and changes of the absolute and relative energy amount in the different milk components were calculated and evaluated. The results showed changes in the energy content of milk and its different components throughout the lactation. Each component (fat, lactose and protein) is dominant in different periods during the lactation. The energy amount from fat reaches a peak first, between days 40 and 50. Lactose has a peak at about day 66 of lactation, and protein reaches the peak last, approximately at day 104 of lactation. It seems that this peak sequence is constant and it is considered to be physiological. It might be suggested that there is a regulation governing the secretion of the different components at different times, and only one component is dominant in a given period. Each component exerts negative and positive influences on the secretion of the other components, which interact with each other and are not fully independent.

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The total body composition of 4×10 female, 5-month-old New Zealand White rabbits was determined, using direct chemical analysis and computerised tomography (CT). Ten non-pregnant rabbits (control) and 3 × 10 pregnant rabbits at days 14, 21 and 28 of gestation, respectively, were included in the study. With the advancement of pregnancy, the body weight (BW) of does significantly (P < 0.05) increased (control: 3255 g, day 28: 3938 g), while the dry matter, DM (control: 43.02%, day 28: 40.94%), ether extract, EE (control: 20.15%, day 28: 18.13%), crude protein, CP (control: 20.15%, day 28: 18.13%), and energy concentration decreased (control: 12.41 MJ/kg BW, day 28: 11.81 MJ/kg BW). During pregnancy the protein content of uteri (control: 12.24%, day 28: 49.45% of DM) and the retained energy in the form of uterus with fetuses (day 14: 0.824 MJ, day 28: 2.189 MJ) increased, while the dry matter (control: 82.39%, day 28: 28.96%) and ether extract content (control: 86.05%, day 28: 45.92% of DM) of uteri decreased. With the advancement of pregnancy the dry matter (day 14: 39.70%, day 28: 18.65%) and crude protein (day 14: 75.74%; day 28: 63.63% of DM) content and the number of fetuses (day 14: 8.8; day 28: 6.4) decreased, while their fat concentration (day 14: 10.13%, day 28: 24.34% of DM) increased. According to the equations created from the CT pictures, body fat (R2 = 0.871) and energy (R2 = 0.926) content can be predicted with high accuracy. The accuracy of predicting body protein content is much lower (R2 = 0.356), which can be improved by introducing the body weight as a new dependent variable (R2 = 0.797). It can also be concluded that, in contrast to other animal species, rabbit fetuses show considerable development not only in the last trimester of gestation but already from the second half of pregnancy.

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The effects of dietary levels of manganese (Mn) in inorganic (MnO) and organic (Mn fumarate) forms were evaluated on cockerel chicks. A basal corn-soybean diet with 23 mg/kg Mn was supplemented with levels of 0, 30, 60 and 240 ppm Mn from both Mn sources. Each treatment was replicated in five pens of 10 chicks. The chicks were fed diets ad libitum from 14 to 49 days of age, after which five birds per treatment were sacrificed for pathomorphological examinations and analysis. The treatments did not exert significant effects on the body weight (BW), the feed/gain (F/G) ratio or the mortality rate. According to the necropsy findings, no growth retardation or emaciation occurred in either of the groups and the differences in the average absolute and relative organ weights were not significant (P ? 0.05). Tissue analysis indicated that the tibia showed the greatest response to Mn, followed by the liver and kidney. Accumulation in the tibia was higher (P < 0.05) with supplements of 30, 60 and 240 mg/kg from both Mn sources (3.71, 3.78, 4.44, and 3.68, 4.00, 4.36 mg/kg DM, MnO and Mn fumarate, respectively) compared to the control group (3.21 mg/kg). Accumulation in the liver increased significantly (P < 0.05) only with supplements of 60 and 240 ppm independently of the Mn source (12.7, 14.2, and 14.0, 14.9 mg/kg, respectively) compared to the control (9.8 mg/kg). Similarly, kidney tissue Mn was higher (P < 0.05) only with supplements of 60 and 240 ppm (12.8, 12.8, and 13.1, 12.5 mg/kg, respectively) compared to the control (10.2 mg/kg). At the same level of supplementation of the two Mn sources there were no significant differences (P ? 0.05) between the Mn concentrations of organs and tissues. Droppings sensitively reflected the intake, whereas blood plasma and feathers showed only the extreme Mn loading.

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Potato and beetroot were grown on soils previously treated with heavy metal salts. Each particular microelement had a high concentration in both potato and beetroot [cadmium (Cd) 3.7 and 55.4, lead (Pb) 8.1 and 3.0, and mercury (Hg) 5.8 and 6.8 mg/kg dry matter, respectively]. In a metabolic balance trial 16 New Zealand White rabbits were fed 50 grams of basal diet and potato or beetroot ad libitum. The apparent digestibility of major nutrients and the accumulation of the microelements in different organs were investigated. Both potato and beetroot samples of high Pb and Hg content had the significantly (p < 0.05) lowest digestibility of organic matter and nitrogen-free extract. The Cd ingested from both potato and beetroot accumulated in the kidneys and liver (2.85 and 1.48 as well as 0.459 and 0.265 mg/kg, respectively). All the microelements (Cd, Pb and Hg) accumulated in the testicles (0.196, 0.32 and 0.199 mg/kg, respectively), reducing the rate of spermatogenesis. The tissue retention ofheavy metals depends not only on the element itself, but also upon the ‘carrier’ feedstuff.

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A case of disputed paternity in dogs is reported. DNA examinations were carried out from hair samples of the individuals several months after the death of the putative sire. Ten short tandem repeat (STR) loci were analysed by fluorescence- labelled multiplex PCR using ABI PRISM 310 Genetic Analyser. Based on the results the candidate sire was included in the pedigree records as the biological sire. In spite o f the genetic homogeneity of pedigree dogs due to inbreeding, canine microsatellites can provide an adequate basis for assigning paternity in pure breeds.

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