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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

#Healthy Foods - Romaine Lettuce (Lactuca)

Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is the genus Lactuca, belongs to the family Asteraceae, a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family and can be eaten either raw or cooked. It now is grown commercially worldwide for commercial benefits as a healthy foods for daily consumption.

Nutritional supplements
1. Carbohydrate
2. Protein
3. Fat
4. Dietary fiber
5. Vitamin A
6. Vitamin C
7. Vitamin K
8. Vitamin B1
9. Vitamin B2
10.Vitamin B3
11.Vitamin B6
12. Folate (Vitamin B9)
13. Iron
14. Manganese
15. Potassiu
16. Chromium
17. Calcium
18. Phosphorus
19. Etc.

Health benefits
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Antineurodegenerative effect
In the investigation of Phenolics extracted in fresh romaine lettuce and its effect on on biological protection for neuron-like PC-12 cells found that total phenolics and total antioxidant capacity of 100 g of fresh romaine lettuce averaged 22.7 mg of gallic acid equivalents and 31.0 mg of vitamin C equivalents, respectively. The phenolic extract of romaine lettuce protected PC-12 cells against oxidative stress caused by H(2)O(2) in a dose-dependent manner. Isochlorogenic acid, one of the phenolics in romaine lettuce, showed stronger neuroprotection than the other three caffeic acid derivatives also found in the lettuce, according to "Antineurodegenerative effect of phenolic extracts and caffeic acid derivatives in romaine lettuce on neuron-like PC-12 cells" by Im SE, Yoon H, Nam TG, Heo HJ, Lee CY, Kim DO.(a)

2. Antioxidants
In the evaluation of phenolic extracts from lettuce (baby, romaine, and iceberg cultivars) and their antioxidants effect found that the antioxidant capacity was linearly correlated with the phenolic content. The results obtained indicate that lettuce byproducts could be, from the industrial point of view, an interesting and cheap source of antioxidant phenolic extracts to funcionalize foodstuffs, according to "Lettuce and chicory byproducts as a source of antioxidant phenolic extracts" by Llorach R, Tomás-Barberán FA, Ferreres F.(b)

3. Phytosterol contents
In the observation of a total of 34 different kinds of vegetables and 33 kinds of fruits, including Romaine Lettuce were chosen according to the consuming habit of Chinese people found that the phytosterol contents in vegetables and fruits are not as high as those in edible oils, but because of the large amount of consumption, they also play an important role in increasing the people's phytosterols intake, indicating that increased intake of vegetables and fruits with higher phytosterol contents helps increase the phytosterol intake in China, according to "Contents of phytosterols in vegetables and fruits commonly consumed in China" by
Han JH, Yang YX, Feng MY(c)

4. Folate distribution
In the examination of the composition of folate coenzymes in romaine lettuce found that The distribution of folate compounds in lettuce is as follows: 32% 5-CH3-H4PteGlu; 1% 5-CHO-H4PteGlu; 3% 5-CHO-H4PteGlu4; 9% 5-CH3-H4PteGlu4; 13% 5-CHO-H4PteGlu5; and 31% 5-CH3-H4PteGlu5.(d)

5. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is not only important in preventing types I diabetes, according to "A close relationship between type 1 diabetes and vitamin A-deficiency and matrix metalloproteinase and hyaluronidase activities in skin tissues" by Takahashi N, Takasu S.(1) but also may be associated with compromised bone health, according to "Vitamins and bone health: beyond calcium and vitamin D" by Ahmadieh H, Arabi A.(2)

2. Vitamin C
In the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction. and it effects on pulmonary dysfunction found that At present, evidence from randomised-controlled trials is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma. Further methodologically strong and large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed in order to address the question of the effectiveness of vitamin C in children with asthma but some outcome data showed effectiveness on lung function, symptom scores, IgE levels and inhaled steroid use. One small study showed a significant difference in % drop in FEV1 post-exercise, according to the study of "Vitamin C supplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(3)

3. Vitamin K
a. Degenerative diseases of ageing
Long-term vitamin K inadequacy may reduce the function of supporting the carboxylation of at least some of these Gla-protein that can lead the development of degenerative diseases of ageing including osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, according to the study of "Vitamin K, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases of ageing" by Cees Vermeer and Elke Theuwissen(4)

b. Intracranial bleeding
In a study in the 4-year study period, 16/64 (25%) of the infants admitted with intracranial bleeding had late intracranial VKDB, resulting in an overall incidence of 2.1/100,000 live births (95% confidence interval 1.2-3.5) conducted by University Medical Center Utrecht(5) indicated that Intracranial bleeding may be associated with vitamin K deficiency

4. Folate
In the investigation of the prevalence and multifactorial etiology of anemia among Indian human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children and its effect on anemia, found that Anemia, particularly iron deficiency anemia and anemia of inflammation, is highly prevalent among children with HIV infection. Micronutrient supplements (iron and, folate) combined with ART(antiretroviral therapy) improved anemia in HIV-infected children, according to "The prevalence and etiology of anemia among HIV-infected children in India" by Shet A, Arumugam K, Rajagopalan N, Dinakar C, Krishnamurthy S, Mehta S, Shet AS.(6)

5. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Lactucarium
Lactucarium is also known as known as lettuce opium, a milky fluid secreted by several species of lettuce, the substance is used as sedative with calming effect, thus reducing the risk of nervous tension cause of irritability, excitement, etc., according to the study of "[Lettuce, lactuca sp., as a medicinal plant in polish publications of the 19th century].[Article in Polish]" by Trojanowska A., posted in PubMed, researcher indicated that Lactuca sativa v. Lactuca hortensis, as being used as a medicinal plant. In that period, lettuce and especially the the desiccated lactescent juice obtained from it, lactucarium, were considered to be an intoxicant, and were used as a sedative and an analgesic.

2. Homocysteine
Homocystein can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as it causes damage to the blood vessels and capillaries. Romain lettuce contains high amount of folate (vitamin B9) that helps to convert homocysteine by reducing the concentration of it in the bloodstream, according to the study of "Effect of folic Acid supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis" Zhou YH, Tang JY, Wu MJ, Lu J, Wei X, Qin YY, Wang C, Xu JF, He J., posted in PubMed (

3. Antioxidant
Romaine lettuce contains high levels of antioxidant, vitamin C, that helps to improve the immune system in fighting against the forming of free radical cause of cholesterol oxidation, leading to plaques building up in the arterial wall that block off the blood flow, leading to heart diseases and stroke, according to the study of "Oral vitamin C and E combination modulates blood lipid peroxidation and antioxidant vitamin levels in maximal exercising basketball players" by Naziroğlu M, Kilinç F, Uğuz AC, Celik O, Bal R, Butterworth PJ, Baydar ML., posted in PubMed (

4. Fiber
Fiber is important to prevent the cholesterol building up on the arterial walls and in the blood stream by binding to the bad cholesterol and removing them through natural secretion, thus also decreasing the risk of heart diseases and stroke, according to the study of "Dietary fiber intake is associated with reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease among Japanese men and women" by Eshak ES, Iso H, Date C, Kikuchi S, Watanabe Y, Wada Y, Wakai K, Tamakoshi A; JACC Study Group., posted in PubMed (

5. Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in almost all plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, including romaine lettuce. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, body cleansing and wound-healing properties, according to the study of "Effects of chlorophyll and chlorophyllin on low-dose aflatoxin B(1) pharmacokinetics in human volunteers" Jubert C, Mata J, Bench G, Dashwood R, Pereira C, Tracewell W, Turteltaub K, Williams D, Bailey G., posted in PubMed (,researchers wrote that Chlorophyll (Chla) and chlorophyllin (CHL) were shown previously to reduce carcinogen bioavailability, biomarker damage, and tumorigenicity in trout and rats.

6. Etc.

Side effect
No side effect is known but it is one of the 12 foods most frequently containing pesticide residues.

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