A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Posted 9:18 PM by Luigi
Latest Kava Research
I've just received this message from Dr Diane Ragone of the National Tropical Botanical Garden:
The current issue of Herbalgram has an article on kava based on work that an NTBG team did in Samoa last year.
Lack of Evidence of Kava-Related Hepatotoxicity in Native Populations in Savaii, Samoa. Joan Borel; Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D.; Krisa Fredrickson; Diane Ragone, Ph.D.; Patricia Stewart, D.O.; Gaugau Tavana, Ph.D. 2003. Herbal Gram 59: 28-32.
Abstract: Kava has long been a symbol of respect and hospitality throughout the islands of Polynesia, western Melanesia and Micronesia. It has become popular in North America, Western Europe and Asia during the past two decades, that is, until recent reports about possible liver damage associated with kava. This study returned to the source, seeking evidence of liver damage in native Samoans who use kava informally and in ceremonies, and finding none.
On October 4th, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, is hosting a Hawaii Pacific Islands Kava Festival - a celebration of traditions:
Dr Skip Bittenbender, UH, sent the following articles dealing with the kava-liver controversy:
1. Peter A. Whitton, Andrew Lau, Alicia Salisbury, Julie Whitehouse, Christine S. Evans (in press) Kava lactones and the kava-kava controversy. Phytochemistry.
2. Stefan Russmann, Yann Barguil, Pierre Cabalion, Marina Kritsanida, Daniel Duhet and Bernhard H. Lauterburg (2003) Hepatic injury due to traditional aqueous extracts of kava root in New Caledonia. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 15:1033–1036.
The paper by Whiton deals with lack of glutathione in ethanol or acetone extracts of kava and effect on amoebas . This paper cites the UH pipermethystine hypothesis but does not refer to it in explaining their results. The paper by Russman looks at two cases in New Caledonia where kava beverage led to liver problems and then follows with a survey of 27 regular kava drinkers. Their conclusions: the 2 liver problems were a idiosyncratic response that went away after kava use stopped. The regular users did not have liver problems but the kava might have induced increased liver activity to metabolize the kavalactones. This in turn might enhance side effects from other medications.
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