martes, agosto 02, 2005

Sustancias similares a las anfetaminas en las especias?

Prague Med Rep. 2005;106(1):27-38.

Christmas gingerbread (Lebkuchen) and Christmas cheer--review of the
potential role of mood elevating amphetamine-like compounds formed in vivo
and in furno.

Idle JR.

Institute of Pharmacology of the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles
University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The typical spices used in winter include nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and
anise. These spices contain two groups of chemicals, the allylbenzenes and
their isomers, the propenylbenzenes. It was suggested 40 years ago by
Alexander Shulgin that these substances act as metabolic precursors of
amphetamines. The biotransformation of these precursors to
nitrogen-containing metabolites is reviewed. These reactions have not been
reported in humans. Whether or not the pharmacology and toxicology of
spices such as nutmeg can be explained on the basis of their allylbenzene
or propenylbenzene content is speculative. Humans may be exposed to
amphetamines derived from these precursors in forno, the formation during
baking and cooking, for example in the preparation of Lebkuchen, or
Christmas gingerbread. It is possible that this may be responsible, in
part, for uplifting our mood in winter. However, the role of these aromatic
substances, acting simply as odours, evoking old memories of winters past,
cannot be ignored. Whether spices have a true pharmacological effect or
they act as aromatherapy remains to be elucidated through clinical and
laboratory studies