ABSTRACT This study evaluated different crosses for sustainable beef production in the Meio-Norte, Brazil. Thirty-four cattle [seven Curraleiro Pé-duro (CPD), six Nellore (NEL), seven F 1 ( ½ NEL + ½ CPD ), seven F 2 A ( ¼ CPD + ¼ NEL + ½ Angus ), and seven F 2 S ( ¼ CPD + ¼ NEL + ½ Senepol )] were evaluated on natural pastures in the states of Piauí and Maranhão. The animals were weighed at birth (BW); weaning (WW); 12 (W12), 18 (W18), and 24 months (W24); and slaughter (SW). The morphometric measurements of rump height (RH), withers height (WH), body length (BW), and heart girth (HG) were assessed. Hot carcass weight (HCW), cold carcass weight (CCW), loin-eye area (LEA), backfat thickness (BFT), carcass dressing percentage (DP), water-holding capacity (WHC), cooking loss (CL), shear force (SF), pH, meat color (L*M, a*M, and b*M), and fat color (L*F, a*F, and b*F) were also analyzed. The three-cross animals (F2A and F2S) showed heavier weights from weaning to slaughter as well as higher HCW and CCW. The three-cross cattle produced less methane per kg of meat. The lack of differences between the NEL, F1, F2A, and F2S animals indicates that crossbreeding did not increase their size, which could be detrimental to reproductive efficiency. Loin-eye area, BFT, and DP differed between the genetic groups, with the highest LEA obtained by F2A. Backfat thickness and DP were low in all animals, suggesting a need for increased carcass fatness. Water-holding capacity, CL, SF, pH, a*F, b*F, L*M, and a*M did not differ; therefore, crossbreeding did not affect qualitative or visual aspects of meat and fat. The use of crosses in meat production systems in the Meio-Norte region of Brazil is a viable option to improve sustainability. In this respect, three-cross animals have the best performance.
Several species of Solanum are used in folk medicine to treat diarrhea. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate and compare possible antidiarrheal activity of methanol extracts from roots (Sast-MeOH R) and leaves (Sast-MeOH L) of Solanum asterophorum Mart., Solanaceae, in mice. Sast-MeOH R was shown to significantly and dose-relatedly inhibit the frequency of both solid (ED50 309.6±28.5 mg/kg) and liquid (ED50 152.1±32.5 mg/kg) stools. Conversely, Sast-MeOH L significantly inhibited solid stool frequency only when dosed at 500 and 750 mg/kg (48.7±7.4 and 42.3±9.8%, respectively), but also significantly and dose-relatedly inhibited liquid stools (ED50 268.4±35.2 mg/kg). Thus, Sast-MeOH R was twice as potent as Sast-MeOH L in diarrhea inhibition. Neither extracts (when dosed up to 500 mg/kg) inhibited intestinal transit. However, both extracts significantly and dose-relatedly inhibited intestinal fluids, and Sast-MeOH R (ED50 38.3±10.4 mg/kg) was again twice as potent as Sast-MeOH L (ED50 78.6±6.4 mg/kg). Results suggest that antidiarrheal effects of Sast-MeOH R and Sast-MeOH L involve changes on intestinal secretion. In addition, active metabolites with antidiarrheal activity may be more concentrated in the roots of this species. However further studies are needed to elucidate the action mechanism involved in this activity.