Anethole has a broad range of biological activities related to possible action on the gastrointestinal tract. It exhibits local anesthetic activity in vivo in rats (96), is antimicrobial (97), and may possibly have antispasmodic, digestive, and secretolytic activities, although the mechanisms of these activities are not reported. At relatively high doses, anethole shows dose-related antigenotoxic effect against procarbazine and urethane in mice (98), and inhibits TNF-induced cellular responses such as NF-kB activation, TNF-induced lipid peroxidation, and reactive oxygen species, and suppresses TNF-activation of AP-1, c.jun N-terminal kinase, and MAPK-kinase (99). Possible anticarcino-genic action is suggested since rats fed anethole show induction of hepatic phase II but not phase I enzymes in the liver (100).
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