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  • Author: V. Petkova x
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Anemia is an important public health problem worldwide. Although iron (Fe) deficiency is considered the main factor in the pathogenesis of anemia, only 40-60% of anemia cases are responsive to Fe supplementation. Considerable data exist that other micronutrient deficiencies, such as selenium (Se), could be possible causes of anemia. The issue of Se deficiency as a risk factor for the development of anemia is of particular interest to our country since the Balkan region is known by a low Se content of soils. The aim of the study was to examine the contemporary conception of the influence of Se deficiency on the development of anemia by a review of the scientific literature. Most animal studies have shown a significant relation between Se deficiency and anemia, but one study indicates that there is no impact of Se deficiency on the hematological parameters. Associations of low serum Se with anemia have been found in a number of human studies including subjects of various age groups and pathological conditions. Three possible biological mechanisms have been suggested for the involvement of Se deficiency in the development of anemia: increased oxidative stress, modulation of inflammation through induction of interleukin-6, and increased expression of heme oxygenase-1. A more categorical clarification of the relationships between Se deficiency and development of anemia is needed with respect to appropriate trace element supplementation in cases of anemia with insufficient or absent therapeutic response to Fe treatment.


The process of neoangiogenesis is one of the classic hallmarks of a cancer. Its intricate mechanisms have long been one of the major domains in cancer research and a hope for a therapeutic breakthrough. Last decade a new subgroup of non-coding RNA molecules was reported called microRNAs. Literally hundreds of new molecules in this class are being uncovered as pivotal regulators in virtually all intracellular processes. The aim of this study is to classify and review those microRNA molecules that have a role in the processes of tumor angiogenesis and map their places in the regulatory framework of the classical proangiogenic genes and their canonical cascades.


Background. In an attempt to stop the distribution of falsified medicinal products, the EU has adopted Directive 2011/62/EU. Since 9th February 2019, each package of medicinal product must be given a unique number in combination with a mandatory indicator of integrity. The Directive requires the creation of a system of serialization and verification of the medicinal products.

Aim of the study: To determine the level of awareness about the serialization and verification system among masters of pharmacy and the preparedness of Bulgarian pharmacies to meet the new challenges.

Materials and methods: A pilot survey was conducted in 25 pharmacies in Sofia. 41 specialists in pharmacy holding a master degree were interviewed using the “direct individual survey” method.

Results and discussion: The knowledge about the availability of new regulatory requirements is in serious dissonance with the established high level of non-awareness of the forthcoming initiatives. Over 2/3 (78%) of the respondents do not know what the practical challenges to their pharmacy practices will be.


Background: Written health educational materials are an integral part of the treatment process. Because of the constantly increasing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) global rate, pregnant women require accessible, easy-to-understand and evidence-based medical information about this pregnancy complication.

Aim: To adapt and elaborate printed educational materials on GDM and to evaluate the usefulness of the produced training materials and pregnant women’s satisfaction.

Materials and methods: The present study implemented a methodological approach covering three phases: (1) systematic literature review; (2) compilation of printed educational materials for pregnant women with GDM; (3) evaluation of the usefulness and satisfaction with the produced educational materials through a focus group consisting of pregnant women. A seven-item self-administered feedback questionnaire was adopted for evaluation of patient satisfaction after the use of educational materials.

Results: An educational manual was developed in compliance with the main requirements for effectiveness of educational materials referring to content, structure, language, layout and illustrations. The usefulness of the educational manual and patient satisfaction were evaluated by a sample group of 20 women with GDM. Approximately 95% agreed or strongly agreed that the information in the educational manual was useful. The patients’ assessment of the understanding and readability of the written materials showed a satisfaction rate of 85%. The overall assessment for the educational materials was very high - excellent (65%), very good (30%) and good (5%).

Conclusion: The provision of educational materials on GDM can enhance pregnant women’s health literacy as well as their responsibility, motivation and attitude to their personal health.


Data provided by the European Commission show that public expenditures for food supplements have been constantly increasing over the last decade.

The aim of the present study was to analyze the major food supplements regulations in the European Union and in Bulgaria. Relevant publications were searched and found in MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus Database, Web of Knowledge, and in Internet-based search with predefined keywords. Numerous authors support the opinion that there is a real risk that low quality products may be distributed in countries with poor production control. Bulgarian national legislation have 6 regulations with different legal force for provision of healthy and safe food supplements on the market. Currently, the European Community is concerned about food products, including FS, launched on the market because the citizens require reliable protection of their health. This concern provoked the European Parliament and the Council to undertake a number of legislative initiatives in the field of production and control of food products. It is necessary to set more precise quality and safety criteria in future strategies associated with those products.