Friday, 20 September 2013

Advances in studies on toxicity of aconite

Advances in studies on toxicity of aconite.
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2013 Apr;38(8):1126-9
Authors: Chen RC, Sun GB, Zhang Q, Ye ZG, Sun XB
Abstract
Aconite has the efficacy of reviving yang for resuscitation, dispelling cold and relieving pain, which is widely used in clinic, and shows unique efficacy in treating severe diseases. However, aconite has great toxicity, with obvious cardio-toxicity and neurotoxicity. Its toxicological mechanism main shows in the effect on voltage-dependent sodium channels, release of neurotransmitters and changes in receptors, promotion of lipid peroxidation and cell apoptosis in heart, liver and other tissues. Aconite works to reduce toxicity mainly through compatibility and processing. Besides traditional processing methods, many new modern processing techniques could also help achieve the objectives of detoxification and efficacy enhancement. In order to further develop the medicinal value of aconite and reduce its side effect in clinical application, this article gives comprehensive comments on aconite's toxicity characteristics, mechanism and detoxification methods on the basis of relevant reports for aconite's toxicity and the author's experimental studies.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Regulatory T-cell modulation by green tea in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2013 Jan-Mar;26(1):117-25
Authors: D'Arena G, Simeon V, De Martino L, Statuto T, D'Auria F, Volpe S, Deaglio S, Maidecchi A, Mattoli L, Mercati V, Musto P, De Feo V
Abstract
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are considered to be key immunomodulatory cells of the immune system and are increased in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Rai stage 0 identifies patients with early stage CLL for which there is no effective intervention at the present time and a "wait and see" policy is usually adopted.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Future therapies for food allergy.

Future therapies for food allergy.
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Oct;8(10):1479-84
Authors: McWilliams LM, Mousallem T, Burks AW
Abstract
Food allergy affects 3.9% of US children and is increasing in prevalence. The current standard of care involves avoidance of the triggering food and treatment for accidental ingestions. While there is no current curative treatment, there are a number of therapeutic strategies under investigation. Allergen specific therapies include oral and sublingual immunotherapy with native food protein as well as recombinant food proteins. Allergen non-specific therapies include a Chinese herbal formula (FAHF-2) and the use of anti-IgE monoclonal antibody therapy. Although none of these treatments are ready for clinical use, these therapeutic strategies present promising options for the future of food allergy.

Monday, 16 September 2013

A novel drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease treatment: gx-50 derived from Zanthoxylum bungeanum.

A novel drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease treatment: gx-50 derived from Zanthoxylum bungeanum.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2013 Jan 1;34(1):203-13
Authors: Tang M, Wang Z, Zhou Y, Xu W, Li S, Wang L, Wei D, Qiao Z
Abstract
This study focused on a promising drug candidate, N-[2-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)ethyl]-3-phenyl-acrylamide (gx-50), a compound extracted from Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum Bungeanum), to determine whether it would be an effective therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease (AD) via biological experiments. In vivo, we determined the pharmacokinetic profile of gx-50 and evaluated the effect of gx-50 on the cognitive abilities of amyloid-β protein precursor transgenic (AβPP-Tg) mice by Morris water maze testing. In addition, we examined the effects of gx-50 on amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers in the brains of AβPP-Tg mice by immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we observed a direct effect of gx-50 on Aβ oligomers by atomic force microscopy, detected the neuroprotective effects of gx-50 by western blotting and cell apoptosis assays, and measured its effects on intracellular calcium currents by laser confocal microscopy. Experiments in vivo showed that gx-50 could penetrate the blood brain barrier and improve the cognitive abilities of mice. Moreover, gx-50 treatment decreased the accumulation of Aβ oligomers in the cerebral cortex. The results in vitro demonstrated that gx-50 could disassemble Aβ oligomers, inhibit Aβ-induced neuronal apoptosis and apoptotic gene expression, and reduce neuronal calcium toxicity. These results strongly suggest that gx-50 is a potential candidate drug for treating AD

The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies.

The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies.
Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):383-8
Authors: Yang T, Yang X, Wang X, Wang Y, Song Z
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide. Epidemiologic studies have examined the possible association between tomato products consumption and gastric cancer, but the relationship between tomato products and the risk of gastric cancer is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of cohort and case-control studies to analyze this association.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A questionnaire survey of patients and carers of patients prescribed Sativex as an unlicensed medicine.

A questionnaire survey of patients and carers of patients prescribed Sativex as an unlicensed medicine.
Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2013 Apr;14(2):192-9
Authors: Notcutt WG
Abstract
AIM: To identify the areas of daily function most affected by the introduction of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine, and the impact on caregivers and people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
BACKGROUND: Cannabinoid medicines have recently become available on prescription in several parts of the world, principally for the treatment of spasticity in people with MS. Their efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in the setting of randomised controlled clinical trials. Results of such studies may not always reflect the wider effectiveness that a medicine shows when used in clinical practice.

Friday, 13 September 2013

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3-glycoside of herbal origin exhibits delayed release pharmacokinetics when compared to its synthetic counterpart.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3-glycoside of herbal origin exhibits delayed release pharmacokinetics when compared to its synthetic counterpart.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jul;136:333-6
Authors: Bachmann H, Offord-Cavin E, Phothirath P, Horcajada MN, Romeis P, Mathis GA
Abstract
Vitamin D requires two metabolic steps to become biologically active. In a first step 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is formed, which acts as storage form. After a tightly controlled step in kidney the active metabolite 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) is formed. Because kidney is the relevant metabolic organ for this conversion, 1,25(OH)2D3 needs to be supplemented in patients with kidney malfunction or kidney failure. Synthetic 1,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol) has been available as a drug for decades. Due to its high potency and its kinetic profile (fast absorption and rapid elimination) its therapeutic windows has proven to be relatively narrow.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Ginkgo biloba extract attenuates oxLDL-induced endothelial dysfunction via an AMPK-dependent mechanism

Ginkgo biloba extract attenuates oxLDL-induced endothelial dysfunction via an AMPK-dependent mechanism.
J Appl Physiol. 2013 Jan 15;114(2):274-85
Authors: Ou HC, Hsieh YL, Yang NC, Tsai KL, Chen KL, Tsai CS, Chen IJ, Wu BT, Lee SD
Abstract
Atherosclerosis is a complex inflammatory arterial disease, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is directly associated with chronic vascular inflammation. Previous studies have shown that Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) acts as a therapeutic agent for neurological and cardiovascular disorders. However, the mechanisms mediating the actions of GbE are still largely unknown. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that GbE protects against oxLDL-induced endothelial dysfunction via an AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent mechanism. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were treated with GbE, followed by oxLDL, for indicated time periods.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction: a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study.

Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction: a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study.
Int J Impot Res. 2013 Mar-Apr;25(2):45-50
Authors: Choi YD, Park CW, Jang J, Kim SH, Jeon HY, Kim WG, Lee SJ, Chung WS
Abstract
Ginseng is beneficial for many aspects of human physiology, including sexual function. In this study, we have evaluated the efficacy and safety of an extract of ginseng berry, which has a ginsenoside profile distinct from other parts of the plant, on sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. In all, 119 men with mild-to-moderate ED participated in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled clinical study. They were administered 4 tablets of either standardized Korean ginseng berry (SKGB, 350 mg ginseng berry extract per tablet), or placebo, daily, for 8 weeks.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Plants traditionally used in age-related brain disorders (dementia): an ethanopharmacological survey.

Plants traditionally used in age-related brain disorders (dementia): an ethanopharmacological survey.
Pharm Biol. 2013 Apr;51(4):492-523
Authors: Natarajan S, Shunmugiah KP, Kasi PD
Abstract
CONTEXT: Epidemiological studies have shown that despite mortality due to communicable diseases, poverty and human conflicts, the incidence of dementia increases in the developing world in tandem with the ageing population. Although some FDA approved drugs are available for the treatment of dementia, the outcomes are often unsatisfactory. In traditional practices of medicine, numerous plants have been used to treat cognitive disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other memory-related disorders. In western medicine most of the drugs used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders are derived from plant sources.
OBJECTIVE: This article reviews plants and their active constituents that have been used for their reputed cognitive-enhancing and antidementia effects.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Cytotoxic and antimalarial amaryllidaceae alkaloids from the bulbs of Lycoris radiata.
Molecules. 2013;18(3):2458-68
Authors: Hao B, Shen SF, Zhao QJ
Abstract
Phytochemical investigation of the 80% ethanol extract of the bulbs of Lycoris radiata resulted in the isolation of five new Amaryllidaceae alkaloids: (+)-5,6-dehydrolycorine (1), (+)-3α,6β-diacetyl-bulbispermine (2), (+)-3α-hydroxy-6β-acetyl- bulbispermine (3), (+)-8,9-methylenedioxylhomolycorine-N-oxide (5), and 5,6-dihydro-5- methyl-2-hydroxyphenanthridine (7), together with two known compounds, (+)-3α-methoxy- 6β-acetylbulbispermine (4) and (+)-homolycorine- N-oxide (6). Structural elucidation of all the compounds were performed by spectral methods such as 1D and 2D (1H-1H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC) NMR spectroscopy, in addition to high resolution mass spectrometry. Alkaloid 1 showed potent cytotoxicity against astrocytoma and glioma cell lines (CCF-STTG1, CHG-5, SHG-44, and U251), as well as HL-60, SMMC-7721, and W480 cell lines with IC(50) values of 9.4-11.6 μM. Additonally, compound 1 exhibited antimalarial activity with IC(50) values of 2.3 μM for D-6 strain and 1.9 μM for W-2 strain of Plasmodium falciparum
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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of Pentaherb formula, Moutan Cortex (Danpi) and gallic acid.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of Pentaherb formula, Moutan Cortex (Danpi) and gallic acid.
Molecules. 2013;18(3):2483-500
Authors: Liu KY, Hu S, Chan BC, Wat EC, Lau CB, Hon KL, Fung KP, Leung PC, Hui PC, Lam CW, Wong CK
Abstract
Pentaherb formula (PHF) has been proven to improve the quality of life of children with atopic dermatitis without side effects. The aim of this study was to elucidate the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of PHF, Moutan Cortex (Danpi/DP) and gallic acid (GA) using human basophils (KU812 cells), which are crucial effector cells in allergic inflammation. PHF, DP and GA could significantly suppress the expression of allergic inflammatory cytokine IL-33-upregulated intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, and the release of chemokines CCL2, CCL5, CXCL8 and inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from KU812 cells (all p < 0.05). With the combined use of dexamethasone (0.01 μg/mL) and GA (10 μg/mL), the suppression of ICAM-1 expression and CCL5 and IL-6 release of IL-33-activated KU812 cells were significantly greater than the use of GA alone (all p < 0.05). The suppression of the IL-33-induced activation of intracellular signalling molecules p38 mitogen activated protein kinase, nuclear factor-kB and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase in GA-treated KU812 cells could be the underlying mechanism for the suppression on ICAM-1, chemokines and cytokines. The combined use of dexamethasone with the natural products PHF or DP or GA might therefore enhance the development of a novel therapeutic modality for allergic inflammatory diseases with high potency and fewer side effects.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439564?dopt=Abstract

Friday, 6 September 2013

Grewia asiatica L., a food plant with multiple uses.

Grewia asiatica L., a food plant with multiple uses.
Molecules. 2013;18(3):2663-82
Authors: Zia-Ul-Haq M, Stanković MS, Rizwan K, Feo VD
Abstract
Grewia asiatica L., is a species native to south Asia from Pakistan, east to Cambodia, cultivated primarily for its edible fruit and well-reputed for its diverse medicinal uses. Fruits are a rich source of nutrients such as proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals and contain various bioactive compounds, like anthocyanins, tannins, phenolics and flavonoids. Different parts of this plant possess different pharmacological properties. Leaves have antimicrobial, anticancer, antiplatelet and antiemetic activities; fruit possess anticancer, antioxidant, radioprotective and antihyperglycemic properties; while stem bark possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. This review focuses on the botanical description, phytochemistry, nutritional studies and pharmacological properties of this plant.
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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Relationship between mood change, odour and its physiological effects in humans while inhaling the fragrances of essential oils as well as linalool and its enantiomers.

Relationship between mood change, odour and its physiological effects in humans while inhaling the fragrances of essential oils as well as linalool and its enantiomers.
Molecules. 2013;18(3):3312-38
Authors: Sugawara Y, Shigetho A, Yoneda M, Tuchiya T, Matumura T, Hirano M
Abstract
Humans can detect and discriminate a vast number of odours. The number perceived as distinguishable is estimated to be more than ten thousand. Humans are capable of distinguishing even slight alterations in the structure of an odorous molecule. A pair of enantiomers of an odorant, which possess the same molecular structures except for the chiral position, can trigger profoundly different odour perceptions. How precisely can humans and their olfactory system detect and discriminate such a great variety of odours and such subtle differences in the molecular structures? In a series of studies, we have attempted to examine the relationship between mood change, odour and its physiological effects, by focusing on the possible verbal and non-verbal changes in humans induced by smelling the fragrances of essential oils as well as linalool and its enantiometric isomers. In this article, we provide an overview of our recent verbal and non-verbal studies. We then discuss how our findings may contribute to the assessment of psychophysiological responses of essential oils as well as how our research can contribute to the study of human chemoreception science, by shedding light on the sophistication of the olfactory system in its ability to detect and discriminate odors.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Grape seed extract for foodborne virus reduction on produce.

Grape seed extract for foodborne virus reduction on produce.
Food Microbiol. 2013 May;34(1):1-6
Authors: Su X, D'Souza DH
Abstract
Grape seed extract (GSE) is reported to have antibacterial properties with few current studies on antiviral activity. Recently, we reported the effects of GSE against foodborne viral surrogates in vitro. This study evaluated the application of GSE (commercial Gravinol-S) against hepatitis A virus (HAV) and human norovirus surrogates, feline calicivirus (FCV-F9) and murine norovirus (MNV-1), on model produce. Washed and air-dried lettuce (3 × 3 cm(2)) and jalapeno peppers (25-30 g) were inoculated with FCV-F9, MNV-1, or HAV at high (∼7 log10 PFU/ml) or low (∼5 log10 PFU/ml) titers, and treated with 0.25, 0.5, 1 mg/ml GSE or water for 30 s to 5 min. Treatments were stopped/diluted with cell-culture media containing 10% heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum and evaluated using plaque assays. At high titers, FCV-F9 was reduced by 2.33, 2.58, and 2.71 log10 PFU on lettuce; and 2.20, 2.74, and 3.05 log10 PFU on peppers after 1 min using 0.25, 0.50, and 1 mg/ml GSE, respectively. Low FCV-F9 titers could not be detected after 1 min at all three GSE concentrations. Low titer MNV-1 was reduced by 0.2-0.3 log10 PFU on lettuce and 0.8 log10 PFU on peppers, without reduction of high titer. GSE at 0.25-1 mg/ml after 1 min caused 0.7-1.1 and 1-1.3 log10 PFU reduction for high and low HAV titers, respectively on both commodities. Instrumental color analysis showed no significant differences between treated and untreated produce. GSE shows potential for foodborne viral reduction on produce as part of hurdle technologies

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Green tea supplementation increases glutathione and plasma antioxidant capacity in adults with the metabolic syndrome.

Green tea supplementation increases glutathione and plasma antioxidant capacity in adults with the metabolic syndrome.
Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):180-7
Authors: Basu A, Betts NM, Mulugeta A, Tong C, Newman E, Lyons TJ
Abstract
Green tea, a popular polyphenol-containing beverage, has been shown to alleviate clinical features of the metabolic syndrome. However, its effects in endogenous antioxidant biomarkers are not clearly understood. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that green tea supplementation will upregulate antioxidant parameters (enzymatic and nonenzymatic) in adults with the metabolic syndrome. Thirty-five obese participants with the metabolic syndrome were randomly assigned to receive one of the following for 8 weeks: green tea (4 cups per day), control (4 cups water per day), or green tea extract (2 capsules and 4 cups water per day). Blood samples and dietary information were collected at baseline (0 week) and 8 weeks of the study. Circulating carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene) and tocopherols (α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol) and trace elements were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, respectively. Serum antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, glutathione, catalase) and plasma antioxidant capacity were measured spectrophotometrically. Green tea beverage and green tea extract significantly increased plasma antioxidant capacity (1.5 to 2.3 μmol/L and 1.2 to 2.5 μmol/L, respectively; P < .05) and whole blood glutathione (1783 to 2395 μg/g hemoglobin and 1905 to 2751 μg/g hemoglobin, respectively; P < .05) vs controls at 8 weeks. No effects were noted in serum levels of carotenoids and tocopherols and glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities. Green tea extract significantly reduced plasma iron vs baseline (128 to 92 μg/dL, P < .02), whereas copper, zinc, and selenium were not affected. These results support the hypothesis that green tea may provide 

Monday, 2 September 2013

A single portion of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L) improves protection against DNA damage but not vascular function in healthy male volunteers.

A single portion of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L) improves protection against DNA damage but not vascular function in healthy male volunteers.
Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):220-7
Authors: Del Bo C, Riso P, Campolo J, Møller P, Loft S, Klimis-Zacas D, Brambilla A, Rizzolo A, Porrini M
Abstract
It has been suggested that anthocyanin-rich foods may exert antioxidant effects and improve vascular function as demonstrated mainly in vitro and in the animal model. Blueberries are rich sources of anthocyanins and we hypothesized that their intake could improve cell protection against oxidative stress and affect endothelial function in humans. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of one portion (300 g) of blueberries on selected markers of oxidative stress and antioxidant protection (endogenous and oxidatively induced DNA damage) and of vascular function (changes in peripheral arterial tone and plasma nitric oxide levels) in male subjects. In a randomized cross-over design, separated by a wash out period ten young volunteers received one portion of blueberries ground by blender or one portion of a control jelly.