Medicines2016, 3(3), 23; doi:10.3390/medicines3030023 (registering DOI) - published 26 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Background: Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle, increasing the risk of fractures. Complementary medicines have traditionally used animal bones for managing bone disorders, such as osteoporosis. This study aimed to discover new natural products for these types of conditions by determining mineral and protein content of bone extracts derived from the Australian wallaby. Methods: Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analysis were used for mineral tests, proteome analysis was using LC/MS/MS and the effects of wallaby bone extracts (WBE)s on calcium deposition and alkaline phosphatase activity were evaluated in osteogenic cells derived from adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Results: Concentrations of calcium and phosphorus were 26.21% and 14.72% in WBE respectively. Additionally, minerals found were wide in variety and high in concentration, while heavy metal concentrations of aluminium, iron, zinc and other elements were at safe levels for human consumption. Proteome analysis showed that extracts contained high amounts of bone remodelling proteins, such as osteomodulin, osteopontin and osteoglycin. Furthermore, in vitro evaluation of WBEs showed increased deposition of calcium in osteoblasts with enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity in differentiated adipose-derived stem cells. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that wallaby bone extracts possess proteins and minerals beneficial for bone metabolism. WBEs may therefore be used for developing natural products for conditions such as osteoporosis and further investigation to understand biomolecular mechanism by which WBEs prevent osteoporosis is warranted.
Abstract: Backgroud:Lippia alba (Verbenaceae) is a plant widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases. The present work deals with the chemical composition of the crude essential oil extracted from leaves of L. alba and evaluation of its antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities. Methods: Leaves of L. alba were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) as well as by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of crude essential oil were evaluated in vitro using MTT and broth microdilution assays, respectively. Results: Chemical analysis afforded the identification of 39 substances corresponding to 99.45% of the total oil composition. Concerning the main compounds, monoterpenes nerol/geraniol and citral correspond to approximately 50% of crude oil. The cytotoxic activity of obtained essential oil against several tumor cell lines showed IC50 values ranging from 45 to 64 µg/mL for B16F10Nex2 (murine melanoma) and A549 (human lung adenocarcinoma). In the antimicrobial assay, was observed that all tested yeast strains, except C. albicans, were sensitive to crude essential oil. MIC values were two to four-folds lower than those determined to bacterial strains. Conclusion: Analysis of chemical composition of essential oils from leaves of L. alba suggested a new chemotype nerol/geraniol and citral. Based in biological evidences, a possible application for studied oil as an antifungal in medicine, as well as in agriculture, is described.
Abstract: As enthusiasm for alternatives to pharmaceuticals and surgery grows, healthcare consumers are turning increasingly to physical medicine modalities such as acupuncture. However, they may encounter obstacles in accessing acupuncture due to several reasons, such as the inability to locate a suitable practitioner, insufficient reimbursement for treatment, or difficulty gaining a referral due to perceived lack of evidence or scientific rigor by specialists. Claims made about a range of treatment paradigms outstrip evidence and students in acupuncture courses are thus led to believe that the approaches they learn are effective and clinically meaningful. Critical inquiry and critical analysis of techniques taught are often omitted, leading to unquestioning acceptance, adoption, and implementation into practice of approaches that may or may not be rational and effective. Acupuncture education for both licensed physicians (DOs and MDs) and non-physicians needs to include science (i.e., explanation of its effects based on contemporary explanations of biological processes), evidence, and critical thinking. Erroneous notions concerning its mechanisms such as moving “stuck Qi (Chi)” or “energy” with needles and that this energy stagnates at specific, tiny locations on the body called acupuncture points lead to mistakes in methodologic design. For example, researchers may select sham and verum point locations that overlap considerably in their neural connections, leading to nonsignificant differences between the two interventions. Furthermore, attributing the effects of acupuncture to metaphorical and arcane views of physiology limits both acceptance and validation of acupuncture in both research and clinical settings. Finally, the content and quality of education and clinical exposure across acupuncture programs varies widely, with currently no minimum basic educational requirements in a scientific methodology. Considering the pressures mounting on clinicians to practice in an evidence-based and scientific manner that also demonstrates cost-effectiveness, acupuncture schools and continuing medical education (CME) courses need to provide their students a strong foundation in rational approaches supported by research.
Abstract: Background:Heliotropium strigosum Willd. (Chitiphal) is a medicinally important herb that belongs to the Boraginaceae family. Traditionally, this plant was used in the medication therapy of various ailments in different populations of the world. The aim of the study is to probe the therapeutic aspects of H. strigosum described in the traditional folklore history of medicines. Methods: In the present study, the dichloromethane crude extract of this plant was screened to explore the antimicrobial, cytotoxic, phytotoxic and antioxidant potential of H. strigosum. For antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities, microplate alamar blue assay (MABA), agar tube dilution method and diphenyl picryl hydrazine (DPPH) radical-scavenging assay were used, respectively. The cytotoxic and phytotoxic potential were demonstrated by using brine shrimp lethality bioassay and Lemna minor assay. Results: The crude extract displayed positive cytotoxic activity in the brine shrimp lethality assay, with 23 of 30 shrimps dying at the concentration of 1000 µg/mL. It also showed moderate phytotoxic potential with percent inhibition of 50% at the concentration of 1000 µg/mL. The crude extract exhibited no significant antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Non-significant antifungal and radical scavenging activity was also shown by the dichloromethane crude extract. Conclusion: It is recommended that scientists focus on the identification and isolation of beneficial bioactive constituents with the help of advanced scientific methodologies that seems to be helpful in the synthesis of new therapeutic agents of desired interest.
Abstract: Gram-negative bacteria cause infections that are difficult to treat due to the emergence of multidrug resistance. This review summarizes the current status of the studies investigating the capacity of essential oils and their components to modulate antibiotic activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Synergistic interactions are particularly discussed with reference to possible mechanisms by which essential oil constituents interact with antibiotics. Special emphasis is given to essential oils and volatile compounds that inhibit efflux pumps, thus reversing drug resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, indifference and antagonism between essential oils/volatile compounds and conventional antibiotics have also been reported. Overall, this literature review reveals that essential oils and their purified components enhance the efficacy of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria, being promising candidates for the development of new effective formulations against Gram-negative bacteria.
Abstract: Background: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with its focus on herbal use is popular and appreciated worldwide with increased tendency, although its therapeutic efficacy is poorly established for most herbal TCM products. Treatment was perceived as fairly safe but discussions emerged more recently as to whether herb induced liver injury (HILI) from herbal TCM is a major issue; Methods: To analyze clinical and case characteristics of HILI caused by herbal TCM, we undertook a selective literature search in the PubMed database with the search items Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, alone and combined with the terms herbal hepatotoxicity or herb induced liver injury; Results: HILI caused by herbal TCM is rare and similarly to drugs can be caused by an unpredictable idiosyncratic or a predictable intrinsic reaction. Clinical features of liver injury from herbal TCM products are variable, and specific diagnostic biomarkers such as microsomal epoxide hydrolase, pyrrole-protein adducts, metabolomics, and microRNAs are available for only a few TCM herbs. The diagnosis is ascertained if alternative causes are validly excluded and causality levels of probable or highly probable are achieved applying the liver specific RUCAM (Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method) as the most commonly used diagnostic tool worldwide. Case evaluation may be confounded by inappropriate or lacking causality assessment, poor herbal product quality, insufficiently documented cases, and failing to exclude alternative causes such as infections by hepatotropic viruses including hepatitis E virus infections; Conclusion: Suspected cases of liver injury from herbal TCM represent major challenges that deserve special clinical and regulatory attention to improve the quality of case evaluations and ascertain patients’ safety and benefit.