Open AccessArticle
Study Protocol for a Randomized Double Blind, Treatment Control Trial Comparing the Efficacy of a Micronutrient Formula to a Single Vitamin Supplement in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/medicines3040032 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: The recent addition of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.) has highlighted the seriousness of this disorder. Many alternatives to psychoactive medication in the form of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts have been trialled by women
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Background: The recent addition of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.) has highlighted the seriousness of this disorder. Many alternatives to psychoactive medication in the form of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts have been trialled by women seeking a natural treatment approach. We plan to explore whether a well validated micronutrient formula, EMPowerplus Advanced, can outperform a recognized single nutrient treatment, vitamin B6, for the treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Methods: This will be a randomized treatment control study. Eighty women will be recruited and assigned to one of two treatment groups; EMPowerplus Advanced or vitamin B6. Baseline daily data will be collected for an initial two cycles, followed by three months of active treatment. A natural follow up will take place three cycles post treatment. Results: The primary outcome measure will be PMS change scores as based on results from the Daily Record of Severity of Problems (DRSP). The number of treatment responders for each of the two groups will yield a comparison score between the two treatments, with participants deemed as a responder if they show a total PMS score improvement of 50% from their baseline scores on the DRSP. Conclusion: If a micronutrient formula proves more effective for treating PMS, not only does it give women suffering from the condition a viable treatment option, but it may also suggest one cause of PMS; that is insufficient minerals and vitamins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Cytotoxic Investigation of Flacourtin from Oncoba spinosa
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/medicines3040031 -
Abstract
Background:Oncoba spinosa, an endangered medicinal plant whose secondary metabolites have not been extensively profiled, and which is hitherto yet to be examined for cytotoxicity, is being investigated in this study. Methods: Leaves of Oncoba spinosa (800 g) were extracted with 95% aqueous
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Background:Oncoba spinosa, an endangered medicinal plant whose secondary metabolites have not been extensively profiled, and which is hitherto yet to be examined for cytotoxicity, is being investigated in this study. Methods: Leaves of Oncoba spinosa (800 g) were extracted with 95% aqueous methanol. The crude extract was partitioned with n-hexane and the resultant defatted extract was extensively chromatographed on silica gel to yield compound 1 which was subjected to spectroscopic analysis. A brine shrimps lethality test was used to establish the cytotoxicity potentials of the isolated compound and the plant extracts. Results: Compound 1 was elucidated as flacourtin, 3-hydroxy-4-hydroxymethylphenyl-6-O-benzoyl-β-d-glucopyranoside. The LD50 values obtained were less than 1000 µg/mL for flacourtin and the plant extracts. Conclusion: Flacourtin is being reported for the first time in the O. spinosa. The preliminary toxicity assay indicated that flacourtin and the plant extracts were not cytotoxic; thus, the tradomedicinal uses of the plant may portend no danger. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Phlogacantholide C as a Novel ADAM10 Enhancer from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 30; doi:10.3390/medicines3040030 -
Abstract
Background: Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent dementias in the elderly population with increasing numbers of patients. One pivotal hallmark of this disorder is the deposition of protein aggregates stemming from neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides. Synthesis of those peptides has been efficiently
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Background: Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent dementias in the elderly population with increasing numbers of patients. One pivotal hallmark of this disorder is the deposition of protein aggregates stemming from neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides. Synthesis of those peptides has been efficiently prevented in AD model mice by activation of an enzyme called alpha-secretase. Therefore, drugs with the capability to increase the expression of this enzyme, named ADAM10, have been suggested as a valuable therapeutic medication. Methods: We investigated 69 substances from a drug library derived from traditional Chinese medicine by luciferase reporter assay in human neuronal cells for their potential to selectively induce alpha-secretase expression. Western blot analysis was used to confirm results on the protein level. Results: Ten of the 69 investigated compounds led to induction of ADAM10 transcriptional activity while BACE-1 (beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1) and APP (amyloid precursor protein) expression were not induced. Two of them—Norkurarinol and Phlogacantholide C—showed substantial elevation of ADAM10 protein levels and Phlogacantholide C also increased secretion of the ADAM10-derived cleavage product APPs-alpha. Conclusion: Phlogacantholide C represents a novel ADAM10 gene expression enhancer from traditional Chinese medicinal herbs that may lay the groundwork for evolving potential novel therapeutics in Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Critical Analysis on Characterization, Systemic Effect, and Therapeutic Potential of Beta-Sitosterol: A Plant-Derived Orphan Phytosterol
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 29; doi:10.3390/medicines3040029 -
Abstract
Beta-sitosterol (BS) is a phytosterol, widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom and known to be involved in the stabilization of cell membranes. To compile the sources, physical and chemical properties, spectral and chromatographic analytical methods, synthesis, systemic effects, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic potentials, toxicity, drug
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Beta-sitosterol (BS) is a phytosterol, widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom and known to be involved in the stabilization of cell membranes. To compile the sources, physical and chemical properties, spectral and chromatographic analytical methods, synthesis, systemic effects, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic potentials, toxicity, drug delivery and finally, to suggest future research with BS, classical as well as on-line literature were studied. Classical literature includes classical books on ethnomedicine and phytochemistry, and the electronic search included Pubmed, SciFinder, Scopus, the Web of Science, Google Scholar, and others. BS could be obtained from different plants, but the total biosynthetic pathway, as well as its exact physiological and structural function in plants, have not been fully understood. Different pharmacological effects have been studied, but most of the mechanisms of action have not been studied in detail. Clinical trials with BS have shown beneficial effects in different diseases, but long-term study results are not available. These have contributed to its current status as an “orphan phytosterol”. Therefore, extensive research regarding its effect at cellular and molecular level in humans as well as addressing the claims made by commercial manufacturers such as the cholesterol lowering ability, immunological activity etc. are highly recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antifungal and Anticancer Potential of Argemone mexicana L.
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 28; doi:10.3390/medicines3040028 -
Abstract
Background: Medicinal plants are widely used to treat infectious diseases, metabolic disorders and cancer. Argemone mexicana L. (A. mexicana), commonly found on desolate land of Marathwada (Maharashtra, India) has been used to treat oral cavity infections. Methods: In this study, cold
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Background: Medicinal plants are widely used to treat infectious diseases, metabolic disorders and cancer. Argemone mexicana L. (A. mexicana), commonly found on desolate land of Marathwada (Maharashtra, India) has been used to treat oral cavity infections. Methods: In this study, cold aqueous and methanolic extracts were prepared from A. mexicana stem and leaves. These extracts were tested for their antifungal and anticancer activities. The antifungal activity was tested using the agar well diffusion method, while the anticancer activity against immortalized cell lines was assessed by trypan blue assay. Results: It was observed that both cold aqueous and methanolic extracts of A. mexicana stem and leaves inhibited the growth of Mucor indicus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger and Penicillum notatum. Antifungal activity of the extract was comparable to that of Amphoterecin-B. A. mexicana extracts had a cytotoxic effect on A549, SiHa and KB immortalized cell lines that were similar to that of berberine. Conclusion: The A. mexicana leaf and stems exhibit strong antifungal and anticancer potential. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition, Cytotoxic, Apoptotic and Antioxidant Activities of Main Commercial Essential Oils in Palestine: A Comparative Study
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 27; doi:10.3390/medicines3040027 -
Abstract
Background: Essential oils (EOs) are complex mixtures of several components gifted with a wide array of biological activities. The present research was designed to evaluate whether commercial essential oils could be effective by examining their in vitro antioxidant, cytotoxic, and apoptotic properties of
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Background: Essential oils (EOs) are complex mixtures of several components gifted with a wide array of biological activities. The present research was designed to evaluate whether commercial essential oils could be effective by examining their in vitro antioxidant, cytotoxic, and apoptotic properties of nine commercially available EOs in Palestine, namely, African rue, basil, chamomile, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, spearmint, sage, and thyme, and to assure their effective use. Methods: The cytotoxic activity was determined using HT29-19(A) non-muco secreting and HT29-muco secreting (MS) cell lines. MTT, and trypan blue tests, and DPPH radical scavenging have also been assayed on the studied EOs. Results: In this work chamomile oil showed the lowest IC50 at the content of 60 µL/mL, while all other EOs reached such a decrease when 70–80 µL/mL was used on HT-29 (MS) cell lines. In HT-29 19(A) cells, 50% of viability was obtained when 80 µL/mL of ginger and African rue was used, while all other EOs needed more than 80 µL/mL to reach such a decline in viability. Otherwise, an MTT assay on HT-29 (MS) displayed ginger EO with the lowest IC50, followed by African rue and sage, with 40, 48 and 53 µL/mL, respectively. Otherwise, for the rest of the EOs, the IC50 was obtained by assaying around 80 µL/mL. Ginger showed the lowest IC50 with 60 µL/mL and thyme was the highest with 77 µL/mL when HT-29 19(A) cells were used. Conclusion: The most active EOs were found to be ginger, chamomile oil, and African rue. In general, the results demonstrate that most commercial EOs tested in this work possess low, or no biological activities; this may be due to processing, storage conditions, and handling or other reasons, which may cause losses in the biological and pharmacological properties that endemically exist in the Eos; hence, more investigation is still required on commercial EOs before they are recommended to the public. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Methanol Extract from Anogeissus leiocarpus (DC) Guill. et Perr. (Combretaceae) Stem Bark Quenches the Quorum Sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 26; doi:10.3390/medicines3040026 -
Abstract
Background: Due to its extensive arsenal of virulence factors and inherent resistance to antibiotics, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a threat particularly in immunocompromised patients. Considering the central role of quorum sensing in the production of virulence factors, inhibition of bacterial communication mechanism constitute an
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Background: Due to its extensive arsenal of virulence factors and inherent resistance to antibiotics, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a threat particularly in immunocompromised patients. Considering the central role of quorum sensing in the production of virulence factors, inhibition of bacterial communication mechanism constitute an opportunity to attenuate pathogenicity of bacteria resistant to available antibiotics. Our study aimed to assess the anti-quorum sensing activity of Anogeissus leiocarpus, traditionally used in Burkina Faso, for the treatment of infected burn wounds. Methods: Investigations were carried out on methanol extract from A. leiocarpus stem bark. The reporter strains Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and P. aeruginosa PAO1 derivatives were used to evidence any interference with the bacterial quorum sensing and expression of related genes. P. aeruginosa PAO1 was used to measure the impact on pyocyanin production. Results: At a sub-inhibitory concentration (100 µg/mL), A. leiocarpus methanol extract quenched the quorum sensing mechanism of P. aeruginosa PAO1 by down-streaming the rhlR gene, with a subsequent reduction of pyocyanin production. Moreover, the antioxidant polyphenols evidenced are able to reduce the oxidative stress induced by pyocyanin. Conclusion: The antioxidant and anti-quorum sensing activities of A. leiocarpus stem bark could justify its traditional use in the treatment of infected burn wounds. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Essential Oils’ Chemical Characterization and Investigation of Some Biological Activities: A Critical Review
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 25; doi:10.3390/medicines3040025 -
Abstract
This review covers literature data summarizing, on one hand, the chemistry of essential oils and, on the other hand, their most important activities. Essential oils, which are complex mixtures of volatile compounds particularly abundant in aromatic plants, are mainly composed of terpenes biogenerated
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This review covers literature data summarizing, on one hand, the chemistry of essential oils and, on the other hand, their most important activities. Essential oils, which are complex mixtures of volatile compounds particularly abundant in aromatic plants, are mainly composed of terpenes biogenerated by the mevalonate pathway. These volatile molecules include monoterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated monoterpens), and also sesquiterpenes (hydrocarbon and oxygenated sesquiterpens). Furthermore, they contain phenolic compounds, which are derived via the shikimate pathway. Thanks to their chemical composition, essential oils possess numerous biological activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, etc…) of great interest in food and cosmetic industries, as well as in the human health field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antidermatophytic Activity of the Fruticose Lichen Usnea orientalis
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 24; doi:10.3390/medicines3030024 -
Abstract
In the present study, the new biological sources in the form of lichen Usnea orientalis Motyka was screened for its antidermatophytic potential. Six species of dermatophytes were chosen on the basis of their prevalence for antidermatophytic assays, and the Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute
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In the present study, the new biological sources in the form of lichen Usnea orientalis Motyka was screened for its antidermatophytic potential. Six species of dermatophytes were chosen on the basis of their prevalence for antidermatophytic assays, and the Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI)-recommended broth microdilution procedure was used to detect the efficacy of extract against dermatophytes. Thin layer chromatography of lichen extracts reveals the presence of two secondary metabolites viz. salazinic acid and usnic acid. U. orientalis extract exhibited promising antidermatophytic activity against all tested pathogens. Amongst all tested pathogens, Epidermophyton floccosum exhibited most susceptibility towards extract, whereas Trichophyton mentagrophytes exhibited the least susceptibility. Topical application of U. orientalis extract might be helpful in the cure of dermal infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of Bone Beneficial Components from Australian Wallaby Bone
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 23; doi:10.3390/medicines3030023 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Constituents from the Essential Oil of Lippia alba (Verbenaceae)
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 22; doi:10.3390/medicines3030022 -
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.
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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. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Why We Need Minimum Basic Requirements in Science for Acupuncture Education
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 21; doi:10.3390/medicines3030021 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial, Cytotoxic, Phytotoxic and Antioxidant Potential of Heliotropium strigosum Willd.
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 20; doi:10.3390/medicines3030020 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessReview
Essential Oils and Their Components as Modulators of Antibiotic Activity against Gram-Negative Bacteria
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 19; doi:10.3390/medicines3030019 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Herbal Hepatotoxicity: RUCAM and the Role of Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers Such as MicroRNAs
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 18; doi:10.3390/medicines3030018 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heteromeles Arbutifolia, a Traditional Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Phytochemistry and Safety
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 17; doi:10.3390/medicines3030017 -
Abstract
Background: This study examined the chemistry and safety of Heteromeles arbutifolia, also called toyon or California holly, which is a traditional California Indian food and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: Plant extracts were examined by HPLC/MS, NMR and other techniques to identify
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Background: This study examined the chemistry and safety of Heteromeles arbutifolia, also called toyon or California holly, which is a traditional California Indian food and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: Plant extracts were examined by HPLC/MS, NMR and other techniques to identify compounds. Volunteers were recruited to examine the acute safety of the plant medicine using a standard short-term memory test. Results: The plant was found to contain icariside E4, dihydroxyoleanenoic acid, maslinic acid, betulin, trihydroxyoxo-seco-ursdienoic acid, catechin, vicenin-2, farrerol, kaempferide and tetrahydroxyoleanenoic acid. These compounds are anti-inflammatory agents that may protect the blood-brain barrier and prevent inflammatory cell infiltration into the brain. The dried berries were ingested by six volunteers to demonstrate the safety of the medicine. Conclusion: The plant medicine was found to contain several compounds that may be of interest in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The plant medicine was found to be safe. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Necrostatin-1 Attenuates Inflammatory Response and Improves Cognitive Function in Chronic Ischemic Stroke Mice
Medicines 2016, 3(3), 16; doi:10.3390/medicines3030016 -
Abstract
Multiple cell death is involved in ischemic brain injury. Necroptosis, a recently reported cell death, may be the most suitable cell death mechanism in a subpopulation of neurons under ischemic injury. It reported that a small molecule, necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), has a potent inhibitory
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Multiple cell death is involved in ischemic brain injury. Necroptosis, a recently reported cell death, may be the most suitable cell death mechanism in a subpopulation of neurons under ischemic injury. It reported that a small molecule, necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), has a potent inhibitory effect on necroptotic cell death in vivo and in vitro. The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of Nec-1 on cognitive function in chronic ischemic stroke mice induced by bilateral common carotid artery stenosis (BCAS). Here, 12-week-old C57BL/6 mice received intragastric administration with Nec-1 or vehicle for two weeks after stroke, and then, the effect and possible mechanism were determined. We demonstrated that inhibition of necroptosis prevented cognitive impairment and reduced inflammatory response in the ischemic brain injury mouse model. These data suggested that inhibition of necroptosis provided a potential therapeutic option for cognitive rehabilitation in chronic ischemic stroke. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Syndrome and Framingham Risk Score: Observation from Screening of Low-Income Semi-Urban African Women
Medicines 2016, 3(2), 15; doi:10.3390/medicines3020015 -
Abstract
Background: The heightened cardiovascular risk associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been documented by several researchers. The Framingham risk score (FRS) provides a simple and efficient method for identifying individuals at cardiovascular risk. The objective was to describe the prevalence of MetS and
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Background: The heightened cardiovascular risk associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been documented by several researchers. The Framingham risk score (FRS) provides a simple and efficient method for identifying individuals at cardiovascular risk. The objective was to describe the prevalence of MetS and its association with FRS in predicting cardiovascular disease among a cohort of semi-urban women; Method: Clinical and laboratory parameters were evaluated among 189 healthy women. The International Diabetes Federation definition was used to diagnose metabolic syndrome. FRS was calculated for each participant; Result: About two thirds of the participant make less than $US 90 per month. The mean systolic blood pressure was 131.80 ± 30. Eighty (42.3%) participants were overweight with a mean waist circumference of 91.64 ± 11.19 cm. MetS was present in 46 (24.3%). Individuals with MetS were more likely to have increased FRS, p = 0.012. One hundred and eighty seven (98.9%) were in the low risk category according to FRS. There was a significant difference in the mean FRS between participants with and without MetS (13.52 versus 10.29 p = 0.025); Conclusion: Prevalence of MetS in this study was comparable to the global rate, despite a low economic status. Individuals with MetS were more likely to have cardiovascular disease than persons without MetS, thus emphasizing the need for risk stratification and prompt management. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Essential Oils from the Malaysian Citrus (Rutaceae) Medicinal Plants
Medicines 2016, 3(2), 13; doi:10.3390/medicines3020013 -
Abstract
This review article appraises the extraction methods, compositions, and bioactivities of the essential oils from the Citrus species (family: Rutaceae) endemic to Malaysia including C. aurantifolia, C. grandis, C. hystrix, and C. microcarpa. Generally, the fresh peels and
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This review article appraises the extraction methods, compositions, and bioactivities of the essential oils from the Citrus species (family: Rutaceae) endemic to Malaysia including C. aurantifolia, C. grandis, C. hystrix, and C. microcarpa. Generally, the fresh peels and leaves of the Citrus species were extracted using different methods such as steam and water distillation, Likens-Nikerson extraction, solvent extraction, and headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME). Most of the Citrus oils were found to be rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons with limonene (1) as the major component identified in the peels of C. aurantifolia (39.3%), C. grandis (81.6%–96.9%), and C. microcarpa (94.0%), while sabinene (19) was the major component in the peels of C. hystrix (36.4%–48.5%). In addition, citronellal (20) (61.7%–72.5%), linalool (18) (56.5%), and hedycaryol (23) (19.0%) were identified as the major components in the oil of C. hystrix leaves, C. grandis blossom and C. microcarpa leaves, respectively. The C. hystrix essential oil has been experimentally shown to have antimicrobial and antifeedant activities, while no bioactivity study has been reported on the essential oils of other Malaysian Citrus species. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Next-Generation Sequencing: The Translational Medicine Approach from “Bench to Bedside to Population”
Medicines 2016, 3(2), 14; doi:10.3390/medicines3020014 -
Abstract
Humans have predicted the relationship between heredity and diseases for a long time. Only in the beginning of the last century, scientists begin to discover the connotations between different genes and disease phenotypes. Recent trends in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have brought a
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Humans have predicted the relationship between heredity and diseases for a long time. Only in the beginning of the last century, scientists begin to discover the connotations between different genes and disease phenotypes. Recent trends in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have brought a great momentum in biomedical research that in turn has remarkably augmented our basic understanding of human biology and its associated diseases. State-of-the-art next generation biotechnologies have started making huge strides in our current understanding of mechanisms of various chronic illnesses like cancers, metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative anomalies, etc. We are experiencing a renaissance in biomedical research primarily driven by next generation biotechnologies like genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics etc. Although genomic discoveries are at the forefront of next generation omics technologies, however, their implementation into clinical arena had been painstakingly slow mainly because of high reaction costs and unavailability of requisite computational tools for large-scale data analysis. However rapid innovations and steadily lowering cost of sequence-based chemistries along with the development of advanced bioinformatics tools have lately prompted launching and implementation of large-scale massively parallel genome sequencing programs in different fields ranging from medical genetics, infectious biology, agriculture sciences etc. Recent advances in large-scale omics-technologies is bringing healthcare research beyond the traditional “bench to bedside” approach to more of a continuum that will include improvements, in public healthcare and will be primarily based on predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory medicine approach (P4). Recent large-scale research projects in genetic and infectious disease biology have indicated that massively parallel whole-genome/whole-exome sequencing, transcriptome analysis, and other functional genomic tools can reveal large number of unique functional elements and/or markers that otherwise would be undetected by traditional sequencing methodologies. Therefore, latest trends in the biomedical research is giving birth to the new branch in medicine commonly referred to as personalized and/or precision medicine. Developments in the post-genomic era are believed to completely restructure the present clinical pattern of disease prevention and treatment as well as methods of diagnosis and prognosis. The next important step in the direction of the precision/personalized medicine approach should be its early adoption in clinics for future medical interventions. Consequently, in coming year’s next generation biotechnologies will reorient medical practice more towards disease prediction and prevention approaches rather than curing them at later stages of their development and progression, even at wider population level(s) for general public healthcare system. Full article
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