Open AccessArticle
A Population-Based Cohort Study on the Ability of Acupuncture to Reduce Post-Stroke Depression
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 16; doi:10.3390/medicines4010016 -
Abstract
Objective: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is common and has a negative impact on recovery. Although many stroke patients in Taiwan have used acupuncture as a supplementary treatment for reducing stroke comorbidities, little research has been done on the use of acupuncture to prevent PSD.
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Objective: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is common and has a negative impact on recovery. Although many stroke patients in Taiwan have used acupuncture as a supplementary treatment for reducing stroke comorbidities, little research has been done on the use of acupuncture to prevent PSD. Accordingly, our goal is to investigate whether using acupuncture after a stroke can reduce the risk of PSD. Method: This population-based cohort study examined medical claims data from a random sample of 1 million insured people registered in Taiwan. Newly diagnosed stroke patients in the period 2000–2005 were recruited in our study. All patients were followed through to the end of 2007 to determine whether they had developed symptoms of depression. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the relative risk of depression in patients after being diagnosed as having had a stroke, with a focus on the differences in those with and without acupuncture treatment. Results: A total of 8487 newly-diagnosed stroke patients were included in our study; of these, 1036 patients received acupuncture more than five times following their stroke, 1053 patients received acupuncture 1–5 times following their stroke and 6398 did not receive acupuncture. After we controlled for potential confounders (e.g., age, sex, insurance premium, residential area, type of stroke, length of hospital stay, stroke severity index, rehabilitation and major illness–related depression), we found that acupuncture after stroke significantly reduced the risk of depression, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.475 (95% CI, 0.389–0.580) in frequent acupuncture users and 0.718 (95% CI, 0.612–0.842) in infrequent acupuncture users, indicating that acupuncture may lower the risk of PSD by an estimated 52.5% in frequent users and 28.2% in infrequent users. Conclusions: After we controlled for potential confounders, it appears that using acupuncture after a stroke lowers the risk of depression. Additional strictly-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to better understand the specific mechanisms relating acupuncture to health outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ganoderma spp.: A Promising Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 15; doi:10.3390/medicines4010015 -
Abstract
For the past several decades, cancer patients in the U.S. have chosen the use of natural products as an alternative or complimentary medicine approach to treat or improve their quality of life via reduction or prevention of the side effects during or after
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For the past several decades, cancer patients in the U.S. have chosen the use of natural products as an alternative or complimentary medicine approach to treat or improve their quality of life via reduction or prevention of the side effects during or after cancer treatment. The genus Ganoderma includes about 80 species of mushrooms, of which several have been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine for their medicinal properties, including anticancer and immunoregulatory effects. Numerous bioactive compounds seem to be responsible for their healing effects. Among the approximately 400 compounds produced by Ganoderma spp., triterpenes, peptidoglycans and polysaccharides are the major physiologically-active constituents. Ganoderma anticancer effects are attributed to its efficacy in reducing cancer cell survival and growth, as well as by its chemosensitizing role. In vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted in various cancer cells and animal models; however, in this review, we focus on Ganoderma’s efficacy on breast cancers. Evidence shows that some species of Ganoderma have great potential as a natural therapeutic for breast cancer. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to investigate their potential in the clinical setting and to translate our basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for cancer patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels: Influence of Value Chain on Quality Criteria and Marker Compounds Ferulic Acid and Z-Ligustilide
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 14; doi:10.3390/medicines4010014 -
Abstract
Background:Dang gui (Apiaceae; Angelica sinensis radix) is among the most often used Chinese medicinal plants. However, hardly anything is known about its value chain and its influence on the main marker compounds of the drug. The aim of this study is to
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Background:Dang gui (Apiaceae; Angelica sinensis radix) is among the most often used Chinese medicinal plants. However, hardly anything is known about its value chain and its influence on the main marker compounds of the drug. The aim of this study is to investigate the value chain of dang gui in Gansu and Yunnan, and the analysis of the marker compounds ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide concentration in relation to quality criteria such as the production area and size of the roots. Methods: During six months of field research in China, semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders of the value chain were undertaken and plant material was collected. High-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) was used for semi-quantitative analysis of ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide. Results: Small-scale household cultivation prevails and in Gansu—in contrast to Yunnan—the cultivation of dang gui is often the main income source of farmers. Farmers and dealers use size and odor of the root as main quality criteria. For Chinese medicine doctors, Gansu as the production area is the main criterion. Higher amounts of ferulic acid in plant material from Yunnan compared to Gansu were found. Additionally, a negative relation of root length with both ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide as well as head diameter with ferulic acid were found. Conclusions: HPTLC is a valid method for semi-quantitative analysis of the marker compounds of dang gui. However, the two main marker compounds cannot explain why size and smell of the root or production area are seen as quality criteria. This hints at the inherent difficulty to correlate quality notions of medicinal plants with specific chemical compounds. With respect to this, more attention should be paid to quality in terms of cultivation and processing techniques. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Network—Annual Report 2015
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/medicines4010013 -
Abstract The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and education activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2015. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interaction of Plant Extracts with Central Nervous System Receptors
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/medicines4010012 -
Abstract
Background: Plant extracts have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various maladies including neurological diseases. Several central nervous system receptors have been demonstrated to interact with plant extracts and components affecting the pharmacology and thereby potentially playing a role in
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Background: Plant extracts have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various maladies including neurological diseases. Several central nervous system receptors have been demonstrated to interact with plant extracts and components affecting the pharmacology and thereby potentially playing a role in human disease and treatment. For instance, extracts from Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) targeted several CNS receptors. Similarly, extracts from Piper nigrum, Stephania cambodica, and Styphnolobium japonicum exerted inhibition of agonist-induced activity of the human neurokinin-1 receptor. Methods: Different methods have been established for receptor binding and functional assays based on radioactive and fluorescence-labeled ligands in cell lines and primary cell cultures. Behavioral studies of the effect of plant extracts have been conducted in rodents. Plant extracts have further been subjected to mood and cognition studies in humans. Results: Mechanisms of action at molecular and cellular levels have been elucidated for medicinal plants in support of standardization of herbal products and identification of active extract compounds. In several studies, plant extracts demonstrated affinity to a number of CNS receptors in parallel indicating the complexity of this interaction. In vivo studies showed modifications of CNS receptor affinity and behavioral responses in animal models after treatment with medicinal herbs. Certain plant extracts demonstrated neuroprotection and enhanced cognitive performance, respectively, when evaluated in humans. Noteworthy, the penetration of plant extracts and their protective effect on the blood-brain-barrier are discussed. Conclusion: The affinity of plant extracts and their isolated compounds for CNS receptors indicates an important role for medicinal plants in the treatment of neurological disorders. Moreover, studies in animal and human models have confirmed a scientific basis for the application of medicinal herbs. However, additional investigations related to plant extracts and their isolated compounds, as well as their application in animal models and the conducting of clinical trials, are required. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Network—Annual Report 2016
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/medicines4010011 -
Abstract The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and education activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2016. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vochysia rufa Stem Bark Extract Protects Endothelial Cells against High Glucose Damage
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 9; doi:10.3390/medicines4010009 -
Abstract
Background: Increased oxidative stress by persistent hyperglycemia is a widely accepted factor in vascular damage responsible for type 2 diabetes complications. The plant Vochysia rufa (Vr) has been used in folk medicine in Brazil for the treatment of diabetes. Thus; the protective effect
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Background: Increased oxidative stress by persistent hyperglycemia is a widely accepted factor in vascular damage responsible for type 2 diabetes complications. The plant Vochysia rufa (Vr) has been used in folk medicine in Brazil for the treatment of diabetes. Thus; the protective effect of a Vr stem bark extract against a challenge by a high glucose concentration on EA.hy926 (EA) endothelial cells is evaluated. Methods: Vegetal material is extracted with distilled water by maceration and evaporated until dryness under vacuum. Then; it is isolated by capillary electrophoresis–tandem mass spectrometry. Cell viability is evaluated on EA cells treated with 0.5–100 µg/mL of the Vr extract for 24 h. The extract is diluted at concentrations of 5, 10 and 25 µg/mL and maintained for 24 h along with 30 mM of glucose to evaluate its protective effect on reduced glutathione (GSH); glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and reductase (GR) and protein carbonyl groups. Results:V. rufa stem bark is composed mainly of sugars; such as inositol; galactose; glucose; mannose; sacarose; arabinose and ribose. Treatment with Vr up to 100 µg/mL for 24 h did not affect cell viability. Treatment of EA cells with 30 mM of glucose for 24 h significantly increased the cell damage. EA cells treated with 30 mM of glucose showed a decrease of GSH concentration and increased Radical Oxygen Species (ROS) and activity of antioxidant enzymes and protein carbonyl levels; compared to control. Co-treatment of EA with 30 mM glucose plus 1–10 μg/mL Vr significantly reduced cell damage while 5–25 μg/mL Vr evoked a significant protection against the glucose insult; recovering ROS; GSH; antioxidant enzymes and carbonyls to baseline levels. Conclusion:V. rufa extract protects endothelial cells against oxidative damage by modulating ROS; GSH concentration; antioxidant enzyme activity and protein carbonyl levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ShenLingLan Influences the Attachment and Migration of Ovarian Cancer Cells Potentially through the GSK3 Pathway
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 10; doi:10.3390/medicines4010010 -
Abstract
Background: Ovarian cancer presents a major clinical challenge in the UK. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) has been linked to cancer. This study tested the impact of ShenLingLan (SLDM) on ovarian cancer cell behaviour and its links to GSK-3. Methods: Fresh ovarian
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Background: Ovarian cancer presents a major clinical challenge in the UK. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) has been linked to cancer. This study tested the impact of ShenLingLan (SLDM) on ovarian cancer cell behaviour and its links to GSK-3. Methods: Fresh ovarian tumours (n = 52) were collected and processed. Histopathologcial and clinical information were collected and analysed against GSK-3 transcript levels using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Immortalised ovarian cancer cells’ protein alterations in response to SLDM were identified using a Kinexus™ protein kinase array. The effects of SLDM and a combination of SLDM and TWS119 on ovarian cancer cells ability to attach and migrate were evaluated using electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS). Results: Transcript expression of GSK-3β was significantly increased in ovarian tumours which were poorly differentiated, patients with recurrence and in patients who had died from ovarian cancer. Treating SKOV-3 ovarian cells with SLDM reduced GSK-3 expression and GSK-3α (Y279). Treatment with SLDM reduced ovarian cancer cells ability to attach and migrate, which was further reduced in the presence of TWS119. Conclusions: This study identified a potential mechanism by which SLDM may exert anti-metastatic effects. Further work is needed to investigate the in vivo effects SLDM has on ovarian tumours. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Aromatic Medicinal Plants of the Lamiaceae Family from Uzbekistan: Ethnopharmacology, Essential Oils Composition, and Biological Activities
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 8; doi:10.3390/medicines4010008 -
Abstract
Plants of the Lamiaceae family are important ornamental, medicinal, and aromatic plants, many of which produce essential oils that are used in traditional and modern medicine, and in the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industry. Various species of the genera Hyssopus, Leonurus,
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Plants of the Lamiaceae family are important ornamental, medicinal, and aromatic plants, many of which produce essential oils that are used in traditional and modern medicine, and in the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industry. Various species of the genera Hyssopus, Leonurus, Mentha, Nepeta, Origanum, Perovskia, Phlomis, Salvia, Scutellaria, and Ziziphora are widespread throughout the world, are the most popular plants in Uzbek traditional remedies, and are often used for the treatment of wounds, gastritis, infections, dermatitis, bronchitis, and inflammation. Extensive studies of the chemical components of these plants have led to the identification of many compounds, as well as essentials oils, with medicinal and other commercial values. The purpose of this review is to provide a critical overview of the literature surrounding the traditional uses, ethnopharmacology, biological activities, and essential oils composition of aromatic plants of the family Lamiaceae, from the Uzbek flora. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Successful Pregnancy after Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in a 43‐Year‐Old Woman with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Multiple Uterus Fibrosis: A Case Report
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 7; doi:10.3390/medicines4010007 -
Abstract
Objective: To highlight a natural approach to coexisting oligomenorrhea, subfertility, luteal phase insufficiency and multiple fibroids cohesively when in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has failed. Case Presentation: A 43‐year‐old woman with diminished ovarian reserve and multiple uterine fibroids had previously been advised to discontinue
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Objective: To highlight a natural approach to coexisting oligomenorrhea, subfertility, luteal phase insufficiency and multiple fibroids cohesively when in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has failed. Case Presentation: A 43‐year‐old woman with diminished ovarian reserve and multiple uterine fibroids had previously been advised to discontinue IVF treatment. According to Chinese Medicine diagnosis, herbal formulae were prescribed for improving age‐related ovarian insufficiency as well as to control the growth of fibroids. After 4 months of treatment, the patient’s menstrual cycle became regula r and plasma progesterone one week after ovulation increased from 10.9 nmol/L to 44.9 nmol/L. After 6 months, she achieved a natural conception, resulting in a live birth of a healthy infant at an estimated gestational age of 40 weeks. Conclusions: The successful treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine for this case highlights a natural therapy to manage infertility due to ovarian insufficiency and multiple fibroids after unsuccessful IVF outcome. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Announcing the 2017 Medicines Travel Award for PostDocs
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/medicines4010004 -
Abstract For the Medicines Travel Award 2017, we received in total 72 applications from all over the world, most of which were of a very high quality.[...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compounds from Terminalia mantaly L. (Combretaceae) Stem Bark Exhibit Potent Inhibition against Some Pathogenic Yeasts and Enzymes of Metabolic Significance
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/medicines4010006 -
Abstract
Background: Pathogenic yeasts resistance to current drugs emphasizes the need for new, safe, and cost-effective drugs. Also, new inhibitors are needed to control the effects of enzymes that are implicated in metabolic dysfunctions such as cancer, obesity, and epilepsy. Methods: The anti-yeast
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Background: Pathogenic yeasts resistance to current drugs emphasizes the need for new, safe, and cost-effective drugs. Also, new inhibitors are needed to control the effects of enzymes that are implicated in metabolic dysfunctions such as cancer, obesity, and epilepsy. Methods: The anti-yeast extract from Terminalia mantaly (Combretaceae) was fractionated and the structures of the isolated compounds established by means of spectroscopic analysis and comparison with literature data. Activity was assessed against Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis and C. krusei using the microdilution method, and against four enzymes of metabolic significance: glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, human erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase I and II, and glutathione S-transferase. Results: Seven compounds, 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid 4′-O-α-rhamnopyranoside; 3-O-methylellagic acid; arjungenin or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid; arjunglucoside or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid glucopyranoside; 2α,3α,24-trihydroxyolean-11,13(18)-dien-28-oïc acid; stigmasterol; and stigmasterol 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside were isolated from the extract. Among those, 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid 4′-O-α-rhamnopyranoside, 3-O-methylellagic acid, and arjunglucoside showed anti-yeast activity comparable to that of reference fluconazole with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) below 32 µg/mL. Besides, Arjunglucoside potently inhibited the tested enzymes with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) below 4 µM and inhibitory constant (Ki) <3 µM. Conclusions: The results achieved indicate that further SAR studies will likely identify potent hit derivatives that should subsequently enter the drug development pipeline. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Add-On Complementary Medicine in Cancer Care: Evidence in Literature and Experiences of Integration
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/medicines4010005 -
Abstract
Background: According to the literature an increasing number of cancer patients demand for complementary therapies during their disease. Research has demonstrated that some of these therapies are effective and safe as adjunctive treatments in specific symptoms of these patients. Methods: The
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Background: According to the literature an increasing number of cancer patients demand for complementary therapies during their disease. Research has demonstrated that some of these therapies are effective and safe as adjunctive treatments in specific symptoms of these patients. Methods: The aims of the paper are to review the main and recent papers of international literature on the effectiveness of complementary medicine (CM) therapies on side effects of anti-cancer protocols and improvement in the quality of life of oncological patients, and to describe the integration of evidence-based acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy treatments in Public Cancer Network of the region of Tuscany. Results: After the review of literature and the approval of a Regional Resolution, some CM will be introduced in Cancer Departments in Tuscany to additionally treat cancer-related symptoms and side effects of conventional cancer therapy: acupuncture for nausea and post-chemotherapy and post-surgery vomiting, pain, hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause, xerostomia; homeopathy for hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause and the side effects of radiotherapy; herbal medicine for cancer-related fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, mucositis, anxiety, and depression. Conclusions: The integration of evidence-based complementary treatments allows for an effective response to the demand coming from cancer patients and combines safety and equity of access in public health systems. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
Qigong in Cancer Care: Theory, Evidence-Base, and Practice
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/medicines4010002 -
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this discussion is to explore the theory, evidence base, and practice of Qigong for individuals with cancer. Questions addressed are: What is qigong? How does it work? What evidence exists supporting its practice in integrative oncology? What barriers to
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Background: The purpose of this discussion is to explore the theory, evidence base, and practice of Qigong for individuals with cancer. Questions addressed are: What is qigong? How does it work? What evidence exists supporting its practice in integrative oncology? What barriers to wide-spread programming access exist? Methods: Sources for this discussion include a review of scholarly texts, the Internet, PubMed, field observations, and expert opinion. Results: Qigong is a gentle, mind/body exercise integral within Chinese medicine. Theoretical foundations include Chinese medicine energy theory, psychoneuroimmunology, the relaxation response, the meditation effect, and epigenetics. Research supports positive effects on quality of life (QOL), fatigue, immune function and cortisol levels, and cognition for individuals with cancer. There is indirect, scientific evidence suggesting that qigong practice may positively influence cancer prevention and survival. No one Qigong exercise regimen has been established as superior. Effective protocols do have common elements: slow mindful exercise, easy to learn, breath regulation, meditation, emphasis on relaxation, and energy cultivation including mental intent and self-massage. Conclusions: Regular practice of Qigong exercise therapy has the potential to improve cancer-related QOL and is indirectly linked to cancer prevention and survival. Wide-spread access to quality Qigong in cancer care programming may be challenged by the availability of existing programming and work force capacity. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Medicines in 2016
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/medicines4010003 -
Abstract The editors of Medicines would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Different Isolation Methods on Chemical Composition and Bioactivities of the Fruit Peel Oil of Citrus medica L. var. sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/medicines4010001 -
Abstract
Background: The chemical composition and bioactivities of essential oils (EOs) of fingered citron (Citrus medica L. var. sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle) are considerably sensitive and lapsible during high-temperature processing of traditional separating techniques. In the present research, vacuum distillation and ultrafiltration were
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Background: The chemical composition and bioactivities of essential oils (EOs) of fingered citron (Citrus medica L. var. sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle) are considerably sensitive and lapsible during high-temperature processing of traditional separating techniques. In the present research, vacuum distillation and ultrafiltration were utilized in order to process the concentrated juice from fingered citron, obtaining a high-quality essential oil. Methods: In order to compare the essential oils obtained by conventional means, the chemical compositions of the essential oils were analyzed using GC-MS, before antimicrobial and antioxidant screening assays were carried out. Results: Oil which had been subjected to vacuum distillation was shown to maintain most of the distinctiveness of the fingered citron, due to its high content of characteristic flavor components and low content of cyclic oxygenated monoterpenoids. Interestingly, the oil obtained by ultrafiltration showed notable in vitro antimicrobial activity. The DPPH· radical-scavenging assay method revealed that the antioxidant abilities were as follows, presented in descending order: vacuum distillation oil > hydrodistillation oil > ultrafiltration oil. Conclusions: The essential oil obtained by vacuum distillation could be combined with the juice produced from fingered citron to create one of the most promising techniques in the fine-processing of citron fruits. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ginseng for Liver Injury: Friend or Foe?
Medicines 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/medicines3040033 -
Abstract
Panax sp., including Panax ginseng Meyer, Panax quiquifolius L., or Panax notoginseng (Burk.) FH Chen, have been used as functional foods or for traditional Chinese medicine for diabetes, inflammation, stress, aging, hepatic injury, and cancer. In recent decades, a number of both in
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Panax sp., including Panax ginseng Meyer, Panax quiquifolius L., or Panax notoginseng (Burk.) FH Chen, have been used as functional foods or for traditional Chinese medicine for diabetes, inflammation, stress, aging, hepatic injury, and cancer. In recent decades, a number of both in vitro and in vivo experiments as well as human studies have been conducted to investigate the efficacy and safety of various types of ginseng samples and their components. Of these, the hepatoprotective and hepatotoxic effects of ginseng and their ginsenosides and polysaccharides are reviewed and summarized. Full article
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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 -
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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