A Tale of Two Med...
Follow
Find
3.8K views | +10 today
A Tale of Two Medicines
Natural Medicine, Pharmaceuticals and GMO’s, the Good, the Bad and the OMG! - (The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this scoopit page.)
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Enzyme may be key to cancer progression in many tumors

Enzyme may be key to cancer progression in many tumors | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Mutations in the KRAS gene have long been known to cause cancer, and about one third of solid tumors have KRAS mutations or mutations in the KRAS pathway. KRAS promotes cancer formation not only by driving cell growth and division, but also by turning off protective tumor suppressor genes, which normally limit uncontrolled cell growth and cause damaged cells to self-destruct.

 

A new University of Iowa study provided a deeper understanding of how KRAS turns off tumor suppressor genes and identifies a key enzyme in the process. The findings, published online Nov. 26 in the journal Cell Reports, suggest that this enzyme, known as TET1, may be an important target for cancer diagnostics and treatment.

 

In KRAS-driven cancers, tumor suppressor genes are turned off, or silenced, because the DNA that controls their expression is modified by methylation. The UI study shows that KRAS promotes this methylation-associated gene silencing by turning off the TET1 enzyme, which can remove methyl marks from DNA.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

L-glutamine decreases the severity of mucositis induced by chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

L-glutamine decreases the severity of mucositis induced by chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The incidence of severe mucositis in the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx is high among patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) receiving chemoradiotherapy (CRT), resulting in significant pain and impairment of quality of life. The present study investigated whether L-glutamine (glutamine) decreases the severity of mucositis in the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx induced by CRT. This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial included 40 untreated patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx or larynx. Patients received 66 or 70 Gy of total radiation at the rate of 2 Gy/fraction daily and 5 fractions/week. Cisplatin (20 mg/m2) and docetaxel (10 mg/m2) were intravenously co-administered once a week for 6 weeks. Patients were randomized to orally receive either glutamine (group G) or placebo (group P) at a dose of 10 g 3 times a day throughout the CRT course. Mucositis was assessed using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. The primary end point was mucositis severity. Mucositis developed in all patients. A maximal mucositis grade of G4 was observed in 0 and 25% group G and P patients, respectively, while that of G2 was observed in 10 and 0% group G and P patients, respectively (p=0.023). Glutamine significantly decreased the maximal mucositis grade (group G, 2.9±0.3; group P, 3.3±0.4; p=0.005) and pain score at weeks 4, 5 and 6. Glutamine significantly decreased mucositis severity in the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx induced by CRT in patients with HNC.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Curcumin promotes apoptosis by activating the p53-miR-192-5p/215-XIAP pathway in non-small cell lung cancer

Curcumin promotes apoptosis by activating the p53-miR-192-5p/215-XIAP pathway in non-small cell lung cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Curcumin has attracted increasing interest as an anti-cancer drug for decades. The mechanisms of action involve multiple cancer-related signaling pathways. Recent studies highlighted curcumin has epigenetic regulatory effects on miRNA in cancers. In the present study, we demonstrated the proapoptotic effects of curcumin in vitro and in vivo. miRNA microarray and qPCR indicated miR-192-5p and miR-215 were the most responsive miRNAs upon curcumin treatment in H460 and A427 cells. Functional studies showed miR-192-5p/215 were putative tumor suppressors in non-small cell lung cancer. Curcumin also promoted miR-192-5p/215 expressions in A549 cells (p53 wild type) but not in H1299 cells (p53-null). Conditional knockdown of p53 by tetracycline inducible expression system significantly abrogated curcumin-induced miR-192-5p/215 upregulation in the p53 wild-type H460, A427 and A549 cells. Conversely, ectopic expression of exogenous wild-type but not R273H mutant p53 in the p53-null H1299 cells enabled miR-192-5p/215 response to curcumin treatment. The proapoptotic effects of curcumin also depended on miR-192-5p/215 induction, and antagonizing miR-192-5p/215 expression attenuated curcumin-induced apoptosis in H460, A427 and A549 cells, but not in H1299 cells. Finally, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) is proved to be a novel transcriptional target of miR-192-5p/215. Taken together, this study highlights the proapoptotic effects of curcumin depend on miR-192-5p/215 induction and the p53-miR-192-5p/215-XIAP pathway is an important therapeutic target for non-small cell lung cancer.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Black tea in chemo-prevention of cancer and other human diseases

In summary, black tea and its extracts possess many health promoting properties supported by a myriad of data from in vitro and in vivo experiments as well as human clinical trials. The major black tea polyphenols, theaflavins and catechins should be recognized as biomolecular markers of black tea and its extract. Delineating biological mechanisms that are associated with a well-characterized chemical profile will provide crucial information for product development in targeting specific conditions.

 

The key molecular action of black tea polyphenols include the activation of Nrf2 transcription factor that up-regulates detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes. This action may also contribute to the inhibition of NF-κB, the master transcription factor that regulates inflammation. Black tea polyphenols also activate AMPK the key cellular energy sensor that regulates glucose and lipid metabolisms. All these diverse actions provide the scientific foundation in supporting the consumption of black tea or its extract for the prevention of cancer and treatment of many inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

The Glutathione System: A New Drug Target in Neuroimmune Disorders - Springer

The Glutathione System: A New Drug Target in Neuroimmune Disorders - Springer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Glutathione (GSH) has a crucial role in cellular signaling and antioxidant defenses either by reacting directly with reactive oxygen or nitrogen species or by acting as an essential cofactor for GSH S-transferases and glutathione peroxidases. GSH acting in concert with its dependent enzymes, known as the glutathione system, is responsible for the detoxification of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) and electrophiles produced by xenobiotics. Adequate levels of GSH are essential for the optimal functioning of the immune system in general and T cell activation and differentiation in particular. GSH is a ubiquitous regulator of the cell cycle per se. GSH also has crucial functions in the brain as an antioxidant, neuromodulator, neurotransmitter, and enabler of neuron survival. Depletion of GSH leads to exacerbation of damage by oxidative and nitrosative stress; hypernitrosylation; increased levels of proinflammatory mediators and inflammatory potential; dysfunctions of intracellular signaling networks, e.g., p53, nuclear factor-κB, and Janus kinases; decreased cell proliferation and DNA synthesis; inactivation of complex I of the electron transport chain; activation of cytochrome c and the apoptotic machinery; blockade of the methionine cycle; and compromised epigenetic regulation of gene expression. As such, GSH depletion has marked consequences for the homeostatic control of the immune system, oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) pathways, regulation of energy production, and mitochondrial survival as well. GSH depletion and concomitant increase in O&NS and mitochondrial dysfunctions play a role in the pathophysiology of diverse neuroimmune disorders, including depression, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and Parkinson’s disease, suggesting that depleted GSH is an integral part of these diseases. Therapeutical interventions that aim to increase GSH concentrations in vivo include N-acetyl cysteine; Nrf-2 activation via hyperbaric oxygen therapy; dimethyl fumarate; phytochemicals, including curcumin, resveratrol, and cinnamon; and folate supplementation.

more...
Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, November 13, 3:22 AM
Molecular NeurobiologyDecember 2014, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 1059-1084Date: 22 Apr 2014The Glutathione System: A New Drug Target in Neuroimmune DisordersGerwyn Morris, George Anderson, Olivia Dean, Michael Berk, Piotr Galecki, Marta Martin-Subero,Michael Maes
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Hypoxia-induced IL-32β increases glycolysis in breast cancer cells

Hypoxia-induced IL-32β increases glycolysis in breast cancer cells | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

IL-32β is highly expressed and increases the migration and invasion of gastric, lung, and breast cancer cells. Since IL-32 enhances VEGF production under hypoxic conditions, whether IL-32β is regulated by hypoxia was examined. Hypoxic conditions and a mimetic chemical CoCl2 enhanced IL-32β production. When cells were treated with various inhibitors of ROS generation to prevent hypoxia-induced ROS function, IL-32β production was suppressed by both NADPH oxidase and mitochondrial ROS inhibitors. IL-32β translocated to the mitochondria under hypoxic conditions, where it was associated with mitochondrial biogenesis. Thus, whether hypoxia-induced IL-32β is associated with oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) or glycolysis was examined. Both of aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis impaired in IL-32β-depleted cells, and the hypoxia-induced IL-32β increased glycolysis through activation of lactate dehydrogenase. Src is also known to increase lactate dehydrogenase activity, and the hypoxia-induced IL-32β was found to stimulate Src activation by inhibiting the dephosphorylation of Src. These findings revealed that a hypoxia-ROS-IL-32β-Src-glycolysis pathway is associated with the regulation of cancer cell metabolism.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

The impact of cow's milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer

The impact of cow's milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Prostate cancer (PCa) is dependent on androgen receptor signaling and aberrations of the PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 pathway mediating excessive and sustained growth signaling. The nutrient-sensitive kinase mTORC1 is upregulated in nearly 100% of advanced human PCas. Oncogenic mTORC1 signaling activates key subsets of mRNAs that cooperate in distinct steps of PCa initiation and progression. Epidemiological evidence points to increased dairy protein consumption as a major dietary risk factor for the development of PCa. mTORC1 is a master regulator of protein synthesis, lipid synthesis and autophagy pathways that couple nutrient sensing to cell growth and cancer. This review provides evidence that PCa initiation and progression are promoted by cow´s milk, but not human milk, stimulation of mTORC1 signaling. Mammalian milk is presented as an endocrine signaling system, which activates mTORC1, promotes cell growth and proliferation and suppresses autophagy. Naturally, milk-mediated mTORC1 signaling is restricted only to the postnatal growth phase of mammals. However, persistent consumption of cow´s milk proteins in humans provide highly insulinotropic branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) provided by milk´s fast hydrolysable whey proteins, which elevate postprandial plasma insulin levels, and increase hepatic IGF-1 plasma concentrations by casein-derived amino acids. BCAAs, insulin and IGF-1 are pivotal activating signals of mTORC1. Increased cow´s milk protein-mediated mTORC1 signaling along with constant exposure to commercial cow´s milk estrogens derived from pregnant cows may explain the observed association between high dairy consumption and increased risk of PCa in Westernized societies. As well-balanced mTORC1-signaling plays an important role in appropriate prostate morphogenesis and differentiation, exaggerated mTORC1-signaling by high cow´s milk consumption predominantly during critical growth phases of prostate development and differentiation may exert long-term adverse effects on prostate health. Attenuation of mTORC1 signaling by contemporary Paleolithic diets and restriction of dairy protein intake, especially during mTORC1-dependent phases of prostate development and differentiation, may offer protection from the most common dairy-promoted cancer in men of Western societies.

Jonathan Middleton's insight:

Researchers noted: "mTORC1 activation by leucine-rich dairy consumption may be attenuated by natural plant-derived inhibitors of mTORC1. Increasing studies have demonstrated that 3,3´-diindolylmethane (DIM), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), genistein, curcumin, resveratrol and caffeine, all inhibit mTORC1 signaling directly or indirectly and have been suggested to reduce the risk of PCa and other common cancers"

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Suppression of Tumor Growth by Pleurotus ferulae Ethanol Extract through Induction of Cell Apoptosis, and Inhibition of Cell Proliferation and Migration

Suppression of Tumor Growth by Pleurotus ferulae Ethanol Extract through Induction of Cell Apoptosis, and Inhibition of Cell Proliferation and Migration | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Edible medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine as regimes for cancer patients. Recently anti-cancer bioactive components from some mushrooms have been isolated and their anti-cancer effects have been tested. Pleurotus ferulae, a typical edible medicinal mushroom in Xinjiang China, has also been used to treat cancer patients in folk medicine. However, little studies have been reported on the anti-cancer components of Pleurotus ferulae. This study aims to extract bioactive components from Pleurotus ferulae and to investigate the anti-cancer effects of the extracts. We used ethanol to extract anti-cancer bioactive components enriched with terpenoids from Pleurotus ferulae. We tested the anti-tumour effects of ethanol extracts on the melanoma cell line B16F10, the human gastric cancer cell line BGC 823 and the immortalized human gastric epithelial mucosa cell line GES-1 in vitro and a murine melanoma model in vivo. Cell toxicity and cell proliferation were measured by MTT assays. Cell cycle progression, apoptosis, caspase 3 activity, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), migration and gene expression were studied in vitro. PFEC suppressed tumor cell growth, inhibited cell proliferation, arrested cells at G0/G1 phases and was not toxic to non-cancer cells. PFEC also induced cell apoptosis and necrosis, increased caspase 3 activity, reduced the MMP, prevented cell invasion and changed the expression of genes associated with apoptosis and the cell cycle. PFEC delayed tumor formation and reduced tumor growth in vivo. In conclusion, ethanol extracted components from Pleurotus ferulae exert anti-cancer effects through direct suppression of tumor cell growth and invasion, demonstrating its therapeutic potential in cancer treatment.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

The “Aged Garlic Extract”(AGE) and One of its Active Ingredients S-Allyl-L-Cysteine (SAC) as Potential Preventive and Therapeutic Agents for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the older people and 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Deposition of amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques, hyperphosphorylation of microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT), neuroinflammation and cholinergic neuron loss are the major hallmarks of AD. Deposition of Aβ peptides, which takes place years before the clinical onset of the disease can trigger hyperphophorylation of tau proteins and neuroinflammation, and the latter is thought to be primarily involved in neuronal and synaptic damage seen in AD. To date, four cholinesterase inhibitors or ChEI (tacrine, rivastigmine, donepezil and galantamine) and a partial NMDA receptor antagonist (memantine) are the only approved treatment options for AD. However, these drugs fail to completely cure the disease, which warrants a search for newer class of targets that would eventually lead to effective drugs for the treatment of AD. In addition to selected pharmacological agents, botanical and medicinal plant extracts are also being investigated. Apart from its culinary use, garlic (Allium sativum) is being used to treat several ailments like cancer and diabetes. Herein we have discussed the effects of a specific ‘Aged Garlic Extract’ (AGE) and one of its active ingredients, S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) in restricting several pathological cascades related to the synaptic degeneration and neuroinflammatory pathways associated with AD. Thus, based on the reported positive preliminary results reviewed herein, further research is required to develop the full potential of AGE and/or SAC into an effective preventative strategy for AD.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure causes cognitive impairment associated with alteration of the glutamate level, MAPK pathway activation and decreased CREB phosphorylation in m...

Lotus seedpod procyanidins (LSPCs) could effectively prevent learning and memory damage and oxidative damage caused by extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) exposure. However, LSPCs protect neurons from ELF-EMF-induced damage by mechanisms currently not clear. An excessive release of glutamate is considered to be one of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal damage in several neurological diseases. In this study we determined whether the ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 8 mT, 28 days) exposure induced alterations of glutamate release in mice hippocampus and explored the possible mechanism, and if LSPC treatment normalized its alterations. The results showed that ELF-EMF exposure induced the increased contents of glutamate, GABA, excessively activated NMDA receptors, increasing the number of NMDA receptor 2B (NR2B) and intracellular Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]i in hippocampus. In addition, ELF-EMF exposure decreased the ERK1/2 and CREB phosphorylation, which suggested that the Ca2+ influx induced by the ELF-EMF exposure stimulated activity of the ERK, in turn, influences the expression of downstream proteins in this signaling pathway. Besides, ELF-EMF exposure also increased JNK1/2 phosphorylation through the activated ASK1, which plays a pivotal role in hippocampal neuronal cell death. However, oral administration of LSPCs (especially 60 and 90 mg kg−1) markedly improved expressions of p-CREB, p-ERK1/2 and p-JNK1/2, accompanied by decreased levels of glutamate, GABA, [Ca2+]i and NR2B. Thus, the results from the present study suggest that p-ERK1/2, p-JNK1/2, [Ca2+]i and p-CREB expression normalized, possibly via a NMDA receptor-channel through the changes of GABA, glutamate and NR2B, which might be responsible for the neuroprotective or memory enhancing effects of LSPCs.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Finally: A missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer

Finally: A missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Prostate offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by Vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

 

"When you take Vitamin D and put it on prostate cancer cells, it inhibits their growth. But it hasn't been proven as an anti-cancer agent. We wanted to understand what genes Vitamin D is turning on or off in prostate cancer to offer new targets," says James R. Lambert, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and associate research professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Pathology.

 

Since demonstrating that Vitamin D upregulates the expression of GDF-15, Lambert and colleagues, including Scott Lucia, MD, wondered if this gene might be a mechanism through which Vitamin D works in prostate cancer. Initially it seemed as if the answer was no.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Montmorency Cherries Reduce the Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Responses to Repeated Days High-Intensity Stochastic Cycling

Montmorency Cherries Reduce the Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Responses to Repeated Days High-Intensity Stochastic Cycling | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

This investigation examined the impact of Montmorency tart cherry concentrate (MC) on physiological indices of oxidative stress, inflammation and muscle damage across 3 days simulated road cycle racing. Trained cyclists (n = 16) were divided into equal groups and consumed 30 mL of MC or placebo (PLA), twice per day for seven consecutive days. A simulated, high-intensity, stochastic road cycling trial, lasting 109 min, was completed on days 5, 6 and 7. Oxidative stress and inflammation were measured from blood samples collected at baseline and immediately pre- and post-trial on days 5, 6 and 7. Analyses for lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-β), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and creatine kinase (CK) were conducted. LOOH (p < 0.01), IL-6 (p < 0.05) and hsCRP (p < 0.05) responses to trials were lower in the MC group versus PLA. No group or interaction effects were found for the other markers. The attenuated oxidative and inflammatory responses suggest MC may be efficacious in combating post-exercise oxidative and inflammatory cascades that can contribute to cellular disruption. Additionally, we demonstrate direct application for MC in repeated days cycling and conceivably other sporting scenario’s where back-to-back performances are required.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Flavonoid-Enriched Apple Fraction AF4 Induces Cell Cycle Arrest, DNA Topoisomerase II Inhibition, and Apoptosis in Human Liver Cancer HepG2 Cells.

Apples are a major source of dietary phytochemicals such as flavonoids in the Western diet. Here we report anticancer properties and possible mechanism of action of apple flavonoid-enriched fraction (AF4) isolated from the peels of Northern Spy apples in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2. Treatment with AF4 induced cell growth inhibition in HepG2 cells in time- and dose-dependent manner. Concentration of 50 μg/ml (50 μg total monomeric polyphenols/ml) AF4 was sufficient to induce a significant reduction in cell viability within 6 h of treatment (92%, P < 0.05) but had very low toxicity (minimum 4% to maximum 16%) on primary liver and lung cells, which was significantly lower than currently prescribed chemotherapy drug Sorafenib (minimum 29% to maximum 49%, P < 0.05). AF4 induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells within 6 h of treatment via activation of caspase-3. Cell cycle analysis via flow-cytometer showed that AF4 induced G2/M phase arrest. Further, results showed that AF4 acts as a strong DNA topoisomerase II catalytic inhibitor, which may be a plausible reason to drive the cells to apoptosis. Overall, our data suggests that AF4 possesses a significantly stronger antiproliferative and specific action than Sorafenib in vitro and is a potential natural chemotherapy agent for treatment of liver cancer.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Maybe Pauling was partly right – epigentic effects of Vitamin C

Maybe Pauling was partly right – epigentic effects of Vitamin C | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

According to a paper just out in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, may have a role in epigenetic regulation, specifically 5-hmC regulation. Gaofeng Wang at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and colleagues demonstrated that this critical dietary nutrient is involved in hydroxylation of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in DNA, a reaction catalyzed by Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase.

 

This enzyme belongs to the Tet family proteins which, in turn, belong to the iron and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily. These enzymes catalyze the hydroxylation of many substrates, including methylated nucleic acids and proteins

 

The investigators found:

 

- The amount of 5-hmC was extremely low in mouse embryonic fibroblasts that were cultured in ascorbate-free medium. But when ascorbate was added in a dose- and time-dependent fashion, the amount of 5-hmC rose without affecting the expression of Tet genes.

 

- Treatment with the glutathione, a reducing agent, did not affect levels of 5-hmC

 

- Preventing the entry of ascorbate into cells and knocking down the expression of several Tet genes using short interference RNA technology inhibited the effect of ascorbate on 5-hmC.

 

Based on their data, the team concluded that ascorbate probably acts as a cofactor for Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase to hydroxylate 5-mC. Wang and colleagues say in the paper, “Our data support ascorbate as a critical mediator of the interface between the genome and environment.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. -- the first sixteen years

Genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant crops have been remarkable commercial successes in the United States. Few independent studies have calculated their impacts on pesticide use per hectare or overall pesticide use, or taken into account the impact of rapidly spreading glyphosate-resistant weeds. A model was developed to quantify by crop and year the impacts of six major transgenic pest-management traits on pesticide use in the U.S. over the 16-year period, 1996–2011: herbicide-resistant corn, soybeans, and cotton; Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn targeting the European corn borer; Bt corn for corn rootworms; and Bt cotton for Lepidopteron insects.

 

Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%.

 

Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Study Shows How Vitamin E Can Help Prevent Cancer

Study Shows How Vitamin E Can Help Prevent Cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

l studyResearchers Researchers have identified an elusive anti-cancer property of vitamin E that has long been presumed to exist, but difficult to find.

 

Many animal studies have suggested that vitamin E could prevent cancer, but human clinical trials following up on those findings have not shown the same benefits.

 

In this new work, researchers showed in prostate cancer cells that one form of vitamin E inhibits the activation of an enzyme that is essential for cancer cell survival. The loss of the enzyme, called Akt, led to tumor cell death. The vitamin had no negative effect on normal cells.

 

“This is the first demonstration of a unique mechanism of how vitamin E can have some benefit in terms of cancer prevention and treatment,” said lead author Ching-Shih Chen, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at The Ohio State University and an investigator in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

The study appears in the March 19, 2013, issue of the journal Science Signaling.

 

 

Jonathan Middleton's insight:

Full study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3910367/

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Latest FDA Moves Could Stop Further Research on Supplements.

Latest FDA Moves Could Stop Further Research on Supplements. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

…and turn supplements into drugs. What is this agency thinking?

 

What the FDA does about supplements is usually complicated—we think intentionally so, in order to confuse Congress and critics. Bear with us as we try to disentangle the threads.

 

We need to get this story out now because the FDA has just opened a public comment period. It is vital to flood the agency and especially Congress with messages.

 

The FDA has a history of preventing scientific information about food and supplements from being disseminated. Now, if the agency gets its way, the FDA will be able to keep scientific research from being performed in the first place. In fact, our confidential sources tell us that studies on nutrients and dietary supplements are already coming to an abrupt halt. And it’s all because of the FDA’s guidance on INDs, or Investigational New Drug applications.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Anti-HIV-1 Activity of Eight Monofloral Iranian Honey Types

Anti-HIV-1 Activity of Eight Monofloral Iranian Honey Types | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Monofloral Iranian honeys from eight floral sources were analyzed to determine their anti-HIV-1 activities as well as their effects on lymphocyte proliferation. The Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) used in this study were prepared from five healthy volunteers who were seronegative for HIV, HCV, HBV and TB. The anti-HIV-1 activity of eight different honeys was performed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and high pure viral nucleic acid kit. The results demonstrated that monofloral honeys from Petro selinum sativum, Nigella sativa, Citrus sinensis, Zataria multiflora, Citrus aurantium and Zizyphus mauritiana flowers had potent anti-HIV-1 activity with half maximal effective concentration (EC50) values of 37.5, 88, 70, 88, 105 and 5 µg/ml respectively. However, monofloral Iranian honeys from Astragalus gummifer and Chamaemelum nobile flowers had weak anti-HIV-1 activity. The frequency and intensity of CD4 expression on PBMCs increased in the presence of all honey types. CD19 marker were also increased after the treatment with monofloral honeys from Z.multiflora and N. sativa. The anti-HIV-1 agent in monofloral honeys from P.sativum, N. sativa, Z. multiflora and Z. mauritiana flowers was detected by spectroscopic analysis as methylglyoxal. Time of drug addition studies demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of methylglyoxal is higher on the late stage of HIV-1 infection. The result demonstrated that methylglyoxal isolated from monofloral honey types is a good candidate for preclinical evaluation of anti-HIV-1 therapies.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

The Effects of Herbs and Fruits on Leukaemia

The Effects of Herbs and Fruits on Leukaemia | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

There is an ocean of knowledge about medicinal plants, but still only a few pearls have been searched as therapeutic agents. This review article elaborated different species of plants and fruits used as traditional medicines against leukaemia. Studies suggested that herbal medicines have a great potential in combating leukaemia. These herbs and fruits could be the best candidate for future leukaemia therapy with minimal adverse effects, easier availability, and better acceptability as compared to chemotherapy and probably they will provide more potent antileukaemic agents in future.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV

Mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School.

 

The results were presented at the 11th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology in Houston today by principal investigator Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UTHealth Medical School.

 

Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result -- three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC -- with the remaining two responders continuing on the study.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Olea europaea leaf extract improves the treatment response of GBM stem cells by modulating miRNA expression

Olea europaea leaf extract improves the treatment response of GBM stem cells by modulating miRNA expression | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The stem-like cells of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors (GSCs) are one of the important determinants of recurrence and drug resistance. The aims of the current study were to evaluate the anticancer effect of Olea europaea leaf extract (OLE) on GBM cell lines, the association between OLE and TMZ responses, and the effect of OLE and the OLE-TMZ combination in GSCs and to clarify the molecular mechanism of this effect on the expression of miRNAs related to cell death. The anti-proliferative activity of OLE and the effect of the OLE-TMZ combination were tested in the T98G, U-138MG and U-87MG GBM cell lines using WST-1 assay. The mechanism of cell death was analyzed with Annexin V/FITC and TUNEL assays. The effects of OLE on the expression levels of miR-181b, miR-153, miR-145 and miR-137 and potential mRNA targets were analyzed in GSCs using RT-qPCR. OLE exhibited anti-proliferative effects via apoptosis and necrosis in the GBM cell lines. In addition, OLE significantly induced the expression of miR-153, miR-145, and miR-137 and decreased the expression of the target genes of these miRNAs in GSCs (p < 0.05). OLE causes cell death in GBM cells with different TMZ responses, and this effect is synergistically increased when the cells are treated with a combination of OLE and TMZ. This is the first study to indicate that OLE may interfere with the pluripotency of GSCs by modulating miRNA expression. Further studies are required, but we suggest that OLE may have a potential for advanced therapeutic cancer drug studies in GBM.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Anti-Neuroinflammatory effects of the extract of Achillea fragrantissima

Anti-Neuroinflammatory effects of the extract of Achillea fragrantissima | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The neuroinflammatory process plays a central role in the initiation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and involves the activation of brain microglial cells. During the neuroinflammatory process, microglial cells release proinflammatory mediators such as cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO). In the present study, extracts from 66 different desert plants were tested for their effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) - induced production of NO by primary microglial cells. The extract of Achillea fragrantissima (Af), which is a desert plant that has been used for many years in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases, was the most efficient extract, and was further studied for additional anti-neuroinflammatory effects in these cells.

 

In the present study, the ethanolic extract prepared from Af was tested for its anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated primary cultures of brain microglial cells. The levels of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) secreted by the cells were determined by reverse transcriptase-PCR and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. NO levels secreted by the activate cells were measured using Griess reagent, ROS levels were measured by 2'7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA), MMP-9 activity was measured using gel zymography, and the protein levels of the proinflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were measured by Western blot analysis. Cell viability was assessed using Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in the media conditioned by the cells or by the crystal violet cell staining.

 

We have found that out of the 66 desert plants tested, the extract of Af was the most efficient extract and inhibited ~70% of the NO produced by the LPS-activated microglial cells, without affecting cell viability. In addition, this extract inhibited the LPS - elicited expression of the proinflammatory mediators IL-1β, TNFα, MMP-9, COX-2 and iNOS in these cells.

 

Thus, phytochemicals present in the Af extract could be beneficial in preventing/treating neurodegenerative diseases in which neuroinflammation is part of the pathophysiology.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Cancer cells can ‘infect’ normal neighbours

Cancer cells can ‘infect’ normal neighbours | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

When a cancer cell throws out its trash, it can turn healthy neighbours into fellow tumour cells, researchers have found.

 

Many cells, including cancerous ones, shed thousands of tiny membrane-bound vesicles called exosomes that contain proteins, DNA and RNA. The process is thought to be a waste-management system, but it may also facilitate cell-to-cell communication: some of these vesicles can then merge with other cells and dump their payload inside.

 

In a study published online on 23 October in Cancer Cell1, researchers show that when human breast-cancer exosomes can cause tumours when mixed with normal cells then injected into mice. The results could pave the way to finding markers to monitor the progression of cancer, and possibly even point to targets for therapies.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Lycopene and Beta-carotene Induce Cell-Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Lycopene and Beta-carotene Induce Cell-Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Lycopene and beta-carotene are carotenoids widely distributed in fruits and vegetables, with potential anticancer activity. Epidemiological trials rarely provide evidence for the mechanisms of action of these compounds, and their biological effects at different times of treatment are still unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of carotenoids on the cell cycle and cell viability in human breast cancer cell lines. Human breast cell lines were treated with carotenoids (0.5-10 μM) for 48 and 96 h. Cell viability was monitored using the MTT method (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide; thiazolyl blue). The cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry, and apoptotic cells were identified by annexin/propidium iodide (PI) biomarkers. Our data showed a significant decrease in the number of viable breast cancer cells on treatment with carotenoids. Carotenoids also promoted cell-cycle arrest followed by decreased cell viability in the majority of cell lines after 96 h, compared to controls. Furthermore, an increase in apoptosis was observed in cell lines when cells were treated with carotenoids. Our findings show the capacity of lycopene and beta-carotene to inhibit cell proliferation, arrest the cell cycle in different phases, and increase apoptosis. These findings indicate that the effect was cell type-dependent and that carotenoids are potential agents for biological interference with cancer.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jonathan Middleton
Scoop.it!

Cytotoxicity of dietary flavonoids on different human cancer types

Cytotoxicity of dietary flavonoids on different human cancer types | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Flavonoids are ubiquitous in nature. They are also in food, providing an essential link between diet and prevention of chronic diseases including cancer. Anticancer effects of these polyphenols depend on several factors: Their chemical structure and concentration, and also on the type of cancer. Malignant cells from different tissues reveal somewhat different sensitivity toward flavonoids and, therefore, the preferences of the most common dietary flavonoids to various human cancer types are analyzed in this review. While luteolin and kaempferol can be considered as promising candidate agents for treatment of gastric and ovarian cancers, respectively, apigenin, chrysin, and luteolin have good perspectives as potent antitumor agents for cervical cancer; cells from main sites of flavonoid metabolism (colon and liver) reveal rather large fluctuations in anticancer activity probably due to exposure to various metabolites with different activities. Anticancer effect of flavonoids toward blood cancer cells depend on their myeloid, lymphoid, or erythroid origin; cytotoxic effects of flavonoids on breast and prostate cancer cells are highly related to the expression of hormone receptors. Different flavonoids are often preferentially present in certain food items, and knowledge about the malignant tissue-specific anticancer effects of flavonoids could be purposely applied both in chemoprevention as well as in cancer treatment.

more...
No comment yet.