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The Gut’s Microbiome Changes Rapidly with Diet.

The Gut’s Microbiome Changes Rapidly with Diet. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Microbiologists have known for some time that different diets create different gut flora, but previous research has focused on mice instead of humans, leaving the actual relationship between our food and our stomach bacteria unclear. A new study, published Wednesday in Nature, indicates that these changes can happen incredibly fast in the human gut—within three or four days of a big shift in what you eat. “We found that the bacteria that lives in peoples’ guts is surprisingly responsive to change in diet,” Lawrence David, assistant professor at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and one of the study’s authors, says. “Within days we saw not just a variation in the abundance of different kinds of bacteria, but in the kinds of genes they were expressing.” (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

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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.)
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Taraxacum mongolicum extract exhibits a protective effect on hepatocytes and an antiviral effect against hepatitis B virus in animal and human cells

Taraxacum mongolicum extract exhibits a protective effect on hepatocytes and an antiviral effect against hepatitis B virus in animal and human cells | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
In order to validate the antiviral effect against hepatitis B virus (HBV) of Taraxacum mongolicum (T. mongolicum), the protective effect on hepatocytes, and antiviral properties against duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) and HBV of T. mongolicum extract (TME) were evaluated in chemically‑injured neonatal rat hepatocytes, DHBV-infected duck fetal hepatocytes and HBV-transfected HepG2.2.15 cells, respectively. The results demonstrated that TME at 50-100 µg/ml improved D-galactosamine (D-GalN), thioacetamide (TAA) and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-injured rat hepatocytes, and produced protection rates of 42.2, 34.6 and 43.8% at 100 µg/ml, respectively. Furthermore, TME at 1-100 µg/ml markedly inhibited DHBV DNA replication. Additionally, TME at 25-100 µg/ml reduced HBsAg and HBeAg levels and produced inhibition rates of 91.39 and 91.72% at 100 µg/ml, respectively. TME markedly inhibited HBV DNA replication at 25-100 µg/ml. The results demonstrate the potent antiviral effect of T. mongolicum against HBV effect. The protective of TME effect on hepatocytes may be achieved by its ability to ameliorate oxidative stress. The antiviral properties of TME may contribute to blocking protein synthesis steps and DNA replication. Furthermore, major components of TME were quantificationally analyzed. These data provide scientific evidence supporting the traditional use of TME in the treatment of hepatitis.
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Memory Loss May Be Caused by Common Infections.

Memory Loss May Be Caused by Common Infections. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Now researchers are finding that common infections also may have an effect on memory as well as other cognitive issues, such as mental processing, abstract thinking, planning as well as reasoning. In this new study out of the University of Miami and Columbia University, researchers followed 588 participants, most of whom were Hispanic. These people, who took part of the Northern Manhattan Study, participated in brain function tests and also had their blood samples taken at the start of the study. At the five-year mark, about half of the participants took another cognitive test. The researchers found that participants who had increased infections in their blood had a decline in cognitive function, even if they never became ill. Researchers are not sure why these infections have an effect on cognitive function.
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Increased chemopreventive effect by combining arctigenin, green tea polyphenol and curcumin in prostate and breast cancer cells.

The low bioavailability of most flavonoids limits their application as anti-carcinogenic agents in humans. A novel approach of treatment with a mixture of bioactive compounds that share molecular anti-carcinogenic targets may enhance the effect on these targets at low concentrations of individual compound, thereby overcoming the limitations of reduced bioavailability. We therefore investigated whether a combination of three natural products arctigenin (Arc), a novel anti-inflammatory lignan from the seeds of Arctium lappa, green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and curcumin (Cur) increases the chemopreventive potency of individual compounds. LNCaP prostate cancer and MCF-7 breast cancer cells were treated with 2-4 mg/L (about 5-10μM) Cur, 1μM Arc and 40μM EGCG alone or in combination for 48h. In both cell lines treatment with the mixture of Cur, Arc and EGCG synergistically increased the antiproliferative effect. In LNCaP cells both Arc and EGCG increased the pro-apoptotic effect of Cur. Whereas in MCF-7 cells Arc increased the cell apoptosis of Cur while EGCG enhanced cell cycle arrest of Cur at G0/G1 phase. The strongest effects on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were achieved by combining all three compounds in both cell lines. The combination treatment significantly increased the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2 proteins, decreased the activation of NFκB, PI3K/Akt and Stat3 pathways and cell migration compared to individual treatment. These results warrant in vivo studies to confirm the efficacy of this novel regimen by combining Arc and EGCG with Cur to enhance chemoprevention in both prostate and breast cancer.
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Effect of camel milk on glycemic control and insulin requirement in patients with type 1 diabetes: 2-years randomized controlled trial

Effect of camel milk on glycemic control and insulin requirement in patients with type 1 diabetes: 2-years randomized controlled trial | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Hypoglycemic effect of camel milk supplementation in experimental rat model and significant reduction in doses of insulin in type 1 diabetic patients have been observed in our previous studies. This long-term study was undertaken to assess the efficacy, safety and acceptability of camel milk as an adjunct to insulin therapy in type 1 diabetics.

In this 2-year randomized clinical, parallel design study, 24 type 1 diabetics were enrolled and divided into two groups. Group I (n=12) received usual care, that is, diet, exercise and insulin and Group II (n=12) received 500 ml camel milk in addition to the usual care. Insulin requirement was titrated weekly by blood glucose estimation. Results were analyzed by using the regression technique.

In camel milk group, there was decrease in mean blood glucose (118.58±19–93.16±17.06 mg/dl), hemoglobin A1c levels (7.81±1.39–5.44±0.81%) and insulin doses (32.50±9.99–17.50±12.09 U/day, P<0.05). Out of 12 subjects receiving camel milk, insulin requirement in 3 subjects reduced to zero. There was nonsignificant change in plasma insulin and anti-insulin antibodies in both the groups.

It may be stated that camel milk is safe and efficacious in improving long-term glycemic control, with a significant reduction in the doses of insulin in type 1 diabetic patients.

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Behavioral Benefits of Camel Milk in Subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Behavioral Benefits of Camel Milk in Subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorder. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

To investigate the possible therapeutic effects of camel milk on behavioral characteristics as an interventional strategy in autistic children.

Changes in behavioral characteristics in 65 (boys=60, girls=5) children with autism (aged from 2 to 12 years) were assessed. The behavioral symptoms were evaluated by Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) before and after the 2 weeks of camel milk therapy.

Significant differences were detected on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by CARS, SRS and ATEC scales, following 2 weeks of camel milk consumption, but not in the placebo group.

The present study demonstrates that camel milk could be very promising therapeutic intervention in ASD. Further wide scale studies are strongly recommended.

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Full study http://www.jcpsp.pk/archive/2015/Nov2015/11.pdf

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Consecutive oral administration of Bifidobacterium longum MM-2 improves the defense system against influenza virus infection by enhancing natural killer cell activity in a murine model

Consecutive oral administration of Bifidobacterium longum MM-2 improves the defense system against influenza virus infection by enhancing natural killer cell activity in a murine model | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Bifidobacterium, one of the major components of intestinal microflora, shows anti-influenza virus (IFV) potential as a probiotic, partly through enhancement of innate immunity by modulation of the intestinal immune system. Bifidobacterium longum MM-2 (MM-2), a very safe bacterium in humans, was isolated from healthy humans and its protective effect against IFV infection in a murine model shown. In mice that were intranasally inoculated with IFV, oral administration of MM-2 for 17 consecutive days improved clinical symptoms, reduced mortality, suppressed inflammation in the lower respiratory tract, and decreased virus titers, cell death, and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. The anti-IFV mechanism of MM-2 involves innate immunity through significant increases in NK cell activities in the lungs and spleen and a significant increase in pulmonary gene expression of NK cell activators such as IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12 and IL-18. Even in non-infected mice, MM-2 administration also induced significant enhancement of both IFN-γ production by Peyer's patch cells (PPs) and splenetic NK cell activity. Oral administration of MM-2 for 17 days activates systemic immunoreactivity in PPs, which contributes to innate immunity, including NK cell activation, resulting in an anti-IFV effect. MM-2 as a probiotic may function as a prophylactic agent in the management of an IFV epidemic.
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Melatonin inhibits AP-2β/hTERT, NF-κB/COX-2 and Akt/ERK and activates caspase/Cyto C signaling to enhance the antitumor activity of berberine in lung cancer cells

Melatonin inhibits AP-2β/hTERT, NF-κB/COX-2 and Akt/ERK and activates caspase/Cyto C signaling to enhance the antitumor activity of berberine in lung cancer cells | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Melatonin, a molecule produced throughout the animal and plant kingdoms, and berberine, a plant derived agent, both exhibit antitumor and multiple biological and pharmacological effects, but they have never been combined altogether for the inhibition of human lung cancers. In this study, we investigated the role and underlying mechanisms of melatonin in the regulation of antitumor activity of berberine in lung cancer cells. Treatment with melatonin effectively increased the berberine-mediated inhibitions of cell proliferation, colony formation and cell migration, thereby enhancing the sensitivities of lung cancer cells to berberine. Melatonin also markedly increased apoptosis induced by berberine. Further mechanism study showed that melatonin promoted the cleavage of caspse-9 and PARP, enhanced the inhibition of Bcl2, and triggered the releasing of cytochrome C (Cyto C), thereby increasing the berberine-induced apoptosis. Melatonin also enhanced the berberine-mediated inhibition of telomerase reverses transcriptase (hTERT) by down-regulating the expression of AP-2β and its binding on hTERT promoter. Moreover, melatonin enhanced the berberine-mediated inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and its binding on COX-2 promoter. Melatonin also increased the berberine-mediated inhibition of the phosphorylated Akt and ERK. Collectively, our results demonstrated that melatonin enhanced the antitumor activity of berberine by activating caspase/Cyto C and inhibiting AP-2β/hTERT, NF-κB/COX-2 and Akt/ERK signaling pathways. Our findings provide new insights in exploring the potential therapeutic strategies and novel targets for lung cancer treatment.
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Bacterial infection and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis.

Bacterial infection and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The possibility of an infectious etiology for Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been repeatedly postulated over the past three decades. We provide the first meta-analysis to address the relationship between bacterial infection and AD. Studies examining the association between AD and spirochetal bacteria or Chlamydophila pneumoniae (Cpn) were identified through a systematic search of the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Data combined from 25 relevant, primarily case-control studies demonstrated a statistically significant association between AD and detectable evidence of infection of either bacterial group. We found over a ten-fold increased occurrence of AD when there is detectable evidence of spirochetal infection (OR: 10.61; 95% CI: 3.38-33.29) and over a four-fold increased occurrence of AD in a conservative risk estimate (OR: 4.45; 95% CI: 2.33-8.52). We found over a five-fold increased occurrence of AD with Cpn infection (OR: 5.66; 95% CI: 1.83-17.51). This study shows a strongly positive association between bacterial infection and AD. Further detailed investigation of the role of bacterial infection is warranted.
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Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence

Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation causes damage in skin by generating excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), leading to skin photoageing. Dandelion extracts have long been used for traditional Chinese medicine and native American medicine to treat cancers, hepatitis, and digestive diseases; however, less is known on the effects of dandelion extracts in skin photoageing. Here we found that dandelion leaf and flower extracts significantly protect UVB irradiation-inhibited cell viability when added before UVB irradiation or promptly after irradiation. Dandelion leaf and flower extracts inhibited UVB irradiation-stimulated MMP activity and ROS generation. Dandelion root extracts showed less action on protecting HDFs from UVB irradiation-induced MMP activity, ROS generation, and cell death. Furthermore, dandelion leaf and flower but not root extracts stimulated glutathione generation and glutathione reductase mRNA expression in the presence or absence of UVB irradiation. We also found that dandelion leaf and flower extracts help absorb UVB irradiation. In addition, dandelion extracts significantly protected HDFs from H2O2-induced cellular senescence. In conclusion, dandelion extracts especially leaf and flower extracts are potent protective agents against UVB damage and H2O2-induced cellular senescence in HDFs by suppressing ROS generation and MMP activities and helping UVB absorption.
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Nutritional Supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa Lowers Serum Methylmalonic Acid in Vegans and Vegetarians with a Suspected Vitamin B12 Deficiency.

Nutritional Supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa Lowers Serum Methylmalonic Acid in Vegans and Vegetarians with a Suspected Vitamin B12 Deficiency. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Since vitamin B12 occurs in substantial amounts only in foods derived from animals, vegetarians and particularly vegans are at risk of developing deficiencies of this essential vitamin. The chlorella used for this study is a commercially available whole-food supplement, which is believed to contain the physiologically active form of the vitamin. This exploratory open-label study was performed to determine if adding 9 g of Chlorella pyrenoidosa daily could help mitigate a vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians and vegans. Seventeen vegan or vegetarian adults (26-57 years of age) with a known vitamin B12 deficiency, as evidenced by a baseline serum methylmalonic acid (MMA) level above 270 nmol/L at screening, but who otherwise appeared healthy were enrolled in the study. Each participant added 9 g of C. pyrenoidosa to their daily diet for 60 ± 5 days and their serum MMA, vitamin B12, homocysteine (Hcy) levels as well as mean corpuscular volume (MCV), hemoglobin (Hgb), and hematocrit (Hct) were measured at 30 and 60 days from baseline. After 30 and 60 days, the serum MMA level fell significantly (P < .05) by an average ∼34%. Fifteen of the 17 (88%) subjects showed at least a 10% drop in MMA. At the same time, Hcy trended downward and serum vitamin B12 trended upward, while MCV, Hgb, and Hct appeared unchanged. The results of this work suggest that the vitamin B12 in chlorella is bioavailable and such dietary supplementation is a natural way for vegetarians and vegans to get the vitamin B12 they need.
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The Role of Curcumin Administration in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Mini Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials.

The Role of Curcumin Administration in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Mini Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Major depression is a common, recurrent, and chronic disease that negatively affects the quality of life and increases the risk of mortality. Several studies have demonstrated that curcumin, the yellow-pigmented substance of the turmeric, possesses antidepressant properties. The aim of this review is to meta-analytically assess the antidepressant effect of curcumin in patients with major depressive disorders. We extensively searched the literature until August 2015. The random-effect model was used to calculate the pooled standardized difference of means (SMD). Subgroup analyses were also performed to examine the effect of different study characteristics on the overall model. Six clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. Overall, curcumin administration showed a significantly higher reduction in depression symptoms [SMD = -0.34; 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.56, -0.13; p = 0.002]. Subgroup analyses showed that curcumin had the highest effect when given to middle-aged patients (SMD = -0.36; 95% CI = -0.59; -0.13; p = 0.002), for longer duration of administration (SMD = -0.40; 95% CI = -0.64, -0.16; p = 0.001), and at higher doses (SMD = -0.36; 95% CI = -0.59, -0.13; p = 0.002). The administration of new formulation of curcumin (BCM-95) had non-significantly higher effect on depression as compared with the conventional curcumin-piperine formula. We conclude that there is supporting evidence that curcumin administration reduces depressive symptoms in patients with major depression.
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Curcumin inhibits activation of TRPM2 channels in rat hepatocytes.

Curcumin inhibits activation of TRPM2 channels in rat hepatocytes. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Oxidative stress is a hallmark of many liver diseases including viral and drug-induced hepatitis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. One of the consequences of oxidative stress in the liver is deregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis, resulting in a sustained elevation of the free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) in hepatocytes, which leads to irreversible cellular damage. Recently it has been shown that liver damage induced by paracetamol and subsequent oxidative stress is, in large part, mediated by Ca2+ entry through Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channels. Involvement of TRPM2 channels in hepatocellular damage induced by oxidative stress makes TRPM2 a potential therapeutic target for treatment of a range of oxidative stress-related liver diseases. We report here the identification of curcumin ((1E,6E)-1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione), a natural plant-derived polyphenol in turmeric spice, as a novel inhibitor of TRPM2 channel. Presence of 5µM curcumin in the incubation medium prevented the H2O2- and paracetamol-induced [Ca2+]c rise in rat hepatocytes. Furthermore, in patch clamping experiments incubation of hepatocytes with curcumin inhibited activation of TRPM2 current by intracellular ADPR with IC50 of approximately 50nM. These findings enhance understanding of the actions of curcumin and suggest that the known hepatoprotective properties of curcumin are, at least in part, mediated through inhibition of TRPM2 channels.
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Protective Effect of Ocimum basilicum Essential Oil Against Acetic Acid–Induced Colitis in Rats

Ocimum basilicum L has been traditionally used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in Iran. This study investigates the ameliorative effect of Ocimum basilicum essential oil on an acetic acid–induced colitis model in rats. Ocimum basilicum essential oil with 2 doses (200 and 400 μL/kg) significantly ameliorated wet weight/length ratio of colonic tissue compared to the control group. Higher doses of essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg) significantly reduced ulcer severity, ulcer area, and ulcer index. On the other hand, histological examination revealed the diminution of total colitis index as a marker for inflammatory cell infiltration in the colonic segments of rats treated with Ocimum basilicum essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg). The increased level of myeloperoxidase was significantly decreased after the treatment with the essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg). These results suggest that Ocimum basilicum exhibits protective effect against acetic acid–induced colitis.
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By suppressing the expression of anterior pharynx-defective-1α and -1β and inhibiting the aggregation of β-amyloid protein, magnesium ions inhibit the cognitive decline of amyloid precursor protein...

By suppressing the expression of anterior pharynx-defective-1α and -1β and inhibiting the aggregation of β-amyloid protein, magnesium ions inhibit the cognitive decline of amyloid precursor protein... | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with a magnesium ion (Mg(2+)) deficit in the serum or brain. However, the mechanisms regulating the roles of Mg(2+) in the pathologic condition of AD remain unknown. We studied whether brain Mg(2+) can decrease β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and ameliorate the cognitive decline in a model of AD, the APPswe/PS1DE9 transgenic (Tg) mouse. We used a recently developed compound, magnesium-l-threonate (MgT), for a treatment that resulted in enhanced clearance of Aβ in an anterior pharynx-defective (APH)-1α/-1β-dependent manner. To further explore how MgT treatment inhibits cognitive decline in APP/PS1 Tg mice, the critical molecules for amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleavage and signaling pathways were investigated. In neurons, ERK1/2 and PPARγ signaling pathways were activated by MgT treatment, which in turn suppressed (by >80%) the expression of APH-1α/-1β, which is responsible for the deposition of Aβ and potentially contributes to the memory deficit that occurs in AD. More important, Aβ oligomers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) further promoted the expression of APH-1α/-1β (by >2.5-fold), which enhances the γ-cleavage of APP and Aβ deposition during AD progression. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms of AD progression and are instrumental for developing better strategies to combat the disease.-Yu, X., Guan, P.-P., Guo, J.-W., Wang, Y., Cao, L.-L., Xu, G.-B., Konstantopoulos, K., Wang, Z.-Y., Wang, P. By suppressing the expression of anterior pharynx-defective-1α and -1β and inhibiting the aggregation of β-amyloid protein, magnesium ions inhibit the cognitive decline of amyloid precursor protein/presenilin 1 transgenic mice.
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Morinda citrifolia edible leaf extract enhanced immune response against lung cancer.

Morinda citrifolia edible leaf extract enhanced immune response against lung cancer. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Lung cancer causes 1.4 million deaths annually. In the search for functional foods as complementary therapies against lung cancer, the immuno-stimulatory properties of the vegetable Morinda citrifolia leaves were investigated and compared with the anti-cancer drug erlotinib. Lung tumour-induced BALB/c mice were fed with 150 mg kg-1 or 300 mg kg-1 body weight of the leaf extract, or erlotinib (50 mg kg-1 body-weight) for 21 days. The 300 mg kg-1 body weight extract significantly (and dose-dependently) suppressed lung tumour growth; the extract worked more effectively than the 50 mg kg-1 body weight erlotinib treatment. The extract significantly increased blood lymphocyte counts, and spleen tissue B cells, T cells and natural killer cells, and reduced the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) which is a lung adenocarcinoma biomarker. The extract also suppressed the cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) inflammatory markers, and enhanced the tumour suppressor gene (phosphatase and tensin homolog, PTEN). It inhibited tumour growth cellular gene (transformed mouse 3T3 cell double minute 2 (MDM2), V-raf-leukemia viral oncogene 1 (RAF1), and mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR)) mRNA expression in the tumours. The extract is rich in scopoletin and epicatechin, which are the main phenolic compounds. The 300 mg kg-1Morinda citrifolia leaf 50% ethanolic extract showed promising potential as a complementary therapeutic dietary supplement which was more effective than the 50 mg kg-1 erlotinib in suppressing lung adenocarcinoma. Part of the mechanisms involved enhancing immune responses, suppressing proliferation and interfering with various tumour growth signalling pathways.
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Chokeberry attenuates the expression of genes related to de novo lipogenesis in the hepatocytes of mice with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Chokeberry attenuates the expression of genes related to de novo lipogenesis in the hepatocytes of mice with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is characterized by steatosis, is a major public health concern. Previous studies have shown that chokeberry has anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and antidiabetic effects. In this study, we hypothesized that chokeberry powder can attenuate the expression of genes related to de novo lipogenesis and the triglyceride levels in the hepatocytes of mice with high-fat diet–induced NAFLD. After coadministering chokeberry powder for 8 weeks (0.5% and 1% powder) with a high-fat diet, mice that consumed chokeberry powder diets, regardless of the dose, had significantly lower liver triglyceride levels than control mice that were fed a high-fat diet (P = .0145 and P < .0012, respectively). Compared with mice that were fed a high-fat diet, mice that were given 1% chokeberry powder exhibited significantly decreased mRNA expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (P = .009) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (P = .0032) in the liver. Compared with mice in the control group, fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression significantly increased in the mice that were fed a high-fat diet, but both chokeberry powder–treated groups had significantly decreased FAS expression (P = .0157 and P < .0001, respectively). The size of the fat droplets was decreased in the livers of the chokeberry-supplemented groups. In summary, the administration of chokeberry powder may help attenuate high-fat diet–induced NAFLD by regulating the expression levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and FAS and by decreasing the size of the fat droplets in the liver.
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Effect of camel milk on thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in autistic children: double-blind study

Effect of camel milk on thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in autistic children: double-blind study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

This study aimed to investigate the role of the effectiveness of camel milk (CM) (raw and boiled) on thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) serum levels and childhood autism rating scale (CARS) score in subjects with autism and compared to placebo group (cow milk).

Forty-five subjects diagnosed with autism were randomly assigned to receive boiled CM for group I (n = 15), raw CM for group II (n = 15), and placebo for group III (n = 15) for 2 wk. Measures included changes in professionally completed CARS score and blood samples for TARC serum level were taken before and after milk consumption of 500 ml per day in children’s regular daily diet.

The serum levels of TARC decreased significantly (P = 0.004) in boiled CM and in raw CM group (P = 0.01) too, but no effect was observed (P = 0.68) in placebo group. Furthermore, significant improvements were observed in CARS score (P = 0.04) in raw CM group only. There were no significant relationships between the serum of TARC level and the CARS score, age, or gender for any group.

CM administered for 2 wk significantly improved clinical measurements of autism severity and decreased serum level of TARC in autistic children, but subsequent studies are recommended.

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Bacopa monnieri: An evaluation of antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive potential of methanolic extract of whole plants.

Bacopa monnieri: An evaluation of antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive potential of methanolic extract of whole plants. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive activity studies were carried out with methanolic extract of whole plants of Bacopa monnieri, respectively, through oral glucose tolerance test and gastric pain model induced by acetic acid in Swiss albino mice. In OGTT (oral glucose tolerance tests) conducted with glucose-challenged mice, the extract, administered at four doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400mg per kg body weight, dose-dependently and significantly inhibited the increase in serum glucose concentrations, respectively, by 33.3, 34.2, 42.1 and 44.2%. A standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, when administered at a dose of 10mg per kg body weight, inhibited increase in serum glucose concentration by 50.7%. From the results, it can be concluded that the methanolic extract of the plant possess significant antihyperglycemic potential. In antinociceptive activity tests, administration of the extract at the aforementioned four doses also significantly and dose-dependently reduced the number of acetic acid-induced gastric constrictions in mice. The percent inhibitions in gastric constrictions were, respectively, 43.4, 46.6, 50.0, and 53.4 at the above four doses. A reference antinociceptive drug, aspirin, when administered at a dose of 200 mg per kg body weight, reduced the number of gastric constrictions by 40.0%. Thus the extract at even the lowest dose of 50 mg, demonstrated antinociceptive activity better than that of aspirin, and which activity was much more than aspirin at the other three higher doses tested. The results demonstrate that the plant can be an excellent candidate for further studies towards isolation of antihyperglycemic and pain-killing compounds.
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Phenolic profile and antioxidant potential of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.)

Phenolic profile and antioxidant potential of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.) | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Phenolic profile, antioxidant potential and pigment contents of wild watercress (Nasturtium officinale L.) were studied to assess the potential for future studies and its applications in neutraceuticals and bioactive functional ingredients. Different extracts of watercress (roots, stem and leaves) were analysed for pigment composition, total phenolic contents, and radical scavenging activity. The phenolic profile of the leaves and roots was studied using reversed phase HPLC–DAD. Results showed that total phenolic compounds in all samples were higher in the methanolic extracts than its corresponding aqueous extracts. The RSA of methanolic extracts was higher than aqueous extracts. Fourteen phenolic compounds were identified in the leaves, where coumaric acid and its derivatives, caftaric acid and quercetin derivatives were present in higher amounts. In roots, a total of 20 compounds was tentatively identified, with coumaric acid and its derivatives, sinapic acid, caftaric acid and quercetin derivatives were the major phenolic compounds. In conclusion, watercress has significant antioxidant activity and contains important phenolic compounds, which could be of potential biological interest.
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Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro

Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Lyme disease is a tick-borne multisystemic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Administering antibiotics is the primary treatment for this disease; however, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued. The reason for relapse remains unknown, but recent studies suggested the possibilities of the presence of antibiotic resistant Borrelia persister cells and biofilms.

In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of whole leaf Stevia extract against B. burgdorferi spirochetes, persisters, and biofilm forms in vitro. The susceptibility of the different forms was evaluated by various quantitative techniques in addition to different microscopy methods. The effectiveness of Stevia was compared to doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin, and their combinations. Our results demonstrated that Stevia had significant effect in eliminating B. burgdorferi spirochetes and persisters. Subculture experiments with Stevia and antibiotics treated cells were established for 7 and 14 days yielding, no and 10% viable cells, respectively compared to the above-mentioned antibiotics and antibiotic combination. When Stevia and the three antibiotics were tested against attached biofilms, Stevia significantly reduced B. burgdorferi forms. Results from this study suggest that a natural product such as Stevia leaf extract could be considered as an effective agent against B. burgdorferi.
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Removal of 16 pesticide residues from strawberries by washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling

Removal of 16 pesticide residues from strawberries by washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The effects of washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling on 16 pesticide (ten fungicides and six insecticides) residue levels in raw strawberries were investigated at different processing times (1, 2 and 5 min). An analysis of these pesticides was conducted using gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorous and electron capture detection (GC-NPD/ECD). The processing factor (PF) for each pesticide in each processing technique was determined. Washing with ozonated water was demonstrated to be more effective (reduction from 36.1 to 75.1 %) than washing with tap water (reduction from 19.8 to 68.1 %). Boiling decreased the residues of the most compounds, with reductions ranging from 42.8 to 92.9 %. Ultrasonic cleaning lowered residues for all analysed pesticides with removal of up to 91.2 %. The data indicated that ultrasonic cleaning and boiling were the most effective treatments for the reduction of 16 pesticide residues in raw strawberries, resulting in a lower health risk exposure. Calculated PFs for alpha-cypermethrin were used to perform an acute risk assessment of dietary exposure. To investigate the relationship between the levels of 16 pesticides in strawberry samples and their physicochemical properties, a principal component analysis (PCA) was performed.
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Expression and/or activity of the SVCT2 ascorbate transporter may be decreased in many aggressive cancers, suggesting potential utility for sodium bicarbonate and dehydroascorbic acid in cancer the...

Expression and/or activity of the SVCT2 ascorbate transporter may be decreased in many aggressive cancers, suggesting potential utility for sodium bicarbonate and dehydroascorbic acid in cancer the... | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a heterodimer transcription factor whose elevated activity in many cancers helps them to survive under hypoxic conditions and enhances their capacity to grow invasively, establish metastases, and survive chemo- or radiotherapy. Optimal intracellular levels of ascorbate suppress the level and transcriptional activity of HIF-1under normoxic or mildly hypoxic conditions by supporting the activity of proly and asparagyl hydroxylases that target HIF-1alpha. High intracellular ascorbate can also work in various ways to down-regulate activation of NF-kappaB which, like HIF-1 is constitutively active in many cancers and promotes aggressive behavior - in part by promoting transcription of HIF-1alpha. Yet recent evidence suggests that, even in the context of adequate ascorbate nutrition, the intracellular ascorbate content of many aggressive cancers may be supoptimal for effective HIF-1 control. This likely reflects low expression or activity of the SVCT2 ascorbate transporter. The expression of SVCT2 in cancers has so far received little study; but the extracellular acidity characteristic of many tumors would be expected to reduce the activity of this transporter, which has a mildly alkaline pH optimum. Unfortunately, since SVCT2 has a high affinity for ascorbate, and its activity is nearly saturated at normal healthy serum levels of this vitamin, increased oral administration of ascorbate would be unlikely to have much impact on the intracellular ascorbate content of tumors. However, cancers in which HIF-1 is active express high levels of glucose transporters such as GLUT-1, and these transporters can promote influx of dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) via facilitated diffusion; once inside the cell, DHA is rapidly reduced to ascorbate, which effectively is "trapped" within the cell. Hence, episodic intravenous infusions of modest doses of DHA may have potential for optimizing the intracellular ascorbate content of cancers, potentially rendering them less aggressive. Indeed, several published studies have concluded that parenteral DHA--sometimes in quite modest doses--can retard the growth of transplanted tumors in rodents. As an alternative or adjunctive strategy, oral administration of sodium bicarbonate, by normalizing the extracellular pH of tumors, has the potential to boost the activity of SCTV2 in tumor cells, thereby promoting increased ascorbate uptake. Indeed, the utility of oral sodium bicarbonate for suppressing metastasis formation in nude mice xenografted with a human breast cancer has been reported. Hence, oral sodium bicarbonate and intravenous DHA may have the potential to blunt the aggressiveness of certain cancers in which suboptimal intracellular ascorbate levels contribute to elevated HIF-1 activity.
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The possible roles of vitamin D and curcumin in treating gonorrhea.

The possible roles of vitamin D and curcumin in treating gonorrhea. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Drug-resistant gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae), is an emerging concern, especially because the risk of bladder cancer is associated with this infection. N. gonorrhoeae suppresses T-helper 1(Th1) and Th2 responses and enhances Th17 responses via a mechanism involving transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and regulatory T cells. Blockade of TGF-β alleviates the suppression of specific anti-gonococcal responses and allows Th1 and Th2 responses to emerge with concomitant boosting of immune memory and protective immunity. Gonorrhea activates nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), which plays a critical role in signal-transduction pathways involved in inflammation. The innate immune system can eventually clear gonorrhea. Vitamin D is emerging as a potential, powerful, anti-microbial agent with these effects: it supports the innate immune system in combating bacterial infections; it decreases levels of TGF-β and NF-kappaB activation; and it induces production of LL-37 (cathelicidin), which has antimicrobial and antiendotoxin properties. In addition, via an independent vitamin D receptor pathway, curcumin also induces LL-37 production, inhibiting N. gonorrhoeae-induced NF-kappaB signaling and inducing autophagy. Therefore, vitamin D and curcumin taken together may be useful in combating both normal and drug-resistant gonorrhea. Moreover, the possible synergy between these two agents in improving outcomes is worthy of additional investigation.
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The Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 2 (TRPM2) Channel Contributes to β-Amyloid Oligomer-Related Neurotoxicity and Memory Impairment.

The Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 2 (TRPM2) Channel Contributes to β-Amyloid Oligomer-Related Neurotoxicity and Memory Impairment. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
In Alzheimer's disease, accumulation of soluble oligomers of β-amyloid peptide is known to be highly toxic, causing disturbances in synaptic activity and neuronal death. Multiple studies relate these effects to increased oxidative stress and aberrant activity of calcium-permeable cation channels leading to calcium imbalance. The transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel, a Ca(2+)-permeable nonselective cation channel activated by oxidative stress, has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, and more recently in amyloid-induced toxicity. Here we show that the function of TRPM2 is augmented by treatment of cultured neurons with β-amyloid oligomers. Aged APP/PS1 Alzheimer's mouse model showed increased levels of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers, protein disulfide isomerase and phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, as well as decreased levels of the presynaptic marker synaptophysin. Elimination of TRPM2 in APP/PS1 mice corrected these abnormal responses without affecting plaque burden. These effects of TRPM2 seem to be selective for β-amyloid toxicity, as ER stress responses to thapsigargin or tunicamycin in TRPM2(-/-) neurons was identical to that of wild-type neurons. Moreover, reduced microglial activation was observed in TRPM2(-/-)/APP/PS1 hippocampus compared with APP/PS1 mice. In addition, age-dependent spatial memory deficits in APP/PS1 mice were reversed in TRPM2(-/-)/APP/PS1 mice. These results reveal the importance of TRPM2 for β-amyloid neuronal toxicity, suggesting that TRPM2 activity could be potentially targeted to improve outcomes in Alzheimer's disease.
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Protoscolecidal Effect of Berberis vulgaris Root Extract and Its Main Compound, Berberine in Cystic Echinococcosis.

Cystic echinococcosis (CE), a zoonotic parasitic infection caused by the metacestode (larvae) stage of dog tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus and recognized as a major economic and public health concern in the world. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro scolicidal effect of methanolic extract of Berberis vulgaris L. roots and its main compound, berberine against protoscoleces of hydatid cysts.

For this purpose, protoscoleces were aseptically aspirated from sheep livers having hydatid cysts. Various concentrations of the methanolic extract (0.25-2 mg/ml) and berberine (0.062- 0.5 mg/ml) were used for 5 to 30 min. Viability of protoscoleces was confirmed by eosin exclusive test.

In the present study, all of the various concentrations of the B. vulgaris methanolic extract (0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/ml) and berberine (0.062, 0.125, 0.25 and 0.5 mg/ml) revealed significant (P<0.05) scolicidal effects against protoscoleces of E. granulosus in a dose-dependent manner. Both berberine and methanolic extract exhibited 100% inhibition against protoscoleces of E. granulosus at the concentration of 2.0 and 0.5 mg/ml after 10 min incubation, respectively.

According to the results, both B. vulgaris methanolic extract and berberine alone demonstrated high scolicidal activities against protoscoleces of hydatid cysts in low concentration and short exposure time on in vitro model. However, in vivo efficacy of B. vulgaris and berberine also requires to be evaluated using an animal model with hydatid infection.

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