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Antiparasitic effects of Zingiber officinale (Ginger) extract against Toxoplasma gondii.

Antiparasitic effects of Zingiber officinale (Ginger) extract against Toxoplasma gondii. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Ginger, has been used in folk medicine as a medicinal plant, as well as a spice and food in many countries. This research was carried out to evaluate the antiparasitic effect of ginger root extract (GE) and GE/F1 (fraction 1 obtained from GE) against Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) in vitro and invivo. The effects of GE and GE/F1 against the proliferation of T. gondii-infected C6 cells and T. gondii were evaluated by several indicators such as an MTT assay, nuclear staining, immunofluorescence staining, apoptotic proteins and animal testing. GE/F1 strongly inhibited the proliferation of T. gondii-infected C6 cells and T. gondii in a dose-dependent manner compared with sulfadiazine. After T. gondii invasion, C6 cells induced the activation of caspase-3, bax, p53 and p21 related to programmed cell death, and GE/F1 effectively suppressed the expression of caspase-3, bax, p53 and p21 causing cell death of the infected host cells. In addition, INF-γ, and IL-8 levels, and the viability of T. gondii-infected mice treated with GE/F1 (500 μg/ml) were not changed or increased during the period of the experiment. These results demonstrate that GE/F1 not only induces anti-T. gondii effects causing the inactivation of apoptotic proteins in infected host cells through the direct inhibition of T. gondii but also has antiparasitic properties which inhibit inflammatory cytokine secretion in vivo.

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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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The antimicrobial activity of fruits from some cultivar varieties of Rubus idaeus and Rubus occidentalis.

Raspberries, derived from different cultivar varieties, are a popular ingredient of everyday diet, and their biological activity is a point of interest for researchers. The ethanol-water extracts from four varieties of red (Rubus idaeus 'Ljulin', 'Veten', 'Poranna Rosa') and black (Rubus occidentalis 'Litacz') raspberries were evaluated in the range of their antimicrobial properties as well as phenolic content - sanguiin H-6, free ellagic acid and anthocyanins. The antimicrobial assay was performed with the use of fifteen strains of bacteria, both Gram-negative and Gram-positive. The antimicrobial activity of the extracts varied and depended on the analysed strain of bacteria and cultivar variety, with the exception of Helicobacter pylori, towards which the extracts displayed the same growth inhibiting activity. Two human pathogens Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Moraxella catarrhalis proved to be the most sensitive to raspberry extracts. Contrary to the extracts, sanguiin H-6 and ellagic acid were only active against eight and nine bacterial strains, respectively. The determined MIC and MBC values of both compounds were several times lower than the tested extracts. The highest sensitivity of Corynebacterium diphtheriae to extracts from both black and red raspberries may be due to its sensitivity to sanguiin H-6 and ellagic acid.

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Quercetin protects against high glucose-induced damage in bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), a group of bone marrow-derived pro-angiogenic cells, contribute to vascular repair after damage. EPC dysfunction exists in diabetes and results in poor wound healing in diabetic patients with trauma or surgery. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of quercetin, a natural flavonoid on high glucose‑induced damage in EPCs. Treatment with high glucose (40 mM) decreased cell viability and migration, and increased oxidant stress, as was evidenced by the elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase in bone marrow-derived EPCs. Moreover, high glucose reduced the levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation, nitric oxide (NO) production and intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Quercetin supplement protected against high glucose‑induced impairment in cell viability, migration, oxidant stress, eNOS phosphorylation, NO production and cGMP levels. Quercetin also increased Sirt1 expression in EPCs. Inhibition of Sirt1 by a chemical antagonist sirtinol abolished the protective effect of quercetin on eNOS phosphorylation, NO production and cGMP levels following high glucose stress. To the best of our knowledge, the results provide the first evidence that quercetin protects against high glucose‑induced damage by inducing Sirt1-dependent eNOS upregulation in EPCs, and suggest that quercetin is a promising therapeutic agent for diabetic patients undergoing surgery or other invasive procedures.

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Targeting inflammation in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: time to start.

Targeting inflammation in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: time to start. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and associated complications is now well established. Several conditions that are driven by inflammatory processes are also associated with diabetes, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis and Crohn's disease, and various anti-inflammatory drugs have been approved or are in late stages of development for the treatment of these conditions. This Review discusses the rationale for the use of some of these anti-inflammatory treatments in patients with diabetes and what we could expect from their use. Future immunomodulatory treatments may not target a specific disease, but could instead act on a dysfunctional pathway that causes several conditions associated with the metabolic syndrome.

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Metabolic therapy: A new paradigm for managing malignant brain cancer

Metabolic therapy: A new paradigm for managing malignant brain cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Little progress has been made in the long-term management of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), considered among the most lethal of brain cancers. Cytotoxic chemotherapy, steroids, and high-dose radiation are generally used as the standard of care for GBM. These procedures can create a tumor microenvironment rich in glucose and glutamine. Glucose and glutamine are suggested to facilitate tumor progression. Recent evidence suggests that many GBMs are infected with cytomegalovirus, which could further enhance glucose and glutamine metabolism in the tumor cells. Emerging evidence also suggests that neoplastic macrophages/microglia, arising through possible fusion hybridization, can comprise an invasive cell subpopulation within GBM. Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for myeloid cells, as well as for the more rapidly proliferating cancer stem cells. Therapies that increase inflammation and energy metabolites in the GBM microenvironment can enhance tumor progression. In contrast to current GBM therapies, metabolic therapy is designed to target the metabolic malady common to all tumor cells (aerobic fermentation), while enhancing the health and vitality of normal brain cells and the entire body. The calorie restricted ketogenic diet (KD-R) is an anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic metabolic therapy that also reduces fermentable fuels in the tumor microenvironment. Metabolic therapy, as an alternative to the standard of care, has the potential to improve outcome for patients with GBM and other malignant brain cancers.

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A Comprehensive Review on Pharmacotherapeutics of Herbal Bioenhancers

A Comprehensive Review on Pharmacotherapeutics of Herbal Bioenhancers | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

In India, Ayurveda has made a major contribution to the drug discovery process with new means of identifying active compounds. Recent advancement in bioavailability enhancement of drugs by compounds of herbal origin has produced a revolutionary shift in the way of therapeutics. Thus, bibliographic investigation was carried out by analyzing classical text books and peer-reviewed papers, consulting worldwide-accepted scientific databases from last 30 years. Herbal bioenhancers have been shown to enhance bioavailability and bioefficacy of different classes of drugs, such as antibiotics, antituberculosis, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancerous drugs at low doses. They have also improved oral absorption of nutraceuticals like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and certain herbal compounds. Their mechanism of action is mainly through absorption process, drug metabolism, and action on drug target. This paper clearly indicates that scientific researchers and pharmaceutical industries have to give emphasis on experimental studies to find out novel active principles from such a vast array of unexploited plants having a role as a bioavailability and bioefficacy enhancer. Also, the mechanisms of action by which bioenhancer compounds exert bioenhancing effects remain to be explored.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005). In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual. He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001). Many clinical studies have shown that high doses of niacin (3,000-5,000 mg plain old immediate release niacin taken in divided doses spread out over the course of a day) cause dramatic reductions in total mortality in patients that experienced previous strokes (Creider 2012). High dose niacin has also been clinically proven to provide positive transformational relief to many schizophrenics in studies involving administration of immediate release niacin in multi-thousand-milligram quantities to greater than 10,000 patients (Hoffer 1964; Osmond 1962). Most importantly, after 60 years of use the safety profile for niacin (especially immediate release niacin) remains far safer than the safest drug (Guyton 2007).

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Hieu Ngo's curator insight, August 6, 10:55 PM

The previous posts were about how we are always making progress in medicine. This one is the same, just in a different way. In medicine, there will always be controversy. A prime example of this controversy is the vaccine vs. anti-vaccine argument. Another controversy is the one shown in this article: whether Niacin is beneficial to humans or not. This article further solidifies the fact that overall, Niacin is beneficial and can "cause dramatic reductions in total mortality in patients".

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New, accurate epigenetic test could eliminate unnecessary repeat biopsies for prostate cancer

New, accurate epigenetic test could eliminate unnecessary repeat biopsies for prostate cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

More than one million prostate biopsies are performed each year in the U.S. alone, including many repeat biopsies for fear of cancer missed. Therefore there is a need to develop diagnostic tests that will help avoid unnecessary repeat biopsies. Two independent trials have now validated the performance of an epigenetic test that could provide physicians with a better tool to help eliminate unnecessary repeat prostate biopsies, report investigators in The Journal of Urology

 

In the previously reported independent MATLOC (Methylation Analysis To Locate Occult Cancer) trial, a multiplex epigenetic assay (ConfirmMDx for Prostate Cancer) profiling the APC, GSTP1 and RASSF1 genes demonstrated a negative predictive value of 90%. GSTP1 methylation is a specific biomarker for (prostate) cancer and this gene is methylated in up to 90% of prostate cancer cases. Additionally, APC and RASSF1 are important field effect markers and increase the diagnostic sensitivity of the assay.

 

A second multicenter study, DOCUMENT (Detection Of Cancer Using Methylated Events in Negative Tissue), has validated the performance of the epigenetic assay used in the MATLOC trial as an independent predictor of prostate cancer risk to guide decision making for repeat biopsy. In the DOCUMENT study patients with a negative biopsy were evaluated to identify those at low risk for harboring cancer missed, through biopsy sampling error, who could forego an unnecessary repeat biopsy. The validation study resulted in a negative predictive value of 88%.

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Hieu Ngo's curator insight, August 7, 1:56 AM

I liked this article because it informs the people of a new test that can eliminate the need to repeat biopsies for prostate cancer; thus, saving time, money, and effort. It goes to show that we are finding new ways to do things every day. There is always progress to be made and that there is so much to learn about the human body. 

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Wild celery (Smyrnium olusatrum L.) oil and isofuranodiene induce apoptosis in human colon carcinoma cells

Smyrnium olusatrum (Apiaceae), well known as wild celery, is a biennal celery-scented plant used for many centuries as a vegetable, then abandoned after the introduction of celery. In the present work, the essential oil obtained from inflorescences and the amounts of its main constituents isofuranodiene, curzerene and germacrone were analyzed by GC as well as by HPLC because of their degradation (Cope rearrangement) occurring at high temperatures. The oil and the main constituents were assayed for cytotoxic activity on the human colon cancer cell line (HCT116) by MTT assay. Flower oil and isofuranodiene showed noteworthy activity on tumor cells with IC50 of 10.71 and 15.06 μg/ml, respectively. Analysis of the cytotoxic activity showed that wild celery oil and isofuranodiene are able to induce apoptosis in colon cancer cells in a time and concentration-dependent manner suggesting a potential role as models for the development of chemopreventive agents.

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Fresh avocado enhances absorption of essential nutrients and conversion of carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A

Fresh avocado enhances absorption of essential nutrients and conversion of carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Consuming a whole fresh avocado with either an orange-colored tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced provitamin A carotenoid (alpha- and beta-carotene) absorption and conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A, according to new research (1) published in The Journal of Nutrition.

 

Vitamin A is involved in reproductive health and growth promotion; helps support healthy skin, immune function, and vision; and has antioxidant properties. Provitamin A carotenoids, like alpha- and beta-carotene, impart the orange and yellow colors to many fruits and vegetables. The body converts these plant pigments into an active and usable form of vitamin A.

 

The research, “Avocado consumption enhances human post-prandial absorption and conversion from a novel high beta-carotene tomato sauce and from carrots,” conducted at The Ohio State University and supported by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), investigated if avocados could help the body better use and absorb vitamin A from carotene-rich foods when eaten together.

 

Specifically, the research was based on two randomized, two-way crossover feeding studies in 12 healthy men and women. The first study investigated if fresh avocado, when eaten with high beta-carotene tomato sauce, would promote the absorption of provitamin A carotenoids, and the conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A. The second study investigated the same outcome, but replaced high beta-carotene tomato sauce with raw carrots.

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Full study:  http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/8/1158.long

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Matrine induces the apoptosis of lung cancer cells through downregulation of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins and the Akt signaling pathway

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer‑related mortality in humans. The prognosis for advanced lung cancer patients is extremely poor. Current standard care is rather ineffective for prolonging patient life while preserving satisfactory quality of life due to adverse side-effects. Matrine extracted from the traditional Chinese herbal plant Sophora flavescens was shown to induce cancer cell death in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of matrine on the proliferation and apoptosis of lung cancer cells and the molecular basis of matrine-induced apoptosis. The results showed that matrine inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in lung cancer A549 and 95D cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The apoptotic effects of matrine on lung cancer cells appeared to act via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K-Akt-mTOR) signaling pathway and downregulation of the expression of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family proteins. Matrine exerts its cancer-killing effect via promoting apoptosis in lung cancer cells and may be a useful adjuvant therapeutic scheme for treating advanced lung cancer patients.

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Garlic compound fights source of food-borne illness better than antibiotics (100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics )

Garlic compound fights source of food-borne illness better than antibiotics (100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics ) | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Researchers at Washington State University have found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, one of the most common causes of intestinal illness. Their work was recently published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

 

The discovery opens the door to new treatments for raw and processed meats and food preparation surfaces.

 

“This work is very exciting to me because it shows that this compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply,” says Dr. Xiaonan Lu, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the paper.

 

“This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies,” says Michael Konkel, a co-author who has been researching Campylobacter jejuni for 25 years.

 

“Campylobacter”, says Konkel, “is simply the most common bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the United States and probably the world.” Some 2.4 million Americans are affected every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with symptoms including diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever. The bacteria are also responsible for triggering nearly one-third of the cases of a rare paralyzing disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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New study finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food.

New study finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops. 

 

Analysing 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops, the team found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals – and food made from them – would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The study, published today in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition, also shows significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals in organic crops.  Cadmium, which is one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food, was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops than conventionally-grown ones.

Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.

“This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”

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Full paper link: http://csanr.wsu.edu/m2m/papers/organic_meta_analysis/bjn_2014_full_paper.pdf

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Brazil Announces Dengue Fever Emergency in GM Mosquito Trials Region

Brazil Announces Dengue Fever Emergency in GM Mosquito Trials Region | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Civil society groups today expressed alarm at an increase in dengue incidence, leading to an emergency decree, in a town in Brazil where releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes are taking place.

 

The promise was to create genetically modified mosquitoes that would end dengue, but results from field trials conducted in Bahia, Brazil have not been published to date and did not evaluate the relation between Aedes aegypti mosquito populations and the occurrence of dengue. Nevertheless, the Brazilian regulator Comissão Técnica Nacional de Biossegurança (CTNBio) recently gave the green light to the commercialization of the technology proposed by Moscamed Brazil in partnership with the English company Oxitec and the Universidade de São Paulo.

 

The Brazilian press had welcomed the new weapon to combat dengue but missed the information that Jacobina’s mayor, a locality where the trials took place, issued a decree in February 2014 renewing the state of emergency “due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic.”. Before that, Moscamed had announced 81% and 100% reduction in the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in at least two localities of Jacobina, claiming that this meant the experiments were a success. According to Oxitec, pilot-scale releases started in the north-west of Jacobina in June 2013 and the program will roll out across the entire city over two or three years .

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Onion eaters: Allium components active against type 2 diabetes.

Onion eaters: Allium components active against type 2 diabetes. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

With nearly 350 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes, the World Health Organization has predicted that it will become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, the number of deaths doubling between 2005 and 2030. About 90% of the cases are type 2 diabetes, which can be deflected by lifestyle changes such as exercise and controlled by pharmaceuticals.

 

One set of drugs is aimed at inhibiting the enzyme in the small intestine which promotes the degradation of complex sugars into smaller ones which can be absorbed. This enzyme, α-glucosidase, is also inhibited by extracts of certain members of the onion family. Recent research on garlic and the common onion has pinpointed the compounds responsible for this effect.

 

Now, researchers in Denmark have investigated a much wider range of members of the Allium family to see if they have the same inhibitory effect. Dan Staerk, Jeppe Schmidt and Nils Nyberg from the University of Copenhagen examined extracts of the leaves and bulbs of 35 different species, with the ultimate aim of securing them as functional foods which can manage type 2 diabetes.

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Comparison of Lifestyle Risk Factors by Family History for Gastric, Breast, Lung and Colorectal Cancer.

Comparison of Lifestyle Risk Factors by Family History for Gastric, Breast, Lung and Colorectal Cancer. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

To assess the theoretical impact of lifestyle of a cancer family history in first-degree relatives (CFH) and clarify ‍interactions between CFH and lifestyle factors, hospital-based comparison and case-reference studies were conducted ‍in Nagoya, Japan. Totals of 1988 gastric, 2455 breast, 1398 lung and 1352 colorectal cancer patients, as well as 50,706 ‍non-cancer outpatients collected from 1988 to 1998, were checked for lifestyle factors, which included dietary and ‍physical exercise habits, as well as smoking/drinking status. General lifestyle factors with non-cancer outpatients ‍did not differ by the CFH status. Case-reference analyses showed that frequent intake of fruits, raw vegetables, ‍carrots, pumpkin, cabbage and lettuce, as well as frequent physical exercise, were associated with decreased risk for ‍all four sites of cancer, while habitual smoking increasing the risk of gastric, and more particularly, lung cancer. ‍Interestingly, the study revealed the magnitude of odds ratios for the above lifestyle factors obtained from CFH ‍positives to be similar to those from CFH negatives for these four sites of cancer. There were no significant interactions ‍between CFH and any particular lifestyle factor. In conclusion, our results suggest no appreciable influence of CFH ‍on lifestyle related risk factors for gastric, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. Habitual smoking increased, while ‍frequent physical exercise and raw vegetables intake decreased cancer risk, regardless of the CFH status.‍

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Vitamin A, Carotenoids, and Risk of Persistent Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus Infection

Oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main etiologic factor for cervical neoplasia, although infection alone is insufficient to produce disease. Cofactors such as nutritional factors may be necessary for viral progression to neoplasia. Results from previous studies have suggested that higher dietary consumption and circulating levels of certain micronutrients may be protective against cervical neoplasia. This study evaluated the role of vitamin A and carotenoids on HPV persistence comparing women with intermittent and persistent infections. As determined by the Hybrid Capture II system, oncogenic HPV infections were assessed at baseline and at approximately 3 and 9 months postbaseline. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk of persistent HPV infection associated with each tertile of dietary and circulating micronutrients. Higher levels of vegetable consumption were associated with a 54% decrease risk of HPV persistence (adjusted odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.21–0.97). Also, a 56% reduction in HPV persistence risk was observed in women with the highest plasma cis-lycopene concentrations compared with women with the lowest plasma cis-lycopene concentrations (adjusted odds ratio, 0.44; 95% confidence interval, 0.19–1.01). These data suggest that vegetable consumption and circulating cis-lycopene may be protective against HPV persistence.

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Resveratrol–zinc combination for prostate cancer management

Resveratrol–zinc combination for prostate cancer management | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Zinc, an essential trace element, plays a critical role in cell signaling, and defect(s) in zinc homeostasis may contribute to adverse physiological and pathological conditions, including cancer. Zinc is present in healthy prostate at a very high concentration, where it is required for important prostatic functions. However, zinc levels are significantly diminished in cancerous tissue, and intracellular zinc level is inversely correlated with prostate cancer progression. During neoplastic transformation, zinc-accumulating, citrate-producing normal prostate cells are metabolically transformed to citrate oxidizing cells that lose the ability to accumulate zinc. Interestingly, zinc has been shown to function as chemopreventive agent against prostate cancer, albeit at high doses, which may lead to many adverse effects. Therefore, novel means to enhance bioaccumulation of sufficient zinc in prostate cells via increasing zinc transport could be useful against prostate cancer. On the basis of available evidence, we present a possibility that the grape antioxidant resveratrol, when given with zinc, may lead to retuning the zinc homeostasis in prostate, thereby abolishing or reversing malignancy. If experimentally verified in in vivo model(s) of prostate cancer, such as transgenic mouse models, this may lead to novel means toward management of prostate cancer and other conditions with compromised zinc homeostasis.

 

Full text: https://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cc/2014CC5762R.pdf

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Effect of Carum carvi, a herbal bioenhancer on pharmacokinetics of antitubercular drugs: A study in healthy human volunteers

Effect of Carum carvi, a herbal bioenhancer on pharmacokinetics of antitubercular drugs: A study in healthy human volunteers | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Tuberculosis is a complex socioeconomic disease that apart from its alarming death statistics in developing countries is also a cause of concern for industrialized nations. Its treatment poses many difficulties in the form of poor and variable bioavailability of antitubercular drugs. Of many approaches applied for increasing bioavailability of these drugs, one is use of herbal bioenhancers. Earlier reports in rats indicate bioenhancing potential of C. carvi when it was administered along with rifampicin. A recent report has also shown its bioenhancing action on rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide in rats. The current study has indicated bioenhancing potential of C. carvi along with ATT therapy for the first time in humans. Thereby there exists the possibility of ameliorating the dose-related toxicity of ATT by allowing reformulation of dose reduction.

 

C. carvi has been used since ages for many ailments in different parts of the world. It is a prized culinary herb, which is extensively used across different cultures. This herb has been mentioned in Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine prescriptions for a variety of ailments. It has been used as a carminative, stomachic, aromatic, and diuretic.

 

There has been no study till date using C. carvi as bioenhancer along with antitubercular drugs in humans. The present study is the first of its kind to determine in humans the bioenhancing potential of C. carvi along with antitubercular drugs.

 

In our study, the various pharmacokinetic parameters were comprehensively studied. The results show that addition of C. carvi extract led to increase in plasma levels of rifampicin, which peaked at 4 h. Similar increase was observed with isoniazid and pyrazinamide levels, which increased in same fashion with peak at 3 h (P < 0.0001) .

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Bedtime light 'may stop cancer drug'

Bedtime light 'may stop cancer drug' | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Even low levels of light in bedrooms may stop breast cancer drugs from working, US researchers have warned.

 

Animal tests showed light, equivalent to that from street lamps, could lead to tumours becoming resistant to the widely used drug Tamoxifen.

 

The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, showed the light affected sleep hormones, which in turn altered cancer cell function.

 

UK experts said it was an intriguing finding, but not proven in people.

 

Tamoxifen has transformed the treatment of breast cancer by extending lives and increasing survival times.

 

It stops the female hormone oestrogen fuelling the growth of tumours although the cancerous cells may eventually become resistant to the drug.

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Flavonoids from each of the six structural groups reactivate BRM, a possible cofactor for the anticancer effects of flavonoids.

Flavonoids have been extensively studied and are well documented to have anticancer effects, but it is not entirely known how they impact cellular mechanisms to elicit these effects. In the course of this study, we found that a variety of different flavonoids readily restored Brahma (BRM) in BRM-deficient cancer cell lines. Flavonoids from each of the six different structural groups were effective at inducing BRM expression as well as inhibiting growth in these BRM-deficient cancer cells. By blocking the induction of BRM with shRNA, we found that flavonoid-induced growth inhibition was BRM dependent. We also found that flavonoids can restore BRM functionality by reversing BRM acetylation. In addition, we observed that an array of natural flavonoid-containing products both induced BRM expression as well as deacetylated the BRM protein. We also tested two of the BRM-inducing flavonoids (Rutin and Diosmin) at both a low and a high dose on the development of tumors in an established murine lung cancer model. We found that these flavonoids effectively blocked development of adenomas in the lungs of wild-type mice but not in that of BRMnull mice. These data demonstrate that BRM expression and function are regulated by flavonoids and that functional BRM appears to be a prerequisite for the anticancer effects of flavonoids both in vitro and in vivo.

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Hieu Ngo's curator insight, August 7, 12:24 AM

Some things just work. We don't know why but we will exploit it. This makes it nice when we do find out the reason behind the magic of it all. I liked this article because cancer is a risk everyone faces and thus, advances in medicine can help reduce said risk. I chose this mainly because cancer has had a role in everyone's lives. Whether it be from a family member or just someone you know. And anything that can help reduce the risk of it is always helpful.

 

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A Phase II Clinical Trial of Natural Formulation Containing Tea Catechins for Xerostomia.

Previous animal studies indicated catechins from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) may modulate salivary function and possess a therapeutic effect for xerostomia. The objective of this study was to evaluate a natural formulation containing tea catechins in 60 xerostomia patients, including patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, using a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized design. The functional placebo contained all natural formulation ingredients and 500 mg xylitol, but without the key plant extracts. After 8 weeks of therapy, the xylitol-containing placebo failed to modulate saliva output. In comparison, the catechin-containing natural formulation resulted in a statistically significant increase in un-stimulated (3.8-fold) and stimulated (2.1-fold) saliva output verses baseline. The quality of life score showed a significant improvement in both groups, but no significant difference between groups. In conclusion, the catechin-containing natural formula partially restored salivary function in xerostomia patients and provided an objective improvement in saliva output, which warrants large-scale clinical trials.

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Carotenoid Absorption from Salad and Salsa by Humans Is Enhanced by the Addition of Avocado or Avocado Oil

Dietary lipids are hypothesized to be an important factor for carotenoid bioavailability. However, most carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are low in lipids. The objective of this study was to assess whether the addition of avocado fruit as a lipid source enhances carotenoid absorption in humans. Healthy subjects (n = 11/study) were recruited for 2 crossover, postprandial studies. The effect of avocado addition (150 g) to salsa on lycopene and β-carotene absorption was examined in Study 1, and the absorption of lutein, α-carotene, and β-carotene from salad in Study 2. Furthermore, the effects of avocado dose (75 vs. 150 g containing 12 vs. 24 g lipid, respectively) and of lipid source (avocado fruit vs. avocado oil) on carotenoid absorption were examined in Study 2. Intact carotenoids were quantified in the plasma triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein (TRL) fraction during the 9.5 h after consumption of the test meal and expressed as baseline-corrected area under the concentration-vs.-time curve (AUC). The addition of avocado to salsa enhanced lycopene and β-carotene absorption (P < 0.003), resulting in 4.4 and 2.6 times the mean AUC after intake of avocado-free salsa, respectively. In Study 2, supplementing 150 g avocado or 24 g avocado oil to salad similarly enhanced α-carotene, β-carotene, and lutein absorption (P < 0.01), resulting in 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times the mean AUC after intake of avocado-free salad, respectively (150 g avocado). Neither the avocado dose nor the lipid source affected carotenoid absorption. In conclusion, adding avocado fruit can significantly enhance carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa, which is attributed primarily to the lipids present in avocado.

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Effect of Lychee Fruit Extract (Oligonol) on Peripheral Circulation, a Pilot Study

Effect of Lychee Fruit Extract (Oligonol) on Peripheral Circulation, a Pilot Study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 Poor blood circulation often manifests as small but chronic temperature differences in the peripheral extremities, and the surface of the skin may be an indication of abnormal blood flow and more serious vascular or circulation disorders. This study investigates the effect of Oligonol, a highly bioavailable source of low–molecular weight polyphenols extracted from lychee fruit, on peripheral blood circulation using skin thermography. The results suggest that Oligonol might act as a vasodilator and be an effective treatment for a variety of vasoconstriction symptoms such as cold hands and feet, shoulder discomfort, and diabetes-related vascular problems.

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New research reveals how cannabis compound could slow tumour growth.

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumour growth in cancer patients.

 

Research published today reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug’s success in shrinking tumours.

It is hoped that the findings could help develop a synthetic equivalent with anti-cancer properties.

The research was co-led with the Universidad Complutense de Madridin, Spain. The team used samples of human cancer cells to induce tumours in mice. They then targeted the tumours with doses of the cannabis compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). They found that two cell receptors in particular were responsible for the drug’s anti-tumour effects.

Dr Peter McCormick, from UEA’s school of Pharmacy, said: “THC, the major active component of marijuana, has anti-cancer properties. This compound is known to act through a specific family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. However, it was unclear which of these receptors were responsible for the anti-tumour effects of THC.

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Histone Modifications Are Associated with Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol mediated Alterations in Antigen specific T Cell Responses

Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs due to its psychotropic effects. Interestingly, it is also used for medicinal purposes. The main psychotropic component in marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has also been shown to mediate potent anti-inflammatory properties. Whether the immunomodulatory activity of THC is mediated by epigenetic regulation has not been investigated previously. In this study, we employed ChIP-Seq technology to examine the in vivo effect of THC on global histone methylation in lymph node cells of mice immunized with a superantigen, staphylococcal enterotoxin B. We compared genome-wide histone H3 Lys-4, Lys-27, Lys-9, and Lys-36 trimethylation and histone H3 Lys-9 acetylation patterns in such cells exposed to THC or vehicle. Our results showed that THC treatment leads to the association of active histone modification signals to Th2 cytokine genes and suppressive modification signals to Th1 cytokine genes, indicating that such a mechanism may play a critical role in the THC-mediated switch from Th1 to Th2. At the global level, a significant portion of histone methylation and acetylation regions were altered by THC. However, the overall distribution of these histone methylation signals among the genomic features was not altered significantly by THC, suggesting that THC activates the expression of a subset of genes while suppressing the expression of another subset of genes through histone modification. Functional classification of these histone marker-associated genes showed that these differentially associated genes were involved in various cellular functions, from cell cycle regulation to metabolism, suggesting that THC had a pleiotropic effect on gene expression in immune cells. Altogether, the current study demonstrates for the first time that THC may modulate immune response through epigenetic regulation involving histone modifications.

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