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microRNAs in Circulation Are Altered in Response to Influenza A Virus Infection in Humans

microRNAs in Circulation Are Altered in Response to Influenza A Virus Infection in Humans | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Changes in microRNA expression have been detected in vitro in influenza infected cells, yet little is known about them in patients. microRNA profiling was performed on whole blood of H1N1 patients to identify signature microRNAs to better understand the gene regulation involved and possibly improve diagnosis. Total RNA extracted from blood samples of influenza infected patients and healthy controls were subjected to microRNA microarray. Expression profiles of circulating microRNAs were altered and distinctly different in influenza patients. Expression of highly dysregulated microRNAs were validated using quantitative PCR. Fourteen highly dysregulated miRNAs, identified from the blood of influenza infected patients, provided a clear distinction between infected and healthy individuals. Of these, expression of miR-1260, -26a, -335*, -576-3p, -628-3p and -664 were consistently dysregulated in both whole blood and H1N1 infected cells. Potential host and viral gene targets were identified and the impact of microRNA dysregulation on the host proteome was studied. Consequences of their altered expression were extrapolated to changes in the host proteome expression. These highly dysregulated microRNAs may have crucial roles in influenza pathogenesis and are potential biomarkers of influenza.

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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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Evaluation of the effects of manuka honey on salivary levels of mutans streptococci in children: A pilot study.

Evaluation of the effects of manuka honey on salivary levels of mutans streptococci in children: A pilot study. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The results of this clinical trial showed that all three MH subgroups exhibited significant reductions in salivary mutans streptococci count when baseline values were compared with post treatment values after day 10 and day 21. These results showed that there is a definite decrease in the salivary mutans streptococci levels even within 10 days of regular use of manuka honey irrespective of the baseline salivary mutans streptococci count. The control groups, however, did not show any significant change, when day 10 and day 21 values were compared with baseline values. An interesting observation of the present study was that the Control Group subgroup 3 (CG 3) demonstrated a significant reduction in bacterial counts from baseline to the day 10. But this trend did not seem to last till the end after 21 days. This initial decrease in the values in CG 3 may possibly be explained by the Hawthorne effect or Participation effect. The Hawthorne effect refers to changes in the behavior of subjects that occur solely as a function of participation in an experiment, seen in the initial stages of clinical trials.

 

Intergroup comparisons revealed that there were no significant differences in salivary mutans streptococci levels between the MH group and the CG (and their respective subgroups) at baseline. This implies that both groups (and their respective subgroups) were statistically equivalent before the start of treatment. It was observed that, after 10 days and 21 days, all MG subgroups showed statistically significant differences over the CG subgroups. Thus, in the present study, the use of manuka honey emerged as an effective adjunctive oral hygiene measure in reducing colony counts.

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Influence of polyphenol extract from evening primrose (Oenothera paradoxa) seeds on human prostate and breast cancer cell lines.

There is growing interest in plant polyphenols which exhibit pleiotropic biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects. The objective of our study was to evaluate the influence of an evening primrose extract (EPE) from defatted seeds on viability and invasiveness of three human cell lines: PNT1A (normal prostate cells), DU145 (prostate cancer cells) and MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer cells). The results revealed that after 72 h of incubation the tested extract reduced the viability of DU 145 and MDA-MB-231 with IC50 equal to 14.5 μg/mL for both cell lines. In contrast, EPE did not inhibit the viability of normal prostate cells. Furthermore, EPE reduced PNT1A and MDA-MB-231 cell invasiveness; at the concentration of 21.75 μg/mL the suppression of invasion reached 92% and 47%, respectively (versus control). Additionally, zymographic analysis revealed that after 48 h of incubation EPE inhibited metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activities in a dose-dependent manner. For PNT1A the activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 decreased 4- and 2-fold, respectively, at EPE concentration of 29 μg/mL. In the case of MDA-MB-231 and DU 145 the decrease in MMP-9 activity at EPE concentration of 29 μg/mL was 5.5-fold and almost 1.9-fold, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that EPE may exhibit antimigratory, anti-invasive and antimetastatic potential towards prostate and breast cancer cell lines.

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The effect of the macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet vs. the recommended diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: the randomized controlled MADIAB trial

In overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes, a short-term (21 days) nutritional intervention trial using 2 different diets showed that both diets resulted in beneficial effects on metabolic parameters. The macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet was associated with a greater reduction in fasting and post prandial plasma glucose, HbA1c, serum cholesterol, HOMA-IR, BMI, and waist and hip circumferences than the standard control diet.

 

Our study is the first randomized trial to assess and quantify the reported beneficial effects of the Ma-Pi 2 diet versus the standard nutritional recommendations for type 2 diabetes. In this trial patients consuming the Ma-Pi 2 diet experienced a statistically significantly greater benefit in terms of reduced FBG, PPBG, HbA1c, and HOMA–IR, compared to patients receiving the control diet, suggesting that the Ma-Pi 2 macrobiotic diet is a more effective dietary intervention than the standard recommended diet for improving metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Also, significantly greater weight loss was obtained in the Ma-Pi 2 diet group compared with the control group, despite consumption of the same energy content in both diets. The Ma-Pi 2 diet was also higher in fiber content by up to 10 g/1000 kcal (50%) than the control diet which may also have contributed to the greater weight loss in the Ma-Pi 2 diet group; Langlois et al. conducted a retrospective cohort study of the Canadian population and found that dietary fiber intake was inversely related with incidence of obesity.

 

A reduction in total cholesterol, LDLc and LDL/HDL ratio was observed with both diets, but was significantly higher with the Ma-Pi 2 diet. This could be the result of a higher intake of wholegrain cereals; this is in line with a Cochrane review on the effect of wholegrain cereals on coronary heart disease that found that short-term dietary oatmeal intervention was associated with lower total cholesterol and LDLc

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Nrf2 as a Master Redox Switch in Turning on the Cellular Signaling Involved in the Induction of Cytoprotective Genes by Some Chemopreventive Phytochemicals

Nrf2 as a Master Redox Switch in Turning on the Cellular Signaling Involved in the Induction of Cytoprotective Genes by Some Chemopreventive Phytochemicals | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Considering the burden of health-care cost as a major global concern, the dietary chemoprevention provides an inexpensive, readily applicable, and easily accessible approach to cancer control and management. In general, dietary phytochemicals exert their chemopreventive effects through multiple mechanisms. The saturation of cellular defense mechanisms due to overwhelming external stress or their disruption as a consequence of deregulated intracellular signaling pathways responsible for inducing expression of a battery of carcinogen detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes would make cells/tissues more vulnerable to oxidative, nitrosative and inflammatory insults implicated in multi-stage carcinogenesis. Therefore, fortification of cellular defense mechanism or restoration of stress-response signaling by intaking dietary phytonutrients provides an important strategy for chemoprevention.

 

Activation of Nrf2 signaling by chemopreventive phytochemicals. Chemopreventive phytochemicals can activate Nrf2 signaling by inducing phosphorylation of Nrf2 via activation of upstream protein kinases and/or through direct interaction with Keap1 cysteine thiols. The subsequent induction of cytoprotective enzymes can abrogate oxidative stress and inflammatory tissue injury, thereby blocking DNA damage or suppressing proliferation of initiated cells and malignant transformation.

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Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects

Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) influences energy-related metabolism and neurologic functions in animals. The mechanism of action involves interactions with cell signaling pathways and mitochondrial function. However, little is known about the response to PQQ in humans. Using a crossover study design, 10 subjects (5 females, 5 males) ingested PQQ added to a fruit-flavored drink in two separate studies. In study 1, PQQ was given in a single dose (0.2 mg PQQ/kg). Multiple measurements of plasma and urine PQQ levels and changes in antioxidant potential [based on total peroxyl radical-trapping potential and thiobarbituric acid reactive product (TBAR) assays] were made throughout the period of 48 h. In study 2, PQQ was administered as a daily dose (0.3 mg PQQ/kg). After 76 h, measurements included indices of inflammation [plasma C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-6 levels], standard clinical indices (e.g., cholesterol, glucose, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, etc.) and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance estimates of urinary metabolites related in part to oxidative metabolism. The standard clinical indices were normal and not altered by PQQ supplementation. However, dietary PQQ exposure (Study 1) resulted in apparent changes in antioxidant potential based on malonaldehyde-related TBAR assessments. In Study 2, PQQ supplementation resulted in significant decreases in the levels of plasma C-reactive protein, IL-6 and urinary methylated amines such as trimethylamine N-oxide, and changes in urinary metabolites consistent with enhanced mitochondria-related functions. The data are among the first to link systemic effects of PQQ in animals to corresponding effects in humans.

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Epstein-Barr Virus: The Path from Association to Causality for a Ubiquitous Human Pathogen

Epstein-Barr Virus: The Path from Association to Causality for a Ubiquitous Human Pathogen | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a herpes virus, is now accepted as a bona fide human tumor virus and has been found to be a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Epidemiological studies and molecular virology have been combined to establish EBV's causal roles in several lymphomas and carcinomas. The success of these combined approaches illustrates what insights will be needed to confirm or refute EBV as a cause of MS.

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Prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer by curcumin in combination with omega-3

Pancreatic cancer BxPC-3 cells were exposed to curcumin, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or combinations of both and analyzed for proliferation and apoptosis. Pancreatic tumor xenografts were established by injecting BxPC-3 cells into each flank of nude mice. After the tumors reached a size of approximately 190-200 mm(3), animals were fed diets with or without 2,000 ppm curcumin in 18% corn oil or 15% fish oil + 3% corn oil for 6 more wk before assessing the tumor volume and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygeanse-2 (COX-2), 5-lipoxinase (5-LOX), and p21. A synergistic effect was observed on induction of apoptosis (approximately sixfold) and inhibition of cell proliferation (approximately 70%) when cells were treated with curcumin (5 microM) together with the DHA (25 microM). Mice fed fish oil and curcumin showed a significantly reduced tumor volume, 25% (P < 0.04) and 43% (P < 0.005), respectively, and importantly, a combination of curcumin and fish oil diet showed > 72% (P < 0.0001) tumor volume reduction. Expression and activity of iNOS, COX-2, and 5-LOX are downregulated, and p21 is upregulated in tumor xenograft fed curcumin combined with fish oil diet when compared to individual diets. The preceding results evidence for the first time that curcumin combined with omega-3 fatty acids provide synergistic pancreatic tumor inhibitory properties.

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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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A commercialized dietary supplement alleviates joint pain in community adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled community trial

This 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 100 community adults reporting joint pain showed that Instaflex is efficacious and safe to use, with no adverse symptomology or negative effects on general metabolism and liver and kidney function. Instaflex caused significant reductions in joint pain for the whole group. Among the 74% of subjects with knee pain, difficulties performing daily activities were attenuated. Joint pain reduction effects from Instaflex become apparent by the fourth week of supplementation, and occurred without changes in systemic inflammation or distance walked in six minutes.

 

The primary outcomes of this study were the pain, stiffness, and function indexes of the WOMAC. The magnitude of decrease in joint pain for all subjects in the Instaflex (↓37%) compared to placebo (↓16%) group, and decrease in difficulties performing daily activities for those with knee pain (↓39% vs. ↓14%), is comparable to or higher than what has been reported in other studies using chondroprotective or anti-inflammatory dietary supplements in subjects with osteoarthritis. For comparison with a lifestyle change factor, one study of 250 subjects showed that weight loss of 5% and higher (median 11.1 kg) resulted in a 54% decrease in the WOMAC pain index after adjustment for age, sex, and baseline weight.

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Artificial spleen cleans up blood

Artificial spleen cleans up blood | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Researchers have developed a high-tech method to rid the body of infections — even those caused by unknown pathogens. A device inspired by the spleen can quickly clean blood of everything from Escherichia coli to Ebola, researchers report on 14 September in Nature Medicine

 

Blood infections can be very difficult to treat, and can lead to sepsis, an often-fatal immune response. More than 50% of the time, physicians cannot diagnose the cause of an infection that has prompted sepsis, and so they resort to antibiotics that attack a broad range of bacteria. This approach is not always effective, and can lead to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

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Blocking Tumor-Derived Protein Halts Cachexia in Preclinical Study.

Blocking Tumor-Derived Protein Halts Cachexia in Preclinical Study. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

New research raises the prospect of more effective treatments for cachexia, a profound wasting of fat and muscle occurring in about half of all cancer patients, raising their risk of death, according to scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In a study reported in Nature, Spiegelman et al demonstrated that symptoms of cachexia improved or were prevented in mice bearing lung tumors when they were given an antibody that blocked the effects of the parathyroid hormone–related protein (PTHrP), which is secreted by many types of cancer cells.

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Sapodilla Plum (Achras sapota) Induces Apoptosis in Cancer Cell Lines and Inhibits Tumor Progression in Mice.

Sapodilla Plum (Achras sapota) Induces Apoptosis in Cancer Cell Lines and Inhibits Tumor Progression in Mice. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Intake of fruits rich in antioxidants in daily diet is suggested to be cancer preventive. Sapota is a tropical fruit grown and consumed extensively in several countries including India and Mexico. Here we show that methanolic extracts of Sapota fruit (MESF) induces cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner in cancer cell lines. Cell cycle analysis suggested activation of apoptosis, without arresting cell cycle progression. Annexin V-propidium iodide double-staining demonstrated that Sapota fruit extracts potentiate apoptosis rather than necrosis in cancer cells. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, upregulation of proapoptotic proteins, activation of MCL-1, PARP-1, and Caspase 9 suggest that MESF treatment leads to activation of mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. More importantly, we show that MESF treatment leads to significant inhibition of tumor growth and a 3-fold increase in the life span of tumor bearing animals compared to untreated tumor mice.
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Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral infection

Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral infection | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

There has been very little success treating acute EBV infection and mononucleosis with drugs. Corticosteroids may be helpful in treating complications of infectious mononucleosis including central nervous system involvement, myocarditis, tonsillar enlargement causing airway obstruction, and hemolytic anemia. However, a double-blind study showed that acyclovir had no significant effect on symptoms of EBV-related infectious mononucleosis. The combination of acyclovir and prednisolone did not affect the symptom duration or development of specific cellular immunity against EBV.

 

Our data provide evidence that high dose (7.5 to 50 grams) intravenous vitamin C therapy may have a positive effect on disease duration and may reduce viral antibody levels. This is, to our knowledge, the first clinical study of ascorbic acid and EBV infection. The reduction in EBV EA IgG and EBV VCA IgM antibody levels over time during IVC therapy is consistent with observations from the literature that millimolar levels of ascorbate hinder viral infection and replication in vitro. The benefit seems to be dependent upon the number of IVC treatments given, as patients given five or more IVCs had significantly greater reduction in EBV EA IgG when compared to untreated controls. We also can confirm observations that relate vitamin C depletion to EBV infection. The possible mechanisms for this involve the effect of viral infection on cellular glucose uptake rates and increased oxidative stress. Viruses are thought to increase cellular expression of the glucose transporter: this in turn would increase the rate of ascorbic acid uptake into the cell, since ascorbic acid enters cells as dehydroascorbate via these same glucose transporters.

 

Another important finding is the potential role of vitamin D in reducing viral antibody levels. Vitamin D has an important “non-classic” influence on the body’s immune system by modulating the innate and adaptive immune system, influencing the production of important endogenous antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin, and regulating the inflammatory cascade. Vitamin D may modulate the production of cytokines, suppressing inflammation, and reduce the severity of viral infection. Multiple epidemiological studies in adults and children have demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk and greater severity of infection, particularly of the respiratory tract. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct anti-viral effects particularly against enveloped viruses. It may be worth exploring the combination of vitamin D with vitamin C and other antioxidants in treating EBV infected subjects.

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Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health

The bioavailability and effects of polyphenols greatly depend on their transformation by components of the gut microbiota. Different studies have been carried out to understand the gut microbiota transformation of particular polyphenol types and identify the microorganisms responsible. The modulation of the gut microbial population by phenolics was also reviewed in order to understand the two-way phenolic-microbiota interaction. It is clear that dietary polyphenols and their metabolites contribute to the maintenance of gut health by the modulation of the gut microbial balance through the stimulation of the growth of beneficial bacteria and the inhibition of pathogen bacteria, exerting prebiotic-like effects. However, data on the impact of polyphenols on the gut microbiota and their mechanisms of action in humans are scarce. In addition, a better understanding of the dietary phenolic and gut microbiota relationship by the combination of metagenomic and metabolomic studies provides more insight into the health effects of polyphenols.

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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".