Fatigue is one of the common complaints of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and its treatment is relatively unclear. Ginseng is one of the herbal medicines possessing antifatigue properties, and its administration in MS for such a purpose has been scarcely evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ginseng in the treatment of fatigue and the quality of life of MS patients.
Eligible female MS patients were randomized in a double-blind manner, to receive 250-mg ginseng or placebo twice daily over 3 months. Outcome measures included the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) and the Iranian version of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality Of Life Questionnaire (MSQOL-54). The questionnaires were used after randomization, and again at the end of the study.
Of 60 patients who were enrolled in the study, 52 (86%) subjects completed the trial with good drug tolerance. Statistical analysis showed better effects for ginseng than the placebo as regards MFIS (p = 0.046) and MSQOL (p ≤ 0.0001) after 3 months. No serious adverse events were observed during follow-up.
This study indicates that 3-month ginseng treatment can reduce fatigue and has a significant positive effect on quality of life. Ginseng is probably a good candidate for the relief of MS-related fatigue. Further studies are needed to shed light on the efficacy of ginseng in this field.
Citrus flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds with powerful biological properties. This review aims to summarize recent advances towards understanding the ability of citrus flavonoids to regulate lipid metabolism and other metabolic parameters relevant to the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Citrus flavonoids, including naringenin, hesperidin, nobiletin and tangeretin, have emerged as promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of metabolic dysregulation. Epidemiological studies report that intake of citrus flavonoid-containing foods attenuates cardiovascular diseases. Experimental and a limited number of clinical studies reveal lipid-lowering, insulin-sensitizing, antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties. In animal models, citrus flavonoid supplements prevent hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia and insulin sensitivity primarily through inhibition of hepatic fatty acid synthesis and increased fatty acid oxidation. Citrus flavonoids blunt the inflammatory response in metabolically important tissues including liver, adipose tissue, kidney and the aorta. The mechanisms underlying flavonoid-induced metabolic regulation have not been completely established. In mouse models, citrus flavonoids show marked suppression of atherogenesis through improved metabolic parameters and also through direct impact on the vessel wall.
These recent studies suggest an important role of citrus flavonoids in the treatment of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hepaticsteatosis, obesity and atherosclerosis. The favorable outcomes are achieved through multiple mechanisms. Human studies focussed on dose, bioavailability, efficacy and safety are required to propel the use of these promising therapeutic agents into the clinical arena.
A former researcher at Iowa State University (ISU) faked results of experiments to make tests of a vaccine against HIV in animals look more powerful, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).
Specifically, ORI and ISU found that Dong-Pyou Han
falsified results in research to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) by intentionally spiking samples of rabbit sera with antibodies to provide the desired results. The falsification made it appear that rabbits immunized with the gp41-54 moiety of the HIV gp41 glycoprotein induced antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad range of HIV-1 strains, when the original sera were weakly or non-reactive in neutralization assays. Falsified neutralization assay results were widely reported in laboratory meetings, seven (7) national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012, and in grant applications and progress reports P01 AI074286-03, −04, −05, and −06; R33 AI076083-04; U19 AI091031-01 and −03; and R01 AI090921-01. Specifically:
Nigella sativa had been documented to possess many therapeutic functions in medicine but the least expected is sero-reversion in HIV infection which is very rare despite extensive therapy with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). This case presentation is to highlight the complete recovery and sero-reversion of adult HIV patient after treatment with Nigella sativa concoction for the period of six months. The patient presented to the herbal therapist with history of chronic fever, diarrhoea, weight loss and multiple papular pruritic lesions of 3 months duration. Examination revealed moderate weight loss, and the laboratory tests of ELISA (Genscreen) and western blot (new blot 1 & 2) confirmed sero-positivity to HIV infection with pre-treatment viral (HIV-RNA) load and CD4 count of 27,000 copies/ml and CD4 count of 250 cells/ mm(3) respectively. The patient was commenced on Nigella sativa concoction 10mls twice daily for 6 months.. He was contacted daily to monitor side-effects and drug efficacy. Fever, diarrhoea and multiple pruritic lesions disappeared on 5th, 7th and 20th day respectively on Nigella sativa therapy. The CD4 count decreased to 160 cells/ mm3 despite significant reduction in viral load (≤1000 copies/ml) on 30th day on N. sativa. Repeated EIA and Western blot tests on 187th day on Nigella sativa therapy was sero-negative. The post therapy CD4 count was 650cells/ mm(3) with undetectable viral (HIV-RNA) load. Several repeats of the HIV tests remained sero-negative, aviraemia and normal CD4 count since 24 months without herbal therapy. This case report reflects the fact that there are possible therapeutic agents in Nigella sativa that may effectively control HIV infection.
Anticarcinogenic effects of polyphenolic compounds in fruits and vegetables are well established. Although polyphenols naturally occur as combinations, little information is available regarding possible synergistic or antagonistic biochemical interactions between compounds. Identifying potential interactions between polyphenols may provide information regarding the efficiency of polyphenol-containing foods in cancer prevention. The objective of this study was to investigate the interactions of ellagic acid and quercetin with resveratrol, polyphenols which occur in muscadine grapes, with the hypothesis that the selected polyphenols would interact synergistically in the induction of apoptosis and reduction of cell growth in human leukemia cells (MOLT-4). To test this hypothesis, alterations in cell cycle kinetics, proliferation, and apoptosis (caspase-3 activity) were examined after incubation with ellagic acid, quercetin, and resveratrol as single compounds and in combination. Results showed a more than additive interaction for the combination of ellagic acid with resveratrol and furthermore, significant alterations in cell cycle kinetics induced by single compounds and combinations were observed. An isobolographic analysis was performed to assess the apparent synergistic interaction for the combinations of ellagic acid with resveratrol and quercetin with resveratrol in the induction of caspase 3 activity, confirming a synergistic interaction with a combination index of 0.64 for the combination of ellagic acid and resveratrol and 0.68 for quercetin and resveratrol. Results indicate that the anticarcinogenic potential of foods containing polyphenols may not be based on the effects of individual compounds, but may involve a synergistic enhancement of the anticancer effects.Click here to edit the content
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are ranked as the first and second leading causes of death in the United States and in most industrialized countries. Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging. Prevention is a more effective strategy than is treatment of chronic diseases. Functional foods that contain significant amounts of bioactive components may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition and play important roles in the prevention of chronic diseases. The key question is whether a purified phytochemical has the same health benefit as does the whole food or mixture of foods in which the phytochemical is present. Our group found, for example, that the vitamin C in apples with skin accounts for only 0.4% of the total antioxidant activity, suggesting that most of the antioxidant activity of fruit and vegetables may come from phenolics and flavonoids in apples. We propose that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities, and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods.