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Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. [Am J Clin Nutr. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. [Am J Clin Nutr. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The results of studies investigating the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity in humans are inconsistent. Objective: We aimed to quantitatively evaluate the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

DESIGN:

We performed a strategic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library (updated to January 2013) for randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of green tea and green tea extract on glucose control and insulin sensitivity. Study quality was assessed by using the Jadad scale. Weighted mean differences were calculated for net changes in glycemic measures by using fixed-effects or random-effects models. We conducted prespecified subgroup and sensitivity analyses to explore potential heterogeneity. Meta-regression analyses were conducted to investigate dose effects of green tea on fasting glucose and insulin concentrations.

RESULTS:

Seventeen trials comprising a total of 1133 subjects were included in the current meta-analysis. Green tea consumption significantly reduced the fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) concentrations by -0.09 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.15, -0.03 mmol/L; P < 0.01) and -0.30% (95% CI: -0.37, -0.22%; P < 0.01), respectively. Further stratified analyses from high Jadad score studies showed that green tea significantly reduced fasting insulin concentrations (-1.16 μIU/mL; 95% CI: -1.91, -0.40 μIU/mL; P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

This meta-analysis suggested that green tea had favorable effects, ie, decreased fasting glucose and Hb A1c concentrations. Subgroup analyses showed a significant reduction in fasting insulin concentrations in trials with high Jadad scores.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"Seventeen trials comprising a total of 1133 subjects were included in the current meta-analysis. Green tea consumption significantly reduced the fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) concentrations"

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Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. [Phytother Res. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Abstract

Curcumin, an active ingredient of Curcuma longa Linn (Zingiberaceae), has shown potential antidepressant-like activity in animal studies. The objectives of this trial were to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Herein, 60 patients diagnosed with MDD were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks observer-masked treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually or their combination. The primary efficacy variable was response rates according to Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAM-D17 ). The secondary efficacy variable was the mean change in HAM-D17 score after six weeks. We observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders."

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Olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf polyphenols improve insulin sensitivity in middle-aged overweight men: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf polyphenols improve insulin sensitivity in middle-aged overweight men: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Olive plant leaves (Olea europaea L.) have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat diabetes, but there are very limited data examining the effects of olive polyphenols on glucose homeostasis in humans.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols (51.1 mg oleuropein, 9.7 mg hydroxytyrosol per day) on insulin action and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged overweight men.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in New Zealand. 46 participants (aged 46.4 ± 5.5 years and BMI 28.0 ± 2.0 kg/m(2)) were randomized to receive capsules with olive leaf extract (OLE) or placebo for 12 weeks, crossing over to other treatment after a 6-week washout. Primary outcome was insulin sensitivity (Matsuda method). Secondary outcomes included glucose and insulin profiles, cytokines, lipid profile, body composition, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, and carotid intima-media thickness.

RESULTS:

Treatment evaluations were based on the intention-to-treat principle. All participants took >96% of prescribed capsules. OLE supplementation was associated with a 15% improvement in insulin sensitivity (p = 0.024) compared to placebo. There was also a 28% improvement in pancreatic β-cell responsiveness (p = 0.013). OLE supplementation also led to increased fasting interleukin-6 (p = 0.014), IGFBP-1 (p = 0.024), and IGFBP-2 (p = 0.015) concentrations. There were however, no effects on interleukin-8, TNF-α, ultra-sensitive CRP, lipid profile, ambulatory blood pressure, body composition, carotid intima-media thickness, or liver function.

CONCLUSIONS:

Supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols for 12 weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell secretory capacity in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"Supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols for 12 weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell secretory capacity in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome."

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Systematic review: the efficacy of herbal therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.[Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

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Pasquale Valente's insight:

Randomised controlled trials of herbal therapy for the treatment of IBD show encouraging results but studies remain limited and heterogenous. 

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Effect of Berberine Administration on Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Sensitivity, and Insulin Secretion

Abstract

Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of berberine administration on metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out in 24 patients with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Glucose and insulin levels after a dextrose load were measured. Triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations at baseline were also measured. Twelve patients received berberine hydrochloride (500 mg) three times daily before meals for 3 months. The remaining 12 patients received placebo. Area under the curve (AUC) of glucose and insulin, total insulin secretion, first-phase of insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity were assessed. Results: After berberine administration, patients had a remission of 36% (P=0.037) in the presence of metabolic syndrome and a significant decrease in waist circumference in females (106±4 vs. 103±3 cm, P<0.05), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (123±7 vs. 115±9 mmHg, P<0.01), triglycerides (2.4±0.7 vs. 1.4±0.5 mmol/L, P<0.01), area under the curve (AUC) of glucose (1182.1±253.6 vs. 1069.5±172.4 mmol/l, P<0.05), AUC of insulin (92,056±72,148 vs. 67,407±46,441 pmol/L, P<0.01), and insulinogenic index (0.78±0.69 vs. 0.62±0.46, P<0.05), as well as an increase in the Matsuda index (2.1±1.0 vs. 3.1±1.6, P<0.01). Conclusions: Administration of berberine leads to remission of metabolic syndrome and decreases in waist circumference, SBP, triglycerides, and total insulin secretion, with an increase in insulin sensitivity.

  
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Effectiveness of aromatherapy with light thai massage for cellular immunity improvement in colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. [Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with colorectal cancer are usually treated with chemotherapy, which reduces the number of blood cells, especially white blood cells, and consequently increases the risk of infections. Some research studies have reported that aromatherapy massage affects the immune system and improves immune function by, for example, increasing the numbers of natural killer cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. However, there has been no report of any study which provided good evidence as to whether aromatherapy with Thai massage could improve the immune system in patients with colorectal cancer. The objectives of this study were to determine whether the use of aromatherapy with light Thai massage in patients with colorectal cancer, who have received chemotherapy, can result in improvement of the cellular immunity and reduce the severity of the common symptoms of side effects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Sixty-six patients with colorectal cancer in Phichit Hospital, Thailand, were enrolled in a single-blind, randomised-controlled trial. The intervention consisted of three massage sessions with ginger and coconut oil over a 1-week period. The control group received standard supportive care only. Assessments were conducted at pre-assessment and at the end of one week of massage or standard care. Changes from pre-assessment to the end of treatment were measured in terms of white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, CD4 and CD8 cells and the CD4/CD8 ratio and also the severity of self-rated symptom scores.

RESULTS:

The main finding was that after adjusting for pre-assessment values the mean lymphocyte count at the post-assessment was significantly higher (P=0.04) in the treatment group than in the controls. The size of this difference suggested that aromatherapy with Thai massage could boost lymphocyte numbers by 11%. The secondary outcomes were that at the post assessment the symptom severity scores for fatigue, presenting symptom, pain and stress were significantly lower in the massage group than in the standard care controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Aromatherapy with light Thai massage can be beneficial for the immune systems of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy by increasing the number of lymphocytes and can help to reduce the severity of common symptoms.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

"The size of this difference suggested that aromatherapy with Thai massage could boost lymphocyte numbers by 11%. The secondary outcomes were that at the post assessment the symptom severity scores for fatigue, presenting symptom, pain and stress were significantly lower in the massage group than in the standard care controls."

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Ginseng for health care: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials in Korean literature. [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Ginseng for health care: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials in Korean literature. [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This systematic review was performed to summarise randomised clinical trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and safety of ginseng in the Korean literature.

METHOD:

The study involved systematic searches conducted in eight Korean Medical databases. The methodological quality of all of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We included all RCTs on any type of ginseng compared to placebo, active treatment or no treatment in healthy individuals or patients regardless of conditions.

RESULTS:

In total, 1415 potentially relevant studies were identified, and 30 randomised clinical trials were included. Nine RCTs assessed the effects of ginseng on exercise capacity, cognitive performance, somatic symptoms, quality of life, and sleeping in healthy persons. Six RCTs tested ginseng compared with placebo for erectile dysfunction, while another four studies evaluated the effects of ginseng against no treatment for gastric and colon cancer. Two RCTs compared the effect of red ginseng on diabetes mellitus with no treatment or placebo, and the other nine RCTs assessed the effects of ginseng compared with placebo or no treatment on various conditions. The methodological caveats of the included trials make their contribution to the current clinical evidence of ginseng somewhat limited. However, the 20 newly added trials (66.7% of the 30 trials) may provide useful information for future trials. Ginseng appears to be generally safe, and no serious adverse effects have been reported.

CONCLUSIONS:

The clinical effects of ginseng have been tested in a wide range of conditions in Korea. Although the quality of RCTs published in the Korean literature was generally poor, this review is useful for researchers to access studies that were originally published in languages that they would otherwise be unable to read and due to the paucity of evidence on this subject.

Pasquale Valente's insight:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3613407/pdf/pone.0059978.pdf

"Ginseng appears to be generally safe, and no serious adverse effects have been reported."

"Although the quality of RCTs published in the Korean literature was generally poor, this review is useful for researchers to access studies that were originally published in languages that they would otherwise be unable to read"


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The new use of an ancient remedy: a double-blinded randomized study on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. [Am J Chin Med. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

The new use of an ancient remedy: a double-blinded randomized study on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  [Am J Chin Med. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic inflammatory disease with unknown causes and unknown cures in Western medicine. This double-blinded study aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of a widely used traditional Chinese medicine (Paeoniflorin (PAE) plus cervus and cucumis polypeptide injection (CCPI) using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) as a control (methotrexate (MTX) plus leflunomide (LEF)). Patients were randomly assigned to one of the three groups: PAE + CCPI, MTX + LEF, and MTX + LEF + CCPI. The primary end point was the American College of Rheumatology 20% improvement response criteria (ACR20). The secondary end point was that of adverse effect frequencies and the speed of onset action. Our results showed that more patients in the CCPI-containing groups responded to the ACR20 during early treatment. After six months, ACR20 showed no significant difference among the three treatments. The maximum improvement in the two DMARD groups was significantly higher than that in the PAE + CCPI group (p < 0.01). CCPI made the onset action of the DMARD therapy 4.6 times faster. PAE + CCPI had significantly lower adverse event incidences than the two DMARD groups. These results indicate that PAE + CCPI appear to be a more acceptable alternative to DMARDs when patients cannot use DMARDs. CCPI appears to be a beneficial add-on to DMARDs that makes the onset of action faster, especially when patients need to relieve RA symptoms as soon as possible. Although not as effective as DMARDs, PAE appears to be a safer option to substitute DMARDs for long-term RA treatment when DMARD toxicity is an issue.

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The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: a systematic review of randomized, controlled human clinical trials.

AbstractOBJECTIVES:

Traditional knowledge suggests that Bacopa monnieri enhances cognitive performance. Such traditional beliefs have now been scientifically tested through a handful of randomized, controlled human clinical trials. The current systematic review aimed to examine the scientific evidence as to whether Bacopa can enhance cognitive performance in humans.

DESIGN:

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials is presented. Multiple databases were systematically searched by multiple authors. Relevant trials were objectively assessed for methodological quality.

SUBJECTS:

The subjects studied were adult humans without dementia or significant cognitive impairment. Interventions: B. monnieri, including Bacopa extracts, were administered over long-term supplementation periods.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Any validated cognitive test, whether a primary or secondary outcome.

RESULTS:

Six (6) studies met the final inclusion criteria and were included in review. Trials were all conducted over 12 weeks. Across trials, three different Bacopa extracts were used at dosages of 300-450 mg extract per day. All reviewed trials examined the effects of Bacopa on memory, while other cognitive domains were less well studied. There were no cognitive tests in the areas of auditory perceptual abilities or idea production and only a paucity of research in the domains of reasoning, number facility, and language behavior. Across studies, Bacopa improved performance on 9 of 17 tests in the domain of memory free recall. There was little evidence of enhancement in any other cognitive domains.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is some evidence to suggest that Bacopa improves memory free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities currently lacking perhaps due to inconsistent measures employed by studies across these cognitive domains. Research into the nootropic effects of Bacopa is in its infancy, with research still yet to investigate the effects of Bacopa across all human cognitive abilities. Similarly, future research should examine the nootropic effects of Bacopa at varied dosages and across different extracts.

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Effective treatment of vaginal atrophy with isoflavone vaginal gel.

Abstract

 

OBJETIVE:To assess efficacy and tolerability of a isoflavone (Glycine max L. Merr.) vaginal gel to the treatment of vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women.

METHODS: The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Ninety women were treated for 12 weeks with isoflavone vaginal gel 4% (1g/day) and a placebo gel and conjugated equine estrogen cream (0.3mg/day). After 4 and 12 weeks, the vaginal atrophy symptoms were classified at none, mild, moderate and severe and the vaginal cytology were taken to determine the maturation value. The endometrial safety (by transvaginal ultrasonography) was evaluated through at screening and the end of the trial.

RESULTS: Isoflavone vaginal gel appears to be effective for relief of vaginal dryness and dyspareunia symptons and an increase in the intermediate and superficial cells was noted. These results were similar to the effects with use of conjugated equine estrogens and superior to placebo gel. No changes in endometrial thickness, sera FSH and estradiol levels were observed at study endpoint.

CONCLUSION: Glycine max (L.) Merr. at 4% vaginal gel on a daily basis in postmenopausal women led to improvements in vaginal atrophysymptoms and a significant increase in cell maturation values. Isoflavones proved good treatment options for relief of vulvovaginal symptoms especially in women who do not wish to use hormonal therapy or have contra-indications for this treatment.

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