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Herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health. Scuola Viterbese di Fitoterapia - Italia
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Curcumin: a novel Stat3 pathway inhibitor for chemopreventi... : European Journal of Cancer Prevention

Curcumin:  a novel Stat3 pathway inhibitor for chemopreventi... : European Journal of Cancer Prevention | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
Multiple studies from independent groups find evidence for signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) activation in nearly 50% of lung cancers, suggesting a functional role for this target in subsets of lung cancer.
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Skin cancer chemoprevention by α-santalol

Skin cancer chemoprevention by α-santalol | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it

Abstract

Alpha-santalol, a naturally occurring terpenoid, has been shown to have chemopreventive effects on both 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-promoted skin cancer development in CD-1 and SENCAR mice, and UVB-induced skin cancer developments in SKH-1 hairless mice in a concentration-dependent manner. Studies have demonstrated that α-santalol could be effective against skin carcinogenesis through both induction of apoptosis via caspase activation together with dissipation of mitochondria membrane potential and cytochrome c release in A431 cells, and inhibition of cell growth via induction of G2/M phase arrest in both A431 cells and melanoma UACC-62 cells by altering multiple cell cycle regulatory proteins and complexes. This review summarizes the chemopreventive effects and molecular mechanisms of α-santalol on skin cancer development in both animal models and skin cancer cell lines.

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Prakriti-based medicine: A step towards personalized medicine.

Abstract

The concept of personalized medicine has been around for as long as people have been practicing medicine. From Charaka to Hippocrates, all have practiced the personalized approach for treating a disease. In the 21(st) century, personalized medicine is all about DNA. Whereas the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and epigenetic factors influence drug response and form the basis of personalized medicine, the tridosha theory forms the basis of Prakriti-based medicine. It is well established by now that western allopathic medicine is excellent in handling acute medical crises, whereas Ayurveda has successfully demonstrated an ability to manage chronic disorders that Western medicine has been unable to cure. With effective integration of 'omics' Prakriti-based medicine can play a vital role in this changing scenario of global health wisdom as Ayurveda offers its modalities by way of ahara (diet), vihara (lifestyle), and aushadhi (medication), which are the three pillars of prakriti-based medicine making it a holistic science. Prakriti-based medicine and other traditional medicine systems have the potential to offer remedies to the challenging health issues like adverse drug reactions, drug withdrawals, and economic disparities among few. An integrative global approach could do wonders to health sciences benefiting a broad spectrum of patients.

KEYWORDS:

Ayurgenomics, epigenetics, personaliz

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Preclinical profile of bacopasides from Bacopa monnieri (BM) as an emerging class of therapeutics for management of chronic pains.

Abstract

Chronic pains management costs billions of dollars in medical exchequer to the world population. Additionally, 77% of people with chronic pains also have a degree of medically treatable depression. Opioids have a narrower safety index due to their side effects associated with its tolerance, hyperalgesia and subsequent dependence. Likewise, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anticonvulsants, also have limited safety and tolerability profile in the management of chronic pains. Bacopa monnieri, a renowned ayurvedic medicine has a strong antidepressant effect and significant antinociceptive effect, which is comparable to the effect of morphine via adenosinergic, opioidergic, and adrenergic mechanisms. BM has been also reported to be effective in neuropathic pains. Additionally, it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect mediated via COX-2 inhibitory mechanism. Apart from its effect of augmenting morphine analgesia, BM also inhibits opioid-withdrawal induced hyperalgesia, and acquisition and expression of morphine tolerance. BM is reported to have a strong protective effect against toxic effects of opiates on major organs like brain, kidneys and heart. BM is well documented to be safe and well tolerated herbal therapy in multiple clinical trials including various age groups. This minireview evaluated the preclinical data that highlights potential of BM as a future candidate for clinical management of chronic pains.

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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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HerbClip: Meta-analysis of the Glycemic Effects of Cinnamon in Type 2 Diabetics

081261-456
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Paeoniflorin, a monoterpene glycoside, attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuronal injury and brain microglial inflammatory response.

Abstract

Chronic activation of microglial cells endangers neuronal survival through the release of various proinflammatory and neurotoxic factors. Paeoniflorin(PF), a water-soluble monoterpene glycoside found in the root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall, has a wide range of pharmacological functions, such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. Neuroprotective potential of PF has also been demonstrated in animal models of neuropathologies. Here, we have examined the efficacy of PF in the repression of inflammation-induced neurotoxicity and microglial inflammatory response. In organotypic hippocampal slice cultures, PF significantly blocked lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hippocampal cell death and productions of nitric oxide (NO) and interleukin (IL)-1β. PF also inhibited the LPS-stimulated productions of NO, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-1β from primary microglial cells. These results suggest that PF possesses neuroprotective activity by reducing the production of proinflammatory factors from activated microglial cells.

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Paeoniflorin inhibits proliferation of fibroblast-like synoviocytes through suppressing G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2

Abstract

Paeoniflorin (Pae) is a monoterpene glucoside and the main component of the total glucosides of paeony (TGP) extracted from the roots of Paeonialactiflora. Its anti-inflammatory effect is associated with regulating G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signaling. The aim of this study was to explore the expression change of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and the effect of Pae. Pae was obtained and purified from the roots of Paeonia lactiflora. We investigated the expression of GRK2 in synovium during the inflammatory process and assessed the effects of a specific GRK2 inhibitor and Pae on proliferation, cAMP level, and protein kinase A (PKA) activity of FLS in vitro. Additionally, the effect of Pae on GRK2 expression in FLS was detected in vitro. Expression of GRK2 in synovium from CIA rats increased during the inflammatory process. The specific GRK2 inhibitor suppressed proliferation and increased the cAMP level as well as PKA activity of FLS, and Pae had the same effects. Furthermore, Pae decreased GRK2 expression in FLS in vitro. Our results indicate that a chronic inflammatory process in CIA induces upregulation of GRK2 expression in FLS, and Pae can reverse this change, which might be one of the important mechanisms for Pae regulating GPCRs signaling and suppressing the proliferation of FLS in CIA.

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Ursolic acid in cancer prevention and treatment: molecular targets, pharmacokinetics and clinical studies.

Abstract

Discovery of bioactive molecules and elucidation of their molecular mechanisms open up an enormous opportunity for the development of improved therapy for different inflammatory diseases, including cancer. Triterpenoids isolated several decades ago from various medicinal plants now seem to have a prominent role in the prevention and therapy of a variety of ailments and some have already entered Phase I clinical trials. One such important and highly investigated pentacyclic triterpenoid, ursolic acid has attracted great attention of late for its potential as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent in various types of cancer. Ursolic acid has been shown to target multiple proinflammatory transcription factors, cell cycle proteins, growth factors, kinases, cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, and inflammatory enzymes. These targets can potentially mediate the chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of ursolic acid by inhibiting the initiation, promotion and metastasis of cancer. This review not only summarizes the diverse molecular targets of ursolic acid, but also provides an insight into the various preclinical and clinical studies that have been performed in the last decade with this promising triterpenoid.

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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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Mediators of Inflammation-Induced Bone Damage in Arthritis and Their Control by Herbal Products

Mediators of Inflammation-Induced Bone Damage in Arthritis and Their Control by Herbal Products | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) is an international, peer-reviewed journal that seeks to understand the sources and to encourage rigorous research in this new, yet ancient world of complementary and alternative medicine.
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CIMER - Home Page | MD Anderson Cancer Center

CIMER - Home Page | MD Anderson Cancer Center | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources (CIMER) Web site is offered to help patients and physicians decide how best to integrate complementary and integrative therapies into their care.
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Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer by Natural Agents From Mother Nature.

Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States after cancers of the lung and the breast/prostate. While the incidence of CRC in the United States is among the highest in the world (approximately 52/100,000), its incidence in countries in India is among the lowest (approximately 7/100,000), suggesting that lifestyle factors may play a role in development of the disease. Whereas obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, a high-calorie diet, and a lack of physical activity promote this cancer, evidence indicates that foods containing folates, selenium, Vitamin D, dietary fiber, garlic, milk, calcium, spices, vegetables, and fruits are protective against CRC in humans. Numerous agents from "mother nature" (also called "nutraceuticals,") that have potential to both prevent and treat CRC have been identified. The most significant discoveries relate to compounds such as cardamonin, celastrol, curcumin, deguelin, diosgenin, thymoquinone, tocotrienol, ursolic acid, and zerumbone. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, these agents modulate multiple targets, including transcription factors, growth factors, tumor cell survival factors, inflammatory pathways, and invasion and angiogenesis linked closely to CRC. We describe the potential of these dietary agents to suppress the growth of human CRC cells in culture and to inhibit tumor growth in animal models. We also describe clinical trials in which these agents have been tested for efficacy in humans. Because of their safety and affordability, these nutraceuticals provide a novel opportunity for treatment of CRC, an "old age" disease with an "age old" solution.

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Ginkgo Biloba Linked to Cancer - Diet and Nutrition Center - Everyday Health

Ginkgo Biloba Linked to Cancer - Diet and Nutrition Center - Everyday Health | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
Though the debate has ping-ponged over the past years, one health advocacy group is now advising consumers to avoid the widely available supplement ginkgo biloba completely.
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HerbalGram: Bacopa

HerbalGram: Bacopa | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it

Introduction

Bacopa is a creeping, prostrate, somewhat succulent perennial that grows naturally in moist or wet places such as the borders of irrigated fields, streams, water channels, and wells.1,2,3 Native to India, Indochina, Sri Lanka, and the Mascarene islands of Mauritius, Reunion, and Rodrigues, this genus—which consists of 56 species—flourishes in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.4 The material of commerce is obtained primarily from wild collection in India, although some varieties have been developed by the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, for cultivation as perennials.5,6

While most common at lower elevations, bacopa can also grow at altitudes as high as 700-900 meters (2296-2952 feet) in western and central Nepal.7 In Bangladesh, bacopa occurs in coastal areas, fallow lands, and paddy fields.8 In China, it occurs near water, wet places, and sandy beaches below 1,100 meters (3,280 feet) in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Yunnan Provinces; it also grows on the island of Taiwan.9

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Neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in experimental model of dementia.

Abstract

Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by dementia that begins as mild short term memory deficit and culminates in total loss of cognitive and executive functions. The present study was conducted to evaluate the neuroprotective potential of Bacopa monnieri (BM), an Indian traditional medicinal plant effective against cognitive impairment, in colchicine-induced dementia. Intracerebroventricular administration of colchicine (15 μg/5 μl) induced cognitive impairment in rats as assessed by elevated plus maze. This was accompanied by a significant increase in oxidative stress in term of enhanced levels of lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyls. Concomitantly, decrease in activity of antioxidant enzymes was observed in colchicine treated animals. BM (50 mg/kg body weight) supplementation reversed memory impairment observed in the colchicine treated rats. BM administration attenuated oxidative damage, as evident by decreased LPO and protein carbonyl levels and restoration in activities of the antioxidant enzymes. The activity of membrane bound enzymes (Na(+)K(+) ATPase and AChE) was altered in colchicine treated brain regions and BM supplementation was able to restore the activity of enzymes to comparable values observed in controls. The results suggest therapeutic potential of BM in the treatment of AD associated cognitive decline.

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The inhibitory activity of atractylenolide Ш, a sesquiterpenoid, on IgE-mediated mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA).

AbstractETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

AT Ш, a sesquiterpenoid, is the major component of Atractylodes japonica Koidz that has been used as a traditional oriental medicine.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

We investigated the anti-allergic activity of AT Ш and its mechanism of action.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The released amount of β-hexosaminidase in mast cells, a key parameter of degranulation, was measured. Anti-allergic potential of AT Ш was evaluated using passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in vivo. The anti-allergic mechanism of AT Ш was investigated by immunoblotting analysis, RT-PCR and measurement of [Ca(2+)]i in mast cells.

RESULTS:

AT Ш significantly inhibited IgE/Ag-mediated degranulation with an IC(50) value (36 ± 4 μM) in RBL-2H3 cells without affecting cell viability. It also suppressed IgE/Ag-mediated passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) response with an ED(50) value (65 ± 41 mg/kg) in vivo. AT Ш suppressed the production of interleukin (IL-4) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha mRNAs more potent than the Src-family kinase inhibitor PP2 in RBL-2H3 cells at all concentrations. In order to elucidate the anti-allergic mechanisms of AT Ш in mast cells, we examined the activated levels of signaling molecules. AT Ш inhibited the phosphorylation of Lyn, Fyn, Syk, LAT, PLCγ, Gab2, Akt, p38, and JNK kinases expression. IgE/Ag-mediated [Ca(2+)]i elevation was significantly inhibited by AT Ш.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study suggests that AT Ш might be used as a therapeutic agent for allergic diseases.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Paeoniflorin attenuates amyloid-beta peptide-induced neurotoxicity by ameliorating oxidative stress and regulating the NGF-mediated signaling in rats.

Abstract

Paeoniflorin is a monoterpene glycoside isolated from the aqueous extract of the dry root of Paeonia. It has been identified to exhibit many pharmacological effects including enhancing the cognitive ability, producing anti-depressant-like effect and reducing the MTPT-induced toxicity. In our previous study, it has shown that paeoniflorin improved the cognitive ability and attenuated the oxidative stress in the Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. In order to further elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms of paeoniflorin on the cognitive ability, rats were injected with Aβ((1-42)) (1μg/μL) and later with paeoniflorin (15mg/kg and 30mg/kg, i.p.) and donepezil hydrochloride (2mg/kg, i.p.) daily for 20 days in this study. The results showed that the long-term treatment of paeoniflorin or donepezil enhanced the cognitive performances in the Morris water maze test, restored the decreased activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase and the increased level of malondialdehyde, and reversed the alterations of matrix metallopeptidase-9 and tissue-inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 in the hippocampus of Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. Paeoniflorin also up-regulated the activity of choline acetyltrasferase and the expression of tyrosine kinase A receptor, and down-regulated the activity of acetylcholine esterase in the hippocampus of Aβ((1-42))-treated rats. These results demonstrate that paeoniflorin ameliorates the spatial learning and memory deficits by attenuating oxidative stress and regulating the nerve growth factor-mediated signaling to reinforce cholinergic functions in the hippocampus of the Aβ((1-42))-treated rats.

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The antidepressant-like effects of paeoniflorin in mouse models.

The antidepressant-like effects of paeoniflorin in mouse models. | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
Abstract

Peony is often used in Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of depression-like disorders. Our previous studies have demonstrated that the total glycosides of peony exert antidepressant-like effects in animal models. Paeoniflorin is the main active glycoside of peony. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antidepressant-like effects of paeoniflorin in mice, as well as its active mechanisms. The results revealed that intraperitoneally injectedpaeoniflorin significantly reduced the duration of immobility in forced swimming and tail suspension tests. The doses that affected the immobility response did not affect locomotor activity. Furthermore, paeoniflorin antagonized reserpine-induced ptosis, akinesia and hypothermia. Paeoniflorinalso significantly increased the levels of serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the hippocampus. These results suggest that the upregulation of serotonergic systems may be an important mechanism for the antidepressant-like effects of paeoniflorin in mice.

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Galileo - Giornale di Scienza | Cocktail di pesticidi nei prodotti tradizionali cinesi

Galileo - Giornale di Scienza | Cocktail di pesticidi nei prodotti tradizionali cinesi | Vitae Herbae | Scoop.it
Greenpeace ha analizzato bacche ed erbe usate nella medicina tradizionale cinese vendute in sette paesi occidentali: la maggior parte contiene un mix di sostanze pericolose, per gli esseri umani e l'ambiente...
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The pentacyclic triterpenoids in herbal medicines and their pharmacological activities in diabetes and diabetic complications.

Abstract

Pentacyclic triterpenoids including the oleanane, ursane and lupane groups are widely distributed in many medicinal plants, such as Glycyrrhiza species, Gymnema species, Centella asiatica, Camellia sinensis, Crataegus species and Olea europaea, which are commonly used in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes and diabetic complications. A large number of bioactive pentacyclic triterpenoids, such as oleanolic acid, glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, ursolic acid, betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol have shown multiple biological activities with apparent effects on glucose absorption, glucose uptake, insulin secretion, diabetic vascular dysfunction, retinopathy and nephropathy. The versatility of the pentacyclic triterpenes provides a promising approach for diabetes management

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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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