A Tale of Two Medicines
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Methanolic Extracts of Bitter Melon Inhibit Colon Cancer Stem Cells by Affecting Energy Homeostasis and Autophagy

Bitter melon fruit is recommended in ancient Indian and Chinese medicine for prevention/treatment of diabetes. However its effects on cancer progression are not well understood. Here, we have determined the efficacy of methanolic extracts of bitter melon on colon cancer stem and progenitor cells. Both, whole fruit (BMW) and skin (BMSk) extracts showed significant inhibition of cell proliferation and colony formation, with BMW showing greater efficacy. In addition, the cells were arrested at the S phase of cell cycle. Moreover, BMW induced the cleavage of LC3B but not caspase 3/7, suggesting that the cells were undergoing autophagy and not apoptosis. Further confirmation of autophagy was obtained when western blots showed reduced Bcl-2 and increased Beclin-1, Atg 7 and 12 upon BMW treatment. BMW reduced cellular ATP levels coupled with activation of AMP activated protein kinase; on the other hand, exogenous additions of ATP lead to revival of cell proliferation. Finally, BMW treatment results in a dose-dependent reduction in the number and size of colonospheres. The extracts also decreased the expression of DCLK1 and Lgr5, markers of quiescent, and activated stem cells. Taken together, these results suggest that the extracts of bitter melon can be an effective preventive/therapeutic agent for colon cancer.

 

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The data presented in this paper demonstrates that the methanolic extract of bitter melon is potent in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells in Vitro

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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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Dandelion-enriched diet of mothers alleviates lead-induced damages in liver of newborn rats.

Dandelion-enriched diet of mothers alleviates lead-induced damages in liver of newborn rats. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Lead (Pb) is a highly toxic metal present in the environment. It causes disturbances of several functions, including hematologic, renal, reproductive and nervous ones. Preventive or curative use of medicinal plants against these disorders may be a promising and safe therapeutic strategy. This study evaluated the hepatic toxic effects of prenatal exposure to lead in rats and the possible protective effect of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) added to the diet. Female rats were given a normal diet (control) or a diet enriched with dandelion (treated). In addition, lead acetate was administered to half of the rats through drinking water from the 5th day of gestation until the 14th day postpartum. Lead toxicity was evaluated in their offspring by measuring body and liver weights, plasma biochemical parameters, liver damage, as well as protein content and activities of antioxidant enzymes in the liver tissues. Lead poisoning of mothers caused lead deposition in blood and stomach of their pups as well as hepatic tissue damages. Moreover, significant decreases in liver weight and protein content were found. Lead treatment caused oxidative stress and marked changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes. However, no damages or biochemical changes were observed in puppies from the rats co-treated with lead and dandelion. These results indicate that supplementation of pregnant and lactating rats with dandelion protects their offspring against lead poisoning, likely through reduction of oxidative stress and liver damages.
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Morus alba leaf extract mediates neuroprotection against glyphosate-induced toxicity and biochemical alterations in the brain.

Morus alba leaf extract mediates neuroprotection against glyphosate-induced toxicity and biochemical alterations in the brain. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Recent studies demonstrate that glyphosate exposure is associated with oxidative stress and some neurological disorders such as Parkinson's pathology. Therefore, phytochemicals, in particular phenolic compounds, have attracted increasing attention as potential agents for neuroprotection. In the present study, we investigate the impact of glyphosate on the rat brain following i.p. injection and the possible molecular target of neuroprotective activity of the phenolic fraction from Morus alba leaf extract (MALE) and its ability to reduce oxidative damage in the brain. Wistar rats from 180 to 240 g were i.p. treated with a single dose of glyphosate (100 mg kg-1 b.w.) or MALE (100 μg mL-1 kg-1 b.w.) for 2 weeks. Brain homogenates were used to evaluate neurotoxicity induced by the pesticide. For this, biochemical parameters were measured. Data shows that MALE regulated oxidative stress and counteracted glyphosate-induced deleterious effects and oxidative damage in the brain, as it abrogated LDH, protein carbonyls, and malonyldialdehyde. MALE also appears to be able to scavenge H2O2 levels, maintain iron and Ca2+ homeostasis, and increase SOD activity. Thus, in vivo results showed that mulberry leaf extract is a potent protector against glyphosate-induced toxicity, and its protective effect could result from synergism or antagonism between the various bioactive phenolic compounds in the acetonic fraction from M. alba leaf extract.
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Impact of Yoga and Meditation on Cellular Aging in Apparently Healthy Individuals: A Prospective, Open-Label Single-Arm Exploratory Study.

This study was designed to explore the impact of Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention (YMLI) on cellular aging in apparently healthy individuals. During this 12-week prospective, open-label, single arm exploratory study, 96 apparently healthy individuals were enrolled to receive YMLI. The primary endpoints were assessment of the change in levels of cardinal biomarkers of cellular aging in blood from baseline to week 12, which included DNA damage marker 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH2dG), oxidative stress markers reactive oxygen species (ROS), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and telomere attrition markers telomere length and telomerase activity. The secondary endpoints were assessment of metabotrophic blood biomarkers associated with cellular aging, which included cortisol, β-endorphin, IL-6, BDNF, and sirtuin-1. After 12 weeks of YMLI, there were significant improvements in both the cardinal biomarkers of cellular aging and the metabotrophic biomarkers influencing cellular aging compared to baseline values. The mean levels of 8-OH2dG, ROS, cortisol, and IL-6 were significantly lower and mean levels of TAC, telomerase activity, β-endorphin, BDNF, and sirtuin-1 were significantly increased (all values p < 0.05) post-YMLI. The mean level of telomere length was increased but the finding was not significant (p = 0.069). YMLI significantly reduced the rate of cellular aging in apparently healthy population.
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The Green Tea Catechin Epigallocatechin Gallate Ameliorates Graft-versus-Host Disease

The Green Tea Catechin Epigallocatechin Gallate Ameliorates Graft-versus-Host Disease | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is a standard treatment for leukemia and other hematologic malignancies. The major complication of allo-HSCT is graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), a progressive inflammatory illness characterized by donor immune cells attacking the organs of the recipient. Current GVHD prevention and treatment strategies use immune suppressive drugs and/or anti-T cell reagents these can lead to increased risk of infections and tumor relapse. Recent research demonstrated that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a component found in green tea leaves at a level of 25–35% at dry weight, may be useful in the inhibition of GVHD due to its immune modulatory, anti-oxidative and anti-angiogenic capacities. In murine allo-HSCT recipients treated with EGCG, we found significantly reduced GVHD scores, reduced target organ GVHD and improved survival. EGCG treated allo-HSCT recipients had significantly higher numbers of regulatory T cells in GVHD target organs and in the blood. Furthermore, EGCG treatment resulted in diminished oxidative stress indicated by significant changes of glutathione blood levels as well as glutathione peroxidase in the colon. In summary, our study provides novel evidence demonstrating that EGCG ameliorates lethal GVHD and reduces GVHD-related target organ damage. Possible mechanisms are increased regulatory T cell numbers and reduced oxidative stress.
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Vitamin C induces apoptosis in AGS cells via production of ROS of mitochondria.

Vitamin C induces apoptosis in AGS cells via production of ROS of mitochondria. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
It has been demonstrated that vitamin C exhibits anti-cancer activity in various tumor cell lines; however, its specific mechanism of action remains unknown. Although the diagnosis and therapy of cancer patients have markedly improved in recent years, safer and more cost-effective treatments are still required. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of vitamin C on the induction of cell death in gastric cancer and its underlying mechanism of action. It was observed that the cytotoxicity of vitamin C on the human gastric cancer cell line AGS is dependent on the apoptotic pathway, including caspase cascades, but not on the necroptotic pathway. It was demonstrated that the vitamin C-induced calcium influx and ROS generation have critical roles in the induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, vitamin C treatment depleted adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in AGS cells, and the autophagy pathway may be involved in this process. Taken together, the current study suggests that a high dose of vitamin C may induce gastric cancer cell apoptosis through the dysfunction of mitochondria, including calcium influx, reactive oxygen species generation and ATP depletion.
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Synergistic Protective Activity of Deuterium Depleted Water (DDW) and Satureja rechingeri Essential Oil on Hepatic Oxidative Injuries Induced by Acetaminophen in Rats

Synergistic Protective Activity of Deuterium Depleted Water (DDW) and Satureja rechingeri Essential Oil on Hepatic Oxidative Injuries Induced by Acetaminophen in Rats | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Therefore, it was concluded from the current results that DDW alone and in combination with E.O provided a synergistic effects in prevention of acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity in rat. This protection may involve the reduction of oxidative stresses.
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Potent SIRT1 enzyme-stimulating and anti-glycation activities of polymethoxyflavonoids from Kaempferia parviflora.

Potent SIRT1 enzyme-stimulating and anti-glycation activities of polymethoxyflavonoids from Kaempferia parviflora. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The SIRT1 enzyme-stimulating and anti-glycation activities of Kaempferia parviflora extract and its main polymethoxyflavonoids were evaluated in vitro. K. parviflora extract elevated SIRT1 catalytic activity by eight- and 17-fold at 20 μg/mL and 100 μg/mL, respectively, compared with vehicle only. Two major polymethoxyflavonoids, 3,5,7,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone (4) and 5,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone (5), were isolated from this extract and are four- and fivefold more potent than resveratrol, hitherto the strongest known natural SIRT1 activator. In addition, the anti-glycation activity of K. parviflora extract was observed to be seven times more effective than aminoguanidine, a clinical anti-diabetes drug. 3,5,7,3',4'-Pentamethoxyflavone (4) and 5,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone (5) showed the strongest anti-glycation activity among the tested polymethoxyflavonoids. Further comparison of the activity of these structurally related polymethoxyflavonoids revealed a possible structure-activity relationship, in particular, for the contribution of methoxy moieties.
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Aqueous Extract of Anethum Graveolens L. has Potential Antioxidant and Antiglycation Effects

Aqueous Extract of Anethum Graveolens L. has Potential Antioxidant and Antiglycation Effects | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The aim of this study was to assess the antiglycation and antioxidant properties of aqueous extract of Anethum graveolens (dill). In the in vivo and in vitro experiments, antioxidant properties, blood glucose, and AGEs formation were determined. Dill extract was given orally to healthy and diabetic rats. Our results illustrated that different concentrations of dill extract (0.125, 0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/ml) have potential antiradical and antioxidant activity. Aqueous extract of dill significantly reduced AGEs formation and fructosamine levels, protein carbonyl and also thiol group’s oxidation, amyloid cross-β and fragmentation. After 2 months, blood glucose levels (P=0.006) and AGEs formation (P=0.003) significantly reduced in dill treated group compared with untreated diabetic animals. In conclusion, dill can be recommended as herbal medicine for the control and prevention of diabetic complications.
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Potassium increases the antitumor effects of ascorbic acid in breast cancer cell lines in vitro

Potassium increases the antitumor effects of ascorbic acid in breast cancer cell lines in vitro | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Ascorbic acid (A) has been demonstrated to exhibit anti-cancer activity in association with chemotherapeutic agents. Potassium (K) is a regulator of cellular proliferation. In the present study, the biological effects of A and K bicarbonate, alone or in combination (A+K), on breast cancer cell lines were evaluated. The survival of cancer cells was determined by sulforhodamine B cell proliferation assay, while analysis of the cell cycle distribution was conducted via fluorescence-activated cell sorting. In addition, the expression of signaling proteins was analyzed upon treatment. The results indicated that there was a heterogeneous response of the different cell lines to A and K, and the best effects were achieved by A+K and A treatment. The interaction between A+K indicated an additive or synergistic effect. In addition, A+K increased the percentage of cells in the sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle, and was the most effective treatment in activating the degradation of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase-1. In the breast cancer cell line MCF-7, A+K induced the appearance of the 18 kDa isoform of B-cell lymphoma-2-associated X protein (Bax), which is a more potent inducer of apoptosis than the full-length Bax-p21. The effects of A and K on the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1 and ERK2 were heterogeneous. In addition, treatment with K, A and A+K inhibited the expression of nuclear factor-κB. Overall, the results of the present study indicated that K potentiated the anti-tumoral effects of A in breast cancer cells in vitro.
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Respiratory syncytial virus infection increases chlorine-induced airway hyperresponsiveness.

Respiratory syncytial virus infection increases chlorine-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Exposure to chlorine (Cl2) damages airway and alveolar epithelia resulting in acute lung injury and reactive airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine. However, little is known about the effect of preexisting respiratory disease on Cl2-induced lung injury. By using a murine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection model, we found that preexisting RSV infection increases Cl2 (187 ppm for 30 min)-induced lung inflammation and airway AHR at 24 h after exposure (5 days after infection). RSV infection and Cl2 exposure synergistically induced oxygen desaturation and neutrophil infiltration and increased MCP-1, MIP-1β, IL-10, IFN-γ, and RANTES concentrations in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). In contrast, levels of type 2 cytokines (i.e., IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-13) were not significantly affected by either RSV infection or Cl2 exposure. Cl2 exposure, but not RSV infection, induced AHR to methacholine challenge as measured by flexiVent. Moreover, preexisting RSV infection amplified BALF levels of hyaluronan (HA) and AHR. The Cl2-induced AHR was mitigated by treatment with inter-α-trypsin inhibitor antibody, which inhibits HA signaling, suggesting a mechanism of HA-mediated AHR from exacerbated oxidative injury. Our results show for the first time that preexisting RSV infection predisposes the lung to Cl2-induced injury. These data emphasize the necessity for further research on the effects of Cl2 in vulnerable populations and the development of appropriate treatments.
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Exercise-based Interventions for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: a Meta-analysis and Meta-regression.

Exercise-based Interventions for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: a Meta-analysis and Meta-regression. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The burden of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing worldwide. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of exercise-based lifestyle interventions on liver-specific endpoints in populations with NAFLD and underlying metabolic disorders such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, or the metabolic syndrome.

We searched PUBMED-MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central register, through 21st October, 2015 for randomized trials of exercise-based lifestyle interventions on endpoints such as intrahepatic lipid content and blood levels of alanine and aspartate aminotransferases. Effect sizes are reported as standardized mean difference and weighted mean difference values. To investigate heterogeneity, we performed sensitivity and meta-regression analyses. Results were reported according to the PRISMA statement.

We analyzed data from 28 trials. Physical activity, independently from diet change, was associated with a significant reduction in intra-hepatic lipid content (standardized mean difference, -0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.90 to -0.48) and with reductions in alanine aminotransferase (weighted mean difference, -3.30 IU/l; 95% CI, 5.57 to -1.04) and aspartate aminotransferase (weighted mean difference, -4.85 IU/l; 95% CI, -8.68 to -1.02). By meta-regression, we found individuals with increasing body mass index to be increasingly more likely to benefit from the intervention (beta coefficient = -0.10; P=.037). We recorded no effect modification by variables related to the intensity of the intervention.

In a meta-analysis of randomized trials, we found strong evidence that physical activity reduces intrahepatic lipid content and markers of hepatocellular injury in patients with NAFLD. This effect correlated with baseline body mass index.

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Hydrogen–water enhances 5-fluorouracil-induced inhibition of colon cancer

Hydrogen–water enhances 5-fluorouracil-induced inhibition of colon cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Oxidative stress is involved in cancer development. Hydrogen (H2) is a potent antioxidant and exhibits anti-inflammatory and potentially anticancer-like activities. This study aimed to investigate the role of H2 incombination with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in cancer treatment both in vitro and in vivo using the colon 26 cell line. The survival rate was determined using the Kaplan–Meier survival test, and cell viability was assessed using cell viability imaging kit and the MTT assay, and activation of the cell apoptosis pathway (Phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (p-AMPK), Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and Caspase 3) were characterized by western blots. Hydrogen water administration improved the survival of mice with colon 26-induced cancer. Furthermore, hydrogen water enhanced cell apoptosis in cancer cells, resulting in a marked increase in the expression of p-AMPK, AIF and Caspase 3 in colon 26 cells. Hydrogen water also increased the inhibitory effect of 5-FU on colon 26 cells with spect to cell survival rate and anticancer functions. Additionally, high-content hydrogen water exhibited stronger antioxidative and anticancer activity than did the natural hydrogen water. In conclusion, high-content hydrogen water can inhibit colon cancer, particularly in combination with 5-fluorouracil.
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Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliot) concentrate inhibits NF-κB and synergizes with selenium to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in macrophages.

Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliot) concentrate inhibits NF-κB and synergizes with selenium to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in macrophages. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Black chokeberry has been known to play a protective role in human health due to its high polyphenolic content including anthocyanins and caffeic acid derivatives. In the present study, we first characterized the polyphenolic content of a commercial chokeberry concentrate and investigated its effect on LPS-induced NF-κB activation and release of pro-inflammatory mediators in macrophages in the presence or the absence of sodium selenite. Examination of the phytochemical profile of the juice concentrate revealed high content of polyphenols (3.3%), including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Among them, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside and caffeoylquinic acids were identified as the major compounds. Data indicated that chokeberry concentrate inhibited both the release of TNFα, IL-6 and IL-8 in human peripheral monocytes and the activation of the NF-κB pathway in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Furthermore, chokeberry synergizes with sodium selenite to inhibit NF-κB activation, cytokine release and PGE2 synthesis. These findings suggest that selenium added to chokeberry juice enhances significantly its anti-inflammatory activity, thus revealing a sound approach in order to tune the use of traditional herbals by combining them with micronutrients.
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Bisphenols, benzophenones, and bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers in textiles and infant clothing.

Bisphenols, benzophenones, and bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers in textiles and infant clothing. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Little is known with regard to the occurrence of potentially toxic chemicals in textiles and clothes. In this study, 77 textiles and infant clothing pieces were analyzed for the determination of bisphenols including bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS), benzophenones, bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers (BADGEs), and novolac glycidyl ethers (NOGEs). BPA and BPS occurred in 82% and 53% of the textile samples, respectively, and at mean concentrations of 366 and 15 ng/g, respectively. Benzophenone-3 (BP3) occurred in 70% of the samples at a mean concentration of 11.3 ng/g. Among 11 BADGEs and NOGEs analyzed, BFDGE was the predominant compound, with a mean concentration of 13.6 ng/g. Concentrations of target chemicals were assessed by fabric type, color, and uses. Socks contained the highest concentrations of BPA (mean: 1,810 ng/g) with concentrations as high as 13,300 ng/g in a 97% polyester fabric marketed for infants. Calculated dermal exposure dose to BPA by infants via textiles was as high as 7,280 pg/kg-bw/d. This is the first study to report the occurrence of, and exposure to, BPA BPS, BADGEs, and NOGEs in textiles and clothing.
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An anthocyanin-enriched extract from strawberries delays disease onset and extends survival in the hSOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

An anthocyanin-enriched extract from strawberries delays disease onset and extends survival in the hSOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting from the death of motor neurons in the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord. Several processes such as oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neuronal apoptosis, contribute to disease progression. Anthocyanins are flavonoid compounds derived from fruits and vegetables that possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic abilities. Thus, these unique compounds may provide therapeutic benefit for the treatment of ALS.

We used the G93A mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1G93A) mouse model of ALS to assess the effects of an anthocyanin-enriched extract from strawberries (SAE) on disease onset and progression. Mice were administered SAE orally beginning at 60 days of age until end-stage such that mice received 2 mg/kg/day of the extract's primary anthocyanin constituent. Clinical indices of disease were assessed until mice were sacrificed at end-stage. Histopathological indices of disease progression were also evaluated at 105 days of age.

hSOD1G93A mice supplemented with SAE experienced a marked (∼17 day) delay in disease onset and a statistically significant (∼11 day) extension in survival in comparison to their untreated mutant counterparts. Additionally, SAE-treated hSOD1G93A mice displayed significantly preserved grip strength throughout disease progression. Histopathological analysis demonstrated that SAE supplementation significantly reduced astrogliosis in spinal cord, and preserved neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in gastrocnemius muscle.

These data are the first to demonstrate that anthocyanins have significant potential as therapeutic agents in a preclinical model of ALS due to their ability to reduce astrogliosis in spinal cord and preserve NMJ integrity and muscle function. Therefore, further study of these compounds is warranted in additional preclinical models of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model.

Hericium erinaceus, an edible and medicinal mushroom, displays various pharmacological activities in the prevention of dementia in conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The present study explored the neuroprotective effects of H. erinaceus mycelium polysaccharide-enriched aqueous extract (HE) on an l-glutamic acid (l-Glu)-induced differentiated PC12 (DPC12) cellular apoptosis model and an AlCl₃ combined with d-galactose-induced Alzheimer's disease mouse model. The data revealed that HE successfully induced PC12 cell differentiation. A 3 h HE incubation at doses of 50 and 100 µg/mL before 25 mM of l-Glu effectively reversed the reduction of cell viability and the enhancement of the nuclear apoptosis rate in DPC12 cells. Compared with l-Glu-damaged cells, in PC12 cells, HE suppressed intracellular reactive oxygen species accumulation, blocked Ca2+ overload and prevented mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) depolarization. In the Alzheimer's disease mouse model, HE administration enhanced the horizontal and vertical movements in the autonomic activity test, improved the endurance time in the rotarod test, and decreased the escape latency time in the water maze test. It also improved the central cholinergic system function in the Alzheimer's mice, demonstrated by the fact that it dose-dependently enhanced the acetylcholine (Ach) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) concentrations in both the serum and the hypothalamus. Our findings provide experimental evidence that HE may provide neuroprotective candidates for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
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Fasting selectively blocks development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via leptin-receptor upregulation.

Fasting selectively blocks development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via leptin-receptor upregulation. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
New therapeutic approaches are needed to treat leukemia effectively. Dietary restriction regimens, including fasting, have been considered for the prevention and treatment of certain solid tumor types. However, whether and how dietary restriction affects hematopoietic malignancies is unknown. Here we report that fasting alone robustly inhibits the initiation and reverses the leukemic progression of both B cell and T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL and T-ALL, respectively), but not acute myeloid leukemia (AML), in mouse models of these tumors. Mechanistically, we found that attenuated leptin-receptor (LEPR) expression is essential for the development and maintenance of ALL, and that fasting inhibits ALL development by upregulation of LEPR and its downstream signaling through the protein PR/SET domain 1 (PRDM1). The expression of LEPR signaling-related genes correlated with the prognosis of pediatric patients with pre-B-ALL, and fasting effectively inhibited B-ALL growth in a human xenograft model. Our results indicate that the effects of fasting on tumor growth are cancer-type dependent, and they suggest new avenues for the development of treatment strategies for leukemia.
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Chronic Ethanol Exposure Effects on Vitamin D Levels Among Subjects with Alcohol Use Disorder.

Chronic Ethanol Exposure Effects on Vitamin D Levels Among Subjects with Alcohol Use Disorder. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Vitamin D has been previously recognized to play important roles in human immune system and function. In the pulmonary system, vitamin D regulates the function of antimicrobial peptides, especially cathelicidin/LL-37. Human cathelicidin/LL-37 is a bactericidal, bacteriostatic, and antiviral endogenous peptide with protective immune functions. Chronic exposure to excessive alcohol has the potential to reduce levels of vitamin D (inactive vitamin D [25(OH)D3] and active vitamin D [1, 25(OH)2D3]) and leads to downregulation of cathelicidin/LL-37. Alcohol-mediated reduction of LL-37 may be partly responsible for increased incidence of more frequent and severe respiratory infections among subjects with alcohol use disorder (AUD). The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanisms by which alcohol exerts its influence on vitamin D metabolism. In addition, the aim was to establish associations between chronic alcohol exposures, levels of pulmonary vitamin D, and cathelicidin/LL-37 using broncho-alveolar lavage fluid samples of subjects with AUD and healthy controls. Findings from the experiment showed that levels of inactive vitamin D (25(OH)D3), active vitamin D (1, 25(OH)2D3), cathelicidin/LL-37, and CYP27B1 proteins were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) when compared with the matched healthy control group. However, CYP2E1 was elevated in all the samples examined. Chronic exposure to alcohol has the potential to reduce the levels of pulmonary vitamin D and results in subsequent downregulation of the antimicrobial peptide, LL-37, in the human pulmonary system.
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The circadian clock modulates anti-cancer properties of curcumin.

The circadian clock modulates anti-cancer properties of curcumin. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it


Curcuminoids of the spice turmeric and their enhanced derivatives have much potential as cancer treatments. They act on a wide variety of biological pathways, including those regulating cell division and circadian rhythms. It is known that circadian clocks can modify cancer therapy effectiveness, according to studies aimed at optimizing treatments based on the circadian cycle. It is therefore important to determine whether treatments with curcumin or similar chemotherapeutic agents are regulated by circadian timing. Similarly, it is important to characterize any effects of curcumin on timing abilities of the circadian clocks within cancer cells.

We examined the circadian clock's impact on the timing of cell death and cell division in curcumin-treated C6 rat glioma cells through continuous video microscopy for several days. To evaluate its persistence and distribution in cancer cells, curcumin was localized within cell compartments by imaging its autofluorescence. Finally, HPLC and spectroscopy were used to determine the relative stabilities of the curcumin congeners demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin that are present in turmeric.

Circadian rhythms in cell death were observed in response to low (5 μM) curcumin, reaching a peak several hours before the peak in rhythmic expression of mPER2 protein, a major circadian clock component. These results revealed a sensitive phase of the circadian cycle that could be effectively targeted in patient therapies based on curcumin or its analogs. Curcumin fluorescence was observed in cell compartments at least 24 h after treatment, and the two congeners displayed greater stability than curcumin in cell culture medium.

We propose a mechanism whereby curcuminoids act in a sustained manner, over several days, despite their tendency to degrade rapidly in blood and other aqueous media. During cancer therapy, curcumin or its analogs should be delivered to tumor cells at the optimal phase for highest efficacy after identifying the circadian phase of the cancer cells. We confirmed the greater stability of the curcumin congeners, suggesting that they may produce sustained toxicity in cancer cells and should be considered for use in patient care.

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Rosa canina Extracts Have Antiproliferative and Antioxidant Effects on Caco-2 Human Colon Cancer

The in vitro antiproliferative and antioxidant effects of different fractions of Rosa canina hips on human colon cancer cell lines (Caco-2) was studied. The compounds tested were total extract (fraction 1), vitamin C (fraction 2), neutral polyphenols (fraction 3) and acidic polyphenols (fraction 4). All the extracts showed high cytotoxicity after 72 h, both low and high concentrations. The flow cytometric analysis revealed that all the fractions produce disturbances in the cell cycle resulting in a concomitant cell death by an apoptotic pathway. Changes in the redox status of Caco-2 cells in response to Rosa canina hips were determined. Cells were exposed to hydrogen peroxide in presence of plant fractions and the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) was significantly decreased. Therefore, our data demonstrate that rosehip extracts are a powerful antioxidant that produces an antiproliferative effect in Caco-2 cells. Therefore, these results predict a promising future for Rosa canina as a therapeutic agent. Thus, this natural plant could be an effective component of functional foods addressed towards colorectal carcinoma.
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The microbiota of breast tissue and its association with tumours.

The microbiota of breast tissue and its association with tumours. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
This study shows that different bacterial profiles in breast tissue exist between healthy women and those with breast cancer. Higher relative abundances of bacteria, that had the ability to cause DNA damage in vitro, were detected in breast cancer patients, as well as a decrease in some lactic acid bacteria, known for their beneficial health effects, including anti-carcinogenic properties. This study raises the important question as to the role of the mammary microbiome in modulating the risk of breast cancer development.
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Lectin of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) promotes selective antitumor effects in human breast cancer cells.

Lectin of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) promotes selective antitumor effects in human breast cancer cells. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The anti-tumor effects of a newly-discovered lectin, isolated from okra, Abelmoschus esculentus (AEL), were investigated in human breast cancer (MCF7) and skin fibroblast (CCD-1059 sk) cells. AEL induced significant cell growth inhibition (63 %) in MCF7 cells. The expression of pro-apoptotic caspase-3, caspase-9, and p21 genes was increased in MCF7 cells treated with AEL, compared to those treated with controls. In addition, AEL treatment increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in MCF7 cells. Flow cytometry also indicated that cell death (72 %) predominantly occurred through apoptosis. Thus, AEL in its native form promotes selective antitumor effects in human breast cancer cells and may represent a potential therapeutic to combat human breast cancer.
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Randomised clinical trial comparing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg and placebo for migraine prevention

Randomised clinical trial comparing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg and placebo for migraine prevention | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Melatonin has been studied in headache disorders. Amitriptyline is efficacious for migraine prevention, but its unfavourable side effect profile limits its use.

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was carried out. Men and women, aged 18–65 years, with migraine with or without aura, experiencing 2–8 attacks per month, were enrolled. After a 4-week baseline phase, 196 participants were randomised to placebo, amitriptyline 25 mg or melatonin 3 mg, and 178 took a study medication and were followed for 3 months (12 weeks). The primary outcome was the number of migraine headache days per month at baseline versus last month. Secondary end points were responder rate, migraine intensity, duration and analgesic use. Tolerability was also compared between groups.

Mean headache frequency reduction was 2.7 migraine headache days in the melatonin group, 2.2 for amitriptyline and 1.1 for placebo. Melatonin significantly reduced headache frequency compared with placebo (p=0.009), but not to amitriptyline (p=0.19). Melatonin was superior to amitriptyline in the percentage of patients with a greater than 50% reduction in migraine frequency. Melatonin was better tolerated than amitriptyline. Weight loss was found in the melatonin group, a slight weight gain in placebo and significantly for amitriptyline users.

Melatonin 3 mg is better than placebo for migraine prevention, more tolerable than amitriptyline and as effective as amitriptyline 25 mg.

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Effects of Thymus vulgaris ethanolic extract on chronic toxoplasmosis in a mouse model. - PubMed - NCBI

Effects of Thymus vulgaris ethanolic extract on chronic toxoplasmosis in a mouse model. - PubMed - NCBI | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The current work was undertaken to investigate the potential effectiveness of Thymus vulgaris ethanolic extract (TVE) against Toxoplasma gondii infection in chronic experimental toxoplasmosis. To evaluate prophylactic effects, mice received 500 mg/kg TVE for 5 days before they were infected by an avirulent Me49 T. gondii strain. To investigate the therapeutic effects of the extract postinfection, daily treatment with TVE was initiated at 6 weeks postinfection and continued for 10 days. The following groups of animals were used as controls: uninfected/non-treated, infected/non-treated, and infected/treated with a combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine. Brain cyst count and histopathological changes using H&E and Feulgen stains were used to evaluate the efficacy of TVE. The mean number of brain cysts was significantly decreased by 24 % in mice treated prophylactically with TVE. TVE also significantly reduced the mean number of brain cysts when administered to animals already chronically infected with T. gondii. The effect of TVE was comparable to that of treatment with a mixture of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine (46 and 51 % reduction, respectively). Moreover, considerable amelioration of the pathological lesions in the brain and retina was observed. The results demonstrate the potential efficacy of T. vulgaris as a new natural therapeutic and prophylactic agent for use in the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis.
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Whole plant based treatment of hypercholesterolemia with Crataegus laevigata in a zebrafish model

Whole plant based treatment of hypercholesterolemia with Crataegus laevigata in a zebrafish model | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
The results of this study demonstrate that HLF are a promising treatment for hypercholesterolemia. We have created a vertebrate model system to test plant-based dietary intervention of hypercholesterolemia using the zebrafish. We utilized this model to demonstrate that HLF decrease intravascular CH levels and interact with cholesterol to improve CO in diseased fish. These results indicate that the cardiotonic action of hawthorn may depend on diet. Further work is needed to understand the detailed mechanism of how HLF exerts its influence. While hawthorn is not currently a recommended treatment for hypercholesterolemia, our research indicates it may be an effective treatment for this disease.
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