Posts Tagged 'research'

Acupuncture for post-viral infection loss of smell

This bit of research only involved 15 subjects and so proof of effectiveness is not strong but it is suggestive of effectiveness.

 

ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2010) — Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), where very thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body to elicit beneficial therapeutic responses, may be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from persistent post- viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD), according to new research in the April 2010 issue of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery….

15 patients presenting to an outpatient clinic with PVOD were treated by TCA in 10 weekly 30-minute sessions. Subjective olfactometry was performed using the Sniffin’ Sticks test set. Treatment success was defined as an increase of at least six points in the sticks test scores. The effects of TCA were compared to matched pairs of people suffering from PVOD who had been treated with vitamin B complex. Eight patients treated with TCA improved olfactory function, compared with two treated with vitamin B complex.

more via Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell.

Advertisements

Researchers Unlock Keys to Herbal Medicines

 This is an exciting development as this research group has come up with a way to test the effectiveness of whole herbs and herbal formulas instead of just one component of an herb.

Of course, for thousands of years Oriental Medicine Herbalist have been demonstrating efficacy but that cuts no ice with the FDA, so this is a step forward.

A team led by Yuan Luo PhD, MS, associate professor at the School, conducted a first-of-its- kind, “systematic evaluation” of a mixture of 10 herbs called Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang (SQDB), reportedly effective for fatigue and energy; and an 11-herb formula called Huo Luo Xiao Ling Dan (HLXL) used as a the treatment of arthritic joint pain. Both mixtures are reputed to have benefits for healthy living and longevity in humans.

The researchers tested the mixtures, as well as each separate herb in them, on the laboratory worm model C. elegans. This particular worm─which biochemists often use as their ‘lab rat’─ shares genes for aging and other traits with humans and other organisms.

Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum cassia) from HLXL extended life span of the worms by 14.5 percent and cinnamon bark from SQDB extended the life 10.8 percent.

Ginseng root (Panax ginseng) from SQDB extended life span by 7.7 percent. Ginseng is not an ingredient in HLXL.

Significantly, cinnamon, ginseng, and SQDB also thinned out levels of hydrogen peroxide, which can destroy cells. They each also enhanced expression of small heat shock proteins, an indicator for cellular response to stress that plays an important role in maintenance of cell functions.

Furthermore, the life span-extending herbs appreciatively reduced in the expression in C. elegans of a toxicity factor, amyloid, which is a hallmark in the human brain of pathological development of Alzheimer’s disease….

…..

proof of efficacy of herbal medicines, even their modes of action in the body, are extremely difficult challenges, said, Luo.

Herbal medicines are usually mixtures of herbs. That presents a severe challenge for the Food and Drug Administration to understand which compounds or combinations of compounds in the herbs are effective or not effective.

Said Dosanjh, “Because it’s very difficult to sort out so many herbs with so many constituents together, we needed to find a model. And there is a high level of [common genetic origins] with the nematode and humans.”

Luo added, “To isolate a single compound from an herb and test it for a medical condition, it often doesn’t work; not like the whole herb works.”

In recent years, scientists have learned to use C. elegans worm as a model system in for studying gene-environment interactions. In their experiments, the School of Pharmacy researchers first used “wild” C. elegans to screen the herbal mixtures and single herbs.

more via Researchers Use Tiny Worms to Unlock Keys to Herbal Medicines.

Diuretics best for High Blood Pressure

Diuretics Best for Controlling High Blood Pressure

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513173547.htm

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — New research supports the findings of a landmark drug comparison study published in 2002 in which a diuretic drug or “water pill” outperformed other medications for high blood pressure. A scientific team including investigators from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reports the findings in the May 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

About one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, which, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), can lead to a host of health problems including heart failure, coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) is the largest high blood pressure treatment trial ever conducted and compared the impact of four classes of blood pressure drugs on 42,418 high-risk patients between 1994 and 2002. High blood pressure in adults is defined as 140/90 mm Hg or above.

“We looked at data since the trial ended to make sure our message hasn’t changed. And, it hasn’t. Diuretic drugs work as well or better than other medications in preventing heart failure,” said Barry Davis, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author, Guy S. Parcel Chair in Public Health and director of the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials (CCCT) at The University of Texas School of Public Health……

Duncan’s comment:  There are many herbal formulas that effectively have a diuretic effect including just using celery and celery seed.  In addition, dietary adjustments can be very helpful.