Helicobacter pylori infection, garlic intake and precancerous lesions in a Chinese population at low risk of gastric cancer.
BACKGROUND: Cangshan County of Shandong Province has one of the lowest rates of gastric cancer (GC) in China. While intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia (DYS) are less common in Cangshan than in areas of Shandong at high risk of GC, these precursor lesions nevertheless affect about 20% of adults age > or = 55. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: In order to evaluate determinants of IM and DYS in Cangshan County, a low risk area of GC a survey was conducted among 214 adults who participated in a gastroscopic screening survey in Cangshan County in 1994. METHOD: A dietary interview and measurement of serum Helicobacter pylori antibodies were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence of H. pylori was lowest (19%) among those with normal gastric mucosa, rising steadily to 35% for superficial gastritis (SG), 56% for chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), 80% for IM, and 100% for DYS. The prevalence odds of precancerous lesions were compared with the odds of normal histology or SG. The odds ratio (OR) or CAG associated with H. pylori positivity was 4.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.7-10.0), while the OR of IM/DYS associated with H. pylori positivity was 31.5 (95% CI: 5.2-187). After adjusting for H. pylori infection, drinking alcohol was a risk factor for CAG (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1-9.2) and IM/DYS (OR = 7.8, 95% CI: 1.3-47.7). On the other hand, consumption of garlic showed non-significant protective effects and an inverse association with H. pylori infection. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that infection with H. pylori is a risk factor and garlic may be protective, in the development and progression of advanced precancerous gastric lesions in an area of China at relatively low risk of GC. (+info)
Insulin-secreting activity of the traditional antidiabetic plant Viscum album (mistletoe).
Viscum album (mistletoe) has been documented as a traditional treatment of diabetes. In acute 20-min tests, 1-10 mg/ml aqueous extract of mistletoe evoked a stepwise 1.1- to 12.2-fold stimulation of insulin secretion from clonal pancreatic B-cells. This effect was abolished by 0.5 mM diazoxide and prior exposure to extract did not alter subsequent stimulation of insulin secretion induced by 10 mM L-alanine, thereby negating a detrimental effect on cell viability. The insulin-releasing effect of mistletoe extract was unaltered by 16.7 mM glucose, l-alanine (10 mM), 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) (1 mM), or a depolarising concentration of KCl (25 mM). The ability of extract to enhance insulin secretion did not depend upon the use of heat during extract preparation and was not mediated by lectins. These results demonstrate the presence of insulin-releasing natural product(s) in Viscum album which may contribute to the reported antidiabetic property of the plant. (+info)
Inhibition of human sperm motility by specific herbs used in alternative medicine.
PURPOSE: Our purpose was to analyze sperm motility parameters in the presence of herbs. METHODS: Washed sperm were incubated in either saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens, Permixon Sabal serrulatum), echinacea purpura, ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), or control medium. Parameters were measured on a Hamilton-Thorn analyzer after 1, 4, 24, and 48 hr at 37 degrees C. RESULTS: Sperm motility was inhibited at the high concentration (0.6 mg/mL) of St. John's wort. Curvilinear velocities and beat cross frequencies also decreased, but not hyperactivation. High-concentration saw-palmetto, echinacea, or gikgo inhibited motility at 24 and 48 hr. CONCLUSIONS: A potent inhibition of sperm motility was seen in St. John's wort unrelated to changes in pH. Furthermore, sperm viability was compromised in St. John's wort, suggesting a spermicidal effect. Metabolic changes were observed in saw-palmetto-treated sperm. High-concentration echinacea purpura interfered with sperm enzymes. Ginkgo did not have an antioxidant effect on sperm motility. (+info)
Migraine headaches: nutritional, botanical and other alternative approaches.
Migraine headaches are an increasingly common health problem with a wide range of potential etiological factors. Stress, food allergies, neuroendocrine imbalances and nutritional deficiencies all may contribute to migraine attacks. Many nutritional and botanical therapies aim to reduce migraine incidence by decreasing platelet aggregation and preventing the release of vasoactive neurotransmitters, and avoiding triggering foods. This article reviews much of the research on nutritional, botanical, dietary, and other alternative approaches to the treatment and prevention of migraines. (+info)
New federal office will spend millions to regulate herbal remedies, vitamins.
The new Office of Natural Health Products promises better regulation of herbal remedies, but its creation raises many questions. (+info)
A review of nutrients and botanicals in the integrative management of cognitive dysfunction.
Dementias and other severe cognitive dysfunction states pose a daunting challenge to existing medical management strategies. An integrative, early intervention approach seems warranted. Whereas, allopathic treatment options are highly limited, nutritional and botanical therapies are available which have proven degrees of efficacy and generally favorable benefit-to-risk profiles. This review covers five such therapies: phosphatidylserine (PS), acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC), vinpocetine, Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE), and Bacopa monniera (Bacopa). PS is a phospholipid enriched in the brain, validated through double-blind trials for improving memory, learning, concentration, word recall, and mood in middle-aged and elderly subjects with dementia or age-related cognitive decline. PS has an excellent benefit-to-risk profile. ALC is an energizer and metabolic cofactor which also benefits various cognitive functions in the middle-aged and elderly, but with a slightly less favorable benefit-to-risk profile. Vinpocetine, found in the lesser periwinkle Vinca minor, is an excellent vasodilator and cerebral metabolic enhancer with proven benefits for vascular-based cognitive dysfunction. Two meta-analyses of GbE demonstrate the best preparations offer limited benefits for vascular insufficiencies and even more limited benefits for Alzheimer's, while "commodity" GbE products offer little benefit, if any at all. GbE (and probably also vinpocetine) is incompatible with blood-thinning drugs. Bacopa is an Ayurvedic botanical with apparent anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue, and memory-strengthening effects. These five substances offer interesting contributions to a personalized approach for restoring cognitive function, perhaps eventually in conjunction with the judicious application of growth factors. (+info)
A review of plants used in the treatment of liver disease: part two.
Botanical medicines have been used traditionally by herbalists and indigenous healers worldwide for the prevention and treatment of liver disease. Clinical research in this century has confirmed the efficacy of several plants in the treatment of liver disease, while basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which some plants provide their therapeutic effects. This article is Part Two in a review of botanicals used in the treatment of liver disease. Curcuma longa (turmeric), Camellia sinensis (green tea), and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) are reviewed in this installment. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) and Picrorhiza kurroa (kutkin) were reviewed in Part One. (+info)
Anti-tumour promoter activity in Malaysian ginger rhizobia used in traditional medicine.
Zingiberaceae rhizomes commonly used in the Malaysian traditional medicine were screened for anti-tumour promoter activity using the short-term assay of inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) in Raji cells. The inhibition of TPA-induced EBV-EA was detected using the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and Western blot technique. The indirect IFA detected the expression/inhibition of EBV-EA-D (diffused EA antigen), whereas the Western blot technique detected the expression/inhibition of both EBV-EA-D and EA-R (restricted EA antigen). Seven rhizomes were found to possess inhibitory activity towards EBV activation, induced by TPA; they are: Curcuma domestica, C. xanthorrhiza, Kaempferia galanga, Zingiber cassumunar, Z. officinale, Z. officinale (red variety), and Z. zerumbet. A cytotoxicity assay was carried out to determine the toxicity of the Zingiberaceae rhizome extracts. The rhizome extracts that exhibited EBV activation inhibitory activity had no cytotoxicity effect in Raji cells. Therefore, the present study shows that several Zingiberaceae species used in Malaysian traditional medicine contain naturally occurring non-toxic compounds that inhibit the EBV activation, which, if further investigated, could contribute in the development of cancer prevention methods at the tumour-promoting stage. (+info)