Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Vitamin A—found in sweet potatoes and carrots—can reverse pre-cancerous cells such as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), one of the most common early warning signals of breast cancer.
Retinoic acid, a form of the vitamin, makes pre-cancer cells in the breast healthy again, although it cannot reverse full-blown cancer, say researchers from Thomas Jefferson University.
They tested the vitamin on four different lines of cancer cells, at various stages of the cancer’s life, from pre-cancerous—which is the stage when DCIS is diagnosed—through to aggressive and spreading (metastatic).
The retinoic acid, which is one of the chemicals that the body converts vitamin A into, turned pre-cancerous cells healthy in terms of their shape and genetic signature. The cancerous cells, however, didn’t respond to the vitamin.
(Source: International Journal of Oncology, 2014; doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2354)
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
It helps relieve stress on the heart, especially during times when it has to work harder, such as during cold weather, researchers at Florida State University have found.
They discovered the extract “significantly” reduces blood pressure when they tested it on a group of 13 overweight people who were suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure).
Their hearts had to work harder when their hands were put into freezing water of 39 degrees F (4 degrees C) each day for six weeks while they were given 4 g L-citrulline and 2 g L-arginine, both watermelon extracts. During the study period, they stopped taking any antihypertensive drugs, and were told not to change their usual exercise habits or diet.
(Source: American Journal of Hypertension, 2014; doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt295)
Monday, April 7, 2014
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a 3000 years’ history of human use. A literature survey addressing traditional evidence from human studies was done, with key result that top 10 TCM herb ingredients including Poria cocos, Radix polygalae, Radix glycyrrhizae, Radix angelica sinensis, and Radix rehmanniae were prioritized for highest potential benefit to dementia intervention, related to the highest frequency of use in 236 formulae collected from 29 ancient Pharmacopoeias, ancient formula books, or historical archives on ancient renowned TCM doctors, over the past 10 centuries. Based on the history of use, there was strong clinical support that Radix polygalae is memory improving. Pharmacological investigation also indicated that all the five ingredients mentioned above can elicit memory-improving effects in vivo and in vitro via multiple mechanisms of action, covering estrogenlike, cholinergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, neurogenetic, and anti-Aβ activities. Furthermore, 11 active principles were identified, including sinapic acid, tenuifolin, isoliquiritigenin, liquiritigenin, glabridin, ferulic acid, Z-ligustilide, N-methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide, coniferyl ferulate and 11-angeloylsenkyunolide F, and catalpol. It can be concluded that TCM has a potential for complementary and alternative role in treating senile dementia. The scientific evidence is being continuously mined to back up the traditional medical wisdom.
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