Journal: Phytotherapy research : PTR
Curcumin, an active ingredient of Curcuma longa Linn (Zingiberaceae), has shown potential antidepressant-like activity in animal studies. The objectives of this trial were to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Herein, 60 patients diagnosed with MDD were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks observer-masked treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually or their combination. The primary efficacy variable was response rates according to Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAM-D17 ). The secondary efficacy variable was the mean change in HAM-D17 score after six weeks. We observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Frequency and torment caused by migraines direct patients toward a variety of remedies. Few studies to date have proposed ginger derivates for migraine relief. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of ginger in the ablation of common migraine attack in comparison to sumatriptan therapy. In this double-blinded randomized clinical trial, 100 patients who had acute migraine without aura were randomly allocated to receive either ginger powder or sumatriptan. Time of headache onset, its severity, time interval from headache beginning to taking drug and patient self-estimation about response for five subsequent migraine attacks were recorded by patients. Patients(,) satisfaction from treatment efficacy and their willingness to continue it was also evaluated after 1 month following intervention. Two hours after using either drug, mean headaches severity decreased significantly. Efficacy of ginger powder and sumatriptan was similar. Clinical adverse effects of ginger powder were less than sumatriptan. Patients' satisfaction and willingness to continue did not differ. The effectiveness of ginger powder in the treatment of common migraine attacks is statistically comparable to sumatriptan. Ginger also poses a better side effect profile than sumatriptan. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Topical administration of Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract (RO-ext, 2 mg/day/mouse) improved hair regrowth in C57BL/6NCrSlc mice that experienced hair regrowth interruption induced by testosterone treatment. In addition, RO-ext promoted hair growth in C3H/He mice that had their dorsal areas shaved. To investigate the antiandrogenic activity mechanism of RO-ext, we focused on inhibition of testosterone 5α-reductase, which is well recognized as one of the most effective strategies for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. RO-ext showed inhibitory activity of 82.4% and 94.6% at 200 and 500 µg/mL, respectively. As an active constituent of 5α-reductase inhibition, 12-methoxycarnosic acid was identified with activity-guided fractionation. In addition, the extract of R. officinalis and 12-methoxycarnosic acid inhibited androgen-dependent proliferation of LNCaP cells as 64.5% and 66.7% at 5 µg/mL and 5 μM, respectively. These results suggest that they inhibit the binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors. Consequently, RO-ext is a promising crude drug for hair growth. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice (PJ) contains different types of antioxidants and bioactive polyphenols and has been reported to promote cardiovascular health through several mechanisms. The present study aimed to examine the effects of 2-week intake of fresh PJ on blood pressure, flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), serum lipid profile and concentrations of inflammatory and endothelial function biomarkers. Twenty-one hypertensive patients (aged 30-67 years) were recruited into the trial and assigned to receive either PJ (150 ml/day in a single occasion between lunch and dinner; n = 11) or the same amount of water (n = 10) for a period of 2 weeks. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) pressures together with FMD and serum concentrations of lipid profile parameters, apolipoproteins A and B, intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular endothelial adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured at baseline and at the end of trial. PJ consumption was associated with significant reductions in SBP (p = 0.002) and DBP (p = 0.038) but not FMD (p > 0.05). Serum levels of VCAM-1 (p = 0.008) were significantly reduced by PJ while those of E-selectin were elevated (p = 0.039). However, no significant effect was observed from PJ on serum levels of ICAM-1, hs-CRP, lipid profile parameters, apolipoproteins and IL-6 in any of the study groups (p > 0.05). Consumption of PJ for 2 weeks has effective hypotensive effects, and may improve endothelial function by decreasing serum concentrations of VCAM-1. These findings suggest PJ as a beneficial cardioprotective supplement for hypertensive subjects. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
In elderly men, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a major risk factor for sexual dysfunctions (SDys). Additionally, the standard treatments for BPH symptoms, alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, cause SDys themselves. Preparations from saw palmetto berries are an efficacious and well-tolerated symptomatic treatment for mild to moderate BPH and have traditionally been used to treat SDys. We conducted an open multicentric clinical pilot trial to investigate whether the saw palmetto berry preparation Prostasan® influenced BPH symptoms and SDys. Eighty-two patients participated in the 8-week trial, taking one capsule of 320 mg saw palmetto extract daily. At the end of the treatment, the International Prostate Symptom Score was reduced from 14.4 ± 4.7 to 6.9 ± 5.2 (p < 0.0001); SDys measured with the brief Sexual Function Inventory improved from 22.4 ± 7.2 to 31.4 ± 9.2 (p < 0.0001), and the Urolife BPH QoL-9 sex total improved from 137.3 ± 47.9 to 195.0 ± 56.3 (p < 0.0001). Investigators' and patients' assessments confirmed the good efficacy, and treatment was very well tolerated and accepted by the patients. Correlation analyses confirmed the relationship between improved BPH symptoms and reduced SDys. This was the first trial with saw palmetto to show improvement in BPH symptoms and SDys as well. [Corrections made here after initial online publication.] Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
HT042, a new herbal prescription consisting of Astragalus membranaceus, Phlomis umbrosa and Eleutherococcus senticosus, is used in traditional Korean medicine to stimulate growth in children. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of HT042 on skeletal growth, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels, and oestrogenic activity in female rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control, recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH; 20 µg/kg/day), and HT042 (100 mg/kg/day) groups and treated for 3 weeks. Axial skeletal growth, femur length, and growth plate length were measured every 3 weeks. The serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels were analysed. Moreover, the oestrogenic activity of the herbal extracts in the immature and ovariectomized rats was tested. The nose-anus, nose-tail, femur and growth-plate lengths were increased significantly in the HT042 group. Both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were highly expressed in the hypertrophic zone of the growth plate. The serum IGF-1 levels were increased. Moreover, HT042 had no uterotrophic effects in the rats. Consequently, HT042 promoted longitudinal bone growth by stimulating cell proliferation in the epiphyseal plate and inducing the expression of IGF-1 without an oestrogenic response. HT042 may be helpful in stimulating growth in children with short stature. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Ginsenosides Rb1 and Rd are the two main types of ginsenosides in Panax ginseng and have been used as an additive to against alopecia. However, the mechanisms involved are largely unknown. To determine how ginsenosides prevent hair loss, we topically applied protopanaxadiol-type ginsenosides Rb1 and Rd over the shaved skin of B57CL/6 mice, and monitored and assessed them for 35 days. We then investigated the effects of ginsenosides on cell genesis in different phases of adult hair follicles (HFs), using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine as a marker for dividing cells. Moreover, p63, a specific marker and a major regulator of keratinocyte progenitor cells of the multi-layered epithelia, was detected in epidermis. Results indicated that treatment with ginsenosides Rb1 and Rd increased cell proliferation in both anagen and telogen of HFs. However, it had no significant effect on the survival of cells in the bulge and upper follicle region. Investigation of p63 demonstrated that up-regulation of p63 expression in the matrix and outer root sheath might be one of the mechanisms by which ginsenosides Rb1 and Rd promote cell proliferation in HFs. Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which ginsenoside promotes hair growth through p63 induction in follicular keratinocytes and indicates that ginsenosides Rb1 and Rd might be developed as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of hair loss. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The current study was undertaken to explore the antipyretic and anticonvulsant profile of the Polygonatum verticillatum in established pharmacological paradigms. The crude methanol extract of rhizomes (PR) and aerial parts (PA) of the plant were tested in Brewer’s-yeast-induced pyrexia and pentylenetetrazole-induced convulsion test. PR and PA both evoked prominent antipyretic activity (p < 0.01) in a dose-dependent manner during all assessment times at the dose of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg intraperitoneally. The protection elicited by PR (82.20%) at 200 mg/kg was comparable with aspirin (88.48%) as a standard drug at 100 mg/kg. However, PA was less potent, and maximum protection was 64% at 200 mg/kg. Both PR and PA were devoid of any anticonvulsant activity. Our results demonstrated prominent evidence of antipyretic activity of P. verticillatum that is consistent with the folk uses of the plant. In addition from a biodiversity point of view, PA of the plant can also be used as an alternate of PR. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Tea tree oil (TTO) is a steam distillate of Melaleuca alternifolia that demonstrates broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. This study was designed to document how TTO challenge influences the Staphylococcus aureus transcriptome. Overall, bioinformatic analyses (S. aureus microarray meta-database) revealed that both ethanol and TTO induce related transcriptional alterations. TTO challenge led to the down-regulation of genes involved with energy-intensive transcription and translation, and altered the regulation of genes involved with heat shock (e.g. clpC, clpL, ctsR, dnaK, groES, groEL, grpE and hrcA) and cell wall metabolism (e.g. cwrA, isaA, sle1, vraSR and vraX). Inactivation of the heat shock gene dnaK or vraSR which encodes a two-component regulatory system that responds to peptidoglycan biosynthesis inhibition led to an increase in TTO susceptibility which demonstrates a protective role for these genes in the S. aureus TTO response. A gene (mmpL) encoding a putative resistance, nodulation and cell division efflux pump was also highly induced by TTO. The principal antimicrobial TTO terpene, terpinen-4-ol, altered ten genes in a transcriptional direction analogous to TTO. Collectively, this study provides additional insight into the response of a bacterial pathogen to the antimicrobial terpene mixture TTO. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Magnolia bark contains several compounds such as magnolol, honokiol, 4-O-methylhonokiol, obovatol, and other neolignan compounds. These compounds have been reported to have various beneficial effects in various diseases. There is sufficient possibility that ethanol extract of Magnolia officinalis is more effective in amyloidogenesis via synergism of these ingredients. Neuroinflammation has been known to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigated whether the ethanol extract of M. officinalis (10 mg/ kg in 0.05% ethanol) prevents memory dysfunction and amyloidogenesis in AD mouse model by intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 250 µg/ kg/day for seven times) injection. We found that ethanol extract of M. officinalis prevented LPS-induced memory deficiency as well as inhibited the LPS-induced elevation of inflammatory proteins, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase 2, and activation of astrocytes and microglia. In particular, administration of M. officinalis ethanol extract inhibited LPS-induced amyloidogenesis, which resulted in the inhibition of amyloid precursor protein, beta-site amyloid-precursor-protein-cleaving enzyme 1 and C99. Thus, this study shows that ethanol extract of M. officinalis prevents LPS-induced memory impairment as well as amyloidogenesis via inhibition of neuroinflammation and suggests that ethanol extract of M. officinalis might be a useful intervention for neuroinflammation-associated diseases such as AD. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.