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News: Health Herbal Medicine Research Latest News

Latest News – For our clients and customers to keep up to date with current health and herbal medicine research and their conditions

  • Withania somnifera Root Extract Has Potent Cytotoxic Effect against Human Malignant Melanoma Cells Saturday September 05th, 2015

    Babli Halder, Shruti Singh, Suman S. Thakur


    In Ayurveda, Withania somnifera is commonly known as Ashwagandha, its roots are specifically used in medicinal and clinical applications. It possesses numerous therapeutic actions which include anti-inflammatory, sedative, hypnotic and narcotic. Extracts from this plant have been reported for its anticancer properties. In this study we evaluated for the first time, the cytotoxic effect of Withania root extract on human malignant melanoma A375 cells. The crude extract of Withania was tested for cytotoxicity against A375 cells by MTT assay. Cell morphology of treated A375 cells was visualized through phase contrast as well as fluorescence microscopy. Agarose gel electrophoresis was used to check DNA fragmentation of the crude extract treated cells. Crude extract of Withania root has the potency to reduce viable cell count in dose as well as time dependent manner. Morphological change of the A375 cells was also observed in treated groups in comparison to untreated or vehicle treated control. Apoptotic body and nuclear blebbing were observed in DAPI stained treated cells under fluorescence microscope. A ladder of fragmented DNA was noticed in treated cells. Thus it might be said that the crude water extract of Withania somnifera has potent cytotoxic effect on human malignant melanoma A375 cells.

    Citation: Halder B, Singh S, Thakur SS (2015) Withania somnifera Root Extract Has Potent Cytotoxic Effect against Human Malignant Melanoma Cells. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137498. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137498

    Editor: Salvatore V. Pizzo, Duke University Medical Center, UNITED STATES

    Received: March 16, 2015; Accepted: August 18, 2015; Published: September 3, 2015

    Copyright: © 2015 Halder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

    Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper.

    Funding: The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology, India and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India for funding.

    Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

    Download Full Article PDF

    Source: PLOS ONE

  • Weight loss surgery ‘cures half of type-2 diabetes cases’ Friday September 04th, 2015

    Weight loss surgery cures half of patients with type-2 diabetes, for at least five years, a study suggests.

    The trial, on 60 people, published in the Lancet, found none of those with type 2 had been cured by medication and diet alone.

    The surgery improves symptoms both through weight loss and by changing the way the gut functions.

    Experts said the results were “remarkable” and that too few people were getting access to the surgery.

    The team, at King’s College London and the Universita Cattolica in Rome, compared standard drug therapy with surgery to rewire the digestive tract.

    The operations reduced the size of the stomach and left less of the intestines exposed to food.

    Prof Francesco Rubino, who operated on the patients, told the BBC News website: “Surgery is able to produce prolonged remission in 50% of cases, patients get to levels of blood sugar that is non-diabetes for five years.

    “However, 80% who had surgery were able to maintain ‘optimal control’ [of blood sugar] despite only taking one drug or nothing at all.”

    While some of those patients still had type-2 diabetes, they were easily keeping their sugar levels to recommended levels.

    The patients who had surgery were also less likely to have heart problems, a common side-effect of uncontrolled diabetes, and reported improved quality of life.

    Prof Rubino added: “Treating surgically, rather than medical therapy, appears more cost-effective, as there is less use of medication.”

    The results were better two years after surgery. However, some patients relapsed in the past three years.

    The surgeons say there still needs to be continual monitoring of blood sugar levels even after the operation.

    Drs Dimitri Pournaras and Carel le Roux, from Imperial College London, said diabetes was “the plague of the 21st Century” and that the results were “remarkable”.

    They added: “Surgery for diabetes seems to be safe, effective in terms of glycaemic [sugar] control, and is now associated with reduced complications of diabetes.

    “The ultimate question is whether diabetes surgery is associated with reduced mortality.”

    However they said surgery needed to “become more available because only a few patients who will benefit are currently offered this potentially life-saving option”.

    New rules in the UK have been introduced that should increase the number of patients being offered weight loss surgery.

    Source: BBC

  • Eating too much salt may raise the risk of OBESITY: Every extra gram can increase the chance of putting on weight by 25% Thursday September 03rd, 2015

    Every extra gram eaten each day increases obesity risk by 25 per cent

    Research led by Professor Graham MacGregor of Queen Marry University suggests salt modifies metabolism, altering the way the body absorbs fat

    That salt consumption is linked to high blood pressure is widely known
    But this is the first study of its kind that links salt directly to obesity

    Eating too much salt may be a trigger for obesity – no matter how many calories of other food you consume.

    British scientists found that every extra gram of salt that a person eats each day increases their risk of obesity by 25 per cent.

    Even when they took into account the total amount of food individuals ate, salt still seemed to be a major factor in a person’s weight.

    Researchers led by Professor Graham MacGregor of Queen Mary University of London have produced the first study of its kind that links salt directly to obesity

    Doctors have known for some time that salt consumption is linked to high blood pressure, making it a risk factor for heart disease.

    But this is the first study of its kind that links salt directly to obesity.

    The researchers, led by Professor Graham MacGregor of Queen Mary University of London, said they could not be sure exactly why salt has such a profound impact.

    But they suspect that it modifies the metabolism, altering the way the body absorbs fat.

    Writing in the journal Hypertension, the scientists said: ‘These results suggest that salt intake is a potential risk factor for obesity independent of energy intake.’

    But other professionals urged caution, saying the findings were unreliable because people in the study self-reported how much they ate.

    The research used data for more than 450 children and 780 adults from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008/2009 to 2011/2012.

    Experts analysed urine samples over 24 hours and calculated calorie intake from a four-day diary.

    The results showed that salt intake in urine was higher in people who were overweight or obese, with an extra gram of salt a day leading to a more than 20 per cent increase in the chance of being heavy.

    Professor MacGregor, who is chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health, said: ‘The food we eat is now the biggest cause of ill health through its high salt, fat and sugar content added by the food industry.

    British scientists found that every extra gram of salt that a person eats each day increases their risk of obesity by 25 per cent

    ‘High blood pressure and obesity both lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, which are the commonest causes of death and disability in the UK.

    ‘Obesity also predisposes to type 2 diabetes, which further increases the risks of cardiovascular disease and can lead to severe complications.

    ‘Such an epidemic will cripple the NHS if the increase in these diet related issues are not stopped immediately.’

    The NHS suggests we eat no more than 6g salt a day – but the latest statistics show we are eating far more than we require, at 8.1g per day on average.

    Professor Susan Jebb, a government advisor and diet expert at the University of Oxford, urged caution.

    ‘Since energy intake was self-reported there is no way to be confident in this assertion,’ she said.

    ‘Salt reduction is important to reduce cardiovascular risk but the combination of a weak study design and lack of any strong mechanistic basis for the association between salt and fatness means that this study should not detract from the main cause of weight gain which is consuming too many calories.

    ‘I would not want to see the public misled by the publicity around this paper into thinking that cutting salt alone will reduce their risk of obesity or help them to lose weight.’

    Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘It’s well established that we should be reducing the amount of salt we eat to help avoid high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the link between salt intake and obesity identified in this research could be another reason for us to do this.

    ‘Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy, which is why checking nutritional information on packs to make sure we are making the healthiest choice is important to help limit the amount of salt we are eating.’

    Barbara Gallani, director of science and health at the Food and Drink Federation, said: ‘We know that salt intakes in the UK are currently exceeding dietary recommendations, and the food industry has worked hard over a number of years to reduce the levels of salt in foods.

    ‘As a direct result of the work industry has taken, salt intakes in the UK have fallen by 1.4g/day over the last 10 years, and this work is continuing.

    ‘The suggestion of a direct link between salt intakes and obesity that CASH has reported is interesting, although more research is needed to identify any potential mechanisms involved.

    ‘In any case, obesity is a complex issue and should be tackled via a range of initiatives including better nutrition education and provision of choice to consumers, rather than through an over simplistic focus on individual nutrients.’

    Source: Daily Mail

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