Latest News – For our clients and customers to keep up to date with current health and herbal medicine research and their conditions
- Role of medicinal plants for Liver–Qi regulation adjuvant therapy in post-stroke depression: A systematic review of literature Wednesday October 26th, 2016
In this review, the researchers aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medicinal plant for Liver–Qi regulation (MPLR) adjuvant therapy in patients with post–stroke depression (PSD). The study revealed that there is supporting evidence that in reducing the depressive symptoms and enhancing quality of life for patients with PSD, adjuvant therapy with MPLR is effective.
From January 2000 until July 2016, 7 databases were extensively searched.
Randomized control trials (RCTs) involving patients with PSD that compared treatment with and without MPLR were taken into account.
They calculated the pooled effect estimates based on Cochrane Collaboration’s software RevMan 5.3.
The researchers included 42 eligible studies with 3612 participants.
In general, MPLR adjuvant therapy demonstrated a significantly higher effective rate (RR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.19, 1.27; p < 0.00001) contrasted with those without.
Besides, the administration of MPLR was superior to abstainers regarding Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) score changes after 3 weeks (WMD = -4.83; 95% CI = -6.82, -2.83; p < 0.00001), 4 weeks (WMD = -3.25; 95% CI = -4.10, -2.40; p < 0.00001), 6 weeks (WMD = -4.04; 95% CI = -5.24, -2.84; p < 0.00001), 8 weeks (WMD = -4.72; 95% CI = -5.57, -3.87; p < 0.00001), and 12 weeks (WMD = -3.07; 95% CI = -4.05, -2.09; p < 0.00001).
Also, there were additive benefits in terms of response changes for the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and other self-rating scores.
In this study, no frequently occurring or serious adverse events were reported.
Source: MD Linx
- Do vegetarians or meat eaters live longer? Wednesday October 26th, 2016
James Brown is a lecturer in biology at Aston University, Birmingham
Previous research found non-meat eaters were less likely to die early
Meat-free diets are known to reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer
But he says vegetarians don’t necessarily live longest because of their diet
It’s a fierce debate – does eating meat really put you at risk of a host of chronic diseases?
Many argue veganism is the best option for those seeking to avoid type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
But now, James Brown, a lecturer in biology at Aston University, Birmingham, reveals exactly who can expect to live longer.
Here, in a piece for The Conversation, he explains seperate lifestyle factors may explain why vegetarians appear to live the longest.
James Brown, a lecturer in biology at Aston University, Birmingham, reveals the research which suggests who lives longer
Our ability to live a long life is influenced by a combination of our genes and our environment.
In studies that involve identical twins, scientists have estimated that no more than 30 per cent of this influence comes from our genes, meaning that the largest group of factors that control how long a person lives is their environment.
Calorie restriction, for example, is one area that is being investigated.
So far, studies seem to show that restricting calories can increase lifespan, at least in small creatures. But what works for mice doesn’t necessarily work for humans.
What we eat – as opposed to how much we eat – is also a hot topic to study and meat consumption is often put under the microscope.
NON-MEAT EATERS ARE ‘LESS LIKELY TO DIE EARLY’
Previous research found non-meat eaters were less likely to die – of any cause – over a period of around five years.
A study that tracked almost 100,000 Americans for five years found that non-meat eaters were less likely to die – of any cause – during the study period than meat eaters. This effect was especially noticeable in males.
Some meta-analyses, which combine and re-analyse data from several studies, have also shown that a diet low in meat is associated with greater longevity and that the longer a person sticks to a meat-free diet, the greater the benefit.
Not all studies agree, however. Some show very little or even no difference at all in longevity between meat eaters and non-meat eaters.
What is clear is evidence that meat-free diets can reduce the risk of developing health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
There is some evidence to suggest that vegan diets possibly offer added protection above a standard vegetarian diet.
These findings are far easier to interpret as they report the actual event of being diagnosed with a health problem rather than death from any cause.
So can we confidently say that avoiding meat will increase your lifespan? The simple answer is: not yet.
THE PROBLEM WITH LONGEVITY
There is some evidence to suggest that vegan diets possibly offer added protection above a standard vegetarian diet
The first thing that is clear is that, compared with most other creatures, humans live for a very long time.
This makes it very difficult to run studies that measure the effect of anything on longevity.
Instead scientists either look back at existing health records or recruit volunteers for studies that use shorter time periods, measuring death rates and looking to see which group, on average, was mostly likely to die first.
From this data, claims are made about the effect certain activities have on longevity, including avoiding meat.
There are problems with this approach. First, finding a link between two things – such as eating meat and an early death – doesn’t necessarily mean one thing caused the other. In other words: correlation does not equal causation.
It may appear that vegetarianism and longevity are related but a different variable may explain the link.
It could be that vegetarians exercise more, smoke less and drink less alcohol than their meat eating counterparts, for example.
Nutrition studies also rely on volunteers accurately and truthfully recording their food intake.
It may appear that vegetarianism and longevity are related but a different variable may explain the link. It could be that vegetarians exercise more, smoke less and drink less alcohol than their meat eating counterparts, Dr Brown says
But this can’t be taken for granted. Studies have shown that people tend to underreport calorie intake and overreport healthy food consumption.
Without actually controlling the diet of groups of people and measuring how long they live, it is difficult to have absolute confidence in findings.
So should I avoid meat for a long and healthy life? The key to healthy ageing probably does lie in controlling our environment, including what we eat.
From the available evidence it is possible that eating a meat-free diet can contribute to this, and that avoiding meat in your diet could certainly increase your chances of avoiding disease as you age.
But there’s certainly also evidence to suggest that this really might work in tandem with avoiding some clearer risks to longevity, including smoking.
Source: Daily Mail
- Why stress can make you overweight Wednesday October 26th, 2016
Stress creates a hormone known as Adamts1 that generates fat cells
This creates an unsightly spare tyre and wraps fat around internal organs
Experts say if you’re already fat, your body’s more likely to make extra cells
It is well known that stress can lead to weight gain, usually after reaching for a chocolate bar or a glass of red wine following a long day.
But it is not just comfort eating to blame, as our bodies work against us to build up fat when we are under pressure.
Researchers have found stress triggers a hormone called Adamts1 which generates fat cells in the body.
This not only can create an unsightly spare tyre, but wraps fat around internal organs like the liver and pancreas, raising someone’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Stress triggers a hormone called Adamts1 which generates fat cells in the body, researchers from Stanford University found
The fresh evidence that a stressful job can make you fat comes from Stanford University School of Medicine.
Senior author Dr Brian Feldman, assistant professor of paediatrics, said it is the stress hormones which encourage fat cells to become mature.
He said: ‘We think it is a signal that there may be hard times ahead, a trigger to store as much available energy as you can.’
It was once believed that fat cells were just passive bags of calories, but recent research shows they send and receive important hormonal signals.
Stored within ‘fat depots’ in the body, they can influence the stem cells around them – cells which can turn into any type of cell within the body.
Scientists at Stanford now know the trigger for this, the Adamts1 hormone, which turns the stem cells into more fat cells ready to store fat.
It means, perhaps unfairly, that once you are already fat, your body is likely to create more fat cells as a knock-on effect. Stress, like being overweight, causes the same effect.
This not only can create an unsightly spare tyre, but wraps fat around internal organs like the liver and pancreas, raising someone’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Dr Feldman said: ‘You’re ingesting food, and some signal has to tell your body to make more fat.
‘We didn’t know what was gating or triggering that process in vivo (in the body). This new research goes a long way to fill in the in-between steps.’
The research follows a study last year showing that a job which becomes demanding can make you fat.
That was because workplace stress led to poor diet and comfort eating, with University College London finding people in this situation were 20 per cent more likely to become dangerously overweight.
OBESE MOTHERS PUT THEIR CHILDREN AT RISK
Women need to be healthier before they conceive or risk their child developing a host of health problems, experts warned last week.
Babies are being put at risk of brain damage, stroke, heart attack or asthma in adulthood because their mother was obese, scientists say.
A series of studies suggest the problem begins in the womb – with the time before couples begin a family representing a ‘missed opportunity’ to tackle it.
Research has also shown youngsters are more likely to pile on the pounds if their parents were overweight before they were born.
Whether it is stress hormones in the body triggering Adamts1, or weight gain from stress-eating, the Stanford scientists found the result in fat cells is the same.
The new findings, published in the journal Science Signalling, showed that Adamts1 plays a big role in controlling whether fat stem cells differentiate.
People who gained weight while eating a high-fat diet had more new fat cells maturing in their visceral fat tissue, the fat located around internal organs.
While this does not always create visible belly fat, as subcutaneous fat under the skin does, it is dangerous for health.
The study’s results do not exclude the possibility that other, undiscovered hormones also influence fat cells’ decision to mature, but Adamts1 is believed to be the dominant signaller.
On anti-obesity treatment options, Dr Feldman said: ‘That won’t be a simple answer.
‘If you block fat formation, extra calories have to go somewhere in the body, and sending them somewhere else outside fat cells could be more detrimental to metabolism.
‘We know from other researchers’ work that liver and muscle are both bad places to store fat, for example.
‘We do think there are going to be opportunities for new treatments based on our discoveries, but not by simply blocking fat formation alone.’
Source: Daily Mail
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