The Study Abstract: A randomized trial of Boswellia in association with betaine and myo-inositol in the management of breast fibroadenomas.
OBJECTIVE: Breast fibroadenoma is a common finding in young women and actually accounts for the majority of benign breast lumps. Fibroadenoma does not require any treatment unless clinical symptoms (mostly mastalgia) or histological markers of cancer risk (atypia) impose specific medical or surgical intervention. In symptomatic fibroadenoma, anti-estrogenic treatments provided evidence of success. Yet, these therapies are often associated with relevant side effects that lead to drug treatment discontinuation. Additionally, in such cases, relapse is a frequent issue. Therefore, an optimal strategy is still warranted. Boswellia, betaine and myo-inositol have already been proved to modulate different pathways—inflammatory, metabolic, oxidative, and endocrine processes—in a wide array of human tissues. Based on that background, we hypothesized that these substances can effectively synergize in inducing the regression of fibroadenoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included 64 patients ≤ 30 years of age with fibroadenoma. The patients were randomized into two groups. The experimental group was treated with an association of Boswellia, betaine, myo-inositol, B-group vitamins, and N-acetylcysteine for 6 months; otherwise, the placebo group was treated only with B-group vitamins and N-acetylcysteine. Patients were monitored at the enrollment and the end of the study for evaluating the clinical response.
RESULTS: A significant clinical improvement was observed in the experimental arm. Fibroadenoma median volume reduction averaged 17.86% in the experimental group and 5.96% in the placebo group. Moreover, 14 out of 36 (38.88%) patients showed a reduction of fibroadenoma volume compared to 5/28 (17.85%) observed in the placebo group (p = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: A supplementation with Boswellia, betaine, and myo-inositol reduces fibroadenoma dimension in young women. No relevant side effects have been recorded.
Source: Pasta V, Dinicola S, Giuliani A, et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 May;20(9):1860-5.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
Boswellia is becoming increasingly recognized for its cell-protecting properties. This study showed that boswellia (in this case combined with other safe, natural ingredients) reduced non-cancerous tumors in breast tissue. Because the boswellia combination was effective without causing the side effects that can be common with conventional hormone-affecting treatment, it could easily become a first-line intervention.
Ginger puts a spring in your step
The Study Abstract: Efficacy and tolerability of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in patients of osteoarthritis of knee.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative disorder of synovial joints and a common cause of locomotor disability. NSAIDs are routinely used for symptomatic treatment and are associated with side effects which have led to the increased interest towards alternative treatment options. This study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ginger in management of OA. Sixty patients of OA of the knee were enrolled in a randomized open label study and divided into three groups of 20 each. Group I received tab. Diclofenac 50 mg and cap. placebo, group II received cap. ginger 750 mg and cap. placebo and group III received cap. ginger 750 mg and tab. diclofenac 50 mg. The assessment of efficacy was done at every 2 weeks till 12 weeks, by using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis (WOMAC) index, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the safety assessment was done by noting adverse events during the study. The analysis of WOMAC score and VAS score in all the three groups showed statistically significant improvement with time in all groups. On comparison among three groups, group III patients who received both ginger and diclofenac showed numerically superior improvement than the individual treatments. There was no statistically significant difference among three groups in case of adverse events. Ginger powder has add-on effect on reducing the symptoms of OA of the knee with acceptable safety profile.
Source: Paramdeep G. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Apr-Jun;57(2):177-83.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
According to the Centers for Disease Control, osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 30 million American adults. Because people are looking for relief, many turn to prescription medications that can cause side effects. However, ginger—already a powerful anti-inflammatory on its own merit—was shown to assist a commonly prescribed medication, diclofenac, in reducing OA symptoms in the knees.
For those already inclined to choose a natural intervention for arthritis symptoms or pain relief, that may not sound surprising. But the fact that greater results were shown in the group using both diclofenac and ginger (versus either one alone) provides a record of solid results for patients and practitioners alike, who may have wondered about the efficacy and safety of integrating botanical and conventional medicines. Every positive outcome helps build a case for a common sense approach to bridging these two worlds.
Grape seed: an answer for Alzheimer’s?
The Study Abstract: Effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin on Alzheimer’s disease in vitro and in vivo.
Grape seed proanthocyanidin (GSPA) consists of catechin, epicatechin, and epicatechin gallate, which are strong antioxidants that are beneficial to health and may attenuate or prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the present study, the effects of GSPA on pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell viability were determined using cell counting kit-8 and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays, whereas apoptosis and mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) were measured via flow cytometry analysis. The effect of GSPA administration on the behavior and memory of amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin-1 (PS-1) double transgenic mice was assessed using a Morris water maze. APP Aβ peptides and tau hyperphosphorylation were examined by western blotting; whereas the expression levels of PS-1 were evaluated by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and compared with pathological sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Congo red. Data from the in vitro experiments demonstrated that GSPA significantly alleviated Aβ25-35 cytotoxicity and LDH leakage ratio, inhibited apoptosis and increased Ψm. The findings from the in vivo experiments showed a significant enhancement in cognition and spatial memory ability, an improvement in the pathology of APP and tau protein and a decrease in PS-1 mRNA expression levels. Therefore, the results of the present study indicated that GSPA may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of AD or may, at the very least, improve the quality of life of patients with AD.
Source: Lian Q, Nie Y, Zhang X, et al. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Sep;12(3):1681-1692.
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU:
According to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Once symptoms become apparent and diagnosis is official, it can be heartbreaking to try and slow the progression of the disease. Conventional medication has shown some promise, but the side effects can be severe.
This scientific research shows that the components of grape seed can not only alleviate beta-amyloid damage to neurons, but also showed an ability to help enhance cognition and spatial memory—two major factors of decline for those suffering from the condition. In the near future, grape seed—especially with readily absorbed and utilized oligomeric proanthocyanidins—may become a naturally recognized part of the arsenal against Alzheimer’s, without the limitations and risks of side effects.