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Home > Newsletters > February 2009 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Traditional Medicine in the Treatment of Drug Addiction

Auricular Acupuncture Effects on Postoperative Vomiting after Cholecystectomy

Licorice Flavonoids Inhibit Eotaxin-1 Secretion by Human Fetal Lung Fibroblasts in Vitro


Traditional Medicine in the Treatment of Drug Addiction

Lu L, et al. National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Aims: To evaluate clinical trials and neurochemical mechanisms of the action of traditional herbal remedies and acupuncture for treating drug addiction. Methods: We used computerized literature searches in English and Chinese and examined texts written before these computerized databases existed. We used search terms of treatment and neurobiology of herbal medicines, and acupuncture for drug abuse and dependence. Results: Acupuncture showed evidence for clinical efficacy and relevant neurobiological mechanisms in opiate withdrawal, but it showed poor efficacy for alcohol and nicotine withdrawal or relapse prevention, and no large studies supported its efficacy for cocaine in well-designed clinical trials. Clinical trials were rare for herbal remedies. Radix Puerariae showed the most promising efficacy for alcoholism by acting through daidzin, which inhibits mitocochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 and leads to disulfiram-like alcohol reactions. Peyote also has some evidence for alcoholism treatment among Native Americans. Ginseng and Kava lack efficacy data in addictions, and Kava can be hepatotoxic. Thunbergia laurifolia can protect against alcoholic liver toxicity. Withania somnifera and Salvia miltiorrhiza have no efficacy data, but can reduce morphine tolerance and alcohol intake, respectively, in animal models. Conclusions: Traditional herbal treatments can compliment pharmacotherapies for drug withdrawal and possibly relapse prevention with less expense and perhaps fewer side effects with notable exceptions. Both acupuncture and herbal treatments need testing as adjuncts to reduce doses and durations of standard pharmacotherapies.

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2009 Jan;35(1):1-11.

Source: PubMed

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Auricular Acupuncture Effects on Postoperative Vomiting after Cholecystectomy

Sahmeddini MA, et al. Department of Anaesthesiology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Faghihi Hospital, Shiraz, Iran. alireza.mehdizadeh@gmail.com

PURPOSE: To find the efficacy of auricular acupuncture for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting after cholecystectomy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred (100) female patients undergoing transabdominal cholecystectomy were randomly allocated to two groups of 50 (auricular acupuncture treatment group and nontreatment group) in order to test the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture. Statistical significance (p < 0.05) was determined using an unpaired t-test for age, weight, height, and duration of anesthesia; a chi-square test was used to analyze the incidence of vomiting. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in age, weight, height, or duration of anesthesia among the two groups of patients. There was a significant difference between the control and auricular acupuncture treatment groups in the incidence of vomiting 24 hours after surgery (66% and 0%, respectively, p < 0.01). No noteworthy side effects from treatment were observed. CONCLUSION: Auricular acupuncture is effective in reducing vomiting following transabdominal cholecystectomy in female patients.

J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Dec;14(10):1275-9

Source: PubMed

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Licorice Flavonoids Inhibit Eotaxin-1 Secretion by Human Fetal Lung Fibroblasts in Vitro

Jayaprakasam B, et al . Departments of Pediatrics, Genetics and Genomics Science, and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, New York 10029, and Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.

Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Gan-Cao), commonly called "licorice", is one of the most commonly used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In the United States, licorice products are most often consumed as flavoring and sweetening agents in food products. The licorice triterpenoid glycyrrhizin has several biological activities, including anti-inflammatory activity. Other potential anti-inflammatory constituents in G. uralensis have not been fully investigated. Airway eosinophilic inflammation is a major feature of allergic asthma. Eotaxin-1 (eotaxin) is involved in the recruitment of eosinophils to sites of antigen-induced inflammation in asthmatic airways. Because human lung fibroblasts are the major source of eotaxin, inhibition of eosinophil recruitment by suppression of fibroblast eotaxin production is a potentially valuable approach for the pharmacological intervention in asthma. A systematic bioassay-guided purification of G. uralensis yielded five flavonoids: liquiritin, liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone, and isoononin. The structures of the compounds were established by (1)H and (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) studies. The potential ability of these isolated pure compounds and glycyrrhizin to inhibit secretion of eotaxin-1 by human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1) was tested. Liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, and 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone were more effective than liquiritin, isoononin, and glycyrrhizin in suppressing eotaxin secretion. A concentration-response study showed the IC(50) concentrations of liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, and 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone were 4.2, 0.92, and 0.21 mug/mL, respectively, demonstrating that Glycyrrhiza flavonoids inhibit eotaxin-1 secretion in vitro.

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jan 8.

Source: PubMed

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February 2009
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