A Review of Ayurvedic Herbs in Diabetes Treatment
This review documents plant-based remedies for diabetes mellitus that Sri Lankan Aurvedic physicians use and the extent of research that has been carried out on each of these plant-based remedies. Natural plant-based remedies for diabetes mellitus have been proven to be safe and effective and details about more than 400 plants are available in literature. Sri Lanka is a tropical country with many natural plant products that can be utilized for the treatment of diabetes.
January 2020, Journal of Integrative Medicine
THC:CBD Ratios for Treating Symptoms in Canadian Patients
The goal of this retrospective cohort study was to use patient reports to explore the optimal percentage of THC on the impact of common palliative care symptoms, and to gather preliminary data that can guide the design of future randomized controlled trials. Data were sourced from the Strainprint mobile app, which is a medical outcomes tracker providing medical cannabis users a means of tracking changes in symptoms as a function of different doses and types of cannabis. The authors concluded that: the THC:CBD ratio is an important attribute for patients and clinicians to consider; some symptoms may not be as responsive to increases in the THC:CBD ratio; increasing THC:CBD ratios are associated with greater effectiveness for neuropathic pain; and a higher THC:CBD ratio is not associated with greater effectiveness in the treatment of anorexia.
Sep. 30, 2019, Journal of Palliative Medicine
Grape & Blueberry Polyphenols for Improved Cognitive Function in Healthy Adults
This study investigated the acute and sustained action of a polyphenols-rich extract from grape and blueberry (PEGB), on working memory and attention in healthy students during a prolonged and intensive cognitive effort. In this randomized, cross-over, double-blind study, 30 healthy students consumed 600 mg of PEGB or a placebo. A 2.5-fold increase in serial three subtraction variation net scores was observed following PEGB consumption versus placebo (p < 0.001). The findings suggested that consumption of PEGB coupled with a healthy lifestyle may be a safe alternative to acutely improve working memory and attention during a sustained cognitive effort.
December 2019, Antioxidants
Boswellia for Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Osteoarthritis
Forty-nine patients were enrolled in this pilot study and took a Boswellia- and bromelain-based supplement for a period between 1 and 6 months. At baseline and at the end of the study, patients completed a self-assessment quality of life (QoL) questionnaire regarding their independence in performing daily activities. A significant improvement was observed for 7 of 10 QoL questions and, overall, for the total QoL score. The most significant improvements were observed in the joints that were more strongly affected at baseline. A similar trend was observed when separately considering patients with knee, hip, or generalized osteoarthritis (OA). No patients experienced adverse events and no drug interactions were reported. The authors concluded that the use of the gastroresistant formulation containing the combination of Boswellia and bromelain supplements can represent a valuable nonpharmacological tool for improving the QoL of patients suffering from different forms of OA.
Feb. 4, 2020, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Drinking Tea May Confer Protective Effects on Aging Brains
The authors of this study recruited healthy older participants to two groups according to their history of tea drinking frequency and investigated both functional and structural networks to reveal the role of tea drinking on brain organization. The results showed that tea drinking gave rise to the more efficient structural organization, but had no significant beneficial effect on the global functional organization. The study provides evidence of the positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure and suggests a protective effect on age-related decline in brain organization, the authors concluded.
Jun. 14, 2019, Aging
Shading Affects Chemical Fingerprints in Tea
The authors determined that shade treatment (dark), an agronomic practice widely used in tea cultivation, reduced the contents of most catechins, but increased the theaflavin contents, in preharvest tea leaves. This was attributed to the activation of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity in darkness. Furthermore, CsPPO3 was highly expressed under darkness, and thus CsPPO3 had been cloned, sequenced, and characterization. The CsPPO3 recombinant protein exhibited PPO function. Furthermore, shade treatment also reduced the catechin contents and increased the theaflavin contents in Yabukita and Hoshinomidori, suggesting that this phenomenon might not be specific to certain tea cultivars.
March 2020, Food Research International
System for Sensory Evaluation of Black Tea Aroma Quality
This study proposed the sensory evaluation of black tea aroma quality based on an olfactory visual sensor system. The results demonstrated that the back propagation neural network (BPNN) models, developed using three color components, can get better results based on comprehensive consideration of the generalization performance of the model and the fabrication cost of the sensor. The results revealed that the optimized sensor array has promising applications for the sensory evaluation of black tea products in the process of practical production.
December 2019, Food Research International
Effects of Cultivation Altitude on Coffee Quality
The authors of this work evaluated the influence of different altitudes on the epiphytic microbiota of coffee beans and on sensorial and chemical quality of coffees grown at 800, 1000, 1200, and 1400 m in Serra do Caparaó, Espírito Santo, Brazil. The authors observed that the chlorogenic acid and fatty acids in the green bean changed with altitude variation and processing. The floral attribute was detected only at altitude 1400 m. Caramel, chocolate and almond attributes were most frequently detected in coffees at different altitudes and processing. Therefore, pulped coffee processing was most suitable at low altitude while at high altitudes, both processes can be conducted to obtain a beverage with unusual sensory profile.
March 2020, Food Research International
Protective Effects of Curcumin & Silymarin Against Hepatotoxicity
This study aimed to illustrate the histological, biochemical, and molecular changes induced by acute paracetamol (PCM) overdose on rats’ liver to elucidate the effectiveness of curcumin compared to Silymarin in alleviating such changes. The authors concluded that both Silymarin and curcumin pretreatment prevented the toxic effects of PCM, but curcumin is more effective than Silymarin in ameliorating acute PCM induced hepatotoxicity.
Sep. 5, 2019. Gene
Astaxanthin Safety Review
The authors of this study conducted a review of approved dose levels, clinical trials of natural astaxanthin (AX), and toxicological studies with natural and synthetic AX. Recommended or approved doses varied in different countries and ranged between 2 and 24 mg. The authors reviewed 87 human studies, none of which found safety concerns with natural AX supplementation, 35 with doses ≥12 mg/day. The study also noted that synthetically produced AX is chemically different from natural AX, so results with synthetic AX should not be used in assessing natural AX safety. In addition, few safety studies have been conducted in either humans or animals with synthetic AX.
Dec. 1, 2019, Phytotherapy Research
Holly Johnson, PhD
American Herbal Products
Holly E. Johnson PhD, is the chief science officer at the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) where she is the primary scientific resource for the organization, providing individualized technical guidance to member organizations and helping the herbal industry use the latest science, technology and research to ensure consumers continue to have informed access to innovative, safe and effective herbal products. Dr. Johnson took her PhD in Pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC), under renowned Pharmacognosist and researcher Dr. Norman Farnsworth. She is currently a Research Associate with the National Tropical Botanical Garden and serves on AOAC Stakeholders Panels and Expert Review Panels for Foods and Dietary Supplements. She is a member of the USP Medical Cannabis Expert Panel, the Editorial Board of the AOAC International Journal, and also serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Pharmacoepia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 301-588-1171, ext. 103.