Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Acceptance rate27%
Submission to final decision68 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
CiteScore3.000
Journal Citation Indicator0.730
Impact Factor2.629

The Suppressive Effect of Mamiran Cream on Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions In Vivo

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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine seeks to apply scientific rigor to the study of complementary and alternative medicine, emphasizing on health outcome, while documenting biological mechanisms of action.

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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

A Nonlinear Association between Tongue Fur Thickness and Tumor Marker Abnormality: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background. Many associations between tongue fur and different physiological and biochemical indexes have been revealed. However, the relationship between tongue fur and tumor markers remains unexplored. Methods. We collected the medical examination reports of 1625 participants. Participants were residents of Chengdu, China, undergoing routine health checkups at the health management center of the Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine between December 2018 and September 2020. The participants’ tongue fur thickness was measured using the DAOSH four-diagnostic instrument. Tumor marker levels, including t-PSA, AFP, CEA, CA125, and CA199, were measured in the clinical laboratory. Curve-fitting and multivariable logistic regression were used to analyze the association between tongue fur thickness and tumor marker abnormality. Results. Curve-fitting showed that the relationship between tongue fur thickness and abnormal tumor marker rate was nonlinear, similar to a U shape. As the tongue fur thickness value increased, the abnormal tumor marker probability initially decreased and then increased. Logistic regression showed that, in the crude model, compared with the thin tongue fur group, the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the less or peeling tongue fur group and thick tongue fur group for tumor marker abnormality were 1.79 (1.02–3.17) and 1.70 (1.13–2.54), respectively. After adjusting gender, age, body mass index (BMI), smoking history, drinking history, tongue color, the form of the tongue, and fur color, the ORs and 95% CIs of the less or peeling tongue fur group and thick tongue fur group were 1.93 (1.04–3.57) and 1.82 (1.17–2.81), respectively. Conclusions. Excessive or very little tongue fur is associated with tumor marker abnormality. Further cross-sectional studies are needed to evaluate the clinical value of tongue fur for cancer diagnosis and screening.

Research Article

Qingjie Fuzheng Granule Inhibits EMT and Induces Autophagy in Colorectal Cancer via mTOR Signaling Pathways

Qingjie Fuzheng granule (QFG) is a traditional Chinese medicinal formula used extensively as an alternative medicine for cancer treatment, including colorectal cancer (CRC). But its pathological mechanism in CRC is unclear. To study antitumor treatment effects and mechanisms of QFG, we established a CRC HCT-116 xenograft mouse model and assessed QFG on EMT and autophagy progression in vivo. The mice were randomly divided into 2 groups (n = 10 each group) and treated with intragastric administration of 1 g/kg of QFG or saline 6 days a week for 28 days (4 weeks). Body weight was measured every other day with electronic balance. At the end of the treatment, the tumor weight was measured. Immunohistochemical (IHC) and western blot (WB) assay were used to detect the expression level of E-cadherin, N-cadherin, vimentin, and TWIST1 to evaluate the effect of QFG on tumor cell EMT progression. IHC and WB assay were also used to detect the expression level of beclin-1, LC3-II, and p62 to evaluate the effect of QFG on tumor cell autophagy progression. Furthermore, the expression level of relative proteins in mTOR pathway was detected by WB assay to investigate the mechanism of QFG effect on CRC. We discovered that QFG inhibited the rise of tumor weight while it had no effect on mice body weight, which proved that QFG could inhibit CRC growth progression without significant side effects in vivo. In addition, QFG treatment inhibited EMT and induced autophagy progression in CRC tumor cells, including that QFG upregulated the expression of E-cadherin, beclin-1, and LC3-II, but downregulated the expression of N-cadherin, vimentin, TWIST1, and p62. And, QFG decreased the ratio of p-PI3K/PI3K, p-AKT/AKT, and p-mTOR/mTOR, but increased the ratio of p-AMPK/AMPK. All findings from this research proved that QFG can induce autophagy and inhibit EMT progression in CRC via regulating the mTOR signaling pathway.

Research Article

Pharmacodynamic Evaluation of the Gexia Zhuyu Decoction in the Treatment of NAFLD and the Molecular Mechanism Underlying the TRPM4 Pathway Regulation

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a clinicopathological syndrome of abnormal lipid deposition in the liver mediated by nonalcohol intake. The Gexia Zhuyu decoction, a classic traditional Chinese medicine compound, is widely used in the clinical treatment of NAFLD. However, its specific efficacy and underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated yet. This study aimed to quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of the Gexia Zhuyu decoction using pharmacodynamics and to explore its molecular mechanisms in conjunction with proteomics. High-fat diets and methionine choline-deficient diets were used to induce various NAFLD progression stages in mouse models. The effects of oral Gexia Zhuyu decoction administration on NAFLD were evaluated by measuring the serum and liver indicators of the treated mice before and after drug intervention and by comparing the changes in liver tissue. Liver TRPM4 mRNA and protein levels were measured using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively. Experimental data showed that serum ALT, AST, and liver triglyceride (TG) levels in each disease stage group of drug intervention mice decreased, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels increased. Liver TG levels decreased after drug intervention in the liver fibrosis mice, but serum TG levels increased. Furthermore, cellular fatty changes, inflammatory changes, and fibrous tissue proliferation were all relieved. The TRPM4 protein and mRNA levels in the liver tissue were decreased, and the microRNA (miRNA)-24 expression was increased. The Gexia Zhuyu decoction has a clear therapeutic effect at each stage of NAFLD. It likely acts by altering miRNA-24 expression and regulating the target TRPM4 protein pathway to achieve NAFLD treatment.

Research Article

Exploring the Therapeutic Mechanisms of Huzhang–Shanzha Herb Pair against Coronary Heart Disease by Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking

Background. Coronary heart disease (CHD) seriously affects human health, and its pathogenesis is closely related to atherosclerosis. The Huzhang (the root of Polygonum cuspidatum)–Shanzha (the fruit of Crataegus sp.), a classic herb pair, has been widely used for the treatment of CHD. In recent years, Huzhang–Shanzha herb pair (HSHP) was found to have a wide range of effects in CHD; however, its therapeutic specific mechanisms remain to be further explored. The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism of HSHP in the treatment of CHD using a network pharmacology analysis approach. Methods. The Batman-TCM database was used to explore bioactive compounds and corresponding targets of HSHP. CHD disease targets were extracted from Genecards, OMIM, PharmGkb, TTD, and DrugBank databases. Then, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using the STRING web platform and Cytoscape software. GO functional and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses were carried out on the Metascape web platform. Finally, molecular docking of the active components was assessed to verify the potential targets of HSHP to treat CHD by the AutoDock Vina and PyMOL software. Results. Totally, 243 active components and 2459 corresponding targets of LDP were screened out. Eighty-five common targets of HSHP and CHD were identified. The results of the network analysis showed that resveratrol, anthranone, emodin, and ursolic acid could be defined as four therapeutic components. TNF, ESR1, NFКB1, PPARG, INS, TP53, NFКBIA, AR, PIK3R1, PIK3CA, PTGS2, and NR3C1 might be the 12 key targets. These targets were mainly involved in the regulation of biological processes, such as inflammatory responses and lipid metabolism. Enrichment analysis showed that the identified genes were mainly involved in fluid shear force, insulin resistance (IR), inflammation, and lipid metabolism pathways to contribute to CHD. This suggests that resveratrol, anthranone, emodin, and ursolic acid from HSHP can be the main therapeutic components of atherosclerosis. Conclusion. Using network pharmacology, we provide new clues on the potential mechanism of action of HSHP in the treatment of CHD, which may be closely related to the fluid shear force, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory response.

Research Article

Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy, Stressed Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

Background. The global prevalence of stress is increasing. Stress adversely affects cognitive ability, sleep quality, and overall psychological well-being. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal), an essential medicine in Ayurveda, is reportedly beneficial in reducing stress and improving memory. This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study evaluated the effect of Ashwagandha root extract sustained-release capsule 300 mg (Prolanza™; hereafter Ashwagandha SR) on cognitive functions, stress levels, sleep quality, overall well-being, and safety in stressed subjects. Methods. Subjects (130 healthy cognitively sound adults [20–55 years, body mass index:18–29 kg/m2]) having a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) score of 14–24 were randomized to receive either Ashwagandha SR or placebo. Subjects took one capsule of Ashwagandha SR or placebo daily for 90 consecutive days. This study was registered on Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI) on 13/11/2019 [number: CTRI/2019/11/021990]. The primary endpoint was the change in cognitive function as measured by CANTAB from baseline to the end of the study period (90 ± 7 days). The secondary outcomes included the change in PSS-10 score, serum cortisol level (9–11 am), the OHQ score, the PSQI, and serum BDNF levels. Results. Only 125 completed the study and were evaluated. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) reported significantly improved recall memory, and the total error rate in recalling patterns significantly decreased at visit 4 in the Ashwagandha SR group vs. the placebo group (first attempt memory score:12.9 ± 6.7 vs. 10.1 ± 6.3; total errors:17.5 ± 23.3 vs. 27.7 ± 23.6). At visit 4, lower PSS-10 score (13.0 ± 5.0 vs. 18.7 ± 4.6; ), serum cortisol levels , and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score but higher Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) scores were seen in Ashwagandha SR vs. the placebo group, suggesting significantly lower stress levels and significantly better psychological well-being and sleep quality in the former. No adverse events were reported. Conclusions. This is the first clinical study assessing Ashwagandha SR for its safety and efficacy. Treatment with one Ashwagandha SR capsule once daily for 90 days improved memory and focus, psychological well-being, and sleep quality, reduced stress levels, and was safe and well-tolerated.

Research Article

Comparison of the Effectiveness of Three Different Acupuncture Methods for TMD-Related Pain: A Randomized Clinical Study

Purpose. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of three acupuncture methods for temporomandibular disorders- (TMDs-) related pain. Materials and Methods. Different locations of pain, according to DC/TMD clinical assessment, were considered: temporomandibular joint (TMJ), masticatory muscles, head, and neck. Sixty patients were assigned randomly to one of three treatment groups (20 patients in each): group BA received body acupuncture, group EA received electroacupuncture, and group CA received acupuncture + cupping. The groups were compared in terms of pain (verbal numeric scale), pain-related disability (Brief Inventory Pain, BPI), and impression of the treatment’s effectiveness (Patients' Global Impression of Improvement Scale, PGI-I). These were recorded before sessions of acupuncture treatment (T0), after 8 sessions of acupuncture treatment (T1), and after 4 weeks of follow-up after treatment (T2). The between-group and within-group differences in the data were analyzed statistically. The baseline characteristics were similar in all groups (). Results. Significant improvements were noted in all types of pain compared to baseline values in all groups (all ). No significant differences were noted in the improvement of TMDs-related pain according to the different acupuncture techniques (all ). All acupuncture methods used resulted to be significantly effective in improving the pain-related interference in the patient’s common activities and quality of life. EA resulted to be significantly more effective than BA and CA in improving the interference of pain with patients’ mood () and quality of sleep (). Conclusion. BA, EA, and CA are all effective acupuncture methods in reducing pain and pain interference with common activities and quality of life in patients affected by TMD.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate27%
Submission to final decision68 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
CiteScore3.000
Journal Citation Indicator0.730
Impact Factor2.629
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.