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The Utilization of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Saudi Older Adults: A Population-Based Study
Background. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an integral part of patients' therapeutic experience worldwide. Among Saudi older adults, less is known about CAM utilization. Objectives. To determine the prevalence, patterns, and factors associated with CAM utilization among SOA. Methods. In the Saudi National Survey for Elderly Health (SNSEH), subjects were asked about CAM use during the last twelve months before the interview. CAM use was defined as any use of herbal products, acupuncture, bloodletting, cauterization, medical massage, bones manual manipulation, honey, or religious rituals. Demographic characteristics included gender, age, marital status, region, educational level, and residence area. In addition, multiple comorbidities were included as possible factors that may be associated with CAM use. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore factors associated with CAM utilization. All statistical analyses were done using STATA v.14. Results. Out of 2946 respondents, 50.4% were males, the mean age was 70.3 ± 8.3 years, and 70% were illiterate. CAM use was prevalent (62.5%). The most common CAM types were herbal products (25.4%), acupuncture (21.2%), bloodletting (12%), honey (9.5%), cauterization (7.4%), medical massage and bones manual manipulation (4%), and traditional bone setting (2.1%). In the multivariable regression, age, gender, and marital status did not have an impact on the odds of using CAM. Subjects from rural areas were 2.92 times more likely to use CAM compared with subjects in urban areas (OR = 2.92; 95%CI: 2.28‐3.75). Subjects with metabolic disorders (OR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.42‐0.60) or kidney disease were less likely to use CAM (OR = 0.30; 95%CI: 0.14‐0.64). About pain, CAM is used more in neck pain (OR = 1.69; 95%CI: 1.30‐2.21) and also used in back pain (OR = 1.22; 95%CI: 1.03‐1.46). Conclusions. CAM use was very prevalent among SOA. Clinicians and pharmacists must ask about CAM use among older adults as many of CAM may interact with patients medications.
Five-Animal Frolics Exercise Improves Anxiety and Depression Outcomes in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial
Introduction. The patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) always have emotional implications. As the branch of traditional Chinese medicine, Five-Animal Frolics Exercise (FAE) is a popular mind-body exercise in China and shown to improve emotional wellbeing. Aim. We aimed to explore the effects of FAE on the emotional disorders of CHD patients. Methods. CHD patients were assigned into an experiment group (EG, FAE) and a control group (CG, routine nursing care). We measured serum levels of miR-124 and miR-135 and scores of the Hamilton Depression/Anxiety scale (HAMD/HAMA), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Results. After a 3-month FAE intervention, serum levels of miR-124 and miR-135 and the scores of HAMD/HAMA, SAS, SDS, and PSQI in the EG group were lower than those in the CG group, while SF-36 scores in the EG group were higher than those in the CG group (). Serum levels of miR-124 and miR-135 had a strong relationship with SAS and SDS scores (). Discussion/Implications for Practice. The study suggests that FAE intervention controls anxiety and depression outcomes and improves life quality in CHD patients by affecting serum levels of miR-124 and miR-135.
Curcumin Suppresses Aldosterone-Induced CRP Generation in Rat Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells via Interfering with the ROS-ERK1/2 Signaling Pathway
Aldosterone regulates the initiation and development of atherosclerosis which is identified as a chronic inflammatory disease by promoting the generation of C-reactive protein in vascular smooth muscle cells. Curcumin is the most active ingredient of turmeric with anti-inflammation and antioxidation effects. Here, the effect of curcumin on aldosterone-induced C-reactive protein generation in vascular smooth muscle and the molecular mechanisms involved were explored. Primary rat vascular smooth muscle cells and hyperaldosteronism model rats were used in this study. The amount of C-reactive protein, reactive oxygen species, and the signaling pathway-related molecules generated were estimated. We found that curcumin inhibited aldosterone-induced C-reactive protein generation in vascular smooth muscle cells by interfering with the reactive oxygen species-ERK1/2 signal pathway. The results provide new evidence for the potential anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protective effects of curcumin.
Gan-Qing-Ning Formula Inhibits the Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Promoting Apoptosis and Inhibiting Angiogenesis in H22 Tumor-Bearing Mice
Objective. Gang-Qing-Ning (GQN) is a traditional Chinese medicine formula that has been used in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the folk population for decades. However, scientific validation is still necessary to lend credibility to the traditional use of GQN against HCC. This study investigates the antitumor effect of GQN on H22 tumor-bearing mice and its possible mechanism. Methods. Fifty H22 tumor-bearing mice were randomly assigned to five groups. Three groups were treated with high, medium, and low dosages of GQN (27.68, 13.84, and 6.92 g/kg, respectively); the positive control group was treated with cytoxan (CTX) (20 mg/kg) and the model group was treated with normal saline. After 10 days’ treatment, the tumor inhibitory rates were calculated. Pathological changes in tumor tissue were observed, and the key proteins and genes of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway were measured, as well as the mRNA expression levels of VEGF in tumor tissue. Results. The tumor inhibitory rates of high, medium, and low dosages of GQN groups were 47.39%, 38.26%, and 22.17%, respectively. The high dosage of the GQN group significantly increased the protein and mRNA expression levels of Bax, Cyt-C, and cleaved Caspase 3 (or Caspase 3) () but decreased the expression levels of Bcl-2, VEGF, and microvessel density (MVD) (). Conclusions. The high dosage of GQN can significantly inhibit the tumor growth in H22 tumor-bearing mice. It exerts the antitumor effect by enhancing proapoptotic factors and inhibiting the antiapoptotic factor of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and inhibiting tumor angiogenesis.
Antiglycation and Antioxidant Properties of Ficus deltoidea Varieties
The present study aimed to evaluate the potential of standardized methanolic extracts from seven Ficus deltoidea varieties in inhibiting the formation of AGEs, protein oxidation, and their antioxidant effects. The antiglycation activity was analyzed based on the inhibition of AGEs, fructosamine, and thiol groups level followed by the inhibition of protein carbonyl formation. The antioxidant activity (DPPH radical scavenging activity and reducing power assay) and total phenolic contents were evaluated. After 28 days of induction, all varieties of Ficus deltoidea extracts significantly restrained the formation of fluorescence AGEs by 4.55–5.14 fold. The extracts also reduced the fructosamine levels by 47.0–86.5%, increased the thiol group levels by 64.3–83.7%, and inhibited the formation of protein carbonyl by 1.36–1.76 fold. DPPH radical scavenging activity showed an IC50 value of 66.81–288.04 μg/ml and reducing power activity depicted at 0.02–0.24 μg/ml. The extent of phenolic compounds present in the extracts ranged from 70.90 to 299.78 mg·GAE/g. Apart from that, correlation studies between the activities were observed. This study revealed that seven varieties of Ficus deltoidea have the potential to inhibit AGEs formation and possess antioxidant activity that might be attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds.
Effect of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation at Auricular Concha for Insomnia: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Insomnia inflicts mental burden and decreases physical productivity and affects life quality. Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (ta-VNS) may be an effective treatment option for insomnia. This study aims to evaluate the effect and safety of ta-VNS and compare it with transcutaneous nonvagus nerve stimulation (tn-VNS). A multicenter, randomized, clinical trial was conducted at 3 hospitals in China enrolling 72 insomnia participants from May 2016 to June 2017. Participants were randomly assigned (1 : 1) to receive 40 sessions of ta-VNS or tn-VNS treatment. 63 participants completed the trial. ta-VNS treatment significantly decreased the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score, Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, Flinders Fatigue Scale score, Hamilton Depression Scale score, and Hamilton Anxiety Scale score over 4 weeks compared with those of the baseline. Moreover, it also significantly increased the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey Questionnaire scores compared with that of the baseline. However, it did not show significant differences compared with tn-VNS in changes of primary and secondary outcomes. The incidence of adverse events was low. ta-VNS significantly relieved insomnia over 4 weeks. Moreover, it also alleviated fatigue and improved participants’ quality of life as well as other concomitant symptoms such as depression and anxiety. This trial is registered at Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (http://www.chictr.org.cn) with the registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-13003519.