Food additive that may prevent skin cancer revealed by scientists

Posted by on January 29, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (257)

Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy have discovered that a compound found in the natural food additive annatto prevents the formation of cancer cells and skin damage from UV radiation in mice. In the future the compound, bixin, may be valuable in the prevention and treatment of human skin cancers.  Read more at:


Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (153)



In the wild, a mushroom called "lingzhi" in China or "reishi" in Japan grows on dead trees in forests all over the world. But for about 2,000 years, herbalists all over Asia have been cultivating Ganoderma lucidum for its medicinal properties; it has long been thought of as a cure-all, reducing the effects of everything from asthma to heart palpitations—including anti-diabetic effects. Now a team of Taiwanese researchers has found that the mushroom’s extract can help obese mice lose weight, according to a study published today in Nature Medicine. Their hope is that the extract could also be used to help counter the human obesity epidemic, which endangers millions of lives worldwide.

Drug makers are interested in an ancient Chinese medicine after Harvard found out how it works

Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (59)

Drug makers are interested in an ancient Chinese medicine after Harvard found out how it works

A company that specialises in turning university research into marketable drugs is licensing Harvard research related to the blue evergreen hydrangea root, a part of the plant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

Non-invasive accupoint stimulation may be a new bioelectronics approach to Crohn's Disease

Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (174)

Non-invasive accupoint stimulation may be a new bioelectronics approach to Crohn’s Disease

June 9, 2015

International Neuromodulation Society


The controlled clinical trial at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University Department of Gastroenterology by principal investigator Hongjie Zhang, M.D., a gastroenterologist, is designed to try to reduce the inflammatory response underlying the chronic gastrointestinal disorder.


The study recruited 17 Crohn's disease patients and 20 matched healthy controls between June 2014 and December 2014. The patients receive transdermal accupoint electrical stimulation (TAES) for an hour twice a day, two hours after a meal, at an accupoint on the stomach meridian below the knee -- the Zusanli (ST 36).


The study was initially suggested to Zhang by Jiande Chen, Ph.D. of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore.


"We have published numerous studies showing that electrical stimulation via the acupuncture points using surface electrodes can enhance vagal activity," he commented. "By enhancing vagal activity, we have shown in animals with intestinal inflammation that such electrical stimulation can suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines and thus reduce inflammation." Those data are being prepared for publication.


In the clinical study, the patients receive the electrical stimulation through a watch-sized stick-on device, powered by a watch battery. The needle-less stimulation device can deliver a variety of stimulation digitally, and was developed by Chen through a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


For the first three days, stimulation is administered at the hospital, and then the patients are instructed in use of the stimulator and sent home with a photo to help them identify the accupoint.


The patients are evaluated at 3 days, 14 days, and 30 days. Based on data from an initial 17 patients after 3 days of stimulation sessions, Zhang said an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system was evident.


Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) scores are taken at each evaluation. The index tracks abdominal pain, diarrhea, physical signs (i.e. average daily temperature, abdominal mass), medication use (i.e. loperamide or opiate use for diarrhea), laboratory results (such as hematocrit) and body weight.


The research team also gathers blood and stool samples to assess levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and gut hormones that are biomarkers of inflammation or autonomic nervous system imbalance. The effect of stimulation on autonomic nervous system balance is also non-invasively evaluated by analyzing heart rate variability.


Additional co-authors include Jingjing Ma, M.D. and Jiewen Su, M.D., who are contributing to the sample collection, TAES investigation, and data analysis at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. Professor Chen helped with the study design and is providing the TAES device. Dr. Zhang conceived the study and designed and supervised the experiments. The study was supported in part by the Key Medical Personnel of Jiangsu Province (no. RC2011063).


"We really expect CDAI to go down after chronic TAES," Zhang commented.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by International Neuromodulation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Five Key Acupuncture Discoveries

Posted by on May 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (18)

Five new acupuncture discoveries received widespread global attention. Number one on the list was that of CT scans capturing acupuncture points. CT (computerized tomography) X-ray scans now reveal the anatomical structure of acupuncture points. 

Prior to these findings, researchers were able to map electrical, heat and oxygen density patterns for acupuncture points. This most recent discovery finding, however, included the very first CT images of acupuncture point structures. To learn more, take a look at the Healthcare Medicine Institute's acupuncture continuing education article. 

#acupuncturepointsexist #acupuncturepointsctscan

Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds

Posted by on April 26, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (362)

Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds

Increasing coffee consumption by on average one and half cups per day over a four-year period reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent, research shows. Coffee and tea consumption has been associated with a lower type 2 diabetes risk but little is known about how changes in coffee and tea consumption influence subsequent type 2 diabetes risk, until now.

Natural plant compounds may assist chemotherapy

Posted by on March 28, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (45)

Natural plant compounds may assist chemotherapy

Plant compounds present in carrots and parsley may one day support more effective delivery of chemotherapy treatments, new research has found. Specific plant compounds are able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body, and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.

For the complete article goto:

Intense acupuncture can improve muscle recovery in patients with Bell palsy, study suggests

Posted by on March 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (288)

Intense acupuncture can improve muscle recovery in patients with Bell palsy, study suggests

Patients with Bell palsy who received acupuncture that achieves de qi, a type of intense stimulation, had improved facial muscle recovery, reduced disability and better quality of life, according to a randomized controlled trial.

Bell palsy is sudden onset of facial paralysis that is usually temporary, resolving within weeks or months, although it can sometimes be permanent.

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and is gaining acceptance worldwide. De qi is a combination of sensations stimulated by manipulation of acupuncture needles -- soreness, tingling, coolness, warmth and others radiating at the insertion points -- but has not been validated by randomized controlled trials.

"There is a long-held belief in the traditional theory and clinical practice of acupuncture that the intensity of the stimulus must reach a threshold to elicit de qi, which plays a pivotal role in achieving the best therapeutic effects," writes Dr. Wei Wang, Department of Neurology, Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases of Chinese Ministry of Education, Wuhan, Hubei, China, with coauthors.

In a randomized controlled trial with 338 patients, Chinese researchers sought to understand the efficacy of acupuncture with weak stimulation or strong (de qi) stimulation. The trial, conducted at 11 tertiary hospitals in China, involved 15 experienced acupuncturists who administered acupuncture to the de qi group (167 people), which received intense stimulation, and the control group (171 people), which received needles but no stimulation. Patients' facial expressions, a marker of facial-nerve function, were rated on a 6-point scale and videotaped to ensure consistent findings across hospital sites.

Six months after randomization, facial-nerve function, disability and quality of life were better in patients in the de qi group than in the control group.

"We found evidence that acupuncture with de qi improved facial muscle recovery, disability and quality of life among patients with Bell palsy. Stronger intensity of de qi was associated with better therapeutic effects."

"De qi and its related techniques should be properly appreciated in acupuncture practice and research, and should be considered for inclusion in clinical guidelines for acupuncture," the authors conclude.  

Comment from The Woodlands Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic:

While the "de qi" sensation showed improved outcomes and results in this study, it is not always required to produce the desired effect. Most conditions respond favorably to acupuncture even without the "de qi" sensation.  Conditions like Bell"s Palsy and stroke recovery are usually the ones that require stronger stimulation with needling technique and the "de qi" sensation.  

#acupuncturebellspalsy #recoverybellspalsy #tcmbellspalsy

Willow Bark Extract used for treating Osteo-Arthritis pain

Posted by on February 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (111)

Willow bark extract STW 33-I in the long-term treatment of outpatients with rheumatic pain mainly osteoarthritis or back pain. 

Four hundred and thirty-six patients with rheumatic pain mainly due to osteoarthritis (56.2%) and back pain (59.9%) used willow bark extract STW 33-I.  Pain reductions of 33% to 45% were seen over the course of the study (24weeks/6months).

Comment by TWACH:  Even though the dosage was not mentioned in this study, most research indicates daily dosage of 120 to 240 mg salicin should be used.  

Can citrus ward off your risk of stroke?

Posted by on February 17, 2014 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (302)

Eating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a new study. Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, papaya, peppers, broccoli and strawberries. Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke, but is more often deadly.  See the complete article here:

Comment from TWACH: Hemorrhagic strokes account for approimately 20% of all strokes, or about 160,000 per year.  Is it the Vitamin C that's protective or the associated bioflavanoids that are ingested when we eat the whole fruits and/or vegetables?    The main risk factors for stroke include:  hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking and atrial fibrillation (AF).  Source: