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  1. Chan EW, Wong SK
    J Integr Med, 2015 Nov;13(6):368-79.
    PMID: 26559362 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60208-4
    In this review, the phytochemistry and pharmacology of two ornamental gingers, Hedychium coronarium (butterfly ginger) and Alpinia purpurata (red ginger), are updated, and their botany and uses are described. Flowers of H. coronarium are large, showy, white, yellow or white with a yellow centre and highly fragrant. Inflorescences of A. purpurata are erect spikes with attractive red or pink bracts. Phytochemical investigations on the rhizomes of H. coronarium generated research interest globally. This resulted in the isolation of 53 labdane-type diterpenes, with little work done on the leaves and flowers. Pharmacological properties of H. coronarium included antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, cytotoxic, chemopreventive, anti-allergic, larvicidal, anthelminthic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-urolithiatic, anti-angiogenic, neuro-pharmacological, fibrinogenolytic, coagulant and hepatoprotective activities. On the contrary, little is known on the phytochemistry of A. purpurata with pharmacological properties of antioxidant, antibacterial, larvicidal, cytotoxic and vasodilator activities reported in the leaves and rhizomes. There is much disparity in terms of research effort within and between these two ornamental gingers.
  2. Ansari RM
    J Integr Med, 2016 Jan;14(1):22-8.
    PMID: 26778225 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60240-6
    Infertility due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a worldwide problem that is increasing at alarming rates. Insulin resistance, the prime factor of PCOS, induces comorbid metabolic syndrome as well. Durian (Durio zibenthinus Linn), a fruit of Southeast Asia, is used as a natural supplement in healthy diets. This paper is a short literature review that examines the fruit's effects against various components of metabolic syndrome and its fertility-enhancing properties in PCOS. Various published literature was reviewed to learn of the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-obesity, anticholesterol, and antihypoglycaemic nature of the fruit. The literature search was done using PubMed, Google Scholar and library databases. The keywords used were polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, metabolic syndrome and Durian zibenthinus Linn. Reviewed studies showed that the fruit is effective against various components of metabolic syndrome, but the mechanisms of action against anovulation and menstrual disturbances in PCOS have yet to be studied. The traditional use of durian as a fertility-enhancing agent needs to be validated scientifically by isolating its various components and ascertaining its fertility enhancing properties.
  3. Chan EW, Wong SK, Chan HT
    J Integr Med, 2016 Jul;14(4):269-84.
    PMID: 27417173 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60261-3
    Apocynaceae is a large family of tropical trees, shrubs and vines with most species producing white latex. Major metabolites of species are triterpenoids, iridoids, alkaloids and cardenolides, which are known for a wide range of biological and pharmacological activities such as cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimalarial properties. Prompted by their anticancer and antimalarial properties, the current knowledge on ten genera (Allamanda, Alstonia, Calotropis, Catharanthus, Cerbera, Dyera, Kopsia, Nerium, Plumeria and Vallaris) is updated. Major classes of metabolites are described using some species as examples. Species with antiproliferative (APF) and/or antiplasmodial (APM) properties have been identified. With the exception of the genus Dyera, nine genera of 22 species possess APF activity. Seven genera (Alstonia, Calotropis, Catharanthus, Dyera, Kopsia, Plumeria and Vallaris) of 13 species have APM properties. Among these species, Alstonia angustiloba, Alstonia macrophylla, Calotropis gigantea, Calotropis procera, Catharanthus roseus, Plumeria alba and Vallaris glabra displayed both APF and APM properties. The chemical constituents of these seven species are compiled for assessment and further research.
  4. Bukhari SNA, Hussain F, Thu HE, Hussain Z
    J Integr Med, 2019 Jan;17(1):38-45.
    PMID: 30139656 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.08.003
    OBJECTIVE: The present study explored the effects of the combined herbal therapy consisting of curcumin (CUR) and Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL) on aspects of bone regeneration.

    METHODS: Prior to analyzing the ability of this novel combined herbal therapy to promote aspects of bone regeneration, its cytotoxicity was determined using MC3T3-E1 cells (pre-osteoblast model). Cell proliferation was evaluated using phase-contrast microscopy and cell differentiation was estimated using alkaline phosphatase activity. The effect of the combined herbal therapy (CUR + FLL) was also assessed in terms of mineralization in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cultured cells. Further, to explore the molecular mechanisms of bone formation, time-dependent expression of bone-regulating protein biomarkers was also evaluated.

    RESULTS: Combined herbal therapy (CUR + FLL) significantly upregulated the viability, proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells compared to the monotherapy of CUR or FLL. The magnitude of ECM mineralization (calcium deposition) was also higher in MC3T3-E1 cells treated with combined therapy. The time-dependent expression of bone-forming protein biomarkers revealed that the tendency of expression of these bone-regulating proteins was remarkably higher in cells treated with combined therapy.

    CONCLUSION: The co-administration of CUR and FLL had superior promotion of elements of bone regeneration in cultured cells, thus could be a promising alternative herbal therapy for the management of bone erosive disorders such as osteoporosis.

  5. Nanthakumar C
    J Integr Med, 2018 01;16(1):14-19.
    PMID: 29397087 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.008
    The number of children suffering from stress and anxiety in Malaysia is on the rise. Evidence shows that mind-body therapies such as mindfulness therapy, meditation and yoga have been practiced in many other countries to reduce and/or manage the psychological effects of stress and anxiety. This review article looks at the intervention of yoga as a meditative movement practice in helping school children manage stress and anxiety. Articles were retrieved using a combination of databases including PubMed/MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. Not only peer-reviewed articles, but also those written in English language were included in this review. All studies reviewed had incorporated some form of meditative movement exercise. The intervention encompassed asanas (postures), pranayama (expansion of life force), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation), which are the different paths in yoga. A total of eight articles met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. The findings of this review reveal that the practice of yoga has brought about, among other things, improvement in managing and reducing stress and anxiety. Despite the limitations in most, if not all of the studies reviewed, in terms of heterogeneity and sample size, yoga appears to be an effective modality for helping children cope with stress and anxiety. It appears that if schools in Malaysia can incorporate yoga as part of the physical education curriculum, it will definitely benefit the students.
  6. Hussain RM, Abdullah NF, Amom Z
    J Integr Med, 2016 Nov;14(6):456-464.
    PMID: 27854197 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60279-0
    OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the effects of allylpyrocatechol (APC), the major component in ethanolic extract of Piper betle, on key oxidative stress resistance enzymes important for the survival of Staphylococcus aureus, a major pathogen in the human host.

    METHODS: Effects of APC on expressions of genes encoding catalase (katA), superoxide dismutases (SODs), including sodA and sodM, and alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (ahpC) in S· aureus were quantitated by RT-qPCR in reference to gyrA and 16S rRNA. Corresponding activities of the enzymes were also investigated. The Livak analysis was performed for verification of gene-fold expression data. Effects of APC on intracellular and extracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were determined using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction assay.

    RESULTS: APC-treated S· aureus cells had higher sodA and sodM transcripts at 1.5-fold and 0.7-fold expressions respectively with corresponding increase in total SOD activity of 12.24 U/mL compared to untreated cells, 10.85 U/mL (P<0.05). Expression of ahpC was highest in APC-treated cells with 5.5-fold increased expression compared to untreated cells (P<0.05). Correspondingly, ahpC activity was higher in APC-treated cells at 0.672 (A310nm) compared to untreated cells which was 0.394 (A310nm). In contrast, katA expression was 1.48-fold and 0.33-fold lower respectively relative to gyrA and 16S rRNA. Further, APC-treated cells showed decreased catalase activity of 1.8 ×10-4 (U/L or μmol/(min·L)) compared to untreated cells, which was 4.8 ×10-4 U/L (P<0.05). Absorbance readings (A575nm) for the NBT reduction assay were 0.709 and 0.695 respectively for untreated and treated cells, which indicated the presence of ROS. APC-treated S· aureus cells had lower ROS levels both extracellularly and intracellularly, but larger amounts remained intracellularly compared to extracellular levels with absorbances of 0.457 and 0.137 respectively (P<0.05).

    CONCLUSION: APC induced expressions of both sodA and sodM, resulting in increased total SOD activity in S· aureus. Higher sodA expression indicated stress induced intracellularly involving O2- , presumably leading to higher intracellular pools of H2O2. A concommittant decrease in katA expression and catalase activity possibly induced ahpC expression, which was increased the highest in APC-treated cells. Our findings suggest that in the absence of catalase, cells are propelled to seek an alternate pathway involving ahpC to reduce stress invoked by O2- and H2O2. Although APC reduced levels of ROS, significant amounts eluded its antioxidative action and remained intracellularly, which adds to oxidative stress in treated cells.

  7. Chua LS, Zukefli SN
    J Integr Med, 2016 11;14(6):415-428.
    PMID: 27854193 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60282-0
    Edible bird's nest (EBN) is currently widely consumed by the Chinese community as tonic food and functional food, which is believed to have many medicinal benefits. Some studies have reported the biochemical compositions of EBN, graded on the basis of colour, nitrate and nitrite contents. Other studies have shown significant biological effects, while ongoing research is in progress to explore potential pharmacological applications. The high demand for EBNs in the global market has forced the local regulatory bodies to monitor swiftlet farming activities, including the EBN cleaning process. Furthermore, numerous techniques have been developed to authenticate EBN; proteomics is likely to be the most promising of these methods. However, there are limited numbers of relevant protein sequences deposited at the database. More research is needed at the molecular level to explore the mechanisms behind the biological functions, such as bone strength improvement, skin rejuvenation, epidermal growth factor activity and cell proliferation.The current and future prospects of EBN and swiftlet farming are critically reviewed in this article.
  8. Chan EWC, Wong SK, Chan HT
    J Integr Med, 2018 05;16(3):147-152.
    PMID: 29559215 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.03.001
    This short review provides an update of the anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of casticin from Vitex species. Casticin is a polymethylflavone with three rings, an orthocatechol moiety, a double bond, two hydroxyl groups and four methoxyl groups. Casticin has been isolated from various tissues of plants in the Vitex genus: fruits and leaves of V. trifolia, aerial parts and seeds of V. agnus-castus and leaves of V. negundo. Studies have reported the antiproliferative and apoptotic activities of casticin from Vitex species. The compound is effective against many cancer cell lines via different molecular mechanisms. Studies have also affirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of casticin, with several molecular mechanisms identified. Other pharmacological properties include anti-asthmatic, tracheospasmolytic, analgesic, antihyperprolactinemia, immunomodulatory, opioidergic, oestrogenic, anti-angiogenic, antiglioma, lung injury protection, rheumatoid arthritis amelioration and liver fibrosis attenuation activities. Clinical trials and commercial use of the casticin-rich fruit extract of V. agnus-castus among women with premenstrual syndrome were briefly discussed.
  9. Abd Aziz CB, Ahmad Suhaimi SQ, Hasim H, Ahmad AH, Long I, Zakaria R
    J Integr Med, 2019 Jan;17(1):66-70.
    PMID: 30591413 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.12.002
    OBJECTIVE: This study was done to determine whether Tualang honey could prevent the altered nociceptive behaviour, with its associated changes of oxidative stress markers and morphology of the spinal cord, among the offspring of prenatally stressed rats.

    METHODS: Pregnant rats were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress treated with Tualang honey. The stress and stress treated with Tualang honey groups were subjected to restraint stress from day 11 of pregnancy until delivery. Ten week old male offspring (n = 9 from each group) were given formalin injection and their nociceptive behaviours were recorded. After 2 h, the rats were sacrificed, and their spinal cords were removed to assess oxidative stress activity and morphology. Nociceptive behaviour was analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), while the levels of oxidative stress parameters and number of Nissl-stained neurons were analysed using a one-way ANOVA.

    RESULTS: This study demonstrated that prenatal stress was associated with increased nociceptive behaviour, changes in the oxidative stress parameters and morphology of the spinal cord of offspring exposed to prenatal stress; administration of Tualang honey reduced the alteration of these parameters.

    CONCLUSION: This study provides a preliminary understanding of the beneficial effects of Tualang honey against the changes in oxidative stress and neuronal damage in the spinal cord of the offspring of prenatally stressed rats.

  10. Phang SCW, Palanisamy UD, Kadir KA
    J Integr Med, 2019 Mar;17(2):100-106.
    PMID: 30738774 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.01.008
    OBJECTIVE: A preliminary study showed that geraniin extracted from Nephelium lappaceum L. at 50 mg/kg caused reduction in blood glucose and insulin resistance. The present study serves to further investigate the effects of geraniin at increasing doses between 3.125 and 100 mg/kg in high-fat diet-treated rats.

    METHODS: Geraniin (95% purity) was extracted and purified from rambutan rind. Two groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with 60% high-fat diet and standard rat chow, respectively, for 12 weeks. High-fat diet-treated rats were then administered geraniin at different doses. Body weight, blood pressure and blood glucose readings were measured. At the end of treatment, blood was collected for analysis of glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), insulin, advanced glycation end-product (AGE) levels, renin, aldosterone and electrolytes.

    RESULTS: Within the first week of treatment, even the lowest dose of geraniin caused a significant reduction in blood pressure, which was comparable to control diet-treated rats. There were no changes in serum electrolytes, renin or aldosterone. Similarly, there was a significant reduction in serum insulin, insulin resistance and AGE levels at the lowest dose. However, there was no significant decrease in fasting blood glucose or HbA1c. The effects of decreasing insulin, insulin resistance and AGEs were observed only at the lower doses, unlike the results observed for blood pressure reduction.

    CONCLUSION: Geraniin at lower doses improved blood pressure and other metabolic parameters. Secondary metabolites of geraniin, associated with antihypertensive activity, are relatively different to those involved in inhibiting AGE formation and increasing insulin sensitivity. The secondary metabolites of geraniin may be individually responsible for the bioactivities demonstrated.

  11. Teppone M
    J Integr Med, 2019 Jul;17(4):229-237.
    PMID: 30967348 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.03.008
    Throughout human history, doctors and healers have gathered and refined the knowledge inherited from the previous generations. Different methods of effective therapy have been designed during various historical periods; when each was developed, it was considered "modern scientific medicine" for their time. Mankind has gone through natural and social disasters and survived; hence, history has proved there was no time when medical knowledge was erroneous or ineffective. Classic medicine has grown to be divided into narrow, specialized branches, causing it to lose its holistic approach and general view on health, sickness and therapeutic methods. Many of traditional medicine's effective methods have been forgotten and removed from the mainstream medicine. It would be good for modern medical education to incorporate the general knowledge of historically effective therapeutic modalities and study practical cases. Medical students should be taught how to choose a "good method" or "good medicine" independent of when that method or remedy was discovered. However, he has to keep in mind the primary goal of medicine: "I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment…"(from Hippocratic Oath).
  12. Fairus S, Cheng HM, Sundram K
    J Integr Med, 2020 Jan;18(1):68-79.
    PMID: 31812339 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.11.005
    OBJECTIVE: Tocotrienols (T3s) have been hypothesized to have greater antioxidant capacity than tocopherols (Ts) due to differences in biokinetics that affect their absorption and function. The present trial compares the antioxidant effectiveness following postprandial challenge of two different doses of α-T or palm T3-rich fraction (TRF) treatments and evaluates their dose-response effects on antioxidant status.

    METHODS: Ten healthy volunteers were given four different doses of vitamin E formulations (268 mg α-T, 537 mg α-T, 263 mg TRF or 526 mg TRF) in a cross-over postprandial trial. Blood was sampled at 0, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 hours after meal consumption and plasma antioxidant status including total glutathione, superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde (MDA), ferric reducing antioxidant potential and trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity, was analyzed.

    RESULTS: Supplementation with the different doses of either α-T or TRF did not significantly improve overall antioxidant status. There was no significant difference in overall antioxidant status among treatments at the different doses compared. However, a significant dose-response effect was observed for plasma MDA throughout the 8-hour postprandial period. MDA was significantly lower after the 537 mg α-T treatment, compared to the 268 mg α-T treatment; it was also lower after the 526 mg TRF treatment compared to the 263 mg TRF treatment (P 

  13. Razali N, Dewa A, Asmawi MZ, Mohamed N, Manshor NM
    J Integr Med, 2020 Jan;18(1):46-58.
    PMID: 31882255 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.12.003
    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate vasorelaxant and vasoconstriction effects of Zingiber officinale var. rubrum (ZOVR) on live rats and isolated aortic rings of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).

    METHODS: Extracts of ZOVR were subjected to in-vivo antihypertensive screening using noninvasive blood pressures in SHRs. The most potent extract, ZOVR petroleum ether extract (ZOP) was then fractionated using n-hexane, chloroform and water. Isolated thoracic aortic rings were harvested and subjected to vascular relaxation studies of n-hexane fraction of ZOP (HFZOP) with incubation of different antagonists such as Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 µmol/L), indomethacin (10 µmol/L), methylene blue (10 µmol/L), atropine (1 µmol/L), glibenclamide (10 µmol/L), prazosin (0.01 µmol/L), and propranolol (1 µmol/L).

    RESULTS: During the screening of various ZOVR extracts, ZOP produced the most reduction in blood pressures of SHRs and so did HFZOP. HFZOP significantly decreased phenylephrine-induced contraction and enhanced acetylcholine-induced relaxation. L-NAME, indomethacin, methylene blue, atropine, and glibenclamide significantly potentiated the vasorelaxant effects of HFZOP. Propranolol and prazosin did not alter the vasorelaxant effects of HFZOP. HFZOP significantly suppressed the Ca2+-dependent contraction and influenced the ratio of the responses to phenylephrine in Ca2+-free medium.

    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that ZOP may exert an antihypertensive effect in the SHR model. Its possible vascular relaxation mechanisms involve nitric oxide and prostacyclin release, activation of cGMP-KATP channels, stimulation of muscarinic receptors, and transmembrane calcium channel or Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. Possible active compounds that contribute to the vasorelaxant effects are 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 6-shogaol.

  14. Chan EWC, Soon CY, Tan JBL, Wong SK, Hui YW
    J Integr Med, 2019 May;17(3):155-160.
    PMID: 30928277 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.03.003
    Ursolic acid (UA) is a pentacyclic triterpene of the ursane type. As a common chemical constituent among species of the family Lamiaceae, UA possesses a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties. This overview focuses on the anticancer properties of UA against breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) that are most common among women and men, respectively. In vitro studies have shown that UA inhibited the growth of BC and CRC cell lines through various molecular targets and signaling pathways. There are several in vivo studies on the cytotoxic activity of UA against BC and CRC. UA also inhibits the growth of other types of cancer. Studies on structural modifications of UA have shown that the -OH groups at C3 and at C28 are critical factors influencing the cytotoxic activity of UA and its derivatives. Some needs for future research are suggested. Sources of information were from ScienceDirect, Google Scholar and PubMed.
  15. Chan EWC, Wong SK, Tangah J, Inoue T, Chan HT
    J Integr Med, 2020 May;18(3):189-195.
    PMID: 32115383 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.02.006
    Flavonoids are by far the most dominant class of phenolic compounds isolated from Morus alba leaves (MAL). Other classes of compounds are benzofurans, phenolic acids, alkaloids, coumarins, chalcones and stilbenes. Major flavonoids are kuwanons, moracinflavans, moragrols and morkotins. Other major compounds include moracins (benzofurans), caffeoylquinic acids (phenolic acids) and morachalcones (chalcones). Research on the anticancer properties of MAL entailed in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity of extracts or isolated compounds. Flavonoids, benzofurans, chalcones and alkaloids are classes of compounds from MAL that have been found to be cytotoxic towards human cancer cell lines. Further studies on the phytochemistry and anticancer of MAL are suggested. Sources of information were PubMed, PubMed Central, ScienceDirect, Google, Google Scholar, J-Stage, PubChem and China National Knowledge Infrastructure.
  16. Roslim NA, Ahmad A, Mansor M, Aung MMT, Hamzah F, Hassan H, et al.
    J Integr Med, 2021 Jan;19(1):1-5.
    PMID: 33162374 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.10.006
    Obesity and overweight problems are serious global health issues today and despite many efforts, the prevalence has continued to rise for decades. Interestingly, hypnotherapy has been gaining recognition as an effective treatment for obesity and overweight problems. This review compiles contemporary scientific research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for weight reduction. Scopus, PubMed and EBSCO Host databases were applied in the study. The search identified 119 articles, of which seven met the inclusion criteria. A total of 539 respondents (82.7% women and 17.3% men) between the ages of 17 and 67 years were represented in the seven studies. Most studies incorporated lifestyle changes, such as changes of dietary habit and behavioral recommendations in the hypnotic procedure. Their results suggested that the use of hypnotherapy not only promoted weight reduction during the treatment period but also after treatment cessation, and in some cases, one to ten kilograms were lost during follow-up periods. In addition, one study even showed increased physical activity among the hypnotised individuals. This use of hypnotherapy also improved respondents' eating behavior and quality of life. However, a definitive conclusion could not be drawn due to several methodological flaws and the limited number of published studies in this area. Therefore, further well-designed studies are needed to substantiate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for this modern-day health problem.
  17. Chan EWC, Wong SK, Chan HT
    J Integr Med, 2021 07;19(4):311-316.
    PMID: 33583757 DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.001
    Tetrandrine (TET) and fangchinoline (FAN) are dominant bisbenzylisoquinoline (BBIQ) alkaloids from the roots of Stephania tetrandra of the family Menispermaceae. BBIQ alkaloids comprise two benzylisoquinoline units linked by oxygen bridges. The molecular structures of TET and FAN are exactly the same, except that TET has a methoxy (-OCH3) group, while FAN has a hydroxyl (-OH) group at C7. In this overview, the current knowledge on the chemistry, pharmacology and anticancer properties of TET and FAN have been updated. The focus is on colon and breast cancer cells, because they are most susceptible to TET and FAN, respectively. Against colon cancer cells, TET inhibits cell proliferation and tumor growth by inducing apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest, and suppresses adhesion, migration and invasion of cells. Against breast cancer cells, FAN inhibits cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis, G1-phase cell cycle arrest and inhibits cell migration. The processes involve various molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways. Some insights on the ability of TET and FAN to reverse multi-drug resistance in cancer cells and suggestions for future research are provided.
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