Herbal medicines for treating HIV infection and AIDS

National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, University of Tromso, Tromso, Norway, N-9037.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 02/2005; 3(3):CD003937. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003937.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT People with HIV infection or AIDS frequently seek alternative or 'complementary' therapies for their illness. Although many trials of these therapies exist, very few meet the scientific standards necessary to support the claims of beneficial effects in the therapies studied. This review identified nine randomized clinical trials, which tested eight different herbal medicines, compared with placebo, in HIV-infected individuals or AIDS patients with diarrhoea. The results showed that a preparation called SPV30 may be helpful in delaying the progression of HIV disease in HIV-infected people who do not have any symptoms of this infection. A Chinese herbal medicine, IGM-1, seems to improve the quality of life in HIV-infected people who do have symptoms. Another herbal compound ,SH, showed an increase of antiviral benefit when combined with antiretroviral agents. A South American herb preparation, SP-303, may reduce the frequency of abnormal stools in AIDS patients with diarrhoea. Other herbs tested were no better than placebo; however, the beneficial effects need to be considered with caution because the number of patients in these trials was small and the size of the effects quite moderate. In one trial the use of medicinal herbs was related to adverse effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort. Conclusion: No compelling evidence exists to support the use of the herbal medicines identified in this review for treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. To ensure that evidence is reliable, there need to be larger and more rigorously-designed trials.

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    • "Compared to a previous paper [10], we identified 6 new RCTs and successfully updated the evidence. The results of our paper are similar to that of the previous paper [10], which also expressed concern regarding the beneficial effects need to be considered with caution because the number of patients in these trials was small and the size of the effects quite moderate. "
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the effects of TCHM on patients with HIV infection and AIDS, we reviewed eleven randomized placebo-controlled trials involving 998 patients. Due to the limited number of RCTs for included trials and the small sample size of each study, we are not able to draw firm conclusions concerning TCHM therapy in treating patients with HIV infection and AIDS. However, some high-quality clinical studies do exist. Studies of diarrhea and oral candidiasis, which are challenging symptoms of AIDS, were demonstrated to have positive effects. Study of peripheral leukocytes, which are a side effect of antiretroviral drugs, suggested that an integrated treatment approach may be of benefit. The overall methodological quality of the trials was adequate; however, randomization methods should be clearly described and fully reported in these trials according to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT).
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 12/2012; 2012:950757. DOI:10.1155/2012/950757 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "rotein kinases ( mammalian target of rapamycin , mitogen - activated protein kinases , and Akt ) and other enzymes ( cyclooxygenase 2 and 5 lipoxygenase ) ( Aggarwal and Sung , 2009 ; Zhou et al . , 2011 ) . It is important to note that there are substantial controversies regarding the action of curcumin on HIV as well as inflammatory conditions ( Liu et al . , 2005 ; White and Judkins , 2011 ) . Increasing evidence indicates that cation channels also serve as targets for curcumin , i . e . micromolar concentrations of curcumin inhibit Ca 2+ - release - activated Ca 2+ channel ( I CRAC ) and K + channels ( Kv and SK4 ) in human T cells ( Shin et al . , 2011 ) , block the Cav3 . 2 T - type Ca 2+ cur"
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    ABSTRACT: Curcumin (1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1E,6E-heptadiene-3,5-dione or diferuloyl methane) is a polyphenol derived from the Curcuma longa plant, commonly known as turmeric. This substance has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for its anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activity. More recently curcumin has been found to possess anti-cancer properties linked to its pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative actions. The underlying mechanisms of these diverse effects are complex, not fully elucidated and subject of intense scientific debate. Despite increasing evidence indicating that different cation channels can be a molecular target for curcumin, very little is known about the effect of curcumin on chloride channels. Since, (i) the molecular structure of curcumin indicates that the substance could potentially interact with chloride channels, (ii) chloride channels play a role during the apoptotic process and regulation of the cell volume, and (iii) apoptosis is a well known effect of curcumin, we set out to investigate whether or not curcumin could (i) exert a modulatory effect (direct or indirect) on the swelling activated chloride current ICl(swell) in a human cell system, therefore (ii) affect cell volume regulation and (iii) ultimately modulate cell survival. The ICl(swell) channels, which are essential for regulating the cell volume after swelling, are also known to be activated under isotonic conditions as an early event in the apoptotic process. Here we show that long-term exposure of a human kidney cell line to extracellular 0.1-10 μM curcumin modulates ICl(swell) in a dose-dependent manner (0.1 μM curcumin is ineffective, 0.5-5.0 μM curcumin increase, while 10 μM curcumin decrease the current), and short-term exposure to micromolar concentrations of curcumin does not affect ICl(swell) neither if applied from the extracellular nor from the intracellular side - therefore, a direct effect of curcumin on ICl(swell) can be ruled out. Furthermore, we show that curcumin exposure induces apoptosis in human kidney cells, and at a concentration of 5.0-10 μM induces the appearance of a sub-population of cells with a dramatically increased volume. In these cells the regulation of the cell volume seems to be impaired, most likely as a consequence of the ICl(swell) blockade. Similarly, 50 μM curcumin induced apoptosis, caused cell cycle arrest in G1-phase and increased the volume of human colorectal adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells. The cell cycle arrest in G1 phase may be the mechanism underlying the volume increase observed in this cell line after exposure to curcumin.
    Toxicology 12/2011; 292(2-3):123-35. DOI:10.1016/j.tox.2011.12.002 · 3.75 Impact Factor
    • "Thus, the same medicament has been adapted to treat HIV infected patients in the present study, aiming to counteract the associated destructive control mechanisms in the HIV infection, by modulating the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune (PNI) axis. The current study has been encouraged by the following facts, the majority of people living with HIV/AIDS are presently using complementary medicine,[13] CCRAS, India promoting the Ayurveda and Siddha clinical researches on HIV/AIDS[14] and the United Nations proposed “Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.” as the 6th development goal among the millennium development goals (UNMDG).[15] "
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    ABSTRACT: Rational use of Rasayana therapy, in the management of HIV infected individuals, could potentially stabilize the destructive control mechanisms, by modulating the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune axis. The objective of the present study has been to determine the short-term effects of Ranahamsa Rasayanaya (RR) in HIV infected patients. A total of 27 patients with documented HIV infection were randomly assigned to two groups, Group A - 5 g of RR twice daily with cow's milk and sugar. Group B - Only routine modern therapy was continued, if any they were taking, including highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Absolute CD4(+) T-cell and total lymphocyte counts were measured in these patients, registered under Group A. Only 21 participants completed the study protocol (In Group A, 15 patients and in Group B, 6 patients). Initial mean CD4(+) T-cell count was 304.50 ± 43.36 cells/microliter, which increased to 430.44 ± 66.01 cells/microliter by 41.36% (P<0.05), measured among 9 patients out of 15, who received RR in Group A. The RR seemed to be a safer adjuvant in people with HIV infection with respect to absolute CD4(+) T-cell count over a 90 days treatment.
    04/2010; 31(2):197-204. DOI:10.4103/0974-8520.72393
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