Herbal medicines for treating HIV infection and AIDS
ABSTRACT HIV-infected people and AIDS patients often seek complementary therapies including herbal medicines due to reasons such as unsatisfactory effects, high cost, non-availability, or adverse effects of conventional medicines.
To assess beneficial effects and risks of herbal medicines in patients with HIV infection and AIDS.
Electronic searches included the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, Science Citation Index, the Chinese Biomedical Database, TCMLARS; plus CISCOM, AMED, and NAPRALERT; combined with manual searches. The search ended in December 2004.
Randomized clinical trials on herbal medicines compared with no intervention, placebo, or antiretroviral drugs in patients with HIV infection, HIV-related disease, or AIDS. The outcomes included mortality, HIV disease progression, new AIDS-defining event, CD4 cell counts, viral load, psychological status, quality of life, and adverse effects.
Two authors extracted data independently and assessed the methodological quality of trials according to randomization, allocation concealment, double blinding, and drop-out.
Nine randomized placebo-controlled trials involving 499 individuals with HIV infection and AIDS met the inclusion criteria. Methodological quality of trials was assessed as adequate in five full publications and unclear in other trials. Eight different herbal medicines were tested.A compound of Chinese herbs (IGM-1) showed significantly better effect than placebo in improvement of health-related quality of life in 30 symptomatic HIV-infected patients (WMD 0.66, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.27). IGM-1 appeared not to affect overall health perception, symptom severity, CD4 count, anxiety or depression (Burack 1996a). An herbal formulation of 35 Chinese herbs did not affect CD4 cell counts, viral load, AIDS events, symptoms, psychosocial measure, or quality of life (Weber 1999). There was no statistical difference between SPV30 and placebo in new AIDS-defining events, CD4 cell counts, or viral load (Durant 1998) although an earlier pilot trial showed positive effect of SPV30 on CD4 cell count (Durant 1997). Combined treatment of Chinese herbal compound SH and antiretroviral agents showed increased antiviral benefit compared with antiretrovirals alone (Sangkitporn 2004). SP-303 appeared to reduce stool weight (p = 0.008) and abnormal stool frequency (p = 0.04) in 51 patients with AIDS and diarrhoea (Holodniy 1999). Qiankunning appeared not to affect HIV-1 RNA levels (Shi 2003), Curcumin ineffective in reducing viral load or improving CD4 cell counts (Hellinger 1996), and Capsaicin ineffective in relieving pain associated with HIV-related peripheral neuropathy (Paice 2000). The occurrence of adverse effects was higher in the 35 Chinese herbs preparation (19/24) than in placebo (11/29) (79% versus 38%, p = 0.003) (Weber 1999). Qiankunning was associated with stomach discomfort and diarrhoea (Shi 2003).
There is insufficient evidence to support the use of herbal medicines in HIV-infected individuals and AIDS patients. Potential beneficial effects need to be confirmed in large, rigorous trials.
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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
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ABSTRACT: In order to validate previous findings in ethnopharmacological studies, the effects on the hemogram of Wistar female rats after the oral administration of aqueous and methanolic extracts from Phenax rugosus (Poir.) Wedd and Tabebuia chrysantha G. Nicholson leaves were evaluated for 10 days. Except for the eosinophils count with the aqueous extract of Phenax rugosus (Poir.) Wedd, no significant changes in the hemogram were observed after
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ABSTRACT: Previous Ethnopharmacological studies have showed the use of Phenax rugosus (Poir..) Wedd. and Tabebuia chrysantha G. Nicholson leaves for the treatment of infectious diseases and in inflammatory processes. Aqueous and methanolic extracts of each plant was obtained in order to determine the capacity of these extracts to induce significant changes in the seric levels of IgM and IgG2b antibodies in Wistar rats. The results obtained show that these extracts do not produce a response with statistical significance when comparing the antibody levels between the control and treatments groups.