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Value of Nutrition-Based Therapies for Hair Growth, Color, and Quality

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Abstract

Since an important commercial interest lies in the nutritional value of various vitamin and amino acid supplements, an important question that arises is whether increasing the content of an already adequate diet with specific amino acids, vitamins, and/or trace elements may further promote hair growth and pigmentation. Pharmacy aisles and Internet drugstores are full of nutritional supplements promising full, thick, luscious hair for prices that range from suspiciously cheap to dishearteningly exorbitant. It would appear that unless hair loss is due to a specific nutritional deficiency, there is only so much that nutritional therapies can do to enhance hair growth and quality. However, there are internal and external factors, such as aging and environmental stressors, that influence hair health to such a degree that nutritional therapy may boost hair that is suffering from these problems. Protein is the main component of hair with the primary component of the hair fiber being keratin that is made from amino acids. The most abundant of these is cysteine which gives the hair fiber much of its strength through the linking of the sulfur in cysteine molecules of adjacent keratin proteins together in disulfide bonds. Meanwhile, the hair follicle exhibits a high rate of metabolism. As a group, B complex vitamins are important for metabolic functions and therefore required to utilize other nutrients like carbohydrates and amino acids: biotin (vitamin H), calcium pantothenate (B5), niacinamide (B3), folic acid, and vitamins B6 (pyridoxal phosphate) and B12 (cobalamin). Further insights into the role of oxidative stress could open additional strategies for interventions into age-dependent hair and pigmentation loss. Specifically, the body possesses endogenous defense mechanisms, such as antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase) and nonenzymatic antioxidative molecules (vitamins E and C, glutathione, ubiquinone), protecting it from free radicals. With age, the production of free radicals increases, while the endogenous defense mechanisms decrease. This imbalance leads to the progressive damage of cellular structures, ultimately resulting in the aging phenotype.

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Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shennong Materia Medica) and many other books in early Chinese history began to study, discuss, and report the scientific aspects of Ganoderma (Lingzhi) in respect to its categorization, habitat, bionomics, herbal nature, medication, etc. At the same time, incorrect or unsubstantiated information continues to be weeded out and updated. Shennong Materia Medica have been frequently referred in literature and used for further research and applications. Present chapter reviews the history of modern research on Ganoderma (Lingzhi) since 1950s.
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Androgenetic alopecia is the most common hair loss disorder, affecting both men and women. Initial signs of androgenetic alopecia usually develop during teenage years leading to progressive hair loss with a pattern distribution. Moreover, its frequency increases with age and affects up to 80% Caucasian men and 42% of women. Patients afflicted with androgenetic alopecia may undergo significant impairment of quality of life. The European Dermatology Forum (EDF) initiated a project to develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Based on a systematic literature research the efficacy of the currently available therapeutic options was assessed and therapeutic recommendations were passed in a consensus conference. The purpose of the guideline is to provide dermatologists with an evidence-based tool for choosing an efficacious and safe therapy for patients with androgenetic alopecia.
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In all cultures, human hair and hairdo have been a powerful metaphor. Tracing back the importance and significance of human hair to the dawn of civilization on the Indian subcontinent, we find that all the Vedic gods are depicted as having uncut hair in mythological stories as well as in legendary pictures. The same is true of the Hindu avatars, and the epic heroes of the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. Finally, there are a number of hair peculiarities in India pertinent to the creed and religious practices of the Hindu, the Jain, and the Sikh. Shiva Nataraja is a depiction of the Hindu God Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time. The same principle manifests in the hair cycle, in which perpetual cycles of growth, regression, and resting underly the growth and shedding of hair. Finally, The Hair Research Society of India was founded as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to research and education in the science of hair. Notably, the HRSI reached milestones in the journey of academic pursuit with the launch of the International Journal of Trichology, and with the establishment of the Hair India conference. Ultimately, the society aims at saving the public from being taken for a ride by quackery, and at creating the awareness that the science of hair represents a subspecialty of Dermatology. In analogy again, the dwarf on which the Nataraja dances represents the demon of egotism, and thus symbolizes Shiva's, respectively, the HRSI's victory over ignorance.
Article
Background: Panax ginseng Meyer extracts have been used to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. However, little is known about the extracts' active ingredients and the molecular mechanisms underlying their reported anti-depressive effects. Methods: Gintonin is an exogenous lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor ligand isolated from P. ginseng. BON cells, an enterochromaffin cell line, and C57BL/6 mice were used to investigate whether gintonin stimulates serotonin release. Furthermore, the effects of gintonin on depressive-like behaviors following alcohol withdrawal were evaluated using the forced swim and tail suspension tests. Results: Treatment of BON cells with gintonin induced a transient increase in the intracellular calcium concentration and serotonin release in a concentration- and time-dependent manner via the LPA receptor signaling pathway. Oral administration of the gintonin-enriched fraction (GEF) induced an increase in the plasma serotonin concentration in the mice. Oral administration of the GEF in mice with alcohol withdrawal decreased the immobility time in two depression-like behavioral tests and restored the alcohol withdrawal-induced serotonin decrease in plasma levels. Limitations: We cannot exclude the possibility that the gintonin-mediated regulation of adrenal catecholamine release in the peripheral system, and acetylcholine and glutamate release in the central nervous system, could also contribute to the alleviation of depressive-like behaviors. Conclusion: The GEF-mediated attenuation of depressive-like behavior induced by alcohol withdrawal may be mediated by serotonin release from intestinal enterochromaffin cells. Therefore, the GEF might be responsible for the ginseng extract-induced alleviation of depression-related symptoms.
Article
Objective: To examine the ability of an extract from traditional Chinese medicine, Polygonum multiflorum Radix, to protect melanocyte viability from oxidative stress, a key mechanism in the initiation and progression of hair greying. Methods: To assess the antioxidant capacity of Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract, primary human foreskin melanocytes were treated with a commercially available Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract added to culture medium and exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ), using intracellular reactive oxygen species concentrations and glutathione/protein ratios as endpoints. To improve solubility for cosmetic uses, a new Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract was derived. As hair graying is the consequence of melanocyte disappearance in an oxidative stress environment, we checked if the anti-oxidant capacity of the new Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract could preserve melanocyte viability in response to H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress, and preserve pigmentation within ex vivo human hair follicles. Results: In vitro treatment of primary human foreskin melanocytes with traditional available Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract resulted in decreased intracellular ROS accumulation in response to H2 O2 exposure with a concomitant preservation of glutathione to protein ratio, consistent with a protective response against H2 O2 exposure and demonstrating the promise of this extract for protecting melanocytes against oxidative stress. Melanocytes treated with the improved Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract exhibited attenuated H2 O2 -induced cell death, demonstrating a clear cytoprotective effect. Treatment of ex vivo human hair follicles with the improved Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract resulted in a higher level of melanin compared to vehicle-treated controls, demonstrating an ex vivo protective effect on hair pigmentation. Conclusion: Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract protects in vitro primary human foreskin melanocytes from the deleterious effects of H2 O2 -exposure and improves pigmentation within ex vivo human hair follicles, demonstrating the utility of Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract as a potential active ingredient for the protection of melanocytes against premature death. This data provides in vitro mechanistic evidence consistent with existing in vivo studies for the use of Polygonum multiflorum Radix extract as a strategy for the prevention of oxidative-stress induced hair greying, in line with traditional Polygonum multiflorum Radix uses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Background: Ginkgo biloba L. (Ginkgoaceae) is one of the most distinctive plants. It possesses a suite of fascinating characteristics including a large genome, outstanding resistance/tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses, and dioecious reproduction, making it an ideal model species for biological studies. However, the lack of a high-quality genome sequence has been an impediment to our understanding of its biology and evolution. Findings: The 10.61 Gb genome sequence containing 41,840 annotated genes was assembled in the present study. Repetitive sequences account for 76.58% of the assembled sequence, and long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are particularly prevalent. The diversity and abundance of LTR-RTs is due to their gradual accumulation and a remarkable amplification between 16 and 24 million years ago, and they contribute to the long introns and large genome. Whole genome duplication (WGD) may have occurred twice, with an ancient WGD consistent with that shown to occur in other seed plants, and a more recent event specific to ginkgo. Abundant gene clusters from tandem duplication were also evident, and enrichment of expanded gene families indicates a remarkable array of chemical and antibacterial defense pathways. Conclusions: The ginkgo genome consists mainly of LTR-RTs resulting from ancient gradual accumulation and two WGD events. The multiple defense mechanisms underlying the characteristic resilience of ginkgo are fostered by a remarkable enrichment in ancient duplicated and ginkgo-specific gene clusters. The present study sheds light on sequencing large genomes, and opens an avenue for further genetic and evolutionary research.
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ayurveda entails a scientific tradition of harmonious living and its origin can be traced from ancient knowledge in Rigveda and Atharvaveda. Ayurveda is a traditional healthcare system of Indian medicine since ancient times. Several Ayurvedic medicines have been exploiting for treatment and management of various diseases in human beings. The several drugs have been developed and practiced from Ayurveda since ancient time to modern practice as 'tradition to trend'. The potential of Ayurvedic medicine needs to be explored further with modern scientific validation approaches for better therapeutic leads. Aim of the study: The present study was aimed to explore the various aspects of Ayurveda and inspired drug discovery approaches for its promotion and development. Materials and methods: We have reviewed all the literature related to the history and application of Ayurvedic herbs. Various aspects for the quality control, standardization, chemo-profiling, and metabolite fingerprinting for quality evaluation of Ayurvedic drugs. The development of Ayurvedic drugs is gaining momentum with the perspectives of safety, efficacy and quality for promotion and management of human health. Scientific documentation, process validation and several others significant parameters are key points, which can ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of Ayurvedic drugs. Results: The present review highlights on the major goal of Ayurveda and their significant role in healthcare system. Ayurveda deals with several classical formulations including arka, asavas, aristas, churna, taila, vati, gutika, bhasma etc. There are several lead molecules that have been developed from the Ayurvedic herbs, which have various significant therapeutic activities. Chemo-profiling of Ayurvedic drug is essential in order to assess the quality of products. It deals with bioactive compound quantification, spurious and allied drug determination, chromatographic fingerprinting, standardization, stability and quality consistency of Ayurvedic products. Conclusions: Scientific validation and the documentation of Ayurvedic drugs are very essential for its quality evaluation and global acceptance. Therapeutic efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs may be enhanced with high quality, which can be achieved by identity, purity, safety, drug content, physical and biological properties. Ayurvedic medicines need be explored with the modern scientific approaches for its validation. Therefore, an attempt has been made in the present review to highlight the crucial aspects that need to be considered for the promotion and development of Ayurvedic medicine.
Article
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum), used as traditional medicine and natural additive food, has been shown to exert significant antiatherogenic, antidiabetic, antianorexic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antihyperlipidemic, galactogogue and anti-inflammatory effects in several human and animal models. Besides, several medicinal pharmaceutical and nutraceutical properties, fenugreek have toxic effects as well. The aim of this review is discuss the cumulative evidence, which suggests that consumption of fenugreek induced some serious toxicological side effects. In this review, many teratogenic effects of fenugreek, from congenital malformations to death, were reported in human, rodent, rabbit, and chick. Moreover, results obtained in rats, mice and rabbits show a testicular toxicity and anti-fertility effects in male associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage, as well as anti-fertility, anti-implantation and abortifacient activity in females related to saponin compound of fenugreek which suggest that fenugreek is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Indeed, the consumption of fenugreek should be avoided for persons having peanut and chickpeas allergy because of possible cross-reactivity as well as chronic asthma. Accumulating evidence suggest also that fenugreek may have neurodevelopmental, neurobehavioral and neuropathological side effects. It is suggested that future studies would be conducted to identify molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the fenugreek toxicological properties.
Article
Dietary supplements are widely used and offer the potential to improve health if appropriately targeted to those in need. Inadequate nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent conditions that adversely affect global health. Although improvements in diet quality are essential to address these issues, dietary supplements and/or food fortification could help meet requirements for individuals at risk of deficiencies. For example, supplementation with vitamin A and iron in developing countries, where women of reproductive age, infants and children often have deficiencies; with folic acid among women of reproductive age and during pregnancy; with vitamin D among infants and children; and with calcium and vitamin D to ensure bone health among adults aged ≥65 years. Intense debate surrounds the benefits of individual high-dose micronutrient supplementation among well-nourished individuals because the alleged beneficial effects on chronic diseases are not consistently supported. Daily low-dose multivitamin supplementation has been linked to reductions in the incidence of cancer and cataracts, especially among men. Baseline nutrition is an important consideration in supplementation that is likely to modify its effects. Here, we provide a detailed summary of dietary supplements and health outcomes in both developing and developed countries to help guide decisions about dietary supplement recommendations.
Article
This preliminary pilot study demonstrated some interesting findings on using soy in skin, hair, and nail health. Soy is a rich source of protein and phytoestrogens. Since the skin, hair, and nails are primarily composed of protein, it is possible that providing a regular dietary protein source may improve the appearance of these body structures in postmenopausal women who may not be self-selecting a diet with sufficient protein. Furthermore, oral administration of phytoestrogens may have a beneficial effect on appearance in postmenopausal women who do not use estrogen hormonal supplementation. There is no doubt that estrogen has a profound effect on the skin, hair, and nails, yet our understanding of how to supplement estrogen in postmenopausal women is poor. Clearly, this work on soy is preliminary, but it may be that oral soy supplementation has a role in dermatology for postmenopausal women.
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Many traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) have been used for hundreds of years for hair blackening and hair nourishing, and now many of them are commonly used in Chinese herbal shampoo to nourish the hair and promote hair growth. Aims of the study: The present study was performed to screen 5α-reductase (5αR) inhibiters from traditional Chinese medicines, evaluate its hair growth promoting activity in vivo, and further investigate its effects on androgen metabolism and the expression of 5αR II in hair follicles. Materials and methods: Nine TCM which were dried, ground and extracted by maceration with 75% ethanol or distilled water were used for screening 5αR inhibiters, and enzymes were extracted from the rat epididymis. The leaves of Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco was used to evaluate the in vivo anti-androgenic activity. Skin color was observed daily and the hair re-growth was assessed by assigning the hair growth score. The longitudinal sections of hair follicles were used for observing follicle morphology, classifying of distinct stages of hair follicle morphogenesis and calculate the average score. The transverse sections were used for determination of hair follicle counts. Testosterone (T), Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and Estradiol (E2) levels in serum and skin tissue were detected by ELISA kits. The immunofluorescence assay was used to detect the influence of CP-ext on 5αR expression in dorsal skin. Results: We found the extract of Ganoderma Lucidum(GL-ext), Polygonum Multiflori(PM-ext), Cacumen Platycladi(CP-ext) and Cynomorium songaricum(CS-ext) showed stronger 5αR inhibitory activity.CP-ext (5mg and 2mg/mouse/day) could significantly shorten the time of the dorsal skin darkening and got longhaired (P<0.01), and showed high hair re-growth promoting activity. Furthermore the histological data of hair follicles in each group showed that CP-ext could promote the growth of hair follicle and slowed down hair follicles enter the telogen. What's more CP-ext significantly reduced DHT levels and down-regulated the expression of 5αRⅡin skin (P<0.01). Conclusions: GL-ext, PM-ext, CP-ext and CS-ext showed strong 5αR inhibitory activity. CP-ext possesses high hair growth promoting activity in the in vivo androgen-sensitive mouse model via inhibiting the 5αR activity, decreasing the DHT levels and in turn suppressing the expression of 5αR. Our study may contribute to the development of a new generation of herbal supplements with clearer material basis of pharmacodynamic for treating androgenic alopecia (AGA).
Article
Comorbidity and multimorbidity represent one of the greatest chalenge to academic medicine. Many disorders are often comorbidly expressed in diverse combinations. In clinical practice comorbidity and multimorbidity are underrecognized, underdiagnosed, underestimated and undertreated. So that one can speak about comorbidity and multimorbidity anosognosia. Comorbidities and multimorbidities are indifferent to medical specializations, so the integrative and complementary medicine is an imperative in the both education and practice. Shifting the paradigm from vertical/mono-morbid interventions to comorbidity and multimorbidity approaches enhances effectiveness and efficiency of human resources utilization. Comorbidity and multimorbidity studies have been expected to be an impetus to research on the validity of current diagnostic systems as well as on establishing more effective and efficient treatment including individualized and personalized pharmacotherapy.
Article
Alopecia and thinning hair are highly prevalent conditions affecting a large proportion of men and women. Diffused hair loss is often more difficult to diagnose in women, mostly due to over-reliance on the assumption of hormonal influences, and it is commonly treated with a multi-therapy approach. Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of a nutraceutical supplement to provide essential nutrients that aid in stimulating existing hair growth and reducing hair shedding. The supplement Viviscal® contains a proprietary blend of proteins, lipids, and glycosaminoglycans derived from sustainable marine sources. We present here a summary of studies that have examined the safety and efficacy of this nutraceutical; as well as discussions on hair loss and current therapies from a recently convened expert panel in dermatology and plastic surgery. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(suppl 9):s15-s22.
Article
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated inconsistent associations between tea consumption and mortality of all cancers, CVD and all causes. To obtain quantitative overall estimates, we conducted a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. A literature search in PubMed and Embase up to April 2015 was conducted for all relevant papers published. Random-effects models were used to calculate pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI. In eighteen prospective studies, there were 12 221, 11 306 and 55 528 deaths from all cancers, CVD and all causes, respectively. For all cancer mortality, the summary RR for the highest v . lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 1·06 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·15) and 0·79 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·97), respectively. For CVD mortality, the summary RR for the highest v . lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 0·67 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·96) and 0·88 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·01), respectively. For all-cause mortality, the summary RR for the highest v . lowest category of green tea and black tea consumption were 0·80 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·93) and 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·98), respectively. The dose–response analysis indicated that one cup per d increment of green tea consumption was associated with 5 % lower risk of CVD mortality and with 4 % lower risk of all-cause mortality. Green tea consumption was significantly inversely associated with CVD and all-cause mortality, whereas black tea consumption was significantly inversely associated with all cancer and all-cause mortality.
Article
Estrogen replacement therapy is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the United States by traditional medical professionals. Over the past decade, the market for complementary/alternative therapies for hormone replacement has dramatically increased. Women are seeking more “natural” alternatives to treat menopausal symptoms. Well-designed randomized clinical trials are often lacking, as is the information on efficacy and safety. This article will review several popular herbal therapies for menopausal symptoms including phytoestrogens, black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), dong quai (Angelica sinensis), chast tree (Vitex agnus-castus), and wild Mexican yam. Their use, mechanism of action, and adverse effects are outlined.
Article
Dermal papilla cells (DPC) taken from male androgenic alopecia (AGA) patients undergo premature senescence in vitro in association with expression of p16(INK4a) suggesting that DPC from balding scalp are more sensitive to environmental stress than non-balding cells. As one of the major triggers of senescence in vitro stems from the cell "culture shock" due to oxidative stress we have further investigated the effects of oxidative stress on balding and occipital scalp DPC. Patient matched DPC from balding and occipital scalp were cultured at atmospheric (21%) or physiologically normal (2%) O2. At 21% O2 DPC showed flattened morphology and a significant reduction in mobility, population doubling, increased levels of ROS and senescence associated β-Gal activity and increased expression of p16(INK4a) and pRB. Balding DPC secreted higher levels of the negative hair growth regulators TGF-β1 and -β2 in response to H2O2 but not cell culture associated oxidative stress. Balding DPC had higher levels of catalase and total glutathione but appear to be less able to handle oxidative stress compared to occipital DPC. These in vitro findings suggest there may be a role for oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of AGA both in relation to cell senescence and migration but also secretion of known hair follicle inhibitory factors.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 03 February 2015. doi:10.1038/jid.2015.28.
Article
Alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both male and female, affecting approximately ten million Koreans. Although medical treatments have been developed to treat alopecia, these treatments still have limitations due to complications that come with these treatments. In contrast, Korean red ginseng has been shown to have a stimulating effect on hair follicle and it has already been added to hair treatment products as a safe ingredient. This study was conducted to objectively evaluate the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in the treatment of alopecia. 40 patients suffering from androgenic alopecia were recruited and randomly divided into the experimental (20 patients) and control (20 patients) groups. The experimental group took Korean red ginseng extract (3,000 mg/day) for 24 weeks while the control group took a placebo. The changes of hair counts, thickness, and density were evaluated with Folliscope. Patient satisfaction was evaluated through a questionnaire, and clinical photographs were rated by dermatologists. The result of the study showed that Korean red ginseng effectively increased hair density and thickness. Patient satisfaction and evaluation of photographs by dermatologists also confirmed the effectiveness of Korean red ginseng in the treatment of alopecia.
Article
Hair loss is accompanied by keratinocyte apoptosis-regression during catagen and prolonged telogen. Angelica sinensis was reported to promote hair growth in vitro. Based on previous studies, we explored the hair growth effect and the mechanism of A. sinensis related to keratinocyte apoptosis-regression during catagen in mice. The 70% Ethanol extract of A. sinensis was applied topically at doses of 1 and 100 mg/mL to the dorsa of C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks. The A. sinensis-treated group showed noticeable hair regrowth. Treatment with A. sinensis restored the lengths of hair shafts and size of hair follicles. In addition, mice treated with A. sinensis showed notably decreased apoptotic cells, along with a significant change in the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and the ratio of a pair of apoptosis-associated proteins: Bcl-2 and Bax. Also, A. sinensis inhibited the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, the phosphorylation of IκB-α, the phosphorylation of three mitogen-activated protein MAP kinases, and the activation of c-Jun with decreased TNF-α. These findings reveal a role of A. sinensis as an alternative treatment for hair loss that acts through hair cycle pathways associated with apoptosis regression during catagen.
Article
Background and aim: Green tea and lotus hold several synergistic antioxidant compounds. This investigation aimed to assess the efficacy of green tea and green tea plus lotus vs. placebo multiple emulsions in healthy adults for controlling casual sebum secretions. Participants and methods: After signing informed consents, twenty-two participants were registered in a single-blinded, placebo-controlled, split-face comparative study. Group 1 participants applied a multiple emulsion formulation with green tea extract while group 2 applied a multiple emulsion with green tea plus lotus extract in a 60 days treatment course. A non-invasive photometric device (Sebumeter™) has been used for the measurement of casual sebum secretions on both sides of the face. Results: Steady and statistically significant reductions in sebum secretions were noted for mono (green tea) and combined treatments (green tea plus lotus) compared to placebo treatment. However, irrespective of the concentration of extracts in active formulations, green tea plus lotus combined treatment produced statistically more sound results (two-tailed p value = 0.0002) than green tea alone (two-tailed p value = 0.0060) in a 60-days treatment course. Conclusions: RESULTS suggest that synergistic compounds in green tea and lotus could be a promising choice for cutaneous disorders where elevated sebum levels are involved in the pathophysiology of these disorders.
Article
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the world. Numerous efforts are being made to find chemoprotective agents able to reduce its risk. Amongst these, green tea has been reported to have a protective effect against stomach cancer. This article aims to critically evaluate all epidemiological studies reporting an association between green tea consumption and GC risk. MEDLINE, EBSCOHOST and Google Scholar were used to search for clinical trials of green tea and its correlation to stomach cancer. Studies include cohort and case-control studies. Outcome of interests are inverse association, no association, and positive association. Seventeen epidemiologic studies were reviewed. Eleven studies were conducted in Japan, five in China, and one with Japanese descendent in Hawaii. Ten case-control studies and seven cohort studies were included. The relative risks or odds ratio of GC for the highest level of green tea consumption was compared. Seven studies suggested no association, eight an inverse association, and one a positive association. One study had shown a significantly lowered GC risk when tea was served warm to cold. Another study also showed a significantly risk with lukewarm tea. All studies that analyzed men and women separately have suggested a reduced risk in women than in men, albeit no significant difference. This review demonstrates that there is insufficient information to support green tea consumption reduces the risk of GC. More studies on the subject matter are warranted.
Article
BACKGROUND: Dietary supplements are traditionally used over-the-counter products for the treatment of hair loss. OBJECTIVES: We aim to examine the effect of a specific L-cystine, medicinal yeast, pantothenic acid complex-based dietary supplement (Pantogar®) on telogen effluvium in healthy women. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted over 6 months in 30 healthy women suffering from telogen effluvium. The efficacy of the supplement was evaluated by means of digitalized epiluminescent microscopy (TrichoScan) performed before treatment and after 3 and 6 months. Additionally, global photographs were taken and evaluated by independent investigators. RESULTS: Active compound led to a statistically significant improvement and normalization of the mean anagen hair rate within 6 months of treatment (p = 0.003), while there was no significant change in the placebo group (p = 0.85). These changes of the anagen hair rates were significantly different (p = 0.008). The appearance of hair growth in the global photographic assessment was judged better in the active compound than in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study performed combining epiluminiscence microscopy with digital image analysis to demonstrate that a dietary supplement influences hair growth. The mode of action is not known, although it seems to result from an induction of anagen.
Article
Alopecia is a dermatological disorder with psychosocial implications on patients with hair loss. Eclipta alba Hassk. is a well-known Ayurvedic herb with purported claims of hair growth promotion. In the reported work attempts were undertaken to evaluate petroleum ether and ethanol extract of E. alba Hassk. for their effect on promoting hair growth in albino rats. The extracts were incorporated into oleaginous cream (water in oil cream base) and applied topically on shaved denuded skin of albino rats. The time (in days) required for hair growth initiation as well as completion of hair growth cycle was recorded. Minoxidil 2% solution was applied topically and served as positive control for comparison. Hair growth initiation time was significantly reduced to half on treatment with the extracts, as compared to control animals. The time required for complete hair growth was also significantly reduced. Quantitative analysis of hair growth after treatment with petroleum ether extract (5%) exhibited greater number of hair follicles in anagenic phase (69 +/- 4) which were higher as compared to control (47 +/- 13). The result of treatment with 2 and 5% petroleum ether extracts were better than the positive control minoxidil 2% treatment.
Article
The objective of this open label study is to determine the effectiveness of Serenoa repens in treating male androgenetic alopecia (AGA), by comparing its results with finasteride. For this purpose, we enrolled 100 male patients with clinically diagnosed mild to moderate AGA. One group received Serenoa repens 320 mg every day for 24 months, while the other received finasteride 1 mg every day for the same period. In order to assess the efficacy of the treatments, a score index based on the comparison of the global photos taken at the beginning (T0) and at the end (T24) of the treatment, was used. The results showed that only 38% of patients treated with Serenoa repens had an increase in hair growth, while 68% of those treated with finasteride noted an improvement. Moreover finasteride was more effective for more than half of the patients (33 of 50, i.e. 66%), with level II and III alopecia. We can summarize our results by observing that Serenoa repens could lead to an improvement of androgenetic alopecia, while finasteride confirmed its efficacy. We also clinically observed, that finasteride acts in both the front area and the vertex, while Serenoa repens prevalently in the vertex. Obviously other studies will be necessary to clarify the mechanisms that cause the different responses of these two treatments.
Article
Background: Menopause can be a distressing and disruptive time for many women, with many experiencing hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal atrophy and dryness. Postmenopausal women are also at increased risk of osteoporosis. Interventions that decrease the severity and frequency of these menopausal symptoms are likely to improve a woman's well-being and quality of life. Hormone therapy has been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of menopause; however, many potentially serious adverse effects have been associated with this treatment. Evidence from experimental studies suggests that black cohosh may be a biologically plausible alternative treatment for menopause; even so, findings from studies investigating the clinical effectiveness of black cohosh have, to date, been inconsistent. Objectives: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa) for treating menopausal symptoms in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Search methods: Relevant studies were identified through AARP Ageline, AMED, AMI, BioMed Central gateway, CAM on PubMed, CINAHL, CENTRAL, EMBASE, Health Source Nursing/Academic edition, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, MEDLINE, Natural medicines comprehensive database, PsycINFO, TRIP database, clinical trial registers and the reference lists of included trials; up to March 2012. Content experts and manufacturers of black cohosh extracts were also contacted. Selection criteria: All randomised controlled trials comparing orally administered monopreparations of black cohosh to placebo or active medication in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected trials, extracted data and completed the 'Risk of bias' assessment. Study authors were contacted for missing information. Main results: Sixteen randomised controlled trials, recruiting a total of 2027 perimenopausal or postmenopausal women, were identified. All studies used oral monopreparations of black cohosh at a median daily dose of 40 mg, for a mean duration of 23 weeks. Comparator interventions included placebo, hormone therapy, red clover and fluoxetine. Reported outcomes included vasomotor symptoms, vulvovaginal symptoms, menopausal symptom scores and adverse effects. There was no significant difference between black cohosh and placebo in the frequency of hot flushes (mean difference (MD) 0.07 flushes per day; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.43 to 0.56 flushes per day; P=0.79; 393 women; three trials; moderate heterogeneity: I(2) = 47%) or in menopausal symptom scores (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.10; 95% CI -0.32 to 0.11; P = 0.34; 357 women; four trials; low heterogeneity: I(2) = 21%). Compared to black cohosh, hormone therapy significantly reduced daily hot flush frequency (three trials; data not pooled) and menopausal symptom scores (SMD 0.32; 95% CI 0.13 to 0.51; P=0.0009; 468 women; five trials; substantial heterogeneity: I(2) = 69%). These findings should be interpreted with caution given the heterogeneity between studies. Comparisons of the effectiveness of black cohosh and other interventions were either inconclusive (because of considerable heterogeneity or an insufficient number of studies) or not statistically significant. Similarly, evidence on the safety of black cohosh was inconclusive, owing to poor reporting. There were insufficient data to pool results for health-related quality of life, sexuality, bone health, vulvovaginal atrophic symptoms and night sweats. No trials reported cost-effectiveness data. The quality of included trials was generally unclear, owing to inadequate reporting. Authors' conclusions: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms. However, there is adequate justification for conducting further studies in this area. The uncertain quality of identified trials highlights the need for improved reporting of study methods, particularly with regards to allocation concealment and the handling of incomplete outcome data. The effect of black cohosh on other important outcomes, such as health-related quality of life, sexuality, bone health, night sweats and cost-effectiveness also warrants further investigation.