HONG KONG – Green tea may help improve bone health, researchers in Hong Kong have reported.
The boffins found that the tea contains a group of chemicals that can stimulate bone formation and help slow its breakdown.
The study has been published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.
In the study, PingChungLeung and colleagues noted that many scientific studies have linked tea to beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.
To reach the conclusion, scientists exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to three major green tea components – epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) – for several days. They found that one in particular, EGC, boosted the activity of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 percent. EGC also significantly boosted levels of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones.
The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that breaks down or weakens bones. The green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells, they noted.
KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS IN PERSONAL CARE AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
Have you ever wondered what “NATURAL” actually meant when you read it on the bottle of “natural” or “organic” shampoo or skin care product you just bought? Or did you assume because the words “natural” and/or “organic” were used that it must be good for you and safe? You get the product home and then you find you can’t even read the long chemical names on the label let alone pronounce them! Why on earth do they say it is “NATURAL”? How can this be if the chemical names are so long I can’t even begin to pronounce them?
Would you be shocked to find what manufacturers can claim is “natural and organic” is actually so far removed from natural it isn’t funny.
Would you like to know more about these “natural” SYNTHETIC chemicals you are putting on your skin rather than the hype and lies that most products are described with. Well – you will have to do a little undercover work.
This is relatively easy to do now we have the Internet and the worlds best search engine Google. Virtually every synthetic chemical produced has a MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet published with the facts about the chemical and the potential dangers to human health. So if you think you are using safe, non-toxic approved safe chemicals in your skin care products, then perhaps you should think again.
The MSDS will not only list a summary of the chemical facts but will also summarize the little known things like hazard identification, first aid measures, chronic toxicity, precautions when handling the raw material and exposure limits and what medical action should be taken if the chemical is accidentally spilt on the skin. You will be surprised to learn many of these co-called safe non-toxic “natural” chemicals have skull and crossbones warning signs on the bulk drums of chemical to warn the handlers of the dangers and what emergency actions to take if spilt on the skin.
You may also be even more surprised to learn that EVERY synthetic chemical has been tested on animals until 50% of them have been deliberately killed with agonized suffering. This is so the scientists can determine the LD50 rating! Yet I bet you have heard so-called animal friendly companies claiming THEY DON’T test their products on animals. What a gratuitous use of the English language this is! Well no, of course THEY haven’t carried out the testing procedures themselves using their own products, because someone else has already done it for them, using all the individual synthetic chemicals contained within their products. You can rest assured every single synthetic chemical in your so-called safe and natural non-animal tested products has actually been tested extensively on hapless animals to determine how toxic the chemicals are for human use!
Do you still feel good about using products that claim not to be tested on animals, knowing now that every single synthetic chemical contained in them has been applied to the eyes, the skin, injected into the muscle tissue, and fed to rabbits, rats, mice, and often monkeys, cats and dogs until 50% of them have died?
Why is this if the “natural” products really are safe and natural?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires an MSDS be prepared for chemicals that are hazardous according to the criteria described in the HCS. In fact hazardous chemicals all have to be indexed and a safety data sheet published for them. Now if you think that that the cream you just smoothed onto your face is safe and “natural” then start by keying some of the chemical names into the Google search engine and see what safety data sheets come up. You just may be shocked at what you read.
Here is something for you to look at – try keying in “paraben” or “methyl paraben” followed by “breast cancer” into the Google search engine and see what you think about using this highly suspect chemical! Now check your own products for these ubiquitous synthetic preservatives! Did you find them in your so-called safe deodorant or skin care cream?
An excellent website to do research on some of these ingredients is: www.hazard.com/msds Why don’t you take a note of this website and do some research on the cosmetics and skin care products you use to see how “safe” and “natural” they are?
You are given three search options when you get onto the site
Search by the manufacturer, which you may not know
Search the website database by keying in the chemical ingredient
There is another database for chemical toxicity data not found in the MSDS section which you can search through too.
For example, if we use the database search (2nd option) to look for information on phenoxyethanol, which is used as a preservative in many so-called “natural” skin care products we see five different MSDSs on file. A sample of information found on this ingredient included:
EMERGENCY OVERVIEW WARNING!
Harmful if swallowed.
Causes skin irritation.
May cause central nervous system depression.
May cause kidney damage.
May cause respiratory and digestive tract irritation.
Target Organs: Kidneys, central nervous system.
POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS
Severe irritation or burns.
Severe irritation or burns.
May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
May cause central nervous system depression,
May cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.
Advanced stages may cause collapse, unconsciousness
May cause coma and possible death due to respiratory failure.
May cause kidney failure.
May be harmful if swallowed.
Lesions may appear in the brain, lungs, liver, meninges and heart.
What do think about putting the above chemical on YOUR skin?
ANIMAL TESTING DATA
Lethal Dose 50 (LD50) indicates the quantity of the chemical necessary to kill 50% of the animal test subjects and is measured in units per kilogram or PPM (Parts Per Million) of the animal’s body weight.
Oral, mouse: LD50 = 933 mg/kg;
Oral, rat: LD50 = 1260 mg/kg;
Skin, rabbit: LD50 = 5 mL/kg;
Skin, rat: LD50 = 14422 mg/kg.
By arming yourself with independent information about the many toxic chemical ingredients found in today’s skin and personal care products, you can make an informed decision to protect the health of you and your family.
Acupuncture, herbal medicine become more popular in U.S.
LOSANGELES, — When Dr. Francis Yu started his acupuncture clinic in California in 1970s, most of his patients were Chinese. But now, half of his patients are non-Chinese.
“More non-Chinese Americans begin to accept the Chinese way of treatment, such as acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine. Another truth is, at least in California, nearly half of those who have acupuncture licenses and operate acupuncture clinics are not Chinese but Americans who do not know Chinese,” said Yu who owns his two-storied TCM Healing Institute in Arcadia in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Dr.Yu‘s remarks echoed the recent press reports that alternative medicine is finding wider acceptance by doctors, insurers and hospitals in the U.S.
People turn to unconventional therapies and herbal remedies for everything from hot flashes and trouble sleeping to cancer and heart disease. They crave more “care” in their health care as more people distrust drug companies and the government.
California became the first U.S. state to license qualified acupuncture practitioners as primary care providers in 1978. As of2004, California has licensed more than 9,000 acupuncturists. Now the figure is estimated to exceed 15,000. California constitutes nearly half of the licensed acupuncturists in the U.S.
Dr.Yu told Xinhua that in the early days, acupuncture was not accepted and respected by the mainstream. Most Americans did not regard acupuncture as alternative treatment. But as time goes by and when more U.S. hospitals and research institutions set up acupuncture treatment centers, more Americans turned to the Chinese acupuncture and herbal medicine to cure diseases conventional American doctors could not treat.
He said recently one American lady on her 40s came from Florida to treat her pain on the neck. But Dr.Yu told her she needed to remove her plaque in her artery. She received cupping treatment for several times and when she went back to Florida, her doctor told her the plaque was gone and she felt much better.
She then recommended her friend, a 47-year-woman, to see Dr.Yuin the hope she can get pregnant. Dr.Yu said the treatment was going on, and he was not sure whether the lady could get pregnant at her age. But those cases show that more Americans are willing to try the Chinese way in medical treatment.
In California and other states, when a doctor has an acupuncture license, the doctor can give herbal treatment to the patients. Although traditional Chinese medicine is not legal in California , doctors with acupuncture licenses can treat patients with cupping and herbal medicine.
The legal use of herbal medicine was made possible 15 years ago when the U.S. Congress decided to allow dietary and herbal supplements to be sold without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Since then the number of products soared, from about 4,000 then to well over 40,000 categories now.
The increasing acceptance of alternative treatment such as acupuncture and herbal medicine was also made possible by big healthcare insurances that cover expenses of patients who accept treatment of acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine, Dr.Yu said.
Although Dr.Yu said the government regulation seemed ridiculous for doctors to have an acupuncture license first before they can practice other Chinese medicine such as cupping and herbal treatment, it legalizes the practice of acupuncture and other ways to treat patients in the Chinese way in the U.S.
Increasing numbers of big hospitals and institutions, including Johns Hopkins Hospital and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, have established integrative medicine units that bring together conventional and alternative approaches to care.
The alternative treatment includes stress reducers like meditation, yoga and massage besides acupuncture and cupping.
Studies show that the number of Americans willing to try alternative treatments continues to increase. A 2007 survey by the federal government found that more than one-third of adults and nearly 12 percent of children in the U.S. used alternative therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal supplements.
But many mainstream physicians continue to be skeptical of alternative therapies, alleging their efficacy has not been proven and their successes may be nothing more than variations of the placebo effect.
Concerns over the effectiveness and safety of herbal supplement have prompted the U.S. FDA to issue its first guidelines for good manufacturing practices to improve supplement safety.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also filing more complaints about deceptive marketing in herbal supplements.
(Beijing) Traditional Chinese herbal medicines may help prevent the development of diabetes in the early stages, new research suggests.
The research, conducted by a research team of Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, was carried out in April 2008 and March this year in conjunction with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
In the study, the researchers examined 16 clinical trials including 1,391 people of 15 different herbal formulations. The results were positive, but more evidence is still needed, researchers say.
The research concluded that the herbs generally helped lower blood sugar levels in people with “pre-diabetes.”
It also suggested that adding an herbal remedy to lifestyle changes doubled the chance of participants’ blood sugar levels returning to normal.
The Chinese herbal mixes, which have been used for a long time to treat diabetes in China, Korea and Japan, are thought to work in many ways to help normalize blood sugar levels, including by improving pancreatic function and increasing the availability of insulin.
But SuzanneGrant, the lead researcher of the study, pointed out that the Chinese herbs are only to recommended on a patients’ individual situation.
By far, the study did not find serious side effects caused by the herbs. However, Grant noted, like all medicines, herbs may have potential side effects or interactions with other drugs.
Chinese Herbal Medicines For Preventing Diabetes In High Risk People
More research is required to establish whether Chinese herbal medicines can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, according to Cochrane Researchers. Although herbal medicines are widely used in Asian countries to treat pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or IGT), the precursor of the disease, researchers say there is still not enough hard scientific evidence to confidently recommend their use.
“People with impaired glucose tolerance are more likely to develop full blown diabetes and it may be possible to prevent or delay the onset of the disease through lifestyle changes and medication. Chinese herbal medicines have been used for this purpose for a long time, so there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for their safety and effectiveness, but we were interested to find out whether scientific research could provide a basis for recommending these alternative treatments,” says lead researcher, Suzanne Grant of the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.
Pre-diabetes is recognised by higher than normal blood sugar levels. People with pre-diabetes are advised to change their diets to control their blood glucose levels and prevent progress to diabetes. In China, Korea and Japan herbal pills, teas and powders have been used for a long time to treat pre-diabetes and diabetes. They are thought to work in a number of different ways to help normalise blood sugar levels, including by improving pancreatic function and increasing the availability of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.
The researchers considered data from 16 clinical trials including 1,391 people who received 15 different herbal formulations. According to their findings, combining herbal medicines with lifestyle changes is twice as effective as lifestyle changes alone at normalising patients’ blood sugar levels. Those given the herbal formulations were less likely to develop full blown diabetes during the study period. Trials included in the review lasted from one month to two years. No adverse effects were reported in any of the trials.
“Our results suggest that some Chinese herbal medicines can help to prevent diabetes, but we really need more research before we can confidently say that these treatments work,” says Grant. “The real value of the study is as guidance for further trials. We need to see more trials that make comparisons with placebos and other types of drugs, and better reporting on the outcomes of these trials.”