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Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.535
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2228-7930 - ISSN (Online) 2228-7949
Published by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Homepage  [13 journals]
  • Hepatic regenerative response to long-term consumption of cinnamon-rich
           diet in aged rats

    • Abstract: Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the impact of cinnamon on liver regeneration in a rat model of partial hepatectomy (PH). Materials and Methods: Thirty-two old male Sprague-Dawley rats (12 weeks old) were randomly divided into two equal groups (n=16). One group was fed with a standard diet (control) while the other group was fed with the same diet containing 1% cinnamon for 41 weeks. Then, all animals were subjected to the PH procedure and their livers were studied on postoperative days 2, 10 and 28. The liver contents of hepatic growth factor (HGF), insulin, malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide metabolites (NOx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were evaluated. Also, the serum levels of liver function markers (alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), MDA, NOx and SOD activity were measured. Results: The regenerated liver weight was significantly higher in cinnamon-treated animals than the controls on both day 10 and 28 post hepatectomy. The hepatic MDA levels in the cinnamon-treated animals were significantly lower than the control rats. Cinnamon led to a significant increase of SOD on day 2 after hepatectomy in serum and liver content. The basal level of HGF in the liver of cinnamon-consuming rats was significantly higher than in the control rats. Hepatic insulin level was significantly increased relative to baseline and control on day 2 in the cinnamon-consuming rats. Hepatic TNF-α levels dramatically decreased on postoperative days (POD) 2 relative to baseline in the control and cinnamon-treated rats. Conclusion: Long-term cinnamon consumption enhanced liver regeneration outcomes in old rats.
  • The antidepressant effect of combined extracts of Hypericum perforatum and
           Echium amoenum supplementation in patients with depression symptoms: A
           randomized clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: Echium amoenum and Hypericum perforatum dried flowers have been used for therapy of mental disorders in Iranian traditional medicine. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of the E. amoenum and H. perforatum extracts in patients with mild to moderate depression. Materials and Methods: In an 8-week double-blind, parallel-group trial, 51 patients randomly consumed 20 mg of fluoxetine or 350 mg of herbal medicine twice daily. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) was used to assess depression severity in patients at weeks 0, 4, and 8. Results: According to the Hamilton score, there were no significant differences between the fluoxetine- and herbal medicine-treated groups after 4 and 8 weeks (p>0.05). Dry mouth was the only reported side effect which was significantly lower in the herbal group (p<0.05) in weeks 2 and 4. Conclusion: E. amoenum and H. perforatum have anti-depressant properties similar to fluoxetine and they can be used to treat depression as an alternative to fluoxetine.
  • Letter to Editor on: "Ginger (Zingiber officinale roscoe) extract could
           upregulate the renal expression of NRF2 and TNFα and prevents
           ethanol-induced toxicity in rat kidney" by Akbari et al.

  • Reply to Letter to Editor by Elumalai et al. re : "Ginger (Zingiber
           officinale roscoe) extract could upregulate the renal expression of NRF2
           and TNFα and prevents ethanol-induced toxicity in rat kidney"

  • Protective effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Rosa canina L. fruit on
           cyclophosphamide-induced testicular toxicity in mice

    • Abstract: Objective: Cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced testicular toxicity has been reported in recipient patients. The current study was designed to evaluate protective effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Rosa canina L. fruit (HARF) against CP-induced testicular toxicity in BALB/c mice.Materials and Methods: Thirty-five mice were divided into five groups as follows: group I (control), group II (CP, received CP 100 mg/kg on days 1, 8, 15, and 22), group III (CP + HARF 250 mg/kg), group IV (CP + HARF 500 mg/kg), and group V (CP + HARF 750 mg/kg). In the groups III, IV, and V that received CP, the HARF was simultaneously administered via intraperitoneal injections for 28 consecutive days starting from day 1. On the 29th day, sperm parameters, stress oxidative biomarkers, and mRNA expression of nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2 (Nrf2) in testis tissue, as well as blood testosterone were evaluated.Results: The CP exposure decreased sperm parameters, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, testosterone, and Nrf2 mRNA expression levels and increased the malondialdehyde (MDA). HARF at the dose of 500 mg/kg improved sperm count and viability and increased SOD and catalase activities, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, testosterone level, and Nrf2 expression and reduced MDA. Also, HARF at the dose of 750 mg/kg improved sperm parameters and increased SOD, catalase, and GPx activities, total testosterone level, and Nrf2 expression, and reduced MDA in comparison with the CP group.Conclusion: According to our findings, HARF at the doses of 500 and 750 mg/kg inhibited the ruinous effects of CP on the reproductive system in mice.
  • Nigella sativa supplementation and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A
           systematic review of clinical trials

    • Abstract: Objective: Based on the results of previous studies, the effects of N. sativa on some of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease's (NAFLD) biomarkers were positive; however, there were conflicting results regarding other variables. Therefore, the present systematic review of clinical trials was designed to clarify whether N. sativa effectively prevents the progression of NAFLD.Materials and Methods: A search of four databases (Scopus, PubMed, Medline, and Google scholar) was conducted to identify the clinical trials that assessed the effects of N. sativa supplementation on NAFLD. The outcome variables of interest were biomarkers of hepatic steatosis, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and inflammation.Results: Overall, four randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included. In three studies, hepatic steatosis grade decreased significantly after N. sativa supplementation. Serum levels of liver enzymes reduced significantly in three of four included trials. In the only study that examined the effect of N. sativa on insulin resistance parameters, all variables related to this factor were significantly reduced. In two included studies that measured biomarkers of inflammation, the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) decreased significantly after intaking N. sativa supplements.Conclusion: Although the efficacy of N. sativa on liver enzymes and the grade of hepatic steatosis was reported in some of the included studies, more well-designed clinical trials are needed to determine the definitive effects of N. sativa on NAFLD. The present study provides suggestions that help to design future studies in this field.
  • Antidiabetic effects of Eryngium billardieri hydrosol in the treatment of
           type 2 diabetic patients: A double-blind randomized clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: Medicinal plants with fewer side effects and low cost than synthetic medicines are increasingly advised to treat diseases. The present study aimed to identify Eryngium billardieri compounds and evaluate the plant’s effects on hyperglycemic and hyperlipidemia indices, and liver, and kidney function.Materials and Methods: Following identification of Eryngium billardieri using GC/MS method, 72 participants were randomly divided into two groups (n=36 per group), receiving oral hypoglycemic medication (metformin) with or without 50 ml hydrosol  twice a day for three months as intervention and placebo control, respectively. Body mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar (FBS), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-C, and LDL-C levels were measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Also, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine levels were measured to assess adverse effects on liver and kidney functions. Results: The main components were terpenes with 46.69% of the total ingredients of E. billardieri essential oil. Other prominent compounds identified included octanoic acid (12.14 %) and isoxazole (6.72 %).  Intergroup changes in blood parameters showed that E. billardieri hydrosol for three months could significantly reduce HbA1C and blood cholesterol levels but did not affect other measured parameters. Also, there were no adverse effects on kidney or liver function. Conclusion: The present findings showed that the consumption of 50 ml of E. billardieri hydrosol as a complementary treatment in diabetic patients reduced HbA1C and cholesterol levels without adverse effects on the liver or kidneys functions.
  • The effects of phytosomal curcumin supplementation on clinical symptoms,
           and inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers in patients with
           migraine: A protocol for a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled

    • Abstract: Objective: Migraine is one of the most common diseases. Curcumin with anti-oxidative and anti-neuroinflammatory properties might have beneficial effects in migraine patients. This study will be conducted to evaluate the effects of a phytosomal preparation of curcumin on clinical signs, oxidative stress, and inflammatory parameters in patients with migraine.Materials and Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial in which, 60 patients with migraine will be assigned to receive a daily dose of 250 mg of phytosomal curcumin for 8 weeks (intervention group) or 250 mg maltodextrin as a placebo for the same duration (control group). Before and after the study, frequency, duration, and severity of the attacks, quality of life and sleep, mood status, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), Nitric Oxide (NO), and oxidative stress factors will be measured.Conclusion: It seems that phytosomal formulation of curcumin (a solid dispersion preparation of curcumin with phosphatidylserine) with high bioavailability, can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and result in decreased neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and neurotoxicity. This way, phytosomal curcumin might lead to reduction of headaches and other complications of migraine and increase the quality of life of patients with migraine. 
  • The effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Cichorium intybus leaf on aryl
           hydrocarbon receptor expression in the testis of Wistar rats exposed to
           cigarette smoke

    • Abstract: Objective: Cigarette smoke (CS) contains compounds such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Oxidative stress caused by excessive ROS eventually leads to germ cell apoptosis and male infertility. The leaves of Cichorium intybus (chicory) are rich in natural antioxidants, but their protective effects on the adverse effects of CS on testicular tissue have not been studied.Materials and Methods: 24 Wistar rats were classified into four groups: control, extract: treatment with chicory extract (200 mg/kg body weight/day) for 13 weeks, smoke: exposed to CS for 13 weeks, and smoke + extract: exposed to CS and treated with the C. intybus extract. Histological and biochemical analyses and apoptosis assay were done, and Ahr, and Cyp1a1 expression was determined.Results: Treatment with C. intybus compensated for the reduction of Sertoli cells, spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids caused by CS. Chicory extract reduced free radicals and improved antioxidant status. The lowest and highest percentage of apoptotic cells was observed in the extract and smoke groups, respectively, while simultaneous treatment with C. intybus extract led to a significant reduction of apoptotic cells. The mean Ahr levels in the control, extract, smoke and smoke + extract groups were 1.00±0.57, 1.93±0.25, 5.98±0.42, and 0.62±0.22, respectively (p˂0.05). The mean levels of Cyp1a1 expression in the control, extract, smoke and smoke + extract groups were 1.00±0.31, 2.28±0.65, 5.55±0.40, and 0.21±0.23 (p˂0.05).Conclusion: The C. intybus extract probably affected Cyp1a1 expression by downregulation of Ahr. These led to a decrease in free radicals and apoptosis, and an improvement in antioxidant status.
  • The effects of Artemisia absinthium L. on scopolamine-induced learning and
           memory impairment and brain tissue oxidative damage in adult rats

    • Abstract: Objective: The present study examined the effects of Artemisia absinthium L. on scopolamine-induced memory dysfunction and brain tissue oxidative damage in rats. Materials and Methods: Fifty rats were used in five groups: Control: received dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/saline, Scopolamine: scopolamine (2 mg/kg) was administered along with DMSO/saline, and Scopolamine-Ext 50, Scopolamine-Ext 100, and Scopolamine-Ext 200 groups: A. absinthium hydroalcoholic extract 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg were administered before scopolamine. The Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) tasks were used for assessment of behavioral parameters. Malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO) metabolites, total thiol, catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured in the cortex and hippocampus.Results: A. absinthium decreased the delay time and distance traveled to reach the platform in the MWM test (p<0.05-p<0.001). Besides, the extract increased the delay time to pass in the dark and the light time while decreasing the number of entrances and the dark time in the PA task (p<0.05-p<0.001). In biochemical assessments, A. absinthium attenuated NO metabolites (p<0.001) and MDA (p<0.05- p<0.001) while enhanced total thiol (p<0.001), CAT and SOD (both p<0.05-p<0.001).Conclusion: This study revealed that A. absinthium improved memory and learning impairment and brain tissue oxidative damage in scopolamine-treated rats. 
  • The hematopoietic potential of methanolic and aqueous extracts of
           Portulaca oleracea in a phenylhydrazine model of anemia

    • Abstract: Objective: Portulaca oleracea, commonly known as Purslane, is traditionally used as a sour, diuretic, and cooling herb with hemostatic properties. The present study evaluates the antianemic effect of methanolic and aqueous extracts of P. oleracea in a phenylhydrazine model of anemia.Materials and Methods: Phenylhydrazine (60 mg/kg/day, i.p., two consecutive days) was used to induce anemia in rats. The aqueous and methanolic extracts of P. oleracea were prepared, and three methods of treatment were defined with two doses (500 and 750 mg/kg, i.p.). The hematological parameters and blood cell morphology, total and direct bilirubin, and morphology, and pathology of bone marrow were evaluated.Results: The results showed that the methanolic extract has better effects than aqueous extract in improving phenylhydrazine-induced anemia. Our results showed that administration of 500 and 750 mg/kg of P. oleracea methanolic extracts for 4 days could protect against the development of anemia caused by phenylhydrazine.Conclusion: In summary, the methanolic extracts of P. oleracea might be effective in phenylhydrazine-induced anemia.
  • The protective effect of curcumin on thrombin-induced hyper-permeability

    • Abstract: Objective: Thrombin is a proinflammatory and pro-coagulant agent which is upregulated in several human diseases. Thrombin has a critical role in promoting cell proliferation and microvascular leakage in malignant cells, resulting in cancer growth and progression. Here, we explored the potential therapeutic value of curcumin on permeability induced by thrombin in mice.Materials and Methods: To assess the activity of curcumin on thrombin-induced vascular permeability mice model, C57BL / 6 mice were randomly divided into four groups: (1) control (2) Thrombin (3) Thrombin + Curcumin and (4) Thrombin + Metformin. Thirty minutes after treatment, Evans blue was injected intravenously through the tail vein to mice. Then, animals were sacrificed and the dye was extracted from the skin tissue by incubation with formamide. Heatmap and correlation map were generated and protein-protein interaction network of the hub genes was drawn by Cytoscape software.Results: Hub DEG expression rate showed that Heat shock protein a1 (Hspa1) family (comprised of HSPa1a, b, and HSPa5), caspase 3, and minichromosome maintenance complex component 2 were overexpressed after treatment with curcumin. Functional modules of curcumin enriched through Enrich gene biological process and revealed positive association of gene expression of apoptosis process with the therapy. Curcumin was also found to reduce leucocyte migration in murine tissues. Additionally, treatment with curcumin resulted in downregulation of heat shock proteins and proinflammatory cytokines such as monocyte chemotactic protein 1, interleukin-6 and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 3.Conclusion: Curcumin inhibited the proinflammatory cytokines and inflammatory HSPs in endothelial cells and reduced thrombin-induced barrier destabilization in vivo.
  • Therapeutic effects of herbal medicines in different types of
           retinopathies: A systematic review

    • Abstract: Objective: Retinopathy is an ocular manifestation of systemic diseases such as diabetes and vascular diseases. Herbal drugs have been considered as an effective therapeutic option with minimal side effects for the treatment of retinopathy by reducing the symptoms and improving visual acuity. The purpose of this systematic review was to collect studies on the effectiveness of medicinal plants in the treatment or prevention of retinopathy. Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and other databases in April 2021 using “herbal products” and “Retinopathy” with all their equivalent and similar terms. For this purpose, human clinical trials with the English language were included and articles with subject irrelevancy were excluded from further evaluation. Results: Overall, 30 articles with 2324 patients were studied for possible effects of herbal therapy on retinopathy. From 30 included articles, different herbal products had been evaluated. Out of 30 selected articles, 11 articles were for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), 14 articles covered patients with diabetic retinopathy, and the other five studies were for other retinal disorders. The outcomes in majority of the studies include changes in visual acuity (VA), fundus performance, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central macular thickness (CMT), focal electroretinogram (fERG), supplements and adjuvant medications appeared to be more beneficial in patients with AMD and diabetic maculopathy.  Conclusion: Herbal therapy can be considered as a potential candidate in the adjuvant and complementary therapies of retinopathy. However, further studies are required to verify such efficiency.
  • Antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic potential of Banana (Musa spp): A
           review of biological mechanisms for prevention and protection against

    • Abstract: Objective: To review the antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic potential of whole banana, banana flour, and its bioactive compounds. Materials and Methods: A non-systematic review of the literature covering the past 20 years, using the following databases and searching bases: PUBMED/MEDLINE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/; Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com.br/; and “Literatura Latinoamericana em Ciências da Saúde”/Latin American Literature in Life Sciences [LILACS]: http://lilacs.bvsalud.org/, was done. Studies with incomplete methodology and design were excluded. Results: Bananas from different species are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C and E, phytosterols, gallocatechin, catechin, and other polyphenols. Some of these compounds play trigger important biological roles as antioxidants or anti-atherosclerotic and cardiovascular protective substances. This review summarizes and explains thirteen protective biological mechanisms of banana bioactive compounds and banana products. Conclusion: Including banana and its products in dietary menus, in food products and nutraceuticals should improve cardiovascular health of the populations.
  • Herbal medicines in the treatment of children and adolescents with
           attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): An updated systematic
           review of clinical trials

    • Abstract: Objective: This study was performed to provide an updated systematic review of herbal medicines and phytochemicals used for treatment of the pediatric patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Materials and Methods: International electronic databases, including Scopus, PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were investigated from 1st January 2000 to late October 2021. Interventional studies published in English language, including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or open-label clinical studies, which evaluated the effect of herbal medicines and phytochemicals on pediatric ADHD were included in this review. Results: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Several pieces of evidence support the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba L. and Pycnogenol; mainly inconclusive evidence could be found for Valeriana officinalis L., Melissa officinalis L., and ginseng. The results showed that while Hypericum perforatum L. was ineffective for ADHD, Passiflora incarnata L., Crocus sativus L, and Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb had similar efficacy compared to methylphenidate (MPH). Conclusion: A number of herbal medicines appear to be relatively safe and provide potential efficacy in amelioration of ADHD. However, due to lack of adequate reports of RCTs, no definitely specific recommendations could been made so far.
  • Ameliorative effects of crocin against electromagnetic field-induced
           oxidative stress and liver and kidney injuries in mice

    • Abstract: Objective: The current study's goal was to examine how crocin affects organ damage such as damage to the kidney and liver in mice treated by 2100 MHz Electro Magnetic Field. Materials and Methods: The liver and kidneys of mice exposed to EMFs were used in this study to examine how crocin affected them. 24 male NMARI mice were randomly divided into 4 groups: EMF group (2100 MHZ); Crocin (Cr) group (50 mg/kg); EMF+Crocin group (2100 MHZ+50 mg/kg), and control group. The antioxidant enzymes and some serum biochemical parameters were assessed in blood samples collected after the experiment. After the animals were put to sleep, liver and kidney samples were taken for histopathological and liver samples were taken for ultrastructural analysis. Results: The serum levels of urea and creatinine, and serum activities of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase were higher in the EMF group than the control group, and this difference was significant. When compared to the control group, the EMF group's antioxidants, (catalase and superoxide dismutase) activity were decreased. These metrics significantly improved in the EMF + Cr group when compared to the EMF group. Different pathological damages were present in the liver and kidney of the EMF group, and the liver's ultrastructure had changed. Crocin administration decrease these changes. Conclusion: Crocin, an antioxidant agent, may provide defense against tissue damage brought on by EMF by reducing oxidative stress.
  • Effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of Panax ginseng and Ampicillin
           treatment in an animal model of Listeria monocytogenes-induced

    • Abstract: Objective: Endocarditis is a rare but serious infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes. Panax ginseng demonstrated multiple immunomodulatory effects in earlier studies. Ampicillin is known as an effective antibiotic in the treatment of this disease. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of P. ginseng and ampicillin treatment in an animal model of Listeria monocytogenes-induced endocarditis. Materials and Methods: Thirty mice, 5-7 weeks old, were randomly divided into five groups (n=6) including Healthy Control, Infected, Ampicillin (20 mg/kg, subcutaneous) treatment, Ginseng (0.025 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) treatment, and Ginseng (0.025 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) +Ampicillin (15 mg/kg, subcutaneous) treatment groups. The concentration of cytokines in heart tissue, such as IL-1 (interleukine-1), IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α (Tumor Necrosis Factor-α), was measured. Histopathological changes were evaluated in heart tissues. Results: The levels of cytokines were significantly decreased in the Ampicillin+Ginseng treated group compared to the other experimental groups. Microscopically, pathologic changes in heart tissue were concomitant with biochemical findings, which in the infected group, neutrophils and mononuclear cells infiltration in endocardial tissue, myocardial cell necrosis, and edema were detectable. The Ampicillin+Ginseng group showed no significant changes compared to the normal control group. Conclusion: This study showed that ginseng hydro-alcoholic extract plus ampicillin has better efficacy than the extract or antibiotic alone against experimental endocarditis caused by Listeriosis.
  • An animal model study of osteochondral defect repair by human adipose stem
           cells and pomegranate fruit hydroalchoholic extract

    • Abstract: Objective: Articular cartilage damages do not repair spontaneously. Tissue engineering is a promising approach to repair cartilage damage. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) members are the known induction factors in chondrogenic differentiation. However, hypertrophy of the chondrocytes resulting from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) induction by TGF-β is inevitable. Pomegranate fruit contains many ingredients which are useful in ensuring the health of organs. This study was designed to investigate the Pomegranate Fruit hydroalchoholic Extract (PFE) capability in human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs) differentiation into the chondrocytes on fibrin scaffold. Materials and Methods: Pomegranate fruit hydroalchoholic extract (PFE) was prepared. hASCs were isolated, expanded, labeled, and seeded on the fibrin scaffold. The constructs were divided into three groups including TGF-β3, PFE, and control. The constructs were induced for 14 days, then, the MTT assay, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and histochemistry assessments were run, and finally, the constructs were transplanted into the knee defect of rats. The gross and histological assessments of the transplants were done after 8 weeks. Results: The viability rate, COL2A1, Aggrecan (ACAN) and COL10A1 genes expression levels, and histological criterion of the PFE samples were significantly higher than that of the control. The macroscopic grades and histological results of the PFE samples were close to that of the TGF-β3. The number of positive cells for COLІI protein were higher significantly in the PFE group than the control. Conclusion: PFE was effective in the chondrogenic induction of hASCs. Further studies are needed to find out the events of the chondrogenic induction using PFE. 
  • Evaluating the effect of an Iranian traditional medicine-based herbal
           candy on body composition and appetite in overweight and obese adults: A
           preliminary study

    • Abstract: Objective: Obesity is an important public health concern in the world. Considering the limited medications and their side effects and lack of a known effective way to reduce appetite, traditional herbs have been considered a complementary treatment for obesity. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the effect of an Iranian Traditional Medicine (ITM)-based herbal candy on body composition and appetite in obese and overweight adults. Materials and Methods: In this preliminary study that conducted in nutrition clinic of Ghaem Hospital of Mashhad, participants were selected from overweight and obese people and randomly assigned to either groups. Participants in the intervention group received herbal candy which contained a combination of Portulaca oleracea, Plantago psyllium, and peanut oil, while participants in the control group received placebo candy for 8 weeks. The primary (appetite response, and weight changes) and secondary (body mass index (BMI), anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, and laboratory variables) outcomes were collected at baseline and during the intervention. Results: Fifty participants between the age of 18 and 65 years old were included in this study. Herbal candy resulted in a greater reduction in mean weight and BMI compared to placebo (p<0.001). Mean of hunger, satiety, and eating capacity indicators decreased more significantly at all three intervals (30 min after herbal candy, 1 hour after meal and 2 hours after meal) at lunch and dinner meal in the intervention group compared to the control group (p<0.05). Conclusion: A combination of produced herbal candy at a dose of 4 g (2 pcs), given half an hour before each meal for 8 weeks, can be effective in reducing weight and appetite in obese and overweight people.
  • Effect of Ajwa date pits powder (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on body
           composition, lipid profile and blood pressure in patients with
           hyperlipidemia: A randomized clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: To evaluate the effect of Ajwa dates pit powder (ADP) on lipid profile, body composition and blood pressure in patients with hyperlipidemia.Materials and Methods: This randomized controlled clinical study was carried out on 40 patients with total cholesterol >200 mg/dl, triglycerides >150 mg/dl and BMI >25, of either sex, aged 30-50 years, who were recruited through written consent. The patients were divided into two groups (n=20 each): the ADP and the control group (CG). All patients received the doctor’s prescribed class A statin (Rosuvastatin/ Atorvastatin) 10 mg/day, while 2.7 g ADP was given on daily basis before breakfast with lukewarm water for 40 days and the control group received the same amount of wheat flour. Body composition, blood pressure and lipid profile were determined at baseline, and after 20 and 40 days. Data were analyzed by using SPSS and GraphPad Prism.Results: ADP significantly reduced body weight (p<0.001), BMI (p<0.001), fat mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat area and waist circumference compared to the control group. Similarly, ADP significantly (p=0.000) decreased the serum level of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. Conclusion: ADP may have the potential to improve dyslipidemia and obesity.
  • Clinical evaluation of a topical Unani pharmacopoeial formulation
           Tila-e-Kalf in the management of melasma (Kalf): A randomized controlled
           clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: Melasma is a chronic, acquired, symmetrical hyper melanosis of skin, characterized by irregular light to dark brown patches on sun-exposed areas, with a significant effect on psychological health; melasma is termed as Kalf in Unani medicine. Conventional treatments have transitory results and often carry adverse effects like skin irritation, scarring, etc. This study was planned to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a Unani pharmacopoeial formulation Tila-e-Kalf, comprising of lentil (Lens culinaris), bitter almond (Prunus amygdalus), and fig (Ficus carica), and to compare its efficacy with standard drug hydroquinone in patients of melasma. Materials and Methods: This was an 8-week open-label, standard controlled, randomized clinical study conducted on patients of epidermal melasma. The test group received Tila-e-Kalf while the control group received hydroquinone 4% cream for local application once daily. Efficacy was assessed by MASI (Melasma Area Severity Index), DLQI (Dermatology Life Quality Index), and PGA (Physician Global Assessment) and colored photographs. Results: Mean MASI score decreased from10.65±0.85 to 7.07±0.74 in the test group (p<0.0001) and from 11.28±1.24 to 7.76±0.9 (p<0.0001) the in control group. Similar improvement was noticed in other parameters also. A large number of patients in the control group reported mild burning, itching, dryness, and skin rashes, while only one patient in the test group reported mild itching. Conclusion: Tila-e-Kalf as a topical depigmenting agent was found equally effective with better tolerability and safety as compared to hydroquinone.
  • “Ferula assa-foetida L” or “Foeniculum vulgare”' Which one is
           more effective in the management of polycystic ovarian syndrome' A
           randomized, placebo controlled, triple-blinded

    • Abstract: Objective: There are few evaluation about the effects of Fennel and Ferula on human polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The goals of this study were to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of two medicinal plants of the Apiaceae family (Fennel and Ferula) in management of PCOS. Materials and Methods: The sample size was 47 participants with PCOS who were randomly divided into 3 groups. The Ferula assa-foetida L group received 100 mg of Ferula (n=14), the Foeniculum vulgare group received 46 mg of Fennel (n=15), and the placebo group received placebo twice daily for 3 months (n=14). Results: Before the intervention, there were no significant differences between groups in terms of clinical parameters, endometrial thickness, or ovarian volume. After the interventions, the number of ovarian follicles was decreased in the Ferula and Fennel groups as compared to the placebo group (p<0.05). The number of ovarian follicles in both ovaries in the Ferula and Fennel group decreased and this decrease was significant in the right side as compared to placebo group. Our findings showed significant changes in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DEHAS) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels after the intervention (p<0.03) between the Ferula and Placebo groups. Conclusion: Since use of Ferula could make significant changes in TSH and DEHAS levels and decrease the number of right and left ovarian follicles compared to Fennel and placebo, it can be concluded that this herbal medicine is more effective than Fennel in managing PCOS.
  • Neuroprotective effects of sesamol against LPS-induced spatial learning
           and memory deficits are mediated via anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
           activities in the rat brain

    • Abstract: Objective: Sesamol is a phenolic lignan extracted from sesame seeds, and it possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to produce neuroinflammatory responses and memory impairment. The current study aimed to investigate the protective influence of sesamol against LPS-mediated neuroinflammation and memory impairment. Materials and Methods: Sesamol (10 and 50 mg/kg) was injected to Wistar rats for two weeks. Then, animals received LPS injection (1 mg/kg) for five days, while treatment with sesamol was performed 30 min before LPS injection. Spatial learning and memory were assessed by the Morris water maze (MWM), two hours after LPS injection on days 15-19. Biochemical assessments were performed after the end of behavioral experiments. Results: LPS-administered rats showed spatial learning and memory deficits, since they spent more time in the MWM to find the hidden platform and less time in the target quadrant. Besides these behavioral changes, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and lipid peroxidation levels were increased, while total thiol level was decreased in the hippocampus and/or cerebral cortex. In addition, sesamol treatment (50 mg/kg) for three weeks decreased the escape latency and increased the time on probe trial. Sesamol also reduced lipid peroxidation and TNF-α level, while enhanced total thiol level in the brain of LPS-exposed rats. Conclusion: Supplementation of sesamol attenuated learning and memory impairments in LPS-treated rats via antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities in the rat brain. 
  • The effect of crocin and losartan on TGF-β gene expression and
           histopathology of kidney tissue in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy

    • Abstract: Objective: Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most common microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus that finally leads to complete loss of kidney function. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of crocin and losartan on TGF-β gene expression and histopathology of kidney tissue in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy.Materials and Methods: Forty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups (n=8): Untreated control, Diabetic (D), D + crocin, D + losartan, and D + losartan + crocin. Induction of diabetes was performed using streptozotocin (50 mg/kg/ Intraperitoneal injection). At the end of the eight-week period, the rats were sacrificed. Spectrophotometry measured serum glucose, urea, creatinine, and uric acid levels. Microalbumin and creatinine levels were measured in 24-hour urine. Real-time PCR was used to determine the relative expression of the TGF-β gene in kidney tissue. Renal tissue histopathology was also examined.Results: The results showed that hyperglycemia increased biochemical factors associated with diabetes, TGF-β gene expression, and kidney damage. Separate treatment with crocin and losartan led to a decrease in renal function factors and TGF-β gene expression and improved kidney damage.Conclusion: Our results showed that crocin could improve kidney function in diabetic conditions. In addition, we showed that crocin increases the effectiveness of losartan. Consequently, we suggest that crocin in combination with chemical drugs can be a potential therapeutic agent for diabetes and its complications. Nonetheless, human studies are needed to make firm findings.
  • The effect of curcumin-piperine on cardiometabolic, inflammatory and
           oxidative stress factors and macular vascular density in optical coherence
           tomography angiography (OCTA) in patients with non-proliferative diabetic
           retinopathy: Study protocol for a randomized, double-blind controlled

    • Abstract: Objective: Curcumin is a safe phytochemical with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and lipid-lowering effects. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of curcumin-piperine in non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Materials and Methods: In this double-blind randomized trial, 60 diabetic retinopathy patients after meeting the inclusion criteria will be randomly assigned to two groups of curcumin-piperine supplementation (1000 mg per day for 12 weeks) or receiving placebo. The density of small blood vessels in the retina by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, renal indices (blood urea nitrogen and creatinine), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, total antioxidant capacity, total oxidant status, body mass index, waist circumference, and weight will be measured. Conclusion: If the beneficial effects of curcumin on diabetic retinopathy are observed, this safe, this natural and inexpensive herbal supplement can be considered a therapeutic solution in these patients.
  • Curcumin’s effect on serum zinc, copper and magnesium levels in
           obese individuals

    • Abstract: Objective: The obesity prevalence is growing worldwide. There is strong evidence indicating that a disturbance of zinc, copper and magnesium concentrations is associated with the development of obesity and its related diseases. Our aim was to determine the effect of curcumin supplementation on serum zinc, magnesium and copper in obese individuals. Materials and Methods: In this randomized crossover trial study, thirty obese patients with an age range of 18 to 65 years were randomized to treatment with curcumin 1 g/day or placebo for 30 days. There was then a two-week wash-out period, after which, subjects crossed to the alternate regimen. Serum levels of zinc, copper and magnesium were determined at baseline and at the end of the study. Results: The study groups were similar to each other in base line characteristics. We did not observe significant impacts (p>0.05) of curcumin on Cu, Zn, Mg serum concentrations. Conclusion: Curcumin administration at a dose of 1 g/day for 30 days did not affect serum Cu, Zn, Mg levels in obese subjects.
  • Nano-hesperetin ameliorates 6-hydroxydopamine-induced behavioral deficits
           and oxidative damage by up-regulating gene expression of antioxidant

    • Abstract: Objective: Hesperetin (Hst) has shown several pharmacological effects. The efficacy of Hst is highly restricted in vivo due mainly to poor bioavailability. This investigation was intended to compare the influence of Hst and nano-Hst treatment on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced behavioral deficits and oxidative stress in rats. Materials and Methods: Forty-two Wistar male rats were equally assigned to 6 groups: control, 6-OHDA, Hst5, Hst10, nano-Hst5, and nano-Hst10. Treatment with Hst and nano-Hst was initiated 1 day after the intrastriatal injection of 6-OHDA and continued for 28 days. Behavioral deficits were evaluated using apomorphine-induced rotation test (AIRT), narrow beam test (NBT) and novel object recognition test (NORT), and the hippocampus and striatum were used to evaluate oxidative stress-related parameters. Results: The rats injected only with 6-OHDA showed learning and memory deficits but Hst and nano-Hst treatments improved it (p<0.001). Compared to the control group, a marked promotion in Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels along with a marked reduction in activities and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in the hippocampus and striatum were observed in the 6-OHDA group (p<0.01). However, administration of Hst and nano-Hst remarkably diminished MDA levels (p<0.01), and significantly increased the activities (p<0.01) and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes (p<0.05) and GSH levels (p<0.01) compared to the 6-OHDA group. In most parameters, nano-Hst has shown better therapeutic effects than Hst. Conclusion: Our findings reveal that Hst can be considered as a potential candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and that nano-Hst may have better bioavailability.
  • The effects of cinnamon supplementation on adipokines and
           appetite-regulating hormones: A systematic review of randomized clinical

    • Abstract: Objective: Cinnamon is extracted from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. Recent studies have indicated that cinnamon is a safe and cost-effective treatment for improving body weight, lipid profiles, insulin resistance, and blood pressure. This systematic review aimed to summarize the effect of cinnamon supplementation on adipokines and appetite-regulating hormones. Materials and Methods: This comprehensive literature search was conducted using databases such as PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar up to March 2022 without any limitation. The quality of eligible studies was evaluated through the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing the risk of bias. Results: This systematic review included six clinical trial studies (363 participants), among which, only one study was performed on children, and two investigations were conducted on obese participants. A decreasing effect was found in the level of leptin and visfatin after cinnamon supplementation. Two out of three studies examined adiponectin levels and revealed non-significant effects of cinnamon consumption on this parameter. Two studies evaluated ghrelin levels and found an increase after cinnamon supplementation. The result of cinnamon supplementation on other biomarkers such as glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and resistin was inconsistent. Conclusion: The result of this systematic review indicated the increasing effect of cinnamon supplementation on ghrelin levels and decreasing effect on leptin and visfatin levels. However, more clinical data are required to clarify the beneficial effects of cinnamon on adipokines levels due to the controversial findings of the studies.
  • Evaluation of berberine pellet effect on clinical recovery time in
           COVID-19 outpatients: A pilot clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: Severe disease onset of COVID-19 may result in alveolar injury and respiratory failure. Apoptosis and inflammation are the main causes of respiratory distress syndrome. Berberine is used in medicine as an analgesic, anti-asthmatic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. In the current investigation, the effect of berberine on COVID-19 outpatients was studied. Materials and Methods: The present clinical trial was performed on 40 outpatients who were randomly assigned to berberine (300 mg, TID, 2 weeks) (n=19) or placebo groups (n=21). Both groups received standard therapy and they were monitored on days 3, 7, and 14 after the beginning of the therapy for clinical symptoms’ improvement, quantitative CRP, lymphopenia, CBC, and SpO2. The severity and frequency of these symptoms and the level of the parameters were statistically compared between the two groups. Results: On days (0, 3, 7, and 14, there was no significant difference between the berberine and placebo groups in the improvement of clinical symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, nausea, loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, dizziness, sore throat, stomachache, body aches, and body temperature), quantitative CRP, lymphopenia, WBC, neutrophils, platelets, or SpO2. Conclusion: Berberine (300 mg, TID, two weeks) is ineffective in treating COVID-19. More research with a larger sample size is needed to investigate different berberine dosages in other pharmaceutical formulations.
  • Antioxidant, cytotoxic, and genotoxic potentials of the gum of Ferula
           gummosa Boiss on PC-3 cells

    • Abstract: Objective: Ferula gummosa Boiss is a well-known Iranian endemic plant that has been used in Iranian traditional medicine against various diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant and cytotoxic capacity of F. gummosa gum on prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Materials and Methods: In this study, we evaluated the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and antioxidant potentials of the gum. The MTT experiment was conducted to assess the cytotoxic potential of the gum on PC-3 cells. The clonogenic, micronucleus formation, and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining methods were used to evaluate the survival and proliferation of PC-3 cells. DNA degradation and caspase 3/7 activity evaluations were used to assess apoptosis. The inhibitory effect on the migration of PC-3 cells was examined by in vitro wound-healing experiment. Results: Total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and antioxidant potential of the gum were 9.22 mg of gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g, 3.6 mg of quercetin equivalents (QE) /g of the extract, and 13 μg/ml, respectively (compared to gallic acid and quercetin, respectively) (p<0.05). The IC50 value was 9.14 µg/ml for 48 hours (compared to non-treated cells) (p<0.01).  The pattern of DNA degradation, and caspase 3/7 activity levels (compared to non-treated cells) (p<0.05) proposed decreased cell viability that may be due to apoptosis induction. Microscopic observations revealed nuclear condensation, a significant increase in the formation of micronuclei, and inhibition of forming colonies (compared to non-treated cells) (p<0.01) in PC-3 cells treated with 8 and 10 μg/ml of the gum. Wound-healing assessment showed the migration suppression potentials of the gum (compared to non-treated cells) (p<0.05). Conclusion: These results indicate that F. gummosa has considerable antioxidant and cytotoxic properties that can make it a good nominee for subsequent investigations.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) syrup as an adjunct to standard care in
           patients with mild to moderate COVID-19: An open-label, randomized,
           controlled clinical trial

    • Abstract: Objective: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with clinical signs characterized by fever, fatigue and cough. Our study aimed to assess the efficacy of a Persian medicine formulation, lavender syrup, as an add-on to standard care in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Materials and Methods: In this clinical trial which was conducted in Gorgan (Iran), 84 male and female COVID-19 outpatients were randomly allocated to either lavender syrup receiving 9 ml/twice/day for 21 days with standard conventional care or control groups. The primary objectives were to assess the improvement of clinical symptoms, while the secondary objectives were treatment satisfaction and anxiety levels which were evaluated once a week for 3 weeks. Results: Out of 84 participants, 81 were analyzed (41 in the add-on group). The comparison between groups for cough severity and anosmia showed a higher reduction in the lavender group. The effect size was 0.6 for cough relief. Other symptoms and the Hamilton total score decreased in both groups with no statistically significant differences between the groups. The lavender group showed greater patients’ satisfaction score. Conclusion: Adjunctive therapy with lavender syrup could reduce cough and improve the quality of life in patients with COVID-19 patients.
  • The use of Ephedra herbs in the treatment of COVID-19

    • Abstract: Objective: Ephedra herbs are the only extant genus in its family, Ephedraceae, and order, Ephedrales. It has been prescribed in traditional medicine for improving headaches and respiratory infections. On the other hand, because the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes respiratory problems and COVID-19 pandemic is the most widespread outbreak that has affected humanity in the last century, the current review aims using literature search to investigate the effects of the Ephedra herbs compounds on COVID-19 to supply a reference for its clinical application in the inhibition and remedy of COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This review was performed using articles published in various databases, including Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar, without a time limit. For this paper, the following keywords were used: "Ephedra", "coronavirus disease 2019", "COVID-19", "Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" or "SARS CoV 2". Results: The results of this review show that the Ephedra herbs have effectiveness on COVID-19 and its compounds can bind to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) with a high affinity and act as a blocker and prevent the binding of the virus. Conclusion: Some plants used in traditional medicine, including the Ephedra herbs, with their active compounds, can be considered a candidate with high potential for the control and prevention of COVID-19.
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
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