Dundee University Gut Group, Division of Pathology and Neuroscience, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK
Three prebiotics, oligofructose, galacto-oligosaccharides and lactulose, clearly alter the balance of the large bowel microbiota by increasing bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus numbers. These carbohydrates are fermented and give rise to short-chain fatty acid and intestinal gas; however, effects on bowel habit are relatively small. Randomized-controlled trials of their effect in a clinical context are few, although animal studies show anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease, while calcium absorption is increased.
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, China
Chaga mushroom is another promising candidate in the field of medicinal mushrooms. The major constituents are betulinic acid derivatives and melano-glucan complexes, and chaga have traditionally been boiled to make a tea, which is drunk to treat a range of conditions, including cancers, viral and bacterial infections, and gastro-intestinal disorders [23,24]. Inonotus obliquus belongs to higher basidiomycetes of chaga medicinal mushrooms. Inonotus obliquus presented protective effects against the oxidative stress in the liver induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide in primary-cultured rat hepatocytes. The above said property may be due to its ability to scavenge the free radicals and thereby it inhibits the leakage of liver marker enzymes as a result of liver damage . The high total phenolic contents may be the reason for its strong antioxidant activity. Like several other mushrooms, I. obliquus also possesses anticancer activity. The ergosterol peroxide from I. obliquus exhibits anti-cancer activity by down-regulation of the β-catenin pathway in colorectal cancer and it shows that it down-regulated β-catenin signaling, which exerted anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. This proves that I. obliquus can be developed as promising medicine to treat colon cancer . With context to this; another study shows that ethanolic extract of Innotus obliquus induces G1 cell cycle arrest in HT-29 human colon cancer cells . The biological activity of the Inonotus obliquus is mainly due to the presence of several polysaccharides, the polysaccharides of Inonotus obliquus mainly constitutes the following sugars: rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose, and galactose. An interesting study finds that Inonotus obliquus polysaccharide (IOP) contains polysaccharide content of 98.6%, and Man, Rha, Glu, Gal, Xyl, and Ara in a ratio of 9.8:13.6:29.1:20.5:21.6:5.4 as monosaccharide. The study reveals that IOP induce changes in the gut microbiota and increased the Bacteroidetes at the phylum level, and brings the changes towards a healthy bacterial profile. The experiment was carried with three different doses of IOP 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 g/kg/day. The result of the study states that the predominant phylum was Bacteroidetes, normal control (NC) shows 65.05%, 47.47% in model control (MC) group. The composition of Bacteroidetes was increased about 4.55%, 9.56%, 17.48%, and 20.81% in IOP-L, IOP-M, IOP-H, and Qingyilidan granule treated (PC) groups, respectively. The PC group (Qingyilidan granule) is the standard compared with the three different doses of IOP .
Department of Neurosurgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Beihua University, Jilin, China.
The I. obliquus extract can inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells. This inhibition function is closely related to the downregulation of Bcl-2 and the upregulation of caspase-3.
Study funded by National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT, Chile)
Maqui berry is the richest known natural source of delphinidins. An in vitro assay of this purified molecule showed an increase in the generation of nitrogen oxide (NO) in endothelial cells, decreased platelet adhesion, and anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, it has been reported that delphinidins can counteract aging of the skin and inhibit osteoporosis.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of water extracts of maqui berry were tested in a mouse dermatitis model showing an increase of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels and a decrease of interleukin-4 (IL-4), suggesting its potential use for atopic dermatitis treatment.
University Tokyo, Japan
We showed that the continuous intake of the (Chaga) I. obliquus extract can potentially suppress cancer development through the maintenance of the body temperature. In addition, middle-aged mice drinking the (Chaga) I. obliquus extract exhibited body weight loss. Our findings suggest that the aqueous extract of (Chaga) I. obliquus could be used as a natural product for cancer suppression and general health care.
The extract of I. obliquus caused significant tumor suppressive effects in both models. Thus, in tumor-bearing mice, 60% tumor reduction was observed, while in metastatic mice, the number of nodules decreased by 25% compared to the control group. Moreover, I. obliquus extract-treated mice demonstrated the increase in tumor agglomeration and inhibition of vascularization. Interestingly, I. obliquus intake decreased body weight in middle-aged mice and increased body temperature in response to light-dark switching in mature adult mice. Furthermore, I. obliquus prevented temperature drop in mice after tumor implantation
Department of Medical Nutrition, Kyunghee University, South Korea
Chaga mushroom treatment affords cellular protection against endogenous DNA damage produced by H2O2 (Hydrogen peroxide). Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes.
University of Southern California study on amyloid plaque and curcumin
Due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with AD has improved.
Published in Brain Research in 2006
Curcumin alleviates stress-induced decreases in Brain Derived Neutropic Factor and pCREB/CREB were also blocked by chronic curcumin administration. These results provide compelling evidence that the behavioral effects of curcumin in chronically stressed animals, and by extension humans, may be related to their modulating effects on the HPA axis and neurotrophin factor expressions
Published in Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.
The effectiveness of ginger in preventing or suppressing cancer growth has been examined in a variety of cancer types, including lymphoma, hepatoma, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and bladder cancer. The mechanisms proposed to explain the anticancer activities of ginger and its components include antioxidant activity and the ability to induce apoptosis, decrease proliferation, cause cell-cycle arrest, and suppress activator protein 1 (AP-1) and NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathways (Figure 7.3).
Palacki Univeristy, Czech Republic
Maca increased significantly the activity of SOD (superoxide dismutase) in the liver, the GPX (glutathione peroxidase) in the blood, and the level of GSH (glutathione) in the liver.