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Xiaotan Sanjie Recipe Inhibits Gastric Cancer Metastasis by Regulating GnT-V-Mediated E-Cadherin Glycosylation
Nian Huang, Haiwei He, Yuyu He, Wei Gu, Mingjuan Xu, Long Liu
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2023, 21 (6): 561-574.   DOI: 10.1016-j.joim.2023.06.029
Accepted: 02 May 2023
Online available: 30 July 2023

Abstract112)      PDF(pc) (1367KB)(114)    PDF(mobile) (1367KB)(11)   
Objective: Xiaotan Sanjie recipe (XTSJ), a Chinese herbal compound, exerts a significant inhibitory effect on the GC metastasis. Nevertheless, the mechanism underlying the XTSJ-mediated inhibition of GC metastasis is unknown. Our study demonstrated the regulation of XTSJ on the GnT-V-mediated addition of β1,6 GlcNAc branches to E-cadherin and affected GC metastasis in vitro and in vivo.
Methods: The effect (and associated mechanism) of XTSJ on GC metastasis was evaluated in vitro (using GC cell lines) and in vivo (using a GC mouse model) by focusing on the expression of GnT-V (encoded by MGAT5).
Results: We demonstrated that the migration and invasion ability of GC cells decreased significantly after XTSJ administration, which confirmed the efficacy of XTSJ in treating GC in vitro. Moreover, we showed that XTSJ increased the accumulation of E-cadherins at junctions between GC cells, an effect which was reversed by MGAT5 overexpression. XTSJ administration and MGAT5 knockdown alleviated the structural abnormality of the cell-cell junctions, while MGAT5 overexpression had the opposite effect. MGAT5 knockdown and XTSJ treatment also significantly increased the accumulation of proteins associated with the E-cadherin-mediated adherens junction complex. Furthermore, the expression of MGAT5 was significantly lower in the lungs of BGC-823-MGAT5+XTSJ mice than in those of BGC-823-MGAT5+solvent mice, indicating that the ability of gastric tumors to metastasize to the lung was decreased in vivo following XTSJ treatment.
Conclusion: Our study confirmed that XTSJ prevented GC metastasis by inhibiting the GnT-V-mediated E-cadherin glycosylation and promoting E-cadherin accumulation at cell-cell junctions.
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Knowledge about, attitude and acceptance towards, and predictors of intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine among cancer patients in Eastern China: A cross-sectional survey
Jing Hong, Xiao-wan Xu, Jing Yang, Jing Zheng, Shu-mei Dai, Ju Zhou, Qing-mei Zhang, Yi Ruan, Chang-quan Ling
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 34-44.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.10.004
Accepted: 11 October 2021
Online available: 26 October 2021

Abstract214)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a serious impact on health all over the world. Cancer patient, whose immunity is often compromised, faces a huge challenge. Currently, some COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and applied on general population; however, whether cancer patients should take COVID-19 vaccine remains unknown. Our study aimed to explore the knowledge, attitude, acceptance, and predictors of intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine among cancer patients in Eastern China.

Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Eastern China from June 17th to September 3rd, 2021. Patients were selected using a convenience sampling method. A self-report questionnaire was developed to assess knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccine, attitude towards the vaccine and acceptance of the vaccine; following a review of similar studies previously published in the scientific literature, multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the predictors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Results
A total of 2158 cancer patients were enrolled in this study. The rate of vaccine hesitancy was 24.05% (519/2158); further, among the participants of vaccine acceptance, 767 had taken COVID-19 vaccine (35.54%), and 872 were willing to get vaccinated (40.01%). A total of 24 variables including demographic characteristics, clinical status of cancer, impact of COVID-19 pandemic on study participants, patients’ knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccine, and attitude towards the vaccine, had significant differences between the “vaccine hesitancy” population and “vaccine acceptance” population. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that parameters including alcohol consumption (odds ratio [OR] = 1.849; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.375–2.488; P-Ref < 0.001 vs non-drinkers), income impacted by COVID-19 pandemic (OR = 1.930, 2.037 and 2.688 for mild, moderate, and severe impact, respectively; all P-Ref < 0.01 vs no impact), knowledge of how the vaccine was developed (OR = 1.616; 95% CI: 1.126–2.318; P-Ref = 0.009 vs unknown), believing in the safety of the vaccine (OR = 1.502; 95% CI: 1.024–2.203; P-Ref = 0.038 vs denying the safety of vaccine), willingness to pay for the vaccine (OR = 3.042; 95% CI: 2.376–3.894; P-Ref < 0.001 vs unwilling), and willingness to recommend families and friends to get vaccinated (OR = 2.744; 95% CI: 1.759–4.280; P-Ref < 0.001 vs do not recommend) were contributors to vaccine acceptance. While such as being retired (OR = 0.586; 95% CI: 0.438–0.784; P-Ref < 0.001 vs unemployed), undergoing multiple therapies of cancer (OR = 0.408; 95% CI: 0.221–0.753; P-Ref = 0.004 vs no ongoing treatment), and worrying that the vaccine might deteriorate the prognosis of cancer (OR = 0.393; 95% CI: 0.307–0.504; P-Ref < 0.001 vs might not) were contributors to vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusion
This study provided preliminary estimates of the rates of vaccine acceptance and vaccine hesitancy among cancer patients in Eastern China. The intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was impacted by factors such as patient occupation, alcohol consumption, and some parts of knowledge about and attitude towards COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended to develop individualized vaccination plans that meet the healthcare needs of cancer patients.
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Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for treating functional constipation: An overview of systematic reviews
Jun-peng Yao, Li-ping Chen, Xian-jun Xiao, Ting-hui Hou, Si-yuan Zhou, Ming-min Xu, Kai Wang, Yu-jun Hou, Lin Zhang, Ying Li
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 13-25.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.11.001
Online available: 16 November 2021

Abstract1577)   HTML    PDF      

Background

Functional constipation (FC) is one of the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorders. Dissatisfaction with medications prescribed to treat FC may lead patients to seek alternative treatments. Numerous systematic reviews (SRs) examining the use of acupuncture to treat FC have reported inconsistent results, and the quality of these studies has not been fully evaluated.

Objective

In this overview, we evaluated and summarized clinical evidence on the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for treating FC and evaluated the quality and bias of the SRs we reviewed.

Search strategy

The search strategy was structured by medical subject headings and search terms such as “acupuncture therapy” and “functional constipation.” Electronic searches were conducted in eight databases from their inception to September 2020.

Inclusion criteria

SRs that investigated the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for managing FC were included.

Data extraction and analysis

Two authors independently extracted information and appraised the methodology, reporting accuracy, quality of evidence, and risk of bias using the following critical appraisal tools: (1) A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR 2); (2) Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews (ROBIS); (3) Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses for Acupuncture (PRISMA-A); and (4) the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE). A κ index was used to score the level of agreement between the 2 reviewers.

Results

Thirteen SRs that examined the clinical utility of acupuncture for treating FC were identified. Using the AMSTAR 2 tool, we rated 92.3% (12/13) of the SRs as “critically low” confidence and one study as “low” confidence. Using the ROBIS criteria, 38.5% (5/13) of the SRs were considered to have “low risk” of bias. Based on PRISMA-A, 76.9% (10/13) of the SRs had over 70% compliance with reporting standards. The inter-rater agreement was good for AMSTAR 2, ROBIS, and PRISMA-A. Using the GRADE tool, we classified 22.5% (9/40) of the measured outcomes as “moderate” quality, 57.5% (23/40) as “low” quality, and 20.0% (8/40) as “very low” quality. The inter-rater agreement was moderate when using GRADE. Descriptive analyses indicated that acupuncture was more efficacious than sham acupuncture for improving weekly complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs) and for raising the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS) score. Acupuncture appeared to be superior to anti-constipation drugs for improving weekly spontaneous bowel movements, the total effective rate, and the Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life score. Although ten SRs mentioned the occurrence of adverse events, serious adverse events were not associated with acupuncture treatment.

Conclusion

Acupuncture may be more efficacious than sham acupuncture for improving CSBMs and BSFS scores and may be superior to anti-constipation drugs for improving bowel movement frequency, as well as quality of life. Limitations to current studies and inconsistent evidence suggest a need for more rigorous and methodologically sound SRs to draw definitive conclusions.

Systematic review registration

PROSPERO CRD42020189173.

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Can acupuncture enhance therapeutic effectiveness of antidepressants and reduce adverse drug reactions in patients with depression? A systematic review and meta-analysis
Ming-min Xu, Pei Guo, Qing-yu Ma, Xuan Zhou, Yu-long Wei, Lu Wang, Yue Chen, Yu Guo
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (4): 305-320.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.05.002
Online available: 14 July 2022

Abstract122)   HTML    PDF      
Background
Some depressed patients receive acupuncture as an adjunct to their conventional medications.

Objective
This review aims to provide evidence on whether acupuncture can enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of antidepressants for treating depression, and explore whether acupuncture can reduce the adverse reactions associated with antidepressants.

Search strategy
English and Chinese databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until December 1, 2021.

Inclusion criteria
RCTs with a modified Jadad scale score ≥ 4 were included if they compared a group of participants with depression that received acupuncture combined with antidepressants with a control group that received antidepressants alone.

Data extraction and analysis
Meta-analysis was performed, and statistical heterogeneity was assessed based on Cochran’s Q statistic and its related P-value. Primary outcomes were the reduction in the severity of depression and adverse reactions associated with antidepressants, while secondary outcomes included remission rate, treatment response, social functioning, and change in antidepressant dose. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework was used to evaluate the overall quality of evidence in the included studies.

Results
This review included 16 studies (with a total of 1958 participants). Most studies were at high risk of performance bias and at low or unclear risk of selection bias, detection bias, attrition bias, reporting bias, and other bias. Analysis of the 16 RCTs showed that, compared with antidepressants alone, acupuncture along with antidepressants reduced the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAMD-17) scores (standard mean difference [SMD] ?0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] ?0.55 to ?0.33, P < 0.01; I2 = 14%), Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) scores (SMD ?0.53, 95% CI ?0.84 to ?0.23, P < 0.01; I2 = 79%), and the Side Effect Rating Scale (SERS) scores (SMD ?1.11, 95% CI ?1.56 to ?0.66, P < 0.01; I2 = 89%). Compared with antidepressants alone, acupuncture along with antidepressants improved World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF scores (SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.44, P < 0.01; I2 = 15%), decreased the number of participants who increased their antidepressant dosages (relative risk [RR] 0.32, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.48, P < 0.01; I2 = 0%), and resulted in significantly higher remission rates (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.26 to 1.83, P < 0.01; I2 = 0%) and treatment responses (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.47, P < 0.01; I2 = 19%) in terms of HAMD-17 scores. The HAMD-17, SDS and SERS scores were assessed as low quality by GRADE and the other indices as being of moderate quality.

Conclusion
Acupuncture as an adjunct to antidepressants may enhance the therapeutic effectiveness and reduce the adverse drug reactions in patients receiving antidepressants. These findings must be interpreted with caution, as the evidence was of low or moderate quality and there was a lack of comparative data with a placebo control.

Systematic review registration: INPLASY202150008.
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Can eastern wisdom resolve western epidemics? Traditional chinese medicine therapies and the opioid crisis
Thomas Efferth, An-long Xu, Roxana Damiescu, Mita Banerjee, Norbert W. Paul, David Y.W. Lee
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 295-299.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.03.006
Accepted: 02 February 2021
Online available: 26 March 2021

Abstract113)   HTML    PDF      
The widespread use of opioids to treat chronic pain led to a nation-wide crisis in the United States. Tens of thousands of deaths annually occur mainly due to respiratory depression, the most dangerous side effect of opioids. Non-opioid drugs and non-pharmacological treatments without addictive potential are urgently required. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on a completely different medical theory than academic Western medicine. The scientific basis of acupuncture and herbal treatments as main TCM practices has been considerably improved during the past two decades, and large meta-analyses with thousands of patients provide evidence for their efficacy. Furthermore, opinion leaders in the United States favour non-pharmacological techniques including TCM for pain management to fight the opioid crisis. We advocate TCM as therapeutic option without addictive potential and without life-threatening side effects (e.g., respiratory depression) to treat chronic pain patients suffering from opioid misuse. The evidence suggests that: (1) opioid misuse cannot be satisfactorily managed with standard medication; (2) opinion leaders in the United States favour to consider non-opioid and non-pharmacological treatment strategies including those from TCM to treat acute and chronic pain conditions; (3) large meta-analyses provide scientific evidence for the clinical activity of acupuncture and herbal TCM remedies in the treatment of chronic pain. Future clinical trials should demonstrate the safety of TCM treatments if combined with Western medical practices to exclude negative interactions between both modalities.
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A novel supplement with yeast β-glucan, prebiotic, minerals and Silybum marianum synergistically modulates metabolic and inflammatory pathways and improves steatosis in obese mice
Victor Abou Nehmi Filho, Gilson Masahiro Murata, Ruan Carlos Macêdo de Moraes, Gabriely Cristina Alves Lima, Danielle Araujo de Miranda, Katrin Radloff, Raquel Galvão Figuerêdo Costa, Joyce de Cassia Rosa de Jesus, Jéssica Alves De Freitas, Nayara Izabel Viana, Ruan Pimenta, Katia Ramos Moreira Leite, José Pinhata Otoch, Ana Flávia Marçal Pessoa
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 439-450.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.05.002
Accepted: 06 March 2021
Online available: 04 June 2021

Abstract164)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
To evaluate the synergic effects of a novel oral supplement formulation, containing prebiotics, yeast β-glucans, minerals and silymarin (Silybum marianum), on lipid metabolism and inflammatory and mitochondrial proteins of the liver, in control and high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

Methods
After an acclimation period, 32 male C57BL/6 mice were divided into the following groups: nonfat diet (NFD) vehicle, NFD supplemented, high-fat diet (HFD) vehicle and HFD supplemented. The vehicle and experimental formulation were administered orally by gavage once a day during the last four weeks of the diet (28 consecutive days). We then evaluated energy homeostasis, inflammation, and mitochondrial protein expression in these groups of mice.

Results
After four weeks of supplementation, study groups experienced reduced glycemia, dyslipidemia, fat, and hepatic fibrosis levels. Additionally, proliferator-activated receptor-α, AMP-activated protein kinase-1α, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1-α, and mitochondrial transcription factor A expression levels were augmented; however, levels of IκB kinase α and p65 nuclear factor-κB expression, and oxidative markers were reduced. Notably, the cortisol/C-reactive protein ratio, a well-characterized marker of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis immune interface status, was found to be modulated by the supplement.

Conclusion
We found that the novel supplement modified different antioxidant, metabolic and inflammatory pathways, improved energy homeostasis and the inflammatory state, and consequently alleviated hepatic steatosis.
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Integrative medicine in the era of cancer immunotherapy: Challenges and opportunities
Ning Zhang, Xiao-he Xiao
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 291-294.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.03.005
Online available: 27 March 2021

Abstract140)   HTML    PDF      

Cancer immunotherapy has led to a new era of cancer treatment strategies, and transforming healthcare for cancer patients. Meanwhile, reports of immune-related adverse events have been increasing, greatly hindering the use of cancer immunotherapy. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has been widely used in Asian countries for thousands of years, is known to play a complementary role in the treatment of cancer. Taken in combined with conventional modern therapies, such as resection, ablation and radiotherapy, TCM exerts its main anti-cancer effects in two ways: health-strengthening (Fu-Zheng) and pathogen-eliminating (Qu-Xie). Theoretically, pathogen-eliminating TCM can promote the release of tumor-related antigens and should be able to increase the effect of immunotherapy, while health-strengthening TCM may have immune-enhancing mechanisms that overlap with immunotherapy. In the era of cancer immunotherapy, it is important to balance the use of TCM and immunotherapy, with the goal of enhancing immune efficacy and antagonizing immune toxicity. In this article, we discuss this issue by considering the mechanism of tumor immunotherapy, alongside the theoretical basis of TCM treatment of tumors, with the aim of bringing new insights to future research in this field.

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Association of complementary and integrative therapy use and symptoms among Turkish patients with familial Mediterranean fever
Sibel Şentürk, Dilek Efe Arslan, Adil Çetinkaya
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 340-346.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.003
Accepted: 18 September 2020
Online available: 13 January 2021

Abstract134)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
This study explored the correlations between the use of complementary and integrative therapies (CITs) and symptoms among Turkish patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).

Methods
This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study. The study was conducted with 1119 FMF patients who were registered to the social networking site for Behcet’s and the FMF Patients Association (Befemder) in Turkey, between January 2018 and February 2019. Data were collected using an online survey, for which a three‐part questionnaire was created using a Google form. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze the data.

Results
It was determined that 53.2% of the individuals who participated in the research used various forms of CITs and that 32.8% used vitamin and mineral supplements (calcium, iron, and vitamin B12, C and D), 25.0% used nutritional supplements (fish oil and honey), and 24.6% used oral herbs (ginger, turmeric, green tea and rosemary) and mind-body methods (relaxation, respiration exercise and meditation). It was determined that the percentage of participants that used CITs was higher among women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.825; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.421–2.344), those with joint pain (OR = 1.385; 95% CI 1.047–1.832), those with difficulty breathing (OR = 1.323; 95% CI 1.031–1.697), those with gastrointestinal symptoms (OR=1.405; 95% CI 1.089–1.814) and those who had a family member with FMF (OR = 1.437; 95% CI 1.115–1.851).

Conclusion
More than half of the individuals used at least one type of CIT for symptom control.
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Salvadora persica extract attenuates cyclophosphamide-induced hepatorenal damage by modulating oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in rats
Talat Albukhari, Bassem Refaat, El-Sayed Bakr, Sameh Baz, Bodour Rajab, Hossam Gadalla, Mohamed El-Boshy
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (4): 348-354.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.05.001
Accepted: 11 November 2021
Online available: 15 July 2022

Abstract117)   HTML    PDF      
Objective: Salvadora persica (SP) is used as a food additive and is a common ingredient in folk medicine. This study investigates the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and beneficial effects of SP against cyclophosphamide (CYP) toxicity in rats.
Methods: In a 10-day study, 32 male rats were equally allocated into 4 groups (8 rats/group) as follows: the normal control (NC group), normal rats that only received oral aqueous extract of SP (100 mg/[kg·d]; SP group), animals treated with intraperitoneal CYP injections (30 mg/[kg·d]; CYP group), and the CYP + SP group that concurrently received CYP with SP aqueous extract. Serum samples were collected to measure the liver and renal biochemical profiles, as well as antioxidant and oxidative stress markers and the concentrations of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and adenosine 5’-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Hepatic and renal tissues were also harvested for histopathology and to measure apoptosis using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling technique, alongside tissue levels of oxidative stress markers.
Results: Liver enzymes, total bilirubin, creatinine and urea, as well as serum IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and NF-κB increased significantly, whilst total protein, albumin, calcium, IL-10 and AMPK declined in serum of the CYP group relative to the NC group. The hepatorenal concentrations of glutathione, glutathione peroxidase and catalase declined markedly in the CYP group, whereas malondialdehyde, protein adducts, and apoptosis index increased compared with the NC group. By contrast, the hepatorenal biochemistry and apoptosis index of the SP group were comparable to the NC group. Interestingly, the CYP + SP group had significant improvements in the liver and renal biochemical parameters, enhanced anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, and marked declines in hepatic and renal apoptosis relative to the CYP group. Moreover, all monitored parameters were statistically indistinguishable between the CYP + SP group and the NC group.
Conclusion: This study suggests that the aqueous extract of SP could be a potential remedy against CYP-induced hepatorenal damage and may act by modulating the AMPK/NF-κB signaling pathway and promoting anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities.
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Antioxidant and antiaging effect of traditional Thai rejuvenation medicines in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Sutticha Ruangchuay, Qiang-qiang Wang, Liang-yi Wang, Jing Lin, Yong-chao Wang, Guo-huan Zhong, Katesarin Maneenoon, Ze-bo Huang, Sasitorn Chusri
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 362-373.   DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joim.2021.03.004
Online available: 24 March 2021

Abstract73)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

This study explored the rejuvenation mechanisms of Thai polyherbal medicines using different approaches, including in vitro methods, as well as a well-defined nematode model, Caenorhabditis elegans.

Methods

THP-R-SR012 decoction was selected from 23 polyherbal medicines, based on metal-chelating and chain-breaking antioxidant capacities. The influences of this extract on the survival and some stress biomarkers of C. elegans under paraquat-induced oxidative stress were evaluated. Furthermore, lifespan analysis and levels of lipofuscin accumulation were examined in senescent nematodes. The phytochemical profile of THP-R-SR012 was analyzed. 

Results

Supplementation with THP-R-SR012 decoction significantly increased the mean lifespan and reduced the oxidative damage to C. elegans under oxidative stress conditions. Further, THP-R-SR012 supplementation slightly influenced the lifespan and the level of lipofuscin accumulation during adulthood. Antioxidant-related phytochemical constituents of THP-R-SR012 decoction were rutin, naringenin, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, gallic acid, glycyrrhizic acid, demethoxycurcumin and 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid.

Conclusion

The antioxidant potential of THP-R-SR012 was due to its scavenging properties, its enhancement of antioxidant-related enzyme activities, and the presence of the antioxidant-related compound. These results support the traditional use of THP-R-SR012 decoction as a tonic for nourishing and strengthening the whole body.

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Effects of traditional Chinese exercises and general aerobic exercises on older adults with sleep disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Yang-hao-tian Wu, Wen-bo He, Yin-yan Gao, Xue-mei Han
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (6): 493-502.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.09.007
Online available: 09 October 2021

Abstract330)           

Background

Sleep disorders are common in older adults and have a negative influence on their physical and mental health. General aerobic exercises (GAEs) have long been used in the treatment of sleep disorders as a non-pharmacological measure. However, there is no consensus on the efficacy of traditional Chinese exercises (TCEs) for treating sleep disorders in older adults and the difference between TCEs and GAEs.

Objective

This study assessed the effects of TCEs and GAEs on the sleep quality of older adults and the differences between these two interventions.

Search strategy

PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, China Biology Medicine disc, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Science Journal Database and Wanfang Data were searched from their inception to August 2020. 

Inclusion criteria

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of TCEs and GAEs on older adults with sleep disorders were included. 

Data extraction and analysis

Data were extracted by two researchers working independently. The risk bias of included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions 5.1.0 and the quality of evidence was assessed using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to estimate sleep quality. Meta-analyses were performed to assess the total PSQI score of the exercise intervention as the primary outcome, and the scores of subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbance, use of sleep medication and daytime dysfunction were assessed as secondary outcomes. Subgroup, sensitivity, and meta-regression analyses were conducted to assess the contribution of covariables to heterogeneity.

Results

A total of 22 RCTs (including 1747 participants) were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that TCEs (weighted mean difference [WMD] = –2.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] [–2.82, –1.46], P < 0.001; heterogeneity: P < 0.001, I2 = 82%; 15 studies, n = 1063) and GAEs (WMD = –2.88, 95% CI [–5.22, –0.55], P  < 0.001; heterogeneity: P  < 0.001, I2 = 98%; 5 studies, n = 500) significantly improved total sleep quality, having favorable effects on subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbance, use of sleep medication and daytime dysfunction. Subgroup analysis showed that TCEs demonstrated superiority after 12 weeks (WMD = –2.77, 95% CI [–4.26, –1.28], P  < 0.001; heterogeneity: P  < 0.001, I2 = 85%; 5 studies, n = 420) and Qigong had a greater intervention effect for improving the sleep quality of older adults than Tai Chi (WMD = –3.37, 95% CI [–4.38, –2.35], P  < 0.001; heterogeneity: P  = 0.04, I2 = 63%; 4 studies, n = 321). Meta-regression revealed that the year of publication, sample size, mean age of participants, and percentage of females in the primary studies did not account for the overall heterogeneity.

Conclusion

Current evidence shows that both TCEs and GAEs, as complementary and non-pharmacological approaches, help to improve the sleep quality in older adults with potentially clinical implications; however, there was not enough evidence to conclude the difference between them. More rigorous and high-quality RCTs are needed to arrive at reliable conclusions.

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Filiform needle acupuncture for allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Shi-Hao Du, Wei Guo, Chao Yang, Sheng Chen, Sheng-Nan Guo, Shuo Du, Zhong-Ming Du, Yu-Tong Fei, Ji-Ping Zhao
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (6): 497-513.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.08.004
Accepted: 07 May 2022
Online available: 05 August 2022

Abstract235)   HTML    PDF      

Background

Filiform needle acupuncture (FNA), the most classical and widely applied acupuncture method based on traditional Chinese medicine theory, has shown a promising effect in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR).

Objective

We aim to comprehensively evaluate the efficacy, safety, cost-effectiveness, and patient preference of FNA in the treatment of AR by comparing FNA with sham acupuncture, no treatment, and conventional medication.

Search strategy

Eight electronic databases were systematically searched from inception to October 14, 2021. Additional studies were acquired from clinical trial registration platforms and reference lists.

Inclusion criteria

RCTs were included if they compared FNA with either sham acupuncture, no treatment, or conventional medications for AR.

Data extraction and analysis

Two researchers extracted data independently of each other using a predesigned data acquisition form, and results were cross-checked after completion. The primary outcome was symptom score (Total Nasal Symptom Score or Visual Analog Scale), and the secondary outcomes were the AR control questionnaire, quality of life (QoL) score (Different versions of Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaires), medication score (use of rescue medication), mental health score, total IgE, adverse event rate, clinical economic indicators, and patient satisfaction score. Standardized mean difference (SMD) or mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was used to calculate the effect size for continuous data, while risk ratio with 95% Cis was used for dichotomous data.

Results

Thirty studies were included in this review. Compared with sham acupuncture, FNA significantly reduced the symptom score (SMD: –0.29 [–0.43, –0.15]), AR’s impact on QoL (SMD: –0.23 [–0.37, –0.08]) and medication score (SMD: –0.3 [–0.49, –0.11]). Compared with no treatment, FNA dramatically reduced the symptom score (SMD: –0.8 [–1.2, –0.39]) and AR’s impact on QoL (SMD: –0.82 [–1.13, –0.52]). There were no increased rates of adverse event with FNA compared to sham acupuncture and no treatment. FNA increased patient satisfaction and may be cost-effective. Most pieces of evidence from the above two comparisons were of high confidence. Moreover, FNA significantly outperformed conventional medication in reducing the symptom score (SMD: –0.48 [–0.85, –0.1]) and displayed a lower rate of adverse events, but the quality of evidence was very low.

Conclusion

FNA is an effective and safe intervention for AR and can help with symptom relief, QoL improvement, reducing medication usage, and increasing patient satisfaction. Further studies are needed to verify its cost-effectiveness and superiority over conventional medication and the best therapeutic strategies.

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Functional connectivity changes during migraine treatment with electroacupuncture at Shuaigu (GB8)
Xiang-yu Wei, Shi-lei Luo, HuiChen, Shan-shan Liu, Zhi-gang Gong, Song-hua Zhan
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 237-243.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.01.009
Accepted: 06 January 2022
Online available: 31 January 2022

Abstract218)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
To investigate the changes in the functional connectivity (FC) in the right insula between migraine without aura (MWoA) and healthy controls by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), and to observe the instant alteration of FC in MWoA during electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation at Shuaigu (GB8).

Methods
A total of 30 patients with MWoA (PM group) and 30 healthy controls (HC group) underwent rs-fMRI scans. The PM group underwent a second rs-fMRI scan while receiving EA at GB8. The right insula subregions, including the ventral anterior insula (vAI), dorsal anterior insula (dAI) and posterior insula (PI), were selected as the seed points for FC analysis.

Results
Aberrant FC, including dAI with right postcentral gyrus, PI with left precuneus, was found among PM before EA (PMa), PM during EA (PMb) and HC. Meanwhile, decreased FC between dAI and the right postcentral gyrus was found in the PMa compared to the HC and PMb. Increased FC between the PI and left precuneus was found in the PMa compared to the HC and PMb. Correlation analysis showed that the FC value of the right postcentral gyrus in PMa was negatively correlated with the scores of Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety. The FC value of the left precuneus in PMa was positively correlated with the visual analogue scale score.

Conclusion
The alteration of FC between the right insula subregions and multiple brain regions may be an important index for MWoA. EA at GB8 was able to adjust the FC between the right insula subregions and parietal lobe, namely, the right dAI and right postcentral gyrus, and the right PI and left precuneus, thereby rendering an instant effect in the management of MWoA.
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Evaluating the methodology of studies conducted during the global COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
Meng-zhu Zhao, Chen Zhao, Shuang-shuang Tu, Xu-xu Wei, Hong-cai Shang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 317-326.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.03.003
Online available: 29 March 2021

Abstract158)   HTML    PDF      
Background
The therapeutic evidence collected from well-designed studies is needed to help manage the global pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Evaluating the quality of therapeutic data collected during this most recent pandemic is important for improving future clinical research under similar circumstances.

Objective
To assess the methodological quality and variability in implementation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for treating COVID-19, and to analyze the support that should be provided to improve data collected during an urgent pandemic situation.

Search strategy
PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, and Chongqing VIP, and the preprint repositories including Social Science Research Network and MedRxiv were systematically searched, up to September 30, 2020, using the keywords “coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” “2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV),” “severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2),” “novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP),” “randomized controlled trial (RCT)” and “random.”

Inclusion criteria
RCTs studying the treatment of COVID-19 were eligible for inclusion. 

Data extraction and analysis
Screening of published RCTs for inclusion and data extraction were each conducted by two researchers. Analysis of general information on COVID-19 RCTs was done using descriptive statistics. Methodological quality was assessed using the risk-of-bias tools in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Version 5.1.0). Variability in implementation was assessed by comparing consistency between RCT reports and registration information. 

Results
A total of 5886 COVID-19 RCTs were identified. Eighty-one RCTs were finally included, of which, 45 had registration information. Methodological quality of the RTCs was not optimal due to deficiencies in five main domains: allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data, and selective reporting. Comparisons of consistency between published protocols and registration information showed that the 45 RCTs with registration information had common deviations in seven items: inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size, outcomes, research sites of recruitment, interventions, and blinding.

Conclusion
The methodological quality of COVID-19 RCTs conducted in early to mid 2020 was consistently low and variability in implementation was common. More support for implementing high-quality methodology is needed to obtain the quality of therapeutic evidence needed to provide positive guidance for clinical care. We make an urgent appeal for accelerating the construction of a collaborative sharing platform and preparing multidisciplinary talent and professional teams to conduct excellent clinical research when faced with epidemic diseases of the future. Further, variability in RCT implementation should be clearly reported and interpreted to improve the utility of data resulting from those trials.
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Qili Qiangxin, a compound herbal medicine formula, alleviates hypoxia-reoxygenation-induced apoptotic and autophagic cell death via suppression of ROS/AMPK/mTOR pathway in vitro
Cai-lian Fana, Wan-jun Caib, Meng-nan Ye, Miao Chen, Yi Dai
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (4): 365-375.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.04.005
Accepted: 07 February 2022
Online available: 15 July 2022

Abstract125)   HTML    PDF      
Objective: Qili Qiangxin (QLQX), a compound herbal medicine formula, is used effectively to treat congestive heart failure in China. However, the molecular mechanisms of the cardioprotective effect are still unclear. This study explores the cardioprotective effect and mechanism of QLQX using the hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R)-induced myocardial injury model.
Methods: The main chemical constituents of QLQX were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography-evaporative light-scattering detection. The model of H/R-induced myocardial injury in H9c2 cells was developed to simulate myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Apoptosis, autophagy, and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured to assess the protective effect of QLQX. Proteins related to autophagy, apoptosis and signalling pathways were detected using Western blotting.
Results: Apoptosis, autophagy and the excessive production of ROS induced by H/R were significantly reduced after treating the H9c2 cells with QLQX. QLQX treatment at concentrations of 50 and 250 μg/mL caused significant reduction in the levels of LC3II and p62 degradation (P < 0.05), and also suppressed the AMPK/mTOR signalling pathway. Furthermore, the AMPK inhibitor Compound C (at 0.5 μmol/L), and QLQX (250 μg/mL) significantly inhibited H/R-induced autophagy and apoptosis (P < 0.01), while AICAR (an AMPK activator, at 0.5 mmol/L) increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis and autophagy and abolished the anti-apoptotic effect of QLQX. Similar phenomena were also observed on the expressions of apoptotic and autophagic proteins, demonstrating that QLQX reduced the apoptosis and auotophagy in the H/R-induced injury model via inhibiting the AMPK/mTOR pathway. Moreover, ROS scavenger, N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC, at 2.5 mmol/L), significantly reduced H/R-triggered cell apoptosis and autophagy (P < 0.01). Meanwhile, NAC treatment down-regulated the ratio of phosphorylation of AMPK/AMPK (P < 0.01), which showed a similar effect to QLQX.
Conclusion: QLQX plays a cardioprotective role by alleviating apoptotic and autophagic cell death through inhibition of the ROS/AMPK/mTOR signalling pathway.
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An overview on the chemistry, pharmacology and anticancer properties of tetrandrine and fangchinoline (alkaloids) from Stephania tetrandra roots
Eric Wei Chiang Chan, Siu Kuin Wong, Hung Tuck Chan
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 311-316.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.001
Online available: 07 February 2021

Abstract136)   HTML    PDF      
Tetrandrine (TET) and fangchinoline (FAN) are dominant bisbenzylisoquinoline (BBIQ) alkaloids from the roots of Stephania tetrandra of the family Menispermaceae. BBIQ alkaloids comprise two benzylisoquinoline units linked by oxygen bridges. The molecular structures of TET and FAN are exactly the same, except that TET has a methoxy (?OCH3) group, while FAN has a hydroxyl (?OH) group at C7. In this overview, the current knowledge on the chemistry, pharmacology and anticancer properties of TET and FAN have been updated. The focus is on colon and breast cancer cells, because they are most susceptible to TET and FAN, respectively. Against colon cancer cells, TET inhibits cell proliferation and tumor growth by inducing apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest, and suppresses adhesion, migration and invasion of cells. Against breast cancer cells, FAN inhibits cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis, G1-phase cell cycle arrest and inhibits cell migration. The processes involve various molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways. Some insights on the ability of TET and FAN to reverse multi-drug resistance in cancer cells and suggestions for future research are provided. 
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Improving the health and treatment success rates of in vitro fertilization patients with traditional chinese medicine: need for more robust evidence and innovative approaches
Marisa Casal
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 187-192.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.02.004
Online available: 21 February 2022

Abstract186)   HTML    PDF      
Maximising access to and the success of fertility treatments should be a priority for global reproductive health, as should overall patient well-being. The demand for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted fertility treatments has increased over the past decade and is likely to further increase in years to come. Nevertheless, there is still considerable unmet demand for infertility support worldwide. Moreover, the high emotional, physical and financial burden experienced by individuals undergoing IVF cycles can be a risk for their mental and physical health, which in turn can influence treatment continuation and the likelihood of IVF success. Studies from various parts of the world show that most individuals undergoing IVF also use adjunct alternative medicines and procedures, the most common being traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The complementary and synergistic role of TCM for individuals undergoing IVF is an area that merits further attention and research, both for its potential positive effects on IVF success rates and for its broader physical and mental health benefits. However, much of the existing evidence is not sufficiently robust or consistent for findings to be adopted with confidence. This commentary argues that much work must be done to understand the efficacy and clinical best practices for these integrated approaches. This can be achieved in part by developing more robust and clinically relevant randomized controlled trial protocols, collecting and triangulating evidence through a variety of study designs and methods, and strengthening the collection and pooling of clinic-level data.
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Reporting and methodological quality of meta-analyses of acupuncture for patients with migraine: A methodological investigation with evidence map
Ting-ting Lu, Cun-cun Lu, Mei-xuan Li, Li-xin Ke, Hui Cai, Ke-hu Yang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 213-220.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.02.003
Accepted: 10 January 2022
Online available: 23 February 2022

Abstract201)   HTML    PDF      
Background

Acupuncture has been widely used to relieve migraine-related symptoms. However, the findings of previous systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) are still not completely consistent. Their quality is also unknown, so a comprehensive study is needed.

Objective
To evaluate the reporting and methodological quality of these MAs concerning acupuncture for migraine, and summarize evidence about the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for migraine.

Search strategy
PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Biomedical Databases, Wanfang Data, and VIP databases were searched from inception to September 2020, with a comprehensive search strategy.

Inclusion criteria
The pairwise MAs of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning migraine treated by acupuncture or acupuncture-based therapies, with a control group that received sham acupuncture, medication, no treatment, or acupuncture at different acupoints were included.

Data extraction and analysis
Two independent investigators screened studies, extracted relevant data, and assessed reporting and methodological quality using PRISMA 2009 and AMSTAR 2, then all results were cross-checked. Spearman correlation test was used to evaluate the correlation between reporting and methodological quality scores.

Results
A total of 20 MAs were included in this study. The included MAs indicated that acupuncture was efficacious and safe in preventing and treating migraine when compared with control intervention. There was a high correlation between reporting and methodological quality scores (rs = 0.87, P < 0.001). The quality of the included SRs needs to be improved mainly with regard to protocol and prospective registration, using a comprehensive search strategy, summarizing the strength of evidence body for key outcomes, a full list of excluded studies with reasons for exclusion, reporting of RCTs’ funding sources, and assessing the potential impact of risk of bias in RCTs on MA results.

Conclusion
Acupuncture is an effective and safe intervention for preventing and treating migraine, and could be considered as a good option for patients with migraine. However, the reporting and methodological quality of MAs included in this overview is suboptimal. In the future, AMSTAR 2 and PRISMA tools should be followed when making and reporting an SR with MA.
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A model to standardize safety and quality of care for cupping therapy
Riska Siregar, Aris Setyawan, Syahruramdhani Syahruramdhani
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 327-332.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.011
Accepted: 08 January 2020
Online available: 02 February 2021

Abstract186)   HTML    PDF      
Cupping therapy has historical, traditional and religious value. It is increasingly popular in the field of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine. However, standards for safety and quality of service are absent. Although it is generally considered safe, cupping therapy can cause adverse events. Most of these events are predictable and preventable. A comprehensive approach to patient eligibility and therapist selection, along with compliance with standard operational procedures is essential to regulate the safety of the practice. Here we discuss a model framework for standardizing safety and quality of care. We recommend that this model be used routinely by cupping therapists and their associations on a nation-wide scale.
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Effects of lavender and Citrus aurantium on pain of conscious intensive care unit patients: A parallel randomized placebo-controlled trial
Zahra Karimzadeh, Mansooreh Azizzadeh Forouzi, Haleh Tajadini, Mehdi Ahmadinejad, Callista Roy, Mahlagha Dehghan
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 333-339.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.006
Accepted: 29 December 2020
Online available: 20 April 2021

Abstract173)   HTML    PDF      

Background

Conscious patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) suffer from pain for various reasons, which can affect their recovery process. 

Objective

The present study compared the effects of aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium and lavender essential oils against placebo for reducing pain in conscious intensive care patients.

Design, setting, participants and interventions

This study was a parallel randomized placebo-controlled trial. The ICUs of two educational hospitals in Kerman in Southeastern Iran were the study setting. One hundred and fifty conscious intensive care patients were randomly divided into three groups using a stratified block randomization method. Two groups received aromatherapy with essential oils: one with lavender and the other with C. aurantium; these patients received a 30-minute therapy session using their assigned essential oil on the second day of their intensive care stay. The placebo group used 5 drops of normal saline instead of essential oil during their session. 

Main outcome measures

Patient’s pain was assessed using a visual analog scale before the aromatherapy intervention, as well as immediately after and one and three hours after intervention. 

Results

The mean pain score of the lavender group was 40.01 before the aromatherapy intervention and fell to 39.40, 30.60 and 23.68 immediately after the intervention, and at hour one and three post-intervention, respectively. The mean pain score of the C. aurantium group was 45.48 before the intervention and was reduced to 32.34 at three hours after the intervention. The mean pain of the placebo group decreased from 42.80 before the intervention to 35.20 at three hours after the intervention. Pain scores of all groups decreased during the study (P < 0.001). The mean pain of the lavender group was significantly lower than that of the placebo group at three hours after the intervention. 

Conclusion

The results of this study showed that aromatherapy with lavender essential oil reduced pain in conscious ICU patients. Our data could not justify the use of C. aurantium for reducing pain in this population.

Trial registration

No. IRCT20170116031972N9 (https://en.irct.ir/trial/40827).

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Meta-analysis on the effect of combining Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine to treat coronavirus disease 2019
Deng-chao Wang, Miao Yu, Wen-xian Xie, Li-yan Huang, Jian Wei, Yue-hua Lei
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 26-33.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.10.005
Online available: 05 November 2021

Abstract161)   HTML    PDF      

Background

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a worldwide life-threatening pandemic. Lianhua Qingwen is believed to possess the ability to treat or significantly improve the symptoms of COVID-19. These claims make it important to systematically evaluate the effects of using Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine to treat COVID-19.

Objective

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of combination therapy, employing Lianhua Qingwen with Western medicine, to treat COVID-19, using a meta-analysis approach.

Search strategy

China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Database, VIP Database, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies evaluating the effect of Lianhua Qingwen-Western medicine combination therapy in the treatment of COVID-19.

Inclusion criteria

(1) Research object: hospitalized patients meeting the diagnostic criteria of COVID-19 were included. (2) Intervention measures: patients in the treatment group received Lianhua Qingwen treatment combined with Western medicine, while the control group received either Western medicine or Chinese medicine treatment. (3) Research type: randomized controlled trials and retrospective study were included.

Data extraction and analysis

Two researchers extracted the first author, the proportion of males and females, age, body temperature, course of treatment, rate of disappearance of main symptoms, duration of fever, adverse reactions, and total effectiveness from the literature. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used as the effect value for count data, and mean difference (MD) and 95% CI were used as the effect value for measurement data.

Results

Six articles met the inclusion criteria, including a total of 856 COVID-19 patients. The meta-analysis showed that Lianhua Qingwen combination therapy achieved higher rates of fever reduction (OR = 3.43, 95% CI [1.78, 6.59], P = 0.0002), cough reduction (OR = 3.39, 95% CI [1.85, 6.23], P < 0.0001), recovery from shortness of breath (OR = 10.62, 95% CI [3.71, 30.40], P < 0.0001) and recovery from fatigue (OR = 2.82, 95% CI [1.44, 5.53], P = 0.003), higher total effectiveness rate (OR = 2.51, 95% CI [1.73, 3.64], P< 0.00001), and shorter time to recovery from fever (MD = –1.00, 95% CI [–1.04, 0.96], P < 0.00001), and did not increase the adverse reaction rate (OR = 0.65, 95% CI [0.42, 1.01], P = 0.06), compared to the single medication control. 

Conclusion

The Lianhua Qingwen and Western medicine combination therapy is highly effective for COVID-19 patients and has good clinical safety. As only a small number of studies and patients were included in this review, more high-quality, multicenter, large-sample-size, randomized, double-blind, controlled trials are still needed for verification.

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Aerobic exercise suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma by downregulating dynamin-related protein 1 through PI3K/AKT pathway
Tong Zhao, Bing-jie Guo, Chu-lan Xiao, Jiao-jiao Chen, Can Lü, Fan-fu Fang, Bai Li
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 418-427.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.08.003
Online available: 30 September 2021

Abstract183)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
Exercise, as a common non-drug intervention, is one of several lifestyle choices known to reduce the risk of cancer. Mitochondrial division has been reported to play a key role in the occurrence and transformation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study investigated whether exercise could regulate the occurrence and development of HCC through mitosis.
Methods
Bioinformatics technology was used to analyze the expression level of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), a key protein of mitochondrial division. The effects of DRP1 and DRP1 inhibitor (mdivi-1) on the proliferation and migration of liver cancer cells BEL-7402 were observed using cell counting kit-8, plate colony formation, transwell cell migration, and scratch experiments. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to detect the expression of DRP1 and its downstream phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) pathway. A treadmill exercise intervention was tested in a nude mouse human liver cancer subcutaneous tumor model expressing different levels of DRP1. The size and weight of subcutaneous tumors in mice were detected before and after exercise.
Results
The expression of DRP1 in liver cancer tissues was significantly upregulated compared with normal liver tissues (P < 0.001). The proliferation rate and the migration of BEL-7402 cells in the DRP1 over-expression group were higher than that in the control group. The mdivi-1 group showed an inhibitory effect on the proliferation and migration of BEL-7402 cells at 50 μmol/L. Aerobic exercise was able to inhibit the expression of DRP1 and decrease the size and weight of subcutaneous tumors. Moreover, the expression of phosphorylated PI3K (p-PI3K) and phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) decreased in the exercise group. However, exercise could not change p-PI3K and p-AKT levels after knocking down DRP1 or using mdivi-1 on subcutaneous tumor.
Conclusion
Aerobic exercise can suppress the development of tumors partially by regulating DRP1 through PI3K/AKT pathway.

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Homeopathy for COVID-19 in primary care: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (COVID-Simile study)
Ubiratan Cardinalli Adler, Maristela Schiabel Adler, Ana Elisa Madureira Padula, Livia Mitchiguian Hotta, Amarilysde Toledo Cesar, José Nelson Martins Diniz, Helen de Freitas Santos, Edson Zangiacomi Martinez
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 221-229.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.03.003
Accepted: 21 February 2022
Online available: 12 March 2022

Abstract175)   HTML    PDF      
Background
Different homeopathic approaches have been used as supportive care for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, but none has been tested in a clinical trial.

Objectives
To investigate the effectiveness and safety of the homeopathic medicine, Natrum muriaticum LM2, for mild cases of COVID-19.

Design, setting, participants, and interventions
A randomized, double-blind, two‐armed, parallel, single-center, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted from June 2020 to April 2021 in S?o-Carlos, Brazil. Participants aged > 18 years, with influenza-like symptoms and positive result from a real-time polymerase chain reaction test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 were recruited and randomized (1:1) into two groups that received different treatments during a period of at-home-isolation. One group received the homeopathic medicine Natrum muriaticum, prepared with the second degree of the fifty-millesimal dynamization (LM2; Natrum muriaticum LM2), while the other group received a placebo.

Outcome measures
The primary endpoint was time until recovery from COVID-19 influenza-like symptoms. Secondary measures included a survival analysis of the number and severity of COVID-19 symptoms (influenza-like symptoms plus anosmia and ageusia) from a symptom grading scale that was informed by the participant, hospital admissions, and adverse events. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate time-to-event (survival) measures.

Results
Data from 86 participants were analyzed (homeopathy, n = 42; placebo, n = 44). There was no difference in time to recovery between two groups among participants who were reporting influenza-like symptoms at the beginning of monitoring (homeopathy, n = 41; placebo, n = 41; P = 0.56), nor in a sub-group that had at least 5 moderate to severe influenza-like symptoms at the beginning of monitoring (homeopathy, n = 15; placebo, n = 17; P = 0.06). Secondary outcomes indicated that a 50% reduction in symptom score was achieved significantly earlier in the homeopathy group (homeopathy, n = 24; placebo, n = 25; P = 0.04), among the participants with a basal symptom score ≥ 5. Moreover, values of restricted mean survival time indicated that patients receiving homeopathy might have improved 0.9 days faster during the first five days of follow-up (P = 0.022). Hospitalization rates were 2.4% in the homeopathy group and 6.8% in the placebo group (P = 0.62). Participants reported 3 adverse events in the homeopathy group and 6 in the placebo group.

Conclusion
Results showed that Natrum muriaticum LM2 was safe to use for COVID-19, but there was no statistically significant difference in the primary endpoints of Natrum muriaticum LM2 and placebo for mild COVID-19 cases. Although some secondary measures do not support the null hypothesis, the wide confidence intervals suggest that further studies with larger sample sizes and more symptomatic participants are needed to test the effectiveness of homeopathic Natrum muriaticum LM2 for COVID-19.

Trial registration
UMIN Clinical Trials Registry ID: JPRN-UMIN000040602.
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Low-level laser acupuncture reduces postoperative pain and morphine consumption in older patients with total knee arthroplasty: A randomized placebo-controlled trial
Chiung-Hui Huang, Mei-Ling Yeh, Fang-Pey Chen, Daphne Wu
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (4): 321-328.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.04.002
Accepted: 24 January 2022
Online available: 09 April 2022

Abstract199)   HTML    PDF      
Background
Patients commonly develop postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Acupuncture-related techniques and low-level laser therapy could be beneficial for pain management for older individuals.

Objective
To examine the effect of low-level laser acupuncture (LA) in reducing postoperative pain, pain-related interference in daily life, morphine consumption, and morphine-related side effects in older patients with knee osteoarthritis who underwent TKA.

Design, setting, participants and intervention
A single-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted. Patients (N = 82) were recruited and randomly assigned via a computer-generated list to the LA group or a placebo group. The LA group received low-level laser therapy at Sanyinjiao (SP6), Taixi (KI3), Kunlun (BL60), Fengshi (GB31), Futu (ST32) and Neiguan (PC6) after TKA, while the placebo acupuncture group received the same treatment procedure without laser energy output.

Main outcome measures
The primary outcome was postoperative pain intensity, and it was measured at baseline and hours 2, 6, 10, 24, 48 and 72 after TKA. The secondary outcomes, including relative pain, postoperative pain-related interference in daily life and morphine consumption, were measured at hours 24, 48 and 72 after TKA.

Results
Generalized estimating equations revealed significant between-group differences in pain intensity (P = 0.01), and trend differences in pain intensity for the LA group starting at hours 10 to 72 (P < 0.05) and morphine consumption at hours 48 and 72 (P < 0.05). The changes in pain-related interference in daily life were significant (P < 0.05) at 72 h, with the exception of the parameters for worst pain, mood, and sleep. Nausea and vomiting side effects from morphine had significant between-group differences at hours 10 and 24 (P < 0.05).

Conclusion

Low-level LA gradually reduced older patients’ postoperative pain intensity and morphine consumption within the first 72 h after their TKA for osteoarthritis. Low-level LA may have benefits as an adjuvant pain management technique for clinical care.


Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT03995446.

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Ziyin Huatan Recipe, a Chinese herbal compound, inhibits migration and invasion of gastric cancer by upregulating RUNX3 expression
Shang-jin Song, Xuan Liu, Qing Ji, Da-zhi Sun, Li-juan Xiu, Jing-yu Xu, Xiao-qiang Yue
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (4): 355-364.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.02.006
Online available: 27 February 2022

Abstract195)   HTML    PDF      

Objectives

Ziyin Huatan recipe (ZYHT), a traditional Chinese medicine comprised of Lilii Bulbus, Pinelliae Rhizoma, and Hedyotis Diffusa, has shown promise in treating gastric cancer (GC) in the clinic. However, its potential mechanism in treating GC has not yet been clearly addressed. This study aimed to predict targets and molecular mechanisms of ZYHT by network pharmacology analysis and to explore the role of ZYHT in GC both in vitro and in vivo.

Methods

Targets and molecular mechanisms of ZYHT were predicted via network pharmacology analysis. The effects of ZYHT on the expression of metastasis-associated targets were further validated by western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. To explore the specific molecular mechanisms of ZYHT on migration and invasion, the runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) gene was knocked out by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9, and lentiviral vectors were transfected into SGC-7901 cells. Then lung metastasis model of gastric cancer in nude mice was established to explore the anti-metastasis effect of ZYHT. Western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to explore the impact of ZYHT on the expression of metastasis-related proteins with or without RUNX3 gene.

Results

The network pharmacology analysis showed that ZYHT might inhibit focal adhesion, and migration, invasion and metastasis of GC. ZYHT inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of GC cells in vitro via regulating the expression of metastasis-associated targets. Knocking out RUNX3 almost completely reversed the cell phenotypes (migration and invasion) and protein expression levels elicited by ZYHT. In vivo studies showed that ZYHT inhibited the metastasis of GC cells to the lung and prolonged the survival time of nude mice. Knocking out RUNX3 partly reversed the metastasis of GC cells to the lung and the protein expression levels elicited by ZYHT.

Conclusion

ZYHT can e?ectively inhibit the invasion and migration of GC in vitro and in vivo, and its molecular mechanism may relate to the upregulation of RUNX3 expression.


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Hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerogenic effects of aqueous extract of Ipomoea batatas leaves in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats
Fidele Ntchapda, Fernand C. Tchatchouang, David Miaffo, Barthelemy Maidadi, Lorella Vecchio, Rodrigue E. Talla, Christian Bonabe, Paul F. Seke Etet, Theophile Dimo
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 243-250.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.02.002
Online available: 01 June 2021

Abstract223)      PDF      
Objective: Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. is a food plant used in African traditional medicine to treat cardiovascular diseases and related conditions. We assessed the hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerogenic properties of the aqueous extract of I. batatas leaves in a rat model of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia.
Methods: Hypercholesterolemia was induced in male Wistar rats by exclusive feeding with a cholesterol-enriched (1%) standard diet for four weeks. Then, rats were treated once daily (per os) with I. batatas extract at doses of 400, 500 and 600 mg/kg or with atorvastatin (2 mg/kg), for four weeks. Following treatment, animals were observed for another four weeks and then sacrificed. Aortas were excised and processed for histopathological studies, and blood glucose level and lipid profile were measured.
Results: Hypercholesterolemic animals experienced a 21.5% faster increase in body weight, significant increases in blood glucose and blood lipids (148.94% triglycerides, 196.97% high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 773.04% low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 148.93% very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and 210.42% total cholesterol), and increases in aorta thickness and atherosclerotic plaque sizes compared to rats fed standard diet. Treatment of hypercholesterolemic rats with the extract mitigated these alterations and restored blood glucose and blood lipid levels to normocholesterolemic values.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that I. batatas leaves have hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerogenic properties and justify their use in traditional medicine.
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Hepatic protective effects of Shenling Baizhu powder, a herbal compound, against inflammatory damage via TLR4/NLRP3 signalling pathway in rats with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 
Mao-xing Pan, Chui-yang Zheng, Yuan-jun Deng, Kai-rui Tang, Huan Nie, Ji-qian Xie, Dong-dong Liu, Gui-fang Tu, Qin-he Yang, Yu-pei Zhang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 428-438.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.07.004
Online available: 30 September 2021

Abstract204)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

High-fat diet (HFD) and inflammation are two key contributors to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Shenling Baizhu powder (SLBZP), a classical herbal compound, has been successfully used to alleviate NAFLD. However, its specific mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we assess the anti-NAFLD effect of SLBZP in vivo.

Methods

Rats were fed an HFD with or without SLBZP or with probiotics. At the end of week 16, an echo magnetic resonance imaging (EchoMRI) body composition analyser was used to quantitatively analyse body composition; a micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging system was used to evaluate whole body and liver fat; and the Moor full-field laser perfusion imager 2 was used to assess liver microcirculation, after which, all rats were sacrificed. Then, biochemical indicators in the blood and the ultrastructure of rat livers were evaluated. Protein expression related to the liver Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/Nod-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) signalling pathway was assessed using Western blot analysis. Further, high-throughput screening of 29 related inflammatory factors in liver tissue was performed using a cytokine array. 

Results

SLBZP supplementation reduced body weight, serum free fatty acid, and insulin resistance index (P < 0.05). It also ameliorated liver microcirculation and ultrastructural abnormalities. EchoMRI and micro-CT quantitative analyses showed that treatment with SLBZP reduced fat mass and visceral fat (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). In addition, SLBZP decreased the expression of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated TLR4/NLRP3 signalling pathway-related proteins and altered the expression levels of some inflammatory cytokines in liver tissues.

Conclusion

SLBZP can inhibit NLRP3 inflammasome activation and interleukin-1β release by suppressing LPS-induced TLR4 expression in rats with HFD-induced NAFLD. Thus, SLBZP may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory damage and associated diseases. 

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Appraisal of treatment outcomes in integrative medicine using metabonomics: Taking non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with spleen deficiency syndrome as an example
Liang Dai, Jing-juan Xu, Wen-jun Zhou, Ai-ping Lü, Guang Ji
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (6): 524-533.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.08.002
Accepted: 06 July 2022
Online available: 13 August 2022

Abstract98)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
Appraisal of treatment outcomes in integrative medicine is a challenge due to a gap between the concepts of Western medicine (WM) disease and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome. This study presents an approach for the appraisal of integrative medicine that is based on targeted metabolomics. We use non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with spleen deficiency syndrome as a test case.

Methods
A patient-reported outcome (PRO) scale was developed based on literature review, Delphi consensus survey, and reliability and validity test, to quantitatively evaluate spleen deficiency syndrome. Then, a metabonomic foundation for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with spleen deficiency syndrome was identified via a longitudinal interventional trial and targeted metabolomics. Finally, an integrated appraisal model was established by identifying metabolites that responded in the treatment of WM disease and TCM syndrome as positive outcomes and using other aspects of the metabonomic foundation as independent variables.

Results
Ten symptoms and signs were included in the spleen deficiency PRO scale. The internal reliability, content validity, discriminative validity and structural validity of the scale were all qualified. Based on treatment responses to treatments for WM disease (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) or TCM syndrome (spleen deficiency PRO scale score) from a previous randomized controlled trial, two cohorts comprised of 30 participants each were established for targeted metabolomics detection. Twenty-five metabolites were found to be involved in successful treatment outcomes to both WM and TCM, following quantitative comparison and multivariate analysis. Finally, the model of the integrated appraisal system was exploratively established using binary logistic regression; it included 9 core metabolites and had the prediction probability of 83.3%.

Conclusion
This study presented a new and comprehensive research route for integrative appraisal of treatment outcomes for WM disease and TCM syndrome. Critical research techniques used in this research included the development of a TCM syndrome assessment tool, a longitudinal interventional trial with verified TCM treatment, identification of homogeneous metabolites, and statistical modeling.
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Methodology of network pharmacology for research on Chinese herbal medicine against COVID-19: A review
Yi-xuan Wang, Zhen Yang, Wen-xiao Wang, Yu-xi Huang, Qiao Zhang, Jia-jia Li, Yu-ping Tang, Shi-jun Yue
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (6): 477-487.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.09.004
Accepted: 15 August 2022
Online available: 22 September 2022

Abstract128)   HTML    PDF      
Traditional Chinese medicine, as a complementary and alternative medicine, has been practiced for thousands of years in China and possesses remarkable clinical efficacy. Thus, systematic analysis and examination of the mechanistic links between Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) and the complex human body can benefit contemporary understandings by carrying out qualitative and quantitative analysis. With increasing attention, the approach of network pharmacology has begun to unveil the mystery of CHM by constructing the heterogeneous network relationship of “herb-compound-target-pathway,” which corresponds to the holistic mechanisms of CHM. By integrating computational techniques into network pharmacology, the efficiency and accuracy of active compound screening and target fishing have been improved at an unprecedented pace. This review dissects the core innovations to the network pharmacology approach that were developed in the years since 2015 and highlights how this tool has been applied to understanding the coronavirus disease 2019 and refining the clinical use of CHM to combat it.
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Clinical evidence of three traditional Chinese medicine drugs and three herbal formulas for COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the Chinese population
Liang-zhen You, Qian-qian Dai, Xiao-ying Zhong, Dong-dong Yu, He-rong Cui, Yi-fan Kong, Meng-zhu Zhao, Xin-yi Zhang, Qian-qian Xu, Zhi-yue Guan, Xu-xu Wei, Xue-cheng Zhang, Song-jie Han, Wen-jing Liu, Zhao Chen, Xiao-yu Zhang, Chen Zhao, Ying-hui Jin, Hong-cai Shang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2023, 21 (5): 441-454.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.08.001
Accepted: 21 February 2023
Online available: 05 August 2023

Abstract129)   HTML    PDF      
Background
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread worldwide. Integrated Chinese and Western medicine have had some successes in treating COVID-19.

Objective
This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of three traditional Chinese medicine drugs and three herbal formulas (3-drugs-3-formulas) in patients with COVID-19.

Search strategy

Relevant studies were identified from 12 electronic databases searched from their establishment to April 7, 2022.


Inclusion criteria

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs and cohort studies that evaluated the effects of 3-drugs-3-formulas for COVID-19. The treatment group was treated with one of the 3-drugs-3-formulas plus conventional treatment. The control group was treated with conventional treatment.


Data extraction and analysis

Two evaluators screened and selected literature independently, then extracted basic information and assessed risk of bias. The treatment outcome measures were duration of main symptoms, hospitalization time, aggravation rate and mortality. RevMan 5.4 was used to analyze the pooled results reported as mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for continuous data and risk ratio (RR) with 95% CI for dichotomous data.


Results
Forty-one studies with a total of 13,260 participants were identified. Our analysis suggests that compared with conventional treatment, the combination of 3-drugs-3-formulas might shorten duration of fever (MD = –1.39; 95% CI: –2.19 to –0.59; P < 0.05), cough (MD = –1.57; 95% CI: –2.16 to –0.98; P < 0.05) and fatigue (MD = –1.36; 95% CI: –2.21 to –0.51; P < 0.05), decrease length of hospital stay (MD = –2.62; 95% CI –3.52 to –1.72; P < 0.05), the time for nucleic acid conversion (MD = –2.92; 95% CI: –4.26 to –1.59; P < 0.05), aggravation rate (RR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.38 to 0.64; P < 0.05) and mortality (RR = 0.34; 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.62; P < 0.05), and increase the recovery rate of chest CT manifestations (RR = 1.22; 95% CI: 1.14 to 1.3; P < 0.05) and total effectiveness (RR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.42; P < 0.05).

Conclusion
The 3-drugs-3-formulas can play an active role in treating all stages of COVID-19. No severe adverse events related to 3-drugs-3-formulas were observed. Hence, 3-drugs-3-formulas combined with conventional therapies have effective therapeutic value for COVID-19 patients. Further long-term high-quality studies are essential to demonstrate the clinical benefits of each formula.
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Searching for the emotional roots of breast cancer: A cross-disciplinary analysis integrating psychology, Chinese medicine, and oncology biomarkers
Ofer Baranovitch, Meirav Wolff-Bar, Meora Feinmesser, Chen Sade-Zaltz, Ilan Tsarfaty, Victoria Neiman
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 57-64.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.11.005
Online available: 22 November 2021

Abstract598)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

We employed a multidisciplinary approach incorporating theoretical ideas, clinical experience, psychology, physiology, traditional Chinese medicine (CM), modern practice of CM, and oncology to explore the effect of patients’ repression of negative emotions and traumatic events on breast cancer (BC) pathogenesis.

Methods

BC female patients, older than 18 years of age, with available pathology reports who were treated at Rabin Medical Center were recruited. All participants completed questionnaires regarding medical history, behavioral tendencies, negative emotions, trauma, symptoms, and pathology (from a CM perspective). Data on tumor characteristics were collected from the pathology reports. The associations were examined using hierarchical binary logistic regressions. 

Results

A total of 155 BC patients were enrolled. The median age was 52 years, with a range of 26–79; 95% were mothers; 28% had estrogen receptor (ER)-negative BC, 52% had progesterone receptor (PR)-negative BC, 48% had human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative BC, and antigen Ki-67 ≥ 20% was reported for 52% of tumors. Statistically significant associations were found between the emotional markers (sense of motherhood failure, and lack of self-fulfillment), avoidance behavior, and physical symptoms that are related to emotional repression based on CM. Significant associations were also found between variables associated with physical symptoms of emotional repression, which involves the production and accumulation of non-substantial phlegm (i.e., “high-lipid Qi-like microscopic phlegm”), avoidance behavior which unconsciously uses “high-lipid Qi-like microscopic phlegm” in order to achieve emotional repression, and tumor parameters including tumor grade, PR status, and Ki-67. Patients with higher levels of “high-lipid Qi-like microscopic phlegm” were more likely to have tumors with worse prognosis (PR-negative, higher grade, and higher Ki-67). 

Conclusion

We demonstrated a relationship between emotional parameters, behavioral tendencies, CM parameters, and oncologic parameters in BC. Additional research is warranted to explore these associations and their relevance to clinical practice. 

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Impact of socioeconomic and health-related factors on consumption of homeopathic and natural remedies in Spain in 2006, 2011 and 2017
Jose Antonio Castilla-Jimena, Isabel Ruiz-Pérez, Jesús Henares-Montiel
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 52-56.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.10.003
Online available: 22 October 2021

Abstract203)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Complementary and alternative medicine use and type of use may be influenced by sociodemographic and economic determinants through which we could identify characteristics of patients with greater trend to use it. This paper aims to describe the changes in the consumption of homeopathic and natural remedies in Spain for three time points in order to discern changes in rate of consumption, associated factors and whether their use has been affected by a period of economic recession. 

Methods

This study utilized 2006, 2011 and 2017 cross-sectional data from the Spanish National Health Survey, a nationally representative survey of the population aged more than 15 years old and resident in Spain. Independent bivariate and multivariate descriptive analyses for each of the 3 years studied were performed.

Results

The rate of consumption of both homeopathic and natural remedies has decreased over the periods studied. In spite of this decrease, the consumer profile appears to remain stable over the three periods. The sociodemographic factors associated with their consumption were being female, being 30–64 years old, being separated/divorced, having higher education qualifications, being employed and belonging to a higher social class. Psychiatric morbidity, chronic health problems such as pain, mental health problems or malignant tumors, and absence of major cardiovascular events were the clinical factors associated. 

Conclusion

It can be concluded that beyond the economic situation, the use of homeopathic and natural remedies obeys to the needs of the patients related to their state of health and the response they receive from the health system. It may be that women have different needs and expectations of the healthcare system and, given this breach of expectations, seek remedy to alleviate their needs outside the system and conventional medicine.

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Successfully treated recalcitrant atopic eczema with acupoint autohemotherapy: A case report and hypothesized mechanism of the therapy
Bin Zhao, Yong Chen, Shi-min Liao, Jian-ying Zheng, Shi-hua Yan, Dong-shu Zhang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (2): 182-186.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.01.003
Accepted: 07 December 2021
Online available: 13 January 2022

Abstract140)   HTML    PDF      
Acupoint autohemotherapy at bilateral Zusanli (ST36) and Xuehai (SP10) was used to treat a 26-year-old female patient who had suffered from recalcitrant atopic eczema (AE) for five years. The treatment was applied at a frequency of once per week for the first month, followed by a three-month period of once every other week. At the end of treatment, the patient's AE symptoms were entirely resolved, and by the end of a six-month follow-up her immunoglobulin E level had returned to the normal range. Further, there was no relapse of AE symptoms during the six-month follow-up. Therefore, we hypothesized that after the repeated treatments the local inflammatory reaction induced by autologous blood injection triggered a local immune response, followed by a systemic immune response after the repeated treatment, finally leading to the anti-inflammation and immunomodulation effects. This case suggests that acupoint autohemotherapy could be used as an effective complementary treatment for recalcitrant AE, especially in cases where other treatments have failed. Further comparative studies are needed to corroborate the value and mechanisms of this therapy.
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Natural antioxidants in the management of Parkinson’s disease: review of evidence from cell line and animal models
Reem Abdul-Latif, Ieva Stupans, Ayman Allahham, Benu Adhikari, Thilini Thrimawithana
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (4): 300-310.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.03.007
Online available: 07 April 2021

Abstract258)   HTML    PDF      
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease. It results from the death of dopaminergic neurons. The pathophysiological mechanisms in idiopathic PD include the production of α-synuclein and mitochondrial respiratory function-affecting complex I, caused by reactive oxygen species. Therefore, the use of natural antioxidants in PD may provide an alternative therapy that prevents oxidative stress and reduces disease progression. In this review, the effects of hydroxytyrosol, Ginkgo biloba, Withania somnifera, curcumin, green tea, and Hypericum perforatum in PD animal and cell line models are compared and discussed. The reviewed antioxidants show evidence of protecting neural cells from oxidative stress in animal 
and cell models of PD. However, the clinical efficacy of these phytochemicals needs to be optimised and further investigated.
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Design of dual targeting immunomicelles loaded with bufalin and study of their anti-tumor effect on liver cancer
Hao Gou, Ruo-chen Huang, Yong-hua Su, Wei Li
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 408-417.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.05.001
Online available: 08 June 2021

Abstract153)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Bufalin is an effective drug for the treatment of liver cancer. But its high toxicity, poor water-solubility, fast metabolism and short elimination half-life limit its use in tumor treatment. How to make the drug accumulate in the tumor and reduce side effects while maintaining its efficacy are urgent problems to be solved. The goal of this study is to solve these problems.

Methods

A copolymer with tunable poly-N-isopropylacrylamide and polylactic acid was designed and synthesized. The corresponding dual targeting immunomicelles (DTIs) loaded with bufalin (DTIs-BF) were synthesized by copolymer self-assembly in an aqueous solution. The size and structure of DTIs-BF were determined by ZetaSizer Nano-ZS and transmission electron microscopy. Then, its temperature sensitivity, serum stability, critical micelle concentration (CMC), entrapment efficiency (EE), drug release and non-cytotoxicity of blank block copolymer micelles (BCMs) were evaluated. Next, the effects of DTIs-BF on cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and tumor cell inhibition were evaluated. Finally, the accumulation of DTIs-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and the in vivo anti-tumor effect were observed using an interactive video information system. 

Results

DTIs-BF had a small size, spherical shape, good temperature sensitivity, high serum stability, low CMC, high EE, and slow drug release. The blank BCMs had very low cytotoxicity. Compared with free bufalin, the in vitro cellular internalization and cytotoxicity of DTIs-BF against SMMC-7721 cells were significantly enhanced, and the effects were obviously better at 40 ℃ than 37 ℃. In addition, the therapeutic effect on SMMC-7721 cells was further enhanced by the programmed cell death specifically caused by bufalin. When DTIs-FITC were injected intravenously in BALB/c nude mice bearing liver cancer, the accumulation of FITC was significantly increased in tumors.

Conclusion

DTIs-BF is a potentially effective nano-formulation and has broad prospects in the clinical treatment of liver cancer.


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Recovery of a patient with severe COVID-19 by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine adjuvant to standard care
Xin Yin, Shu-bin Cai, Lan-ting Tao, Lu-ming Chen, Zhong-de Zhang, Su-hong Xiao, Arthur Yin Fan, Xu Zou
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 460-466.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.06.001
Accepted: 06 June 2021
Online available: 28 June 2021

Abstract101)   HTML    PDF      
There is currently no drug or therapy that can cure the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is highly contagious and can be life-threatening in severe cases. Therefore, seeking potential effective therapies is an urgent task. An older female at the Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, with a severe case of COVID-19 with significant shortness of breath and decrease in peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2), was treated using manual acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine granule formula Fuzheng Rescue Lung with Xuebijing Injection in addition to standard care. The patient’s breath rate, SpO2, heart rate, ratio of neutrophil/lymphocyte (NLR), ratio of monocyte/lymphocyte (MLR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and chest computed tomography were monitored. Acupuncture significantly improved the patient’s breathing function, increased SpO2, and decreased her heart rate. Chinese herbal medicine might make the effect of acupuncture more stable; the use of herbal medicine also seemed to accelerate the absorption of lung infection lesions when its dosage was increased. The combination of acupuncture and herbs decreased NLR from 14.14 to 5.83, MLR from 1.15 to 0.33 and CRP from 15.25 to 6.01 mg/L. These results indicate that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, as adjuvants to standard care, might achieve better results in treating severe cases of COVID-19.
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Tanshinone IIA prevents acute lung injury by regulating macrophage polarization
Jia-yi Zhao, Jin Pu, Jian Fan, Xin-yu Feng, Jian-wen Xu, Rong Zhang, Yan Shang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 274-280.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.01.006
Online available: 21 February 2022

Abstract235)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Acute lung injury (ALI) is a serious respiratory dysfunction caused by pathogen or physical invasion. The strong induced inflammation often causes death. Tanshinone IIA (Tan-IIA) is the major constituent of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge and has been shown to display anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of Tan-IIA on ALI.

Methods

A murine model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI was used. The lungs and serum samples of mice were extracted at 3 days after treatment. ALI-induced inflammatory damages were confirmed from cytokine detections and histomorphology observations. Effects of Tan-IIA were investigated using in vivo and in vitro ALI models. Tan-IIA mechanisms were investigated by performing Western blot and flow cytometry experiments. A wound-healing assay was performed to confirm the Tan-IIA function.

Results

The cytokine storm induced by LPS treatment was detected at 3 days after LPS treatment, and alveolar epithelial damage and lymphocyte aggregation were observed. Tan-IIA treatment attenuated the LPS-induced inflammation and reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines released not only by inhibiting neutrophils, but also by macrophage. Moreover, we found that macrophage activation and polarization after LPS treatment were abrogated after applying the Tan-IIA treatment. An in vitro assay also confirmed that including the Tan-IIA supplement increased the relative amount of the M2 subtype and decreased that of M1. Rebalanced macrophages and Tan-IIA inhibited activations of the nuclear factor κB and hypoxia-inducible factor pathways. Including Tan-IIA and macrophages also improved alveolar epithelial repair by regulating macrophage polarization. 

Conclusion

This study found that while an LPS-induced cytokine storm exacerbated ALI, including Tan-IIA could prevent ALI-induced inflammation and improve the alveolar epithelial repair, and do so by regulating macrophage polarization.

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Metabolomic characteristics of spontaneously hypertensive rats under chronic stress and the treatment effect of Danzhi Xiaoyao Powder, a traditional Chinese medicine formula
Shuai Chen, Jin Hu, Deng-cheng Lu, Hong-yi Liu, Shan-shan Wei
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 73-82.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.11.007
Accepted: 05 August 2021
Online available: 22 December 2021

Abstract180)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Numerous studies have demonstrated the close relationship between chronic stress and blood pressure (BP). Hypertensive subjects exhibit exaggerated reactions to stress, especially higher BP. The mechanisms by which stress affects pre-existing hypertension still need to be explored. Danzhi Xiaoyao Powder (DP), a historical traditional Chinese medicine formula, is a promising treatment for BP control in hypertensive patients under stress. The present study investigated the metabolomic disruption caused by chronic stress and the treatment effect and mechanism of DP.


Methods

Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were subjected to chronic restraint stress (CRS) for 4 weeks. BP was measured via the tail-cuff method, and anxiety-like behavior was quantified using the elevated-plus-maze test. Meanwhile, DP was administered intragastrically, and its effects were observed. Global metabolomic analysis was performed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, followed by multivariate statistical analysis to detect differential metabolites and pathways.


Results

DP alleviated the CRS-induced increase in BP and anxiety-like behavior. Systematic metabolic di?erences were found among the three study groups. A total of 29 differential plasma metabolites were identified in both positive- and negative-ion modes. These metabolites were involved in triglyceride metabolism, amino acid (phenylalanine, tryptophan, and glycine) metabolism, and steroid hormone pathways.


Conclusion

These findings expose the metabolomic disturbances induced by chronic stress in SHRs and suggest an innovative treatment for this disorder.
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A comprehensive overview on the role of phytocompounds in human immunodeficiency virus treatment
Chinmayee Priyadarsani Mandhata, Chita Ranjan Sahoo, Rabindra Nath Padhy
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2023, 21 (4): 332-353.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.05.001
Accepted: 21 March 2023
Online available: 22 May 2023

Abstract210)   HTML    PDF      
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a worldwide epidemic caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Newer medicines for eliminating the viral reservoir and eradicating the virus are urgently needed. Attempts to locate relatively safe and non-toxic medications from natural resources are ongoing now. Natural-product-based antiviral candidates have been exploited to a limited extent. However, antiviral research is inadequate to counteract for the resistant patterns. Plant-derived bioactive compounds hold promise as powerful pharmacophore scaffolds, which have shown anti-HIV potential. This review focuses on a consideration of the virus, various possible HIV-controlling methods and the recent progress in alternative natural compounds with anti-HIV activity, with a particular emphasis on recent results from natural sources of anti-HIV agents.
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Xiaoyao San, a Chinese herbal formula, ameliorates depression-like behavior in mice through the AdipoR1/AMPK/ACC pathway in hypothalamus
Kai-rui Tang, Xiao-wei Mo, Xing-yi Zhou, Yue-yue Chen, Dong-dong Liu, Liang-liang He, Qing-yu Ma, Xiao-juan Li, Jia-xu Chen
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (5): 442-452.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.07.003
Abstract127)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Depression and metabolic disorders have overlapping psychosocial and pathophysiological causes. Current research is focused on the possible role of adiponectin in regulating common biological mechanisms. Xiaoyao San (XYS), a classic Chinese medicine compound, has been widely used in the treatment of depression and can alleviate metabolic disorders such as lipid or glucose metabolism disorders. However, the ability of XYS to ameliorate depression-like behavior as well as metabolic dysfunction in mice and the underlying mechanisms are unclear.

Methods

An in vivo animal model of depression was established by chronic social defeat stress (CSDS). XYS and fluoxetine were administered by gavage to the drug intervention group. Depression-like behaviors were analyzed by the social interaction test, open field test, forced swim test, and elevated plus maze test. Glucose levels were measured using the oral glucose tolerance test. The involvement of certain molecules was validated by immunofluorescence, histopathology, and Western blotting. In vitro, hypothalamic primary neurons were exposed to high glucose to induce neuronal damage, and the neuroprotective effect of XYS was evaluated by cell counting kit-8 assay. Immunofluorescence and Western blotting were used to evaluate the influences of XYS on adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1), adenosine 5’-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) and other related proteins.

Results

XYS ameliorated CSDS-induced depression-like behaviors and glucose tolerance impairment in mice and increased the level of serum adiponectin. XYS also restored Nissl bodies in hypothalamic neurons in mice that exhibited depression-like behaviors and decreased the degree of neuronal morphological damage. In vivo and in vitro studies indicated that XYS increased the expression of AdipoR1 in hypothalamic neurons.

Conclusion

Adiponectin may be a key regulator linking depression and metabolic disorders;  regulation of the hypothalamic AdipoR1/AMPK/ACC pathway plays an important role in treatment of depression by XYS.

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Safety of acupotomy in a real-world setting: A prospective pilot and feasibility study
Sang-Hoon Yoon, Chan-Young Kwon, Hee-Geun Jo, Jae-Uk Sul, Hyangsook Lee, Jiyoon Won, Su Jin Jeong, Jun-Hwan Lee, Jungtae Leem
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (6): 514-523.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.08.003
Accepted: 09 July 2021
Online available: 17 August 2022

Abstract149)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
Acupotomy is a modern acupuncture method that includes modern surgical methods. Since acupotomy is relatively more invasive than filiform acupuncture treatment, it is important to establish the safety profile of this practice. To justify further large-scale prospective observational studies, this preliminary study was performed to assess the feasibility of the approach and investigate the safety profile and factors potentially associated with adverse events (AEs).

Methods
This was a prospective pilot study that assessed the feasibility of a large-scale forthcoming safety study on acupotomy treatment in a real-world setting. The feasibility (call response rate, drop-out rate, response rate for each variable and recruitment per month) and safety profile (incidence, type, severity and causality of AEs, and factors potentially associated with AEs) were measured.

Results
A total of 28 participants joined the study from January to May 2018. A follow-up assessment was achieved in 258 (1185 treatment points) out of 261 sessions (1214 treatment points). The response rate via telephone on the day after treatment was 87.3%. There were 8 systemic AEs in all the sessions (8/258; 3.11%) and 27 local AEs on the total points treated (27/1185; 2.28%). Severe AEs did not occur. Total AE and local AE occurrence were associated with blade width and the number of needle stimulations per treatment point.

Conclusion
The findings suggest that it could be feasible to analyze the safety of acupotomy in a real-world setting. Moreover, the primary data on some relevant AEs could be determined. We are planning large-scale prospective studies based on these findings.
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Genome-wide analysis of AP2/ERF superfamily in Isatis indigotica
Liang Xiao, Jun-ze Ren, Qing Li, Bin Yang, Zhen-jiang Liu, Rui-bing Chen, Lei Zhang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2023, 21 (1): 77-88.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.09.003
Accepted: 09 May 2022
Online available: 01 March 2023

Abstract66)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

AP2/ERF (APETALA2/ethylene-responsive factor) superfamily is one of the largest gene families in plants and has been reported to participate in various biological processes, such as the regulation of biosynthesis of active lignan. However, few studies have investigated the genome-wide role of the AP2/ERF superfamily in Isatis indigotica. This study establishes a complete picture of the AP2/ERF superfamily in I. indigotica and contributes valuable information for further functional characterization of IiAP2/ERF genes and supports further metabolic engineering.

Methods

To identify the IiAP2/ERF superfamily genes, the AP2/ERF sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa were used as query sequences in the basic local alignment search tool. Bioinformatic analyses were conducted to investigate the protein structure, motif composition, chromosome location, phylogenetic relationship, and interaction network of the IiAP2/ERF superfamily genes. The accuracy of omics data was verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and heatmap analyses.

Results

One hundred and twenty-six putative IiAP2/ERF genes in total were identified from the I. indigotica genome database in this study. By sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis, the IiAP2/ERF genes were classified into 5 groups including AP2ERFDREB (dehydration-responsive element-binding factor), Soloist and RAV (related to abscisic acid insensitive 3/viviparous 1) subfamilies. Among which, 122 members were unevenly distributed across seven chromosomes. Sequence alignment showed that I. indigotica and A. thaliana had 30 pairs of orthologous genes, and we constructed their interaction network. The comprehensive analysis of gene expression pattern in different tissues suggested that these genes may play a significant role in organ growth and development of I. indigotica. Members that may regulate lignan biosynthesis in roots were also preliminarily identified. Ribonucleic acid sequencing analysis revealed that the expression of 76 IiAP2/ERF genes were up- or down-regulated under salt or drought treatment, among which, 33 IiAP2/ERF genes were regulated by both stresses.

Conclusion

This study undertook a genome-wide characterization of the AP2/ERF superfamily in I. indigotica, providing valuable information for further functional characterization of IiAP2/ERF genes and discovery of genetic targets for metabolic engineering.

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Traditional Chinese medicine for prevention and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: A focus on epithelial-mesenchymal transition
Jia-jia Li, Qing Liang, Guang-chun Sun
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (6): 469-477.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.08.004
Accepted: 21 April 2021
Online available: 21 December 2021

Abstract141)           
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent malignant cancers worldwide. Epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT), which endows epithelial cells with mesenchymal properties, plays an important role in the early stages of metastasis. Conventional cancer therapies have promising effects, but issues remain, such as high rates of metastasis and drug resistance. Thus, exploring and evaluating new therapies is an urgent need. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) have been acknowledged for their multi-target and coordinated intervention effects against HCC. Accumulating evidence indicates that TCM can inhibit the malignancy of cells and the progression of EMT in HCC. However, studies on the effects of TCM on EMT in HCC are scarce. In this review, we summarized recent developments in anti-EMT TCMs and formulae, focusing on their underlying pharmacological mechanisms, to provide a foundation for further research on the exact mechanisms through which TCM affects EMT in HCC.
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Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. extract as a skin preserving agent: from traditional medicine to scientific validation
Miriam Bazzicalupo, Laura Cornara, Bruno Burlando, Alberta Cascini, Marcella Denaro, Antonella Smeriglio, Domenico Trombetta
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (6): 526-536.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.09.002
Online available: 30 September 2021

Abstract247)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. is a succulent perennial plant native to South Africa and grows invasively in the Mediterranean basin. It is commonly used for the treatment of various diseases, including skin wound healing and regeneration, for which experimental validation is lacking. We therefore evaluated the skin healing properties of C. edulis by testing an C. edulis aqueous leaf extract (CAE) on cell cultures and in enzymatic assays.

Methods

Micro-morphological analysis of leaves was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy. Phytochemical features and antioxidant activity of CAE were evaluated by reversed-phase liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection and electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry (RP-LC-DAD-ESI-MS), and in vitro cell-free assays. Biological activities were evaluated using keratinocytes and fibroblasts, as well as elastase, collagenase, and hyaluronidase.

Results

CAE showed high carbohydrates (28.59% ± 0.68%), total phenols ([101.9 ± 6.0] g gallic acid equivalents/kg dry extract [DE]), and flavonoids ([545.9 ± 26.0] g rutin equivalents/kg DE). RP-LC-DAD-ESI-MS revealed the predominant presence of hydroxycinnamic acids (51.96%), followed by tannins (14.82%) and flavonols (11.32%). The extract was not cytotoxic, had a strong and dose-dependent antioxidant activity, and inhibited collagenase (> 90% at 500 μg/mL) and hyaluronidase (100% at 1000 μg/mL). In cell culture experiments, CAE increased wound closure and collagen production, which was consistent with its high polyphenol content. 

Conclusion

Our data support the use of the C. edulis for skin care and the treatment of skin problems. Moreover, use of C. edulis for skin care purposes could be an eco-friendly solution to reduce its invasiveness in the environment.

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Green-synthetized selenium nanoparticles using berberine as a promising anticancer agent
Mohamed S. Othman, Sofian T. Obeidat, Amal H. Al-Bagawi, Mohamed A. Fareid, Alaa Fehaid, Ahmed E. Abdel Moneim
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (1): 65-72.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.11.002
Online available: 16 December 2021

Abstract199)   HTML    PDF      

Objective

The chemo-preventative and therapeutic properties of selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have been documented over recent decades and suggest the potential uses of SeNPs in medicine. Biogenic SeNPs have higher biocompatibility and stability than chemically synthesized nanoparticles, which enhances their medical applications, especially in the field of cancer therapy. This study evaluated the potential of green-synthetized SeNPs by using berberine (Ber) as an antitumor agent and elucidated the mechanism by which these molecules combat Ehrlich solid tumors (ESTs).

Methods

SeNPs containing Ber (SeNPs-Ber) were synthesized using Ber and Na2SeO3 and characterized with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Sixty male Swiss albino mice were then acclimatized for one week, injected with Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, and divided into four groups: EST, EST + cisplatin (5 mg/kg), EST + Ber (20 mg/kg), and EST+ SeNPs-Ber (0.5 mg/kg). At the end of a 16-day observation period, 12 mice from each group were euthanized to analyze differences in the body weight, tumor size, gene expression, and oxidative stress markers in the four groups. Three mice from each group were kept alive to compare the survival rates.

Results

Treatment with SeNPs-Ber significantly improved the survival rate and decreased the body weight and tumor size, compared to the EST group. SeNPs-Ber reduced oxidative stress in tumor tissue, as indicated by a decrease in the lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide levels and an increase in the glutathione levels. Moreover, SeNPs-Ber activated an apoptotic cascade in the tumor cells by upregulating the Bcl-2-associated X protein and caspase-3 expression rates and downregulating the B-cell lymphoma 2 expression rate. SeNPs-Ber also considerably improved the histopathological alterations in the developed tumor tissue, compared to the EST group. 

Conclusion

Our study provides a new insight into the potential role of green-synthesized SeNPs by using Ber as a promising anticancer agent, these molecules could be used alone or as supplementary medication during chemotherapy.

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Parkinson's disease, heart disease and propolis consumption
Fulvio A. Scorza, Antonio-Carlos G. de Almeida, Carla A. Scorza, Ana C. Fiorini, Josef Finsterer
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2021, 19 (5): 467-468.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.07.002
Accepted: 02 July 2021
Online available: 22 July 2021

Abstract112)   HTML    PDF      
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Local vibration therapy promotes the recovery of nerve function in rats with sciatic nerve injury
Lu Yin, Yun An, Xiao Chen, Hui-xin Yan, Tao Zhang, Xin-gang Lu, Jun-tao Yan
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 265-273.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.02.001
Online available: 21 February 2022

Abstract198)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
It has been reported that local vibration therapy can benefit recovery after peripheral nerve injury, but the optimized parameters and effective mechanism were unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effect of local vibration therapy of different amplitudes on the recovery of nerve function in rats with sciatic nerve injury (SNI).
Methods
Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to SNI and then randomly divided into 5 groups: sham group, SNI group, SNI + A-1 mm group, SNI + A-2 mm group, and SNI + A-4 mm group (A refers to the amplitude; n = 10 per group). Starting on the 7th day after model initiation, local vibration therapy was given for 21 consecutive days with a frequency of 10 Hz and an amplitude of 1, 2 or 4 mm for 5 min. The sciatic function index (SFI) was assessed before surgery and on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days after surgery. Tissues were harvested on the 28th day after surgery for morphological, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis.
Results
Compared with the SNI group, on the 28th day after surgery, the SFIs of the treatment groups were increased; the difference in the SNI + A-2 mm group was the most obvious (95% confidence interval [CI]: [5.86, 27.09], P < 0.001), and the cross-sectional areas of myocytes in all of the treatment groups were improved. The G-ratios in the SNI + A-1 mm group and SNI + A-2 mm group were reduced significantly (95% CI: [?0.12, ?0.02], P = 0.007; 95% CI: [?0.15, ?0.06], P < 0.001). In addition, the expressions of S100 and nerve growth factor proteins in the treatment groups were increased; the phosphorylation expressions of ERK1/2 protein in the SNI + A-2 mm group and SNI + A-4 mm group were upregulated (95% CI: [0.03, 0.96], P = 0.038; 95% CI: [0.01, 0.94], P = 0.047, respectively), and the phosphorylation expression of Akt in the SNI + A-1 mm group was upregulated (95% CI: [0.11, 2.07], P = 0.031).
Conclusion
Local vibration therapy, especially with medium amplitude, was able to promote the recovery of nerve function in rats with SNI; this result was linked to the proliferation of Schwann cells and the activation of the ERK1/2 and Akt signaling pathways.
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Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) and its constituent (curcumin) on the metabolic syndrome: An updated review
Zeinab Vafaeipour, Bibi Marjan Razavi, Hossein Hosseinzadeh
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (3): 193-203.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.02.008
Online available: 09 March 2022

Abstract272)   HTML    PDF      
Metabolic syndrome (MS) involves people with the following risk factors: obesity, hypertension, high glucose level and hyperlipidemia. It can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of MS in the world’s adult population is about 20%–25%. Today, there is much care to use medicinal plants. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) as well as curcumin which is derived from the rhizome of the plant, has been shown beneficial effects on different components of MS. Thus, the purpose of this manuscript was to introduce different in vitroin vivo and human studies regarding the effect of turmeric and its constituent on MS. Moreover, different mechanisms of action by which this plant overcomes MS have been introduced. Based on studies, turmeric and its bioactive component, curcumin, due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, have antidiabetic effects through increasing insulin release, antihyperlipidemic effects by increasing fatty acid uptake, anti-obesity effects by decreasing lipogenesis, and antihypertensive effects by increasing nitric oxide. According to several in vivoin vitro and human studies, it can be concluded that turmeric or curcumin has important values as a complementary therapy in MS. However, more clinical trials should be done to confirm these effects. 
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Efficacy of acupuncture on cardiovascular complications in patients with diabetes mellitus in Korea: A nationwide retrospective cohort
Hyejin Jung, Tiana Won, Ga-Yeon Kim, Jowon Jang, Sujung Yeo, Sabina Lim
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2023, 21 (2): 176-183.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.01.007
Accepted: 18 October 2022
Online available: 02 February 2023

Abstract94)   HTML    PDF      
Objective
The main aim of this study is to investigate whether acupuncture could be an effective complementary treatment for reducing the risk of macrovascular complications in diabetic patients currently taking antidiabetic medications using a nationwide population-based database.

Methods
We conducted a retrospective cohort study to assess the efficacy of acupuncture on cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients using data from patients between 40 and 79 years of age, newly diagnosed with diabetes between 2003 and 2006, found in the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC) in Korea. From the data, we identified 21,232 diabetic patients who were taking antidiabetic medication between 2003 and 2006. The selected patients were divided into two groups—those who received acupuncture at least three times and those who received no acupuncture (non-acupuncture) in the year following their diagnosis of diabetes. After 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM), each group had 3350 patients, and the observation ceased at the occurrence of a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE), which was defined as either myocardial infarction, stroke, or death due to cardiovascular cause.

Results
After PSM, the acupuncture group had a lower incidence of MACE (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.81–0.94; P = 0.0003) and all-cause mortality (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.70–0.84; P < 0.0001) than the non-acupuncture group; the HRs for stroke-related mortality (HR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.56–1.00; P = 0.0485), ischemic heart disease mortality (HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.34–0.84; P = 0.006) and circulatory system disease mortality (HR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.55–0.82; P < 0.0001) were lower in the acupuncture group than in the non-acupuncture group in the secondary analysis.

Conclusion
Our results indicate that diabetic patients receiving acupuncture treatment might have a lower risk of MACE, all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality. This population-based retrospective study suggests beneficial effects of acupuncture in preventing macrovascular complications associated with diabetes. These findings call for further prospective cohort or experimental studies on acupuncture treatment for cardiovascular complications of diabetes.
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Analysis of mechanisms of Shenhuang Granule in treating severe COVID-19 based on network pharmacology and molecular docking
Xiang-ru Xu, Wen Zhang, Xin-xin Wu, Hong-qiang Yang, Yu-ting Sun, Yu-ting Pu, Bei Wang, Wei Peng, Li-hua Sun, Quan Guo, Shuang Zhou, Bang-jiang Fang
Journal of Integrative Medicine    2022, 20 (6): 561-574.   DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.07.005
Accepted: 15 June 2022
Online available: 05 August 2022

Abstract183)   HTML    PDF      
Objective: Severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are expected to have a worse prognosis than mild cases. Shenhuang Granule (SHG) has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for severe COVID-19 in a previous randomized clinical trial, but the active chemical constituents and underlying mechanisms of action remain unknown. The goal of this study is to explore the chemical basis and mechanisms of SHG in the treatment of severe COVID-19, using network pharmacology.
Methods: Ultraperformance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry was employed to screen chemical constituents of SHG. Putative therapeutic targets were predicted by searching traditional Chinese medicine system pharmacology database and analysis platform, SwissTargetPrediction, and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) databases. The target protein-protein interaction network and enrichment analysis were performed to investigate the hub genes and presumptive mechanisms. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations were used to verify the stability and interaction between the key chemical constituents of SHG and COVID-19 protein targets.
Results: Forty-five chemical constituents of SHG were identified along with 131 corresponding therapeutic targets, including hub genes such as HSP90AA1, MMP9, CXCL8, PTGS2, IFNG, DNMT1, TYMS, MDM2, HDAC3 and ABCB1. Functional enrichment analysis indicated that SHG mainly acted on the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, calcium signaling pathway and cAMP signaling pathway. Molecular docking showed that the key constituents had a good affinity with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 protein targets. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that ginsenoside Rg4 formed a stable protein-ligand complex with helicase.
Conclusion: Multiple components of SHG regulated multiple targets to inhibit virus invasion and cytokine storm through several signaling pathways; this provides a scientific basis for clinical applications and further experiments.
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ISSN 2095-4964
CN 31-2083/R

Editors-in-Chief:
Changquan Ling, Shanghai, China
Lixing Lao, Virginia, USA
Frequency: 6 issues per year
Publisher: Science Press, China

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