Monthly Archives: February 2016

Topic: Metformin and Cinnamon use in type.2 diabetes article

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“Metformin is used alone or with other medications, including insulin, to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Metformin is in a class of drugs called biguanides. Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount of glucose made by your liver. Metformin also increases your body’s response to insulin, a natural substance that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Metformin is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood),” ——(2016, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.)

Side effects:

-Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis

  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • unpleasant metallic taste in mouth
  • heartburn
  • headache
  • flushing of the skin
  • nail changes
  • muscle pain

Some side effects can be serious:

  • chest pain
  • rash

-Some female laboratory animals given high doses of metformin developed non-cancerous polyps (abnormal growths of tissue) in the uterus (womb). It is not known if metformin increases the risk of polyps in humans.

——(2016, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.)

Article link:  Cinnamon use in Type 2 Diabetes article

This article is a current systematic review on the use of cinnamon and its effects on blood glucose and blood lipid levels in relation to type 2 diabetes.  The authors conclude that, “based on currently available literature, cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on fasting plasma glucose, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. There is no statistically significant effect on hemoglobin A1c,” (Allen et al. 2016, pg.8).  The authors do state that more research needs to be done to determine dosage as per patient.

“As an example, the reductions
in fasting plasma glucose levels (–24.59 mg/dL) are
less than those achieved by metformin monotherapy
(–58 mg/dL)22 and somewhat more than the newer oral
agents, such as sitagliptin (–16 to –21 mg/dL). Our
results showed cinnamon to reduce LDL-C and triglyceride
levels by approximately 9.4 and 29.6 mg/dL,
respectively,” (Allen et al. 2016, pg.6)

“In future investigations, a multivariate
analysis controlling for multiple influential factors, such
as dosage form, dose, and baseline lipid levels, may be
necessary to identify the ideal product and population
to exert benefit,” (Allen et al. 2016, pg. 7)

“The results of this analysis may also be affected
by the inconsistent quality of botanical research. The
quantity of active cinnamaldehyde may vary among
species and even among formulations. Consequently,
it may be difficult to achieve predictable results if
administering a cinnamon product to a patient,” (Allen et al. 2016, pg.7)

**What I notice throughout my research is that almost all medical journals, published about nutritional and herbal medicine, need more research on their topics.  It takes a long time for a medical product to get to the general public, even taking up to 10 years or more. Traditional medicine, like herbs, have been just that, traditional, and have been seen to work in individuals over thousands of years, as in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  Its hard to to grasp for conventional medicine that a regulated dose can’t be developed or seen in the research when it comes to herbal/nutritional medicine. Everyone is different, why can’t the dosage be different?  Why is this not okay?  Each individual should get the attention deserved to get the proper dosage set out for them. So here are some questions to think on; is there a problem with the way conventional medicine does the research to begin with?  Should the parameters of research be looked at and potentially changed due to the fact that every human being is different? 

Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Refs:

Picture ref: https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/2014/12/metformin-patients-share-their-experience/

Metformin use:  2016, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a696005.html

Metformin side effects:  2016, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a696005.html

Article:  Allen, R, Schwartzman, E, Baker, W, Coleman, C, & Phung, O 2013, ‘Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis’, Annals Of Family Medicine, 11, 5, pp. 452-459 8p, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 February 2016.

Topic: Sildenafil (Ex: Viagra) and Herbal and TCM alternative articles

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“Sildenafil (Viagra) is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence; inability to get or keep an erection) in men. Sildenafil (Revatio) is used to improve the ability to exercise in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; high blood pressure in the vessels carrying blood to the lungs, causing shortness of breath, dizziness, and tiredness).  Sildenafil treats PAH by relaxing the blood vessels in the lungs to allow blood to flow easily,” (2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.)

Side effects:

  • headache
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • flushing (feeling of warmth)
  • nosebleeds
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • muscle aches
  • changes in color vision (seeing a blue tinge on objects or having difficulty telling the difference between blue and green)
  • sensitivity to light
  • sudden severe loss of vision (see below for more information)
  • blurred vision
  • sudden decrease or loss of hearing
  • ringing in ears
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • fainting
  • chest pain
  • worsening shortness of breath
  • erection that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours
  • itching or burning during urination
  • rash

Some patients experienced a sudden loss of some or all of their vision after they took sildenafil or other medications that are similar to sildenafil. The vision loss was permanent in some cases. There have been reports of heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, bleeding in the brain or lungs, high blood pressure, and sudden death in men who took sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.

 —-2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Article.1:  Research on mountain ginseng on penile erection article

This study involves in-vivo and in-vitro experiments on the smooth muscle tissues of rabbits to test the effectiveness of, specifically, mountain ginseng for erectile dysfunction.  This article is heavy on scientific jargon and data, but concludes that mountain ginseng, containing constituent ginsenoside TCMG-100, is superior to red ginseng as a an alternative for erectile dysfunction. The authors do state however that more experiments are needed to see the effectiveness in human clinical trials. Pages 8 and 9, discussion section, summarizes the results found.

“Since the first report of the clinical efficacy of Korean Red
Ginseng for ED, various types of studies have demonstrated
that whole-ginseng extracts or purified ginsenosides from ginseng
could improve ED. In particular, ginsenosides protect the
vascular endothelium against free radical-induced injury and have
a relaxing effect on vascular smooth muscle associated with NO
release from the vascular endothelium. Furthermore,
ginseng has an effect on corpus cavernosal smooth muscle with no
side effects,” (2015, pg.2 Ho Sung Lee et al.)

“Therefore, these results suggest that TCMG-100 can be
used as an alternative medicine to improve penile erectile function.
However, further studies using an animal model of ED are required
to elucidate its exact mechanism,” (2015, pg.9 Ho Sung Lee et al.)

Article.2:  Chinese herb formulas for treatment of erectile article

This systematic review covers 21 randomized control trials about the effectiveness of Chinese formulations on erectile dysfunction.  In-depth tables of results found, as well as the Chinese formulations can be found from pages.5 to 8, and summarized conclusions can be found in the discussion section on page.17 and on-wards.

“it has been reported that Shu gan yi yang capsule (mechanism
of soothing liver and replenishing yang) can significantly
improve the expression of endothelial nitric oxide
synthase and cyclic guanosine monophosphate and inhibit
the expression of 5’-phosphodiesterase (PDE5) in the tissue
of cavernous body of penis in ED rats,” (2014, pg.17 Xiong, G et al.)

*Also check outHandout and Article: Topic of Libido enhancement!! Yay!” found through the SEARCH bar on Natural-KnowHow.com for more information and articles on libido enhancing herbal medicine for men and women

Refs:

Picture: 2016 Index Medical Ltd, https://www.doctorfox.co.uk/news/cost-of-sildenafil/

Sildenafil uses:  2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a699015.html

Sildenafil side effects:  2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a699015.html

Article.1: Ho Sung Lee, Young Joo Lee, Yoon Hee Chung, Moo Yeol Lee, Sung Tae Kim, Sung Kwon Ko, Mariko Momoi, Yutaka Kondoh, Fumio Sasaki & Ji Hoon Jeong 2015, ‘In vitro and in vivo evaluation of tissue-cultured mountain ginseng on penile erectionJournal of Ginseng Research, viewed February 14th 2016 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/.

Article.2Xiong, G, Li, B, Wang, K, & Li, H 2014, ‘Chinese herb formulae for treatment of erectile dysfunction: a systematic review of randomised controlled clinical trials’, Andrologia, 46, 3, pp. 201-223, MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 14 February 2016.

Recipe: Simple Thai-inspired Lemon Chicken soup! YUM!

Truly one of my favorites and close-to a Thai classic.  Super simple, and extremely comforting on a chilly winter night.  Hope you enjoy this bold, savory, sour soup!

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Ingredients:  *all organic if possible, serves 4

-2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly (or sub for 1 and 1/2 cup of cubed firm tofu)

-2 cups chicken broth (or sub for vegetable broth)

-1 cup coconut milk (sub for lite coconut milk)

-1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped (or whichever color you prefer)

-1/2 large zucchini, cut bite size (similar size pieces to pepper)

-6 large mushrooms, stem removed, cut into 4 pieces

-handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

-2 heads of Bok Choy, knobby stem-end cut off, rinsed well, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

-3 tbsp of lemon juice, fresh squeezed preferred

-1 and 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, coconut sugar or regular sugar

-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, cut into thick slices

-2 stocks of lemongrass, outer tough stalk removed, cut into 2 inch stalks, and smashed with the butt of the knife to release volatile oils

-2 bird chilies or thai chilies, sliced thin, leaving seeds in (this is medium spicy to hot) *optional

-2 tbsp fish sauce (or sub for Bragg soy alternative, but this does change the taste to slightly briny so only use 1 tbsp)

-8-10 Kefir lime leaves

-1 cup brown or white rice (use whichever you prefer)

-large pot with lid

Cook rice as per instructions on package and set aside.

In a large pot, add the chicken stock, coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves, chilies, ginger, fish sauce, and sugar.  Bring to a boil,  then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add the sliced chicken. Make sure the soup is on SIMMER only, just bubbling, or the chicken will over-cook and become chewy.  After about 4-5 minutes, add the zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms.  SIMMER with the lid on for about 5 more minutes, or until veg is just tender.  Add the Bok Choy and tomatoes, stir for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice.  Stir and serve over a about 1/3 cup of cooked rice per person and enjoy!  Feel free to add cilantro for a fresh finish!

*you will have the ginger, lime leaves, and lemon grass within the soup, and recommend not eat these.  Simple take out with a spoon before serving, or during eating, as this is traditional to keep them in.