Rhizoma Coptidis and Berberine as a Natural Drug to Combat Aging and Aging-Related Diseases via Anti-Oxidation and AMPK Activation.
Aging Dis. 2017 Dec;8(6):760-777
Authors: Xu Z, Feng W, Shen Q, Yu N, Yu K, Wang S, Chen Z, Shioda S, Guo Y
Aging is the greatest risk factor for human diseases, as it results in cellular growth arrest, impaired tissue function and metabolism, ultimately impacting life span. Two different mechanisms are thought to be primary causes of aging. One is cumulative DNA damage induced by a perpetuating cycle of oxidative stress; the other is nutrient-sensing adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and rapamycin (mTOR)/ ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) pathways. As the main bioactive component of natural Chinese medicine rhizoma coptidis (RC), berberine has recently been reported to expand life span in Drosophila melanogaster, and attenuate premature cellular senescence. Most components of RC including berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine have been found to have beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia and hypertension aging-related diseases. The mechanism of these effects involves multiple cellular kinase and signaling pathways, including anti-oxidation, activation of AMPK signaling and its downstream targets, including mTOR/rpS6, Sirtuin1/ forkhead box transcription factor O3 (FOXO3), nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathways. Most of these mechanisms converge on AMPK regulation on mitochondrial oxidative stress. Therefore, such evidence supports the possibility that rhizoma coptidis, in particular berberine, is a promising anti-aging natural product, and has pharmaceutical potential in combating aging-related diseases via anti-oxidation and AMPK cellular kinase activation.
PMID: 29344415 [PubMed]
Appropriateness of sham or placebo acupuncture for randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
J Pain Res. 2018;11:83-94
Authors: Xiang Y, He J, Li R
Objectives: To establish whether sham acupuncture (SA) or placebo acupuncture (PA) is more efficacious for reducing low back pain (LBP) than other routine treatments and to discuss whether SA or PA is appropriate for randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for LBP.
Methods: Six databases were searched on 31 May 2017. We included only randomized controlled trials of adults with LBP and lower back myofascial pain syndrome. The studies had at least two control arms: a sham-controlled acupuncture arm and a routine care or waiting list arm (people who did not receive acupuncture until the end of treatment). Trials were combined using meta-analysis methods when the data allowed statistical pooling. Pooled effect sizes were calculated by random effects models.
Results: This review identified 7 trials (1768 participants); all were included in the meta-analysis. We found statistically significant differences in pain reduction post-intervention between SA or PA and routine care or a waiting list, with a standardized mean difference of -0.36 (95% CI -0.54 to -0.18; I2 statistic=16%; participants=624; studies=6) for the Visual Analog Scale and -0.35 (95% CI -0.49 to -0.20; I2 statistic=0%; participants=736; studies=1) for the Chronic Pain Grade Scale; however, no significant difference was observed between SA or PA and routine care or no treatment for post-intervention function.
Conclusion: Compared with routine care or a waiting list, SA or PA was more efficacious for pain relief post-intervention. Concluding that SA or PA is appropriate for acupuncture research would be premature. Guidelines evaluating SA or PA control methods are needed to determine the specific effect of acupuncture over placebo.
PMID: 29343984 [PubMed]