Green tea might cut colon cancer risk by 60%

April 13, 2007  
Filed under Dietary

International Health News – More good news for tea lovers. A joint study by Chinese and American scientifists have identified the specific contents in green tea that could prevent the occurrence of colon cancer by as high as 60%.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Rutgers and the Shanghai Cancer Institute recently reported on what they claim is the first study to examine the association between specific biomarkers of tea polyphenols and the risk of colorectal cancer in humans. Read more

Alternative Medicine: Seasonal eating in spring

April 13, 2007  
Filed under Dietary

Seattle Post Intelligencer – Diet therapy in traditional Chinese medicine is based on the principle that humans are an inherent part of nature. One way to align with nature is eating according to seasons, for as the natural world fluctuates with seasonal changes, so do we. Spring is the time for growth and renewal. As it approaches, Chinese diet theory suggests we should consume foods that help transition into this season: Read more

Green tea cuts fatal illness risk

April 12, 2007  
Filed under Dietary

BBC – Drinking green tea can substantially cut the risk of dying from a range of illnesses, a Japanese study has found.

The research, which looked at over 40,000 people, found the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease was cut by more than a quarter.

But British heart experts said the benefits may be linked to the whole Japanese diet, which is healthier than that eaten in the west. Read more

Red yeast rice may lower blood lipid levels

January 27, 2007  
Filed under Dietary

red yeast rice, blood lipid, hyperlipidemia, chinese medicineCM NEWS – Replacing daily intake of white rice with red yeast rice may have a positive lipid-lowering effects in patients with primary hyperlipidemia, a meta-analysis of 93 randomized trials concludes.

The study was released in Chinese Medicine journal and was a joint study by alternative medicine experts in Norway and traditional Chinese medicine researchers in Shanghai and Beijing.

The meta study analyzed data from 93 randomized trials which include a total of 9625 participants. Researchers find that hyperlipidemia patients who have consumed red rice show significant reduction of serum total cholesterol levels (weighted mean difference -0.91 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval -1.12 to -0.71), triglycerides levels (-0.41 mmol/L, -0.6 to -0.22), and LDL-cholesterol levels (-0.73 mmol/L, -1.02 to -0.043), and increase of HDL-cholesterol levels (0.15 mmol/L, 0.09 to 0.22), compared to placebo groups.

Researchers emphasize that the positive effect on lipid levels by red rice shown by these studies indicates short term benefits. Whether red rice should be recommended as an alternative treatments for primary hyperlipidemia requires further studies.

According to Medline, red yeast rice contains several compounds collectively known as Monacolins, substances known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis. One of these, “Monacolin K” is a potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, and is also known as Mevinolin or Lovastatin (Mevacor«, a drug produced by Merck & Co., Inc).

Medline also says:

There is limited evidence about the side effects of red yeast. Mild headache and abdominal discomfort can occur. Side effects may be similar to those for the prescription drug lovastatin (Mevacor«). Heartburn, gas, bloating, muscle pain or damage, dizziness, asthma, and kidney problems are possible. People with liver disease should not use red yeast products.

In theory, red yeast may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary. A metabolite of Monascus called mycotoxin citrinin (CTN) in fermentation may be harmful.

[Chinese Medicine 2006, 1:4 (23 November 2006)]

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