Abstracts & Commentary
Eighty subjects with a diagnosis of PCOS. After dropouts or noncompliance, 72 women participated in the study. Group 1 (n=36) were assigned to receive SX-fraction from Maitake mushroom (MSX) containing 250 mg of dried maitake mushroom powder and 18 mg of MSX per tab at a dose of 3 tabs 3 times daily between meals. Group 2 (n=36) was assigned to receive clomiphene citrate (CC), 50 mg daily on days 5-9 of menstrual cycle.
This is a randomized controlled trial of 63 patients from the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgical Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China, 2004 to 2007, with postoperative gastroparesis syndrome (PGS) treated with acupuncture or metoclopramide (Reglan). Acupuncture was given to 32 patients, of whom 22 were male and 10 female.
According to the authors of this study, there are several possible explanations of these findings: acupuncture may be ineffective, existing studies may have been inadequately designed, or treatment may not have been properly administered. For example, several of the trials included patients treated more than 6 months post-stroke, which may be too long after injury to expect to see significant improvements. Additionally, treatment protocols varied significantly in terms of the types of acupuncture treatments applied, whether or not electro-acupuncture was included, number and frequency of visits, and other treatment variables.
There are a few salient points in this study that are useful to keep in mind for clinicians. First, the benefit of aspirin did not correlate with the dosage used, so that a minimum dose of 75 mg is expected to be sufficient to confer benefit. Second, the benefit of aspirin was a latent effect, with reductions in deaths beginning after 5 years of follow up. Third, the reduction in deaths correlated with the duration of aspirin consumption, with longer aspirin intervention correlating with greater benefit. There was no benefit seen in those who took aspirin for less than 5 years. Last, reduction in deaths was found for individuals with adenocarcinoma specifically, not other histological types.
Moderate consumption of chocolate (1 to 2 servings/week) might lower risk of heart failure in women, a finding that few will complain about. A number of recent clinical trials utilizing high-polyphenol chocolate suggest that chocolate exerts a blood pressure lowering effect in hypertensive individuals. A meta-analysis published in June 2010 combined data from 13 studies and concluded that "dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension."
This study by Ried et al evaluated the effect, tolerability, and acceptability of aged garlic extract (AGE) as an adjunct treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension. They used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 50 patients. Patients received 960 mg (containing 2.4 mg S-allylcysteine) of AGE daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks.
This is a large population cross-sectional study. The study sample initially consisted of 18,875 participants. The final sample size was 7,970 U.S. non-institutionalized civilian participants aged 15-39 years after exclusions for pregnancy and lactation. Serum vitamin D concentrations were measured, and a diagnostic assessment for depression was performed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS).
Many published studies demonstrate a correlation between aspirin use and decreased risk of liver cancer, as well as cancer in general. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that daily aspirin reduced the number of deaths due to cancer compared to control.
Cancer-related fatigue can be a debilitating condition, and the available treatments for it do not seem to provide significant relief. Recent research has focused on American ginseng as a possible remedy. This current study suggests American ginseng may improve energy levels in cancer patients.
Pesticides have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases for decades. While association is not disputed, assumptions regarding causation require a better understanding of which pesticides are suspect and who is most susceptible to the neurotoxicity of these agents. This study seeks to answer these most practical questions.