Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Almonds can help treat, prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

We know that the sweet almond contains about 26% carbohydrates (12% dietary fiber, 6.3% sugars, 0.7% starch and the rest miscellaneous carbohydrates), and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies (biscuits) for low-carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or any other form of glycosuria.

Now the same has been further substantiated by the researchers from Nutrition at Loma Linda University's School of Public Health and Principal Investigator for this study, which was conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The study looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet as it relates to the progression of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with pre-diabetes. After 16 weeks of consuming either an almond-enriched or regular diet, both of which conformed with American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, the group that consumed an almond-enriched diet showed significantly improved LDL cholesterol levels and measures of insulin sensitivity, risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers conclude that, overall, consuming an ADA-recommended diet consisting of 20% of the total calories from almonds for 16 weeks is effective in improving LDL cholesterol levels and measures of insulin sensitivity in individuals with pre-diabetes. Nutrients in almonds, such as fiber and unsaturated fat, have been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and increase insulin sensitivity, both of which help to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.   It also provides evidence that suggests almonds contribute to heart health. However, it adds a new dimension to the existing research because it shows almond consumption not only aids in disease management, but may also help reduce the risk  of certain chronic diseases. Almonds offer 3.5 grams of fiber, 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat per one-ounce serving.

Ref : http://www.almondboard.com/InTheNews/Pages/ArticleDetails.aspx?aID=97

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Researchers demonstrate that monensin antibiotic prevents prostate cancer cell growth

We know that, monensin was first described by Agtarap et al. in 1967, and was the first polyether antibiotic to have its structure elucidated in this way. The first total synthesis of monensin was reported in 1979 by Kishi et al. 

Researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku have demonstrated that  "monensin" prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells. 

Evidence pointing to the effects of monensin emerged in a project investigating the effects of nearly 5,000 drugs and micromolecules on the growth of prostate cancer cells. The project involved most of the drugs on the market today. Researchers found that small amounts of compounds - disulfiram (Antabus), thiram, tricostatin A, and monensin (see structure) - can prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells without significant effects on the growth of the normal human prostate epithelial cells.  Further studies revealed that monensin caused prostate cancer cell death by reducing the amount of testosterone receptor and by increasing production of reactive oxygen species and inducing DNA damage. In addition, monensin was shown to have combined effects with anti-androgens - the drugs suppressing the effects of androgens - in preventing prostate cancer cell growth. 

"These research findings give rise to a potential new use for the monensin. The results also demonstrate that the effects of anti-androgens in suppressing the growth of cancer cells can be enhanced by using drugs inducing production of reactive oxygen species", say Senior Research Scientist Kristiina Iljin from VTT and Research Scientist Kirsi Ketola from the University of Turku....

Ref : http://www.vtt.fi/index.jsp
http://www.vtt.fi/news/2011/topicals/20111208_eturauhassyovanesto.jsp?lang=fi

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Compound derived from curry spice is neuroprotective against stroke and traumatic brain injury


A synthetic derivative of the curry spice turmeric, made by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, dramatically improves the behavioral and molecular deficits seen in animal models of ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Two new studies suggest that the novel compound may have clinical promise for these conditions, which currently lack good therapies.

In earlier studies, David R. Schubert, Ph.D., and Pamela Maher, Ph.D., in the Salk Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory had developed a series of new compounds using a novel drug discovery paradigm that starts with natural products derived from plants; it then calls for selecting synthetic derivatives that show efficacy in multiple assays testing protection against various aspects of the nerve cell damage and death that occur in brain injuries and in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. One compound, called CNB-001, which was derived from curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, proved highly neuroprotective in all of the assays; it also enhanced memory in normal animals.... 

Goji berries' components are available in fruits and vegetables

Goji berries' components are available in fruits and vegetables

Friday, December 17, 2010

Soy isoflavone intake decreases risk of invasive breast tumor.....

                                             

Genistein                                                                          Daidzein

Increased phytoestrogens commonly found in dietary soy may modify the risk of some types of breast cancer, according to findings presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Nov. 7-10, 2010.

Anne Weaver and colleagues evaluated 683 women with breast cancer and compared them with 611 healthy women. Dietary data patterns were observed using a food frequency questionnaire and isoflavones were measured as a dietary, rather than supplemental, intake. Isoflavone (as for as my knowledge goes, above two isoflavones- see structures are present in soya) intake was divided into three groups. Those women with the highest isoflavone intake had an approximately 30 percent decreased risk of having an invasive breast tumor, and an approximately 60 percent decreased risk of having a grade 1 tumor. Among premenopausal women, the highest intake of isoflavones had a 30 percent decreased risk of stage I disease, a 70 percent decreased risk of having a tumor larger than 2 cm, and a 60 percent decreased risk of having stage 2 breast cancer. These connections were not seen among postmenopausal women...

Ref : http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-execute.cgi/article-page.html?article=120510009

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pioglitazone, may halt the growth of cysts in Polycystic Kidney Disease....





Recently, researchers from the schools of Science and Medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic reported that drug Pioglitazone, (see structure Enantiomers) commonly used to treat diabetes may also retard the growth of fluid-filled cysts of the most common genetic disorder, polycystic kidney disease.

Using a rat model that has the same genetic mutation as a form of human PKD, the two research groups independently tested a pioglitazone treatment regimen and found that it slowed down both kidney and liver cyst growth by inhibiting a chloride channel in the cells of these organs. Authors claim that the, though the idea of using a chloride channel inhibitor to treat PKD is not new, but usage of an insulin sensitizing agent like piogltiazone inhibits chloride channels is new. The finding that pioglitazone, which has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for diabetes, can halt cyst progression and may be an effective and well-tolerated treatment for this chronic disease, is exciting. Confirmation of these results in other animal models of PKD would be a useful next step.....

Ref : http://medicine.iupui.edu/GAST/NEJM%20Article.pdf

Monday, December 6, 2010

New malaria drug Artesunate, can save millions of lives....


A landmark trial (AQUAMAT trial) showed that the replacement of the standard malaria drug Quinine with the newer drug Artesunate (Artesunate contains artemisinin, which was discovered by a Chinese researcher in 1972 in a project to follow up advice found in ancient Chinese medicine : see structure) for children with severe malaria could save 100,000 lives a year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that artesunate derived from a Chinese plant called sweet wormwood, replace the four-century-old remedy of quinine for treating severe malaria in adults in 2006. Similar recommendations were not made for children with further trial results pending.
The trial shows that using artesunate reduced death from severe falciparum malaria among African children by 22.5 per cent compared to quinine. The trial spanned over nine African countries, in which 5,425 badly-infected children aged under 15 were given either artesunate or quinine. There were 230 deaths (8.5 percent) in the artesunate group and 297 deaths (11 percent) in the quinine group, the study authors reported. Artesunate was better tolerated than quinine. There was a lower risk of coma or convulsion or serious dropping of blood sugar as occurred with quinine. Hope this trial (a change in treatment policy from quinine to artesunate) will lead to a solution for severe malaria (most common admission diagnosis in febrile children) and can save thousands of children's lives…...

Ref : http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2961924-1/fulltext

Monday, November 29, 2010

PARP inhibitor, MK-4827, shows anti-tumour activity in first trial in humans....



MK-4827 , (S)-2-(4-(piperidin-3-yl)phenyl)-2H-indazole-7-carboxamide hydrochloride.
A recent study claim that the new drug MK-4827 (see structure), that targets proteins responsible for helping cancer cells to repair damage to their DNA has shown promising anti-tumor activity in its first trial in humans. Some patients with a range of solid tumors, many of whom had been treated unsuccessfully for their cancer with other therapies, have seen their tumors shrink or stabilize for periods of between 46 days to more than a year.
Laboratory studies of the drug, MK-4827, have shown that it inhibits proteins called PARP1 and PARP2  (poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase). PARP is involved in a number of cellular processes and one of its important functions is to assist in the repair of single-strand breaks in DNA. As per the claim by the researchers, drug act by inhibiting the action of PARP, double-strand breaks occur, leading to cell death. Researchers add that tumors that are caused by a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are susceptible to cell death through PARP inhibition because correctly functioning BRCA genes assist in repairing double-strand DNA breaks via a process called homologous-recombination-dependent DNA repair, whereas mutated versions are unable to perform this role. Normal cells don't replicate as often as cancer cells and they still have homologous repair operating; this enables them to survive the inhibition of PARP and makes PARP a good target for anti-cancer therapy.
In a Phase I trial conducted at the H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa Florida, USA), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, USA) and the Royal Marsden Hospital (London, UK), MK-4827 was given to 59 patients (46 women, 13 men) with a range of solid tumors such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), prostate cancer, sarcoma, melanoma and breast and ovarian cancers. Some patients had cancers caused by mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes, such as breast and ovarian cancer, but others had cancers that had arisen sporadically.
The researchers saw anti-tumor responses in both sporadic and BRCA1/2 mutation-associated cancers. Ten patients with breast and ovarian cancers had partial responses, with progression-free survival between 51-445 days, and seven of these patients are still responding to treatment. Four patients (two with ovarian cancer and two with NSCLC) had stable disease for between 130-353 days.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Novel iron complexes (quinoxaline) as potential antitubercular agents...

A team of researchers from Spain and Latin America have synthesized two iron compounds(complex with qunoxaline derivative below structure)  that inhibit the in vitro growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Due their low level of toxicity in mammel cells, the compounds could be used in the future as therapeutic agents and hospital disinfectants.  



As per the claim by the researchers, the complexes are better than the second line drugs (we know already about drug resistant tubercular species and tuberculosis is being considered as re-emerging disease due to the increase in the number of people with HIV and other viruses that attack the immune system, as well as to the increasing consumption of immunosuppressive and recreational drugs).  Another advantage of the iron compounds is that they show low toxicity in mammal cells, as demonstrated by the experiments performed with mice cells.

"That is why these compounds are useful as hospital disinfectants or therapeutic agents," the Uruguayan researchers highlight, albeit recalling that, at present, they in vitro trials "and the line of research remains open to learn more about how they act."
Researchers conclude that, the novel complexes showed in vitro growth inhibitory activity on Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv (ATCC 27294), together with very low unspecific cytotoxicity on eukaryotic cells (cultured murine cell line J774). Both complexes showed higher inhibitory effects on M. tuberculosis than the “second-line” therapeutic drugs....

Ref : Dinorah Gambino et.al., Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry Volume 104, Issue 11

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trends in drug discovery for Alzheimer's disease.....

In continuation of my update on Alzheimer' disease and drug discovery...
We  know that Alzheimer’s disease(named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906) is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 60. 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia(loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities) among older people. Dementia is the  Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050. 

Future drugs for Alzheimer’s disease

Thirty years ago, we knew very little about Alzheimer’s disease (with four medications approved so for...). Since then, scientists have made many important advances. Research supported by NIA and other organizations has expanded knowledge of brain function in healthy older people, identified ways we might lessen normal age-related declines in mental function, and deepened our understanding of the disease. Many scientists and physicians are now working together to untangle the genetic, biological, and environmental factors that, over many years, ultimately result in Alzheimer’s. This effort is bringing us closer to the day when we will be able to manage successfully or even prevent this devastating disease.

A recent research survey claim that, symptomatic market will remain active in this disease. New symptomatic entrants to the market will include Aricept patch and the first-in-class 5-HT6 receptor antagonist SB-742457.  Datamonitor forecasts that the current late-stage pipeline will yield three blockbusters, but this is by no means guaranteed considering the high risk of failure in Phase III Alzheimer’s disease trials. Of the pipeline drugs, Datamonitor believes that bapineuzumab(an antibody to the beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques) and solanezumab (a humanized antibody that binds to soluble ß-amyloid and thereby may draw the peptide away from the brain through the blood and this could reduce the formation of amyloid plaque)have the most commercial and clinical potential. Research survey conclude that value of the Alzheimer’s disease market across the seven major markets was $4.7bn in 2009 and is forecast to reach $11.9bn by 2019. More....
 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Asthma Drug Prevents Spread of Breast Cancer, Study Finds......



We know that. Tranilast (structure, brand name Rizaben) is an antiallergic drug. It was developed by Kissei Pharmaceuticals and was approved in 1982 for use in Japan and South Korea for bronchial asthma. Indications for keloid and hypertrophic scar were added in 1993. It has been used for the treatment of allergic disorders such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis. It has been also reported that it reduces (in-vitro) collagen synthesis in fibroblasts, inhibits the growth of neurofibroma cells and inhibits ( in-vitro) the production of interleukin-6 in endothelial cells.

Now researchers from St. Michael's Hospital, Canada reports that the drug to stop the spread of breast cancer cells traditionally resistant to chemotherapy.

Researchers grew breast cancer stem cells, which give rise to other cancer cells, in culture. The cells were injected into two groups of mice, including one group, which was also treated with tranilast. Dr. Prud'homme and his colleagues found the drug reduced growth of the primary cancerous tumour by 50 per cent and prevented the spread of the cancer to the lungs. Researchers also identified a molecule in the cancer cell that binds to tranilast and appears to be responsible for this anti-cancer effect.

As per the researchers 'Tranilast' binds to a molecule known as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), which regulates cell growth and some aspects of immunity. This makes the drug beneficial in treating allergies, inflammatory diseases and cancer.

"For the first time, we were able to show that tranilast shows promise for breast cancer treatment in levels commonly well-tolerated by patients who use the drug for other medical conditions," Dr. Prud'homme said. "These results are very encouraging and we are expanding our studies. Further studies are necessary to determine if the drug is effective against different types of breast and other cancers, and its interaction with anti-cancer drugs.........


Ref : http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013831

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chillies for diabetes: Study

In continuation of my update on diabetes and its treatment,  I find the following study interesting.  In fact, I had a blog article  , where in the authors claim that Capsaicin may cause weight loss and I think these findings are of great significance........


 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

FDA approves Pradaxa to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation....

We knew that, Dabigatran (see structure, Pradaxa in Europe and USA, Pradax in Canada) is an anticoagulant from the class of the direct thrombin inhibitors. It is being studied for various clinical indications and in many cases it offers an alternative to warfarin as the preferred orally administered blood thinner since it does not require prothrombin time monitoring while offering similar results in terms of efficacy. It was developed by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Though it was approved in Europe in 2008, now FDA has approved the drug in October 2010 for the prevention of stroke and blood clots in patients with abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation).

Pradaxa is an anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting thrombin, an enzyme in the blood that is involved in blood clotting. The safety and efficacy of Pradaxa were studied in a clinical trial comparing Pradaxa with the anticoagulant warfarin. In the trial, patients taking Pradaxa had fewer strokes than those who took warfarin.

 "Unlike warfarin, which requires patients to undergo periodic monitoring with blood tests, such monitoring is not necessary for Pradaxa," Dr. Norman Stockbridge(director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products in the FDA's ) says.

Pradaxa, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Ridgefield, Conn., will be available in 75 milligram and 150 milligram capsules....

Ref : http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm230241.htm