Study Links Periodontal Disease to Coronary Artery Disease

November 04, 2004

Researchers at the Department of Periodontology-Dental Surgery at the University of Liege in Belgium report that 91% of the patients they studied with cardiovascular disease suffered from moderate to severe periodontitis. Periodontal disease seems to influence the occurrence and severity of coronary artery disease and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. The study is published in the Journal of Periodontology and is reported on Medline Plus, a service of the National Institutes of health.

Phyllanthus Amarus Inhibits Drug Resistant HIV Virus

When drugs stop working on the HIV virus it is usually due to a mutation of the virus leading to drug resistance. If the drugs fail to work due to viral drug resistance the virus is free to replicate and worsening infection can occur. In previous studies the herb Phyllanthus Amarus (PA) inhibited HIV viral strains resistant to reverse transcriptase inhibiting drugs. In this study PA blocked the replication of HIV in a number of ways. It blocked the ability of the HIV-1 virus from attaching to its primary receptor on the CD4 immune cells. The PA also blocked a cross section of enzymes that the virus needs to survive, multiply, and flourish: the integrase enzyme, reverse transcriptase enzyme, and the protease enzyme. The PA was administered to HIV positive volunteers to check the relevance of this ability in patients and it was shown that the PA had a potent HIV activity in the volunteer's blood. HIV replication was inhibited by more than 30%. The study is published in the November 2004 issue of the journal Antiviral Research.

Phyllanthus Niruri Reduces the Risk of kidney Stone Formation

Phyllanthus Niruri (PN) is an herb used for many years in South America to treat urinary calculi, the nucleus of most kidney stones. In this study the researchers assessed the effects of PN supplementation in calcium stone forming (CSF) patients. A total of 69 CSF patients, both male and female were given either 450mg of PN or placebo for 3 months. In patients who have high levels of calcium sediment in the urine, the PN caused a significant reduction in urinary calcium sediment. The study is published in the October 2004 issue of the journal Urological Research.

Phyllanthus Amarus Protects Mice against Radiation and Reverses Damage

In this study, adult mice were given an extract of Phyllanthus Amarus (PA) orally for 5 days before and for one month after full body radiation exposure. The animals were sacrificed on days 3, 9, 12, and 30 after the radiation exposure. The PA significantly improved the white blood cell count, improved the function of the bone marrow, and improved enzyme levels needed for cellular protection versus mice not protected with PA. PA increased levels pf protective antioxidant enzymes including SOD, Catalase, and Glutathione related enzymes both in the blood and tissues which were previously reduced by radiation exposure. The activity of lipid peroxides increased after radiation exposure, these peroxides cause inflammation and free radical damage. PA greatly reduced the levels of the lipid peroxides, both in the serum and the liver. The study is published in the March 2004 issue of the Journal of Radiation Research.

The Bone Building Drug Evista Decreases the Risk of Breast Cancer

Researchers studied 7,000 plus postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Over 5,000 were prescribed Evista and the rest received inactive placebo. Evista decreased the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by about 67% regardless if the woman was previously using hormone replacement therapy or not. The study was presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology held in Vienna, Austria October 29th through November 2nd 2004.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Evista helps protect and build bone, it is a smart estrogen, and lacks the carcinogenic effects of both Equine Conjugated Estrogens and Tamoxifen. However, it still has a small risk of causing blood clots (usually in the legs) but no where near Tamoxifen's level of blood clot risk.