Unique Study Shows the Protective Power of Green Tea

Jan 05, 2005

Human tissues are stored using cryopreservation - they are frozen at very cold temperatures over a long storage term. These tissues have many uses including allotransplantation: the use of donor tissues for plastic or reconstructive surgery. However, living tissues suffer a variety of injuries when frozen. In this study it was demonstrated that adding an extract of Green Tea polyphenols to conventional cell culture medium and tissue compatible liquid preserves living tissues for several months at room temperature. This includes such tissues as blood vessels, cartilage, islet cells, and corneas. Green Teas antioxidants are so powerful they can be used to create a non-frozen living tissue bank. The study was performed at the Institute for Fronteir Medical Sciences, Kyoto University in Japan, and is published in the December 31, 2004 issue of the Yonsei Medical Journal.

Arthritis Drugs Cause Severe Small Intestine Damage

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen are known to cause potentially deadly stomach damage. Recent research has shown that the newer COX-2 inhibiting drugs can cause heart related death. In this new study (small but convincing) the health of the small intestines was compared between chronic NSAID users versus non-users. 71% of the patients who used NSAIDs for greater than 3 months had injury to their small intestines while only 10% of non-users had small intestinal injury - however in nonusers the damage was mild. Over 20% of the NSAID users had major damage that consisted of greater than 4 areas with erosion, ulcers, or even large ulcers. The study was performed at Baylor College of Medicine and will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Zocor Affects Brain Function

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have previously found that Zocor (simvastatin - a statin drug used to lower cholesterol) mildly decreased mental function on particular tests. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study they placed 308 patients with high cholesterol on either Zocor or placebo. Just like in their previous research, the patients on Zocor did modestly poorer on tests for attention span, memory, and overall mental efficiency compared to placebo. It does look like Zocor hurts brain function. The study is published in the December 1st, 2004 issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Another study done on Mevacor showed that this statin drug also harmed brain function.