Archive for the ‘Pharmaceuticals’ Category

Restrictions on Food Supplements are Based on Misinformation

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 16, 2012

Restrictions on Food Supplements are Based on Misinformation

An alert from Europe to the rest of the world

by Gert Schuitemaker, PhD

Introduction: “It can’t happen here” qualifies for top placement on the all-time list of famous last words. The United States still has, for now, over-the-counter access to nutritional supplements. But no one who reads newspapers, watches televised news, or leafs through a magazine can miss the preponderance of negative reporting on vitamins. As OMNS continues to counter such misinformation (this issue is the 145th), we take a look at the real “risks” of dietary supplements. Readers may wish to keep in mind what Dr. Abram Hoffer famously said: “All attacks on supplement safety are really attacks on supplement efficacy.” If supplements are vilified, they can be made prescription. If they are prescription, costs will go up and access will vanish. – Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Oct 16, 2012) A recent study explains that the risk of mortality from taking food supplements is far lower than other risks like smoking, pharmaceutical adverse drug reactions, cancer, and even dying from a lightning strike. [1] This important new information is relevant to recent food regulations in the European Union (EU) that are supposed to make commercially sold food supplements safer. The study shows the belief that food supplements are dangerous is mistaken.

The Codex Alimentarius was established In 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and later the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an international standard, with guidelines and codes of practice for the sale of food products, including food supplements.[2] In the natural health community, the Codex is considered a threat to freedom of choice and purchase of food supplements because it stipulates what doses of supplements can be sold and what wording may be used in advertising and packaging.

The Codex has not been adopted by the United States, but within the EU, it was signed into law in 2002 with the adoption of the European Food Supplements Directive. This set of regulations restricts the free choice of consumers when purchasing food supplements. To more fully appreciate this issue, it should be understood that compared to the United States, the EU is highly socialized and regulated. Acceptance of such rigid legislation by policy makers and politicians is easier in Europe than on the other side of the Atlantic. But giant food corporations are lobbying for similar limitations in the USA. Thus, the Codex Alimentarius and the EU legislation are considered a likely template for exporting this type of food regulation to the rest in the world.

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Study: Treatment effects of intradermal botulinum toxin type A injection on alopecia areata

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

-:: This Abstract is posted here for posterity and archival purposes only ::-

Dermatol Surg. 2010 Dec;36 Suppl 4:2175-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2010.01709.x.
Treatment effects of intradermal botulinum toxin type A injection on alopecia areata.
Cho HR, Lew BL, Lew H, Sim WY.
Source

Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

There are several different treatment options for alopecia areata (AA); Botulinum toxin type A (BTXA) can induce changes in neurotransmitter levels, directly or via neuroimmunologic mechanisms. Therefore it is thought that BTXA may influence cytokines that are responsible for hair growth arrest that characterizes AA.
OBJECTIVES:

To prospectively examine the safety and efficacy of BTXA injections for the treatment of patients with AA of the scalp.
METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Seven patients with AA received 10 U of BTXA intradermal injections on each site three times. Subjects were classified according to the extent of scalp hair loss into Severity of Alopecia Tool subclasses.
RESULTS:

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Two patients had one patch of AA; the remaining patients had total or universal type AA. One patient dropped out of the study after experiencing spontaneous recovery from her AA. One patient reported aggravation of her AA after BTXA injections. The remaining patients’ AA did not change after BTXA injections.
CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest that BTXA injection cannot be used as an alternative treatment for recalcitrant AA. Nevertheless, future studies concerning the treatment efficacy of BTXA for mild to moderate AA are warranted.

© 2010 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.

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Study: Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

 -:: This Abstract is posted here for posterity and archival purposes only ::-

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Oct;39(4 Pt 1):578-89.
Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group.
Kaufman KD, Olsen EA, Whiting D, Savin R, DeVillez R, Bergfeld W, Price VH, Van Neste D, Roberts JL, Hordinsky M, Shapiro J, Binkowitz B, Gormley GJ.
Source

Department of Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) is caused by androgen-dependent miniaturization of scalp hair follicles, with scalp dihydrotestosterone (DHT) implicated as a contributing cause. Finasteride, an inhibitor of type II 5alpha-reductase, decreases serum and scalp DHT by inhibiting conversion of testosterone to DHT.

OBJECTIVE:

Our purpose was to determine whether finasteride treatment leads to clinical improvement in men with male pattern hair loss.

METHODS:

In two 1-year trials, 1553 men (18 to 41 years of age) with male pattern hair loss received oral finasteride 1 mg/d or placebo, and 1215 men continued in blinded extension studies for a second year. Efficacy was evaluated by scalp hair counts, patient and investigator assessments, and review of photographs by an expert panel.

RESULTS:

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Dermal Papilla Androgen Sensitivity, Androgen Receptors & Methylation

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Due to the understanding of male pattern baldness as Androgenic Alopecia (i.e. as an androgen-dependent process), many studies have focused on androgen metabolism (AM) in the body and how androgens effect hair.  Studies have shown that “all dermal papilla cells from androgen-sensitive sites contain low capacity, high affinity androgen receptors.” [18]

The dermal papilla (DP), at the base of the hair follicle, has androgen receptors (AR’s) that androgens from the blood bind to. In androgen-sensitive follicles, the androgens are synthesized and diffused over small distances; this induces changes in neighboring cells (like keratinocytes cells) in what is known as “paracrine interactions”. The diffusible proteins are called paracrine factors. [18]

When beard and scalp cells were incubated in androgens, androgens stimulated the cells’ ability to triggered mitosis (cell division) in beard cells but not in scalp cells. The interesting outcome here was that incubation with androgens had the exact opposite effect on scalp cells; these (scalp) cells’ mitogenic capacity was inhibited. [18]

Androgen-sensitive follicles are not simply targeted and affected by androgens; they are actually involved in androgen metabolism (AM) and can convert androgens using steroid-producing (steroidogenic) enzymes, also known as intrafollicular steroidogenic enzymes. [25]

A 2004 study shed more light on specific processes that shorten the hair cycle (that occur within the DP). According to the study, the three processes are as follows: “(1) the conversion of testosterone to DHT by type II 5-alpha-reductase; (2) the synthesis of TGF-beta2 in dermal papilla cells; and (3) the activation of the intrinsic caspase network.” [6]

The research seems to indicate AM activity at the DP of the hair follicle, amongst other interactions is not fully understood yet. Some of the known intrafollicular steroidogenic enzymes found in the DP are: Steroid Sulfatase (STS), 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17b-HSD), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (3b-HSD)  and type 1 and 2 5alpha-reductase (type 1 and type 2 5alpha-R). Type 2 5-alpha-reductase has been the target of a number of studies that showed it to accelerate the conversion of free testosterone into DHT. [10] [11] [12] [24] [25] [28] [31]

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Chronic Inflammation and Hair Loss, an Intro

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Chronic systemic inflammation and localized scalp inflammation are directly related to hair loss in both men and women.

Many degenerative (aging) diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression and androgenetic alopecia are accompanies (or caused by) chronic systemic inflammation. Several studies have been published showing that inflammation is often present in androgenetic alopecia cases. Not only for your hair health, but in order to avoid a myriad of degenerative diseases inflammation needs to be curved and eliminated.

Often, the degenerative diseases mentioned above are accompanied by a pathological increase of “inflammatory cytokines”. Our goal is then to lower such pro-inflammatory cytokines as in: tumor necrosis factor –alpha, interleukin – 6, interleukin 1(B) and/or interleukin B4.

Lowering excessive cytokines can be done internally (systemically) and topically (more localized) using  drugs, nutrients, supplements, dietary changes, oils, hormones, etc…

In this website I do not discuss pharmaceuticals, I rather concentrate on nutrition, diet and life style to fix the root causes of inflammation. Most if not all pharmaceuticals have side effects if not toxic effects on the body.

Ending inflammation could go a long way. Find out what you can do to eliminate inflammation here.

The expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 in follicular dermal papillae correlates with therapeutic efficacy of finasteride in androgenetic alopecia

Friday, November 19th, 2010

-::- Note: The below is being posted here for archival purposes only (for preservation)-::-

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Aug;49(2):229-33.

The expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 in follicular dermal papillae correlates with therapeutic efficacy of finasteride in androgenetic alopecia.
Tang L, Bernardo O, Bolduc C, Lui H, Madani S, Shapiro J.

Division of Dermatology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Hospital, Canada.

BACKGROUND: It is generally believed that dihydrotestosterone is one of the pivotal mediators of hair loss in androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Finasteride, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, has now become an integral part of the current treatment approaches for male AGA. Several lines of evidence support the notion that dermal papilla (DP) cells represent the androgen target within the hair follicle. The specific molecular regulators modulated by androgens within hair follicles in the balding scalp are unknown.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify and quantify changes in expression of specific molecular hair growth regulators in DP of men with AGA treated with finasteride and correlate these findings to clinical efficacy.

METHODS: Biopsy specimens were collected from 9 male patients from both the balding area and nonbalding occipital area before and after 4 months of finasteride therapy. DP were microdissected and total RNA was extracted from an equal number of DP from each biopsy specimen. The expression of various cytokines, including insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The signals were detected by autoradiography. All 9 patients were given finasteride for 1 year and evaluated for efficacy at month 12. Efficacy was graded on a 7-point scale on the basis of comparison with initial baseline photography.

RESULTS: IGF-1 was up-regulated by finasteride treatment in 4 of 9 patients. Among the patients with increased IGF-1 expression, 3 of them showed moderate clinical improvement after 12 months of treatment and another patient remained unchanged. In contrast, 3 patients with decreased IGF-1 expression in the balding scalp showed clinical worsening after 12 months. The other 2 patients without noticeable change in IGF-1 expression showed either slight improvement or no change in their hair condition.

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DMSO + Lithium Pharmaceutical Patent

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

-::- Note: The below is being posted here for archival purposes only (for preservation)-::-

Title: Methods of modulating hair growth

United States Patent: 6,924,141

Issued: August 2, 2005

Inventors: Morgan; Bruce A. (Lexington, MA); Kishimoto; Jiro (Yokahama, JP); Burgeson; Robert (Marblehead, MA)

Assignee: The General Hospital Corporation (Boston, MA)

Appl. No.: 822722

Filed: March 30, 2001

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