Monthly Archives: April 2019

Emerging Evidence that Epicatechin Improves Cognitive Function

Bioactive flavonoids include several subclasses, among them flavanols, a group of monomeric flavan-3-ols and their oligomeric or polymeric counterparts, procyanidins. Epicatechin and catechin are flavan-3-ols found abundantly in tea (Camellia sinensis, Theaceae), apples (Malus pumila syn. M. domestica, Rosaceae), berries (many genera and species), grapes (Vitis vinifera, Vitaceae), and most notably cocoa (Theobroma cacao, Malvaceae), whose main bioactive compound is epicatechin. Epidemiological studies

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Clinical Trial Finds that Walnut Leaf Extract is Ineffective for Reducing Cardiovascular Risk Factors Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Walnut (Juglans regia, Juglandaceae) is a large deciduous tree native to Central Asia. It has been in cultivation across the Eurasian continent for thousands of years. While it is primarily grown for its exceptionally nutritious nut, it is also a source of dye, wood, and other products. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, clinical trial, the researchers evaluated the effects

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Clinical Efficacy of Fennel Cream for Improved Sexual Function in Postmenopausal Women

Sexual dysfunction is a common complication of menopause. Estrogen therapy, administered orally or vaginally, can reduce symptoms of vaginal atrophy and improve sexual function in postmenopausal women. However, estrogen therapy can be associated with serious side effects and may not be appropriate for some women. Effective alternative non-hormonal options are needed for postmenopausal women with sexual dysfunction. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare,

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Carvacrol Improves Respiratory Symptoms and Pulmonary Function in Patients with Asthma

Asthma, a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, causes wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Carvacrol is the main phenol of the essential oil of plants including oregano (Origanum vulgare, Lamiaceae) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Lamiaceae), and has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These authors conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial

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Coriander, Rose, and Violet Combination May Reduce the Frequency, Duration, and Severity of Migraines

A migraine headache is among the most disabling inflictions globally, in part, because it adversely affects quality-of-life. Some pharmaceuticals are used prophylactically to decrease migraine frequency and severity, but they have unwanted side effects. In traditional Iranian medicine, coriander (Coriandrum sativum, Apiaceae) fruit, rose (Rosa damascena, Rosaceae) flower, and violet (Viola odorata, Violaceae) flower are used to treat headache. According

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Equol Supplementation Improves Bone and Cardiovascular Health in Middle-aged Women

Equol is a metabolite produced by the action of intestinal bacteria on the soy (Glycine max, Fabaceae) isoflavone daidzein. It has some effects similar to those of the hormone estrogen. Some evidence suggests that the efficacy of soy depends on an individual’s ability to produce equol. The authors, from medical centers in Minato-ku, Japan, conducted a prospective, observational study to examine changes

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Blackcurrant Increases Cyclic Glycine-proline in Cerebrospinal Fluid and Has Potential to Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a neurotrophic factor, which is involved in neuronal survival and brain function. However, in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), there is an increase in circulating IGF-1 and impaired IGF-1 function. This impaired function is thought to contribute to disease progression. Changes in plasma IGF-1 may predict prognosis and treatment responses in PD. However, most of

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Aromatherapy with Peppermint Oil for Morning Sickness: Placebo Effect Only?

Nausea with or without vomiting in pregnancy (NVP, also called morning sickness) affects 50-90% of pregnant women. Its most severe form, hyperemesis gravidarum, with a prevalence of 1.1%, causes great distress and disrupts life activities. Women who have hyperemesis gravidarum have a higher risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia. NVP may be caused by psychological and hormonal factors, changes in

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