Well Being

Benefits for the whole person

No matter what condition is being treated it is usual for patients having acupuncture to report feeling better in many ways apart from an improvement in their symptoms.

A study by two local researchers; Charlotte Paterson, PhD, MBChB from the University of Bristol and Nicky Britten, PhD from the Peninsula Medical School, Exeter backs this up.

Objectives: Many people with chronic disease seek acupuncture treatment, despite it being largely excluded from Western state-funded health care systems. What benefits and problems do such people perceive and experience as important?

They interviewed a sample of 23 people with chronic illness, who were having acupuncture for the first time 3 times over 6 months.

Results: In addition to changes in their presenting symptoms people experienced whole-person effects that were characterized by changes in strength and energy, and changes in personal and social identity. After 6 months some people had changed their treatment goals and some individuals were still seeing health improvement. One person found that acupuncture exacerbated her symptoms.

Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol 9 number 5 2003

New Evidence That Green Tea May Help Improve Bone Health

ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Researchers in Hong Kong are reporting new evidence that green tea — one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide and now available as a dietary supplement — may help improve bone health. They found that the tea contains a group of chemicals that can stimulate bone formation and help slow its breakdown.

The beverage has the potential to help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases that affect million worldwide, the researchers suggest.

In the new study, Ping Chung Leung and colleagues note that many scientific studies have linked tea to beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Recent studies in humans and cell cultures suggest that tea may also benefit bone health. But few scientific studies have explored the exact chemicals in tea that might be responsible for this effect.

The scientists exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to three major green tea components — epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) — for several days. They found that one in particular, EGC, boosted the activity of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 percent. EGC also significantly boosted levels of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones. The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that breaks down or weakens bones. The green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells, they note.


Journal reference:

Ko et al. Effects of Tea Catechins, Epigallocatechin, Gallocatechin, and Gallocatechin Gallate, on Bone Metabolism. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009; 57 (16): 7293 DOI: 10.1021/jf901545u

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