Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: May 2016

Lactoferrin, Green tea, Milk thistle, Omega-7, and Testosterone

Lactoferrin, Green tea, Milk thistle, Omega-7, and Testosterone

By Life Extension.


Ocular surface damage and tear lactoferrin in dry eye syndrome.

We studied the relationship between the severity of ocular surface damage and the level of tear lactoferrin in primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis sicca not associated with Sjögren's syndrome. A significant negative correlation was found between Rose Bengal staining score and level of tear lactoferrin in all three groups. Analysis of covariance disclosed no significant differences in regression lines for Rose Bengal staining score vs tear lactoferrin level among the three groups. The three regression lines appeared to be identical to each other. These findings indicate that the severity of ocular surface damage due to dry eye largely depends on the tear secretory function of the lacrimal gland, and that the function of the lacrimal gland can be evaluated by determination of level of tear lactoferrin using the same standards regardless of differences in pathogenesis of underlying diseases.

Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh). 1994 Aug;72(4):433-7

Bovine lactoferrin promotes corneal wound healing and suppresses IL-1 expression in alkali wounded mouse cornea.

PURPOSE: Using an in vitro cell culture model, bovine lactoferrin (BLF) stimulates healing of alkali-induced human corneal epithelial wounds. The present study examined the efficacy of BLF in promoting healing of corneal injury in vivo and explored BLF modulation of interleukin-1 (IL-1) during wound healing. METHODS: Alkali injury was induced to BALB/c mice by exposure of the mouse cornea to a sodium hydroxide (NaOH)-soaked filter disc for 2 min. The corneal surface was irrigated after the injury with saline. Topical BLF in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) (10 µl, 62.5 µM), bovine serum albumin (BSA) (10 µl, 62.5 µM in PBS) or PBS only (10 µl) were applied three times daily to both the alkali-injured and uninjured eyes for 3 d. Wound healing was assessed using 0.1% fluorescein staining under slit lamp microscope. The corneas at 6 h, 24 h or 3 d post-injury and treatment were excised and examined histologically, homogenized corneal tissue was evaluated for expression of IL-1a and IL-1b. RESULTS: After 6 h post-wounding and treatment no significant reduction of wound area was observed between treatments and infiltrating cells or IL-1 expression were not elevated in any group. By 24 h, BLF-treatment resulted in accelerated wound closure (100%) compared to PBS and BSA treatment (70% and 65%, respectively). BLF treatment reduced infiltrating cells compared to controls and no elevation of IL-1, whereas controls displayed elevated infiltrating cells and increased levels of IL-1. After 3 d, mice treated with BLF exhibited complete wound closure while control corneas still exhibited some minor defects. Resolution of inflammation with minimal remaining infiltrating cells was observed in all corneas by day 3, coincident to normal levels of IL-1a and IL-1b. CONCLUSION: BLF accelerated healing of corneal alkali injury in BALB/c mice which was associated with suppression of IL-1 and reduced infiltrating cells.

Curr Eye Res . 2013 Nov;38(11):1110-7

Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) and the constituent delphinidin glycoside inhibit photoreceptor cell death induced by visible light.

The protective effects of maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) extract (MBE) and its major anthocyanins [delphinidin 3,5-O-diglucoside (D3G5G) and delphinidin 3-O-sambubioside-5-O-glucoside (D3S5G)] against light-induced murine photoreceptor cells (661W) death were evaluated. Viability of 661W after light treatment for 24 h, assessed by the tetrazolium salt (WST-8) assay and Hoechst 33342 nuclear staining, was improved by addition of MBE, D3G5G, and D3S5G. Intracellular radical activation in 661W, evaluated using the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-sensitive probe 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2,7-dichlorodihydro fluorescein diacetate acetyl ester (CM-H2DCFDA), was reduced by MBE and its anthocyanins. The anti-apoptosis mechanism of MBE was evaluated by light-induced phosphorylation of p38. MBE significantly suppressed the light-induced phosphorylation of p38. These findings indicate that MBE and its anthocyanidins suppress the light-induced photoreceptor cell death by inhibiting ROS production, suggesting that the inhibition of phosphorylated-p38 may be involved in the underlying mechanism.

Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):129-37

Dry eye after cataract surgery and associated intraoperative risk factors.

PURPOSE: To investigate changes in dry eye symptoms and diagnostic test values after cataract surgery and to address factors that might influence those symptoms and test results. METHODS: Twenty-eight eyes from 14 patients with preoperative dry eye (dry eye group) and 70 eyes from 35 patients without preoperative dry eye (non-dry eye group) were studied prospectively. In each group, we measured values such as tear break-up time (tBUT), Schirmer I test (ST-I), tear meniscus height (TMH), and subjective dry eye symptoms (Sx), and evaluated the postoperative changes in these values. We also evaluated the influence of corneal incision location and shape on these values. The correlations between these values and microscopic light exposure time and phacoemulsification energy were investigated. RESULTS: In the dry eye group, there were significant aggravations in Sx at 2 months postoperatively and in TMH at 3 days, 10 days, 1 month, and 2 months postoperatively, compared with preoperative values. All dry eye test values were significantly worse after cataract surgery in the non-dry eye group. With regard to incision location, there was no difference in tBUT, Sx, ST-I, or TMH in either the dry eye group or the non-dry eye group at any postoperative time point. Regarding incision shape, there was no difference in tBUT, Sx, ST-I or TMH at any postoperative time point in the dry eye group. In the superior incision sub-group of the non-dry eye group, tBUT and Sx were worse in the grooved incision group at day 1. In the temporal incision sub-group of the non-dry eye group, Sx were worse in the grooved incision group at 1 day, 3 days, and 10 days postoperatively. In both groups, significant correlations were noted between microscopic light exposure time and dry eye test values, but no correlation was noted between phacoemulsification energy and dry eye test values. CONCLUSIONS: Cataract surgery may lead to dry eye. A grooved incision can aggravate the symptoms during the early postoperative period in patients without dry eye preoperatively. Long microscopic light exposure times can have an adverse effect on dry eye test values.

Korean J Ophthalmol. 2009 Jun;23(2):65-73

Incidence and pattern of dry eye after cataract surgery.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the incidence and severity pattern of dry eye after phacoemulsification. SETTING: King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. DESIGN: Prospective descriptive study. METHODS: Samples were collected from ninety-two uncomplicated cataract patients who were 18 years old or older. Dry eye incidence and pattern were analyzed at days 0, 7, 30 and 90 after phacoemulsification using (1) Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, (2) tear break up time (TBUT), (3) Oxford ocular surface staining system, and (4) Schirmer I test without anesthesia. RESULTS: Seven days after phacoemulsification, the incidence of dry eye was 9.8% (95% confidence interval; 3.6-16.0%). The severity of dry eye peaked seven days post-phacoemulsification and was measured by OSDI questionnaire and all three clinical tests. Within thirty days and 3 months post-surgery, both the symptoms and signs showed rapid and gradual improvements, respectively. However, dry eye post-phacoemulsification was not significantly associated with sex and systemic hypertension (P = 0.26, 0.17 and 0.73, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of dry eye after phacoemulsification was 9.8%. Symptoms and signs of dry eye occurred as early as seven days post-phacoemulsification and the severity pattern improved over time. We recommend that ophthalmologists should evaluate patients both before and after phacoemulsification to prevent further damage to the ocular surface and able to manage the patient promptly and effectively so the patient will not have a poor quality of life and vision due to dry eye syndrome.

PLoS One . 2013 Nov 12;8(11):e78657

Mechanisms and management of dry eye in cataract surgery patients.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide a summary of the mechanisms that may cause dry eye after cataract surgery and discuss available and upcoming treatment modalities. RECENT FINDINGS: Development or worsening of dry eye symptoms after cataract surgery is multifactorial with corneal nerve transection, inflammation, goblet cell loss, and meibomian gland dysfunction commonly cited as underlying disorders. With increasing awareness of the prevalence of dry eye disease, current surgical techniques are being analyzed for their contribution to the issue. Although many classic interventions, such as artificial tears and anti-inflammatory drops, remain first-line treatment options, they may not adequately address abnormalities of the tear film. The trend has been to create new drugs and technologies that target meibomian gland deficiencies and restore goblet cell numbers. SUMMARY: Therapy for postoperative dry eye symptoms should be determined based on symptom severity and which underlying cause is most prominent at a given time. Patients with high-level risk factors for dry eye should be evaluated preoperatively to determine whether they have preexisting dry eye disease or if they are susceptible to developing disease after surgery.

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2015 Nov 13

Green tea

Effects of single dose and regular intake of green tea (Camellia sinensis) on DNA damage, DNA repair, and heme oxygenase-1 expression in a randomized controlled human supplementation study.

Regular intake of green tea (Camellia sinensis) lowers DNA damage in humans, but molecular mechanisms of genoprotection are not clear. Protection could be via direct antioxidant effects of tea catechins, but, paradoxically, catechins have pro-oxidant activity in vitro, and it is hypothesized that mechanisms relate to redox-sensitive cytoprotective adaptations. We investigated this hypothesis, focusing particularly on effects on the DNA repair enzyme human oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (hOGG1), and heme oxygenase-1, a protein that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. A randomized, placebo-controlled, human supplementation study of crossover design was performed. Subjects (n = 16) took a single dose (200 mL of 1.5%, w/v) and 7-days of (2 × 200 mL 1%, w/v per day) green tea (with water as control treatment). Lymphocytic DNA damage was ∼30% (p < 0.001) lower at 60 and 120 min after the single dose and in fasting samples collected after 7-day tea supplementation. Lymphocytic hOGG1 activity was higher (p < 0.0001) at 60 and 120 min after tea ingestion. Significant increases (p < 0.0005) were seen in hOGG1 activity and heme oxygenase-1 after 7 days. Results indicate that molecular triggering of redox-sensitive cytoprotective adaptations and posttranslational changes affecting hOGG1 occur in vivo in response to both a single dose and regular intake of green tea, and contribute to the observed genoprotective effects of green tea.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Jun;58(6):1379-83

Redox-linked effects of green tea on DNA damage and repair, and influence of microsatellite polymorphism in HMOX-1: results of a human intervention trial.

Green tea has many reported health benefits, including genoprotective and antioxidant effects, but green tea has pro-oxidant activity in vitro. A tea-induced pro-oxidant shift that triggers cytoprotective adaptations has been postulated, but human data are lacking. We investigated effects on oxidation-induced DNA damage and redox-linked cytoprotective factors, including 8-oxoguanine glycosylase (hOGG1) and heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX-1) in lymphocytes in a randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over supplementation trial. hOGG1 catalyses the first step in base excision repair; increased HMOX-1 is a sign of cytoprotective response to pro-oxidant change. The influence of microsatellite polymorphisms in the HMOX-1 promoter region was also explored. Higher numbers of GT repeats [GT(n)] in this region reportedly diminish response to pro-oxidant change. Green tea [2 × 150 ml of 1% w/v tea/day (or water as control)] was taken for 12 weeks by 43 Type 2 diabetes subjects {20 with short [S/S; GT(n) < 25] and 23 with long [L/L; GT(n) ≥ 25]}. Fasting venous blood was collected before and after each treatment. The formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase-assisted comet assay was used to measure DNA damage in lymphocytes. For measuring hOGG1 activity, we used photo-damaged HeLa cells incubated with lymphocyte extracts from test subjects, in combination with the comet assay. Lymphocyte HMOX-1 and hOGG1 protein concentrations and expression (mRNA) of redox-sensitive genes, including HMOX-1 and hOGG1, were also investigated. Results showed significantly (P < 0.01) lower (~15%) DNA damage, higher (~50%) hOGG1 activity and higher (~40%) HMOX-1 protein concentration after tea. No changes in mRNA expression were seen. Baseline HMOX-1 protein and hOGG1 activity were higher (P < 0.05) in the S/S group, but tea-associated responses were similar in both GT(n) groups. Green tea is clearly associated with lowered DNA damage, increased hOGG1 activity and higher HMOX-1 protein levels. Further study is needed to confirm a cause and effect relationship and to establish if these effects are mediated by post-translational changes in proteins or by increased gene expression.

Mutagenesis. 2015 Jan;30(1):129-37

Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress activate inflammasomes: impact on the aging process and age-related diseases.

Oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation are the hallmarks of the aging process and are even more enhanced in many age-related degenerative diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress can provoke and potentiate inflammatory responses, but the mechanism has remained elusive. Recent studies indicate that oxidative stress can induce the assembly of multiprotein inflammatory complexes called the inflammasomes. Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) is the major immune sensor for cellular stress signals, e.g., reactive oxygen species, ceramides, and cathepsin B. NLRP3 activation triggers the caspase-1-mediated maturation of the precursors of IL-1b and IL-18 cytokines. During aging, the autophagic clearance of mitochondria declines and dysfunctional mitochondria provoke chronic oxidative stress, which disturbs the cellular redox balance. Moreover, increased NF-κB signaling observed during aging could potentiate the expression of NLRP3 and cytokine proforms enhancing the priming of NLRP3 inflammasomes. Recent studies have demonstrated that NLRP3 activation is associated with several age-related diseases, e.g., the metabolic syndrome. We will review here the emerging field of inflammasomes in the appearance of the proinflammatory phenotype during the aging process and in age-related diseases.

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Sep;69(18):2999-3013

Chronic kidney disease: a clinical model of premature aging.

Premature aging is a process associated with a progressive accumulation of deleterious changes over time, an impairment of physiologic functions, and an increase in the risk of disease and death. Regardless of genetic background, aging can be accelerated by the lifestyle choices and environmental conditions to which our genes are exposed. Chronic kidney disease is a common condition that promotes cellular senescence and premature aging through toxic alterations in the internal milieu. This occurs through several mechanisms, including DNA and mitochondria damage, increased reactive oxygen species generation, persistent inflammation, stem cell exhaustion, phosphate toxicity, decreased klotho expression, and telomere attrition. Because recent evidence suggests that both increased local signaling of growth factors (through the nutrient-sensing mammalian target of rapamycin) and decreased klotho expression are important modulators of aging, interventions that target these should be tested in this prematurely aged population.

Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Aug;62(2):339-51

Systematic Analysis of the Multiple Bioactivities of Green Tea through a Network Pharmacology Approach.

During the past decades, a number of studies have demonstrated multiple beneficial health effects of green tea. Polyphenolics are the most biologically active components of green tea. Many targets can be targeted or affected by polyphenolics. In this study, we excavated all of the targets of green tea polyphenolics (GTPs) though literature mining and target calculation and analyzed the multiple pharmacology actions of green tea comprehensively through a network pharmacology approach. In the end, a total of 200 Homo sapiens targets were identified for fifteen GTPs. These targets were classified into six groups according to their related disease, which included cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease, muscular disease, and inflammation. Moreover, these targets mapped into 143 KEGG pathways, 26 of which were more enriched, as determined though pathway enrichment analysis and target-pathway network analysis. Among the identified pathways, 20 pathways were selected for analyzing the mechanisms of green tea in these diseases. Overall, this study systematically illustrated the mechanisms of the pleiotropic activity of green tea by analyzing the corresponding "drug-target-pathway-disease" interaction network.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:512081

Coffee and tea: perks for health and longevity?

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tea and coffee, after water, are the most commonly consumed beverages in the world and are the top sources of caffeine and antioxidant polyphenols in the American diet. The purpose of this review is to assess the health effects of chronic tea and/or coffee consumption. RECENT FINDINGS: Tea consumption, especially green tea, is associated with significantly reduced risks for stroke, diabetes and depression, and improved levels of glucose, cholesterol, abdominal obesity and blood pressure. Habitual coffee consumption in large epidemiological studies is associated with reduced mortality, both for all-cause and cardiovascular deaths. In addition, coffee intake is associated with risks of heart failure, stroke, diabetes mellitus and some cancers in an inverse dose-dependent fashion. Surprisingly, coffee is associated with neutral to reduced risks for both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. However, caffeine at high doses can increase anxiety, insomnia, calcium loss and possibly the risk of fractures. SUMMARY: Coffee and tea can generally be recommended as health-promoting additions to an adult diet. Adequate dietary calcium intake may be particularly important for tea and coffee drinkers.

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Nov;16(6):688-97

Chinese green tea consumption reduces oxidative stress, inflammation and tissues damage in smoke exposed rats.

OBJECTIVES: One cause of cigarette smoking is oxidative stress that may alter the cellular antioxidant defense system, induce apoptosis in lung tissue, inflammation and damage in liver, lung, and kidney. It has been shown that Chinese green tea (CGT) (Lung Chen Tea) has higher antioxidant property than black tea. In this paper, we will explore the preventive effect of CGT on cigarette smoke-induced oxidative damage, apoptosis and tissues inflammation in albino rat model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Albino rats were randomly divided into four groups, i.e. sham air (SA), cigarette smoke (CS), CGT 2% plus SA or plus CS. The exposure to smoking was carried out as a single daily dose (1 cigarette/rat) for a period of 90 days using an electronically controlled smoking machine. Sham control albino rats were exposed to air instead of cigarette smoke. Tissues were collected 24 hr after last CS exposure for histology and all enzyme assays. Apoptosis was evidenced by the fragmentation of DNA using TUNEL assay. RESULTS: Long-term administration of cigarette smoke altered the cellular antioxidant defense system, induced apoptosis in lung tissue, inflammation and damage in liver, lung, and kidney. All these pathophysiological and biochemical events were significantly improved when the cigarette smoke-exposed albino rats were given CGT infusion as a drink instead of water. CONCLUSION: Exposure of albino rat model to cigarette smoke caused oxidative stress, altered the cellular antioxidant defense system, induced apoptosis in lung tissue, inflammation and tissues damage, which could be prevented by supplementation of CGT.

Iran J Basic Med Sci . 2014 Oct;17(10):740-6

Green tea extract supplementation does not hamper endurance-training adaptation but improves antioxidant capacity in sedentary men.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of green tea extract (GTE) supplementation combined with endurance training on endurance capacity and performance in sedentary men. Forty untrained men (age: 20 ± 1 years) participated in this study. Subjects were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: (i) placebo-control (CTRL), (ii) GTE, (iii) endurance training (Ex), and (iv) endurance training with GTE (ExGTE). During the 4-week intervention, exercise training was prescribed as 75% oxygen uptake reserve for three 20-min sessions per week, and either GTE (250 mg/day) or placebo was provided. Endurance capacity, malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant status (TAS), and creatine kinase (CK) were examined. Ex and ExGTE but not GTE improved exhaustive-run time (Ex: +8.2%, p = 0.031; ExGTE: +14.3%, p < 0.001); in addition, Ex and ExGTE significantly increased maximal oxygen uptake by ∼14% (p = 0.041) and ∼17% (p = 0.017) above the values of the CTRL group, respectively. Both Ex and ExGTE significantly decreased the increase of CK by ∼11%-32% below that of CTRL following an exhaustive run (Ex: p = 0.007; ExGTE: p = 0.001). Moreover, TAS levels increased by ∼11% in ExGTE after training (p = 0.040), and GTE, Ex, and ExGTE markedly attenuated exercise-induced MDA production (p = 0.01, p = 0.005, p = 0.011, respectively). In conclusion, this investigation demonstrated that daily ingestion of GTE during endurance training does not impair improvements in endurance capacity. Moreover, endurance training combined with GTE not only increases antioxidant capacity without attenuating endurance training adaptations, but also further attenuates acute exercise-induced CK release.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Oct;40(10):990-6

Dietary supplementation with green tea extract promotes enhanced human leukocyte activity.

BACKGROUND: Leukocytes play a vital role in the host defence and inflammatory systems, the latter being responsible for the pathogenesis of a wide spectrum of acute and chronic diseases. Green tea is a popular beverage, which is consumed worldwide and its active ingredients are epicatechin derivatives, which possess distinct anti-inflammatory properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate if a green tea extract could enhance leukocyte function in humans. METHODS: Volunteers were asked to take 300 mg of the green tea extract daily for 14 days and the capacity of circulating leukocytes to release both myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin was assessed. Whole blood from volunteers was stimulated with the bacterial peptide Formyl-Methionine-Leucine-Phenylalanine (fMet-Leu-Phe). Myeloperoxidase an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to hypochlorous acid and is stored and secreted from the granules of neutrophils and monocytes and was measured as well as lactoferrin which is an iron-binding protein stored and secreted from the neutrophils. In conjunction the antioxidant capacity of the blood of the volunteers was also determined using a chemiluminescence method that measures the capacity of plasma to scavenge superoxide. RESULTS: After 14 days of treatment there was a significant increase in the release of myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin when whole blood was stimulated with fMet-Leu-Phe (p<0.05), which activates a number of leukocytes including mature neutrophils and monocytes. This was mirrored by a significant increase in the total antioxidant status after 14 days of green tea ingestion (p0.05). After the "wash-out" period of 4 weeks, all parameters were consistent with those observed at the start of the trial (day 0). Treatment with the green tea extract also caused a slight but non-significant decrease in the number of circulating leukocytes, but the counts remained within published "normal" ranges for healthy human adults. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that a green tea extract when taken as a dietary supplement for 14 days can increase the leukocyte activity and the total plasma antioxidant status and may have role to play in the prevention of inflammatory disease.

J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Dec;12(4): 277-82

Associations of green tea and rock tea consumption with risk of impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance in Chinese men and women.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the associations of green tea and rock tea consumption with risk of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). METHODS: A multistage, stratified, cluster, random-sampling method was used to select a representative sample from Fujian Province in China. In total, 4808 subjects without cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, or pancreatic, liver, kidney, or gastrointestinal diseases were enrolled in the study. A standard questionnaire was used to gather data on tea (green, rock, and black) consumption and other relevant factors. The assessment of impaired glucose regulation (IGR) was using 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), the diagnostic criteria of normal glucose tolerance was according to American Diabetes Association. RESULTS: Green tea consumption was associated with a lower risk of IFG, while rock tea consumption was associated with a lower risk of IGT. The adjusted odds ratios for IFG for green tea consumption of <1, 1-15, 16-30, and >30 cups per week were 1.0 (reference), 0.42 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.27-0.65), 0.23 (95% CI, 0.12-0.46), and 0.41 (95% CI, 0.17-0.93), respectively. The adjusted odds ratios for IGT for rock tea consumption of <1, 1-15, 16-30, and >30 cups per week were 1.0 (reference), 0.69 (95% CI, 0.48-0.98), 0.59 (95% CI, 0.39-0.90), and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.43-0.97), respectively. A U-shaped association was observed, subjects who consumed 16-30 cups of green or rock tea per week having the lowest odds ratios for IFG or IGT. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of green or rock tea may protect against the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Chinese men and women, particularly in those who drink 16-30 cups per week.

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 18;8(11):e79214

Milk thistle

Intravenous silibinin monotherapy shows significant antiviral activity in HCV-infected patients in the peri-transplantation period.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) is the main problem of most transplant programs. We aimed at assessing the antiviral activity and safety of intravenous silibinin (SIL) administered daily during the peri-transplant period. METHODS: This was a single-centre, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 14 HCV-infected patients awaiting LT. Eleven patients received SIL and 3 placebo, for a maximum of 21 days before LT and 7 days after LT. RESULTS: Among the patients who received more than 14 days of pre-LT treatment, the median decrease in viral load (VL) was 2.31 log(10) (range 0.6-4.2) in the SIL-treated group (n=9) versus 0.30 log(10) (0.1-0.6) in the placebo group (n=3) (p=0.016). During the post-LT treatment, HCV-RNA levels were consistently and significantly (p=0.002) lower in the SIL group compared to placebo and decreased below the limit of quantification in 2 patients and below the limit of detection in 2 additional patients (all in the SIL-treated group). Peri-transplant treatment with SIL was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: This proof-of-concept study in patients in the waiting list for LT indicates that daily intravenous silibinin has evident antiviral properties and is well tolerated in the peri-LT period. A longer treatment regimen with silibinin (alone or in combination with other agents) should be assessed in clinical trials for the prevention of hepatitis C recurrence.

J Hepatol. 2013 Mar;58(3):415-20

Antiviral activity and safety profile of silibinin in HCV patients with advanced fibrosis after liver transplantation: a

Response to interferon-based therapies in HCV recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) is unsatisfactory, and major safety issues aroused in preliminary experience with boceprevir and telaprevir. As transplant community identified HCV viral clearance as a critical matter, efficacious and safe anti-HCV therapies are awaited. The aim of this study was to assess efficacy and safety of intravenous silibinin monotherapy in patients with established HCV recurrence after LT, nonresponders to pegylated interferon and ribavirin. This is a single center, prospective, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial including 20 patients randomly assigned (3:1) to receive daily 20 mg/kg of intravenous silibinin or saline as placebo, for 14 consecutive days. On day 14 of treatment, viral load decreased by 2.30 ± 1.32 in silibinin group versus no change in the placebo group (P = 0.0002). Sixteen days after the end of the treatment, viral load mean values were similar to baseline. Treatment resulted well tolerated apart from a transient and reversible increase in bilirubin. Neither changes in immunosuppressant through levels nor dosage adjustments were necessary. Silibinin monotherapy has a significant antiviral activity in patients with established HCV recurrence on the graft not responding to standard therapy and confirms safety and tolerability without interaction with immunosuppressive drugs.

Transpl Int. 2014 Jul;27(7):696-704

Efficacy of lead-in silibinin and subsequent triple therapy in difficult-to-treat HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients.

OBJECTIVES: The efficacy of current hepatitis C virus (HCV) triple therapy, including a protease inhibitor, is limited in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver fibrosis and nonresponse to previous peginterferon-ribavirin. These patients have a low chance (only 30%) of achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) during triple therapy and cannot wait for next-generation anti-HCV drugs. In a pilot study, we investigated the efficacy of a lead-in therapy with silibinin before triple therapy in difficult-to-treat patients. METHODS: Inclusion criteria were HIV/HCV coinfection with advanced liver fibrosis and documented failure of previous peginterferon-ribavirin treatment. Intervention was lead-in therapy with intravenous silibinin 20 mg/kg/day for 14 days. Subsequently, peginterferon-ribavirin combined with telaprevir was initiated for 12 weeks, followed by peginterferon-ribavirin dual therapy until week 48 after initiation of triple therapy. The outcome measurements were HCV RNA after silibinin lead-in, at weeks 2, 4 and 12 of triple therapy, and SVR at week 24 after the end of treatment. RESULTS: We examined six HIV/HCV-coinfected patients (four infected with genotype 1a). All had fibrosis grade METAVIR ≥F3 and were on fully suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Mean HCV RNA decline after silibinin therapy was 2.6 log10 IU/mL (range 2-3 log10 IU/mL). Five of the six patients were virologically suppressed at weeks 2 and 4, and all six at week 12 of triple therapy. One experienced a viral breakthrough thereafter. Four of five patients (80%) showed an SVR 24. One patient had an SVR 12 but has not yet reached week 24. CONCLUSIONS: A lead-in with silibinin before triple therapy is highly effective and increases the probability of HCV treatment success in difficult-to-treat HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver fibrosis and previous failure of peginterferon-ribavirin.

HIV Med. 2014 Nov;15(10):625-30

Silibinin is a potent antiviral agent in patients with chronic hepatitis C not responding to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Oral Silibinin (SIL) is widely used for treatment of hepatitis C, but its efficacy is unclear. Substantially higher doses can be administered intravenously (IV). METHODS: Pedigreed nonresponders to full-dose pegylated (Peg)-interferon/ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV) were studied. First, 16 patients received 10 mg/kg/day SIL IV (Legalon Sil; Madaus, Köln, Germany) for 7 days. In a subsequent dose-finding study, 20 patients received 5, 10, 15, or 20 mg/kg/day SIL for 14 days. In both protocols, PegIFN alpha-2a/RBV were started on day 8. Viral load was determined daily. RESULTS: Unexpectedly, in the first study, HCV-RNA declined on IV SIL by 1.32 +/- 0.55 log (mean +/- SD), P < .001 but increased again in spite of PegIFN/RBV after the infusion period. The viral load decrease was dose dependent (log drop after 7 days SIL: 0.55 +/- 0.5 [5 mg/kg, n = 3], 1.41 +/- 0.59 [10 mg/kg, n = 19], 2.11 +/- 1.34 [15 mg/kg, n = 5], and 3.02 +/- 1.01 [20 mg/kg, n = 9]; P < .001), decreased further after 7 days combined SIL/PegIFN/RBV (1.63 +/- 0.78 [5 mg/kg, n = 3], 4.16 +/- 1.28 [10 mg/kg, n = 3], 3.69 +/- 1.29 [15 mg/kg, n = 5], and 4.85 +/- 0.89 [20 mg/kg, n = 9]; P < .001), and became undetectable in 7 patients on 15 or 20 mg/kg SIL, at week 12. Beside mild gastrointestinal symptoms, IV SIL monotherapy was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: IV SIL is well tolerated and shows a substantial antiviral effect against HCV in nonresponders.

Gastroenterology. 2008 Nov;135(5):1561-7

Rescue therapy with intravenous silibinin in liver transplant recipients with recurrent HCV hepatitis - two case reports.

BACKGROUND: Recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation is inevitable and decreases survival. Graft loss due to recurrent HCV occurs in 25% to 30% of patients. The recommended AASLD treatment is PEG-IFN, with or without ribavirin, but some patients might be not eligible for this treatment. An alternative antiviral agent is silibinin (SIL). In vitro silibinin stops replication, probably by inhibiting HCV RNA polymerase. CASE REPORT: We present the cases of 2 patients with severe recurrent HCV infection who received intravenous silibinin (IV SIL) as a "rescue therapy". In the first patient with cholestatic fibrosing hepatitis, HCV RNA became undetectable. We also noted significant viremia reduction, and improvement in laboratory results and clinical presentation in the second patient. CONCLUSIONS: Administration of IV SIL resulted in a rapid decrease of HCV viremia. In post-transplant patients with HCV recurrence who are not eligible for standard antiviral treatment, IV SIL can be considered as an alternative, but further investigations are necessary to establish treatment protocols.

Ann Transplant . 2014 Apr 8;19:161-4

Sustained virological response with intravenous silibinin: individualized IFN-free therapy via real-time modelling of HCV kinetics.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Intravenous silibinin (SIL) is a potent antiviral agent against hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype-1. In this proof of concept case-study we tested: (i) whether interferon-alfa (IFN)-free treatment with SIL plus ribavirin (RBV) can achieve sustained virological response (SVR); (ii) whether SIL is safe and feasible for prolonged duration of treatment and (iii) whether mathematical modelling of early on-treatment HCV kinetics can guide duration of therapy to achieve SVR. METHODS: A 44 year-old female HCV-(genotype-1)-infected patient who developed severe psychiatric adverse events to a previous course of pegIFN+RBV, initiated combination treatment with 1200 mg/day of SIL, 1200 mg/day of RBV and 6000 u/day vitamin D. Blood samples were collected frequently till week 4, thereafter every 1-12 weeks until the end of therapy. The standard biphasic mathematical model with time-varying SIL effectiveness was used to predict the duration of therapy to achieve SVR. RESULTS: Based on modelling the observed viral kinetics during the first 3 weeks of treatment, SVR was predicted to be achieved within 34 weeks of therapy. Provided with this information, the patient agreed to complete 34 weeks of treatment. IFN-free treatment with SIL+RBV was feasible, safe and achieved SVR (week-33). CONCLUSIONS: We report, for the first time, the use of real-time mathematical modelling of HCV kinetics to individualize duration of IFN-free therapy and to empower a patient to participate in shared decision making regarding length of treatment. SIL-based individualized therapy provides a treatment option for patients who do not respond to or cannot receive other HCV agents and should be further validated.

Liver Int. 2015 Feb;35(2):289-94


Chronic administration of palmitoleic acid reduces insulin resistance and hepatic lipid accumulation in KK-Ay Mice with genetic type 2 diabetes.

BACKGROUND: Studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of palmitoleic acid (C16:1 n-7) on reducing muscle insulin resistance and preventing beta-cell apoptosis. However, the effect of palmitoleic acid on diabetes remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to examine the antidiabetic effect of palmitoleic acid in KK-Ay mice, a spontaneous model for studies of obese type 2 diabetes with low insulin sensitivity. METHODS: KK-Ay mice were orally administered vehicle, 300 mg/kg of palmitoleic acid, or 300 mg/kg of palmitic acid (C16:0) on a daily basis for 4 weeks. RESULTS: Palmitoleic acid reduced body weight increase, ameliorated the development of hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia, and improved insulin sensitivity. In addition, hepatic characteristics were significantly affected, as weight of the liver and hepatic triglyceride levels were lower in the palmitoleic acid group when compared to the control (vehicle and palmitic acid groups). Oil red O staining clearly indicated reduced hepatic lipid accumulation in response to palmitoleic acid. Furthermore, palmitoleic acid down-regulated mRNA expressions of proinflammatory adipocytokine genes (TNFa and resistin) in white adipose tissue and lipogenic genes (SREBP-1, FAS, and SCD-1) in liver. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that palmitoleic acid improves hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia by increasing insulin sensitivity, in part owing to suppressing proinflammatory gene expressions and improving hepatic lipid metabolism in diabetic mice.

Lipids Health Dis . 2011 Jul 21;10:120

Circulating palmitoleate strongly and independently predicts insulin sensitivity in humans.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether palmitoleate, which prevents insulin resistance in mice, predicts insulin sensitivity in humans. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The fasting fatty acid pattern in the plasma free fatty acid (FFA) fraction was determined in 100 subjects at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Insulin sensitivity was estimated during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at baseline and after 9 months of lifestyle intervention and measured during the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (n = 79). RESULTS: Circulating palmitoleate (OGTT:F ratio = 8.2, P = 0.005; clamp:F ratio = 7.8, P = 0.007) but not total FFAs (OGTT:F ratio = 0.6, P = 0.42; clamp:F ratio = 0.7, P = 0.40) correlated positively with insulin sensitivity, independently of age, sex, and adiposity. High baseline palmitoleate predicted a larger increase in insulin sensitivity. For 1-SD increase in palmitoleate, the odds ratio for being in the highest versus the lowest tertile of adjusted change in insulin sensitivity was 2.35 (95% CI 1.16-5.35). CONCLUSIONS: Circulating palmitoleate strongly and independently predicts insulin sensitivity, suggesting that it plays an important role in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance in humans.

Diabetes Care. 2010 Feb;33(2):405-7.

Palmitoleic acid (n-7) increases white adipocyte lipolysis and lipase content in a PPARa-dependent manner.

We investigated whether palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid that enhances whole body glucose disposal and suppresses hepatic steatosis, modulates triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism in adipocytes. For this, both differentiated 3T3-L1 cells treated with either palmitoleic acid (16:1n7, 200 µM) or palmitic acid (16:0, 200 µM) for 24 h and primary adipocytes from wild-type or PPARa-deficient mice treated with 16:1n7 (300 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) or oleic acid (18:1n9, 300 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) by gavage for 10 days were evaluated for lipolysis, TAG, and glycerol 3-phosphate synthesis and gene and protein expression profile. Treatment of differentiated 3T3-L1 cells with 16:1n7, but not 16:0, increased basal and isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis, mRNA levels of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and protein content of ATGL and pSer(660)-HSL. Such increase in lipolysis induced by 16:1n7, which can be prevented by pharmacological inhibition of PPARa, was associated with higher rates of PPARa binding to DNA. In contrast to lipolysis, both 16:1n7 and 16:0 increased fatty acid incorporation into TAG and glycerol 3-phosphate synthesis from glucose without affecting glyceroneogenesis and glycerokinase expression. Corroborating in vitro findings, treatment of wild-type but not PPARa-deficient mice with 16:1n7 increased primary adipocyte basal and stimulated lipolysis and ATGL and HSL mRNA levels. In contrast to lipolysis, however, 16:1n7 treatment increased fatty acid incorporation into TAG and glycerol 3-phosphate synthesis from glucose in both wild-type and PPARa-deficient mice. In conclusion, palmitoleic acid increases adipocyte lipolysis and lipases by a mechanism that requires a functional PPARa.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab . 2013
Nov 1;305(9):E1093-102

Palmitoleic acid (n-7) increases white adipocytes GLUT4 content and glucose uptake in association with AMPK activation.

BACKGROUND: Palmitoleic acid was previously shown to improve glucose homeostasis by reducing hepatic glucose production and by enhancing insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Herein we tested the hypothesis that palmitoleic acid positively modulates glucose uptake and metabolism in adipocytes. METHODS: For this, both differentiated 3 T3-L1 cells treated with either palmitoleic acid (16:1n7, 200 µM) or palmitic acid (16:0, 200 µM) for 24 h and primary adipocytes from mice treated with 16:1n7 (300 mg/kg/day) or oleic acid (18:1n9, 300 mg/kg/day) by gavage for 10 days were evaluated for glucose uptake, oxidation, conversion to lactate and incorporation into fatty acids and glycerol components of TAG along with the activity and expression of lipogenic enzymes. RESULTS: Treatment of adipocytes with palmitoleic, but not oleic (in vivo) or palmitic (in vitro) acids, increased basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and GLUT4 mRNA levels and protein content. Along with uptake, palmitoleic acid enhanced glucose oxidation (aerobic glycolysis), conversion to lactate (anaerobic glycolysis) and incorporation into glycerol-TAG, but reduced de novo fatty acid synthesis from glucose and acetate and the activity of lipogenic enzymes glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and ATP-citrate lyase. Importantly, palmitoleic acid induction of adipocyte glucose uptake and metabolism were associated with AMPK activation as evidenced by the increased protein content of phospho(p)Thr172AMPKa, but no changes in pSer473Akt and pThr308Akt. Importantly, such increase in GLUT4 content induced by 16:1n7, was prevented by pharmacological inhibition of AMPK with compound C. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, palmitoleic acid increases glucose uptake and the GLUT4 content in association with AMPK activation.

Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Dec 20;13:199


Testosterone deficiency is associated with increased risk of mortality and testosterone replacement improves survival in men with type 2 diabetes.

OBJECTIVE: Men with type 2 diabetes are known to have a high prevalence of testosterone deficiency. No long-term data are available regarding testosterone and mortality in men with type 2 diabetes or any effect of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). We report a 6-year follow-up study to examine the effect of baseline testosterone and TRT on all-cause mortality in men with type 2 diabetes and low testosterone. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 581 men with type 2 diabetes who had testosterone levels performed between 2002 and 2005 were followed up for a mean period of 5.81.3 S.D. years. mortality rates were compared between total testosterone 10.4nmol/l (300ng/dl; n=343) and testosterone 10.4nmol/l (n=238). the effect of TRT (as per normal clinical practise: 85.9% testosterone gel and 14.1% intramuscular testosterone undecanoate) was assessed retrospectively within the low testosterone group. RESULTS: Mortality was increased in the low testosterone group (17.2%) compared with the normal testosterone group (9%; P=0.003) when controlled for covariates. In the Cox regression model, multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for decreased survival was 2.02 (P=0.009, 95% CI 1.2-3.4). TRT (mean duration 41.6±20.7 months; n=64) was associated with a reduced mortality of 8.4% compared with 19.2% (P=0.002) in the untreated group (n=174). The multivariate-adjusted HR for decreased survival in the untreated group was 2.3 (95% CI 1.3-3.9, P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Low testosterone levels predict an increase in all-cause mortality during long-term follow-up. Testosterone replacement may improve survival in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes.

Eur J Endocrinol. 2013 Oct 21;169(6):725-33

The association of hyperestrogenemia with coronary thrombosis in men.

Both hyperestrogenemia and hypotestosteronemia have been reported in association with myocardial infarction (MI) in men. It was previously observed that the serum testosterone concentration correlated negatively with the degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) in men who had never had a known MI. The present study investigated the relationship of sex hormone levels to the thrombotic component of MI by comparing these levels in 18 men who had had an MI (ie, thrombosis) and 50 men with no history of MI (ie, no thrombosis) whose degree of CAD was in the same range. The mean degree of CAD, age, and body mass index in these two groups was not significantly different. The mean serum estradiol level in the men who had had an MI (38.5 +/- 8.8 pg/mL) was higher (P = .002) than the level in the men who had not had an MI (31.9 +/- 7.1 pg/mL). The mean levels of testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, insulin, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, cholesterol, HDI, cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure did not differ significantly. Estradiol was the only variable measured that showed a significant relationship to MI (P < .003 by multivariate logistic regression). These findings suggest that hyperestrogenemia may be related to the thrombosis of MI.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1996 Nov;16 (11):1383-7

Is atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease an endocrinological disorder? The estrogen-androgen paradox.

The strikingly lower incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) in premenopausal women than in men of the same age suggests an important role for sex hormones in the etiology of MI. Supporting such a role are studies, carried out mostly in men, that report abnormalities of sex hormone levels in patients with MI, correlations of sex hormone levels with degree of atherosclerosis and with levels of risk factors for MI, and changes in the levels of risk factors with administration of sex hormones. Studies have also reported a prospective relationship in men of testosterone level with progression of atherosclerosis, accumulation of visceral adipose tissue, and other risk factors for MI. Puzzling, however, is that neither the level of testosterone nor of estrogen was found to be predictive of coronary events in any of the eight prospective studies that have been carried out. Also puzzling is that whereas the gender difference in incidence of MI would suggest that testosterone promotes and/or estrogen prevents MI, the cross- sectional, hormone administration, and prospective studies have suggested that in men testosterone may prevent and estrogen promote MI. These studies have thus revealed an estrogen-androgen paradox: that endogenous sex hormones may relate both to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and its risk factors oppositely in women and men. Recently recognized experiments of nature and their knockout mouse models may present another manifestation of this estrogen-androgen paradox and could help resolve these apparent contradictions.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May;90(5):2708-11

Commentary: Who is a candidate for testosterone therapy? A synthesis of international expert opinions.

INTRODUCTION: Despite increasing use of testosterone therapy (TTh) for men with testosterone deficiency (TD), there remains uncertainty determining who is a candidate for treatment. AIM: The aim if this study was to report the opinions of international experts on TTh, as initially presented at the meeting of the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine in Chicago, United States in August 2012. METHODS: Expert responses to questions regarding the diagnosis of TD based on their own clinical and research experience. RESULTS: All experts emphasized the primacy of symptoms for the diagnosis of TD. Total testosterone (T) thresholds used to identify TD ranged from 350 ng/dL to 400 ng/dL (12-14 nmol/L); however, experts emphasized the diagnostic limitations of this test. Free T was obtained by all, with some valuing this test more than total T for clinical decision making. Only one expert routinely used a screening questionnaire. None used age-adjusted values. Bioavailable T and the free androgen index were not used. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and sex hormone-binding globulin levels were routinely obtained at evaluation. Additional supportive evidence for TD diagnosis included small testicular volume, high androgen receptor CAG repeats, elevated LH, and presence of diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Two T tests were generally obtained but not always required. Some experts did not require morning testing in men 50 years and older. All monitored prostate-specific antigen and hematocrit after initiation of TTh. All but one expert would consider a trial of TTh to a symptomatic man with total T within the normal range. Recent studies suggesting increased cardiovascular risk with T therapy were not found to be credible. CONCLUSIONS: Determining who is a candidate for TTh requires clinical assessment based on symptoms and signs, with confirmatory laboratory evaluation. These expert opinions differed from some published guidelines by the emphasis on symptoms as paramount, recognition of the limitations of total T as a diagnostic test, and the potential utility of a therapeutic trial in symptomatic cases with normal total T concentrations.

J Sex Med. 2014 Jul;11(7):1636-45

Testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk: advances and controversies.

Two recent studies raised new concerns regarding cardiovascular (CV) risks with testosterone (T) therapy. This article reviews those studies as well as the extensive literature on T and CV risks. A MEDLINE search was performed for the years 1940 to August 2014 using the following key words: testosterone, androgens, human, male, cardiovascular, stroke, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, heart attack, death, and mortality. The weight and direction of evidence was evaluated and level of evidence (LOE) assigned. Only 4 articles were identified that suggested increased CV risks with T prescriptions: 2 retrospective analyses with serious methodological limitations, 1 placebo-controlled trial with few major adverse cardiac events, and 1 meta-analysis that included questionable studies and events. In contrast, several dozen studies have reported a beneficial effect of normal T levels on CV risks and mortality. Mortality and incident coronary artery disease are inversely associated with serum T concentrations (LOE IIa), as is severity of coronary artery disease (LOE IIa). Testosterone therapy is associated with reduced obesity, fat mass, and waist circumference (LOE Ib) and also improves glycemic control (LOE IIa). Mortality was reduced with T therapy in 2 retrospective studies. Several RCTs in men with coronary artery disease or heart failure reported improved function in men who received T compared with placebo. The largest meta-analysis to date revealed no increase in CV risks in men who received T and reduced CV risk among those with metabolic disease. In summary, there is no convincing evidence of increased CV risks with T therapy. On the contrary, there appears to be a strong beneficial relationship between normal T and CV health that has not yet been widely appreciated.

Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 Feb;90(2):224-51