The influence of herbal medicine on platelet function and coagulation: a narrative review.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Platelet activation and aggregation play a central role in hemostasis and thrombosis.

Herbal medicines have been traditionally used in the management of CVD and can play a role in modifying CVD progression, particularly in platelet function, and have the potential of altering platelet function tests, as well as some coagulation parameters. Herbal medicines, such as feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginseng, motherwort, St John’s wort, and willow bark, were found to reduce platelet aggregation. In vitro studies show promise in the reduction of platelet aggregation for Andrographis, feverfew, garlic, ginger, Ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn, horse chestnut, and turmeric. In addition, cranberry, danshen, dong quai, Ginkgo, ginseng, green tea, and St John’s wort were found to have potential interactions with warfarin. Furthermore, St John’s wort interacted with clopidogrel and danshen with aspirin.

Therefore, repeat testing of platelet function and coagulation studies, particularly for patients on warfarin therapy, may be required after exclusion of herbal medicines that could have possibly affected initial test results.

McEwen BJ. The influence of herbal medicine on platelet function and coagulation: a narrative review. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2015 Apr;41(3):300-14. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25839871)

The function of education…

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Quote of the day

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”

– Winston Churchill

Eat more fruit and vegetables!

A new report has been published stating that we are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. There seems to be a lack of focus on food and more emphasis on quick fixes. We need to bring back more focus on good quality foods. There is a vast amount of research showing the benefits of fruit and vegetables on improving the quality of health. Just look at the Mediterranean diet, for example. So eat more fruit and vegetables. Come on, you can do it!

http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6003-most-of-us-dont-eat-enough-fruit-veg-201501062212

fruit-veg-intake-australia

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), November 2013 – October 2014 (n=14,088). Excludes can’t say.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Wishing you and your family all the best for the festive season.

World Diabetes Day 2014

November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD). Led by the International Diabetes Federation, the day unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

Healthy Living and Diabetes is the World Diabetes Day theme for 2014 – 2016. Activities and materials in 2014 focus on the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and effectively manage all types of diabetes to avoid complications.

Links:
http://www.idf.org/about-diabetes
http://www.australiandiabetescouncil.com/media/world-diabetes-day
https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/

Links to the Diabetes Atlas Map and Data Visualisations
http://www.idf.org/atlasmap/atlasmap
http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/data-visualisations

National Nutrition Week

It’s National Nutrition Week (12-18 October 2014). Are you up for a healthy challenge? We challenge you to prepare healthy meals for you and your family every day for seven days. Cook, eat and enjoy. Even if it’s only one meal per day, it can make a big difference in your health. The National Nutrition Week challenge will give you the inspiration to plan ahead, cook your own meal, eat well, and feel good! Quality nutrition is the foundation of good health. Are you up for a healthy challenge?

Quote of the Day

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill”.

– Buddha

Effect of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity

Effect of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity

A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

Resveratrol consumption significantly reduced fasting glucose, insulin, glycated haemoglobin, and insulin resistance levels in participants with diabetes. There was no significant effect of resveratrol on glycaemic measures on nondiabetic participants.

Resveratrol significantly improved glucose control and insulin sensitivity in persons with diabetes but did not affect glycaemic measures in nondiabetic persons. Additional high-quality studies are needed to further evaluate the potential benefits of resveratrol in humans.

Am J Clin Nutr. June 2014. vol. 99 no. 6, 1510-1519.

Obesity and other noncommunicable disease risk factors are increasing in low- and middle-income countries

Vorster and colleagues assessed the relationship between added sugar intake and noncommunicable disease risk factors in an African cohort study. Added sugars were defined as all monosaccharides and di-saccharides added to foods and beverages during processing, cooking, and at the table.

The study was a 5-year follow-up of a cohort of 2010 urban and rural men and women aged 30–70 y of age at recruitment in 2005 from the North West Province in South Africa.

Added sugar intake, particularly in rural areas, has increased rapidly in the past 5 years. In rural areas, the proportion of adults who consumed sucrose-sweetened beverages approximately doubled (for men, from 25% to 56%; for women, from 33% to 63%) in the past 5 years.

This cohort showed dramatic increases in added sugars and sucrose-sweetened beverage consumption in both urban and rural areas. Increased consumption was associated with increased noncommunicable disease risk factors. In addition, the study showed that the nutrition transition has reached a remote rural area in South Africa. Urgent action is needed to address these trends.

Am J Clin Nutr. June 2014, vol. 99 no. 6, 1479-1486.

Gluten may cause depression in subjects with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity

Gluten, the major protein of wheat, has been established as the causative agent in the development of coeliac disease, characterised by small intestinal injury and immunological activation. Gluten has also been implicated as a causal factor in the development of chronic functional gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those classified as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Twenty-two subjects (24–62 years, five male) with irritable bowel syndrome who had coeliac disease excluded but were symptomatically controlled on a gluten free diet (GFD), undertook a double-blind cross-over study. Participants randomly received one of three dietary challenges for 3 days, followed by a minimum 3-day washout before crossing over to the next diet. Challenge gluten-free food was supplemented with gluten (16 g/day), whey (16 g/day) or not supplemented (placebo).

Gluten ingestion was associated with higher overall state depression scores compared to placebo [P = 0.010].

Short-term exposure to gluten specifically induced current feelings of depression. Such findings might explain why patients with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity feel better on a gluten-free diet despite the continuation of gastrointestinal symptoms.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014; 39: 1104–1112.

Herbal teas are on their way… Update 3

Another update on the herbal teas. I’m going to go with Dr B’s Herbal Teas 🙂 . Things have been very busy here with work so I have delayed the teas a bit. Working on the dream. Stay tuned for exciting news.

PS. Happy St Patrick’s Day

The influence of diet and nutrients on platelet function

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Platelet activation and aggregation play an integral role in hemostasis and thrombosis.

Diets and nutrients play a potential role in modifying cardiovascular disease progression, particularly in platelet function, and have the potential of altering platelet function tests. Diets such as Mediterranean diet, high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and vegetarian diets have inverse relationships with cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate, foods with low glycemic index, garlic, ginger, omega-3 PUFA, onion, purple grape juice, tomato, and wine all reduce platelet aggregation. Dark chocolate and omega-3 PUFA also reduce P-selectin expression. In addition, dark chocolate reduces PAC-1 binding and platelet microparticle formation. Berries inhibit platelet function (PFA-100). Energy drinks have been shown to increase platelet aggregation and caffeine increases platelet microparticle formation.

Therefore, repeat testing of platelet function may be required, not only after exclusion of known antiplatelet medications but also potentially after exclusion of dietary substances/nutrients that could have plausibly affected initial test data.

McEwen BJ. The Influence of Diet and Nutrients on Platelet Function. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2014 Mar;40(2):214-26. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24497119)

Herbal teas are on their way… Update 2

An update (number 2) on the herbal teas. I’m thinking of naming the brand “Dr Brad’s teas” or “Dr B’s Teas” or similar. My friends call be Dr B, so I might go with that…

Herbal teas are on their way… Update

I’ve always seen food as medicine and herbal teas play a very big role in supporting and improving health. I have used herbal teas in my clinic for many years. During high school I did a subject in business that allowed me to work under a herbalist in a health food store. This experience brought forward my love of herbal teas.

I have graduated with my PhD at the University of Sydney (yesterday). Yay! It was a beautiful day with family and friends. I am getting back to creating the herbal tea brand that I talked about a while ago. Sorry about the delay. The herbal teas will be available in the future. The herbal teas will be certified organic. I’m very excited about this. I’m thinking of a catchy name. Stay tuned…