Thursday, April 20, 2006

Herbs have a win: "Herbal remedies are effective in treating lower-back pain and in some cases work just as well as pharmaceutical drugs. A review of 10 different studies conducted around the world in recent years has found three herbs - Devil's Claw, White Willow Bark and Cayenne - all reduced back pain significantly more than a placebo, or dummy pill. And two of the herbs, Devil's Claw, also known as harpagoside, and White Willow Bark, also known as salicin, were just as effective as Vioxx - a member of the newest class of anti-inflammatory painkilling drugs, collectively known as Cox-2 inhibitors. The findings on the three herbs were released yesterday by the Cochrane Library, an international collaboration that seeks to iron out contradictions in medical evidence by examining a large number of studies looking at the same topic. The Cochrane reviewers found 10 previous studies involving 1567 patients aged 18 or over with chronic or acute lower-back pain".

New antibiotic: "Wallabies could hold the key to developing the next generation of super-drugs to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. An Australian team of scientists have found that the milk of the female tammar wallabies contains a molecule that is 100 times more effective against bacteria such a E.coli than the most potent form of penicillin. In recent years scientists have been concerned that over-prescribing penicillin has increasingly made bacteria resistant to the drug and this was potentially leading to the creation of "super-bugs". The findings, in the latest issue of New Scientist, were presented at the US Biotechnology Industry Organisation 2006 meeting in Chicago last week. But the research director in animal genetics and genomics for the Victoria Department of Primary Industries in Melbourne, Dr Ben Cocks, said the molecule in the wallaby milk, called AGG01, is effective against a range of bacteria and one type of fungus".

No comments: