Chinese Medicine Times : Keeping You Informed

Chinese Medicine Times : Keeping You Informed

Ancient Chinese medicine could fight ageing

Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21462-ancient-chinese-medicine-could-fight-ageing.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

A flowering Tibetan shrub that tricks cells into thinking they are starving could become a weapon against multiple sclerosis and even old age.

The roots of the blue evergreen hydrangea (Dichroa febrifuga) have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat malaria. Now Tracy Keller and colleagues at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston have found that halofuginone – a chemical based on the roots' active ingredient – blocks immune reactions that can cause disease.

Cells stop the synthesis of non-vital proteins when amino acids are in short supply. Keller's team discovered that halofuginone mimics such a shortage by blocking an enzyme that feeds one amino acid to the protein-making machinery.

Keller found that the drug triggers a chemical cascade that responds to amino acid scarcity. This inhibited the growth of malaria parasites, stopped blood cells from making proteins that cause inflammation and stopped the development of specific white blood cells that trigger conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

This could make the drug effective against autoimmune disease. But as halofuginone mimics nutrient deprivation, there is another possible use. Animals that receive only just adequate nutrition are known to live longer because diseases which involve inflammation are prevented. That, says Keller, means halofuginone might work as an anti-ageing drug.

Journal reference: Nature Chemical Biology, DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.790

Back To Latest Articles and News

Email This Page
Discuss This

Subscribe To CMT

Shopping Basket

Your basket is empty!

Recently Viewed Login Register

Change Language

Change Currency

Subscribe to our RSS Feed Chinese Medicine Times Facebook Fan Page Chinese Medicine Times Twitter Page Chinese Medicine Times Linkedin Page Email a friend about this website
  • Aculux KS needles
  • Cupping Advert General
  • AcuGlide Needle Offer
  • Acumaster Offer
  • Vinco Needle Offer
  • Viva Offer

Events Calendar

Korean Hand Therapy with Jong Baik in London 04/09/2014-09/09/2014

Korean Hand Therapy (KHT) is unique when compared to other hand reflexology... [more]

Master Tung Acupuncture Parts 1&2 with Philip Weeks - Novemeber 7th/8th

A very practical 2 day workshop with lots of practise!. Tung Acupuncture is well known for its quick and spontaneous results... [more]

View Events Calendar

From Our Store

HACI Magnetic Cupping Set

HACI Magnetic Cupping Set

High quality Korean magne...
Glass Cupping Jar - Small

Glass Cupping Jar - Small

Thick, heavy glass jar fo...
Bollmann Nova Case, Brown Leatherette

Bollmann Nova Case, Brown Leatherette

Karl Bollmann of Germany ...
The Daode Jing eBook

The Daode Jing eBook

by Richard Bertschinger
Acurea Mini Cupping Set - 10 pieces

Acurea Mini Cupping Set - 10 pieces

10 cup vacuum cupping set...
Bollmann Visita Case, Burgundy Leatherette

Bollmann Visita Case, Burgundy Leatherette

Karl Bollmann of Germany ...