Toxins, Biological

Publication Title: 
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology

The idea that putrefaction of the stools causes disease, i.e., intestinal autointoxication, originated with physicians in ancient Egypt. They believed that a putrefactive principle associated with feces was absorbed in to the general circulation, where it acted to produce fever and pus. This description of the materia peccans represented the earliest forerunner of our present notion of endotoxin and its effect.

Author(s): 
Chen, T. S.
Chen, P. S.
Publication Title: 
PloS One

Hormesis occurs when a low level stress elicits adaptive beneficial responses that protect against subsequent exposure to severe stress. Recent findings suggest that mild oxidative and thermal stress can extend lifespan by hormetic mechanisms. Here we show that the botanical pesticide plumbagin, while toxic to C. elegans nematodes at high doses, extends lifespan at low doses. Because plumbagin is a naphthoquinone that can generate free radicals in vivo, we investigated whether it extends lifespan by activating an adaptive cellular stress response pathway. The C.

Author(s): 
Hunt, Piper R.
Son, Tae Gen
Wilson, Mark A.
Yu, Quian-Sheng
Wood, William H.
Zhang, Yongqing
Becker, Kevin G.
Greig, Nigel H.
Mattson, Mark P.
Camandola, Simonetta
Wolkow, Catherine A.
Publication Title: 
Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Patch-Clamp electrophysiology, the "gold standard" for the functional study of ion channels has become automated. This innovative technology, already over a decade old, has revolutionized the strategies for the search of medicinal compounds which now can be screened at unprecedented speed, approaching the high throughput standards required by primary screening campaigns emblematic of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Consequently, an acceleration of the discovery and development of new drugs targeting ion channels is expected.

Author(s): 
Picones, Arturo
Publication Title: 
Swiss Medical Weekly

BACKGROUND: Many cancer patients use alternative therapies in addition to conventional treatment. In a survey among such patients, we assessed the prevalence of and the motivation for alternative therapy use in a rural area of Switzerland. METHODS: From 1st February to 30th November 2001, we interviewed 108 patients treated in the oncology outpatient clinic of the Langenthal District General Hospital, Switzerland, using a structured questionnaire. 77% of the patients were female. 49% of the patients (i.e., 64% of the female patients) suffered from breast cancer.

Author(s): 
van der Weg, Fleur
Streuli, Rolf A.
Publication Title: 
Human & Experimental Toxicology

Is hormesis related to homeopathy? Despite the superficial similarity of the low dose of the applied stimulus, there are compelling reasons for maintaining hormesis and homeopathy as unrelated. Homeopathy originated in the medical knowledge vacuum of the 19th century, prior to the acceptance of the germ/gene bases of disease. Homeopathy was never grounded on empirical scientific evidence. Hormesis, on the other hand, has always been an empirical science, involving properly controlled experiments.

Author(s): 
Moffett, John R.
Publication Title: 
Cardiovascular Toxicology

Many plants of the Ericaceae family, Rhododendron, Pieris, Agarista and Kalmia, contain diterpene grayanotoxins. Consumption of grayanotoxin containing leaves, flowers or secondary products as honey may result in intoxication specifically characterized by dizziness, hypotension and atrial-ventricular block. Symptoms are caused by an inability to inactivate neural sodium ion channels resulting in continuous increased vagal tone. Grayanotoxin containing products are currently sold online, which may pose an increasing risk.

Author(s): 
Jansen, Suze A.
Kleerekooper, Iris
Hofman, Zonne L. M.
Kappen, Isabelle F. P. M.
Stary-Weinzinger, Anna
van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.
Publication Title: 
Anticancer Research

Standardized aqueous mistletoe extracts have been applied to cancer patients for several decades as complementary medicine. A multicentric, randomized, open, prospective clinical trial was conducted in three oncological centers in the People's Republic of China in Bejing, Shenyang and Tianjin. Following the guidelines of "Good Clinical Practice" (GCP) this study was performed to get information on efficacy safety and side-effects of the standardized mistletoe extract (sME).

Author(s): 
Piao, B. K.
Wang, Y. X.
Xie, G. R.
Mansmann, U.
Matthes, H.
Beuth, J.
Lin, H. S.
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