Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medicines From Plants: NIH Funds Five Botanical Research Centers

Date:
June 9, 2005
Source:
NIH/National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Summary:
Five dietary supplement research centers focusing on studies of botanical products have been jointly funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Research conducted by these centers will advance the scientific base of knowledge about the safety, effectiveness, and mechanisms of action of botanicals.

Five dietary supplement research centers focusing on studies of botanical products have been jointly funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Research conducted by these centers will advance the scientific base of knowledge about the safety, effectiveness, and mechanisms of action of botanicals.

Botanical products are widely used by many Americans despite a lack of evidence for most regarding whether they are safe or effective. The 2002 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 38.2 million American adults (about 19 percent) use nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products, primarily botanical supplements.

"Given that millions of Americans are using natural products, these research centers are critical to helping us determine whether and by what mechanisms botanicals may serve as effective treatments or preventive approaches," said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. "The five centers we are funding will investigate the use of a variety of widely consumed botanicals, from flaxseed to tarragon, for a range of diseases and conditions that affect many Americans, such as asthma, atherosclerosis, cataracts, and cancer."

Details on the recipients of these 5-year botanical research center grants are listed below.

Botanical Center for Age-Related Diseases
Principal Investigator: Connie Weaver, Ph.D.
Partner Institutions: Purdue University, West LaFayette, IN; University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Researchers in this collaborative program will investigate the health effects of polyphenols (a diverse group of chemical components widely distributed in plants) from sources such as soy and kudzu. They will study the ability of these agents to prevent and treat common conditions associated with aging, including osteoporosis, cognitive decline, and cataracts.

Botanical Dietary Supplements for Women's Health
Principal Investigator: Norman Farnsworth, Ph.D.
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago, IL (UIC)

This center focuses on herbal supplements with implications for benefit in women's health. For example, UIC scientists are conducting a clinical trial to determine if black cohosh and red clover provide relief of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes. In addition to conducting basic and clinical research looking at standardization, metabolism, and toxicity of botanicals, the center will support research training in pharmacognosy (the study of natural products).

Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome
Principal Investigator: William Cefalu, M.D.
Partner Institutions: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Center of Agriculture and the Environment of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Researchers will study extracts of Russian tarragon, Shilianhua (a Chinese herbal product), and grape seed and how they may influence molecular and cellular processes associated with the metabolic syndrome, which consists of obesity, insulin resistance, development of type 2 diabetes, and accelerated cardiovascular disease.

MSKCC Research Center for Botanical Immunomodulators
Co-Principal Investigators: Barrie Cassileth, Ph.D., and Philip Livingston, M.D.
Partner Institutions: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY; The Rockefeller University, New York, NY; the Institute of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

This center will investigate botanicals with reported ability to modulate immune function--echinacea, astralgus, turmeric, maitake, and a traditional Chinese formula--and their relevance for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease.

Wake Forest and Harvard Center for Botanical Lipids
Principal Investigator: Floyd Chilton, Ph.D.
Partner Institutions: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

This center will examine biological mechanisms and clinical applications of polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from botanicals, such as flaxseed, echium, and borage. The studies will focus on the anti-inflammatory actions of botanical oils and their potential to prevent and treat inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis and asthma.

"In 1999, NIH developed a botanical research center initiative with major research institutions across the nation," said Paul Coates, Ph.D., Director of ODS. "These five centers will continue to fulfill the goal of this initiative to foster interdisciplinary collaborative research, in order to identify potential health benefits and to develop a systematic evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of botanicals, particularly those available as dietary supplements."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine. "Medicines From Plants: NIH Funds Five Botanical Research Centers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608062445.htm>.
NIH/National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine. (2005, June 9). Medicines From Plants: NIH Funds Five Botanical Research Centers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608062445.htm
NIH/National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine. "Medicines From Plants: NIH Funds Five Botanical Research Centers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608062445.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins