Obesity is a key factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome and is the most important risk factor for the development of insulin resistance. Previous studies have shown that bofutsushosan (BOF), a Kampo medicine has an anti-obesity effect. However, it remains unclear whether BOF could ameliorate insulin resistance. In the current study, Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, a model of obesity-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus, were used to test the usefulness of BOF. Male OLETF rats and their lean counterparts Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats aged 13 weeks were randomly divided into four groups: LETO + saline, LETO + BOF, OLETF + saline, and OLETF + BOF. Saline and BOF were orally administered for 4 weeks. The euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp was performed and the glucose infusion rate (GIR) was used to evaluate insulin resistance in the rats. BOF treatment to OLETF rats resulted in less body weight increase and attenuated GIR decrease. These results suggested that, probably by improving insulin-dependent glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, BOF may control the advance of diabetes in this rat model of obesity-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Objective: A considerable number of hypertensive patients believe that the herbal drugs of Kampo medicine (traditional Japanese medicine) have antihypertensive effects. However, the antihypertensive effects of these drugs have not yet been substantiated. We report a single case study that evaluated the efficacies of 6 Kampo formulas, which are widely used for hypertension. Methods: We administered the following 6 different Kampo formulas in the given order to a 43-year-old male with mild hypertension who was not receiving any antihypertensive drugs: hangekobokuto (HK), orengedokuto (OG), shichimotsukokato (SK), chotosan (CT), saikokaryukotsuboreito (SR), and hachimijiogan (HJ). Each formula was administered exclusively for 4 weeks, and a washout period of 4 weeks was maintained between the administrations of 2 consecutive formulas. Results: Prior to the commencement of this study, the patient was diagnosed as a candidate for treatment with HJ from the viewpoint of Kampo medicine. Interestingly, our results also showed that HJ exhibited the strongest antihypertensive effect in daytime blood pressure (BP), nighttime BP, and 24-h BP in this patient. The systolic daytime BP, systolic nighttime BP, and diastolic nighttime BP were reduced by more than 10 mmHg after HJ therapy. In contrast, the other formulas did not produce any significant effects, except HK that exhibited a pressor effect. Discussion and conclusion: Kampo formulas can be candidates for antihypertensive drugs. However, it is suggested that Kampo formulas should be prescribed according to not only the diagnosis of Western medicine, for example, hypertension, but also the diagnosis of Kampo medicine.
An Ayurvedic medicated oil, Jatyadi Taila (J), is known to be used in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), especially for anal fistula surgery involving the medicated thread Kshara Sutra. Although this surgical method has been introduced into Japan, the pharmacological efficacy, toxicity and postoperative care for J remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of this oil on production of the chemokine interleukin (IL)-8 as well as cell proliferation in cultured human epidermal keratinocytes. We also attempted to create an oil for Kshara Sutra based on Kampo ointments such as shiunko and chuoko, instead of J. J itself did not affect IL-8 production in keratinocytes co-stimulated with TPA, but showed a strong cytotoxicity toward this cell line. Among the tested oils, oil of turmeric resulted in suppression of not only IL-8 production but also cell growth in cultured keratinocytes. Oil of turmeric and Phellodendri Cortex showed a tendency to suppress IL-8 production under the same condition. The methanol-eluted fractions of J suppressed IL-8 production without any significant cytotoxicity. The methanol fraction of the oil from sesame or Lithospermi Radix significantly enhanced the proliferation of keratinocytes without IL-8 production. These findings indicate that the Ayurvedic oil J may have potential for suppression of skin inflammation through regulation of the keratinocyte inflammatory response. It is further proposed that Japanese Taila based on shiunko and chuoko might be useful for Kshara Sutra surgery in patients.