Complex Modern Experiment Demonstrates Homeopathic Remedy Has Effect on Gene Expression

Both high and low homeopathic potencies of Gelseminium sempervirins were used to see if it would affect the gene expression of a human neurocyte cell line. The experiment was successful and provides evidence that Gelsemium s. “exerts a prevalently inhibitory effect on a series of neurocyte genes across a wide dose-range.” The complexity of modern scientific experimental planning, technique, equipment, experimental controls and quality controls that were used are all quite remarkable. 

Background
Gelsemium sempervirens L. (Gelsemium s.) is a traditional medicinal plant, employed as an anxiolytic at ultra-low doses and animal models recently confirmed this activity. However the mechanisms by which it might operate on the nervous system are largely unknown. This work investigates the gene expression of a human neurocyte cell line treated with increasing dilutions of Gelsemium s. extract.
Methods
Starting from the crude extract, six 100 × (centesimal, c) dilutions of Gelsemium s. (2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 9c and 30c) were prepared according to the French homeopathic pharmacopoeia. Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were exposed for 24 h to test dilutions, and their transcriptome compared by microarray to that of cells treated with control vehicle solutions.
Results
Exposure to the Gelsemium s. 2c dilution (the highest dose employed, corresponding to a gelsemine concentration of 6.5 × 10-9 M) significantly changed the expression of 56 genes, of which 49 were down-regulated and 7 were overexpressed. Several of the down-regulated genes belonged to G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, calcium homeostasis, inflammatory response and neuropeptide receptors. Fisher exact test, applied to the group of 49 genes down-regulated by Gelsemium s. 2c, showed that the direction of effects was significantly maintained across the treatment with high homeopathic dilutions, even though the size of the differences was distributed in a small range.
Conclusions
The study shows that Gelsemium s., a medicinal plant used in traditional remedies and homeopathy, modulates a series of genes involved in neuronal function. A small, but statistically significant, response was detected even to very low doses/high dilutions (up to 30c), indicating that the human neurocyte genome is extremely sensitive to this regulation.

This study provides evidence that Gelsemium s. exerts a prevalently inhibitory effect on a series of neurocyte genes across a wide dose-range. The effect decreases with increasing dilutions, but whole genome expression analysis allowed to detect statistically significant changes even at the highest dilutions tested (9c and 30c). The results suggest the extreme sensitivity of human gene expression to regulation by ultra-low doses and high dilutions/dynamizations of a plant remedy and encourage further efforts in research on this field. Studies using “omic-based” approaches and systems biology should be particularly worthy at generating new hypotheses on mechanisms for the effects of highly diluted natural compounds.

See the write up here: Extreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SY5Y neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens

British ASA Skeptics “Defame” Swiss Government Experts in Attempt to Squelch Homeopathy

The Swiss Health Technology Assessment (HTA) was founded in 1999 for the scientific evaluation of medical technologies on the basis of their effectiveness, appropriateness, and efficiency, as well as social and ethical aspects and implications. All government agencies, all University Institutes, several University Hospitals dealing with Technology Assessment and the Swiss Medical Association are members and give input on any therapy being considered. A number of years ago, the Swiss used precise scientific information and this input to come to the conclusion that homeopathy should be integrated into the Swiss National Health system and paid for under the Swiss government medical system. They generated an authoritative report that was remarkable in its rigorous thoroughness and scientific comprehensiveness.

The British Advertising Authority, (ASA) which is a private a company, in a process of evaluating advertising by homeopathic practitioners rejected this HTA report outright. The professors of medicine who wrote the Swiss government report on homeopathy have complained that the authors of the British Advertising Authority report either did not bother to read their report or “bizarrely” stated falsehoods about it. The professors claim they have been “defamed” and that the report is false and the report as well as subsequent handling of complaints by the ASA was thoroughly unprofessional and misleading.

The Swiss professors of medicine wrote to the British ASA:

“In conclusion, we state that your writing does not even begin to approach a professional standard. We take great exception to your untenable allegation that we researched this important subject with the superficiality that you suggest, an implication that we consider defamatory. You accuse us of basing our conclusions largely on a reworking of one deeply flawed paper, the Shang study. Yet this is the one paper on which you appear to have based your own conclusions, which are flatly contradicted by swathes of contrary evidence of which you revealingly make no mention. We find this bizarre.

It is customary that authors whose work is misrepresented should have the right of a reply to be published in the same location as the attack was published. We therefore demand that you please place our reply on your website, with equal prominence to your own text.”…

“Aside from a legal incumbency to present facts truthfully and to correct errors made, I hope we can agree as a question of basic morality that members of the public should not be subjected to false or misleading communications – including yours.”

The ASA representatives brushed off the complaints in a perfunctory manner and have refused to publish any of the positive Swiss government conclusions on homeopathy written by unbiased Swiss scientific experts.

More…

2013 Sees Governments in Europe Defining the Practice and Educational Standards of Homeopathy

As homeopathy has been officially established in most European countries for over a century and is the number one alternative medicine practice, governments are now defining its practice more carefully. Switzerland, after a lengthy government investigation concluded that homeopathy is beneficial and an important part of health care and as such is now officially funding its practice through their national health scheme.

Other countries like Germany and France have a vital and well established homeopathic professional community. In 2013, Portugal, Belgium and Italy have passed special parliamentary Acts to establish homeopathy practice in law and define the practice and educational standards for professional homeopaths.

From the European Council for Homeopathy Web site:

In July, 2013 the Portuguese Parliament adopted a bill regulating 7 non-conventional (also called complementary) therapies including homeopathy, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathy, herbal medicine, osteopathy and chiropractics. The law came into force on 2 September (Lei No. 71/2013) and in fact revived the 10-year old Law 45/2003 that was never implemented. The new law stipulates that these CAM modalities can only be practised by professionals with higher education qualifications and a publicly registered professional license.

Access to the registers of these CAM professions will depend on the ownership of a degree in one of the therapies, obtained following an education consistent with the requirements set by members of the Government responsible for health and higher education. Requirements for the practice of these modalities should follow the WHO guidelines and those issued by the Portuguese Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education and the Directorate-General of Health.

The exercise of the professions is permitted only to holders of a professional license issued by the Central Administration of the Health System. A register will allow identification of the health professionals holding the adequate qualifications. The use of professional titles is only permitted to holders of such a license.

In Belgium, on the 12th of July 2013, the Belgian Council of Ministers decided that homeopathy is a medical act. Only medical doctors, dentists and midwives are entitled to practise homeopathy, dentists and midwives only within their competence.

The Council of Ministers based their approval on the official recommendation given by the Belgian Minister of Public Health, Ms Laurette Onkelinx – formulated after 21 meetings of the Unio Homeopathica Belgica representatives and university professors with Health Ministry representatives. With this decision, the Colla law on non-conventional practices (named after Minister Colla), adopted by the Belgian Parliament in 1999, can finally be fully implemented after 14 years of struggle. This law only regulates human medicine. The practice of homeopathy by veterinary doctors will be discussed in a separate commission.

In Italy, on 7 February 2013, the State and the Regions and Autonomous Provinces Conference approved the national rules for the education in Complementary Medicine. The process which led to this important event started in 2007, when the Tuscan Regional Council approved the Regional Law of Tuscany n. 9/2007, which regulates education and practice of Complementary Medicine (CM) by medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists and veterinarians. The legislation stipulates that Regional Professional Associations are to draw up lists of professional experts in CM based on the requirements defined by the Regional Law and by the Regional Committee for CM education, and to issue a specific certification.
On 20 December 2012, a proposal of National Agreement among the State and the Regions and Autonomous Provinces on rules of CM education, that includes at the moment only medical doctors and dentists, was approved by all the Italian Regional Presidents and finally the Agreement was officially signed on 7 February 2013.

Now Italy is one of the few European countries with a national law stating the rules for education in Complementary Medicine.

The agreement defines the training and accreditation of complementary medicine professionals and education institutions and  provides for the establishment of lists of CM professionals who practice acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy. Those wishing to register must have a certificate issued by accredited public and private training centres and must have completed a course of no less than 500 training hours, included 100 hours of clinical practice, after having passed a theoretical and practical exam and discussed a thesis. Courses for medical doctors cannot last less than 3 years.

Computerized Test Confirms Positive Results for Homeopathy Potentization and Proves BBC Experiment Incorrect

Its remarkable what a difference new computerized and automated equipment makes. Except the British Broadcasting Company doesn’t think so. One of the most controversial tests or experiments showing that homeopathic potentized dilutions are active is utilizing diluted and homoeopathically potentized histamines on human basophils. The BBC, on the show Horizons cobbled together a “scientific” experiment disproving that there was an effect. Yet, the experiment has been successfully replicated in many laboratories around the world. Other notable scientists including Dr. Madeline Ennis, a Professor of Pharmacology, at Queen’s University, Belfast successfully showed that it worked. The problem is that the counting is open to human error.

Well, now the controversy is over. A new technique carefully utilizing modern computerized equipment called flow cytometry protocol has produced POSITIVE results.

The conclusion from this new experiment was “Using a strictly standardized flow cytometry protocol and a new dilution/succussion procedure, we have shown that low and high dilutions of histamine inhibit CD203c up-regulation in anti-IgE stimulated basophils.”

Unfortunately the BBC continues to rebroadcast their 2002 faulty but controversial experiment.

Leading Science Journal Publishes Study Confirming Homeopathy Helps with the Effects of Sleep Deprivation

For centuries homeopaths have been using homeopathic remedies to help individuals with sleep problems. Cocculus indica, (abbreviated cocc) is one such homeopathic remedy.

Scientists at The Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Behavioural Neuroscience Lab,  in Haifa, Israel concluded that “the treatment with cocc 30c recovers both short-term behavioral and the long-term hormonal modulations following SD[sleep deprivation].” The article on the successful experiment was published in Neuroscience and calls the homeopathic remedy treatment- “nanoparticle treatment”.

More details:

Plant-derived nanoparticle treatment with cocc 30c ameliorates attention and motor abilities in sleep-deprived rats.
Zubedat S, Freed Y, Eshed Y, Cymerblit-Sabba A, Ritter A, Nachmani M, Harush R, Aga-Mizrachi S, Avital A.
Source
The Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Behavioural Neuroscience Lab, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
Abstract
Sleep is an essential physiological process that underlies crucial cognitive functions as well as emotional reactivity. Thus, sleep deprivation (SD) may exert various deleterious effects. In this study, we aimed to examine the adverse behavioral and hormonal effects of SD and a potential treatment with Plant-derived nanoparticle treatment – cocc 30c. The study was a 4-arm trial with randomization and double-blinding of verum and placebo treatments. SD was induced by using the Multiple Platform Method for 48h. The effects of SD were evaluated behaviorally (pre-pulse inhibition (PPI), startle response and rotor-rod) at baseline as well as at 6, 12, 24h, and 14days post deprivation. cocc 30c treatment was administrated Per Os every three hours starting immediately after baseline tests and for a period of 24h. On day 14, blood samples were taken and serum levels of corticosterone, testosterone, serotonin and leptin were tested. We found that cocc 30c improved PPI 12 and 24h post deprivation, likewise, cocc 30c improved motor learning. On day 14 SD led to increased startle response that was ameliorated by cocc 30c. Likewise, SD led to increased levels of corticosterone and serotonin while decreasing testosterone and leptin. Interestingly, cocc 30c treatment has moderated these hormonal alterations. We conclude that the treatment with cocc 30c recovers both short-term behavioral and the long-term hormonal modulations following SD.
Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
KEYWORDS:
5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine, ANOVA, D1R, ITI, Inter-Trial-Interval, MPM, Multiple Platform Method, PPI, SD, analysis of variance, attention, cocc 30c, dopamine receptor1, hormones, motor learning, nanoparticles, pre-pulse inhibition, sleep deprivation

Pubmed

Prince Charles Support and Faith in Homeopathy is ‘Unwavering”

The Telegraph, a UK news outlet reports that in spite of criticism and consternation by some opponents, “Prince Charles’s faith in [homeopathy] the alternative medicine is unwavering”.

The Royal family has long been devoted to the practice of homeopathy – in fact, to this day, there is a court homeopath, a position that seems as anachronistic as the royal horologist or the master of the Queen’s music. The Queen’s father, George VI, was a firm convert to the cause, as was his father, George V.
Indeed, Her Majesty is not only devoted to homeopathy, which she also uses on her animals, but the broader spectrum of alternative medicine – and it is said that her avoidance of illness during her 60 years on the throne is due to supplementing her conventional medical regime with herbal remedies.

-The Telegraph

Montreal Gazette Newspaper Publishes Pharmaceutical Industry Funded Anti-Homeopathy “Research”

The Montreal Gazette has published a number of articles by a pharmaceutical industry funded chemist who is attacking homeopathy, consumers of homeopathy and practitioners. We have learned that the newspaper has not published any letters from pro- homeopathy sources except for one opinion by a leader of a consumer movement supporting homeopathy. Nor have they revealed the source of the chemist’s funding. So we publish this letter to the editor which was sent to us . The letter has been adapted and edited for this web site:

Joe  Schwarcz a chemist who claims to have done some anti-homeopathy “research”  is being funded to publicly malign homeopathy by a Director of a pharmaceutical company and owner of one of the leading companies in the design and manufacturing of pharmaceutical packaging. The funder’s bias is clear and rather than real research, Joe Schwarcz offers highly publicized negative opinions. And so the question has to be asked, is Joe Schwarcz, who is completely untrained in medicine, really giving consumers a fair view of homeopathy, a 200 year old alternative to pharmaceutical medicine?

As pharmaceutical companies seek more emerging markets such as in India and Brazil, where homeopathy is popular, they are attempting world wide to malign its positive, safe and effective results. This is in the form of funding “skeptic” groups and individuals. 

There are many scientific studies showing homeopathy has beneficial effect for a myriad of medical problems.  Particularly in France and Germany where it is used by 1000s of well trained (in science) Medical Doctors.

For example, a long term study approved by the French National Data-Protection Commission and The French National Council of Physicians has shown that homeopathy patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain had a 50 percent reduced use of conventional pain medication, while homeopathy patients with acute musculoskeletal pain had a 38 percent reduced use.

Another example is a study using a homeopathic remedy with menopausal women experiencing hot flashes in 35 active gynaecologists’ practices in France showing dramatic success. Researchers are now recommending it as a “new therapeutic option with a safe profile for hot flashes in menopausal women”

What would be more valuable for readers of that newspaper would be to interview the medical doctors,  gynaecologists and researchers who led these studies. It would be good to hear from Medical doctors who positively embrace homeopathy rather than a chemist funded by pharmaceutical company interests.

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