Home > Current Events > Year 2006 January
A review of stories making the headlines.
Medicinal herb induces cell growth arrest and apoptosis in breast cancer cells
Lab Business Week  December 18, 2005

Huanglian (Coptidis rhizoma), a widely used herb in traditional Chinese medicine, has been shown recently to possess anti-cancer activities. This study used DNA micro-array technology to examine the effect of the herbal extract on expression of the common genes involved in carcinogenesis in two human breast cancer cell lines, scientists writing in the journal Carcinogenesis reported (2005; 26 (11):1934-1939). "Treatment of the cancer cells with huanglian extract markedly inhibited their proliferation in a dose-and time-dependent manner," said Jing X. Kang and colleagues at Harvard University. The results of this study implicate huanglian as a promising herb for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of certain cancers," the authors concluded.

Envoy praises local 'sinsehs'
New Straits Times  December 19, 2005

China's Ambassador to Malaysia Wang Chun Gui is impressed by the popularity of traditional Chinese treatments and cures among Malaysians. He praised a small group of Chinese physicians who continue to practice and promote this ancient art of healing, including acupuncture. The group, the Johor Chinese Medicine, Orthopedics and Acupuncture Association, also regularly hold health clinics offering free treatment to the public. Wang was the guest-of-honour at a free medical camp organized by the association at the Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry building. "I am glad you are still carrying on with the tradition for the benefit of the masses," he said.

A pilot study shows traditional Chinese exercises may help combat diabetes
Nursing Home & Elder Business Week  January 1, 2006

A pilot study for Australia's first clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Chinese exercises in preventing the growing problem of diabetes has produced newsworthy results. The team from The University of Queensland (UQ) found that by performing the Chinese exercises Qigong and Tai Chi, participants significantly improved several indicators for possible conditions like diabetes including HbA, blood pressure, body weight and waist circumference. PhD student Liu Xin, a Qigong and Tai Chi master, developed the series of exercises for the control of diabetes. During the 3-month pilot study 11 participants undertook the exercise program. The program included Qigong and mind training.

The Diabetes Queensland Qigong Program, funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, is being conducted at UQ's School of Human Movement Studies by Mr Liu, project leader Professor Wendy Brown and researchers Dr Yvette Miller and Dr Nicola Burton. Mr. Liu, a long-term Qigong practitioner, said the spiral movements of the specially designed exercises could stimulate the muscles more than conventional exercises, leading to greater uptake and utilization of glucose.

Challenge to adverts on Chinese medicine
The Daily Telegraph  January 5, 2006

A leaflet that claimed traditional Chinese medicine was safer than mainstream treatment was misleading and potentially dangerous, according to the Advertising Standards Authority, which had upheld a complaint against Everwell Ltd, a company that runs several TCM clinics, warning its unsubstantiated claims could discourage readers from seeking essential treatment for serious medical conditions. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), challenged whether Everwell clinics could effectively cure all 66 conditions or symptoms listed in the leaflet íV from lung cancer and infertility to acne and depression.

Pills recalled over excessive lead
South China Morning Post  January 8, 2006

Seven brands of the Chinese medicine Bak Foong Pill have been recalled after they have been found to have had up to four times as much lead in them as permitted. The product, batch numbers 040607 and 050607, is sold under the brand names of Wintex Tong, Chung San Brand, Golden Ship Brand, Green Leaf Brand, Tin Fung Brand, Fung Sen Brand and Po Ling Brand. Excess lead consumption leads to anemia, kidney failure, adverse affects on the nervous, digestive and circulatory systems. The Manufacturer's spokesperson said they always ran tests on the lead content of their products and did not know why there was a problem with this batch.

Over 5,800 AIDS patients in China receiving TCM treatment
Xinhua News Service  January 10, 2006

Mainland medical authorities will expand a two-year-old pilot programme that treats thousands of Aids patients with free traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) according to She Jing, director-general of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Around 3,500 Aids patients received free TCM therapy last year, compared to 2,300 patients treated in 2004. An additional 2,300 Aids patients not in the study sought TCM treatment at local clinics in 19 provinces last year. Compared with western medical therapies, the advantages of TCM were that it did not depend on strict timing, and required less frequent tests and fewer medical staff to prescribe and monitor, commented Wei Jianan, of the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Plea for end of bear bile farming falls on deaf ears
South China Morning Post  January 13, 2006

China has rejected international calls for an end to the farming of bears for bile, saying it has no plans to end the practice. Wang Wei, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration's department of wildlife conservation, said that bear-bile farming was a market-driven activity in the country because it was considered an indispensable ingredient in Chinese medicine. However, Jill Robinson from the Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundations says that most traditional Chinese medicine doctors say that bear-bile farming damages the reputation of Chinese medicine because it is a cruel practice and is not in keeping with the harmony of nature that TCM promotes. She goes on to say that TCM practitioners are all in favor of herbal and synthetic alternatives.

Chinese medicine can have tonic effect on HK
South China Morning Post  January 14, 2006

Support from the Hong Kong government has enabled City University, Baptist University, Chinese University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong to acquire state-of-the-art facilities and build capabilities in Chinese medicine and research and development. The six institutions focus on five main areas: quality control of TCM products, analytical characterization, pre-clinical development, the manufacturing process and clinical trials.

Che Chun-tao, professor and director of the School of Chinese Medicine at Chinese University, said that Hong Kong had the potential to become an international TCM centre. "Hong Kong's special relationship with the mainland allows us to leverage the rich pool of resources for TCM research and applications in the mainland," In recognition of the significance of Chinese medicine for the community, the government has opened up three TCM clinics in public hospitals and plans to open six more over the next six months.

Chinese medicine becomes a popular career choice in South Korea
Apple Daily  January 20, 2006

Career Magazine in South Korea invited ten university professors and professionals from various fields to rate jobs according to five indicators relating to income, professional opportunities, job security, specialization, and work environment. Results showed that apart from professional opportunities, Chinese medicine practitioners came top in the other four indicators with 339 (out of a maximum of 500). At present, South Korea has 11 Universities of Chinese medicine, with competition for admission to their programmes extremely fierce. South Korea presently has 14,000 TCM practitioners, and although supply outstripped demand five years ago, over 750 TCM practitioners still graduate each year.

Symposium on TCM Modenization in Puning, Guangdone Province
Wen Wei Pao  January 21, 2006

Recently, "top tier" experts from both traditional Chinese medicine and business circles came to take part in a high-level national symposium on the modernization of Chinese medicine, to debate various aspects of human health as it relates to the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine and to discuss the development and future of Chinese medicine as well as other related topics. In the symposium, experts stressed the special aspects and strengths of traditional Chinese medicine, how to align the concepts and methods of traditional Chinese medicine in order to modernize the profession, standardize it and impose standards for Chinese herbal medicine, the herbal medicine industry and related aspects. Some of the topics under discussion included the development of new medicines and methods of production, how to maintain the supply of Chinese herbs and ways to open up the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine research to others.

Promoting the spread of Chinese herbal medicine education
Ta Kung Pao  January 25, 2006

China Association of Chinese Medicine and Nanfang Lee Kum Kee Co.,Ltd have signed an agreement to establish what will be known as an educational base to foster new talent in the area of traditional Chinese medicine and as a forum to promote knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine in Guangzhou. This training base will endeavor to strengthen cooperation with the worlds of science and technology so that Chinese medicine will come more effective by changing the view that "bitter medicine is good medicine to one where "nice medicine is good medicine" and so promote the maintenance of good health and the prevention of illness by increasing knowledge about of healthy lifestyles and Chinese health culture. The training base aims to promote the development of traditional Chinese medicine by increasing the knowledge and professionalism of people working within the industry.