Home > Current Events > Year 2008 August
A review of stories making the headlines.
Chinese medicine week in the UK
CCTV.com, 3 August 2008

The first Traditional Chinese Medicine Week was held recently at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. Over 500 valuable TCM items, many of which have never been exhibited before, were put on display. A third of the exhibits come from the collection of Yushengdang, a 400-year-old herbal drugstore. The name Yushengdang was bestowed by Emperor Qianlong. He further honored the shop by hand writing its superscription tablet. Statistics show that one in every five British people has tried acupuncture or herbal medicine at least once.

Coca-Cola banks on Chinese herbal medicine to shake up beverage sector
Australian Food News (www.ausfoodnews.com.au), 11 August 2008

Coca-Cola, the world's leading soft drink company, is looking to create the next big drink at their research centre in Beijing. Analysts are predicting that the project, which involves creating beverages with Chinese herbal medicine, will be a big growth area. Coca-Cola announced the opening of the research centre in October 2007 but, the details of what went on at the laboratory had been shrouded in secrecy. The centre is a part of the Coca-Cola's long-term collaboration agreement with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and is a key aspect of their plans to establish themselves as a leading provider of "wellness" beverages.

Acupuncture/IVF study shows early promise for increased take home baby rates
Market Watch (http://www.marketwatch.com), 12 August 2008

Dr. Paul Magarelli, a nationally noted specialist in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and Dr. Diane Cridennda, a recognized authority on acupuncture and TCM, have announced early results of an ongoing study linking acupuncture to positive in-vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. The study, which includes the largest-ever participant pool for a study of its kind, explores the increase in take home baby rates associated with combined Eastern and Western medicine treatments. This ongoing research shows a 15 percent increase in pregnancies, with a 23 percent climb in actual births in IVF patients treated with acupuncture. This research will be published in Fertility Today magazine later in 2008.

Warning about Chinese medicine
ABC News (www.abc.net), 15 August 2008

The South Australian Health Department has issued a warning about a Chinese medicine after a 60-year-old man had an adverse reaction to Nangen Zengzhangshu, which is promoted as a treatment for sexual and erectile dysfunction. It is readily available over the Internet. The medicine contains the drugs sildenafil and glibenclamide usually only available on prescription in Australia. People with pre-existing heart disease who take sildenafil can suffer sudden cardiac death, heart attacks or strokes. Glibenclamide is used to treat diabetes and can cause dangerously low blood pressure, vomiting, loss of consciousness and fits.

Singapore firms vow not to see endangered species products
Top News (http://www.topnews.in/), 15 August 2008

Nearly 25 per cent of TCM companies in Singapore have pledged not to sell products derived from endangered species, an animal protection group stated recently. The shops from 189 companies are displaying a bright red and white label proclaiming, "We do not sell endangered species products." Members of the Animal Research and Education Society said they have found tiger bones, paws and penises in addition to bear products on sale in the city-state. While the group said there has been a large drop in the sale of endangered species parts for traditional Chinese medicine, it added that the continued presence of the trade fuels the exploitation of wildlife.

Chinese medicine impresses foreign reporters
CCTV.Com, 20 August 2008

As well as reporting on the Olympic competitions, tens of thousands of foreign journalists had found out more about Chinese culture during their time in Beijing. Over 100 foreign reporters have visited Beijing Yu-sheng-tang, a 400-year-old TCM clinic. Journalists experienced relaxing Chinese massage. Although most of them knew little about Chinese acupuncture before coming to Beijing, some foreign journalists now say they would like to try this treatment on returning to their home countries. During the Olympic period, Beijing held numerous exhibitions and demonstrations to showcase Chinese culture to the outside world.

Viagra may help save endangered species
The Calgary Herald (www.canada.com/calgaryherald), 21 August 2008

Evidence is mounting that men, who used to rely on concoctions like tiger penis soup and powdered rhinoceros horn are now taking Viagra instead, which could be providing a conservation benefit. A landmark study, done in 2004 by Australian researchers involved 256 Chinese men, aged 50 to 76 years. All were receiving treatment at a TCM clinic in Hong Kong. The scientists found these consumers reported selectively switching to Western medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, but not to treat other health ailments, such as gout and arthritis. And, while they acknowledge it is hard to get data on the trade of contraband animal parts, they found the price of the male genitalia of Canadian seals remained low in 2001 and 2002, despite improved markets for pelts and oil from these animals.

Red yeast rice
Arizona Living (www.azcentral.com), 26 August 2008

Red yeast rice, which as cholesterol-lowering properties, has been used in TCM for centuries. Philadelphia cardiologist David Becker, did a study, which was published in the July Mayo Clinic Proceedings, where one group of people was given a prescription statin as well as written advice for diet and exercise. An alternative-treatment group was given omega-3 and red yeast rice supplements and received extensive counseling on Mediterranean-style diets, aerobic exercise and relaxation techniques. Results for both groups were virtually identical, with LDL levels dropping an average of about 40 percent. Becker is conducting further research to determine the role each alternative treatment played in lowering LDL, the "bad" cholesterol. Consumers should be aware that the potency and quality of red yeast rice and omega-3 supplements may vary, as the Food and Drug Administration only loosely regulates supplements.

Compiled By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA, MA (Asian Studies), Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.