Home > Current Events > Year 2009 August
A review of stories making the headlines.

TCM giant sets up shop in Brunei
The China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn), 4 August 2009

Practically a household name, Beijing Tong Ren Tang opened its first store in Brunei in August. Chinese ambassador to Brunei, Tong Xiaoling said TCM is quite popular in the tiny sultanate. "TCM is deeply rooted in Brunei's Chinese community and has won a wide approval from local Malays," she said. The Brunei store marks even greater expansion for Tong Ren Tang. Tong Ren Tang products can be found in forty overseas countries and regions.

Consultation launched into alternative therapies
Management in Practice (www.managementinpractice.com), 4 August 2009

A UK-wide consultation is under way to decide if practitioners of acupuncture, herbal medicine and TCM should be regulated. The consultation, launched by the Department of Health, will seek views on whether a regulatory system is required to govern the practice of the complementary and alternative therapies. There is currently no statutory regulation for practitioners of these modalities. A final decision about the introduction of a regulatory system will be made after the consultation considers the potential harm that could be caused by certain treatments.

TCM liver drug in US breakthrough
The Shanghai Daily(www.shanghaidaily.com), 18 August 2009

Fuzheng Huayu, a TCM containing six herbs developed in Shanghai for treating liver fibrosis has received a permit from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct clinical tests on American hepatitis C patients who have developed fibrosis of the liver. If it passes all clinical tests, the Fuzheng Huayu capsule developed by Shanghai University of TCM will become China's first TCM to be officially recognized by this body. About 20 to 30 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C develop liver fibrosis, which can lead to cirrhosis, the sixth leading cause of deaths in the world. Chinese clinical tests have shown that Fuzheng Huayu can protect liver cells and slow down or even reverse liver fibrosis in more than 52 percent of patients. It was approved for Phase II clinical tests in July. Five US hospitals will be involved in the trials, with 100 patients taking part.

Green tea prevents prostate cancer
Natural News (www.naturalnews.com), 18 August 2009

Green tea or Camellia sinensis has been used for thousands of years in China. Recent studies now indicate that polyphenols in green tea can reduce prostate cancer. An inconclusive trial in 2008, the Federal Drug Administration in the US prompted researchers at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center to conduct an open-label, single-arm, Phase II clinical trail. Twenty-six men participated in the small study. They ranged in age from 41 to 68, and were all suffering from prostate cancer and scheduled for radical prostatectomy surgery. They were given the equivalent of 12 cups of green tea a day for an average of 34 days. On the day before their scheduled surgery, the men were reevaluated. The biomarkers for prostate cancer were reduced in each of the men. The study showed that green tea can be used to halt the growth of prostate tumors, but green tea has not been shown to prevent it; however, researchers are confident that green tea, taken in the appropriate quantities, may be able to prevent prostate cancer from occurring.

Report: HIV carrier cured in Gansu
Asia One Health (http://health.asiaone.com), 20 August 2009

An HIV-positive man in Gansu Province China has apparently recovered from the condition, a local Chinese newspaper recently reported. Li Jianpin, a farmer in Tianshui, Gansu Province was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2003. Though experts say current medical treatments are unable to cure people of HIV/AIDS, after taking two packets of a special Chinese medicine each day four years after the diagnosis, Li managed to fight off the disease. It was not initially clear what medicine Li took, where it came from, or why it worked. In 2003, Briton Andrew Stimpson tested negative for HIV fourteen months after an initial test showed he was positive.

Chinese herb shows promise for arthritis
The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk), 21 August 2009

In TCM, extracts from a vine called lei gong teng (thunder god vine) are often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions that cause inflammation. Various US government agencies, universities, and medical clinics took part in a related research funded by the US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and Phytomedics, a company that makes drugs from plants. The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, researchers explored how TwHF extract compares with a drug for rheumatoid arthritis called sulfasalazine. The researchers found that people who took TwHF extract had greater improvement in their pain, swelling, and other symptoms than those who took sulfasalazine. After six months, 65 percent of those taking TwHF extract had at least a 20 percent improvement in their symptoms, compared with 33 percent of those taking sulfasalazine. They also scored better on scales rating how their symptoms affected their day-to-day life. The study however only lasted only six months, had a small sample size and there was a high dropout rate.

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