Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:39:49 AM Asia/Hong_Kong
Chinese Medicine is descended from one of the world’s oldest healing traditions, dating back thousands of years. It is a complete system of medical care using herbal remedies, acupuncture, breathing and exercises (such as Qigong and Tai Chi), dietary recommendations and other types of therapies to strengthen the body, fight illness, and achieve longevity. While such techniques have constantly evolved in response to clinical advances and new discoveries, the underlying principles remain as relevant today as they were five thousand years ago.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has its own unique philosophy and theory that takes a holistic approach to health. Practitioners view the body as a whole entity, rather than dividing it into separate physical parts. Different functions of the body are interrelated and may affect each other. Environmental factors are also taken into account. Thus, rather than treating the disease, TCM enables the healthy functioning of the whole body. According to TCM, health is more than the absence of disease. It offers the ability to enhance our capacity for well-being and happiness. In contrast, Western medicine tends to emphasize the different structures of the body and the direct effect that chemical components of drugs may have upon them. In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, TCM is used as an alternative treatment to complement western medicine and promote overall health.
To fully understand TCM, it is necessary to know a little about the ancient Chinese philosophies upon which it is based.
Yin Yang Theory
One of the key underlying theories of TCM is Yin Yang theory. The terms Yin and Yang represent substances or phenomena with opposing characteristics, which are in a constant state of flux. Everything has a Yin and Yang aspect, which are mutually controlled and inhibited by each other. The result is a continuous state of dynamic balance. But when the balance of the body is disturbed, it causes an excess or deficiency of Yin or Yang, resulting in health problems.
Five Elements Theory
Ancient Chinese divided the world into five basic elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water, each having their own specific characteristics and properties. Organs of the body can be categorized as belonging to one of these five groups, too, making Five Elements Theory a useful means of diagnosing the causes of disease. Since each of the five elements is interconnected, the dynamic balance of the body can be maintained through the generative and restrictive relationship between the elements.
The physical body is a condensation of chi, the vital life force, which flows into all things. It enters the human body through pathways known as meridians that form a network throughout the body. Each meridian is connected to an organ, and is named after that respective organ. The collective term for all the internal organs is Zang Fu. However, in TCM, the organs are functional units of the body, rather than exact anatomical structures. For instance, the triple burner, classified as an organ in TCM, is a unique concept and does not correspond to anything in Western physiology. Its function is to generate warm energy and water. The internal organs can be divided into Zang and Fu according to their Yin and Yang properties respectively. The Zang organs include liver, heart, spleen, lung and kidney. Their functions are producing, transforming, storing and regulating chi, blood and body fluid. The Fu organs are the gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, bladder and triple burner. These are organs with empty cavities for digestion and transmitting nutrients to the body.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:57:41 PM Asia/Hong_Kong
A few weeks ago, a Professor of the Anatomy Department of a University in Hong Kong reported one of his study findings to a group of journalists. He induced stress/depression in mice by injecting stress hormone-cortisol into the brains of mice and then studied the effect of stress/depression on the growth of cells in the brain. He recorded loss of brain cells in the study mice. Using anti-depressants on these mice could avert the loss of brain cells.
This finding further confirmed previous studies that stress could kill neurons. Similar effects had been shown in humans. Extreme large doses of cortisol whether in natural or iatrogenic Cushings’ Syndrome, may cause psychiatric symptoms in man. That the loss of brain cells could be prevented may be extremely helpful in guiding scientists to revert the detrimental effects of stress on human brains.
Given that children and adolescents undergo much stress and depressive episodes in their lives, continued loss of brain cells may mean that kids under stress may grow into adults with a much smaller number of neurons than their counterparts. Unfortunately, common antidepressants like SSRI are not recommended for adolescents and children because there is growing evidence to show that these drugs could cause self destructive tendencies in the young mind.
It would be interesting to know if foods and herbs may help avert the loss of brain cells. A number of foods like chocolate and coffee are shown to enhance mood. If scientists could study whether foods and herbs will increase growth of neurons and if the results are positive, people could start using herbs and foods to prevent neuronal death caused by stress.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, Postpartum Depression occurs as a result of stress in the internal organs and they could be treated with food ingredients like wheat, licorice and red dates. Replenishing nutrition with these foods to postpartum ladies usually helps resolve the depression they experienced after delivery. It is most likely that these foods and herbs work by providing essential nutrients for brain cells to survive and regenerate.
Vita Green ‘Vita Joy’ contains wheat, red date, licorice and other herbs. It is formulated according to this ancient theory to help elate mood and to improve brain functions. Studies done in a University proved that mice under stressful and adverse conditions react significantly better after taking ‘Vita Joy’. As ‘Vita Joy’ is consisted of natural and mild herbs, long term ingestion by adults and children alike will help to improve metabolism of brain cells and improve emotional functions.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:56:36 PM Asia/Hong_Kong
As a GMP-awarded plant, our Vita Green Pharmaceutical manufacturing plant has always been operating to achieve, or excel the highest industry standard. In fact, at Vita Green, GMP is not just a required process but an established culture. As a responsible pharmaceutical manufacturer, we always ensure the supply of quality products to all medical bodies and the public. Besides, we also progressively contribute to the upgrading of the industry standard and fulfilment of our social responsibilities. (e.g. regularly meet with relevant government departments, put forward comments on regulatory measures and hold medical symposia jointly with various renown medical associations for medical practitioners and the public, etc.)
Vita Green, as a leader in manufacturing health foods, supplements and pharmaceutical products in Hong Kong, has been awarded with both Chinese and Western medication GMP certificates by the authorities since 1998. We specialize in manufacturing and packaging all oral preparations. We always maintain the whole manufacturing process under the most stringent standard controls in every aspect including laboratory and factory environment, testing, manufacturing procedures and documentation of processes. We require all our products to conform to relevant pharmacopoeial and official requirements in quality, safety and efficacy. Together with the most advanced analytical tools including HPTLC, UV, HPLC and dissolution instruments and the high expertise of our healthcare professional team comprising of experienced Chinese and Western physicians, engineers, qualified pharmacists, PhD chemists and microbiologists, we offer products of superb quality consistently.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:55:38 PM Asia/Hong_Kong
With the pandemic now in its fourth week, swine flu has spread to all continents. It is fortunate there have not been many deaths attributed to H1N1 to date.
Public health officials earlier stated that geographic spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus is continuing, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting over 1,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection caused by the virus. There have been more than 100 deaths across 20 countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting at least 800 probable cases in 44 states and two deaths in the United States.
"The greatest number of cases is in Mexico, the US, and Canada. But there are reports of cases in Europe, Asia, and in Latin America," Keiji Fukuda, MD, MPH, assistant director-general ad. interim for health security and environment at the WHO said at a press conference. "We see movement of the virus south, but we do not have any evidence that the virus is undergoing community-level transmission right now," he added.
For now, the WHO is keeping the pandemic alert level at phase 5. An increase to phase 6 will take place if community-level transmission occurs in more than 1 WHO region. Currently, such outbreaks are taking place only in North America.
"The situation continues to evolve," Dr. Fukuda said.
He added that the new influenza strain causes a spectrum of illness from those with very mild symptoms to cases that result in death. In Mexico, there have been cases of severe pneumonia and deaths occurring in young, healthy people. They have also noticed that diarrhea is reported more often than with seasonal influenza, with about 40% to 50% of patients developing diarrhea.
The only one confirmed case of H1N1 in Hong Kong is still being treated in hospital while all those who have been quarantined as a result of coming into contact with the patient have been released after seven days of confinement. Many in Hong Kong are relieved. Similarly, it looks as if things are also leveling off in Mexico.
However, countries are still being very cautious and vigilant. Stockpiles of antiviral drugs are being deployed to every state of the USA along with H1N1 test kits.
It is expected that all US states will have some confirmed cases and that there will be ongoing hospitalizations and additional deaths in the US. Nevertheless, it seems possible that with vigilance, the spread of H1N1 may be checked and lives will be spared.
In fact, there is much that each of us can do as individuals to halt the spread of H1N1. Hygienic habits, clean environments and vigilance are crucial. Keeping ourselves healthy by taking adequate rest and strengthening our immunity will help each of us fight H1N1. Vitamins, especially vitamin C and E are known to enhance resistance to infectious diseases. Herbal supplements like Lingzhi, Cordyceps and Ginseng have all been trusted for centuries to enhance immunity. In times like this, every person must take responsibility for helping themselves and their family and friends to stop this pandemic from spreading. Stop H1N1 at your own door!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:54:07 PM Asia/Hong_Kong
On the 21st of May, Dr. Pedro Gascon, world-renowned oncologist who has published over 160 articles in medical journals, announced to the press that he is now conducting clinical trials using Yun Zhi on tumor patients. On that same evening he was also invited by the Hong Kong College of Physicians to share his experience with Yun Zhi.
There have been over 7,000 clinical trial reports on the medicinal value of Yun Zhi, and many of these reports found that Yun Zhi is useful in preventing relapses and metastasis of tumors in the first, second, as well as terminal stages of cancer. These findings sparked the interest of Dr. Gascon who began to clinically test Yun Zhi as a cancer cure. Having discovered first-hand the clinical value of Yun Zhi, he decided to conduct a clinical trial on Yun Zhi in two university hospitals in Spain. He demanded that the Yun Zhi product he studied be standardized in quality and quantity and has batch to batch consistency. He finally decided to use the Yun Zhi product supplied by GMP certified Vita Green Pharmaceutical Company.
Also speaking on that day was Prof. Chen Xiao Jun of Cancer Institute Cancer Centre of Sun Yat-Sen University, and she reported on the effect of Yun Zhi on the suppression of telomerase. Statistics of her research study show that Yun Zhi (supplied by Vita Green) has significant effect on inhibiting the growth of telomerase in the liver tumor tissues of baby mice. At the same time, it was demonstrated that Yun Zhi’s ability to suppress tumor cell growth occurred in 75% of the cases of liver tumor in baby mice, and suppress S-180 in baby mice in 70% of the cases. These statistics correlate Yun Zhi’s tumor suppression element with its ability to inhibit telomerase. “Telomerase are live tissues at the cells’ end. They have the function of controlling infinite growth of these cells. If telomerase loses this inhibitive function, then malignant cells will multiply, forming tumors,” explained Prof. Chen.
In present medical world, the combined use of Western and Eastern treatment is growing popular. Patients receiving Western therapies or treatments also use Chinese medicines to supplement their treatments, as Chinese medicines traditionally are effective on the long term strengthening of the body constitution and reducing the side effects of the more aggressive Western medicines and treatments. Wild Yunzhi Essence (supplied by Vita Green), a concentration of Wild Yun Zhi, has been clinically proven to possess very high therapeutic values in relieving patients of their treatment side effects such as ulcers in the oral cavity and vomiting. It can also slow down patients’ hair loss, improve their appetite, and enhance their sense of well-being during the treatment.
Forticur™, a ground breaking milk drink made from top grade Yun Zhi and a balanced dosage of various nutrients needed by the human body, is the latest innovation by Vita Green. It is effective in boosting the immune system of long term patients, helping them combat the side effects brought on by treatments, and subsequently improving their over all well-being during treatment stage. Forticur™ has been released already in the European market and is becoming popular among patients, helping them to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and improve their quality of life.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:52:09 PM Asia/Hong_Kong
Scientists set out to explore the complex relationship between states of mind and physical health, according to a report in the December issue of European Heart Journal.
Their aim was to determine whether people suffering from panic attacks or disorder were at an increased risk of suffering coronary heart disease, acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and causes of death related to these conditions.
“The complex relationship between the heart and the mind has been a subject of much recent debate,” writes study scientists Kate Walters and colleagues from the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences, Hampstead Campus, University College London, in the United Kingdom.
“Most of past researches had focused on the relationship between depression and . . . coronary heart disease and relatively little large-scale research has considered anxiety disorders. Less is known about the relationship of panic disorder with cardiac disease.”
Panic attacks are experienced as very sudden periods of intense anxiety, fear, stomach problems and discomfort lasting around 30 minutes, that may strike without warning.
The study compared incidences of fatalities due to heart attacks and coronary disease in 57,615 adults diagnosed with panic attacks and disorder, with fatalities in a sample of control subjects. In people below the age of 50 there was a significantly higher incidence of heart attacks after the onset of panic attacks or disorders. No such link was found in older patients. However, for all ages there was a higher incidence of coronary heart disease in patients suffering panic attacks or disorder, especially in those younger than 50 years old.
Despite this, there were no significant differences in mortality rates from coronary heart disease.
The scientists speculated that this might be due to an initial misdiagnosis of coronary heart disease as panic attacks, or an underlying increased risk of coronary heart disease with panic attacks or disorder in younger people.
“The increased hazard of coronary heart disease and acute myocardial infarction is higher in younger people presenting with panic,” the study authors concluded. “Clinicians may be more cautious about excluding coronary heart disease when making initial panic diagnoses in older people, and therefore have a lower rate of initial misdiagnosis of coronary heart disease as panic.”
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Doctor’s Choice Vita Stress includes a combination of nutrients including B vitamins and folic acid, which are important for healthy functioning of the adrenal glands, where stress hormones are produced. Together with niacinamide and vitamin H, it can help the body to overcome anxiety and insomnia.