Quelle: The American Journal
of Medicine and Researchers from the University of California,
San Francisco; the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical
erste randomisierte Doppelblindstudie belegt, dass eine
in China weit verbreitete und oft angewandte Mischung aus
zehn unterschiedlichen chinesischen Kräutern die ihr zugeschriebene
Wirkung nicht hat.
Evaluating Chinese Herbal
Do Chinese herbal medicines improve general health, when
evaluated in Western-style, placebo-controlled trials? In
a study published in the current issue of The American Journal
of Medicine, researchers from 3 institutions in the United
States and a Beijing, China hospital found little effect.
of herbal medicines, including traditional Chinese herbs,
are now estimated to be more than $4 billion annually. Longevity
Treasure (Enwei Pharmaceutical Company) is a proprietary
extract composed of 10 Chinese herbs believed to increase
longevity, quality of life, energy, memory, sexual function,
and qi, the Chinese concept of vital energy that is important
in general health.
the product is used widely in China, Stephen Bent, MD, writes,
We sought to determine whether regular use of this product
would lead to improved health in elderly Chinese adults.
He continues, We attempted to measure changes in both a
standard Western measure of quality of life (the SF-12 scale)
and an Eastern measure (the qi scale).
from the University of California, San Francisco; the San
Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; The Andrus Gerontology
Center of the University of Southern California; and the
Peking Union Medical College Hospital, enrolled 237 residents
of Beijing, China in this study. All patients were at least
60 years old and had reported decreased energy, memory or
sexual function. In a double-blind, randomized study, patients
took four tablets of a Chinese herbal formula or a placebo,
three times a day for 30 days.
taking the herbs had a small, two-point improvement in a
questionnaire measure of mental health compared to patients
taking placebo, but no improvement in physical performance,
memory, sexual function, or qi.
a comparison, patients recovering from depression achieve
an approximately ten-point improvement in the same mental
health scale. Dr. Bent notes that, when a study includes
so many different outcome measures, a small benefit in only
one of the outcomes may indicate a chance finding, rather
than a true benefit from the herbs.
the study does demonstrate that Chinese herbs can be evaluated
with high-quality randomized, placebo-controlled trials,
which can examine both Western and Eastern concepts of health.
Qi is an important concept of health that has been present
in Chinese culture for thousands of years, says Dr. Bent.
One of the key findings of this study is that, with a collaboration
of Chinese and American institutions, we can begin to evaluate
this important measure of health. Dr. Bent believes that
the health claims of Chinese herbal medicines, even though
they involve different types of benefits such as improvements
in qi, should be rigorously tested.
fact that Chinese herbs have a long tradition of use does
not prove their safety and efficacy. These products can
and should be tested with the same techniques used to evaluate
drugs: if there are important beneficial effects on qi or
other health measures, we should be able to find them.
study is reported in A Randomized Controlled Trial of a
Chinese Herbal Remedy to Increase Energy, Memory, Sexual
Function, and Quality of Life in Elderly Adults in Beijing,
Stephen Bent, MD, Ling Xu, MD, Li-Yung Lui, MA, MS, Michael
Nevitt, PhD, Edward Schneider, MD, Guoqing Tian, PhD, Saishan
Guo, MD, and Steven Cummings, MD, MPH.The article appears
in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 115, Number