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U�A DE GATO Family Malpighiaceae Uncaria tomentosa, U. guianensis, other species BiochemistryPrincipal active biochemicals are six oxindole alkaloids. These alkaloids significantly enhance the ability of white blood cells to attack, engulf, and digest harmful microbes or foreign bodies. CommentsU�a de Gato,"cat's claw", is a thorny liana vine reputed to be a remarkably powerful immune system booster and effective in treating a wide array of maladies including cancer, systemic candidiasis, genital herpes, and AIDS (SIDA). U�a de Gato also has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. It has proven useful in treating arthritis, bursitis, allergies and numerous bowel and intestinal disorders. Anecdotal evidence indicates effectiveness in relieving side effects of chemotherapy. Wild populations of this woody vine are threatened in some areas by harvesters who dig out the root out rather than simply cutting the vine and allowing regrowth. This is a foolish practice since new growth occurs rapidly when U�a de Gato vine is cut. It grows prolifically under cultivation. Uncaria tomentosa, reputedly the most effective of several u�a de gato species, is endemic to the Peruvian Amazon and is gaining international attention for its documented curative qualities. ________________________Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1998 Dec;12(12):1279-89 Antiinflammatory actions of cat's claw: the role of NF-kappaB. Sandoval-Chacon M, Thompson JH, Zhang XJ, Liu X, Mannick EE, Sadowska-Krowicka H, Charbonnet RM, Clark DA, Miller MJ LSU Medical Center, Department of Paediatrics and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.BACKGROUND: Uncaria tomentosa is a vine commonly known as cat's claw or 'una de gato' (UG) and is used in traditional Peruvian medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health problems, particularly digestive complaints and arthritis. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the proposed anti-inflammatory properties of cat's claw. Specifically: (i) does a bark extract of cat's claw protect against oxidant-induced stress in vitro, and (ii) to determine if UG modifies transcriptionally regulated events. METHODS: Cell death was determined in two cell lines, RAW 264.7 and HT29 in response to peroxynitrite (PN, 300 microM). Gene expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in HT29 cells, direct effects on nitric oxide and peroxynitrite levels, and activation of NF-kappaB in RAW 264.7 cells as influenced by UG were assessed. Chronic intestinal inflammation was induced in rats with indomethacin (7.5 mg/kg), with UG administered orally in the drinking water (5 mg/mL). RESULTS: The administration of UG (100 microg/mL) attenuated (P less than 0.05) peroxynitrite-induced apoptosis in HT29 (epithelial) and RAW 264.7 cells (macrophage). Cat's claw inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced iNOS gene expression, nitrite formation, cell death and inhibited the activation of NF-kappaB. Cat's claw markedly attenuated indomethacin-enteritis as evident by reduced myeloperoxidase activity, morphometric damage and liver metallothionein expression. CONCLUSIONS: Cat's claw protects cells against oxidative stress and negated the activation of NF-kappaB. These studies provide a mechanistic evidence for the widely held belief that cat's claw is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. ___________________________________Since diarrheic IBS victims suffer from aberrant proinflammatory mediator release as a symptom generating mechanism, regardless of the primary stimulus for the immunocyte response this and several other "anti-inflammatory agents" may be helpful...anything which blunts the aberrant response or prevents it in the small bowel and microvasculature could have an effect. This accounts for reported sucess with such disparate substances as wide ranging as cromolyn sodium and super-long-chain fatty acid supplementation.The thing that intrigues, though, IF the loss of oral tolerance in a given patient and thus the inflammatory response, is linked to an underlying dysfunction such as dysbiosis, unless we correct the dysbiosis and restore normal gut immune function and digestion we are still slapping a bandaid on something after the fact when any chemically active agent is used to simply block or blunt the unwelcome inflammatory response.the intriguing thing that remains to be seen is just what is the size of the subpopulation where the problem can be linked clearly to specific dysbiosis and thus be reversibel permanenetly with the correct patient-specific probiotic regimen?MNL
 
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