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.
The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 115, Number 6, published
Evaluating Chinese Herbal Medicines with Placebo-Controlled Studies
17, 2003 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
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,
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, China
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 6, published by Elsevier.
text of the articles mentioned above is available upon request.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a copy or to schedule
an interview.© 2003
American Journal of Medicine. All rights reserved. Unauthorized
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