Traditional Chinese medicine may benefit some heart disease patients

June 12, 2017

Traditional Chinese medicine might be effective as a complement or alternative to traditional Western medicine for primary and secondary prevention of heart disease, according to a state of the art review paper published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, and despite advances in Western for treating and preventing , unmet needs remain. As a result, traditional Chinese medicine is being increasingly looked at as a supplement to Western medicine, but to date are overall of poor quality and flawed.

Western scientists often reject Chinese medicine for specific reasons: the formula consists of dozens of ingredients with many chemical molecules, making it hard to clarify the therapeutic mechanism; the medications available in China do not undergo the same rigorous approval process as Western drugs to guarantee efficacy and safety; and most trials were conducted in China by traditional Chinese medicine physicians with medications largely unavailable in the United States.

Researchers in this review looked at studies published over the past 10 years on randomized controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine used for patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes/pre-diabetes, and chronic heart failure to assess the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine.

In all, certain Chinese medications showed suggested benefits for each of the cardiovascular health conditions studied. For example, researchers looked at eight randomized controlled trials on traditional Chinese medicine and hypertension. The evidence indicated that Tiankuijiangya, Zhongfujiangya, Qiqilian, Jiangya and Jiangyabao have antihypertensive effects and a good safety profile, making them a potential good alternative for patient intolerant of or who cannot afford Western medications.However, whether those benefits transferred into long-term positive cardiovascular outcomes would have to be determined by long-term trials.

"Of note, one should bear in mind that traditional Chinese medicine medications are usually prescribed as complex formulae, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis," said Yuxia Zhao, senior author of the review and a physician in the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shandong University Qilu Hospital in Jinan, Shandong, China. "The pharmacological effects and the underlying mechanisms of some active ingredients of traditional Chinese medications have been elucidated. Thus, some medications might be used as a complementary and alternative approach for primary and of cardiovascular disease."

Explore further: Can traditional chinese medicine offer treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

Related Stories

Can traditional chinese medicine offer treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

September 20, 2016
A new study of classical Chinese medical texts identifies references to age-related memory impairment similar to modern-day Alzheimer's disease, and to several plant-based ingredients used centuries ago—and still in use ...

Chinese exercises may improve cardiovascular health

March 9, 2016
Traditional Chinese exercises such as Tai Chi may improve the health and well-being of those living with heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart ...

Study shows how Chinese medicine kills cancer cells

September 8, 2016
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have shown how a complex mix of plant compounds derived from ancient clinical practice in China – a traditional Chinese medicine – works to kill cancer cells.

China promotes traditional medicine to combat AIDS

February 6, 2017
China will double the number of AIDS patients it treats with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), officials have said, part of a broader push to increase the use of the ancient practice in the country's medical system.

Doctors should discuss herbal medication use with heart disease patients

February 27, 2017
Physicians should be well-versed in the herbal medications heart disease patients may take to be able to effectively discuss their clinical implications, potential benefits and side effects—despite a lack of scientific ...

Chinese medicine may hold the key to treating diabetes

March 28, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Traditional Chinese medicine could be a key weapon in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, a joint international study has found.

Recommended for you

Early study shows shoe attachment can help stroke patients improve their gait

December 14, 2017
A new device created at the University of South Florida – and including a cross-disciplinary team of experts from USF engineering, physical therapy and neurology – is showing early promise for helping correct the signature ...

Scientists rewrite our understanding of how arteries mend

December 13, 2017
Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered how the severity of trauma to arterial blood vessels governs how the body repairs itself.

Deadly heart rhythm halted by noninvasive radiation therapy

December 13, 2017
Radiation therapy often is used to treat cancer patients. Now, doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that radiation therapy—aimed directly at the heart—can be used to treat patients ...

Ultra-thin tissue samples could help to understand and treat heart disease

December 12, 2017
A new method for preparing ultra-thin slices of heart tissue in the lab could help scientists to study how cells behave inside a beating heart.

Young diabetics could have seven times higher risk for sudden cardiac death

December 12, 2017
Young diabetics could have seven times more risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest than their peers who don't have diabetes, according to new research.

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

December 12, 2017
Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered how high glucose levels—whether caused by diabetes or other factors—keep heart cells from maturing ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hubbardchristine0
not rated yet Jun 12, 2017
I thought it was because I gave up soft drinks and was only drinking water. One day I had a stomachache. I was in bed for 4 days. The doctor's appointment was for a Wednesday. I got sick and went to emergency room on a Monday. I was told my blood sugar level was 810 and I have diabetes. Since then, I eat better, take better care of myself and went from 260 to 220 lbs.and was thirsty all the time. One day I got extremely sick, could not keep anything down, had blurry vision, a rapid heartbeat, and began hyperventilating. taking metformin 1000 mg twice daily. I am writing this to inform others that nothing was really working to help my condition.I went off the metformin (with the doctor's knowledge) and started on Diabetes herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, my symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the Diabetes natural herbal formula. i am now doing very well, Visit there website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email Info@ healthherbalclinic. net

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.