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					OPINION

Need to clinically investigate BHUx for atherosclerosis and osteoporosis
Yamini B. Tripathi and Deepshikha Tripathi
Cardiovascular diseases have been asso-          Although soy consumption has been             it may remain confined to research papers
ciated with reduced bone mineral density      associated with decreased incidence of           and project reports, as happens with most
and fracture risk1. A major atherogenic       atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, acting         of the patents.
molecule is believed to be oxidized phos-     through receptors for estrogens, proges-            If BHUx is developed as functional
pholipid, which has also been found to        terone, androgen, vitamin D, retinoic acid       food or as food supplement, on the above
inhibit the spontaneous osteogenic dif-       and also thyroid hormones, it may adver-         suggested line of further research, it can
ferentiation of marrow stromal cells, sug-    sely influence these endocrine functions9.       be safely recommended by doctors of
gesting a link between atherosclerosis        Therefore, new herbal formulations are           both the systems of medicine and can
and osteoporosis. These oxidized phos-        the demand of time.                              benefit the suffering humanity. It will also
pholipids have also been shown to alter          In this series of searches, we have           capture the big international herbal ex-
the net effects of bone anabolic agents,      developed BHUx (a polyherbal formula-            port market, where India has only 2%
such as bone morphogenetic protein and        tion patented by DBT and BHU in EU,              share.
parathyroid hormone, as seen in MC3T3-        USA, China and India), which has shown
E1 cells2. Secondly, a negative association   significant antiatherosclerotic property10.       1. Hofbauer, L. C., Brueck, C. C.,
                                                                                                   Shanahan, C. M., Schoppet, M. and
between plasma lipid concentrations and       It enhances the HDL level and also in-
                                                                                                   Dobnig, H., Osteoporosis Int., 2007, 18,
bone mineral density supports the hypo-       hibits lipoxygenase 15, which are direc-
                                                                                                   251–259.
thesis of harmful effect of hyperlipidae-     tly associated with the oxidation of LDL          2. Huang, M. S. et al., J. Biol. Chem., 2007,
mia on bone metabolism3.                      phospholipids, turning it to atherogenic             282, 21237–21243.
   Further, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis   molecule and cyclooxygenase-2, respon-            3. Stulc, T., Ceska, R., Horínek. A and
are major concerns for aging societies        sible for the release of inflammatory                Stĕpán, J., Cas. Lek. Cesk., 2000, 139,
worldwide. Epidemiological and genetic        molecules11. Recently, we have reported              267–271.
studies have shown that it is a polygenic     that its precursor formulation, (Sandhika,        4. Miyamoto, Y. et al., Nature Genet., 2007,
disease and involves both genetic and         an ayurvedic medicine already in clinical            39, 529–533.
environmental factors. Interestingly, pa-     use for arthritis)12, enhances Ca nodule          5. Mitchell, R. N. and Libby, P., Circ. Res.,
                                                                                                   2007, 100, 967–978.
tients with osteoporosis frequently suffer    formation in osteoblast-like cells, both in
                                                                                                6. Taylor, B. C., Schreiner, P. J., Doherty,
from vascular calcification, which predicts   the presence and absence of LPS13.
                                                                                                   T. M., Fornage, M., Carr, J. J. and Sidney,
both cardiovascular morbidity/mortality          Thus BHUx has shown therapeutic re-               S., Hum. Genet., 2005, 116, 525–528.
and osteoporotic fractures. Both athero-      sponse for both pathologies in the ex-            7. Hommels, M. J. et al., Neth. J. Med.,
sclerosis and osteoporosis often appear       perimental set-up and this formulation               2007, 65, 203–207.
together, especially in the elderly and       may be worth international patenting.             8. Ahn, K. S. and Aggarwal, B. B., Ann.
post-menopausal women4.                       However, it would be futile if BHUx can-             N. Y. Acad. Sci., 2005, 1056, 218–233.
   In the near past, inflammation has been    not be delivered to the society for its clini-    9. Xiao, C. W, Wood, C. and Gilani, G. S.,
associated with the pathogenesis of athero-   cal use and for this, collaborative research         J. AOAC Int., 2006, 89, 1207–1214.
sclerosis5 and inflammatory genes are         in project mode with leading laboratories        10. Tripathi, Y. B., Singh, B. K., Pandey,
                                                                                                   R. S. and Kumar, M., Evidence-based
good candidates for the risk of developing    and hospitals is needed. The Ministry of
                                                                                                   Complementary Alternative Medicine,
atherosclerosis. Further, vascular miner-     Health and the Ministry of Science and
                                                                                                   2005, 2, 217–221.
alization and loss in bone density have       Technology, Government of India, must            11. Tripathi, Y. B., Reddy, M. M., Pandey,
been significantly correlated by clinical     take up this project for further studies, by         R. S., Subhashini, J., Tiwari, O. P., Singh,
and experimental investigations (genetic,     breaking the boundaries of ayurvedic and             B. K. and Reddanna, P., Inflammophar-
hormonal and biochemical)6, and indi-         allopathic drugs.                                    macology, 2004, 12, 131–152.
cate common signalling pathways, tran-           Studies in terms of multi-centric clini-      12. Chaurasia, S., Tripathi, P. and Tripathi,
scription factors and extracellular matrix    cal trials, toxicity and side effects, accu-         Y. B., Indian J. Exp. Biol., 1995, 33, 428–
interactions for both skeletal and vascu-     mulative consequences when given with                432.
lar abnormalities. Various common risk        conventional drugs of these diseases and         13. Tripathi, Y. B., Tripathi, P., Korlagunta,
                                                                                                   K., Chai, S. C., Smith, B. J. and Arjmandi,
factors have been suggested, such as aging,   also pharmaco-genomics are needed.
                                                                                                   B. H., Inflammation, Pubmed (ahead of
estrogen deficiency, vitamin D and K          These studies will help doctors in mak-
                                                                                                   print) 9 August 2007.
abnormalities, chronic inflammation and       ing specific recommendations of BHUx
oxidative stress1. Pro-inflammatory cyto-     to various patients with these age-related
kines, like interleukin-6 and tumour necro-   diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, athero-       Yamini B. Tripathi* is in the Department
sis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein,         sclerosis, cancer and osteoporosis ac-           of Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of
resistin, an adipokine, and polymorphism      cording to the individual’s susceptibility       Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu Uni-
of the Toll-like receptor 4 are also impli-   for better response.                             versity, Varanasi 221 005, India; Deep-
cated in the development of atherosclero-        Without coordinated efforts of scien-         shikha Tripathi is in R&D Centre, Prof.
sis and osteoporosis7. Recent evidence        tists and doctors, from leading laborato-        S.N. Tripathi Memorial Foundation, 1,
indicates that LOX genes are associated       ries of our country, BHUx can never be           Gandhi Nagar, Naria, Varanasi 221 005,
with osteoporosis and atherosclerosis8.       delivered to the international society and       India. *e-mail: yaminiok@yahoo.com

1658                                                                          CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 93, NO. 12, 25 DECEMBER 2007

				
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