Traditional Chinese Medicine May Benefit Some Heart Disease Patients – ScienceDaily

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

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and despite advances in Western medicine for the treatment and prevention of heart disease, unmet needs remain. As a result, traditional Chinese medicine is increasingly seen as an adjunct to Western medicine, but to date randomized controlled trials are generally poor and flawed.

Western scientists often reject Chinese medicine for specific reasons: the formula consists of dozens of ingredients with many chemical molecules, which makes it difficult to clarify the therapeutic mechanism; drugs available in China do not go through the same rigorous approval process as Western drugs to ensure efficacy and safety; and most of the trials were conducted in China by traditional Chinese medicine physicians with drugs 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 / prediabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and chronic heart failure to assess the efficacy and safety of traditional drugs. Chinese medicine.

Overall, some Chinese medicines have shown suggested benefits for each of the cardiovascular health issues studied. For example, researchers looked at eight randomized controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine and hypertension. Evidence indicated that Tiankuijiangya, Zhongfujiangya, Qiqilian, Jiangya, and Jiangyabao have antihypertensive effects and a good safety profile, making them a good potential alternative for patients who are intolerant or who cannot afford Western drugs.

However, whether these benefits translated into positive long-term cardiovascular outcomes should be determined by long-term trials.

“It should be noted that traditional Chinese medicine drugs are usually prescribed in complex formulations, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis,” said Yuxia Zhao, senior author of the journal and physician in the department. . of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shandong University Qilu Hospital in Jinan, Shandong, China. “The pharmacological effects and underlying mechanisms of some active ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines have been elucidated. Thus, some drugs could be used as a complementary and alternative approach for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

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Materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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