Hah, and you thought that perhaps I was DONE with baicalein, eh? Nope. Not by a long shot. I still have a few baicalein studies to read…Besides, at lunchtime TODAY I will start taking Scutellaria baicalensis, which contains a high percentage of baicalein and also a bit of wogonin. I will also start taking Zyflamend, which is a blend of various herbal extracts (see my page on Polyherbal Zyflamend). Of course, I will keep taking my curcumin-quercetin-cocoa mass-honey mixture at night, since I didn’t give it enough time to work before having blood tests done a couple of weeks ago (I should have my results by next week, by the way). We shall see what happens. Of course, my next set of tests may be influenced by the flu vaccine (which apparently can increase IgG levels for up to six months after administration!), so they may need a bit of interpretation.
Thanks to a friend (thanks you! 😉 ), I got my hands on a very interesting study that I looked at more carefully this morning, even though I really SHOULD BE preparing my English classes for tomorrow, sigh. Published in the November 2007 issue of Clinical and Molecular Allergy, the study is titled: Baicalein inhibits IL-1b- and TNF-a-induced inflammatory cytokine production from human mast cells via regulation of the NF-kB pathway. Let’s quickly examine the title. IL-1beta is an inflammatory cytokine that is a potent inducer of the important myeloma growth factor, IL-6. (see these two Mayo Clinic study abstracts from 2006 and 2007, respectively: http://tinyurl.com/2hu4am and http://tinyurl.com/27ffa4). Anything that induces IL-6 is no friend of mine! I am almost certain that I have already written about TNF-alpha, or tumour necrosis factor-alpha, but just in case I haven’t, here goes: it is a growth and SURVIVAL factor for myeloma cells, albeit not as powerful as IL-6. So, also not good news for us.
A few remarks on human mast cells. As the abstract (see: http://tinyurl.com/24f2ge) informs us, these are multifunctional cells capable of a wide variety of inflammatory responses. According to the full study, these cells accumulate wherever there is an inflammatory process going on and even mediate the production of inflammatory cytokines. Now, that’s really no good, no good at all, especially since Inflammatory cytokines are important factors in chronic inflammation, allergy, asthma, atherogenesis, and autoimmune diseases. Reading on, we are told that mast cells have been implicated in acute and chronic inflammatory responses and in many diseases characterized by inflammation. Oh, and read this: activated mast cells secrete IL-6! Tsk, tsk. Bad BAD mast cells!
Another interesting bit: The activation of NF-kB requires phosphorylation and proteolytic degradation of the inhibitory protein IkBa. This sentence takes us back to the discussion section of the 2005 Blood study on baicalein and myeloma (full text: http://tinyurl.com/2jnlej). I quote: NF-kB regulates the expression of many genes (IkB-a, Bcl-xL, IL-6, and cyclin D1) important for the proliferation and survival of myeloma cells.
Well, on page 16, the November 2007 study states: The results suggest BAI inhibits the NF-kB activation via inhibition of IkBa phosphorylation and degradation. BAI, by the way, stands for baicalein.
Hmmm, how about THAT? So, is it lunchtime yet? 😉