15.4.08

La hierba de S. Juan mejora la sintomatología depresiva en la abstinencia al tabaco-St John's herb ameliorates depression when quitting tobacco

Phytomedicine. 2007 Oct;14(10):645-51. Epub 2007 Aug 6.
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Serotonin mediates beneficial effects of Hypericum perforatum on nicotine withdrawal signs.

Mannucci C, Pieratti A, Firenzuoli F, Caputi AP, Calapai G.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, Policlinico Universitario, 98125 Messina, Italy.

Antidepressants may be effective treatment for smoking cessation and new evidence on relationship between smoking and depression is emerging. Extracts of the plant Hypericum perforatum possess antidepressant activity in humans and reduce nicotine withdrawal signs in mice. Both nicotine and H. perforatum administration elicit changes in serotonin (5-HT) formation in the brain. On this basis, we investigated the possible involvement of 5-HT in the beneficial effects of H. perforatum on nicotine withdrawal signs. With the aim to induce nicotine dependence, nicotine (2 mg/kg, four intraperitoneal injections daily) was administered for 14 days to mice (NM). Saline (controls, M) or H. perforatum extract (Ph 50, 500 mg/kg) were orally administered immediately after the last nicotine injection for 30 days after nicotine withdrawal. Another group of animals treated with nicotine (14 days) and successively with H. perforatum extract was intraperitoneally co-administered with selective 5-HT receptorial antagonist WAY 100635 (WAY) (1 mg/kg). All animals were evaluated for locomotor activity and abstinence signs, 24 after nicotine withdrawal. Brain 5-HT metabolism was evaluated in the cortex of mice sacrificed 30 days after nicotine withdrawal through evaluation of 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio. After nicotine withdrawal measurement of 5-HT metabolism in the cortex showed a reduction of 5-HT content while animals treated only with Hypericum extract showed a significant reduction of total abstinence score compared to controls. WAY inhibited the reduction of total abstinence score induced by H. perforatum. Moreover, 5-HT1A expression has been evaluated 30 days after nicotine withdrawal. Our results, show a significant increase of cortical 5-HT content in NM treated with H. perforatum, with a concomitant significant increase of 5-HT1A receptor. So, it is possible to suggest an involvement of 5-HT in beneficial effects of H. perforatum on suffering produced by nicotine withdrawal in dependent mice.

PMID: 17689233 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

3: Planta Med. 2006 Mar;72(4):378-82.
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A pilot randomised, open, uncontrolled, clinical study of two dosages of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) herb extract (LI-160) as an aid to motivational/behavioural support in smoking cessation.

Barnes J, Barber N, Wheatley D, Williamson EM.

Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, London, UK. j.barnes@auckland.ac.nz

There is an association between smoking and depression, yet the herbal antidepressant St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.; SJW) herb extract has not previously been investigated as an aid in smoking cessation. In this open, uncontrolled, pilot study, 28 smokers of 10 or more cigarettes per day for at least one year were randomised to receive SJW herb extract (LI-160) 300 mg once or twice daily taken for one week before and continued for 3 months after a target quit date. In addition, all participants received motivational/behavioural support from a trained pharmacist. At 3 months, the point prevalence and continuous abstinence rates were both 18%, and at 12 months were 0%. Fifteen participants (54%) reported 23 adverse events up to the end of the 3-month follow-up period. There was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of adverse events for participants taking SJW once or twice daily (p > 0.05). Most adverse events were mild, transient and non-serious. This preliminary study has not provided convincing evidence that a SJW herb extract plus individual motivational/behavioural support is likely to be effective as an aid in smoking cessation. However, it may be premature to rule out a possible effect on the basis of a single, uncontrolled pilot study, and other approaches involving SJW extract may warrant investigation.

Publication Types:

* Randomized Controlled Trial
* Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


PMID: 16557483 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

4: J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):909-15.
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Dietary supplements and weight control in a middle-age population.

Nachtigal MC, Patterson RE, Stratton KL, Adams LA, Shattuck AL, White E.

Bastyr University Research Institute, Kenmore, WA, USA.

OBJECTIVES: Obesity is rapidly becoming a health problem of epidemic proportions, bringing with it a host of health concerns. This study investigates the association of long-term (10-year) use of 14 nutritional supplements, marketed as weight-control aids, with weight change over the past 10 years among individuals age 53 to 57 years. METHODS: Data are from the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study of western Washington. Participants (n = 15,655) completed questionnaires about 10-year supplement use, diet, health habits, height, and present and former weights. The following supplements that are sometimes marketed for weight control or loss were examined: multivitamins; vitamins B6 and B12; chromium; coenzyme Q10, dehydroepiandrosterone, essential fatty acids (EFAs), fiber, garlic (Allium sativum), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), ginseng (Panax spp.), melatonin, soy, and St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). Linear regression was used to model 10-year change in weight from age 45 to ages 53-57, stratified by sex and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) (normal, overweight, or obese) at age 45 years. Models were controlled for race/ethnicity, education, energy intake, physical activity, weight at age 45 years, and smoking. RESULTS: Among overweight or obese men and women, long-term use of multivitamins, vitamins B6 and B12, and chromium were significantly associated with lower levels of weight gain. For example, with chromium, weight gain in the past 10 years for obese men was 11.7 lb for no use, 6.1 lb for <150 microg/day (10-year average), and a weight loss of 3.1 lb for > or = 150 microg/day (p for trend, <0.05). Among obese women, weight gain was 14.1 lb, 7.9 lb, and 3.2 lb for the three groups respectively (p for trend, <0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that long-term users of certain supplements experienced less weight gain than individuals who did not use the supplements. Further study is necessary before recommendations regarding these supplements can be made.

PMID: 16296926 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

5: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Sep;169(2):186-9. Epub 2003 Apr 29.
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Hypericum perforatum attenuates nicotine withdrawal signs in mice.

Catania MA, Firenzuoli F, Crupi A, Mannucci C, Caputi AP, Calapai G.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, Policlinico Universitario Torre Biologica 5(o) piano, 98125 Messina, Italy.

RATIONALE: Hypericum perforatum is used as a natural antidepressant, and other antidepressants have been marketed to aid in smoking cessation. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effects of an extract of Hypericum perforatum (Ph-50) on withdrawal signs produced by nicotine abstinence in mice. METHODS: Nicotine (2 mg/kg, four injections daily) was administered for 14 days to mice. Different doses of Ph-50 (125-500 mg/kg) were administered orally immediately after the last nicotine injection. In another experiment, Ph-50 (500 mg/kg) was orally administered in combination with nicotine, i) starting from day 8 until the end of the nicotine treatment period, or ii) during nicotine treatment and after nicotine withdrawal, or iii) immediately after the last nicotine injection. On withdrawal from nicotine, all animals were evaluated for locomotor activity and abstinence signs. RESULTS: The locomotor activity reduction induced by nicotine withdrawal was abolished by Ph-50, which also significantly and dose-dependently reduced the total nicotine abstinence score when injected after nicotine withdrawal. CONCLUSIONS: These data show that treatment with Hypericum perforatum attenuates nicotine withdrawal signs in mice. Further studies are necessary to test the possibility that it may be used for smoking cessation treatment in humans.