Changes in serum homocysteine (Hcy), often related to stroke and vascular dementia, are negatively correlated with changes in serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH) replacement decreases Hcy levels in men with GH deficiency. Very little information on the effects of Chinese medicines on GH and Hcy is available in the literature published in English. In this study, the effects of a Chinese medicine suppository, Vigconic VI-28 (VI-28), consisting of concentrated extracts of a composite mixture of herbal materials, on serum IGF-1 and Hcy were studied. In vivo observations after treatment with Chinese medicines have often indicated changes in biochemical profiles of measurable parameters related to those changes in endocrine secretions. Thirty six healthy males (age 47-66) were under observation over a 16-week schedule after using a VI-28 suppository from 0 to 12 weeks. Blood specimens were taken monthly (except at the end of week 8) for analysis of Hcy and IGF-1 levels. Compared with week 0, IGF-1 levels (192.5 ± 66.4 ng/ml) were significantly elevated at week 4 (211.7 ± 80.5, p < 0.05) and week 12 (226.6 ± 95.2 ng/ml, p = 0.01). No significant changes were observed for Hcy for the whole cohort from week 0 to week 16. When the cohort was divided into 2 groups using a Hcy level of 13.0 µmol/l as the cut-off, a significant (p < 0.05) difference in IGF-1 was observed between the 2 groups at week 12 only. The mean IGF-1 of 14 subjects with higher Hcy levels was lower than that of the 22 subjects with lower Hcy. We believe that VI-28 may exert a regulatory effect on the relationship between Hcy and IGF-1, at least in subjects with relatively low levels of Hcy. In addition, we also observed an apparent association of hyperhomocysteinemia (Hcy = 13.0 µmol/l) with decreased IGF-1.
- Chinese medicinal materials,
- Insulin-like growth hormone factor 1,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kelvin_chan/94/