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Health, travel, environment and other related topics. Tips and tricks for keeping your body in shape for spiritual life. Taking care of your health while traveling in India.

R&D of indigenous drugs - neem, turmeric...

nabadip - Mon, 13 Jun 2005 00:20:10 +0530
DRDO develops neem contraceptive

(The Pioneer, Delhi)

PTI / Hyderabad

DRDO'S Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences has developed neem contraceptives and is on the verge of transferring the technology to the pharmaceutical industry.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has isolated a spermicidal compound fraction from neem oil that can kill a sperm and improve vaginal health, Dr W Selwamurthy, Chief Controller, R&D (DRDO headquarters) said. The product, named 'Concept', can cure vaginal infections caused by a wide range of pathogenic organisms.

It is safe and cost-effective compared to other drugs as its base is neem oil, which is available in plenty in India.

The drug is under phase two trials, Selwamurthy said, adding TTK Pharma, Ranbaxy and other companies have shown interest in the technology and the technology would soon be transferred to some of them.

The DRDO is also looking at spin-off technologies in a big way. Already 10 technologies have been developed in this regard, including the Leh berry juice, which has antioxidants vitamins C & E, and betacarotene flavanoids beneficial for any kind of stress. The DRDO has also developed pheromones for dengue control. Some American companies have shown interest in the technology but it will be provided to Indian companies first, Selwamurthy said.

The other technologies developed include 2 Deoxy-D-Glucose as a radio sensitiser for cancer treatment which has been transferred to Dr Reddy's Labs for Rs 25 lakh and a royalty for three years.

A technique to detect typhoid has also been developed, the first of its kind in the world.
nabadip - Mon, 13 Jun 2005 14:07:34 +0530
Turmeric hope against cancer

The Telegraph, Kolkata

Washington, June 12 (Reuters): Turmeric may help stop the spread of cancer, US researchers have reported.

Tests in mice showed that curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, helped stop the spread of breast cancer tumour cells to the lungs.

Tests have already started in people, too, said Bharat Aggarwal of the department of experimental therapeutics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the study.

“Here you don’t need to worry about safety. The only thing we have to worry about is efficacy,” Aggarwal said in a telephone interview.

“Curcumin, as you know, is very much an essential part of the Indian diet,” he added.

“What’s exciting about this agent is that it seems to have both chemopreventive and therapeutic properties. If we can demonstrate that it is efficacious in humans, it could be of tremendous value, but we’re a long way from being able to make any recommendations yet,” Aggarwal said.

Earlier research showed that curcumin, which acts as an antioxidant, can help prevent tumours from forming in the laboratory.

For their study, Aggarwal and colleagues injected mice with human breast cancer cells — a batch of cells grown from a patient whose cancer had spread to the lungs.

The resulting tumours were allowed to grow, and then surgically removed, to simulate a mastectomy, Aggarwal said. Then the mice either got no additional treatment; curcumin alone; the cancer drug paclitaxel, which is sold under the brand name Taxol; or curcumin plus Taxol.

Half the mice in the curcumin-only group and 22 per cent of those in the curcumin plus Taxol group had evidence of breast cancer that had spread to the lungs, Aggarwal said in a study to be presented to a breast cancer research meeting in Philadelphia.

But 75 per cent of animals that got Taxol alone and 95 per cent of those that got no treatment developed lung tumours.

Aggarwal said earlier studies suggest that people who eat diets rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.