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Author Topic: Anybody Taking Astragalus?  (Read 11012 times)

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Offline MitchMiller

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Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:14:13 AM »
Here's some news on the possible benefit from Astragalus.  Note the article mentions a substance synthesized from Astragalus so I would question if one might see any beneficial effect from consuming the root itself.  It is sold in tablets as well as root and tincture that can be used to make tea.  It is really cheap as well.  I know telomere is related to cell aging.  Apparently once the telomere is gone, the cell can no longer divide.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/128834.php

Fight Against HIV - TAT2, Used In Chinese Herbal Therapy, Prolongs Killer T-cells' Ability To Divide
Main Category: HIV / AIDS
Article Date: 11 Nov 2008 - 2:00 PST

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Like other kinds of cells, immune cells lose the ability to divide as they age because a part of their chromosomes known as a telomere becomes progressively shorter with cell division. As a result, the cell changes in many ways, and its disease fighting ability is compromised.

But a new UCLA AIDS Institute study has found that a chemical from the Astragalus root, frequently used in Chinese herbal therapy, can prevent or slow this progressive telomere shortening, which could make it a key weapon in the fight against HIV.

"This has the potential to be either added to or possibly even replace the HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy), which is not tolerated well by some patients and is also costly," said study co-author Rita Effros, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and member of the UCLA AIDS Institute.

The study, to be published in the Nov. 15 print edition of the Journal of Immunology, is available online at http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/full/181/10/7400.

A telomere is a region at the end of every cell chromosome that contains repeated DNA sequences but no genes; telomeres act to protect the ends of the chromosomes and prevent them from fusing together - rather like the plastic tips that keep shoelaces from unraveling. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter, eventually causing the cell to reach a stage called replicative senescence, when it can no longer divide. This seems to indicate that the cell has reached an end stage, but, in fact, the cell has changed into one with new genetic and functional characteristics.

A great deal of cell division must take place within the immune system for the system to function properly. For example, the so-called "killer" CD8 T-cells that help fight infection have unique receptors for particular antigens. When a virus enters the body, the killer T-cells whose receptors recognize that virus create, through division, versions of themselves that fight the invader.

Generally, the telomeres in cells are sufficiently long that they can divide many times without a problem. Moreover, when fighting infections, T-cells can turn on an enzyme called telomerase, which can prevent the telomeres from shortening.

"The problem is that when we're dealing with a virus that can't be totally eliminated from the body, such as HIV, the T-cells fighting that virus can't keep their telomerase turned on forever," Effros said. "They turn off, and telomeres get shorter and they enter this stage of replicative senescence."

Previous studies have shown that injecting the telomerase gene into T-cells can keep the telomeres from shortening, enabling them to maintain their HIV-fighting function for much longer. This gene-therapy approach, however, is not a practical way to treat the millions of people living with HIV.

For the present study, rather than utilizing gene therapy, the researchers used a chemical called TAT2, which was originally identified from plants used in traditional Chinese therapy and which enhances telomerase activity in other cell types.

They tested TAT2 in several ways. First, they exposed the CD8 T-cells from HIV-infected persons to TAT2 to see if the chemical not only slowed the shortening of the telomeres but improved the cells' production of soluble factors called chemokines and cytokines, which had been previously shown to inhibit HIV replication. It did.

They then took blood samples from HIV-infected individuals and separated out the CD8 T-cells and the CD4 T-cells - those infected with HIV. They treated the CD8 T-cells with TAT2 and combined them with the CD4 T-cells in the dish-and found that the treated CD8 cells inhibited production of HIV by the CD4 cells.

"The ability to enhance telomerase activity and antiviral functions of CD8 T-lymphocytes suggests that this strategy could be useful in treating HIV disease, as well as immunodeficiency and increased susceptibility to other viral infections associated with chronic diseases or aging," the researchers write.

In addition to Effros, researchers were Steven Russell Fauce, Beth D. Jamieson, Ronald T. Mitsuyasu, Stan T. Parish, Christina M. Ramirez Kitchen, and Otto O. Yang, all of UCLA, and Allison C. Chin and Calvin B. Harley of the Geron Corp.

The Geron Corp., TA Therapeutics Ltd., the National Institutes of Health and the Frank Jernigan Foundation funded this study.

The UCLA AIDS Institute, established in 1992, is a multidisciplinary think tank drawing on the skills of top-flight researchers in the worldwide fight against HIV and AIDS, the first cases of which were reported in 1981 by UCLA physicians. Institute members include researchers in virology and immunology, genetics, cancer, neurology, ophthalmology, epidemiology, social sciences, public health, nursing and disease prevention. Their findings have led to advances in treating HIV, as well as other diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, influenza and cancer.

Enrique Rivero University of California - Los Angeles

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 10:27:09 AM »
I'm not taking it, but as added info, here's the AIDSmeds story on this news:

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_astragalus_telomere_1667_15595.shtml

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 03:37:37 PM »
Mitch,

I just bought a bottle of 30 capsules a little while ago. This is the Astragalus Root Extract-220mg. Bought it at the local health food store for $9.00. I'l give it a go.  ::)

Serving size- 1 capsule daily, with a meal or glass of water.

Astragalus (Astragalus Membranaceus)--Polysaccharides Root extract 200mg
Guaranteed 70% (140mg)

Astragalus Root-----60mg

Other ingredient : Gelatin capsule, cellulose and magnesium sterate
Discussion : Astragalus  is valued for it's tonic and adaptogenic effects. It is one of the most popular herbs in China today.


Ray
 
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline fearless

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2008, 10:19:01 PM »
I've been using it for a little while now and have been quite impressed. This latest research is a bonus.

I take a high potency capsule containing 5,000 mg of Astragalus, combined with 2,000 mg olive tree leaf and 3,000 mg shitake mushrooms.

I've found it has improved my energy levels and improved my digestive system. It certainly keeps one regular   ;D

Yet to get my first bloods but i do feel good.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 10:24:50 PM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline fearless

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 10:33:01 PM »
oh, and Mitch.

I don't believe the active substance was synthesised from the astragalus root. Rather, it is a chemical naturally found in the astragalus root.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008, 10:54:30 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I think I will visit the GNC this weekend and get some.  The vitamin stores must be starved for business in this economy.  Normally I mail order but I'm in the middle of my cycle.

Offline madbrain

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 04:06:08 AM »
Hi,

I've been using it for a little while now and have been quite impressed. This latest research is a bonus.

I take a high potency capsule containing 5,000 mg of Astragalus, combined with 2,000 mg olive tree leaf and 3,000 mg shitake mushrooms.

I've found it has improved my energy levels and improved my digestive system. It certainly keeps one regular   ;D

Yet to get my first bloods but i do feel good.

Thanks for the report. Where did you find a capsule that fits 5,000 mg of Astragalus ? That must be a really large one. Do you mind sharing the name of the product and where you got it ? And of course, please report on your labs too when you get them. Though, it's really hard to tell what changes are coming from any given supplement .

Edit: I googled a bit.  I think the product you take probably has "5,000 mg crude herb equivalent".  Like this one :
http://www.emersonecologics.com/ProductInformation.asp?BrowseBy=AST43
There is not actually 5,000 mg within the capsule, but actually 380 mg of root extract per 2 capsules, and they consider that to be equivalent to 5,000 mg of herb.

I am planning my supplement regimen for next year. I think I will give this one a try for a month to see how I react to it before I make my big bulk order of supplements in january.

NOW has a product with 500mg of extract per capsule, and iherb.com carries a bottle of 90 for $7.64 .
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 04:22:32 AM by madbrain »

Offline fearless

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 06:22:51 PM »
You are correct madbrain - the tablet contains extracts equivalent to the amounts I quoted. Imagine the size of the pill at 10g if it wasn't.  :o. it is big enough as it is.

I use this brand but it appears that it is primarily available in Aus. http://www.naturalhealthorganics.com.au/Zen-Ki-Immune-Defence-and-Vitality-Formula-pr-2389.html
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline tash08

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  • Posts: 86
Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2008, 05:13:08 PM »
Is it okay to take Astragalus with HAART? According to one site it's not. I'm not sure if it could cause the immune system to be overactive.

nowfoods.com says: Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease.

http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemdetail&item_id=43845
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 05:16:05 PM by tash08 »
01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

Offline madbrain

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2008, 06:14:10 PM »
Hi,

Is it okay to take Astragalus with HAART? According to one site it's not. I'm not sure if it could cause the immune system to be overactive.

nowfoods.com says: Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease.

http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemdetail&item_id=43845

Very interesting. I ordered one bottle of NOW Astragalus 500mg, and got it in the mail on wednesday. This warning is not on the bottle. It's probably best to check with a drug interaction checker site like http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/Interaction/ChooseDrugs . It lists astragalus in the list. I am not on meds yet, but my bf is, and the site says that there is no interaction between astragalus and his atripla. Though he probably won't be too keen on taking one more supplement.
I have only taken the astragalus once so far. I only know that it doesn't seem to disagree with me.

Offline Merlin

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2008, 01:02:23 PM »
In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is usually made into a decoction - the roots are boiled in water then removed. It's often combined with other herbs, such as ginseng. It's a common medicinal root used in Asian cooking to boost energy and life force. Chicken or pork are usually used to brew for a few hours under steam cooking. The tonic is then taken to revitalise a sick or recovering body.

Asian names: Astragalus membranaceous, Huang Qi, Bei Qi.
Although it is so much easier to just down a few tabs of the root in capsule form, one can also consume the benefits through cooking with it. You can easily purchase these slices of root inexpensively from any TCM shops in your local Chinatown areas, under those names above.

FYI, Astragalus may interfere with the effectiveness of corticosteroid medications, such as:

Nasacort (triamcinolone)
Beconase, Vancenase (beclomethasone)
Decadron (dexamethasone)
Deltasone (prednisone)
hydrocortisone
Medrol (methylprednisolone)
prednisolone

Astragalus may decrease the effectiveness of drugs that suppress the immune system, such as Imuran (azathioprine), CellCept, cyclosporine, Prograf, Rapamune and Zenapak.

Theoretically, astragalus can increase the effectiveness of antiviral medications such as acyclovir and amantadine.

For those not familiar, these are pictures of how the root will look like in TCM stores;



[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 06:48:19 AM by Merlin »
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Offline John2038

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2008, 01:37:43 PM »
I'm taking Solgar Astragalus root extract, 6 caps a day.

Each cap contains:

Raw Astragalus root powder 250 mg
Standardised Astragalus root powder extract 225 mg

Will see if any change will occurs in my next lab, but I guess it will be difficult to say.




Offline tash08

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2008, 08:13:22 PM »
My question is: are any of you guys taking Astragalus with HAART?
01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2008, 08:51:56 PM »
My question is: are any of you guys taking Astragalus with HAART?

I am. I've been taking one capsule a day, since the 15th of November. Two weeks now. Everything seems to be normal, no issues.

I take Viramune, Viread and Epzicom.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline fearless

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  • Posts: 2,191
Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 08:59:43 PM »
My question is: are any of you guys taking Astragalus with HAART?

Yes. Prezista/Norvir and Truvada.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline paulyman

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  • Posts: 1
Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2012, 08:21:33 AM »
I've been using it for a little while now and have been quite impressed. This latest research is a bonus.

I take a high potency capsule containing 5,000 mg of Astragalus, combined with 2,000 mg olive tree leaf and 3,000 mg shitake mushrooms.

I've found it has improved my energy levels and improved my digestive system. It certainly keeps one regular   ;D

Yet to get my first bloods but i do feel good.

wondering if you got your labs yet, are you off hart and just doing herbal?

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Anybody Taking Astragalus?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2012, 11:17:15 AM »
Uh, *hello* is this thing on? This thread has been inactive for four years. "fearless" hasn't been around on these forums in eons.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

 


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