Research News

Could traditional Chinese medicine prevent heart disease?

June, 2017    |

According to a new paper, traditional Chinese medicine may be very effective in the prevention of heart disease. Researchers note that it could be used as a complement or even an alternative to traditional Western medicine.

For this review, scientists looked at studies published over the past 10 years on randomized controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine to assess its efficacy. Specifically, they looked at those used for patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, pre-diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and chronic heart failure.

The researchers looked at a variety of Chinese medications. As an example, they found that Tiankuijiangya, Zhongfujiangya, Qiqilian, Jiangya, and Jiangyabao have antihypertensive effects and a good safety profile, making them a potential alternative for patient who cannot benefit from Western medicine. This being said, further trials are needed to see their long-term effects.

“Of note, one should bear in mind that traditional Chinese medicine medications are usually prescribed as complex formulae, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis,” says Yuxia Zhao, senior author of the review and a physician in the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shandong University Qilu Hospital in Jinan, Shandong, China. “The pharmacological effects and the underlying mechanisms of some active ingredients of traditional Chinese medications have been elucidated. Thus, some medications might be used as a complementary and alternative approach for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.”