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Astragalus Research for Immune Support
Astragalus is an immunostimulant which is commonly used in China. Astragalus can aid in fighting cancer. Astragalus can aid in fighting viruses. Astragalus can aid in just boosting ones immune system. There is growing documentated research on astragalus rather than anecdotal information. I am including research articles on astragalus so you can see its many uses.

A write up on Jade Screen, a Chinese Formula which Astragalus is the chief ingredient can be found here by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon

Morgy, my mini schnauzer was diagnosed with bone cancer and given a few months to live and I only used supplements to keep him alive as as astragalus, pau d'arco, flaxseed oil with cottage cheese etc...the first year he slept a lot and lost weight but the next year and half he didn't and regained most of the weight and was extremely alert. His heart finally gave out. He had a preexisting heart condition and he had to carry his leg for two and half years(no amputation because of his heart)..He was almost 14 when he died



Oncol Rep. 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):1507-12. : Traditional Chinese medicine Astragalus reverses predominance of Th2 cytokines and their up-stream transcript factors in lung cancer patients.
Wei H, Sun R, Xiao W, Feng J, Zhen C, Xu X, Tian Z.
School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui 230027, P.R. China.

Th2 cytokine is predominant in tumor patients and was found to be associated with tumor progression. Reversing of Th2 dominant status is thought to be a promising strategy. In the present study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) of 37 lung cancer patients and 19 healthy subjects were prepared and used for examination of cytokine secretion and gene expression. The positive percentage of mRNA transcripts of Th1 cytokines (8.1% for IFNgamma and 13.5% for IL-2) in patients' PBMNC were lower than those of Th2 cytokines (70.3% for IL-4, 64.9% for IL-6 and 83.8% for IL-10). The gene expression capacity (measured as relative intensity to ratio of beta-actin) of patients for Th1 cytokines was low, but constitutively relatively high for Th2 cytokines. Both positive percentage and relative intensity were lower in transcript factor for Th1 cytokine, T-bet (40.5% and 0.139, respectively) than those for Th2 cytokine, GATA3 (89.2% and 0.364, respectively). Traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus (AG) was observed to reverse Th2 status of lung cancer. AG enhanced culture supernatant and gene expression levels of Th1 cytokine (IFNgamma and IL-2) and its transcript factor (T-bet), and reduced those of Th2 cytokines in cultured PBMNC of lung cancer patients. These results demonstrated that traditional Chinese medicine AG might reverse the Th2 predominant status in lung cancer patients, which is a probable alternative therapeutic regime in future.
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003 May;23(5):351-3. : [Effect of astragalus injection on immune function in patients with congestive heart failure]
[Article in Chinese]
Liu ZG, Xiong ZM, Yu XY.
Affiliated Liyuan Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430077.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of Astragalus Injection (AI) on the humoral immunity (IgG, IgA and IgM), cellular immunity (T-lymphocyte subsets) and soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). METHODS: Sixty-two in-patients with CHF, whose heart function belonged to NYHA grade II-IV, were randomly divided into two groups. The treated group was treated with AI 30 ml (equivalent to 60 g crude drug), and the control group was treated by nitroglycerine injection 10 mg, the drugs were administered respectively by adding in 5% glucose solution 500 ml for intravenous dripping, once a day, 20 days as one therapeutic course. Venous blood from cubital vein was collected before and after treatment to detect the IgG, IgA, IgM, T-lymphocyte subsets and sIL-2R, and the clinical effect of treatment was evaluated. RESULTS: The clinical heart function markedly improved rate and total effective rate in the treated group was 25.8% and 74.2% respectively, significantly better than those in the control group respectively (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01), the left ventricular ejecting fraction (LVEF) and end syctolic volume (ESV) were improved in both groups (P < 0.05, P < 0.01), and the improvement in the treated group was superior to that in the control group (P < 0.05). In the treated group after treatment, the CD4 level and CD4/CD8 ratio increased (P < 0.05), levels of sIL-2R, IgG and IgA lowered (P < 0.05) significantly, while those in the control group were not changed significantly (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: AI could improve the immune function of CHF patients, and can be taken as an important auxiliary treatment for CHF.
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2003 Apr;23(4):291-3. : [Experimental study on effect of Astragalus extractum on canine isolated kidney during hypothermia perfusion and preservation]
[Article in Chinese]
Yuan CH, Liu YF, Cheng Y.
Department of Organ Transplantation, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 110001.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of Astragalus Extractum on canine isolated kidney during hypothermia perfusion and preservation. METHODS: Isolated kidneys in the control group were hypothermia perfused and preserved using conventional hypertonic adenine citrate solution (HC-A), and for those in the experimental group, using HC-A plus Astragalus extract instead. The changes of renal tissue construction were observed with light microscopy and electron microscopy. Moreover, the kidney transplantation model of dog was established to determine the changes of biochemical parameters before and after transplantation. Data were analysed synthetically. RESULTS: The ultrastructural injury in preserved kidney of the experimental group was significantly milder than that in the control group. Parameters determined in the early stage of transplantation showed that the blood creatinine level was significantly lower and the endogenous creatinine clearing value was higher in the experimental group than that in the control group, the difference was significant (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: When Astragalus extractum is used in preserving kidney with hypothermia perfusion, it shows definite protective effect on the ischemic reperfusion injured kidney.
: Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Mar;26(3):313-7. : Anti-hyperglycemic Effect of Fangchinoline Isolated from Stephania Tetrandra Radix in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Mice.
Tsutsumi T, Kobayashi S, Liu YY, Kontani H.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokuriku University.

Kampo medicine, Stephania tetrandra Radix (Stephania) in Boi-ogi-to increases the blood insulin level and falls the blood glucose level in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic ddY mice. These actions of Stephania are potentiated by Astragalus membranaceus Bunge Radix (Astragali) in Boi-ogi-to (Liu et al., J. Traditional Med., 17, 253-260, 2000). In the present study, actions of bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids isolated from Stephania were investigated in the hyperglycemia of STZ-diabetic mice. A main bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid, fangchinoline (0.3-3 mg/kg) significantly fell the blood glucose level of the diabetic mice in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of fangchinoline was 3.9-fold greater than that of water extract of Stephania. However, another main compound, tetrandrine (1-100 mg/kg) did not have any effect. The water extract of Astragali did not affect singly but potentiated the anti-hyperglycemic action of fangchinoline (0.3 mg/kg). Out of used compounds (1 mg/kg) isolated from Stephania, fangchinoline, fangchinoline 2'-N-alpha-oxide and 2'-N-norfangchinoline, which are substituted with 7-hydroxy side chain for 7-O-methyl side chain, decreased to near 50% of high blood glucose level. In addition, tetrandrine 2'-N-beta-oxide, tetrandrine 2'-N-alpha-oxide, tetrandrine 2-N-beta-oxide, fangchinoline 2'-N-alpha-oxide, which are added to 2- or 2'-N-oxide side chain, also decreased to near 50% of the high blood glucose level. In conclusion, fangchinoline but not tetrandrine from Stephania shows the anti-hyperglycemic action in the STZ-diabetic mice. The demethylation of 7-O-position and/or addition of 2- or 2'-N-oxide side chain in bis-benzylisoquinoline compounds in Stephania have a role for the induction of the anti-hyperglycemic actions.
Life Sci. 2003 Feb 21;72(14):1563-71.
The collagenolytic effects of the traditional Chinese medicine preparation, Han-Dan-Gan-Le, contribute to reversal of chemical-induced liver fibrosis in rats.
Li C, Luo J, Li L, Cheng M, Huang N, Liu J, Waalkes MP.
Department of Pharmacology, Guiyang Medical College, China.
li8@niehs.nih.gov
Han-Dan-Gan-Le (HDGL), a Chinese herb preparation composed of Stephaniat tetrandra, Salvia miltorrhiza, Radix paeoniae, Astragalus membranaceus, and Ginkgo biloba, has been used to treat human liver fibrosis. This study was designed to examine the therapeutic effect of HDGL on chemical-induced liver fibrosis in adult Wistar rats. Liver fibrosis was produced in rats by carbon tetrachloride (1.2 ml CCl(4)/kg, 2 times/week, after an initial dose of 5.0 ml CCl(4)/kg, sc), plus a diet of 20% fat, 0.05% cholesterol (continuous) and 30% alcohol in the drinking water ad libitum (every other day) for 8 weeks. HDGL (0.5 and 1.0 g/kg, ig, daily for 6 weeks) was administered to rats 72 hrs after the last dose of CCl(4) to examine its therapeutic effects on chemical-induced liver fibrosis. Upon pathological examination, the HDGL treatment had significantly reversed chemical-induced liver fibrosis and other hepatic lesions. Hepatic collagen accumulation induced by CCl(4) was markedly reduced by HDGL treatment, as evidenced by hepatic collagen content and by immunohistochemical analysis of type-I collagen in liver. HDGL appeared to stimulate the collagenolytic process in the liver, as a 30-50% increase in urinary excretion of hydroxyproline was observed with HDGL treatment as compared to rats only given CCl(4). In conclusion, HDGL can effectively reverse chemically induced liver fibrosis, and this appears to be due, at least in part, to the stimulation of hepatic collagenolysis, resulting in a resolution of hepatic fibrosis
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2003 Jan;51(1):75-80. Epub 2002 Nov 26.: Suppressive effect of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge on chemical hepatocarcinogenesis in rats.
Cui R, He J, Wang B, Zhang F, Chen G, Yin S, Shen H.
Molecular Carcinogenesis Unit, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 150 cours Albert-Thomas, 69372 Lyon, Cedex 08, France.
cuirutao@iarc.fr

Astragalus membranaceus (AM) has been widely used for treating liver diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. Experimental evidence indicates that it has antitumor potential. In this study, the effect of AM on hepatocarcinogenesis induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN), two-thirds partial hepatectomy, and 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) (DEN-PH-AAF) was evaluated using glutathione S-transferase placenta form (GST-P) as marker. First, rats were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with DEN (200 mg/kg in saline), a two-thirds partial hepatectomy was carried out 2 weeks later, and the rats were then placed on a basal diet containing 0.02% AAF from week 3 to week 8 to induce hepatocarcinogenesis. The rats were given AM (90 mg/kg or 180 mg/kg body weight) by gavage from week 3 to week 8 (treatment groups). The formation of GST-P-positive foci and the expression of GST-P protein and mRNA caused by DEN-PH-AAF were reduced in the treatment groups, which clearly suggests that AM is effective in delaying DEN-PH-AAF-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.
Z Naturforsch [C]. 2002 Nov-Dec;57(11-12):1016-21. : Antibacterial diterpenoids from Astragalus brachystachys.
Jassbi AR, Zamanizadehnajari S, Azar PA, Tahara S.
Laboratory of Ecological Chemistry, Division of Applied Bioscience, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan.

Antibacterial bioassay guided fractionation of acetone extracts of Astragalus brachystachys resulted in isolation of sclareol and two related labdane-type diterpenoids, 14R-epoxysclareol and 6beta-hydroxysclareol. The antibacterial activity of the isolated compounds was measured and it was deduced that the epoxidation at the double bond of sclareol or hydroxylation at C-6 decreased the activity of the resulting compounds. Salvigenin (5-hydroxy-4',6,7-trimethoxyflavone) was also separated from this plant for the first time. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002 Aug;23(8):757-61. : Reducing fatigue of athletes following oral administration of huangqi jianzhong tang.
Chen KT, Su CH, Hsin LH, Su YC, Su YP, Lin JG.
Department of general education, Ming-Hsin Institute of Technology Hsinchu, Taiwan, China.

AIM: To study the effect of Huangqi Jianzhong Tang in reducing fatigue improvement in athletes. METHODS: Twelve athletes were randomly separated into a control group, whose members were administered with placebos, and the experimental group, whose members were administered with Huangqi Jianzhong Tang. During the eight weeks of the experiment, test subjects continued exercise as usual. Preliminary and final exhaustion times, anaerobic thresholds, and kinetic energies were determined. RESULTS: Huangqi Jianzhong Tang might increase exhaustion time, positively influence anaerobic threshold, and also enhance recovery from fatigue. CONCLUSION: Huangqi Jianzhong Tang reduced fatigue by increasing the oxygen uptake and the systemic utility of oxygen
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002 Aug;22(8):613-7. : [Effect of astragalus-angelica mixture on osteopontin expression in rats with chronic nephrosclerosis]
[Article in Chinese]
Zhao YN, Li JZ, Yu L.
Renal Division of Department of Medicine, First Hospital, Peking University, Beijing 100034.

OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of Astragalus-Angelica Mixture (AAM) on osteopontin (OPN) expression in rats with chronic nephrosclerosis. METHODS: Chronic nephrosclerosis model rats induced by repeated intraperitoneal injection of puromycin were randomly divided into the model group, AAM group and Irbesartan (an antagonist of angiotensin) group. The experimental course lasted 12 weeks. Blood and urine samples were examined by biochemical method. Kidney tissue was taken for pathological stain and immunohistochemical method and was applied to examine OPN expression, mononuclear macrophage, laminin in extracellular matrix and decorin expressions. RESULTS: AAM showed the effects of decreasing urinary protein and improving renal function similar to that of Irbesartan. It also could alleviate the pathological damage of kidney tissue, especially in decreasing renal tubular mesenchymal damage index. The accumulation of decorin and laminin in the mesenchymal extracellular matrix significantly decreased. Renal tubular OPN expression and mesenchymal infiltration of mononuclear macrophage decreased significantly and in a positive correlated manner (r = 0.885, P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: AAM has similar renal protective action to that of Irbesartan, this action may be related to the inhibition of up-regulated OPN expression.
Fitoterapia. 2002 Jul;73(4):336-9. : Antimicrobial and antifungal activity of crude extracts and isolated saponins from Astragalus verrucosus.
Pistelli L, Bertoli A, Lepori E, Morelli I, Panizzi L.
Dipartimento di Chimica Bioorganica e Biofarmacia, via Bonanno 33, 56126 Pisa, Italy.
luipi@farm.unipi.it

The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of several crude extracts and pure saponins, astraverrucins I-VI, from the aerial parts of Astragalus verrucosus were investigated by the disc diffusion method. Antimycotic activity was observed on more polar extracts, but only one saponin showed an appreciable activity.
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002 Jul;22(7):515-7. : [Clinical study on effect of Astragalus in efficacy enhancing and toxicity reducing of chemotherapy in patients of malignant tumor]
[Article in Chinese]
Duan P, Wang ZM.
Chengdu First Peopte's Hospital, Chengdu 610016.

OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of Astragalus membranaceus efficacy enhancing and toxicity reducing on chemotherapy in patients of malignant tumor. METHODS: One hundred and twenty tumor patients were randomly divided into the treated group and the control group. Both groups were treated with chemotherapy, but to the treated group, Astragalus injection was given additionally by intravenous dripping, 20 ml in 250 ml of normal saline once per day for 21 days as one course and 4 courses were given successively. RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the treated group showed a lower progressive incidence, lesser decrease of peripheral WBC and platelet count (P < 0.05), accompanied with CD8 significantly lowered (P < 0.05), CD4/CD8 ratio significantly increased (P < 0.01), IgG and IgM levels raised (P < 0.05) and Karnofsky scores elevated more than those in the control group. IgA level was unchanged in both groups. CONCLUSION: Astragalus injection supplemented with chemotherapy could inhibit the development of tumor, decrease the toxic-adverse effect of chemotherapy, elevate the immune function of organism and improve the quality of life in patients.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Jan;25(1):77-80. : Effect of Astragali radix extract on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in human amnion.
Shon YH, Kim JH, Nam KS
. Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Intractable Disease Research Center, Dongguk University, Sukjang-Dong, Kyongju, Korea.

The effects of Astragali radix extract on interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha productions, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) biosynthesis, and leukotriene C4 (LTC4) production from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human amnion cells were investigated. Amnion cells produced detectable amounts of both IL-6 and TNF-alpha under LPS-stimulated conditions. Astragalus extract inhibited the production of IL-6. However, TNF-alpha production was not inhibited by the extract on L929 cytotoxicity assay. Treatment of amnion cells with LPS for up to 24 h resulted in an increase in PGE2 release in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The extract (150 mg/ml) significantly inhibited the output of PGE2 by amnion cells (p<0.01). The arachidonate lipoxygenase metabolite (LTC4) was increased by LPS treatment of amnion cells. Astragalus extract (30 mg/ml) inhibited LTC4 production by approximately 65% throughout the culture period. These results suggest that Astragali radix extract may have a role in inhibiting bacterial infection-associated preterm labor by suppressing the productions of IL-6, PGE2, and LTC4 by human amnion cells.