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Active ingredient in common Chinese herb shown to reduce hypertension

ration.

Results

Tanshinone IIA was found to have significantly reduced blood pressure in the hamsters. The experimental constriction of the renal artery increased mean arterial pressure to 161.2¡À6.9 mmHg relative to 114.3¡À9.2 mmHg in age-matched hamsters. Treatment with 50 ¦Ìg tanshinone IIA/100g body for two weeks reduced the mean arterial pressure from 161.2¡À6.9 to 130.0¡À7.8 mmHg.

The research team also discovered that tanshinone IIA caused widening of the arterioles in the hamster cheek pouch microcirculation via enhanced expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. The topical application of tanshinone IIA at one ¦Ìg/ml and five ¦Ìg/ml caused significant dose-related vasodilation, indicated by the increased agent/control ratio of arteriolar diameters from 1.0 to 1.25¡À0.08 and 1.57¡À0.11, respectively, in the hamster cheek pouch. The increase in arteriolar diameter ratio was significant relative to the vehicle for each concentration as well as for comparison between the two concentrations of tanshinone IIA.

Conclusions

As a result of the findings the researchers concluded that tanshinone IIA: (1) significantly reduced blood pressure in hamsters, (2) enhanced the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, (3) increased the production of nitric oxide and (4) induced blood pressure changes through vasodilation in hamster blood microvessels. While the mechanisms of how tanshinone IIA or danshen work in hypertension are not yet fully understood, these results contribute to the effort to bring complementary and alternative medicine and allopathic care closer together in the treatment of hypertensive patients.
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Source:American Physiological Society


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