This team of researchers looked at the effects of potentized cholesterinum used with another homeopathic remedy, Natrum Sulphuricum on carcinogen-induced hepatotoxicity. In other words, the researchers wanted to see if these two homeopathic remedies could reduce damage of cancer causing agents fed to mice.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether potentized cholesterinum (Chol) intermittently used with another homeopathic remedy, Natrum Sulphuricum (Nat Sulph) can provide additional benefits in combating hepatotoxicity generated by chronic feeding of carcinogens, p-dimethylaminoazobenzene (p-DAB), and phenobarbital (PB).
Mice were categorized into subgroups: normal untreated (Gr-1); normal + alcohol “vehicle” (Alc) (Gr-2), 0.06% p-DAB + 0.05% PB (Gr-3), p-DAB + PB + Alc (Gr-4), p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30 (Gr-5), p-DAB + PB + Chol-200 (Gr-6), p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30 + Chol-200 (Gr-7), p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-200 (Gr-8), and DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-200 + Chol-200 (Gr-9).
Hepatotoxicity was assessed through biomarkers like aspartate and alanine aminotransferases (AST and ALT), acid and alkaline phosphatases (AcP and AlkP), reduced glutathione content (GSH), glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and analysis of lipid peroxidation (LPO) at 30, 60, 90, and 120 days and antioxidant biomarkers like superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione reductase (GR) were assayed.
Electron microscopic studies (scanning and transmission) and gelatin zymography for matrix metalloproteinases were conducted in liver. The feeding of the homeopathic drugs showed intervention in regard to the increased activities of AST, ALT, AcP, AlkP, GGT, LDH, and LPO and decreased activities of G6PD, SOD, CAT, GR, and GSH noted in the intoxicated mice, more appreciable in Groups 7 and 9. Thus, combined therapy provided additional antihepatotoxic and anticancer effects (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 1).
The Bottom Line:
If you are unfamiliar with homeopathy, here is a little more information to become familiarized with the principles of homeopathy. The Western medical tradition generally frowns up homeopathy. That is because remedies are usually diluted to the point at which one could say that too few molecules remain of the original substance in the heavily diluted remedy. In other words, the remedy has been subjected to trituration, dynamization and succession, sometimes beyond Avogadro’s limit (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012), thus causing great controversy among scientist.
The authors of this paper talk about Natrum Sulphuricum (Nat Sulph) -30 and 200 and cholesterinum (Chol) -200.
To put this in perspective here is a paragraph from Creighton University School of Medicine:
“Supposing 40g of calcium (one mole) were diluted by homeopathic principles starting from 100% pure substance. Avogadro’s number tells us that we have 6.02×1023 molecules per mole. By 7C the remedy would be expected to contain about 6 billion calcium molecules, and by about 11C, it would be expected to have only about 60 ((1/100)11 x 6.02×1023 = 60.2). At the 12C (or 24X) dilution, there is a 50/50 chance of one molecule being present. The dilution at which one would expect to have only one molecule does depend upon the starting number of molecules, but assuming that we started with all the atoms estimated to be in the universe, about 6×1079 then we end up with a 50% chance to have one molecule left at 40C (or 80X), still far more concentrated than the 200C dilutions that are commonly dispensed (Creighton University School of Medicine, n.d.).
To add to the dilemma of understanding and providing evidence for homeopathic remedies is the clinical trials are plagued with problems. Pitari (2007) points out that, amongst others, homeopathic research requires more rigorous trials and more specific trail methodology. The author presents and illustration in her paper on how to more effectively design research in homeopathic medicine in order to provide credible evidence either for or against efficacy.
Having show that homeopathy is not without controversy, lets look at the results from Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh (2012). Because this research was performed on mice, it was possible to tightly control the experiment’s condition.
Observers were blinded as to whether the samples came from the homeopathic remedy groups or placebo treated group and mice were randomized into 9 groups (24 animals in each group), each group receiving a different diet consisting of (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 2):
- Group 1- Diet 1: Normal
- Group 2 – Diet 2: Normal + Alc
- Group 3 – Diet 3: p-DAB+PB
- Group 4 – Diet 4: p-DAB + PB + Alc
- Group 5 – Diet 5: p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30
- Group 6 – Diet 6: p-DAB + PB + Chol-200
- Group 7 – Diet 7: p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30 + Chol-200
- Group 8 – Diet 8: p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-200
- Group 9- Diet 9: p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-200 + Chol-200
In the result section Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh (2012) report that on autopsy groups 1 and 2 showed healthy liver, while all the other animals showed tumor growth who received the carcinogens for 60 days or more.
Interestingly enough though the authors report that
As compared to all carcinogen fed mice showing distinct sign of tumor formation in the form of pale reddish multiple nodules, the incidence and intensity of tumor was found to be greater in the carcinogen fed mice (more pronounced in the p-DAB+PB and p-DAB+PB+Alc fed series) at 60, 90, and 120 days, the incidence and growth of tumors found in the drug fed series was less, both numerically and qualitatively. Further, in the conjoint drug fed series, the number of tumors was also lesser than in the single drug fed series (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p.5).
Differences were statistically significant and Nat Sulph-30 plus Chol-200 fed mice positive activities were most pronounced at the 90 day and the 120 intervals, with Nat Sulph-200 alone showing considerable ameliorative effect, while a combination of Nat Sulph-200 and Chol-200 showed the greatest effects (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 5).
Here is table 1 from their paper:
In their conclusion the authors reiterate that we don’t know the mechanism of action involved for homeopathic remedies, but proposed a hypothesis that
…Potentized homeopathic drugs might have the ability to act as a ‘molecular trigger’ for switching ‘on and ‘off’ certain relevant gene action/interaction, a series of biochemical changes could follow, that in turn could bring about the alteration observed in the parameters of the present study (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 9).
Furthermore the authors point towards nanoparticle research that demonstrated alteration of the “…physico-chemical property of the drug and its biological action during the process of homeopathic dynamization” (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 9).
Based on this research one could speculate that both homeopathic remedies could be used to treat human liver disorders associated with cancerous lesions (Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh, 2012, p. 9).
But there is one caveat of course, more studies should be performed by other researchers to either confirm or refute these most peculiar findings.
Why peculiar? Remember, based on the tenets of classical physics, chemistry and other know facts about the universe these results should have NOT manifested in the first place.
Bhattacharjee, N., & Khuda-Bukhsh, A. R. (2012). Two homeopathic remedies used intermittently provide additional protective effects against hepatotoxicity induced by carcinogens in mice. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, In Press. doi:10.1016/j.jams.2012.05.004
Creighton University School of Medicine. (n.d.). Dynamization. Retrieved June 21, 2012, from http://altmed.creighton.edu/Homeopathy/philosophy/dilution.htm
Pitari, G. (2007). Scientific Research in Homeopathic Medicine: Validation, Methodology and Perspectives. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(2), 271–273. doi:10.1093/ecam/nel085
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APA: W Absenger. (2012.06.21). Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh. (2012). Two homeopathic remedies provide protective effects against hepatotoxicity induced by carcinogens [Web log post]. Retrieved from The Alternative Medicine Blog at http://amacf.org/2012/06/bhattacharjee-khuda-bukhsh-2012-two-homeopathic-remedies-provide-protective-effects-against-hepatoto.html
MLA: Absenger, Werner. “Bhattacharjee & Khuda-Bukhsh. (2012). Two homeopathic remedies provide protective effects against hepatotoxicity induced by carcinogens ” The Alternative Medicine Blog. The Alternative Medicine Blog. 21 June. 2012. Web. Insert your date of access here.