Scientific evidence for homeopathy part 4

Christer Sundqvist

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The well-known and respected Finnish homeopath Jouni Jamsa (http://www.jounijamsa.fi/ ) continues his homeopathy research with us. In the first part, we talked to him about homeopathy in general and diluted homeopathic preparations in particular [1]. In the next section we investigated how plants respond to homeopathic preparations [2]. In the third part, we went through studies where homeopathy has been used for cancer patients [3]. In this fourth section, we investigate the effect of homeopathic preparations at the cellular level.

The effects of homeopathy have also been studied at the cellular level

“Jouni, a more accurate understanding of the mechanisms of action for various homeopathic preparations is usually obtained in cell-based experiments (in vitro studies). Are there any such in homeopathy?”

Yes there are many studies. Highly diluted homeopathic preparations are showing measurable effects in cell cultures [4]. Several studies have found that homeopathic agents give rise to apoptosis (programmed cell death). This phenomenon is a normal part of individual tissue development and regeneration. It is controlled by genes that regulate cell division [5, 6]. Apoptosis plays an important role in fetal development, regulation of the immune response, elimination of infected and transformed cells, and regulation of tissue size.

Excessive apoptosis can lead to developmental disorders and degenerative diseases, while its absence can lead to autoimmune diseases, long-term viral infections and cancer. Utilization of drug apoptosis is already routine in the treatment of cancer. Drugs for the treatment of degenerative diseases that prevent apoptosis are likely to emerge in the market in the near future [7]. Apoptosis is something you want to achieve when treating cancer.

Because cancer is a disease that affects many people and is very serious, researchers have been interested in different types of treatment options. The effect of homeopathy in cancer can also be studied with cell models.

The potent homeopathic drug Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer activity on HeLa cells in vitro. This has been studied in the Laboratory of Cell Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Kalyan, India.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether homeopathic highly diluted and potent preparations of Lycopodium Clavatum (LC-5C and LC-15C) have anti-cancer effects on HeLa cells. Cells were exposed to either LC-5C (diluted below Avogadro's number) or diluted above Avogadro's number (LC-15C).

The results revealed that administration of Lycopodium had little or no toxic effects on the cells in the bloodstream, but caused marked apoptosis in cancer cells (HeLa), which appeared in the form of initial degradation of DNA.

Highly diluted, dynamic homeopathic drugs, both below and above the Avogadro's number, caused cell death in cancer cells, suggesting that these drugs could potentially be used as supportive cancer care [8].

Frenkel's team at the University of Texas (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas, USA) performed cell experiments with highly diluted Indian homeopathic preparations (Carcinos, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja). The preparations were tested with different breast cancer cell lines. The preparations were toxic to the cells, leading to cell cycle breakdown and cell death. Thus, these natural, diluted preparations had biological effects that should be further investigated [9].

The same was also supported by Psorinum 6 ×, which triggers apoptosis signals in human lung cancer cells. Studies of the effects of homeopathic Psorinum 6x on cell survival were initially performed in several cancer cell lines, including A549 (lung cancer cell line), HepG2 (liver cancer cell line) and MCF-7 (breast cancer cell line).

The experiment investigated the therapeutic effects on cell cycle breakdown, cell death, reactive oxygen radical formation (ROS), and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy.

It was found that treatment of cancer cell lines with Psorinum resulted in increased anti-cancer effects in A549 cells (lung cancer cell line) to a greater extent than in others. Psorinum prevented cell division after 24 hours of treatment and retained the cells in the G1 phase. It also caused e.g. ROS formation, MMP depolarization, morphological changes and DNA damage.

The researchers concluded that Psorinum 6 × triggered apoptosis in A549 cells (lung cancer cells) via signaling proteins [10].

Condurango 6C and 30C also trigger apoptosis in lung cancer cells. The more diluted preparation was more effective [11].

”As a biologist, it's easy to get excited about these observations. Is there any further evidence ?!”

As a matter of fact, the effects of homeopathy on programmed cell death have been extensively studied. Further support for this effect on apoptosis, which is advantageous in the treatment of cancer, has been obtained in e.g. Shagun Arora laboratory at Jaypee University of India. It was found that undiluted and diluted homeopathic preparations were toxic to cultured cancer cells. Homeopathic Sarsaparilla preparations were tested in isolated renal adenocarcinoma cell cultures, the Ruta graveolens preparation in cultured colon cancer cells and the Phytolacca decandra preparation in breast cancer cells.

The results showed that all of the homeopathic preparations showed toxic effects in said cell cultures. The undiluted preparations had the best effect, but diluted preparations also served as a starting point of apoptosis. Homeopathic preparations have been shown to be anti-cancer drugs and further research can be encouraged [12].

The homeopathic preparation Calcarea carbonica caused apoptosis in cell cultures from cancerous mice. The study showed evidence of the so-called immunomodulatory mechanism of cell death [13].

In leukemia, homeopathic dilutions of Amanita phalloides have been successfully tested in cell cultures [14].

There is no placebo effect in cultured cancer cells, so here we have evidence that homeopathy is not just a placebo. Should homeopathic significance be increased in established medicine, more evidence from well-controlled and high-quality studies is needed [15].

”There is currently very active research on the development of our immune system. Is there anything new on this front in homeopathy?”

 

Homeopathy affects immunity

There are some cellular studies. Greek researchers have made an effort to make impact on the natural killer cells (NKC) using homeopathic combination products. A study was conducted at the Konstantinion Research Center in Thessaloniki to evaluate the effects of five homeopathic combination products on natural killer cells (NKC). NKC activity was evaluated in cancer patients with the disease at a very advanced stage. Coenzyme Compositum®, Ubichinon Compositum®, Glyoxal Compositum®, Catalyst® and Traumeel® were reviewed. The study included in vitro and in vivo experiments. Let's look at the results of the in vitro experiments.

Ubichino Compositum® had the strongest effect on NKC activity. After that, the order was Glyoxal Compositum®> Catalyst®> Traumeel®> Coenzyme Compositum®.

The homeopathic preparations significantly increased the toxic activity of NKC cells (p <0.05). The combination homeopathic products tested in this study can be used as adjunctive therapy, immunotherapy in very advanced cancer [16].

This cancer study has aroused great interest among researchers and evidence of support from the above research has also been found in other cell cultures. In melanoma, for example, lymphocyte activity has been increased with homeopathic combination therapy. Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and the fastest growing cancer in the world. Chemotherapy has not produced the desired results and the hope is for other types of therapies.

It is recommended for patients with a weakened immune system to try Brazilian homeopathic combination therapy (CHM). Previous studies in mice have shown that CHM activates macrophages, initiates the increase in white blood cell count, and improves response to sarcoma in mice.

The cell culture (lymph nodes from mice) was treated with a homeopathic combination product. It was found that the lymphocytes grown together with macrophages in the presence of CHM had a greater ability to withstand melanoma activity. Treatment-activated lymphocytes killed cancer cells more effectively than the controls. Nontoxic therapies using a homeopathic combination product are a promising alternative way to treat melanoma. In addition, homeopathic combination therapy is attractive in increasing the efficacy of conventional anti-cancer drugs [17].

The homeopathic medicine Engystol affected interferon-γ-producing T lymphocytes (white blood cells) in cell culture. When various strengths of Engystol was tested, it was found that dilution had little effect on strength [18, 19].

Osteoporosis is a serious disease, especially in women after menopause. An Italian study has succeeded in showing an increase in the activity of osteoblasts (cells important for bone formation) in the cell culture with the homeopathic preparation FMS * Calcium Fluorine [20].

Recently, interesting articles have emerged which show that homeopathic preparations are effective against a variety of microbes in cell cultures. Lots of experiments are needed to find out the most suitable preparations. There is plenty of work left [21, 22]!

 

 

References:

1 Christer Sundqvist. Scientific evidence for homeopathy part 1. 30.4.2020 https://www.petrafoundation.com/en/blog/scientific-evidence-for-homeopathy-part-1     

2 Christer Sundqvist. Scientific evidence for homeopathy part 2. 15.5.2020
https://www.petrafoundation.com/en/blog/scientific-evidence-for-homeopathy-part-2    

3 Christer Sundqvist. Scientific evidence for homeopathy part 3. 16.5.2020
https://www.petrafoundation.com/en/blog/scientific-evidence-for-homeopathy-part-3    

4 Bellavite P, Conforti A, Pontarollo F, Ortolani R. Immunology and homeopathy. 2. Cells of the immune system and inflammation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 3(1): 13‐24, 2006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1375241/

5 Wikipedia. Apoptosis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apoptosis  

6 James Andrew Radosevich. Apoptosis and Beyond : The Many Ways Cells Die. Wiley-Blackwell, 2018

7 Janie Parrino, Richard S. Hotchkiss and Mike Bray. Prevention of Immune Cell Apoptosis as Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Severe Infections. Emerg Infect Dis 13(2): 191-198, 2007 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2725847/

8 Asmita Samadder, Sreemanti Das, Jayeeta Das et al. (7 kirjoittajaa). The Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Lycopodium Clavatum (5C and 15C) Has Anti-Cancer Effect on Hela Cells in Vitro. J Acupunct Meridian Stud 6(4): 180-87, 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23972240

9 Frenkel M, Mishra BM, Sen S, Yang P et al. (9 kirjoittajaa). Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells. Int J Oncol 36: 395-403, 2010 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20043074/

10 Jesmin Mondala, Asmita Samadderab, Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh. Psorinum 6× triggers apoptosis signals in human lung cancer cells. Journal of Integrative Medicine 14 (2): 143-153, 2016 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2095496416602303

11 Sikdar S, Kumar Saha S, Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh A. Relative Apoptosis-inducing Potential of Homeopathic Condurango 6C and 30C in H460 Lung Cancer Cells In vitro: Apoptosis-induction by homeopathic Condurango in H460 cells. J Pharmacopuncture 17(1): 59‐69, 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25780691

12 Shagun Arora, Ayushi Aggarwal, Priyanka Singla, Saras Jyoti, Simran Tandon. Anti-proliferative effects of homeopathic medicines on human kidney, colon and breast cancer cells. Homeopathy 102 (4): 274-282, 2013 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1475491613000416?via%3Dihub

13 Shilpi Saha, Dewan Md Sakib Hossain, Shravanti Mukherjee et al. (13 kirjoittajaa) Calcarea Carbonica Induces Apoptosis in Cancer Cells in p53-dependent Manner via an Immuno-Modulatory Circuit. BMC Complement Altern Med 13:230, 2013 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24053127/

14 Riede I. Tumor therapy with Amanita phalloides (death cap): stabilization of B-cell chronic lymphatic leukemia. J Altern Complement Med 16(10): 1129‐1132, 2010 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20954964

15 Oberbaum M, Vithoulkas G, van Haselen R, Singer S. Reinventing the wheel? Or the emperor’s new clothes. J Altern Complement Med 9: 613-615, 2003 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8997570_Reinventing_the_Wheel_Or_the_Emperor's_New_Clothes

16 Ioannis K Toliopoulos, Yannis Simos, Dimitrios Bougiouklis, Stergios Oikonomidis. Stimulation of Natural Killer Cells by Homoeopathic Complexes: An in Vitro and in Vivo Pilot Study in Advanced Cancer Patients. Cell Biochem Funct 31(8): 713-718, 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23408699

17 Fernando SF Guimarães, Ana PR Abud, Simone M Oliveira et al. (10 kirjoittajaa) Stimulation of lymphocyte anti-melanoma activity by co-cultured macrophages activated by complex homeopathic medication. BMC Cancer 9: 293, 2009  https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2407-9-293

18 Heinrich Enbergs. Effects of the Homeopathic Preparation Engystol on Interferon-γ Production by Human T-Lymphocytes. Immunological Investigations 35 (1): 19-27, 2006 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08820130500496753?src=recsys

19 Vincenzo Fimiani, Antonia Cavallaro, Tommaso Ainis & Carlotta Bottari. Immunomodulatory Effect of the Homoeopathic Drug Engystol-N on Some Activities of Isolated Human Leukocytes and in Whole Blood. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 22 (1): 103-115, 2000  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08923970009016409

20 Claudia Palermo, Cristina Filanti, Silvia Poggi, Paola Manduca. Osteogenesis in vitro in rat tibia‐derived osteoblasts is promoted by the homeopathic preparation, FMS*Calciumfluor. Cell Biol Int 23 (1): 31-40, 1999 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1006/cbir.1998.0312

21 Aditya Dilipkumar Patil, Anuj Deepakrao Chinche, Atul Kumar Singh et al. (7 kirjoittajaa) Ultra high dilutions: A review on in vitro studies against pathogens. African Journal of Biotechnology 18(13): 275-279, 2019 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332071537_Ultra_high_dilutions_A_review_on_in_vitro_studies_against_pathogens

22 Leoni Bonamin. Homeopathy and experimental infections: In vivo and in vitro experiments with bacteria, fungi and protozoan. Revue d'Homeopathie 10(4), 2019 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336887899_Homeopathy_and_experimental_infections_In_vivo_and_in_vitro_experiments_with_bacteria_fungi_and_protozoan

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