January 20, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore.Oregon State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy researchers have found berberine, a natural compound found in grapes and other botanical products, can act on muscarininc receptors that can cause heart cell contractions to slow. Co-authors Theresa Filtz, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at OSU, and Satin Salehi, a Ph.D. graduate ofOSUs College of Pharmacy, explained berberine acts on the same receptors activated by muscarines, powerful cardiac depressants found in certain mushrooms. They said their findings are red flags for people who use herbal remedies without their doctors supervision, especially patients dealing with congestive heart failure.Berberine is found in a number of herbal products, including the Chinese herb huang lian, a widely used as a home remedy to treat everything from aching legs, arthritis and carpal tunnel to mumps, pneumonia and tennis elbow. According to the researchers, the study will be published in an upcoming issue of Pharmacological Research.
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