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Biomarkers program for evaluating alternative & complementary interventions

John Yuen

Oxidative stress refers as an imbalance state between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which causes oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and nucleus acids resulting in ageing as well as various diseases and disorders. Oxidants and antioxidants are commonly seen as in opposite relationships, but many researchers observed the same phenomenon in various body fluids that oxidant levels change in parallel with the antioxidant levels, and vice versa. This is nicely explained by the redox reaction that one atom is oxidized to donate an electron when another atom is reduced by receiving this electron, which indicated oxidation and antioxidation are working in a mutual rather than opposite relationship. However, this notion is fully compatible with the ‘yin and yang theory’ commonly adopted in the traditional Chinese medicine. The understandings of redox reaction and yin/yang theory have guided my biomarker program development for alternative and complementary interventions. In this presentation, my research studying a medicinal mushroom called Ganoderma lucidum and a manipulative therapy known as Guasha will be used to showcase of my biomarker program. The common biomarkers used include antioxidant and oxidative stress markers (such as heme oxygenase-1 and hydrogen peroxide), T-helper 1 and T-helper (Th1/Th2) 2 cytokines, and specific indicators for targeted problems and their biomechanisms.


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