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Auxin

The ethnobotany of thymic involution and renewal?

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I'm curious if anyone has looked into this topic and could point to (scientifically supported) promising planty lines of research in slowing thymic involution or outright reversing it. I've been intending to look into this for years and have finally started building a pile of research crap to get me started.

[Thymic involution is a process of gradual loss of functional cells in the thymus gland which are responsible for maturing naive T-cells from the bone marrow so they can go out and mount new immune defenses. The thymus shrinks from age 1 until death and this shrinkage is why people get less and less able to resist novel infections after the age of 65 or so.]

I want to have a good immune system when I'm 85 :wink:

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One example of the seemingly sparse research into herbal reduction of thymic involution investigated a compound chinese preparation which included such things as Panax ginseng, Cervus nippon, Cordyceps sinensis, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Allium tuberosum, Cnidium monnieri, cervi pantotrichum, and Euodia rutaecarpa.

The 'Yang'-promoting traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) are used to boost vigor and enhance immunity in humans. In this study, the immunopotentiating effect of VI-28, a 'Yang'-promoting TCM formula containing extracts of radix ginseng, cornu Cervi pantotrichum and radix Salvia miltiorrhizae, was investigated. Groups of 8-month-old female ex-breeder BALB/c mice were fed on ordinary mouse food or food containing a low (0.5%) or high (2%) dose VI-28 for up to 18 weeks. From week 6, mice on the TCM-containing diet were much healthier, stronger and more alert than those on the normal mouse food. Furthermore, their thymuses were significantly bigger and heavier than those of the control mice. Histological examination revealed structural changes typical of thymic involution in mice of the control group, whilst the microstructure of thymuses from mice taking TCM-containing food was comparable to that of mice of a much younger age, indicating a positive effect of VI-28 on slowing down thymic involution. Functional analysis of splenocytes from mice of different groups suggested that oral administration of VI-28 corrected the hyporesponsiveness of T lymphocytes in aged mice. These results have important implications for our understanding of the mechanisms of the immunoboosting effect of TCM.

Immunopotentiating effect of a 'Yang'-promoting formula of traditional Chinese medicine on aged female BALB/c mice

You can see the effect of Low and High doses on thymus weight and improved thymic weight increased peripheral T-cell responsiveness.

post-146-0-31059400-1422656448_thumb.jpg

They didnt explicitly hazard a guess as to which components were most likely to be responsible tho.

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