Tool from Traditional Medicines is Useful for Health-Medication: Bezoar Bovis and Taurine
Bezoar Bovis (BB:dried cattle gallbladder stones) has been used empirically in Asia for over 3000 years to treat heart and liver disorders. Yet its therapeutic potential remains unexplored by Western researchers. The aim of this study has been to clarify the actions of BB on cultured cardiomyocytes and to identify its active component(s). BB is a component of 98.7% of the Japanese over the counter (OTC) cardioactive drugs. The water-extract of BB exhibits protection action against arrhythmias produced by low Ca2+ and high Ca2+ in the medium. On the other hand, the Ca2+-antagonist, verapamil, did not suppress arrhythmias that developed in cell culture. Rather, it aggravated the beating status of the cardiomyocytes. The major constituents of the BB extract are bile salts (cholate, deoxycholate, taurocholate) and amino acids (taurine, cysteine, leucine, isoleucine). Most cells incubated with bile salts developed morphological damage. However, one of the major constituents of the BB extract, taurine, was effective in protecting against the abnormal beating pattern induced by high Ca2+. Since beta-alanine, an inhibitor of taurine transport, antagonized the protective effects of both BB and taurine, it is likely that the effect of BB is partly mediated by taurine.
KeywordsBile Acid Bile Salt Antiarrhythmic Effect Crude Drug Kampo Medicine
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