This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C. Send all comments or additions to:Frankp@chiro.org
If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary. If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual. You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.
One of the most interesting of the phytoalexins is named Medicarpin. It is only found in high concentration in organically grown alfalfa. This compound has been found to be so powerful that Merck Pharmaceutical Company has patented a synthetic version of it as a therapeutic agent to treat allergic conditions, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, and inflammation.  Isn’t that a mouthful? This helps explain why Alfalfa Complex has been so popular with the Shaklee field for managing respiratory and allergic disorders. 
Sparce Vitamin K Spurs Female Bone Loss
In a new 12-month study, researchers from Osaka Kosei-Nenkin Hospital in Osaka, Japan, measured blood levels of vitamin K, osteocalcin and other markers of bone metabolism in 71 postmenopausal women and 24 menopausal women who were receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Conventional therapy for osteoporosis includes vitamin D, calcium, calcitonin (a hormone that inhibits bone resorption) and estrogen. Because osteoporosis has multiple causes, these substances aren't always sufficient. The authors suggest that vitamin K may prove a useful adjunct to preventing postmenopausal bone loss. Vitamin K can either be obtained as a supplement or from foods such as alfalfa.
Premature T Cell Senescence in Ovx Mice Is Inhibited By Repletion of Estrogen and Medicarpin: A Possible Mechanism For Alleviating Bone Loss
Osteoporos Int. 2012 (Mar); 23 (3): 1151–1161
Estrogen deficiency triggers reproductive aging by accelerating the amplification of TNF-a-producing T cells, thereby leading to bone loss. To date, no study has been carried out to explain the relationship between CD4(+)CD28null T cells and ovariectomy or osteoporosis. Our study demonstrates that Ovx leads to the generation of premature senescent CD4(+)CD28null T cells, an effect inhibited by E2 and Med. We propose that one of the mechanisms by which Med/E2 alleviates Ovx-induced bone loss is by delaying T cell senescence and enhancing CD28 expression.
Alfalfa Seeds Lower Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
and Apolipoprotein B Concentrations in Patients with
Type II Hyperlipoproteinemia
Atherosclerosis 1987 (May); 65 (1-2): 173–179
Fifteen patients with hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP), types IIA (n = 8), IIB (n = 3) and IV (n = 4) were given 40 g of heat prepared alfalfa seeds 3 times daily at mealtimes for 8 weeks with otherwise unchanged diet. In patients with type II HLP alfalfa treatment caused after 8 weeks a maximal lowering of pretreatment median values of total plasma cholesterol from 9.58 to 8.00 mmol/l (P less than 0.001) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from 7.69 to 6.33 mmol/l (P less than 0.01), which corresponds to decreases of 17% and 18%, respectively.
Alfalfa Saponins and Alfalfa Seeds. Dietary Effects
in Cholesterol-fed Rabbits
Atherosclerosis 1980 (Nov); 37 (3): 433–438
Since alfalfa meal prevents hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits and alfalfa saponins prevent the expected rise in cholesterolemia induced by dietary cholesterol in monkeys, the experiments being reported here were performed to determine whether alfalfa saponins affect atherogenesis in rabbits.
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