About this Research Topic
Given the rapid growth of the aging population with the increase in life expectancy, and the prevalence of bone disorders as well as the huge financial burden to the healthcare system and individuals, demand for new therapeutic agents and nutritional supplements for the management and promotion of bone health is pressing. With the advance in general interest in alternative medicine and natural products, traditional herbal medicine can serve as a viable source to offer benefits for the improvement and maintenance of bone health.
A number of issues have limited the applications of traditional herbal medicine for management of bone health, including 1) do these herbal medicines act on similar biological targets? 2) do they work simultaneously on multiple targets? 3) what is the active component contained in single herb or formula. 4) what are the mechanism that mediate their therapeutic actions?
This Research Topic will include research studies that provide scientific evidence to evaluate the beneficial effects of traditional herbal medicine on bone metabolism by utilizing modern techniques and different biological (animal, tissue and cell based) models. As well as original research articles, we also welcome other types of manuscripts including Mini-Review, Review, Editorial, and Perspective. Research papers should focus on novel mechanisms involved in the action of traditional herbal medicine on bone metabolism. Moreover, experimental evidence which links traditional/local medicine and the biochemical/clinical pharmacology are preferred.
Relevant for all manuscripts in this specialty section of Frontiers in Pharmacology:
Frontiers in Pharmacology (section Ethnopharmacology) focuses on biological and pharmacological activities of plants, fungi and other organisms used locally or traditionally as a medicine or to improve health. Studies with the specific aim to either improving local healthcare through developing products based on such knowledge or studies in the context of drug discovery / development from natural sources will be considered if they are based on biological resources with a clear and well-defined local or traditional use. Purely biodiversity-based screening studies and studies of established natural products and their mechanism of action are outside the scope of this section. Studies reporting such local and traditional uses will only be accepted if the comply with the ConSEFS standards (Heinrich et al. 2017 ) . Toxicological research and clinical studies on medicinal plants are welcome.
Manuscripts which are highly specific, lack breadth and often are very similar to previous papers (often by the same group) are not acceptable and this will be assessed.
The following basic guidelines, focused on best practice in ethnopharmacology, should be followed by all submissions:`
- This Specialty Section of Frontiers in Pharmacology subscribes to the taxonomic standards laid down most importantly at the Kew MPNS portal (http://mpns.kew.org/mpns-portal/) and also the Royal Botanic Gardens/Kew/Missouri Botanical Garden `The Plant List` initiative (www.theplantlist.org). Of course, full botanical documentation is essential (i.e. a voucher specimen deposited in a recognized herbarium).
- Antioxidant activity: here in vivo or in vitro studies using generally accepted pharmacological models are essential. Simple in silico and pharmacologically irrelevant assays for antioxidant activity (e.g. the DPPH assay, FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma), ABTS (2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) are not acceptable as a main tool for assessing an extract or a compound for activity. Such assays are commonly used in food chemistry and other fields, but are not of pharmacological relevance.
- Dose ranges must be pharmacologically relevant. While impossible to define an exact cut-off, studies testing extracts at implausibly high doses are increasingly common in the literature.
- Positive and negative controls must be included.
- Models must be pharmacologically relevant and plausible - a complex question depending on the specific goals of the study. Authors must consider the ethical acceptability of further in vivo studies on an already well-studied species, demonstrating some common activity (e.g. an anti-inflammatory effect studied in the rat-paw oedema).
- The composition of the study material must be described in sufficient detail
- If ‘pure’ compounds are used information on the level of purity must be included
In case of ethnopharmacological field studies you must follow the ConSEFS standards: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28818646