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1.  Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency with stages of chronic kidney disease in an Asian population 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:206.
Background
Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with proteinuria and could be a risk factor for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, few studies have examined the significance of vitamin D insufficiency as a contributing factor for the development of ESRD in the Asian chronic kidney disease (CKD) population.
Methods
Authors examined the relationship between vitamin D status and the staging of CKD using data from an outpatient clinic-based screening in 2,895 Thai CKD patients. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were analyzed according to CKD stages. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration < 10 ng/mL and 10–30 ng/mL, respectively.
Results
The mean (SD) 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly lower according to severity of renal impairment (CKD stage 3a: 27.84±14.03 ng/mL, CKD stage 3b: 25.86±11.14 ng/mL, CKD stage 4: 24.09±11.65 and CKD stage 5: 20.82±9.86 ng/mL, p<0.001). The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency was from CKD stage 3a, 3b, 4 to 5, 66.6%, 70.9%, 74.6%, and 84.7% (p<0.001). The odds ratio (95% CI) of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≤ 30 ng/mL) and vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 10 ng/mL) for developing ESRD, after adjustment for age, gender, hemoglobin, serum albumin, calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase were 2.19 (95% CI 1.07 to 4.48) and 16.76 (95% CI 4.89 to 57.49), respectively.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are more common and associated with the level of kidney function in the Thai CKD population especially advanced stage of CKD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-206
PMCID: PMC3850679  PMID: 24083392
Vitamin D deficiency; Chronic kidney disease; 25-hydroxyvitamin D
2.  Mulberry Leaf Reduces Oxidation and C-Reactive Protein Level in Patients with Mild Dyslipidemia 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:787981.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is the inflammatory marker that could represent the inflammation in blood vessels resulted from dyslipidemia. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antioxidative activity of mulberry leaf powder using DPPH assay and the effect of mulberry leaf powder on lipid profile, CRP level, and antioxidative parameters in mild dyslipidemia patients. A within-subjects design was conducted and patients received three tablets of 280 mg mulberry leaf powder three times a day before meals for 12 weeks. Total of 25 patients were enrolled but one subject was excluded. After three months of mulberry leaf consumption, serum triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level were significantly reduced and more than half of all patients' CRP levels decreased every month as well as the mean CRP level but no statistically significant difference was found. The average erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity of patients was increased but not at significant level; however, the mean serum 8-isoprostane level was significantly lower after mulberry treatment for 12 weeks. It can be concluded that mulberry leaf powder exhibited antioxidant activity and mulberry leaf powder has potential to decrease serum triglyceride, LDL, and CRP levels in mild dyslipidemia patients without causing severe adverse reactions.
doi:10.1155/2013/787981
PMCID: PMC3581086  PMID: 23484158
3.  Sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:119.
Background
Uremic pruritus (UP) is a significant complication in ESRD patients and substantially impairs their quality of life. UP is considered to be a skin manifestation of chronic inflammation. Because sericin can suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term safety and efficacy of sericin cream for treating UP in hemodialysis patients.
Methods
This study used a double-blind design to investigate the effects of random topical administration of sericin cream and cream base (placebo) on either the right or left extremities of hemodialysis patients for 6 weeks. Skin hydration, irritation and pigmentation were evaluated every 2 weeks using Skin Diagnostic SD27. The visual analog scale for itching was also evaluated every 2 weeks, and the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form was performed on the day of each patient’s enrollment and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Results
Fifty dialysis patients were enrolled, 47 of which completed the study. The hydration of the skin of the patients’ extremities increased significantly after administration of sericin cream; significant differences were found between sericin treatment and control after 6 weeks of treatment (p = 0.041 for arms and p = 0.022 for legs, respectively). Moreover, a significant difference was also found in skin irritation between the two treatments (p = 0.013 for arms and p = 0.027 for legs, respectively). At the end of the study, the skin pigmentation level was significantly reduced on both the arms (p = 0.032) and legs (p = 0.021) of the sericin-treated side compared with the side treated with cream base. The mean itching score decreased significantly from moderate to severe at the time of enrollment to mild pruritus after 6 weeks of treatment (p = 0.002). A better quality of life was found in all domains tested although statistically significant differences before and after treatment was found only in the patients’ pain scores, the effect of kidney disease on daily life, sleep quality and symptoms or problems related to kidney disease.
Conclusions
We conclude that sericin cream has a high potential for reducing UP in hemodialysis patients.
The trial registration number of this study is ISRCTN16019033; its public title is “sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients”.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-119
PMCID: PMC3472272  PMID: 23006933
Pruritus; Hemodialysis; Sericin; Hydration; Inflammation; Pigmentation
4.  Effectiveness and tolerability of rosiglitazone on insulin resistance and body composition in nondiabetic Thai patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis: A 12-week pilot study 
Background: Patients with chronic renal insufficiency, especially those undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), normally have insulin resistance due to deficiencies in insulin secretion and degradation, as well as tissue resistance to insulin at both receptor and postreceptor levels.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and tolerability of rosiglitazone on insulin resistance and body composition in patients without diabetes mellitus (DM) undergoing CAPD.
Methods: This pilot study included a pretest and posttest with a repeated-measure design in a small number of patients. CAPD patients without DM received rosiglitazone 2-mg tablets BID for 12 weeks. Homeostasis Model Assessment Index of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) were used to assess insulin resistance and body composition, respectively. Tolerability was assessed using laboratory analyses as well as physical examination findings to evaluate peripheral edema. Peripheral edema was assessed by the study investigators.
Results: Thirteen Thai patients (mean [SD] age, 54.17 [11.42] years [range, 35–85 years]; body mass index [BMI], >20 to <30 kg/m2; fasting blood glucose [FBG] concentration, <5.39 mmol/L) were included in the study. One patient was withdrawn due to illness unrelated to the study. No significant difference was found in FBG concentration between baseline and posttreatment (after 12 weeks of treatment) (5.45 [0.59] vs 5.24 [0.51] mmol/L), but fasting plasma insulin concentrations (28.50 [23.70] vs 10.15 [4.22] μIU/mL; P = 0.005) and HOMA-IR score (6.70 [5.23] vs 2.40 [1.15]; P = 0.011) were significantly lower. There were no significant changes in weight or BMI from baseline to posttreatment. Seven subjects (58.3%) experienced weight gain at week 4, while 2 patients (16.7%) still had weight gain after 12 weeks of treatment. A significant increase was found between baseline and posttreatment in total body water (38.03 [4.55] vs 42.44 [5.99] L; P = 0.018), extracellular fluid (20.24 [3.75] vs 26.22 [8.69] L; P = 0.005), plasma fluid (4.29 [0.80] vs 5.20 [0.93] L; P = 0.005), and interstitial fluid (14.99 [2.78] vs 17.68 [3.07] L; P = 0.040). Using BIA, no significant changes were observed in intracellular fluid, fat mass, or liver function. After 12 weeks of rosiglitazone administration, 2 patients (16.7%) had mild edema.
Conclusions: Rosiglitazone 2 mg BID for 12 weeks was associated with significantly improved insulin resistance in this small group of nondiabetic Thai patients undergoing CAPD. There was a significant increase in total body water and extracellular fluid after administration of rosiglitazone for 12 weeks. There were no significant changes in FBG, weight, or BMI.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2009.10.002
PMCID: PMC3967294  PMID: 24683246
rosiglitazone; insulin resistance; body composition; nondiabetic; CAPD

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