NEW PRODUCT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Research at the UCLA AIDS Institute focused on the function of cycloastragenol in the aging process of immune cells, and its effects on the cells’ response to viral infections. It appears to increase the production of telomerase, an enzyme that mediates the replacement of short bits of DNA known as telomeres, which play a key role in cell replication, including in cancer processes.
Biotechnology firms are working on deriving a telomerase activator from Astragalus. The chemical constituent Cycloastragenol being studied to help combat HIV, as well as infections associated with chronic diseases or aging. However, the National Institutes of Health states: “The evidence for using Astragalus for any health condition is limited. High-quality clinical trials (studies in people) are generally lacking. There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that Astragalus, either alone or in combination with other herbs, may have potential benefits for the immune system, heart, and liver, and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer”.