Empowering the Patient
In a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, Bernard Lown, professor emeritus of cardiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and the co-recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Price, wrote, “Patients crave a partnership with physicians who are as sensitive to their aching souls as to their malfunctioning anatomy.” More and more, patients are left feeling small and helpless in a labyrinth of HMO bureaucracy, co-payments, and automated telephone attendants that may or may not actually connect to the doctor’s office.
It is no accident that the current corporatization of medicine coincides with the enormous growth of the herbal and nutritional supplement industries. Not content to be left feeling powerless, patients are, in staggering numbers, taking control of their health by utilizing non-prescription, alternative treatments like St. John’s Wort as a natural alternative to Prozac and to zinc lozenges to fight the common cold. By adding herbs and nutritional supplements to complement their physician-prescribed treatments, patients have a hand in restoring their own health. They are becoming empowered rather than powerless; it is this sense of power and control that allows the patient to become a vital aspect of their healthcare, rather than a product of it.
SPV-30 Patient empowerment has led those suffering from many chronic conditions, such as CFIDS, to investigate non-prescription and alternative cures in an effort to supplement traditional, medical treatment. SPV-30 is an example of another non-prescription treatment – one that shows impressive promise. Made from the European Boxwood Evergreen, Buxus Semperviren, its herbal extract contains alkaloids and flavonoids that demonstrate strong antioxidant activity. SPV-30 has shown marked improvement in immune function, with specific gains in the areas of memory and concentration, diarrhea, skin conditions, energy, appetite, and overall well-being.
History The Boxwood was first thought to be a treatment for Tuberculosis and in 1954 was patented by the Merck Pharmaceutical Company. Recent studies do confirm that SPV-30 is effective in treating Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, however, the Boxwood extract began to attract international attention around 1991, when researchers in France began using it to treat HIV positive patients.
In France, where the French Ministry of Health classifies herbs as drugs, SPV-30 Boxwood extract was classified as a potential antiretroviral drug for a phase II trial in 1995, advised by Dr. Luc Montagnier, the co-discoverer of the HIV virus. Concurrent to the French study, Arkopharma, SPV-30’s manufacturer, released SPV-30 (free of charge) to 400 HIV positive patients in the Unites States, in exchange for those patients’ informal study findings.
Study Results Results from both the formal and informal studies showed promising results, prompting doctors out of Twelve Oaks Hospital in Houston, Texas to conduct a formal U.S. study. This study examined the safety and efficacy of SPV-30 in patients with HIV disease. 173 patients were given SPV-30 and assessed at two-month intervals for a total of six months. Results showed that 63% of participants showed decreases in viral load after six months, with 38% showing a decrease of over 50%, demonstrating SPV-30’s antiretroviral affects. “Quality of life” findings showed most participants reported noted improvements in concentration and memory, and in diarrhea and skin conditions (such as rashes). Participants also reported an increase in energy, appetite, weight gain, and an overall sense of well-being. Critical to these findings was that no toxicologic abnormalities were reported; in other words, the participants had very few side affects and no toxicity. The conclusion was that SPV-30 was a safe and efficacious adjunct therapy in the treatment of HIV, even in patients with advanced immunosupression.
CFIDS and SPV-30 What does this mean to CFIDS and FM sufferers? Patricia Salvato, one of the doctors responsible for the Twelve Oaks Hospital abstract, has used SPV-30 to treat her CFIDS patients. After noticing that her HIV positive patients taking SPV-30 had improved energy and concentration, Dr. Salvato began to use it to treat her chronic fatigue syndrome patients. 50 of her CFIDS patients rated over 20 therapies for chronic fatigue and ranked SPV-30 third, just behind DHEA and Glutamine as an effective treatment. These findings may be landmark for many CFIDS and FM sufferers whose decreased memory and concentration (commonly referred to as “brain fog”), as well as low energy, are hallmark symptoms of both diseases. These benefits, in addition to the benefit of general well-being, may make SPV-30 a critical factor in CFIDS and FM treatment.
Finding the Right Combination For many battling the symptoms of CFIDS and FM, finding the “magic combination” of supplements may take some dedication. However, statistical and anecdotal evidence alike show that SPV-30 is likely a powerful additional to the CFIDS and FM supplemental and herbal arsenal.
Sources: ICA Abstracts; Doc ID: Mo.B.180, library.jri.org/library/trials/misctrials/psalvato.html