What Do You Know About Forskolin?

Pure Forskolin Extract

Forskolin is a chemical found in the roots of the plant Plectranthus barbatus (Coleus forskohlii). This plant has been used since ancient times to treat heart disorders such as high blood pressure and chest pain (angina), as well as respiratory disorders such as asthma. As you can see, when taken by mouth, forskolin is also used to treat allergies, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, obesity, painful menstrual periods, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder infections, advanced cancer, blood clots, sexual problems in men, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and convulsions. Healthcare providers sometimes give Forskolin intravenously (by IV) for heart failure. Some people breathe in (inhale) forskolin powder for asthma. Forskolin drops are used in the eyes to treat glaucoma.

Herbal product manufacturers are now producing Coleus forskohlii extracts that contain high levels of forskolin. These preparations are being promoted for the same conditions for which forskolin…

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Okanagan toddler using medical marijuana

Global News

SUMMERLAND – It’s not exactly the kind of medicine most parents would give their toddler but an Okanagan couple has turned to medical marijuana to treat a serious condition their two year old daughter was born with.

Kyla Williams was  born with a neurological disease that results in up to 200 seizures every day.  After trying countless prescription drugs with no relief,  the family decided  to turn to medical marijuana.  They heard about  children with similar symptoms being treated with it in Colorado.

The  Summerland girl started using cannabis oil a week ago and her family says the results so far have been very successful.

“My daughter was having 200 seizures and we are on today day six seizure free,” says mom Courtney Williams.

Seeing the benefits first hand, the family is now promoting medical marijuana.  Today they attended a medical marijuana convention showcasing the plant’s benefits  in their hometown of…

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The Science of Euthanasia

The Crosier

Amy Ahn
Philadelphia University
Class of 2015; Architecture

Lethal injection is a term people immediately relate to execution of criminals. First adopted in 1977, lethal injection quickly became the primary means of capital punishment in the United States, and was thought of as “a more humane” method of execution.

Lethal injection consists of a series of drugs, administered in a particular order. First is sodium thiopental (Pentothal), an anesthetic which induces deep sleep within thirty seconds. In surgery, patients are typically dosed 100-150 milligrams. In terms of lethal injection, as much as 5,000 milligrams is administered. A saline solution flushes the IV line, followed by pancuronium bromide (Pavulon), which is a paralyzing agent. It relaxes muscles to the point that the diaphragm and lungs can no longer function. This drug, given in a dose up to 100 milligrams, takes about 1-3 minutes to go into effect. This is a stark…

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Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disease that causes excess blood sugar. There are three types of diabetes: Juvenile onset diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that usually occurs in middle to old age adults, generally overweight or obese. There are several factors that cause the onset of type 2 diabetes. The most common are: insulin resistance and family history. 

Insulin resistance is when the body doesn’t use the insulin produced effectively, insulin uses sugar for energy.It usually occurs in people with excess abdominal fat, the body’s liver, muscle etc, doesn’t use the insulin effectively.When a person’s body is resistant to insulin, sugars aren’t used for energy, so sugar is left in the blood stream resulting in excess blood sugar. This forces the pancreas to produce more insulin, if the pancreas can produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels stay normal. However, diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to compensate for the body’s lack of ability to use insulin.

Another factor that can make a person more or less susceptible to diabetes is family history. The presence of certain genes or lack thereof can affect whether the person will suffer for diabetes. Studies have shown that people inheriting variants of gene TCF7L2 have a higher chance of having diabetes. People who have two copies of the gene variants have 80% more chance of having type 2 diabetes than people without the gene.


Causes of Diabetes. 2011. [online] Diabetes.niddk.nih.gov. Available at: <http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/causes/#causes&gt; [Accessed 18 Mar. 2014].

Diabetes Basics – American Diabetes Association®. 2014. [online] American Diabetes Association. Available at: <http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/&gt; [Accessed 18 Mar. 2014].

Diabetes Information | Insulin – What does it do?. 2014. [online] Euro-wabb.org. Available at: <http://www.euro-wabb.org/en/diabetes-information-all/insulin-what-does-it-do&gt; [Accessed 18 Mar. 2014].

Horikawa, Y., Oda, N., Cox, N., Li, X., Orho-Mel, er, M., Hara, M., Hinokio, Y., Lindner, T., Mashima, H., Schwarz, P. and others, 2000. Genetic variation in the gene encoding calpain-10 is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nature genetics, 26(2), pp.163–175.

Types of diabetes | International Diabetes Federation. 2014. [online] Idf.org. Available at: <http://www.idf.org/types-diabetes&gt; [Accessed 18 Apr. 2014].

What is Diabetes? What Causes Diabetes?. 2003. [online] Medicalnewstoday.com. Available at: <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes/&gt; [Accessed 18 Mar. 2014].

Further Reading


Gene Therapy

Gene therapy is a promising yet complicated way of replacing defected or mutated genes. Although, this form of treatment hasn’t been made available for the general public it has moved from the research stage to clinical trials for a variety of diseases. In most cases, gene therapy is used in an attempt to cure cancer diseases (64.4% of all clinical trials: data collected in 2007). Several types of cancer diseases have been targeted including lung, skin, urological (urinary tract system) and neurological (nervous system).

Cystic fibrosis is a monogenic (resulting from changes in one gene in all of the body) disease that affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems. A build up of mucus in the lungs can lead to harmful lung infections. It is the most common inherited disease in Europe and the USA. The life expectancy of someone suffering from cystic fibrosis is under 40 years. This is the reason for Cystic Fibrosis to be the main focus for gene therapy.

How Gene Therapy works (simple explanation)?

  1. The defective gene causing the problem or disease is identified.
  2. The site of the affected tissue or muscle is targeted and pinpointed, sometimes the defective gene is ‘silenced’ or cut out using an enzyme.
  3. A working gene must be obtained.
  4. The working gene is put into the gene via the use a vector in a virus.

The future for gene therapy is bright, several research journals have shown positive results.

Full list of diseases attempted to be cured by gene therapy in clinical trials (research journal: Gene therapy clinical trials worldwide to 2012 – an update, look in bibliography for full reference):


Siddharth Jain (King George V School, HK) – 17/04/2014


Genetics Home Reference – Your guide to understanding genetic conditions. 2014. [online] Ghr.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: <http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/&gt; [Accessed 17 Apr. 2014].

Ginn, S., Alex, er, I., Edelstein, M., Abedi, M. and Wixon, J., 2013. Gene therapy clinical trials worldwide to 2012–an update. The journal of gene medicine, 15(2), pp.65–77.

Learn.Genetics.utah.edu. 2014. [online] Learn.genetics.utah.edu. Available at: <http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/&gt; [Accessed 17 Apr. 2014].

WHO | Genes and human disease. 2014. [online] Who.int. Available at: <http://www.who.int/genomics/public/geneticdiseases/en/index2.html#CF&gt; [Accessed 17 Apr. 2014].