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#73613 - 05/02/10 04:52 AM Licorice extract interesting!!
roma18 Offline
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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 424
Loc: Bay Area, California

http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedi...ategoryId=40160


Frankfurt, Germany — A study using glycyrrhizic acid, the herbal extract from licorice, proves to be effective in halting hair growth in rats. This topical approach appears to be promising for future epilation therapies, and may rival currently used epilation modalities, which can frequently be associated with a host of unwanted side effects.

In the experiment, 15 percent glycyrrhizic acid was dissolved in an aqueous solution containing 10 percent urea and 20 percent ethanol at 80 degrees Celsius. The solution was cooled down to 40 degrees and topically applied to the back of the neck of Wistar rats twice a day for two weeks followed by four weeks without treatment for a total of two years. Histological analysis, scanning electron microscopy as well as in situ TUNEL assay were performed evaluating treatment outcomes.

Experiment outcome

Results showed that hair loss was visible as early as three days after the first treatment application of the solution, and after six to 12 days of treatment, the targeted skin was nearly free of hairs without any sign of skin irritation or other unwanted side effects.

The histology of the hair follicles and scanning electron microscopy of hairs showed damage to the anchoring structures of the hair cuticle and a detachment of the hair shaft from the follicular wall. Also, the in situ TUNEL assay showed apoptotic cells in the bulge region after treatment with glycyrrhizic acid.

“Though we noticed that the hairs began to grow again after each treatment, the hair shafts were thinner, the hair density per skin area was decreased and we were able to achieve a permanent reduction in re-growing hair quantity by more than 50 percent,” says August Bernd, Ph.D., professor of the department of dermatology and venerology, University Hospital, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and co-author of the study. “Even after a periodically long-term treatment for the one year we evaluated, we did not see any abnormalities of the skin surface at the target areas nor any dysplastic changes in the histology.”

Glycyrrhizic acid is an herbal extract commonly used in traditional Asian medicine and appears to be responsible for the epilatory effect seen. Liqorice has a known anti-androgenic effect and inhibits alpha five reductase and androgen receptors.

Potential for treatment

The topical treatment with glycyrrhizic acid shows much promise as a quick, safe and effective method for hair removal and, according to Dr. Bernd, there do not appear to be any disadvantages with this therapy. The underlying mechanism of action of glycyrrhizic acid on hair removal is still unknown and clinical trials are the next step, Dr. Bernd says.

“Current hair removal approaches such as topical creams and laser treatments are variably effective and can be associated with a slew of unwanted side effects, including pain, skin irritation, contact eczema, folliculitis and hyperpigmentation.

“The topical treatment with glycyrrhizic acid showed to be effective in achieving a quick and painless method for hair removal and glycyrrhizic acid is at least a candidate molecule for the development of a new promising epilating drug which very well may rival currently used hair removal approaches,” Dr. Bernd says.

Disclosures: At the beginning of the study Dr. Bernd and his colleagues received some support from the German Academic Exchange Service, but later financed the study with their own budget.
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#73615 - 05/02/10 06:05 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: roma18]
MagicalPrincessKitty Offline
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Registered: 09/01/09
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Loc: California
Wow, totally interesting... Thanks for the head's up Roma!
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#75925 - 06/25/10 04:07 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: MagicalPrincessKitty]
J M Offline
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Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 36
This is so intriguing and so simple that I am tempted to run some experiments myself. I am pricing an order of glycyrrhizic acid so I can try to reproduce this experiment*. Anyone want in on my order?

The most intriguing thing is that this has the potential to hit the market without FDA regulation.


*remember, one of the two thing that "makes science science" is that it is repeatable. Do the same experiment and you should get the same result.

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#75926 - 06/25/10 05:23 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: J M]
MagicalPrincessKitty Offline
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Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 897
Loc: California
I'd be tempted too! I think you should duplicate the aqueous solution as well since it's a pretty simple one. Applying it to your skin without diluting it may cause irritation or some other side effect.

Tell you what, if you try it and report your results, I will be guinea pig number two. I'm not up for trying it yet, because I'd want to do more research. But it seems simple enough, and I am a big proponent of doing research on the species you are trying to benefit (in other words, human testing, not animal testing). Sure, something can go wrong, but at least a human can consent and is capable of knowing the risks.

So yeah, I say give it a try. Be really careful!
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#75927 - 06/25/10 06:22 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: MagicalPrincessKitty]
emilily Offline
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Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 367
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I wouldn't recommend it. Though it's found in licorice naturally and used by the Japanese as a sweetner, most countries recommend people limit their intake to the acid to 100mg per day (50g licorice) or in the case of Japan, 200mg per day. While you're not ingesting it, even using it topically could have adverse side effects.

Here is the abstract of one of the articles I found;

Food and Chemical Toxicology
Volume 31, Issue 4, April 1993, Pages 303-312
doi:10.1016/0278-6915(93)90080-I |
Copyright © 1993 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Permissions & Reprints
Review section
Glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice—Evaluation of health hazard

F.C. Størmer*, R. Reistad† and J. Alexander*

†National Institute for Consumer Research, PO Box 173, 1324 Lysaker, Norway

*National Institute of Public Health, 0462 Oslo Norway
Accepted 17 December 1992.
Available online 21 November 2002.

Abstract

Literature on case reports, clinical studies and biochemical mechanisms of the sweet-tasting compound glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice was critically reviewed to provide a safety assessment of its presence in liquorice sweets. A high intake of liquorice can cause hypermineralocorticoidism with sodium retention and potassium loss, oedema, increased blood pressure and depression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. As a consequence, a number of other clinical symptoms have also been observed. Glycyrrhizic acid is hydrolysed in the intestine to the pharmacologically active compound glycyrrhetic acid, which inhibits the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (in the direction of cortisol to cortisone) as well as some other enzymes involved in the metabolism of corticosteroids. Inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase leads to increased cortisol levels in the kidneys and in other mineralocorticoid-selective tissues. Since cortisol, which occurs in much larger amounts than aldosterone, binds with the same affinity as aldosterone to the mineralocorticoid receptor, the result is a hypermineralocorticoid effect of cortisol. The inhibitory effect on 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase is reversible; however, the compensatory physiological mechanisms following hypermineralocorticoidism (e.g. depression of the renin-angiotensin system) may last several months. It is not possible, on the basis of existing data, to determine precisely the minimum level of glycyrrhizic acid required to produce the described symptoms. There is apparently a great individual variation in the susceptibility to glycyrrhizic acid. In the most sensitive individuals a regular daily intake of no more than about 100 mg glycyrrhizic acid, which corresponds to 50 g liquorice sweets (assuming a content of 0.2% glycyrrhizic acid), seems to be enough to produce adverse effects. Most individuals who consume 400 mg glycyrrhizic acid daily experience adverse effects. Considering that a regular intake of 100 mg glycyrrhizic acid/day is the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level and using a safety factor of 10, a daily intake of 10 mg glycyrrhizic acid would represent a safe dose for most healthy adults. A daily intake of 1–10 mg glycyrrhizic acid/person has been estimated for several countries. However, an uneven consumption pattern suggests that a considerable number of individuals who consume large amounts of liquorice sweets are exposed to the risk of developing adverse effects.

Abbreviations: LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect level; NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect level
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#75928 - 06/25/10 08:39 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: emilily]
MagicalPrincessKitty Offline
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Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 897
Loc: California
Potassium loss, eh? Hey, maybe it will counter-act the potassium retention some people struggle with while on spiro for hirsutism! :P
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3 laser sessions on bikini starting 01/15/10 (GentleLASE)
1 laser session on underarms starting 07/02/10 (GentleLASE)
1 laser session on right arm starting 07/02/10 (GenteLASE)
6.75 hrs electrolysis on tummy starting 01/07/10 (Apilus Platinum, picoflash)
10 hrs electrolysis on arms starting 01/30/10 (Apilus Platinum, synchro/picoflash)
37.25 hrs DIY electrolysis on left arm (OneTouch and Instantron)
1.75 hrs DIY electrolysis on tummy (Instantron, thermolysis)

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#75931 - 06/25/10 12:35 PM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: J M]
jr98118 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 01/20/10
Posts: 15
Loc: pittsburgh, pa
I want in on your order!

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#75935 - 06/25/10 02:24 PM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: jr98118]
J M Offline
Contributor

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 36
"most countries recommend people limit their intake to the acid to 100mg per day (50g licorice) or in the case of Japan, 200mg per day. While you're not ingesting it"

The thing is that in a 15% solution, assuming that you were applying it to a small area, you would use like 1-2ml of solution per day and it would be well within the recommended oral intake limit. the published experiment summary states that the solution was applied on for two weeks and off for four weeks. So total six week consumption was much lower.

Costs are generally around $250-300 / 500g. I'll break it into 100g quantities and provide an equal amount of urea for ~$75 (or less depending on the best deal I can find a lower price or if I have enough interest to order 1kg) shipped to you in the United States. That should be plenty for running some experiments on your dog, cat, lab mice, goat, or even a small patch on yourself. (it would make 2/3 liter of solution) If it works as you expect, I would suggest mixing up some in varying strengths and doing concurrent tests on different patches to find the most effective and safest concentrations.

I do not know how stable the mixture is. Maybe it should be refrigerated. Maybe that would lower the solubility and cause the solvent to settle out. I don't know. Maybe you could use isopropal alcohol instead. I don't know.



I imagine that the glycyrrhizic acid and urea can be dissolved in a lotion type of solute like drugs like benzoyl peroxide (an oxidant)often are. But that is for a later time. If this works well, I throw this to my technology incubator for further experiments, determining FDA regulation status, and finding a better solute carrier for the active ingredients. But that would be months away.

I am an electrical engineer, not a chemical engineer. I did take my fair share of chemistry in school, but a lot of the organic chemistry is outside of my realm of knowledge. But I did stay at a holiday in express.

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#76105 - 06/30/10 04:52 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: J M]
MagicalPrincessKitty Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 897
Loc: California
Please nobody do this on their pet. You're the one who wants to be hairless, not them. They can't consent, and to be honest you don't know what dosages are safe for random pets vs much larger humans. Besides, if it works, do you really want a bald spot on your dog?
_________________________
3.5 laser sessions on lower legs starting 09/24/09 (GentleLASE)
3 laser sessions on bikini starting 01/15/10 (GentleLASE)
1 laser session on underarms starting 07/02/10 (GentleLASE)
1 laser session on right arm starting 07/02/10 (GenteLASE)
6.75 hrs electrolysis on tummy starting 01/07/10 (Apilus Platinum, picoflash)
10 hrs electrolysis on arms starting 01/30/10 (Apilus Platinum, synchro/picoflash)
37.25 hrs DIY electrolysis on left arm (OneTouch and Instantron)
1.75 hrs DIY electrolysis on tummy (Instantron, thermolysis)

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#76239 - 07/04/10 05:47 AM Re: Licorice extract interesting!! [Re: J M]
werty Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 4
I thought about doing this also, but the price was way too expensive for just me. If you do this, I would like to be in.

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