BEIJING – Traditional Chinese medicine has often been viewed with skepticism by the medical community, but a surprising new discovery shows that it is actually effective in treating recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRTIs) in children. A group of Chinese researchers discovered that a particular formula, Yupinfeng (YPF), works in the treatment of children with RRTI.
“We wanted to conduct a rigorous investigation to understand the therapeutic benefits of YPF. That’s why we conducted a large-scale RCT, the gold standard of clinical studies, and recruited patients not from a single center but from multiple hospitals,” says study author Kunling Shen. , in a press release.
The researchers analyzed 351 children between the ages of two and six with recurrent respiratory infections and divided them into three groups. The first group received Yupinfeng. The second group took pidotimod – a conventional allopathic drug to treat respiratory infections – and the third group received a placebo. After eight weeks, the researchers looked at the proportion of patients whose frequency of infections was reduced to average levels and also looked at the reduction in respiratory infection events and safety in each group.
3 out of 4 children saw a benefit from Yupinfeng
The researchers then followed up at week 52 and made a startling discovery: 73% of children in the YPF group saw their RRTIs return to normal, while only 67% in the pidotimod group had the same improvement. Only 39% of the placebo group returned to normal.
The researchers state that YPF was not inferior to pidotimod in treating RRTI and did not cause any safety concerns.
“The strength of our study lies in its rigorous design. This is the largest multicenter study to prove that YPF, a TCM, can be as effective as an allopathic drug in the treatment of RRTI. This is a major step forward in sharing the benefits of TCM with the world,” says study co-author Rong Ma.
RRTIs are common in children in China, with Yupinfeng serving as a common treatment. The study finds that traditional Chinese medicine “may be as effective and safe as allopathic medicines, even though we do not fully understand the biological mechanisms underlying their effects.”
In an editorial for Pediatric surveyDr. Julian Allen champions YPF treating RRTI in children.
“Just because we don’t understand how a drug works doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. This well-designed RCT could be an important step in addressing Western skepticism surrounding TCM and reaping the benefits of its holistic effects,” concludes the journal’s associate editor.
The results appear in the journal Pediatric survey.