Celery, Artichokes Contain Flavonoids That Kill Cancer Cells

vegetablesweb.jpg

16 Aug 2013 --- Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.

"Apigenin alone induced cell death in two aggressive human pancreatic cancer cell lines. But we received the best results when we pre-treated cancer cells with apigenin for 24 hours, then applied the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine for 36 hours," said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.
 
The trick seemed to be using the flavonoids as a pre-treatment instead of applying them and the chemotherapeutic drug simultaneously, said Jodee Johnson, a doctoral student in de Mejia's lab who has since graduated.
 
"Even though the topic is still controversial, our study indicated that taking antioxidant supplements on the same day as chemotherapeutic drugs may negate the effect of those drugs," she said.
 
"That happens because flavonoids can act as antioxidants. One of the ways that chemotherapeutic drugs kill cells is based on their pro-oxidant activity, meaning that flavonoids and chemotherapeutic drugs may compete with each other when they're introduced at the same time," she explained.
 
Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer, and there are few early symptoms, meaning that the disease is often not found before it has spread. Ultimately the goal is to develop a cure, but prolonging the lives of patients would be a significant development, Johnson added.
 
It is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with a five-year survival rate of only 6 percent, she said.
 
The scientists found that apigenin inhibited an enzyme called glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), which led to a decrease in the production of anti-apoptotic genes in the pancreatic cancer cells.
Apoptosis means that the cancer cell self-destructs because its DNA has been damaged.
 
In one of the cancer cell lines, the percentage of cells undergoing apoptosis went from 8.4 percent in cells that had not been treated with the flavonoid to 43.8 percent in cells that had been treated with a 50-micromolar dose. In this case, no chemotherapy drug had been added.
 
Treatment with the flavonoid also modified gene expression. "Certain genes associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines were highly upregulated," de Mejia said. 

According to Johnson, the scientists' in vitro study in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research is the first to show that apigenin treatment can lead to an increase in interleukin 17s in pancreatic cells, showing its potential relevance in anti-pancreatic cancer activity.

Pancreatic cancer patients would probably not be able to eat enough flavonoid-rich foods to raise blood plasma levels of the flavonoid to an effective level. But scientists could design drugs that would achieve those concentrations, de Mejia said.

And prevention of this frightening disease is another story. "If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables throughout your life, you'll have chronic exposure to these bioactive flavonoids, which would certainly help to reduce the risk of cancer," she noted.

 

Related Articles

Business News

Fasting Mimicking Diet May Reverse Diabetes

24 Feb 2017 --- A landmark study published n Cell finds that providing mice with a temporary, specifically formulated Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells and reduces symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The study also examined pancreatic cell cultures from human type 1 diabetes patients, finding similar results.

Health & Nutrition News

Calls for "10 a Day" as Industry Defends Fruit & Veg Approach

23 Feb 2017 --- Consuming ten portions of fruit and veg a day offers the greatest benefit when it comes to protecting from heart disease, strokes, cancer and early death, according to new research. It is estimated that if consumers increased their intake to this number, approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be potentially prevented every year.

Health & Nutrition News

Equol May Offer Heart Protective Benefits, Yet Only 20-30% of People in Western Countries can Produce it

22 Feb 2017 --- Being able to produce equol, a substance made by "good" gut bacteria when they metabolize micronutrients found in dietary soy (isoflavones), has been linked to providing protective benefits of the heart. However, new research shows how only 20-30% percent of people in Western countries can produce the substance, compared with 50-60% in Asian countries.

Health & Nutrition News

German Research Boost for Improving Heart Health

17 Feb 2017 --- Three universities have joined forced with nutrition and agriculture institutions in Germany to form NutriCARD, aiming to research and analysis the production and marketing of heart-healthy food.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Celery-Artichokes-Contain-Flavonoids-That-Kill-Cancer-Cells.html