New Delhi: Nutraceuticals, functional foods and supplemental micronutrients have the potential to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. A variety of natural dietary herbs have even been shown to have a potential role in the prevention and treatment of cancer and are considered an effective strategy by nutraceutical experts around the world.
Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that dietary habits are one of the most important predictors of chronic diseases, including several types of cancer. Thus, diet and nutrition have a direct impact on health and disease. Biochemical and epidemiological evidence suggests that humans have evolved an elaborate and cooperative system of antioxidant defenses against toxic oxygen intermediates through diet. This suggests that increased intake of dietary antioxidants can significantly reduce cancer risk.
Below are some of the herbs suggested by the experts in the nutraceutical space that have shown significant positive results in preventing cancer cells.
Graviola (Annona muricata)
Annona muricata, also known as graviola, soursop, Brazilian papaya or guanabana, is an evergreen tree native to the tropical regions of America and a member of the Annonaceae family. Graviola contains hundreds of acetogenins, which are chemicals (ACGs). ACGs have the ability to kill many different types of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It helps in inhibiting energy production in cancer cells while inhibiting the response to oxidative stress. Graviola has also been shown to cause apoptosis. In addition to its positive effects, the herb can cause some side effects such as low blood pressure, low sugar levels, or even nerve damage. Therefore, direct consumption is strongly discouraged. To avoid any consumption consumption or such side effects, please use a product supplement that contains the desired amount of Graviola.
Catharanthus rosea, also known as the Madagascar periwinkle, is a miracle plant. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It is the most medicinally valuable plant species in the Apocynaceae family, used in traditional herbal medicine worldwide. The plant has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine for a long time. Western medical science began studying this plant in the 20th century. Catharanthus roseus is known for producing the cancer drugs vinblastine and vincristine, which are derived from the dimerization of the MIAs vindoline and catharanthine. The anti-tumor activity discovered in C. roseus is due to the presence of dimeric alkaloids that are already widely used in industry.
Indian podophyllum is another name for podophyllum. Vanyakarkati is its Ayurvedic name. The rootstock of this herb has beneficial properties that help prevent cancer. Podophyllum is a laxative that is also used to treat vaginal warts. Etoposide and teniposide, two podophyllotoxin derivatives, are used in cancer treatment. Etoposide is an alkaloid derived from the mandrake plant Podophyllum peltatum that is used to treat germ cell tumors, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s and non-lymphoma, Hodgkin’s stomach cancer, breast cancer, and testicular cancer. Although podophyllotoxin has potent cytotoxic activity and acts as a tubulin polymerization inhibitor, when used excessively as an anticancer agent, it is more toxic than beneficial. Therefore, it should only be consumed in the amounts recommended by an expert in supplement form, with amounts added judiciously.