Ginseng – cure for breast cancer

The lattermost research show that ginseng disenables the growth of breast cancer cells. With high doses has been shown that ginseng kills breast cancer cells. Coming experiments will examine the bioavailability and anticancer effect of this compound in animals as well as in humans. Breast cancer is one of the most usual diagnosis of cancerous diseases among women in developed countries – even one of the eight North American women can expect that she will get breast cancer during their lifetime. Many experts believe that breast cancer is a result of exposure to endogenous or exogenous estrogen hormones that modify metabolism. Especially 17b-estradiol powerful steroid hormone that is produced in the ovaries, which causes an estrogenic activity. A large percentage of breast cancer is directly linked to the hormonal activities, actually estrogens stimulate the growth of this type of disease. Estradiol binds to the estrogen receptor cell and this complex modulates the expression of estrogen-responsive genes. Women diagnosed with hormonal disorders that are responsible for breast cancer are treated with the anti-estrogen compounds, such as tamoxifen, that blocks estrogen receptor and inhibits the binding of estradiol. Many plants contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens may affect the metabolism of estradiol or directly bind to estrogen receptors, whereby they exert estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects. The strongest evidence that the intake of phytoestrogens reduces the likelihood of hormonal cancer are epidemiological studies which show a direct link between a high intake of soy products contain phytoestrogens genistein and daizdein but a reduction in the percentage of breast cancer, prostate and colon cancer. In Asian populations whose diet is traditionally rich in soy products, the frequency of these cancerous diseases is very low. It has been shown that these compounds can modulate the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the development of cancer.

Ginsenosides are phytoestrogens which are found in Ginseng which gives effects similar and better than soybean phytoestrogens. There are two types of Ginseng, Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng), which is traditionally used for many years in Chinese medicine and American Ginseng, which has been used by Indian tribes in the United States and Canada. Some ginsenoside are common to both types, although they are present in different quantities. Although structurally similar, scientific studies have shown markedly different from diverse biochemical effects of ginsenoside. Studies performed on carcinogenic cultures have shown that certain ginsenoside have anticancer effects, including inhibition of cell growth, reducing the toxicity of tumor cells, the inverse transformation of tumor cells (restoration of normal-looking cells). Not all of ginsenosides have anticancer properties.

Since it has a steroidal structure, ginsenozides may have anticancer effect in hormonally regulated cancerous diseases, such as breast cancer. Thanks to funding the project Linus Pauling Institute it was established that ginsenosides isolated from American and Korean ginseng have anticancer effects and they bind to estrogen receptors on cells. The late Dr. Herbert Soula was the bearer of this research.

In this study, the artificially grown cells were examined by adding ginsenoside to breast cancer cells. After 6 days of exposure to the test breast cancer cells to ginsenosides, on the cells wasn’t noticed the further development and growth. After ten days of testing with the same doses it was noticed the death of cancer cells and reduction of around 98% compared to the initial state. These studies led to the conclusion that ginsenosides aren’t estrogen. It was concluded that ginsenozides directly affect the estrogen receptor. In the future it’s planned to explore ginsenoside and their effect on the binding of estradiol to estrogen receptors and why and how ginsenoside are killing breast cancer cells? It is also necessary to determine which exactly and what measure of 30 available ginsenosides and with what amount they influence cancerous diseases. This way will give answers to many questions which are related to breast cancer in humans.

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