Ginger root supplement is worth investigating as a potential strategy for colon cancer prevention, according to a phase II study published in the 11 October issue of Cancer Prevention Research. Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and colleagues, found that ginger root supplement reduced levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and other biomarkers of colon inflammation in a select group of patients. The authors write that studies using drugs that inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) indicate that up-regulation of inflammatory eicasanoids, and in particular prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) are early events in the development of colon cancer. Eicosanoids are short-lived signalling molecules that act locally on cells nearby. They are not stored in cells but synthesized when required.
According to study published in the journal Cancer Research, wild, poisonous mushrooms growing in a Southwest China forest carry a compound that seems to be effective in helping a cancer killing drug live up to its promise. Dr. Kebin Liu, cancer immunologist at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cancer Center and corresponding author, explained: "The compound, verticillin A, sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL, a drug which induces cancer cells to self destruct." It appears that verticillin A prevents cancerous cells from developing resistance to TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand). A major problem for cancer sufferers is acquired or intrinsic drug resistance, which accounts for more than 90% of failed treatments in individuals with metastatic disease.
Ginger supplements reduced markers of colon inflammation in a select group of patients, suggesting that this supplement may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, and colleagues enrolled 30 patients and randomly assigned them to two grams of ginger root supplements per day or placebo for 28 days. After 28 days, the researchers measured standard levels of colon inflammation and found statistically significant reductions in most of these markers, and trends toward significant reductions in others. Inflammation has been implicated in prior studies as a precursor to colon cancer, but another trial would be needed to see how ginger root affects that risk, Zick said.
Complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments such as herbal supplements have become increasingly popular in the United States, especially among older patients and those with chronic pain. However, many of these products can have serious and potentially harmful side effects when combined with medications prescribed during and after surgery, according to a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). About 20 percent of prescription users also take an herbal supplement, and those rates are higher - studies suggest between 35 and 70 percent - among orthopaedic patients who are candidates for surgery. "Herbal remedies are classified as dietary supplements, meaning they are exempt from the safety and efficacy regulations that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires for prescription and over-the-counter medications, " said David T.
A physician on a medical relief mission to Africa sees pregnant women sip a medicinal tea prepared by local witch doctors when the time for birth arrives. Made from the leaves of a plant called "kalata-kalata, " the tea speeds labor and delivery. Scientists analyze the plant and discover a remarkable new substance. The research puts them on course for discovery of potential new drugs for diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. That truth-is-stranger-than-fiction scenario is the topic of the latest episode in the 2011 edition of a popular video series from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. Titled Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life, the videos are available without charge at the Prized Science website* and on DVD.