Lung Cancer Halted by Milk Thistle
by healthypages on 18/03/2012 - 03:26 pm |
University of Colorado scientists have found that milk thistle can effectively halt lung cancer development. There is a very low survival rate in lung cancer patients; less than 10% which is why any treatment that helps is important. One of the ways that lung cancer cells are able to grow and spread is when the DNA is damaged, often as a result of tissue damage.
Milk thistle contains an agent called silibinin that is able to heal the damaged cells in lungs that is the result of a long period of cellular breakdown. Metastasis is prevented by stopping the development of the diseased cells in the lungs.
Known about for almost 2,000 years, milk thistle has only recently been subject to scientific investigation. Researchers were already aware that Milk thistle has the effect of rejuvenation on the liver and are now viewing it as an effective means to both prevent and retard lung damage.
One of the chief causes of 'modern' diseases such as cancer is poor choices in lifestyle and diet as it effects the metabolic homeostasis of the body. This influence is on the chain of communication between the body's cells which is essential for proper functioning of the body as a whole. Via a series of signals this communication takes place, usually in order to complete an enzymatic reaction or the production of a protein.
The inflammatory chain that enables lung cancer to take hold is interfered with by milk thistle. Just as drugs are created to break biological chain reactions, so agents within milk thistle work in the same way, only without the sometimes deadly side effects of modern drugs.
Two enzymes called COX2 and iNOS are participants in the chain reaction that leads to inflammation in cases such as wounds or infections. At these times the inflammation effect is needed, but when it occurs without being needed the effect can be harmful and lead to cancer development.
Two factors known as STSAT1 and STAT3 are involved in the production of COX2 and iNOS and milk thistle agents are able to inhibit the production of these factors.
"What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer... and that naturally-derived products like silibinin (from Milk thistle) may be as effective as today's best treatments." said one of the study authors.
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