Thursday, 16 January 2014

Herbal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and endometrial cancer

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is one of the species of Bearberry, in the genus Arctostaphylos, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to the northern North America, Asia and Europe. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as diuretic agent and to treat urinary problems, including bladder infections, kidney infection, kidney stone, pelvic pain, etc.

Endometrium is the inner lining of the mammalian uterus and very susceptible hormone change, particular to menstrual cycle. Endometrial cancer is a late adulthood cancer defined as a condition of which the cells of the endometrial lining of uterus have growth uncontrollable or become cancerous as a result of the alternation of cells DNA. It's the fourth most common cancer among women overall, after breast cancer, lung cancer, and bowel cancer.

The Ingredients It contains arbutin, ursolic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid, some essential oil and resin, hydroquinones tannins,  phenolic glycosides and flavonoids.

The benefits
Ursolic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene acid, extracted from bearberry is found to be effective in inhibition of the growth of endometrial cancer cell HEC108 line, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. As exposure of Ursolic acid decreased the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein levels (member of the Bcl-2 family of regulator proteins that regulate cell death) but increased Bax expression (upregulated by the tumor suppressor protein p53,) through a mitochondrial pathway, of that induced apoptosis of endometrial cancer HEC108 line. Other in the study of the same but with inendometrial cancer SNG-II cells, ursolic acid strongly inhibited the growth of SNG-II cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The induced apoptotic processes in the endometrial cancer SNG-II cells is also involved mitochondrial pathways and Bcl-2 family proteins.

The Side effect
1. Overdoses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including cause nausea, vomiting, etc. and fever, chills, severe back pain, ringing in the ears, etc.
2. The herb may interact with other medicine, including diuretic
3. Do not use the herb in new born, children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist.
4. Etc.

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(1) Molecular mechanism of ursolic acid induced apoptosis in poorly differentiated endometrial cancer HEC108 cells by Achiwa Y, Hasegawa K, Udagawa Y.(PubMed)
(2) Ursolic acid induces Bax-dependent apoptosis through the caspase-3 pathway in endometrial cancer SNG-II cells by Achiwa Y, Hasegawa K, Komiya T, Udagawa Y.(PubMed)