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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Herbal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and Gastric 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.

Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is defined as condition of abnormal growth of the mucus-producing cells of the inside lining of the stomach. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach 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, extracted from bearberry has found to exert its effect in inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis in gastric cancer. The induction of gastric cell apoptosis through a a translocation of cofilin-1 protein (involved in the translocation of actin-cofilin complex) from the cytoplasm (the substance that fills the cell.) to the mitochondria (The power sources) to promoted the release of cytochrome c (a small heme protein found loosely associated with the inner membrane of the mitochondrion) from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm, thereby activating the caspase cascade (routes from cell surface and the other from mitochondria) and finally inducing apoptosis of gastric cancer BGC-823 cell line. These suggested that the mitochondrial translocation of cofilin-1 might play a crucial role in the promotion of apoptosis and might be a key target for future treatment of human gastric cancer.

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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References
(1) Mitochondrial translocation of cofilin-1 promotes apoptosis of gastric cancer BGC-823 cells induced by ursolic acid by Tang Q, Ji Q, Tang Y, Chen T, Pan G, Hu S, Bao Y, Peng W, Yin P.(PubMed)