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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Herbal Cascara Sagrada and pancreatic cancer

Cascara sagrada is a species of buckthorn, genus Rhamnus, belonging to the family Rhamnaceae, native to western North America, it's bark has been used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal support. and it is thought to have a laxative and natural cleansing, etc., effect.

Cancer of pancreas or pancreatic cancer is defined as condition of a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas, as the cells have become cancerous and divided uncontrollably. Most pancreatic cancers start in the ducts (exocrine component of the pancreas) that carry pancreatic juices with cancer of an epithelium that originates in glandular tissue accounts for over 75 - 90% of all cases of exocrine cancers.

The ingredients
Beside the main compound of anthraquinones, otyher compounds include anthraquinone glycosides, (emodin, frangulin, iso-emodin, aloe-emodin, and chrysophanol), rhein, aloin, malic acid, tannic acid, cascarosides A, B, C, and D, and hydroxy anthracene derivatives (HAD), etc.

The benefits
Emodin, the major components of Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana), has been found to be effective on inducing the apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells and inhibiting tumor growth through in cellular responses to stimuli (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) and the results suggested that it may contain potential anti-tumor effect on pancreatic cancer as its promotion of apoptosis and suppression of angiogenesis and be considered as potential agent for prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Others in the study of  emodin in the inhibition of XIAP and NF-κB, showed emodin enhances the antitumor effect of gemcitabine in SW1990 pancreatic cancer may be via the downregulation of NF-κB expression, thus inhibiting the expression of XIAP.

The Side effects
1. Cascara Sagrada can be liver toxic.
2. It may cause Postal hypertension
Cascara sagrada (CS) has been associated with the development of cholestatic hepatitis, complicated by portal hypertension.
3. Fresh cut, dried bark may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
4. It may allergic effect.
5. Etc.

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References
1. Antitumor activity of emodin against pancreatic cancer depends on its dual role: promotion of apoptosis and suppression of angiogenesis by Lin SZ, Wei WT, Chen H, Chen KJ, Tong HF, Wang ZH, Ni ZL, Liu HB, Guo HC, Liu DL.(PubMed)
2. Enhanced antitumor efficacy by the combination of emodin and gemcitabine against human pancreatic cancer cells via downregulation of the expression of XIAP in vitro and in vivo by Wang ZH, Chen H, Guo HC, Tong HF, Liu JX, Wei WT, Tan W, Ni ZL, Liu HB, Lin SZ.(PubMed)
3. [Toxic hepatitis following consumption of the herbal medicinal product Cascara Sagrada].[Article in Danish]" by Jacobsen C, Semb S, Kromann-Andersen H(PubMed)
4. "Cascara sagrada-induced intrahepatic cholestasis causing portal hypertension: case report and review of herbal hepatotoxicity" by Nadir A, Reddy D, Van Thiel DH.(PubMed)
5. "Occupational respiratory allergic disease induced by Passiflora alata and Rhamnus purshiana" by Giavina-Bianchi PF Jr, Castro FF, Machado ML, Duarte AJ.(PubMed)