Thursday, 1 May 2014

Papaya and Cancers

Kyle J. Norton

Even with no clinical or animal cancer studies but in vitro, papaya extract may be the next potential pharmacological target to identify the ingredients for treatment of cancers(2). According to the World center fund International, in 2012, there was 14.1 million cancer cases, affecting  7.4 million in men and 6.7 million in women. This number is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035(3).

Its nutrients including Vitamin A, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, etc. and major chemical constituent and ethanol extract including benzylisothiocyanate are said to exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti hyperlipidemic, anti cellular oxidative stress, anti neural tube defect, etc. effects(1).

Papaya, a species of Carica Papaya, belonging to the family Caricaceae, native to the tropics of the Americas, has been used in traditional medicine as remedies for many various ailments, including  gastric problems, inflammation, and cancer(12). 

Aqueous extract, according to University of Tokyo, on various tumor cell lines, showed to inhibit significant growth activity, through immunomodulatory effects including, interleukin 12 (also known as natural killer cell stimulatory factor 2), IL-12p70(a heterodimer), IFN-gamma(regulation of immunologically relevant genes) and TNF-alpha(innate immune response against viral infection)(4).

Fermented papaya, a traditional dish of many Southeast Asian cultures, is said to process antioxidant and immune-modulating potentials, through influence of signaling cascades associated with cell growth and survival, from epidemiological and in-vitro studies of patient with diabetes(5). In Azoxymethane (AOM) induced colon cancer in rats, papaya peel extract (PapPE), showed a significantly ameliorated the cytotoxic effects of AOM, through its potent anti-oxidant activities in reduction of oxidative stress (glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation)(6).

In cultured human lung cancer H69 cell, Benzyl glucosinolate (BG) found in the pulp and the seed of papaya, inhibited cancer cell proliferation in an administration of doses of 6.5 ╬╝mol(7), probably through its effect in superoxide generation and apoptosis induction(8). Benzylisothiocyanate (BITC), another chemical constituent also mediated apoptosis of prostate and pancreases cancer cells through activation both procaspase-8 pathways(initiation of apoptosis) and cell cycle arrest(9), inhibited advanced ovarian cancer cell lines through activation of caspase-3(activation in the apoptotic cell) and -9(activation of apoptotic process), and cleavage of PARP-1(repair of DNA damage)(10) and breast cancer through generation of reactive oxygen species and cleavage of caspase-9, caspase-8, and caspase-3(11).

Dr/ Nguyen and the research team at The University of Queensland told PubMed "(The) extract-based or specific compound-based investigations and emphasizes the aspects (of papaya) that warrant future research to explore the bioactives in C. papaya for their anticancer activities"(2).

Taken altogether, fermented papaya and it major chemical constituents such as Benzyl glucosinolate (BG) and Benzylisothiocyanate (BITC) may be effective in reduced risk and treatment for certain types of cancer, through cell cycle arrest and unregulated apoptotic pathways but further studies with large sample size and muti centers are necessary to identify the main ingredients in comparison of currently pharmacological medicine use to improve its validation. As always, all articles written by Kyle J. Norton are for information & education only, please consult your Doctor & Related field specialist before applying.

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(1) #Healthy #Foods - Fruits - Papaya (Carica Papaya)(Better living and living health)
(2) Anticancer activity of Carica papaya: a review by Nguyen TT1, Shaw PN, Parat MO, Hewavitharana AK.(PubMed)
(3) Cancer statistics Worldwide(World center fund International)
(4) Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves exhibits anti-tumor activity and immunomodulatory effects by Otsuki N, Dang NH, Kumagai E, Kondo A, Iwata S, Morimoto C.(PubMed)
(5) Diabetes as a risk factor to cancer: Functional role of fermented papaya preparation as phytonutraceutical adjunct in the treatment of diabetes and cancer by Aruoma OI, Somanah J, Bourdon E, Rondeau P, Bahorun T(PubMed)
(6) Amelioration of azoxymethane induced-carcinogenesis by reducing oxidative stress in rat colon by natural extracts by Waly MI, Al-Rawahi AS, Al Riyami M, Al-Kindi MA, Al-Issaei HK, Farooq SA, Al-Alawi A, Rahman MS.(PubMed)
(7) Content determination of benzyl glucosinolate and anti-cancer activity of its hydrolysis product in Carica papaya L, by Li ZY1, Wang Y, Shen WT, Zhou P.(PubMed)
(8) Papaya seed represents a rich source of biologically active isothiocyanate by Nakamura Y, Yoshimoto M, Murata Y, Shimoishi Y, Asai Y, Park EY, Sato K, Nakamura Y.(PubMed)
(9) Dietary isothiocyanate mediated apoptosis of human cancer cells is associated with Bcl-xL phosphorylation by Basu A, Haldar S.(PubMed)
(10) Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells in vitro by Kalkunte S, Swamy N, Dizon DS, Brard L(PubMed)
(11) Benzyl isothiocyanate-induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cells is initiated by reactive oxygen species and regulated by Bax and Bak by Xiao D1, Vogel V, Singh SV.(PubMed)
(12) Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities by Mawa S, Husain K, Jantan I.(PubMed)

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