Monday, 29 October 2018

Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex Agnus-castus), The Herbal Remedy Which May Processes Anti-Leukemia Potency, Scientists Say

By Kyle J. Norton

Scientists may have found a herbal ingredient for the treatment of leukemia with no side effects, some studies suggested.

Leukemia is a medical condition characterized by the production of high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. The disease is a group of cancers originated in the soft, inner part of the bones (bone marrow).

At the advanced stage, the cancerous cells can travel a distance away to infect other healthy cells of other tissue and organs, particularly, in the tissue of lymph nodes, spleen, liver, central nervous system.

The exact causes of leukemia are unknown, however, researchers do know that smoking, genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. blood disorders and previous treatment for cancer with chemotherapy or radiation are the most common risk factors associated with the onset of the disease.

Leukemia can be classified into acute and chronic leukemia. In acute and chronic leukemia, the abnormal cells can multiply quickly. On the other hand, chronic leukemia, progresses slowly and early symptoms may be very mild.

According to the statistic provided by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, in Canada, leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children 0-14 years of age and the 6th most common among young adults 15 to 29 years. 

Every year over 900 children, 0-14 years of age are diagnosed with cancer, accounting for 11% of all childhood cancer.

Most common symptoms of leukemia include persistent fever or chills, fatigue, weakness, frequent or severe infections, unintentional weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen.

If you are experiencing some of the above symptoms, please check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of leukemia.

Chaste tree berry is a species of Vitex agnus-castus, genus Vitex, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region.

The tree has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of year as an aphrodisiac herb and is considered as Queen herb in treating menstrual problems and discomforts by taking it in a prolonged period of time.

 There was a report suggested that chaste tree berry stems and leaves can be used by women as bedding "to cool the heat of lust" during the time of the Thesmophoria,

Chemical constituents
1. β-citronellol
2. Labdane-type diterpenoids,
3. Halimane-type diterpenoid,
4. Oleanane-type triterpenoids,
5. Ursane-type triterpenoids,
6. Sesquiterpenoid,
7. Flavonoid
8. Viteagnusins C, D, E, F, G, and H
9. Abietane-type diterpenoids

In the study to reaffirm the extract from the ripe fruit of Vitex Angus-cactus (Vitex), may be considered an anticancer candidate, researchers at the joint investigation led by the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences conducted a study to provide a molecular rationale for clinical development in anticancer therapy(SB203580, an inhibitor for p38 MAPK), a detailed mechanism underlying the efficacy of Vitex against HL-60 cells. 

* Vitex and the addition of SB203580 induced a dose- and time-dependent decreased cancer cell viability associated with induction of apoptosis and G(2)/M cell cycle arrest.

* SB203580 significantly suppressed Vitex-induced phosphorylation of histone H3, a downstream molecule of p38 MAPK involved in the induction of tumor cells.

* Vitex inhibited HL-60 cancer cells through, the mediation of cytotoxicity.

* A decline in ROS levels along with enhanced apoptosis was observed after treatment with Vitex.

These results suggested that chaste tree berry inhibited the HL 60 cells by increasing the expression of ROS in the facilitated cytotoxicity and inducing apoptosis through cell cycle arrest.

In the summary of the findings, Dr. Kikuchi H, the lead author said, "These results may have important implications for appropriate clinical uses of Vitex and provide novel insights into the interaction between Vitex and other conventional drugs capable of affecting intracellular redox status".

Further differentiation of the cytotoxicity of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract and its major component, casticin against the leukemia cell lines, HL-60 and U-937, researchers found that Vitex and casticin induced cytotoxicity on both cell lines in a dose-depended manner. and HL-60 cells were more sensitive to the cytotoxicity of Vitex/casticin compared to U-937 cells.

Since the HL-60 cell line is more immature than the U-937 cell line, these results suggested that the levels of cytotoxicity of Vitex/casticin were largely attributed to the types of leukemia cells.

Taken altogether, Chaste tree berry may be considered a functional food and an adjunct therapy combined with conventional medicine for treatment of leukemia without inducing any side effects.

However, due to the limitation of the studies, further data collection on large example size and multi-centers studies performed with human consumption of the whole food during the course of the disease will be necessary to complete the picture of chaste tree berry anti-leukemia possibilities.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Involvement of histone H3 phosphorylation via the activation of p38 MAPK pathway and intracellular redox status in cytotoxicity of HL-60 cells induced by Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract by chi H1, Yuan B1, Yuhara E1, Imai M1, Furutani R1, Fukushima S1, Hazama S1, Hirobe C2, Ohyama K1, Takagi N3, Toyoda H1.(PubMed)
(2) Cytotoxicity of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract and its major component, casticin, correlates with differentiation status in leukemia cell lines by chi H1, Yuan B, Nishimura Y, Imai M, Furutani R, Kamoi S, Seno M, Fukushima S, Hazama S, Hirobe C, Ohyama K, Hu XM, Takagi N, Hirano T, Toyoda H.(PubMed)

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