Sunday, 2 December 2018

Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus), in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancers

By Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition

Chaste tree berry may have a potential effect in reducing risk and treatment of cancers, some studies proposed.

Cancer is the class of medical and chronic disease characterized by the irregular cells growth, that starts on the cells on the surface of the inner lining of the organ tissue.

At the later stage, the cancerous cells can travel a distance away from the original site to infect other healthy tissue through DNA alternation visa fluid and blood circulation.

The exact causes of cancer are unknown. As of today, researchers do not know why people with the same health and family history, some are susceptible to the onset of the disease while others do not.

According to the statistic provided by the National Cancer Institute, approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with some forms of cancer at some point during their lifetimes.

In 2017, an estimated 15,270 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 were diagnosed with cancer, causing 1,790 death.

Epidemiologically, depending on the primary onset of the disease, the most common risk factors of cancer are aging, tobacco, sun exposure, radiation exposure, chemicals, and toxic substances, certain hormones therapy, and family history,

However, excessive alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity, or being overweight also are considered some major acquired risks of cancer.

Dr. Karen Basen-Engquis, the lead author in the concerns of obesity in risk of cancer wrote, "In the United States, approximately 85,000 new cancer cases per year are related to obesity. Recent research has found that as the body mass index increases by 5 kg/m2, cancer mortality increases by 10%.".

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

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

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

In the findings a natural extract which proceeds anti-cancer potency, researchers at the launched an investigation to examine the anticancer extract preparation ethanol from dried ripened Vitex agnus-castus fruits growing in Israel (Vitex extract) against human uterine cervical canal fibroblast (HCF), human embryo fibroblast (HE-21), ovarian cancer (MCF-7), cervical carcinoma (SKG-3a), breast carcinoma (SKOV-3), gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III), colon carcinoma (COLO 201), and small cell lung carcinoma (Lu-134-A-H) cells.

In the cell cultures, application of different concentration of Vitex extract after culture for 24 h (logarithmic growth phase) or 72 h (stationary growth phase), exerted a significant cytotoxic activity against all cell lines in logarithmic growth-phase cells, comp[ared to stationary growth-phase cells.

DNA fragmentation, an indication of cancer cells undergoing apoptosis was seen in SKOV-3, KATO-III, COLO 201, and Lu-134-A-H cells.

Furthermore, Vitex extract-treated KATO-III cells also inhibited the expression of heme oxygenase-1 and the active forms of caspases-3, -8 and -9 which play a critical role in the protection the cancer cell against cytotoxicity.

Dr. Ohyama K, the lead author, said, "(The) cytotoxic activity of Vitex extract may be attributed to the effect on cell growth, that cell death occurs through apoptosis, and that this apoptotic cell death may be attributed to increased intracellular oxidation by Vitex extract treatment".

In a human gastric signet ring carcinoma cell line, KATO-III. further analysis also suggested that application of ethanol extract of the dried ripe fruit of Vitex agnus-castus (Vitex) decrease the antioxidant enzyme produced by the cancer cells without affecting the levels of the level of GSSG, another indication of oxidative stress increased in the cancer cells.

The result indicated that, Vitex-induced apoptosis through intracellular oxidative stress and mitochondrial membrane damage through decreasing the antioxidant defense of the cancer cell lines.

Taken altogether, Chaste Tree Berry may be considered a functional food and adjunct therapy for the prevention and treatment of cancers, depending on the result of the large and multi-center studies in human consumption of the herb during the course of diseases.

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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) Cytotoxicity and apoptotic inducibility of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract in cultured human normal and cancer cells and effect on growth by Ohyama K1, Akaike T, Hirobe C, Yamakawa T.(PubMed)
(2) Human gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III) cell apoptosis induced by Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract through intracellular oxidative stress by Ohyama K1, Akaike T, Imai M, Toyoda H, Hirobe C, Bessho T.(PubMed)
(4) Obesity and Cancer Risk: Recent Review and Evidence by Karen Basen-Engquist and Maria Chang. (PMC)

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