Thursday, 25 April 2019

Cucurbitacins (CuB) Isolated from Cucumber Processes Both Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity

By Kyle J. Norton
Antioxidants are atoms that inhibit oxidation.

Cytotoxicity is an action that kills cancer cells by inducing toxin to the cells.

Antioxidant activity is an action in which the stable atoms inhibit the expression of free radicals including antioxidants with free radical scavenging properties.

In other words, an antioxidant produced by the host or from dietary source balances the levels of free radicals produced by the cellular metabolism and from outside of our body.

In a healthy individual, antioxidant enzymes produced by the body are good enough to counter the expression of free radicals. However, in people with a weakened immune system such as elderly, intake of antioxidant supplements may be necessary.

Free radicals are unstable atoms with a single electron in the outer ring. Therefore, in order to remain stable. free radicals are ready to donate or intercept an electron from other atoms, leading to a chain of oxidative reaction that can not be stopped until all electrons are paired or inhibited by antioxidants.

Oxidative stress is an imbalanced ratio of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. It is caused by either overexpression of free radicals or depletion of antioxidants in the body.

Believe it or not. overexpression of free radicals for a long period of time or oxidative stress can cause cells and lipid damage, leading to alteration of cell DNA.

Diseases associated with oxidative stress include atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetics, rheumatoid arthritis, post-ischemic perfusion injury, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation,... and stroke.

Risk of oxidative stress can be reduced by lifestyle change and moderate exercise.

Dr. Tameko Kihira, the lead scientist in the correlation of lifestyle and oxidative stress in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) wrote, "Recent lifestyle changes among the K residents, including a decrease in the Japanese pickle consumption, increase in fresh vegetable consumption and decrease in farm work, were evaluated in this study. Low consumption of Japanese pickles, high consumption of fresh vegetables, rare farm work and low levels of 8-OHdG/creatinine were all associated with high scores in the cognitive function tests. Frequent farm work and consumption of Japanese pickles was associated with high contents of transition metals, such as Mn, Al, and V, in the scalp hair".

The cucumber plant is a species of Cucumis Sativus, belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and native to Western Asia. It is a creeping vine with roots in the ground and grows up with the support of frames.

On finding a natural and potential ingredient for the treatment of disease associated with oxidative stress, researchers investigated the effect of Cucurbitacins (CuB), a major bioactive compound found in cucumber.

According to the antioxidative analysis, Cucurbitacins (CuB), not only showed significant scavenging free-radicals activity such as hydroxyl radical, superoxide anions and singlet oxygen but also inhibited the lipid peroxidation and oxidation.

In other words, CuB protected cells integrity by inhibiting the free radical expression before they can induce a chain of reaction to cause oxidative stress to the tissues and organs. 

Furthermore, Cub also processes anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties by modulating the immune response against the production of proinflammatory cytokines in facilitating the cellular and lipid damage and DNA alternation.

In the growth of four NSCLC cells (H1299, A549, HCC-827, and H661) Cucurbitacin B (CuB) inhibited cancer cell proliferation by altered the actin cytoskeletal assembly in the cell by cell cycle arrest and mitochondrial apoptosis.

Cucurbitacin B (CuB) inhibited the antioxidant activity produced by the cancer cells by significantly decreasing levels of protein thiols and GSH/GSSG ratio.

In other words, CuB causes the cancer cell apoptosis by inducing cytotoxicity through disrupting the cancer cellular redox balance.

The results strongly suggested that on one hand, CuB killed cancer cells through its cytotoxic by inducing overexpression of free radicals and on the other hand CuB protected the healthy cells against cytotoxic damage through its antioxidant property.

Taken altogether, cucumber processed abundantly bioactive compound CuB may be used for the treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress and cancer, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of CuB in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.

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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) Search for a novel antioxidant, anti- inflammatory/analgesic or anti-proliferative drug: Cucurbitacins hold the ace by Adebowale Bernard Saba, and Olayinka Oridupa. (Research Gate)
(2) Cucurbitacin B potently suppresses non-small-cell lung cancer growth: identification of intracellular thiols as critical targets by Kausar H1, Munagala R, Bansal SS, Aqil F, Vadhanam MV, Gupta RC. (PubMed)
(3) Lifestyle Changes and Oxidative Stress in a High-incidence Area of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in the Southwestern Kii Peninsula, Japan by Tameko Kihira,1 Kazushi Okamoto,2 Iori Sakurai,1 Yuya Arakawa,1 Ikuro Wakayama,1Koichi Takamiya,3 Ryo Okumura,3 Yuhto Iinuma,3 Keiko Iwai,4 Yasumasa Kokubo,5 andSohei Yoshida. (PMC)

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