A comparison of the cancer drug 5-fluorouracil and natural chemotherapeutic agents; EGCG from Green Tea and Thymoquinone from Black Seed sustained on colon cancer cells

February 22, 2008

While 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) continues to be the chemotherapeutic gold-standard for the treatment of colon cancer, the side effects of 5-FU are numerous due to its ability to attack both healthy and cancerous cells. Scientists at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi state that research continues to provide positive findings in regards to antioxidants and their success in deterring certain disease processes, especially cancer. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant Catechin found in green tea, is a valuable scavenger of reactive oxygen species in vitro as well as in vivo. Thymoquinone (TQ), the major active component of Nigella sativa (black seed), is also known for its powerful scavenger abilities as an inhibitor of oxidative stress and has been utilized in the Middle East for centuries because of its capability to heal many different diseases. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the role of sustained drug delivery of TQ, EGCG, and 5-FU on the metabolic activity as well as structural changes in the SW-626 human colon cancer cell line in culture. Results of this study indicate a sustained drug delivery of EGCG and TQ demonstrated significant destruction of colon cancer cells and interference of cellular metabolic functions in human colon cancer cells. The activities of EGCG and TQ which was comparable to 5-FU. Cellular changes occurred after exposure to TQ and EGCG at 24 hours which was also comparable to cells exposed to 5-FU. The delivery of the natural agents may offer a safe alternative treatment for colon cancer. The study is published in the journal Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 2007;43.

Black Seed may powerfully protect the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs from dangerous heavy metals such as lead and cadmium

Analysis and distribution of Pb (lead) and Cd (cadmium) in different mice organs, including the liver, kidney, spleen, heart, and blood, were evaluated before and after treatment with different aqueous concentrations of Nigella sativa in water. Atomic absorption spectrometry was used for analysis of Pb and Cd in these organs. Results indicated that the Pb in the group of mice not experimentally exposed to Pb and also not supplemented with N. sativa (black seed) was in the following order: liver > heart > spleen > kidney (> = more than). Moreover, mice purposely exposed to Pb show that the Pb concentrations in different organs were reduced significantly by supplementing with N. sativa by 72.9% in the liver, 63.4% in the kidneys, 72.3% in the heart, 66.7% in the spleen, and 39.5% in the blood. Furthermore, the distribution of Cd in the mice not purposely exposed to Cd and not supplemented with N. sativa was in the following order: kidney > heart > spleen > liver. Nigella sativa at 10 mg/L reduced Cd levels in mice exposed to Cd by 75.5% in the liver, 83.3% in the kidneys, 47.0% in the heart, 95.3% in the spleen, and 100% in the blood. When the mice were fed a combination of Pb and Cd in their drinking water for 28 days their levels were lowered to below the detection limit. The study is published in the February 2007 issue of the journal Biological Trace Element research.