Mangosteen active against liver cancer

November 21, 2005

Garcinia mangostana. Commonly known as Mangosteen fruit contains a class of polyphenols known as Xanthones that have promising anticancer activities. Xanthones are not common in nature and Mangosteen has about 20 different Xanthones. Xanthones are powerful antioxidants that have strong antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory activity, and of course in many studies - anticancer benefits. The following Xanthones are found in high concentrations and are largely responsible for the health benefits of this protective fruit: alpha, beta, and gamma-mangostin, and garcinone-e.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a type of liver cancer that tends to metastasize to surrounding tissues. It is a type of adenocarcinoma, one of the most common cancers in the world and the most common form of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis increase the risk of this cancer. Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with chemotherapy has generally been disappointing and researchers are searching for new drugs that are effective for liver cancer.

Scientists extracted and purified 6 Xanthones from the Mangosteen fruit and then tested them on 14 different human cancer samples that included 6 liver cancer cell lines (hepatocellular carcinoma). Garcinone E had a potent cytotoxic effect on all 6 hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines and on all lung cancer and all gastric cancer cell lines included in the study. The study is published in the November 2002 issue of the journal Planta Medica.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Goji Berry Liquid Extract may protect the brain from the protein that creates Alzheimer's plaque (beta-amyloid protein)

In this study researchers at the Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Hong Kong investigated the ability of Goji berry liquid extract to protect the brain. When rat brain tissue samples were exposed to beta-amyloid protein, the protein that causes Alzheimer's disease plaque, the brain cells soon triggered their own destruction and died (a process known as apoptosis). Adding Goji berry liquid extract to the cells prevented a build up of lactate dehydrogenase - lactate dehydrogenase is released when cells are destroyed and inhibiting its release indicates the cells were protected from dying. The Goji berry prevented the release of caspases which are cellular executioners, sparing the brain cells from certain death. The higher the concentration of Goji berry liquid extract the greater the level of brain cell protection from the Alzheimer's protein. The study is published in the August-September 2005 issue of the journal Experimental Gerontology.