Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Power of Naturals Against Cancer

A couple of days back, the USFDA sent letters to several companies asking them to explain their claims about the efficacy of some alternative medicines in fighting cancer.

Though there still doesn't exist a panacea for treating the disease, some promising reports recently published have raised hopes vis-a-vis the power of naturals in arresting the disease.

How wine could help?

Wine, or rather a constituent of the red wine called “resveratrol” could aid in cancer prevention. The ingredient is actually a part of red grapes from which the red wine is derived.

The researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have found that it works by inhibiting abnormal cell growth. Abnormal cell growth is a prime characteristic of many forms of breast cancers. Consequently, the wine's powers could be harnessed to possibly prevent breast cancers.

In fact “resveratrol” is also sold as a dietary supplement, but its effectiveness in suppressing abnormal cell growth has come to light only recently.

A natural substance to the rescue

Cancers can sometimes be quite problematic to treat, as they can stop responding to cancer drugs, or even become resistant to them. But a natural substance “argyrin” has been found to destroy the unwanted tumor cells. This discovery has been published in the journal “Cancer Cell,” and the research was conducted at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.

While, research on naturals has shown promise, an advancement has been registered in conventional medicine as well. For instance a compound called “STF-62247” discovered by the Stanford University researchers has been found to selectively damage cancer cells only, rather than target healthy cells too. Since cancer drugs can sometimes harm healthy cell too, this research published in the journal “Cancer Cell,” is perhaps just the first step towards developing effective cancer therapy with minimal side effects.

So till the time the science of cancer drugs with less side effects is perfected, the promise of naturals in treating cancer is welcome news for sure.

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