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26.02.2012


Goji inhibits prostate cancer in animal study

Goji berries are not just super-fruits that boost endurance capacity, protect against muscle exhaustion and block oestrogens. According to researchers at the University of Hong Kong, goji may also help against prostate cancer.

The researchers performed experiments with human PC-3 and DU-145 cells. These are cells that have been found in secondary tumours in prostate cancer patients. PC-3 cells were found in bone swellings; DU-145 cells were found in brain tumours. Both are lines that do not react to testosterone or other androgens.

Sugar chains found in goji berries inhibit many forms of cancer in test-tube studies. That's why the researchers wondered whether extracts of Lycium barbarum (the Latin name for goji berries) have the same effect on the classic prostate cancer lines PC-3 and DU-145. The answer was 'yes'. The more Lycium barbarum polysaccharides [LBP] the researchers added to the cells, the slower they grew.

The goji extracts activate BAX suicide genes in the prostate cancer cells, the Chinese discovered. They also deactivate the Bcl-2 gene. This is the gene that prevents prostate cancer cells from committing suicide.

The researchers injected these cells into mice with a aberrant immune system. The mice were unable to reject alien cells. The researchers let the tumours grow for eight weeks in the control group. The experimental group were given daily oral doses of 10 mg extract per kg bodyweight. The extract had been purified to only contain four types of sugar chain, and it inhibited the growth of the tumours.


Goji inhibits prostate cancer in animal study


Goji inhibits prostate cancer in animal study


Goji inhibits prostate cancer in animal study


"This investigation contributes in vitro and in vivo evidence explaining how LBP may function as an anti-prostate cancer therapy", the Chinese conclude.

Source:
J Med Food. 2009 Aug;12(4):695-703.

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