MSM, a muscle enhancer that sabotages cancer cells
According to in vitro studies, MSM blocks the demolition hormone cortisol in muscle cells while increasing the action of IGF-1 and growth hormone. With such beautiful muscle strengthening effects, we get worried that MSM may also promote cancer. However, that fear is unjustified, fundamental research from Konkuk University in South Korea suggests. According to the Koreans, MSM protects against cancer.
In vitro study
The researchers experimented with different breast cancer cell lines in test tubes. If they were exposed to high concentrations of MSM, their vitality decreased.
Click on the figure above for a larger version.
SK-BR3 is a human breast cancer cell line that produces excessive HER2/neu, while MCF7 is a breast cancer cell line that requires estradiol to grow. MDA-MB-231 is an advanced and aggressive breast cancer cell type that no longer needs estradiol and progesterone to grow and spread.
The possible pro-anabolic effect of MSM in muscle cells is the result of activating the transcription factor STAT5b, we wrote a few days ago. STAT5 is also involved in some cancers, such as breast cancer. But in all breast cancer cells that the Koreans studied, MSM inhibits STAT5b.
The researchers injected mice with MDA-MB-231 cells and monitored the growth of the tumors for a month. Some mice were fed standard food, two groups of mice were fed food consisting of 3 and 5 percent MSM, respectively.
MSM slowed down the rate at which the tumors grew, you see below left.
"Based on all these results from our study, we strongly recommend the use of MSM as a trial drug for treating breast cancers because of its multi-targeting mechanism", the Koreans conclude.
PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e33361.
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