Thursday, April 12, 2012

Milk Thistle Compound Can Stop Lung Cancer by Inhibiting Gene Expression

Lung cancer is a devastating disease with a traditionally poor survival rate less than ten percent after five years from diagnosis. There are a number of well documented triggers that cause tissue damage that eventually results in DNA damage, allowing lung cancer cells to develop and spread.

Researchers from the University of Colorado publishing in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis found that treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle effectively treated wound development in lung cancer cells that halted the disease and prevented metastasis. Long known for its rejuvenating effects on the liver, milk thistle is now emerging as a viable therapy to help prevent and reverse the damage caused by years of cellular breakdown in lung tissue and halt the spread of this deadly disease.

Milk Thistle Halts the Inflammatory Chain Known to Promote Lung Cancer Progression
Although milk thistle use has been documented for nearly 2,000 years, very little solid science exists to validate the beneficial effects on human health. Cells communicate with one another through a complex series of signals to achieve an end result, normally the creation of a protein or completion of an enzymatic reaction. When this chain is broken as a result of poor diet or lifestyle choices that affect metabolic homeostasis, diseases such as cancer are allowed to develop and manifest in tissues throughout the body.

Big Pharma frequently looks to break these chain reactions in an unnatural way to halt metabolic processes in the body, commonly with undesired or potentially deadly consequences.  COX2 and iNOS are two enzymes that are involved in a chain of actions that elicit an inflammatory response to wounds and infectious processes. If you were to cut yourself, inflammation at the local site is a desired response that will aid healing. Unfortunately, systemic inflammation caused by excess body weight and poor dietary choices is a serious problem underlying many chronic diseases including lung cancer.

Milk Thistle Compound Inhibits Genetic Expression to Help Prevent Lung Cancer
Both COX2 and iNOS aid tumor growth when they remain in circulation as a response to chronic inflammation. Two transcription factors known as STAT1 and STAT3 allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS. Researchers found that when chain is broken, tumor growth is halted and metastatic growth stops. They found that a derivative of milk thistle called silibinin was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS to help prevent lung cancer.

Lead study authors concluded “What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer… and that naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today's best treatments.” Milk thistle represents another natural compound that provides a powerful effect to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Alternative health experts recommend supplementing with 250 mg of a standardized milk thistle extract each day to fight the threat of lung cancer.

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