This article focuses on the anticancer activity of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) berry extract (AGBE), which was tested against a human colorectal cancer cell line (SW480). American ginseng berry contains chemicals called triterpenoid glycosides or ginsenosides (the major bioactive ingredients). (The types of ginsenosides seen in the berries differ from those seen in the root and leaves.)
Ginseng is known to provide benefits such as “antiaging, antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, analgesic, antipyretic, antistress, antifatique and tranquilizing properties as well as the promotion of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis.” For example, testing showed that AGBE inhibited the cell growth of colorectal cancer cells. Antiproliferative activity was found, as AGBE induces apoptosis (natural cell death) in cancer cells.
This study demonstrated the ability of ginsenosides from AGBE to block division of the colorectal cancer cells, especially over time. The treated cells became elongated with many apoptotic bodies associated with cell suicide. Treatment with AGBE raised the number of apoptotic cells to 40.9%.
Significantly, previous studies have shown that 80% of colorectal cancers are due to dietary deficiencies and are preventable. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
CONCLUSION: Ginsenosides found in American ginseng berry extract are shown to have anticancer effects on colorectal cancer cells by blocking division of the cells and by inducing cell death. Up to 80% of cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented by dietary changes, such as eating more fruits and vegetables.
NOTE: Read about an extract of ginseng and neuroprotection.
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