Cancers can remain in balance for years due to the competing proliferation and apoptosis. Angiogenesis can alter that balance. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels, important to tumor growth and metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important target of cancer treatment to reduce angiogenesis, to block cancer growth, migration, and tumor survival.
Side effects are common to pharmaceutical anti-angiogenesis agents, such as hypertension, bleeding, and gastric perforation. This has lead to the study of natural dietary agents to block VEGF. Polyphenols, including flavonoids, are part of natural foods, such as tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables, beans (soy,) grains, seeds and spices. The polyphenols which block angiogenesis are in soy, berry, pomegranate, grape seed extract and green tea.
VEGF works by binding to receptor tyrosine kinase on the surface of endothelial cells. The authors studied a number of dietary chemicals for their ability to block VEGF kinase enzyme. A cinnamon (Cinnamonum zeylanicum) water-based extract (CE) was found to have strong ability to block VEGF kinase.
Cinnamon contains a high level of polyphenols. Removal of polyphenols from cinnamon blocked the anti-angiogenesis activity. The chemical in cinnamon which blocked angiogenesis may be a procyanidin. (Procyanidins are higher in cinnamon than in other common foods.) Cinnamon treats melanoma, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Other natural products which inhibit VEGF include green tea catechins, delphinidin, ellagic acid and grape seed extract.
CONCLUSION: A chemical was found in cinnamon which is a natural angiogenesis inhibitor and may be useful as a diet component useful in treating cancer.
NOTE: Green tea is Camellia sinensis. Ellagic acid is an antioxidant from berries. Delphinidin is an antioxidant pigment which gives blue to flowers such as delphiniums. Read about cancer control from polyphenols from plants such as cinnamon and cancer control by epigenetics.
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