Herbal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi's active compound ursolic acid may have a potential and profound effect in blocking the early onset of endometrial cancer, some scientists suggested.
The endometrium is the inner lining of the mammalian uterus and very susceptible hormone change, particularly in the start and the end menstrual cycle.
Endometrial cancer is a late adulthood cancer characterized by abnormal cells of the endometrial lining of the uterus caused by the alternation of cells DNA.
In the advanced stage, endometrial cancerous cells can follow blood and lymph fluids circulation to infect other healthy tissue and organs.
Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women overall, after breast cancer, lung cancer, and bowel cancer.
Researchers do not know what causes the alternation of DNA of cells in the lining of endometrium However, certain risk factors may be associated to the increased prevalence of the disease, such as the imbalance of female hormones in the body, years of menstruation, aging, obesity,... and use of hormone therapy.
If a woman experiences some symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal bleeding in menopause bleeding between periods, persistent pelvic pain,,,,,,,, and abnormal watery or blood-tinged discharge from your vagina, she should see her doctor right the way to rule out the possibility of endometrial cancer.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is one of the species of Bearberry, in the genus Arctostaphylos, belongings to the family Ericaceae, native to northern North America, Asia, and Europe.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine as a diuretic agent and to treat urinary problems, including bladder infections, kidney infection, kidney stone,..... and pelvic pain.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi phytochemical compounds include arbutin, ursolic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid, some essential oil and resin, hydroquinones tannins, phenolic glycosides, and flavonoids.
Ursolic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene acid, extracted from Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is found to be effective in inhibition of the growth of endometrial cancer cell HEC108 line, in a dose- and time-dependent manner.
Injection at a dose of 50, 75 or 100 microM in endometrial cancer cell HEC108 line, exerted a significant increase in the caspase-3 activity in initiating cancer cells apoptosis, after 24 h compared to levels in control.
The cleaved caspase-3 levels are found to increase linearly, depending on the volume of application.
Furthermore, application of ursolic acid also decreased the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein levels which play an important role in promoted cancer cells survival and increased Bax expression in regulating cancer cell death by activation of tumor suppressor protein p53.
Dr. Achiwa Y, the lead scientist said, "ursolic acid induced apoptotic processes in these poorly differentiated endometrial cancer cells occurs through mechanisms involving mitochondrial pathways (or apoptosis) and Bcl-2 family proteins".
Apoptosis is a process that programs cell death.
Moreover, in the study to examine the effect of ursolic acid, on the growth of the endometrial cancer cell line SNG-II., ursolic acid strongly inhibited the growth of SNG-II cells.
At doses of At 25 and 50 microM strength, ursolic acid induced increased expression of caspase-3 activity to approximately 5-fold in compared to those control in facilitated cell apoptosis.
Similar to other study, levels of cleaved caspase-3 increased depending mainly on time- and dose- applied.
Additionally, the induced apoptotic processes in the endometrial cancer SNG-II cells by application of ursolic acid are also attributed to the activation of functions of mitochondrial pathways and Bcl-2 family proteins.
These results suggested that herbal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi bioactive compound ursolic acid stops the growth and proliferation of endometrial cancer cells by killing cancer cells through apoptotic pathways.
However, additional large sample size and multicenter clinical trials with human consumption during the course of the disease are necessary to reconfirm herbal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi bioactive compound ursolic acid anti endometrial cancer possibility.
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Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Molecular mechanism of ursolic acid-induced apoptosis in poorly differentiated endometrial cancer HEC108 cells by Achiwa Y, Hasegawa K, Udagawa Y. (PubMed)
(2) Ursolic acid induces Bax-dependent apoptosis through the caspase-3 pathway in endometrial cancer SNG-II cells by Achiwa Y, Hasegawa K, Komiya T, Udagawa Y. (PubMed)
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