Chemo-drugs are a class of conventional medicine used for the treatment of cancers. including 5-fluorouracil, 6-mercaptopurine, cytarabine, gemcitabine, and methotrexate.
Compared to other treatments, chemotherapy targets cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
Chemo drugs have been found to improve the survival rate of cancer patients. However, they also induce significant side effects.
Most common side effects of chemo-drugs are fatigue, hair loss, easy bruising, and bleeding. infection, anemia (low red blood cell counts) nausea and vomiting, appetite changes and constipation.
The side effects of chemo drugs are the results of damage to the healthy blood-forming cells in the bone marrow, hair follicles, and cells in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system.
According to the American Cancer Society, some chemo drugs have also been found to damage cells in the heart, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system.
Therefore, for patients who are at a higher risk of severe symptoms, medicines are taken with the chemo. Sometimes they are the must to help protect your body’s normal cells.
Conventionally, most chemo drugs side effects go away fairly quickly, but some may take months or even years for the symptoms to go away completely.
However, chemo-drugs that cause long-term damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or reproductive organs are irreversible.
Betacyanins are phytochemicals in the class of red and yellow indole-derived pigments, belongings to the group of betalains, found abundantly in beets, chard, etc.
With an aim to find a chemical compound that enhances the chemo drug efficacy and reduces the chemotoxicity, researchers examined the extract of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.), the FDA approved red food color E162, in the development of multi-organ tumors in experimental animals.
By comparing the cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot extract with an anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and in the well-established estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), researchers found that
* Both doxorubicin and the beetroot extract exhibited a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect in both PC-3 and MCF-7cancer cell lines.
* Doxorubicin, at the concentration of 29 µg/m., completely inhibited the growth of the PC-3 cells in three days.
* Although the cytotoxicity of the beetroot extract was significantly lower compared to doxorubicin, the extract continued to decrease the growth rate of the PC-3 cells (3.7% in 3 days vs. 12.5% in 7 days) at the same concentration.
In other words, both beetroot extract and Doxorubicin exerted a significant cytotoxic activity against the tested cancer cell line. However, the efficacy of beetroot extract is lower compared to those of Doxorubicin.
According to the chemical analysis, betacyanin was found to play an important role in the cytotoxicity exhibited by the red beetroot extract.
Moreover, betaxanthins and betacyanins used in combination with conventional anticancer drugs were found to reduce the chemo drug toxicity and overcome the multidrug resistance of cancer cells.
Based on the finding, researchers concluded betacyanins used alone or combined with other phytochemicals or chemo drug to block the onset of the proliferation of tumor cells.
Taken altogether, betacyanins found in beetroot extract used alone or combined with conventional anti-cancer medicine to enhance the chemo-drugs efficacy and reduce chemotoxicity, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of betacyanins in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
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.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancercell lines by Kapadia GJ1, Azuine MA, Rao GS, Arai T, Iida A, Tokuda H. (PubMed)
(2) C-Glycosyl Flavonoids from Beta vulgaris Cicla and Betalains from Beta vulgaris rubra: Antioxidant, Anticancer and Antiinflammatory Activities-A Review by Ninfali P1, Antonini E1, Frati A1, Scarpa ES. (PubMed)
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