Shrewd Living

Last Updated: 06/28/2014 8:10 PST

A New Natural Cure for Prostate Cancer?

It’s a fact: Over 200,000 men in the United States will get prostate cancer this year. And yet, the odds of them surviving it are even worse–the American Cancer Society says that it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men.

But now a new study by researchers from Texas Woman’s University says there may be a new way to stop this deadly condition: Use plant oil.

“This study by Huanbiao Mo and colleagues at the Texas Woman’s University and UT Southwestern Medical Center demonstrates that geranylgeraniol causes dose dependent apoptotic death of human prostate carcinoma cells,” says Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine. “They further show that this diterpine downregulates HMG CoA reductase offering support to the concept that mevalonate deprivation causes cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase leading to apoptotic death of the prostate carcinoma cells.”

If that sounds like a bunch of nonsense to you, here’s the condensed version: Certain plant oils cause apoptosis in cancerous prostate cells. Apoptosis is a scientific word describing the programmed cell death of certain cells–in this case, cells filled with carcinogens that could kill men.

Bottom line? They may have found a natural cure for prostate cancer

What the Study Reveals

Basing their work off research dating back to the 1980s, researcher Dr. Huanbiao Mo studied how certain oils found in plants, namely linseed oil and annatto seed oil, affected prostate carcinoma cells. In these oils, they located a compound called geranylgeraniol, a diterpene alcohol best known as a pheromone for bumblebees.

“This line of work dates back to the 1980s when the University of Wisconsin groups led by Drs. Charles Elson and Michael Gould discovered the anti-tumor activity of monoterpenes and soon after, sesqui- and di-terpenes,” says Mo.

After isolating these compounds, Mo then tested it against cancerous cells–and soon, he noticed that it triggered apoptosis in these cells.

To put it simply, the cells were dying, at a rate normally seen from chemotherapy.

Except no chemotherapy drugs here.

“Geranylgeraniol-induced apoptosis was detected by flow cytometric analysis, fluorescence microscopy following acridine orange and ethidium bromide dual staining, and caspase-3 activation,” says Mo. “As a nonsterol molecule that downregulates HMG CoA reductase in the presence of sterols, geranylgeraniol may have potential in the chemoprevention and/or therapy of human prostate cancer.”

So What Does This Mean For You?

While more studies are definitely needed to test its viability as an anti-cancer agent, clearly the news is making many experts buzzing–but would eating foods containing linseed oil help? Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear it would yet–although these compounds are found in linseed oil, its efficacy only comes into play when extracted and used by itself in laboratories.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to eat foods rich in linseed oil, however, such as fruits, vegetables, and some grains–it may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer by helping men maintain healthier, thinner bodies.


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