Can hops in beer tackle liver and colon CANCER? Scientists discover three compounds in the flower & # 39; that can kill the tumors & # 39;
- The plant contains a natural compound that also killed colon cancer cells
- It initially showed potential about 20 years ago, but more promise has been shown
- More studies need to be done and scientists have not recommended it as treatment
They are used to make beer taste better.
But now scientists say that hop can do more than make you crave for another pint.
Tests have shown that the compounds in the plant can kill liver cancer cells, as well as colon cancer cells.
However, the research at Oregon State University was only based on cells in the laboratory and did not look at whether drinking beer could help.
Hops, used to flavor and color beer, have been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests
Hops, the flowers of the humulus lupulus plant, contain a substance called xanthohumol, also known as XN.
Scientists discovered for the first time that it had potential cancer-fighting properties 20 years ago.
But now researchers at XN have found two more derivatives with similar benefits.
And they believe that the connections – called DXN and TXN – can be even more effective than XN itself.
Professor Adrian Gombart, the lead investigator, said: & XN has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of various cancer cell lines.
& # 39; And in this study we demonstrated that XN can stop cell growth and kill two liver cancer cell lines and two colon cancer cell lines.
& # 39; We have tested liver and colon cancer cell lines because oral consumption of XN and its derivatives can lead to high concentrations in the intestine and liver. & # 39;
HOW PREVALENT IS LIVER CANCER?
Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and accounts for more than 600,000 deaths each year.
Liver cancer is the 18th most common cancer in the UK and accounts for two percent of all new cancer cases.
About a quarter of people in England diagnosed with liver cancer between the ages of 15-39 years survive their disease for five years or more, compared to around 5 in 100 people aged 80 and older.
Although primary liver cancer is unusual, its incidence has increased.
In the US, the incidence of liver cancer has more than tripled since 1980. However, rates for young adults have recently started to decrease.
The death rate from liver cancer has risen by nearly three percent a year since 2000.
The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, but most cases are associated with damage and scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis can have a number of different causes, including drinking too much alcohol and prolonged hapatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection.
It is also believed that obesity and an unhealthy diet can increase the risk of liver cancer
XN is a source of phytoestrogens, a chemical found in plants that are similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen.
Studies have shown that phytoestrogens are beneficial in combating hormonal cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
But the chemical found in soy products, some fruits and legumes, also affects fertility and hormone balance.
Professor Gombart said that enzymes in the liver can degrade XN in the & # 39; most powerful & # 39; phytoestrogens that science knows.
But DXN and TXN do not metabolize into phytoestrogens, the study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed.
For the first time, Professor Gombart and colleagues showed that the derivatives could inhibit cancer cells, and with greater effectiveness.
Professor Gombart said: & # 39; In all cell lines tested, DXN and TXN inhibited cell growth and caused cell death, just like XN.
& # 39; And for most cell types, DXN and TXN were slightly more powerful. & # 39;
Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the world and liver cancer is in sixth place, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.
The incidence of liver cancer has tripled in the US in the last four decades and has increased by about two and a half times since the early 1990s in the UK.
The number of colorectal cancer cases is increasing in adults in the US & 39, 30 and & # 39; 40 in the US, but the colon cancer rates have remained stable in the UK over the last decade.
& # 39; For both cancers, it is imperative to find new compounds for prevention and treatment & # 39 ;, said professor Gombart.
Studies have already shown that DXN and TXN have the potential to reduce weight gain, Professor Gombart added.
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