Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saffron shows promise in preventing liver cancer, study suggests

Date:
August 23, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
New research suggests that saffron provides a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer in animal models. When saffron was administered to rats with diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer an inhibition of cell proliferation and stimulation of apoptosis was observed.

New research suggests that saffron provides a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer in animal models. When saffron was administered to rats with diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer an inhibition of cell proliferation and stimulation of apoptosis was observed. Full findings appear in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Related Articles


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. Medical evidence has shown that chronic infection with hepatitis B and C are major risk factors for HCC, and exposure to environmental carcinogens, iron overload, fatty liver disease and alcohol abuse can also contribute to development of liver cancer. DEN, an environmental carcinogen, is found in tobacco-smoke, cosmetics, gasoline, and processed foods including milk and meat products.

"In the fight against cancer, there has been much interest in chemopreventive properties of natural herbs and plants," said Prof. Amr Amin from United Arab Emirates University. "With limited treatment options, approaches that prevent cancer development are among the best strategies to protect against the disease." Prior studies have shown that saffron, a naturally derived plant product, possesses antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Saffron is a commonly used spice, adding flavor and color to foods, and a possible cancer-fighting substance that is readily available.

In order to further explore the potential of saffron in preventing the development and progression of HCC, DEN was used to induce lesions in rats, mimicking benign and malignant tumors in humans. The research team administered saffron to the animals at 75mg/kg, 150 mg/kg, and 300 mg/kg per day two weeks prior to DEN injection and continued the regimen for 22 weeks.

Results show saffron significantly reduced the number and the incidence of liver nodules, with animals receiving the highest dose of saffron showing complete inhibition of hepatic nodules. Animals that received pre-treatment with saffron displayed a decrease in the elevation of gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine aminotransferase and alpha-fetoprotein (GGT, ALT, αFP) -- proteins which indicate liver damage. Furthermore, saffron inhibited the elevation of cells positive for Ki-67, cyclooxygenase 2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor-kappa Bp-65 and the phosphorylated tumor necrosis factor receptor, all of which have respective roles in the development and progression of cancerous cells.

"Our findings suggest that saffron provides an anti-cancer protective effect by promoting cell death (apoptosis), inhibiting proliferation of cancerous cells, and blocking inflammation," concluded Prof. Amin. "Further investigation of saffron extract and its mechanism of action in HCC is currently underway."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amr Amin, Alaaeldin A. Hamza, Khuloud Bajbouj, S. Salman Ashraf, Sayel Daoud. Saffron: A potential candidate for a novel anticancer drug against hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/hep.24433

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Saffron shows promise in preventing liver cancer, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822091617.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, August 23). Saffron shows promise in preventing liver cancer, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822091617.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Saffron shows promise in preventing liver cancer, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110822091617.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins