Category Archives: Immunity


The Multiple Health Benefits of Tributyrin, a Triglyceride Form of Butyrate

Short-Chain Fatty Acids

A considerable amount of scientific interest has been focused on short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) for improving colonic and systemic health, and specifically reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers have shown that SCFAs have distinct physiological effects:  1

  • they contribute to shaping the gut environment
  • they influence the physiology of the colon
  • they can be used as energy sources by host cells and the intestinal microbiota 
  • they also participate in different host-signaling mechanisms

Prebiotics, which consist of primarily dietary carbohydrates such as resistant starch and dietary fibers, are the substrates in the large intestine for fermentation that produce SCFAs.  The other source of SCFA, although in smaller amounts than dietary carbohydrates, are amino acids.  Three amino acids:

  • valine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine

obtained from protein breakdown can be converted into isobutyrate, isovalerate, and 2-methyl butyrate, known as branched-chain SCFAs (BSCFAs), which contribute very little (5%) to total SCFA production.  2

There are seven short-chain fatty acids that are produced by the large intestine through the fermentation of dietary fiber and resistant starch.  Of these seven short-chain fatty acids, three of them are the most important and common:

  • acetate
  • propionate
  • butyrate

These three represent about 90–95% of the SCFA present in the colon.  The rate and amount of SCFA production depends on the species and amounts of microflora present in the colon, the substrate source and gut transit time.

Butyrate is the major energy source for colonocytes. Propionate is largely taken up by the liver. Acetate enters the peripheral circulation to be metabolized by peripheral tissues and is the principal SCFA in the colon, and after absorption it has been shown to increase cholesterol synthesis.

Image result for Short-Chain Fatty Acids

Figure 1.  Fibers, specific oligosaccharides and resistant starch reach the colon intact, where they induce shifts in the composition and function of intestinal bacteria (shifts indicated by different colors). Intestinal bacteria use these compounds as substrates for the production of the short-chain fatty acids acetate, propionate and butyrate. These microbial metabolites are taken up by intestinal epithelial cells called enterocytes. Butyrate mainly feeds the enterocytes, whereas acetate and propionate reach the liver by the portal vein.  (Source:  You are what you eat,  Nature Biotechnology  32, 243–245 (2014) doi:10.1038/nbt.2845)

Butyrate (Butyric Acid)

The most important short-chain fatty acid is butyrate.

Butyrate is a primary energy source for colonic cells.  3 4   Butyrate also has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.  5  Butyrate may also have a role in preventing certain types of colitis. A diet low in resistant starch and fiber, which will result in a low production of SCFAs in the colon, may explain the high occurrence of colonic disorders seen in the Western civilization.  6

Studies have demonstrated that butyrate has anti-carcinogenic properties:

  • It inhibits the growth and proliferation of tumor cell lines in vitro.  7
  • It induces differentiation of tumor cells, producing a phenotype similar to that of the normal mature cell.  8
  • It induces apoptosis or programmed cell death of human colorectal cancer cells.  9 10
  • It inhibits angiogenesis by inactivating Sp1 transcription factor activity and down regulating VEGF gene expression. 11

Butyrate has been studied for its role in nourishing the colonic mucosa and in the prevention of cancer of the colon, by promoting cell differentiation, cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis of transformed colonocytes; inhibiting the enzyme histone deacetylase and decreasing the transformation of primary to secondary bile acids as a result of colonic acidification.

Therefore, a greater increase in SCFA production and potentially a greater delivery of SCFA, specifically butyrate, to the distal colon may result in a protective effect.   12

Butyrate is mainly taken up by the colon epithelial cells, only small amounts reach the portal vein and the systemic circulation.  The primary beneficial effects of butyrate occurs at the intestinal level, yet there are additional benefits at the extra intestinal level:

Intestinal effects

  • Is the preferred energy source for the colon epithelial cells
  • Decreases the pH of the colon (which decreases bile salt solubility, increases mineral absorption, decreases ammonia absorption, and inhibits growth of pathogens)
  • Stimulates proliferation of normal colon epithelial cells
  • Prevents proliferation and induces apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells
  • Affects gene expression of colon epithelial cells
  • Plays a protective role against colon cancer and colitis
  • Improves the gut barrier function by stimulation of the formation of mucin, antimicrobial peptides, and tight-junction proteins
  • Interacts with the immune system and regulates immune function
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Stimulates the absorption of water and sodium
  • Reduces oxidative stress in the colon
  • Assists in ion absorption
  • Assists in proper intestinal motility
  • Induces cell cycle arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis in colon cancer cells

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Figure 2.  The multiple effects of butyrate at the intestinal level.  (Source:  Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extra intestinal diseases)

Extra intestinal effects  13

  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Cholesterol synthesis
  • Energy expenditure
  • Ammonia scavenger
  • Stimulation of β-oxidation of very long chain fatty acids and peroxisome proliferation
  • CFTR function
  • Neurogenesis
  • HbF production


The major problem with butyrate is achieving high concentrations in the blood. Butyrate is metabolized rapidly as soon as it enters the enteroocytes via its active transport system, and its plasma concentrations are far below those required to exert its antiproliferative/differentiating actions.  14 

An alternative and more advantageous form of butyric acid is the triglycerine form called Tributyrin, also known as glyceryl tributyrate. Tributyrin is a triglyceride containing 3 molecules of butyric acid which are bound by a glycerol molecule. 

Tributyrin is naturally present in butter in trace amounts.  However, it is not recommended to consume butter as a means to obtain therapeutic amounts of tributyrin.  There is no point to recommend consuming butter to someone if the intention is to increase butyric acid consumption.

As an alternative to consuming butter, tributyrin can now be consumed in the form of a supplement or a food additive and can provide considerable amounts of butyrate to the intestine in addition to the endogenous production of SCFAs (butyrate) from the fermentation of dietary fibers.

Tributyrin is known to overcome the pharmacokinetic drawbacks of butyrate.  Because it is rapidly absorbed and chemically stable in plasma, tributyrin diffuses through biological membranes and is metabolized by intracellular lipases, releasing therapeutically effective butyrate over time directly into the cell. 

Ball-and-stick model of the butyrin molecule

Figure 3.  Ball-and-stick model of the tributyrin molecule, the triglyceride of butyric acid.  Source:  By Jynto (talk) – Own workThis chemical image was created with Discovery Studio Visualizer., CC0,

The technique of attaching butyrate to a glycerol molecule turns the new molecule (tributyrin) into a fat. The attachment of a glycerol molecule to 3 butyric acid molecules is through an ester bond which can only be broken by a specific enzyme called pancreatic lipase.  

Pancreatic lipase is secreted from the pancreas into the small intestine (duodenum) and not in the stomach.  Because of this, tributyrin stays intact in the stomach but once it reaches the small intestine (duodenum), the 3 butyric acid molecules are released by the pancreatic lipase enzyme. 

After the pancreatic lipase action, two free butyric acid molecules and one monobutyrin molecule are formed where they are used in the intestine and taken up by the enterocytes. After transportation through the portal vein they are metabolized in the liver. 

chem formula

Figure 4.  Ester bond of glycerol and 3 butyric acid molecules.  (Source: Bioremediation of Fats and Oils)

The tributyrin form of butyrate ensures high bioavailability of butyrate in all the sections of the small intestine.  Because tributyrin is a delayed release source of butyrate, it achieves more sustained plasma levels. 

According the the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), tributyrin is a food substance affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).  15

Multiple Health Benefits of Tributyrin 

Specific studies on tributyrin have demonstrated multiple benefits in a number of disease conditions by releasing therapeutically effective butyrate over time directly into the cell.  The advantage with tributyrin is that it has all the health benefits of butyrate, as evidenced above, as well as its own specific targeted health benefits.

Some of the more important and specific health benefits of tributyrin include:

  • Anticarcinogenic potential
    • Colon cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Melanoma
    • Liver cancer (apoptosis)
  • Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)
  • Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury
  • Inflammation

Anticarcinogenic potential

In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that tributyrin acts on multiple anticancer cellular and molecular targets without affecting non-cancerous cells. The mechanisms of action of tributyrin as a anticarcinogenic agent include:  16

  • the induction of apoptosis
  • cell differentiation
  • the modulation of epigenetic mechanisms

Due to the minimum toxicity profile of tributyrin, it is an excellent candidate for combination therapy with other agents for the control of cancer. 

Colon cancer

Tributyrin was shown to be more potent in inhibiting growth and inducing cell differentiation than natural butyrate on growth, differentiation and vitamin D receptor expression in Caco-2 cells, a human colon cancer cell line.  17

Tributyrin provides a useful therapeutic approach in chemoprevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.   

In another in vitro study, tributyrin showed potent antiproliferative, proapoptotic and differentiation-inducing effects in neoplastic cells.  18


In this study monobutyrin (MB) and tributyrin (TB) were studied in vitro for their effects on inducing differentiation of human myeloid leukemia HL60 cells and murine erythroleukemia cells. On a molar basis TB was about 4-fold more potent than either BA or MB for inducing differentiation of HL60 cells. BA, MB, or TB induced erythroid differentiation of murine erythroleukemia cells.  19


A study from February 2011 sought to investigate a possibility to develop tributyrin emulsion as a potent anti-cancer agent against melanoma. Tributyrin emulsion was more potent than butyrate in inhibiting the growth of B16-F10 melanoma cells. Accumulation of cells at sub G(0)/G(1) phase and the DNA fragmentation induced by tributyrin emulsion treatment revealed that tributyrin emulsion inhibited the growth of B16-F10 cells by inducing apoptosis. Treatment with tributyrin emulsion suppressed the colony formation of melanoma cells in a dose-dependent manner.  20

The data from this study suggests that tributyrin emulsion may be developed as a potent anti-cancer agent against melanoma.

Liver cancer

Researchers in this study from November 1999 investigated whether butyrate could induce apoptosis in transformed human liver (Hep G2) cells. Hep G2 cells treated with butyrate displayed acetylated histones, increased DNA fragmentation and morphological features consistent with apoptosis. 

They also investigated whether butyrate present in tributyrin, a triacylglycerol more compatible for inclusion into colloidal lipid structures than butyrate, could also induce apoptosis in Hep G2 cells.

Tributyrin induced DNA fragmentation and morphological features characteristic of apoptotic cells in Hep G2 cells.

These results are a significant advance towards delivering butyrate via colloidal lipid particles to cancerous sites in vivo. This study showed that butyrate and tributyrin are potent apoptotic agents. 21

Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

Recent research at MIT has determined that, in rodent models of Alzheimer’s dementia, the negative impact of amyloid beta exposure on neuronal function and new memory formation results largely from increased neuronal expression of an enzyme known as HDAC2 (histone deacetylase 2).

A study from March 2004 showed that tributyrin may have the most practical potential to inhibit HDAC by blunting microglial activation. Tributyrin is anti-inflammatory in primary, brain-derived microglial cells.  A blunting of microglial cytokine production might in itself have a favorable impact on progression of Alzheimer’s.  22  23  

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)

In a recent study from November 2014, researchers hypothesized that antibiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota reduce butyrate production, varying genes involved with gut barrier integrity and water and electrolyte absorption, lending to AAD, and that simultaneous supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus GG  and/or tributyrin would prevent these changes.

Optimizing intestinal health with Lactobacillus GG and/or tributyrin may offer a preventative therapy for AAD.  24  Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury

In this study from April 2015, researchers elucidated the protective effect of oral administration of tributyrin against LPS-mediated lipid metabolism disorder in rats.  Tributyrin suppresses lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury through attenuating nuclear factor-κB activity with an increased hepatoportal butyrate level.  25


Another study from May 2015 was carried out to investigate the effects of tributyrin (TB) on the growth performance, pro-inflammatory cytokines, intestinal morphology, energy status, disaccharidase activity, and antioxidative capacity of broilers challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

Taken together, these results suggest that the TB supplementation was able to reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improve the energy status and anti-oxidative capacity in the small intestine of LPS-challenged broilers.  26

ELiE Health Solutions

Tributyrin is now available for purchase by consumers and professionals directly from ELiE Health Solutions as a product called BUTYCAPS.

ELiE Health Solutions, based in Sevilla, Spain, was formed through a project based on the science of the microbiota and probiotics.

ELiE Health Solutions is named after Elie Metchnikoff, famed microbiologist and the recipient of the 1908 Nobel Price in Physiology. A century ago he proposed the benefit of acid lactic bacteria to the human host and their role in health and longevity.

David Manrique, a pharmacist with ELiE Health Solutions describes the challenges of finding a more bio-available form of butyric acid:

“The challenge was to find a chemical form of enteric release of butyric acid, and also to ensure microencapsulated as slowly and delayed release possible. It has been a great innovative effort, but we are very satisfied with the results.”  27 

ELiE Health Solutions was successful in developing a delayed release form of butyric acid (tributyrin) using microencapsulation technology in their product BUTYCAPS.  The microencapsulation technology of BUTYCAPS allows a slower and gradual release along the intestine. 

BUTYCAPS contains 900 mg of Tributyrin equivalent to 787 mg of butyric acid in each sachet. Each box contains 30 sachets.  BUTYCAPS are non-chewable granules.


Figure 5.  BUTYCAPS product from ELiE Health Solutions

BUTYCAPS can be purchased directly from ELiE Health Solutions. 

Figure 6.  Formulation process of microencapsulated tributyrin. (Source:  ELiE Health Solutions)



Cover photo:  Enterocytes were butyrate is taken up in the intestine (Source)

Specific Chemical Compounds in Citrus Peels Demonstrates Potential Promise in Cancer Prevention

Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus trees and shrubs produce citrus fruits, which include the five different common varieties:

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Tangerine

Within each of these common varieties are a number of species. 

List of Citrus Fruits

Citrus peels are very rich in phenolic compounds, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, limonoids, as wells as carotenoids.  The main source of polyphenols are contained in the citrus peels.  1    A specific class of flavones exist almost ubiquitously in citrus plants named polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs).  These main polymethoxylated flavones in citrus include:

  • nobiletin
  • tangeretin
  • sinesetin
  • 3,5,6,7,8,3′,4′-heptamethoxyflavone
  • 3,5,6,7,3′,4′-hexamethoxyflavone

Six PMFs and three major 5-demethoxyflavones can be extracted from a variety of citrus peels.  2  Accumulative in vitro and in vivo studies indicate protective effects of polymethoxyflavones (PMFs) against the occurrence of cancer. PMFs inhibit carcinogenesis by the following mechanisms:  3

  • blocking the metastasis cascade
  • inhibition of cancer cell mobility in circulatory systems
  • inducing apoptosis
  • antiangiogenesis

Citrus peels also have an abundant source of polyhydroxyl flavonoids (PHFs) which include:

  • hesperidin
  • neohesperidin
  • naringin

Less studied but equally important are the limonoid glucosides, a class of furan-containing triterpenes.  Up to 53 limonoids have been identified and characterized, yet the most important limonoids that are subject to anticancer research include:

  • limonin
  • nomilin
  • nomilinic acid

The anti-cancer activity of citrus peel flavonoids has been studied on several animal models.  The various cancers that have been studied with citrus peel flavonoids include, among others:  4

  • colon cancer
  • lung cancer
  • liver cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • skin cancer

Citrus peels, in addition to cancer prevention and intervention, exhibit other biological functions with various disease states:  5

  • antiatherogenic
  • antimicrobial
  • antithrombotic
  • cardioprotective
  • delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease  6 
  • hypolipidemia  7 
  • inflammation inhibition  8 
  • neuroprotective  9
  • regulation of metabolic syndrome  10

The Tabs below lists the individual citrus fruit chemical compounds:

Individual Citrus Fruit Chemical Compounds

  • Lycopene
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Bergamottin
  • Bergapten
  • Bergaptol
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
Organic Acids:
  • Citric Acid
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid
  • Naringin
  • Naringenin
  • Quercetin
  • Rutin
  • Kaempferol
  • Hesperidin
  • Eriocitrin
  • Nobiletin
  • Tangeritin
  • Diosmin
  • Citral
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Cryptoxanthin
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
Organic Acids:
  • Citric Acid
  • P-Coumaric Acid
  • Sinapic Acid
  • Diosmin
  • Eriocitrin
  • Didymin
  • Hesperidin
  • Rutin
  • Limonene
  • Citronellal
  • Citral
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
  • Eriocitrin
  • Hesperidin
  • Citral
  • Synephrine
  • Hordenine
  • Octopamine
  • N-Methyltyramine
  • Tyramine
  • Alpha-Carotene
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Cryptoxanthin
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
Organic Acids:
  • Citric Acid
  • Anthocyanidins
  • Cyanidin
  • Dephinidin
  • Tangeretin
  • Hesperidin
  • Limonene
  • Citral
* These Alkaloids and Amines are found primarily in the peel of Oranges.
  • Synephrine
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
Organic Acids:
  • Citric Acid
  • Nobiletin
  • Tangeretin
  • Hesperidin
  • Limonene
  • Carvone

The Table below lists the 7 groups of chemical compounds found in each of the 5 varieties of citrus.

Chemical Compounds Found in Common Citrus Fruits

Chemical CompoundGrapefruitLemonLimeOrangeTangerine
Organic AcidsXXX

This Table specifically excludes the following chemicals found in citrus fruits: carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes.

The Table below lists the individual chemical compounds in each of the 5 varieties of citrus.

Individual Chemical Compounds in Common Citrus Fruits

Chemical CompoundsGrapefruitLemonLimeOrangeTangerineTotals
Nomilinic acidXXXXX5
Organic Acids:
Citric AcidXXXX4
Glycyrrhetinic AcidX1
P-Coumaric AcidX1
Sinapic AcidX1

The Tabs below lists the specific chemical compounds within each chemical group that show evidence of cancer prevention.

Specific Chemical Compounds in Citrus Fruit that May Show Promise for Cancer Prevention

  • Alpha-Carotene
  • Cryptoxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Limonin
  • Nomilin
  • Nomilinic acid
  • P-Coumaric Acid
  • Anthocyanidins
  • Cyanidin
  • Didymin
  • Diosmin
  • Hesperidin
  • Kaempferol
  • Naringenin
  • Naringin
  • Nobiletin
  • Quercetin
  • Rutin
  • Tangeritin
  • Limonene

The Tabs below lists the published Abstracts and links to various studies within the 5 carotenoids.

Anticancer Properties of Citrus Peel Carotenoids


Bladder cancer
We examined the associations between plasma micronutrients and bladder cancer risk, and evaluated the combined effects of carotenoid and cigarette smoke. Our results show protective effects of carotenoids on bladder cancer. They suggest that bladder cancer may be a preventable disease through nutritional intervention, especially in smokers.1
Breast cancer
An inverse association was observed among premenopausal women was for high levels of vitamin A (OR: 0.82, 95%CI: 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.01), β-carotene (OR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.009), α-carotene (OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.07), and lutein/zeaxanthin (OR: 0.83, 95% CI 0.68 – 0.99, p for trend = 0.02). An inverse association was not observed among postmenopausal women. Among premenopausal women who reported ever smoking, these results were stronger than among never smokers, although tests for interaction were not statistically significant. Results from this study are comparable to previous prospective studies and suggest that a high consumption of carotenoids may reduce the risk of pre but not post menopausal breast cancer, particularly among smokers.2
Cervical cancer
The mean serum levels of total carotenoids, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, and lycopene were lower among cases than they were among controls. These findings are suggestive of a protective role for total carotenoids, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in cervical carcinogenesis and possibly for cryptoxanthin and lycopene as well.3
Colon cancer
To investigate associations between plasma carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol and retinol with colorectal adenomas risk, we measured concentrations in 224 asymptomatic colorectal adenoma cases and 230 population-based controls matched for age and sex. Our findings suggest a protective effect of carotenoids against the development of colorectal adenomas.4
Laryngeal cancer
Significant inverse relations emerged between laryngeal cancer risk and intake of vitamin C (OR = 0.2, for the highest versus the lowest intake quintile; 95% CI: 0.2–0.4), β-carotene (OR = 0.2; 95% CI: 0.2–0.4), α-carotene (OR = 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2–0.5)5
Liver cancer
Potent preventive action of alpha-carotene against carcinogenesis: spontaneous liver carcinogenesis and promoting stage of lung and skin carcinogenesis in mice are suppressed more effectively by alpha-carotene than by beta-carotene6
Lung cancer
After adjusting for smoking and other covariates, no association was found with lung cancer risk for dietary lycopene or beta-cryptoxanthin intake, whereas dose-dependent inverse associations of comparable magnitude were found for dietary beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein.7
Analysis by flow cytometry indicated that when GOTO cells were exposed to alpha-carotene, they were arrested in the G0-G1 phase of their cell cycle. However, as the level of the N-myc messenger RNA was recovering, these cells resumed normal cycling. These results indicate that the reduction in the level of the N-myc messenger RNA caused by alpha-carotene is closely linked with G0-G1 arrest.8
Prostate cancer
The adjusted odds ratio for the highest quartiles compared with the lowest were 0.18 (95% CI: 0.08-0.41) for lycopene, 0.43 (95% CI: 0.21-0.85) for α-carotene, 0.34 (95% CI: 0.17-0.69) for β-carotene, 0.15 (95% CI: 0.06-0.34) for α-cryptoxanthin and 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.10) for lutein and zeaxanthin. The dose response relationships were also significant, suggesting that intake of lycopene and other carotenoid rich vegetables and fruits may associate with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.9
Skin cancer
Alpha-carotene was found to have a stronger effect than beta-carotene in suppressing the promoting activity of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate on skin carcinogenesis in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated mice.10


Breast cancer
Results of this study suggest that the carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein/zeaxanthin may protect against breast cancer.1
Cervical cancer
Cryptoxanthin was significantly associated with a lower risk of cervical cancer when examined as a continuous variable. Retinol, lutein, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, and selenium were not related to cervical cancer risk. Smoking was also strongly associated with cervical cancer. These findings are suggestive of a protective role for total carotenoids, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in cervical carcinogenesis and possibly for cryptoxanthin and lycopene as well.2
Lung cancer
β-Cryptoxanthin suppresses the growth of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells and non-small-cell lung cancer cells and up-regulates retinoic acid receptor β expression3
The associations observed in our study suggest that the influence of some antioxidants on survival following a diagnosis of malignant glioma are inconsistent and vary by histology group. Further research in a large sample of glioma patients is needed to confirm/refute our results.4
Prostate cancer
The prostate cancer risk declined with increasing consumption of lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Intake of tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach, watermelon and citrus fruits were also inversely associated with the prostate cancer risk. The adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus the lowest quartiles of intake were 0.18 (95% CI: 0.08-0.41) for lycopene, 0.43 (95% CI: 0.21-0.85) for alpha-carotene, 0.34 (95% CI: 0.17-0.69) for beta-carotene, 0.15 (95% CI: 0.06-0.34) for beta-cryptoxanthin and 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.10) for lutein and zeaxanthin. 5


Bladder cancer
Our results show protective effects of carotenoids on bladder cancer. They suggest that bladder cancer may be a preventable disease through nutritional intervention, especially in smokers.1
Breast cancer
An inverse association was observed among premenopausal women was for high levels of vitamin A (OR: 0.82, 95%CI: 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.01), β-carotene (OR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.009), α-carotene (OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.68–0.98, p for trend = 0.07), and lutein/zeaxanthin (OR: 0.83, 95% CI 0.68 – 0.99, p for trend = 0.02).2
Colon cancer
Lutein was inversely associated with colon cancer in both men and women [odds ratio (OR) for upper quintile of intake relative to lowest quintile of intake: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.66, 1.04; P = 0.04 for linear trend]. The greatest inverse association was observed among subjects in whom colon cancer was diagnosed when they were young (OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.92; P = 0.02 for linear trend) and among those with tumors located in the proximal segment of the colon (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.51, 0.91; P 3
Liver cancer
Lutein presented inhibitory actions during promotion but not initiation of hepatocarcinogenesis, being classified as a suppressing agent. This reinforces lutein as a potential agent for liver cancer chemoprevention.4
Lung cancer
Protective effects on lung cancer incidence were found for lutein + zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, folate, and vitamin C. Other carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene) and vitamin E did not show significant associations.5
(Non-Hodgkin’s) Lymphomas
Higher intakes of vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, and zinc are associated with a lower non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk.6
Ovarian cancer
Micronutrients, specifically ss-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, lutein, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and gamma-tocopherol, may play a role in reducing the risk of ovarian cancer.7
Prostate cancer
Results demonstrated that both lycopene, in an alpha -cyclodextrin water soluble carrier, and lutein inhibited malignant AT3 cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner. 8
Skin cancer
The results of the photocarcinogenesis experiment were increased tumor-free survival time, reduced tumor multiplicity and total tumor volume in lutein/zeaxanthin-treated mice in comparison with control irradiated animals fed the standard diet. These data demonstrate that dietary lutein/zeaxanthin supplementation protects the skin against UVB-induced photoaging and photocarcinogenesis.9


Breast cancer
The inhibition of cell growth by lycopene was accompanied by slow down of cell-cycle progression from G1 to S phase. Moreover, the carotenoids inhibited estrogen-induced transactivation of ERE that was mediated by both estrogen receptors (ERs) ERalpha and ERbeta. The possibility that this inhibition results from competition of carotenoid-activated transcription systems on a limited pool of shared coactivators with the ERE transcription system was tested.1
Cervical cancer
 Increasing concentrations of serum lycopene were negatively associated with CIN1, CIN3 and cancer, with odds ratios (OR) (95% CI) for the highest compared to the lowest tertile of 0.53 (0.27-1.00, p for trend = 0.05), 0.48 (0.22-1.04, p for trend = 0.05) and 0.18 (0.06-0.52, p for trend = 0.002), respectively, after adjusting for confounding variables and HPV status.2
Colon cancer
Lycopene treatment suppressed Akt activation and non-phosphorylated beta-catenin protein level in human colon cancer cells. Immunocytochemical results indicated that lycopene increased the phosphorylated form of beta-catenin proteins. These effects were also associated with reduced promoter activity and protein expression of cyclin D1. Furthermore, lycopene significantly increased nuclear cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(kip)abundance and inhibited phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein in human colon cancer cells.3
Endometrial cancer
In contrast to cancer cells, human fibroblasts were less sensitive to lycopene, and the cells gradually escaped growth inhibition over time. In addition to its inhibitory effect on basal endometrial cancer cell proliferation, lycopene also suppressed insulin-like growth factor-I-stimulated growth. Insulin-like growth factors are major autocrine/paracrine regulators of mammary and endometrial cancer cell growth. Therefore, lycopene interference in this major autocrine/paracrine system may open new avenues for research on the role of lycopene in the regulation of endometrial cancer and other tumors.4
Esophageal cancer
This review of previous epidemiological studies found that high blood lycopene levels are associated with a reduced risk of esophageal cancer.5
Addition of nutrition supplements such as lycopene may have potential therapeutic benefit in the adjuvant management of high-grade gliomas.6
Liver cancer
The invasion of SK-Hep1 cells treated with lycopene was significantly reduced to 28.3% and 61.9% of the control levels at 5 microM and 10 microM lycopene, respectively (P 7
The combination of low concentrations of lycopene with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 exhibited a synergistic effect on cell proliferation and differentiation and an additive effect on cell cycle progression. Such synergistic antiproliferative and differentiating effects of lycopene and other compounds found in the diet and in plasma may suggest the inclusion of the carotenoid in the diet as a cancer-preventive measure.8
Lung cancer
In conclusion, lycopene may mediate its protective effects against smoke-induced lung carcinogenesis in ferrets through up-regulating IGFBP-3 and down-regulating phosphorylation of BAD, which promote apoptosis and inhibit cell proliferation.9
Mouth cancer
The results of the present study further support the hypothesis that carotenoids in general, and lycopene in particular, may be effective anticarcinogenic agents in oral carcinogenesis.10
Ovarian cancer
Micronutrients, specifically ss-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, lutein, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and gamma-tocopherol, may play a role in reducing the risk of ovarian cancer.11
Pancreatic cancer
After adjustment for age, province, BMI, smoking, educational attainment, dietary folate, and total energy intake, lycopene, provided mainly by tomatoes, was associated with a 31% reduction in pancreatic cancer risk among men [odds ratio (OR) = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.46-0.96; P = 0.026 for trend] when comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of intake. Both beta-carotene (OR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.32-0.99; P = 0.016 for trend) and total carotenoids (OR = 0.58; 95% CI: 0.34-1.00; P = 0.02 for trend) were associated with a significantly reduced risk among those who never smoked. The results of this study suggest that a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato-based products with high lycopene content may help reduce pancreatic cancer risk.12
Prostate cancer
We report the inhibitory effect(s) of lycopene in primary prostate epithelial cell (PEC) cultures, and the results of a pilot phase II clinical study investigating whole-tomato lycopene supplementation on the behavior of established CaP, demonstrating a significant and maintained effect on prostate-specific antigen velocity over 1 year.13


Breast cancer
Carotenoids could inhibit the proliferation of human beast cancer MCF-7 cell line in vitro and the action of carotenoids may be worked through different pathways.1
Lung cancer
Inverse associations with carotenes, lutein + zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin seemed to be limited to small cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Only folate and vitamin C intake appeared to be inversely related to small cell and squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. Folate, vitamin C, and beta-cryptoxanthin might be better protective agents against lung cancer in smokers than alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin, and lycopene.2
Zeaxanthin strongly induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells. Consistent with this finding, zeaxanthin did not inhibit LOX activity. Zeaxanthin is a remarkable dietary factor that is able to induce apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells while being able to prevent apoptosis in healthy cells.3

The Tabs below lists the published Abstracts and links to various studies within the 3 limonoids.

Anticancer Properties of Citrus Peel Limonoids


Colon Cancer
The current study was an attempt to elucidate the mechanism of human colon cancer cell proliferation inhibition by limonin and limonin glucoside (LG) isolated from seeds of Citrus reticulata. Results of the current study provide compelling evidence on the induction of mitochondria mediated intrinsic apoptosis by both limonin and LG in cultured SW480 cells for the first time.1


Inhibits tumor-specific angiogenesis
These data clearly demonstrate the antiangiogenic potential of nomilin by downregulating the activation of MMPs, production of VEGF, NO and proinflammatory cytokines as well as upregulating IL-2 and TIMP.1
Inhibits chemical-induced carcinogenesis
Limonin and nomilin, two of the most abundant limonoids, have been found to inhibit chemical-induced carcinogenesis. Both compounds are inducers of glutathione S-transferase, a major detoxifying enzyme system. The increased enzyme activity was correlated with the ability of these compounds to inhibit carcinogenesis.2
Nomilin is a triterpenoid present in common edible citrus fruits with putative anticancer properties. In this study, the authors investigated the antimetastatic potential of nomilin and its possible mechanism of action. Metastasis was induced in C57BL/6 mice through the lateral tail vein using highly metastatic B16F-10 melanoma cells. Administration of nomilin inhibited tumor nodule formation in the lungs (68%) and markedly increased the survival rate of the metastatic tumor-bearing animals. 3

Nomilinic acid

Induces apoptosis
No significant effects were observed on growth of the other cancer cell lines treated with the four individual limonoids at 100 micrograms/ml. At 100 micrograms/ml, the limonoid glucoside mixture demonstrated a partial inhibitory effect on SKOV-3 cancer cells. With use of flow cytometry, it was found that all the limonoid samples could induce apoptosis in MCF-7 cells at relatively high concentrations (100 micrograms/ml). 1
Breast cancer
Although most of the limonoids showed anti-aromatase activity, the inhibition of proliferation was not related to the anti-aromatase activity. On the other hand, the anti-proliferative activity was significantly correlated with caspase-7 activation by limonoids. Our findings indicated that the citrus limonoids may have potential for the prevention of estrogen-responsive breast cancer (MCF-7) via caspase-7 dependent pathways.2
We conclude that citrus limonoid glucosides are toxic to SH-SY5Y cancer cells. Cytotoxicity is exerted through apoptosis by an as yet unknown mechanism of induction. Individual limonoid glucosides differ in efficacy as anticancer agents, and this difference may reside in structural variations in the A ring of the limonoid molecule.3

The Table below lists the published Abstract and links to the studies on P-Coumaric acid.

P-Coumaric Acid

Colon cancer
We demonstrate that two hydroxycinnamic acids, (E )-ferulic acid and (E )-p-coumaric acid, have the ability to protect against oxidative stress and genotoxicity in cultured mammalian cells. They also show the ability to reduce the activity of the xenobiotic metabolising enzyme, cytochrome P450 1A, and downregulate the expression of the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme. At equitoxic doses, their activities are equal to or superior to that of the known anticarcinogen, curcumin. The hydroxycinnamic acids are both important components of plant cell walls in certain plant foods. It is known that the action of microbial hydroxycinnamoyl esterases can lead to the release of hydroxycinnamic acids from ester-linkages to cell wall polysaccharides into the human colon. 1
Results depicted that p-Coumaric acid inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by inducing apoptosis through ROS-mitochondrial pathway.2

The Table below lists the published Abstracts and links to the various studies on Limonene.


Breast Cancer
The blocking chemopreventive effects of limonene and other monoterpenes during the initiation phase of mammary carcinogenesis are due to the induction of Phase II carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes, resulting in carcinogen detoxification. The post-initiation phase chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities of monoterpenes may be due to the induction of tumor cell apoptosis, tumor redifferentiation, and/or inhibition of the post-translational isoprenylation of cell growth-regulating proteins.1
Colon Cancer
Diet-cancer and diet-cardiovascular disease interrelationships may be explained by the mevalonate-suppressive action of isoprenoid end products of plant secondary metabolism. Assorted monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, carotenoids and tocotrienols posttranscriptionally down regulate 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity, a key activity in the sterologenic pathway. 2
The results showed that D-limonene (D-L) inhibited HL-60 and K562 cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner with the IC50 of 0.75 mmol/L similarly, D-L induced apoptosis of HL-60 and K562 cells, and expression of bcl-2 gene was down regulated by D-L in a concentration-dependent manner in HL-60 cells.3
Liver Cancer
Monoterpenes are nonnutritive dietary components found in the essential oils of citrus fruits and other plants. A number of these dietary monoterpenes have antitumor activity. For example, d-limonene, which comprises >90% of orange peel oil, has chemopreventive activity against rodent mammary, skin, liver, lung and forestomach cancers. 4
Lung Cancer
D-limonene given p.o. 1 h prior to NNK administered i.p. again showed pronounced inhibition of pulmonary adenoma formation. This study provides additional data demonstrating that non-nutrient constituents of the diet can inhibit carcinogen-induced neoplasia when administered at a short time interval prior to carcinogen challenge.5
Results showed that limonene exhibited antiproliferative action on tumoral lymphocytes exerting a decrease in cell viability that was related to apoptosis induction and to the increase in NO levels at long incubation times. At short times and depending on its concentration, limonene arrested cells in different phases of the cell cycle, related to NO production.6
Skin Cancer
Monoterpenes are nonnutritive dietary components found in the essential oils of citrus fruits and other plants. A number of these dietary monoterpenes have antitumor activity. For example, d-limonene, which comprises >90% of orange peel oil, has chemopreventive activity against rodent mammary, skin, liver, lung and forestomach cancers.7
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is the first study to explore the relationship between citrus peel consumption and human cancers. Our results show that peel consumption, the major source of dietary d-limonene, is not uncommon and may have a potential protective effect in relation to skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). 8
Stomach Cancer
D-limonene has antiangiogenic and proapoptotic effects on gastric cancer, thereby inhibits tumor growth and metastasis. Combination of d-limonene with cytotoxic agents may be more effective.9

The Table below lists the published Abstract and link to the studies on Limonin.


Colon Cancer
The current study was an attempt to elucidate the mechanism of human colon cancer cell proliferation inhibition by limonin and limonin glucoside (LG) isolated from seeds of Citrus reticulata. Results of the current study provide compelling evidence on the induction of mitochondria mediated intrinsic apoptosis by both limonin and LG in cultured SW480 cells for the first time.1

The Tabs below lists the published Abstracts and links to various studies within the 6 polyphenols of citrus peels.  (Part 1 of 2)

Anticancer Properties of Citrus Peel Polyphenols (Part 1 of 2)


Breast cancer
At 200 μg/mL, cyanidin, delphinidin and petunidin inhibited the breast cancer cell growth by 47, 66 and 53%, respectively. This is the first report of tumor cell proliferation inhibitory activity by anthocyanidins.1
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Higher intakes of flavonols, epicatechins, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins were each significantly associated with decreased NHL risk. Similar patterns of risk were observed for the major NHL subtypes--diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 167) and follicular lymphoma (n = 146). A higher intake of flavonoids, dietary components with several putative anticarcinogenic activities, may be associated with lower NHL risk.2


Colon cancer
Anthocyanins and cyanidin also reduced cell growth of human colon cancer cell lines HT 29 and HCT 116. The IC(50) of anthocyanins and cyanidin was 780 and 63 microM for HT 29 cells, respectively and 285 and 85 microM for HCT 116 cells, respectively. These results suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins and cyanidin may reduce the risk of colon cancer.1
These results indicate that cyanidin-3-rutinoside has the potential to be used in leukemia therapy with the advantages of being widely available and selective against tumors.2


Lung cancer
Importantly, a novel chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, and is supported by animal studies which have shown didymin delay the tumor growth in nude mice. Our study reports here for the first time that the activity of the Fas/Fas ligand apoptotic system may participate in the antiproliferative activity of didymin in A549 and H460 cells.1


Bladder cancer
The chemopreventive effects of 2 flavonoids (diosmin and hesperidin) on N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine (OH-BBN)-induced urinary-bladder carcinogenesis were examined in male ICR mice.  Feeding of the test compounds, singly or in combination, during both phases caused a significant reduction in the frequency of bladder carcinoma and preneoplasia. Dietary administration of these compounds significantly decreased the AgNOR count and the BUdR-labeling index of various bladder lesions. These findings suggest that the flavonoids diosmin and hesperidin, individually and in combination, are effective in inhibiting chemical carcinogenesis of the bladder, and that such inhibition might be partly related to suppression of cell proliferation.1
Colon cancer
These results indicate that diosmin and hesperidin, both alone and in combination, act as a chemopreventive agent against colon carcinogenesis, and such effects may be partly due to suppression of cell proliferation in the colonic crypts, although precise mechanisms should be clarified.2
Esophageal cancer
These findings suggest that diosmin and hesperidin supplementation, individually or in combination, is effective in inhibiting the development of oesophageal cancer induced by MNAN when given during the initiation phase, and such inhibition might be related to suppression of increased cell proliferation caused by MNAN in the oesophageal mucosa.3
Mouth cancer
Diosmin, the 7-rutinoside of diosmetin, surprisingly, was more potent and effective than diosmetin. In contrast, quercitrin, the 3-rhamnoside of quercetin, showed no effect and only minimal cellular uptake and no hydrolysis. In summary, dietary flavonoid glycosides may exert cellular effects in the oral cavity, but this varies greatly with the nature of the glycoside.4


Bladder cancer
Dietary administration of these compounds significantly decreased the AgNOR count and the BUdR-labeling index of various bladder lesions. These findings suggest that the flavonoids diosmin and hesperidin, individually and in combination, are effective in inhibiting chemical carcinogenesis of the bladder, and that such inhibition might be partly related to suppression of cell proliferation.1
Breast cancer
Two citrus flavonoids, hesperetin and naringenin, are found in orange and grapefruit, respectively. An experimental study has shown that citrus flavonoids are effective inhibitors of human breast cancer cell proliferation in vitro, especially when paired with quercetin, widely distributed in other foods2
Cervical cancer
This study shows that hesperetin exhibits a potential anticancer activity against human cervical cancer cell lines in vitro through the reduction in cell viability and the induction of apoptosis. Altogether, these data sustain our contention that hesperetin has anticancer properties and merits further investigation as a potential therapeutic agent.3
Colon cancer
Inhibition of Colonic Aberrant Crypt Formation by the Dietary Flavonoids (+)-Catechin and Hesperidin4
Esophageal cancer
These findings suggest that diosmin and hesperidin supplementation, individually or in combination, is effective in inhibiting the development of oesophageal cancer induced by MNAN when given during the initiation phase, and such inhibition might be related to suppression of increased cell proliferation caused by MNAN in the oesophageal mucosa.5
The apoptotic activity of CME was significantly attenuated by Akt augmentation. In conclusion, this study suggested that Citrus aurantium L. (CMEs) should induce caspase-dependent apoptosis at least in part through Akt inhibition, providing evidence that CMEs have anticancer activity on human leukemia cells.6
Lung cancer
Hesperidin (25 mg/kg body weight) supplementation effectively counteracted all the above changes and restored cellular normalcy, indicating its protective role during B(a)P-induced lung cancer.7
Mouth cancer
These findings suggest that supplementation with the flavonoids diosmin and hesperidin, individually and in combination, is effective in inhibiting the development of oral neoplasms induced by 4-NQO, and such inhibition might be related to suppression of increased cell proliferation caused by 4-NQO in the oral mucosa.8
Prostate cancer
t is concluded that hesperidin can inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells through mechanisms other than antimitosis and it is suggested that hesperidin be further investigated for the possible interaction with androgenic receptors and involvement in signaling pathway after receptor binding in prostate cancer cells through future research.9


Breast cancer
This paper also presents in vivo data of primary breast cancer prevention by individual compounds and whole berries. Finally, a possible role for berries and berry compounds in the prevention of breast cancer and a perspective on the areas that require further research are presented. 1
Glioblastoma Multiforme
Importantly, kaempferol potentiated the toxic effect of chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin by amplifying ROS toxicity and decreasing the efflux of doxorubicin. Because the toxic effect of both kaempferol and doxorubicin was amplified when used in combination, this study raises the possibility of combinatorial therapy whose basis constitutes enhancing redox perturbation as a strategy to kill glioma cells.2
Some simple and polyphenols found in honey, namely, caffeic acid (CA), caffeic acid phenyl esters (CAPE), Chrysin (CR), Galangin (GA), Quercetin (QU), Kaempferol (KP), Acacetin (AC), Pinocembrin (PC), Pinobanksin (PB), and Apigenin (AP), have evolved as promising pharmacological agents in treatment of cancer. In this review, we reviewed the antiproliferative and molecular mechanisms of honey and above-mentioned polyphenols in various cancer cell lines.3
Lung cancer
Certain flavonoid compounds, including epicatechin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol, were associated inversely with lung cancer among tobacco smokers, but not among nonsmokers. Further studies of these associations may be warranted.4
Ovarian cancer
Recent studies further indicate that apigenin, genistein, kaempferol, luteolin, and quercetin potently inhibit VEGF production and suppress ovarian cancer cell metastasis in vitro. Lastly, oridonin and wogonin were suggested to suppress ovarian CSCs as is reflected by down-regulation of the surface marker EpCAM. Unlike NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs), well documented clinical data for phyto-active compounds are lacking. In order to evaluate objectively the potential benefit of these compounds in the treatment of ovarian cancer, strategically designed, large scale studies are warranted.5
Pancreatic cancer
Total flavonols, quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin were all associated with a significant inverse trend among current smokers (relative risks for the highest vs. lowest quartile = 0.41, 0.55, 0.27, 0.55, respectively) but not never or former smokers. This study provides evidence for a preventive effect of flavonols on pancreatic cancer, particularly for current smokers.6
Stomach cancer
A case controlled study found that “consumption of kaempferol-containing foods was associated with a reduced gastric cancer risk”7

The Tabs below lists the published Abstracts and links to various studies within the 6 polyphenols of citrus peels.  (Part 2 of 2)

Anticancer Properties of Citrus Peel Polyphenols (Part 2 of 2)


Breast cancer
Collectively, our findings suggest that naringenin inhibits the proliferation of MCF-7 cells via impaired glucose uptake. Because a physiologically attainable dose of 10 µM naringenin reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by nearly 25% and also reduced cell proliferation, naringenin may possess therapeutic potential as an anti-proliferative agent.1
Colon cancer
The ability of dietary apigenin and naringenin to reduce HMACF, lower proliferation (naringenin only) and increase apoptosis may contribute toward colon cancer prevention. However, these effects were not due to mitigation of iNOS and COX-2 protein levels at the ACF stage of colon cancer.2
everal polyphenolic compounds were tested for the inhibition of lung metastasis induced by B16F10 melanoma cells in mice. Oral administration of polyphenols such as curcumin and catechin at concentrations of 200 nmol/kg body weight were found to inhibit the lung metastasis maximally as seen by the reduction in the number of lung tumor nodules (80%). Other polyphenols which inhibited the lung tumor nodule formation were rutin (71.2%), epicatechin (61%), naringin (27.2%) and naringenin (26.1%). 3
Prostate cancer
As part of a systematic study of the effects of phytochemicals beyond antioxidation on cancer prevention, we investigated whether naringenin (NR), a citrus flavonoid, stimulates DNA repair following oxidative damage in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. In conclusion, the cancer-preventive effects of citrus fruits demonstrated in epidemiological studies may be due in part to stimulation of DNA repair by NR, which by stimulating BER processes may prevent mutagenic changes in prostate cancer cells.4


Breast cancer
Two citrus flavonoids, hesperetin and naringenin, found in oranges and grapefruit, respectively, and four noncitrus flavonoids, baicalein, galangin, genistein, and quercetin, were tested singly and in one-to-one combinations for their effects on proliferation and growth of a human breast carcinoma cell line, MDA-MB-435 These experiments provide evidence of anticancer properties of orange juice and indicate that citrus flavonoids are effective inhibitors of human breast cancer cell proliferation in vitro, especially when paired with quercetin, which is widely distributed in other foods.  1
Lung cancer
To investigate the possible relationship between intake of flavonoids-powerful dietary antioxidants that may also inhibit P450 enzymes-and lung cancer risk, we conducted a population-based, case-control study in Hawaii. If replicated, particularly in prospective studies, these findings would suggest that foods rich in certain flavonoids may protect against certain forms of lung cancer and that decreased bioactivation of carcinogens by inhibition of CYP1A1 should be explored as underlying mechanisms.2
Oral administration of polyphenols such as curcumin and catechin at concentrations of 200 nmol/kg body weight were found to inhibit the lung metastasis maximally as seen by the reduction in the number of lung tumor nodules (80%). Other polyphenols which inhibited the lung tumor nodule formation were rutin (71.2%), epicatechin (61%), naringin (27.2%) and naringenin (26.1%). 3
Mouth cancer
The results with naringin and naringenin show that both of these flavonoids significantly lowered tumor number [5.00 (control group), 2.53 (naringin group), and 3.25 (naringenin group)]. Naringin also significantly reduced tumor burden [269 mm(3)(control group) and 77.1 mm(3)(naringin group)]. The data suggest that naringin and naringenin, 2 flavonoids found in high concentrations in grapefruit, may be able to inhibit the development of cancer.4


Colon cancer
Nobiletin (NOB), a citrus flavonoid, was given in the diet (100 p.p.m) for 17 weeks. Thereafter, the incidence and number of colon tumors and serum concentration of adipocytokines were determined at the end of week 20. The serum leptin level in AOM/DSS-treated mice was six times higher than that in untreated mice, whereas there were no significant differences in the levels of triglycerides, adiponectin and interleukin-6. 1
In vitro effects of medicinal plant extracts from the pericarpium of Citrus reticulata (cv Jiao Gan) (PCRJ) on the growth and differentiation of a recently characterized murine myeloid leukemic cell clone WEHI 3B (JCS) were investigated. The survival rate of mice receiving PCRJ treated JCS tumour cells was also increased. Using 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and GC/MS, two active components isolated from PCRJ were identified as nobiletin and tangeretin.2
Liver cancer
Dietary phytochemicals can inhibit the development of certain types of tumors. We here investigated the effects of nobiletin (Nob), garcinol (Gar), auraptene (Aur), beta-cryptoxanthin- and hesperidine-rich pulp (CHRP) and 1,1'-acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) on hepatocarcinogenesis in a rat medium-term liver bioassay, and also examined their influence on cell proliferation, cell cycle kinetics, apoptosis and cell invasion of rat and human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, MH1C1 and HepG2, respectively.3
Lung cancer
Furthermore, Nobiletin had overt inhibitory effect on the tumor growth in nude mice model was observed in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest that Nobiletin could induce p53-mediated cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via modulated the Bax:Bcl-2 protein ratio, is effective as a potent antitumor agent on lung tumors.4
Prostate cancer
A further experiment demonstrated that growth of androgen sensitive LNCaP and androgen insensitive DU145 and PC3 human prostate cancer cells, was suppressed by both nobiletin and to a lesser extent auraptene in a dose-dependent manner, with significant increase in apoptosis. In conclusion, these compounds, particularly nobiletin, may be valuable for prostate cancer prevention.5
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Tangeretin and nobiletin markedly inhibited the proliferation of a squamous cell carcinoma (HTB 43) and a gliosarcoma (9L) cell line at 2-8 micrograms/ml concentrations. 6
Stomach cancer
Although the effective dose and administration route of nobiletin require further investigation, our study represents a potential successful linking of this compound with the treatment of gastric cancer.7


Breast cancer
There has been considerable evidence recently demonstrating the anti-tumour effects of flavonols. Quercetin, an ubiquitous bioactive flavonol, inhibits cells proliferation, induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in different cancer cell types. Taken together, these findings suggest that quercetin results in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cell death through mitochondrial- and caspase-3-dependent pathways.1
Cervical cancer
Quercetin showed a marked inhibitive effect on U14 growth, and its antitumor mechanism may be associated with inhibiting the angiogenesis and inducing apoptosis.2
Colon cancer
In conclusion, quercetin, but not rutin, at a high dose reduced colorectal carcinogenesis in AOM-treated rats, which was not reflected by changes in ACF-parameters. The lack of protection by rutin is probably due to its low bioavailability.3
Endometrial cancer
This study suggests a reduction in endometrial cancer risk with quercetin intake and with isoflavone intake in lean women.4
Esophageal cancer
The results of MTT assay showed that flavones (luteolin, apigenin, chrysin) and flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin) were all able to induce cytotoxicity in OE33 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and the cytotoxic potency of these compounds was in the order of quercetin > luteolin > chrysin > kaempferol > apigenin > myricetin. 5
Quercetin exposure resulted in proteasomal degradation of survivin. TRAIL-quercetin–induced apoptosis was markedly reduced by overexpression of survivin. In addition, upon treatment with quercetin, downregulation of survivin was also regulated by the Akt pathway. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that quercetin sensitizes glioma cells to death-receptor–mediated apoptosis by suppression of inhibitor of the apoptosis protein survivin.6
Kidney cancer
These results suggest that the flavonoid quercetin may prevent renal cell cancer among male smokers. The possible risk associated with fish intake warrants further investigation before conclusions may be drawn.7
Laryngeal cancer
Quercetin could effectively inhibit the proliferation of Hep-2 cells and its mechanism is probably related to the apoptosis.8
It is concluded that the quercetin and kaempferol have significant anti-leukemia effect in vitro. Furthermore the apoptosis-inducing effect of quercetin is stronger than that of kaempferol, both of which induce apoptosis of HL-60 cells through depressing cell growth, arresting cell cycle and inhibiting expression of survivin.9
Liver cancer
Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid, has been shown to possess anticarcinogenic properties, but the precise molecular mechanisms of action are not thoroughly elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the regulatory effect of quercetin (50 microM) on two main transcription factors (NF-kappa B and AP-1) related to survival/proliferation pathways in a human hepatoma cell line (HepG2) over time. Quercetin induced a significant time-dependent inactivation of the NF-kappa B pathway consistent with a downregulation of the NF-kappa B binding activity (from 15 min onward).10
Lung cancer
Lung cancer was associated inversely with the consumption of epicatechin (in 10 mg per day increment: OR, 0.64; 95% CL, 0.46-0.88), catechin (4 mg per day increment: OR, 0.49; 95% CL, 0.35-0.70), quercetin (9 mg per day increment: OR, 0.65; 95% CL, 0.44-0.95), and kaempferol (2 mg per day increment: OR, 0.68; 95% CL, 0.51-0.90) among tobacco smokers.11
In this paper, the DNA protective free radical scavenging potential of quercetin (QU) and luteolin (LU) against H2O2 and their clastogenic effect alone and in combination with melphalan (MH) were investigated in human melanoma HMB-2 cells. Results are correlated to their structural arrangement and organization of the hydroxyl groups.12
Mouth cancer
In conclusion, our data support a view that quercetin initially induces a stress response, resulting in necrosis of these oral epithelial cells. Prolonged exposure of the surviving cells to quercetin causes apoptosis, presumably mediated by inhibition of TS protein.13
Ovarian cancer
It has been demonstrated that the flavonoid quercetin (3,3',4',5-7-pentahydroxyflavone) (Q) inhibits the growth of several cancer cell lines and that the antiproliferative activity of this substance is mediated by a so-called type II estrogen binding site (type II EBS). Since both rutin and hesperidin do not bind to type II EBS it can be hypothesized that Q synergizes with CDDP by acting through an interaction with these binding sites.14
Pancreatic cancer
Our studies aimed at evaluation of antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of quercetin alone and in combinations with daunorubicin on cells of human pancreatic carcinoma lines. Our data demonstrated that quercetin exerted cytotoxic action on cells of the both neoplastic cell lines in concentration-dependent manner. In the case of EPP85-181RDB cell line, quercetin seemed to sensitize resistant cells to daunorubicin.15
Prostate cancer
Taken together, as shown by the issues of the current study, the manifold inhibitory effects of quercetin on PC-3 cells may introduce quercetin as an efficacious anticancer agent in order to be used in the future nutritional transcriptomic investigations and multi-target therapy to overcome the therapeutic impediments against prostate cancer.16
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
We examined the effects of flavone and two polyhydroxylated plant flavonoids (quercetin and fisetin), either singly or in combination with ascorbic acid, on the growth of a human squamous cell carcinoma cell line (HTB 43) in vitro. Fisetin and quercetin significantly impaired cell growth in the presence of ascorbic acid. 17
Stomach cancer
Cells were divided into the control group and the quercetin (Que)-treated group. Que significantly decreased the expression of VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 at 40 mumol/L compared with the control group after 48 h (P18


Colon cancer
The dietary effect of monoglucosyl-rutin (M-R), a flavonoid, on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis was investigated in two experiments with 5 week old, F344 male rats. At the termination of the experiment (40 weeks after the start), groups 2-5 had significantly smaller numbers of positive cells with anti-proliferating cell nuclea antigen (PCNA) antibody than group 1. Furthermore, group 5 treated with 500ppm M-R for 36 weeks demonstrated tendencies for decrease in the incidence and multiplicity of colon tumors. These data suggest that M-R has the potential to inhibit AOM-induced colon carcinogenesis.1
During the post-initiation phase aspirin, calcium glucarate, ketoprofen, piroxicam, 9-cis-retinoic acid, retinol and rutin inhibited the outgrowth of ACF into multiple crypt clusters. Based on these data, certain phytochemicals, antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and retinoids show unique preclinical promise for chemoprevention of colon cancer, with the latter two drug classes particularly effective in the post-initiation phase of carcinogenesis.2
Consequent to the inhibition of the lung tumor nodules, the life span of animals treated with polyphenols was also found to be increased. Curcumin (143.85%), catechin (80.81%) and rutin (63.59%) had maximal increase in life span. The results indicate a possible use of these compounds in arresting the metastatic growth of tumor cells.3


Breast cancer
Tangeretin is a methoxyflavone from citrus fruits, which inhibits growth of human mammary cancer cells and cytolysis by natural killer cells. Attempting to unravel the flavonoid's action mechanism, the authors found that it inhibited extracellular-signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation in a dose- and time-dependent way. In human T47D mammary cancer cells this inhibition was optimally observed after priming with estradiol. 1
Colon cancer
Tangeretin and nobiletin are citrus flavonoids that are among the most effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The antiproliferative activity of tangeretin and nobiletin was investigated in human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-435 and MCF-7 and human colon cancer line HT-29. Thus, tangeretin and nobiletin could be effective cytostatic anticancer agents. Inhibition of proliferation of human cancers without inducing cell death may be advantageous in treating tumors as it would restrict proliferation in a manner less likely to induce cytotoxicity and death in normal, non-tumor tissues.2
Tangeretin showed no cytotoxicity against either HL-60 cells or mitogen-activated PBMCs even at high concentration (27 microM) as determined by a dye exclusion test. Moreover, the flavonoid was less effective on growth of human T-lymphocytic leukaemia MOLT-4 cells or on blastogenesis of PBMCs. These results suggest that tangeretin inhibits growth of HL-60 cells in vitro, partially through induction of apoptosis, without causing serious side-effects on immune cells.3
Tangeretin was the most effective of the flavonoids in inhibiting B16F10 and SK-MEL-1 cell growth, showing a clear dose-response curve after 72 h. These results suggest that the absence of the C2-C3 double bond on hydroxylated flavonoids results in a loss of effect on both the cell lines, while the higher activity of tangeretin compared with 7,3'-dimethylhesperetin suggests that the presence of at least three adjacent methoxyl groups confers a more potent antiproliferative effect.4
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
 We investigated the antiproliferative effect of two polyhydroxylated (quercetin and taxifolin) and two polymethoxylated (nobiletin and tangeretin) flavonoids against three cell lines in tissue culture. Tangeretin and nobiletin markedly inhibited the proliferation of a squamous cell carcinoma (HTB 43) and a gliosarcoma (9L) cell line at 2-8 micrograms/ml concentrations. 2

A number of different varieties of citrus has been used in the numerous studies of citrus peel extracts.  A list of the most commonly used varieties are as follows:

  • Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata)
  • Satsuma Mandarin (Citrus unshiu)

The Chinese have been using Chenpi or chen pi (Chinese: 陈皮, pinyin: chénpí) as a traditional seasoning in Chinese cooking and traditional medicine.  Chen pi is a sun dried tangerine (mandarin).  Some Chen pi is made from the mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata ‘Blanco’) and bitter orange (C. aurantium).  11

Chen pi contains a high content of 5-demethylated polymethoxyflavones (5-OH PMFs).  12  Oral administration of 0.25 and 0.5% chenpi extract in food over 15 weeks markedly prevented HFD-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and diabetic symptoms.  13

The varieties of citrus that are good candidates for citrus peel powder are the following:

  • Bitter Orange  (Citrus aurantium)
  • Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck)
  • Mandarin (Chinese) Tangerine  (Citrus reticulata)
  • Satsuma Mandarin  (Citru unshiu)
  • Chinese Honey Orange (Ponkan)  (Citrus poonensis)
  • Yuzu (Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulata)
  • Grapefruit  (Citrus paradisi)
  • Meyer Lemon (Citrus × meyeri)

When consuming citrus peel from any of the above varieties, it is important to choose the organic variety only.  Citrus fruits can be heavily sprayed with pesticides which tend to concentrate on the outer peel.  The fruit should be washed prior to using the peel, whether raw (zest) or dried and ground into citrus peel powder. 

Raw citrus peel (zest) can be used in salads, yogurt, tea, added to smoothies, stews, vegetable dishes as well as added to fish as a garnish.  The dried and grounded citrus peel powder can be added to smoothies and soups.

Images of various citrus fruits used for citrus peel and citrus peel powder:

  • Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium)

How to Make Pure Orange Peel Powder at Home

Cover Photo from Nan Products

Puerarin from Kudzu is Chemoprotective Against Colon Cancer

Kudzu, also called Japanese arrowroot, is a group of plants in the genus Pueraria, in the pea family Fabaceae.  It is native to Asia and the Pacific Islands.  The name is derived from the Japanese name for the plants, kuzu (クズ or 葛?).  It tends to be a very invasive plant and grows as a vine.

Image result for Kudzu root

Figure 1.  Kudzu root  (Source)

Figure 2.  Flowers of Pueraria montana var. lobata  (Source)

The Chinese derived the traditional medicine called Gegen (Ge Gen) from Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, a specieis of Pueraria.

Image result for puerarin

Figure 3.  Puerarin molecule  (Source)

One of the major bioactive ingredients of Kudzu is puerarin and is its is most abundant secondary metabolite.  Since its isolation in the 1950’s, puerarin has been extensively investigated for its pharmacological properties.  It has been widely used in the treatment of:

  • cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases
  • diabetes and diabetic complications
  • osteonecrosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • endometriosis
  • cancer

The beneficial effects of puerarin on the various medicinal purposes may be due to its wide spectrum of pharmacological properties such as:

  • vasodilation
  • cardioprotection
  • neuroprotection
  • antioxidant
  • anticancer
  • antiinflammation
  • alleviating pain
  • promoting bone formation
  • inhibiting alcohol intake
  • attenuating insulin resistance

A number of studies have showed that puerarin from Kudzu possesses anti-cancer properties.

From a study published in 2006, treatments with puerarin revealed a dose-dependent reduction of colon cancer HT-29 cellular growth through the activation of caspase-3, a key executioner of apoptosis.   1 

The findings from this 2006 study indicate that puerarin may act as a chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent in colon cancer cells by reducing cell viability and inducing apoptosis.

Intensify Sulforaphane Formation in Cooked Cruciferous Vegetables By Using Mustard Seed Powder


Glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants that occur as secondary metabolites of most of the Brassicales family, or the cruciferous vegetables.   When these vegetables are chewed, a pungent taste arises due to the breakdown products of glucosinolates.

There are a number of vegetables, sprouts and seeds that contain glucosinolates.  Table I below is a comprehensive list:

Table 1:  Vegetables, sprouts and seeds containing Glucosinolates








Chinese cabbage












Brussel sprouts


Broccoli sprouts






Bok choy




Daikon radish






Maca root


Mustard greens






Mustard seeds



Each vegetable, sprout and seed usually contains more than one glucosinolate.  However, certain vegetables, sprouts and seeds may contain a predominant amount of one glucosinolate.  An example is the following:

  • Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain large amounts of glucoraphanin
  • Mustard seeds and Brussel sprouts contain a large amount of Sinigrin
  • Garden cress and cabbage contain a large amount of glucotropaeolin
  • Watercress contains a large amount of gluconasturtiin

The total number of documented glucosinolates from nature can be estimated to around 132, as of 2011.  1  For purposes of this article, we will focus on the 4 most important glucosinolates and the ones that have been the subject of the majority of medical research.  These 4 glucosinolates include:

  • Gluconasturtiin
  • Glucoraphanin
  • Glucotropaeolin
  • Sinigrin

Gluconasturtiin, also known as phenethylglucosinolate, is a widely distributed glucosinolate in cruciferous vegetables.  The name is derived from it occurrence in watercress which has the botanical name Nasturtium officinale.

Glucoraphanin is a glucosinolate distributed in broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.  It is also found in large amounts in young sprouts of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli sprouts.

Glucotropaeolin is a phytochemical from Tropaeolum majus, which is commonly known as garden nasturtium, Indian cress or monks cress.  It is also found in cabbage.

Sinigrin is widely distributed in the plants of the Brassicaceae such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, horseradish and black mustard seeds.

Table 2 below lists the various foods and the corresponding glucosinolate content.

Table 2. Glucosinolate Content of Selected Cruciferous
Brussels sprouts ½ cup (44 g)  
Garden cress ½ cup (25 g)  
Mustard greens ½ cup, chopped (28 g)  
Turnip ½ cup, cubes (65 g)  
Cabbage, savoy ½ cup, chopped (45 g)  
Kale 1 cup, chopped (67 g)  
Watercress 1 cup, chopped (34 g)  
Kohlrabi ½ cup, chopped (67 g)  
Cabbage, red ½ cup, chopped (45 g)  
Broccoli ½ cup, chopped (44 g)  
Horseradish 1 tablespoon (15 g)  
Cauliflower ½ cup, chopped (50 g)  
Bok choy (pak choi) ½ cup, chopped (35 g)  

Source:  Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center –  Isothiocyanates


Each of the vegetables, sprouts and seeds contain the enzyme myrosinase, which is activated when the vegetable, sprout or seeds is damaged (chopped or chewed) in the presence of water.  The glucosinolate converts to an isothiocyanate (or thiocyanate) through the enzymatic activity of myrosinase.  These isothiocyanates are the defensive substances of the plant.

Thus glucosinolates are the precursors to isothiocyanates through the breakdown of the enzyme myrosinase.  Myrosinase activity on the glucosinolate also continues in the gastrointestinal tract through intestinal bacteria which allows for some further formation and absorption of isothiocyanates. 2

Image result for glucosinolates myrosinase pathway

Figure 1:  Glucosinolates Hydrolysis by Myrosinase  (Source:  Linus Pauling Institute – Isothiocyanates)


Sulforaphane is obtained from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages. It is produced when the enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin into sulforaphane upon damage to the plant (such as from chewing), which allows the two compounds to mix and react. 

When cruciferous vegetables are cooked, by either boiling in water, baking, frying or steamed, it prevents the formation of any significant levels of sulforaphane due to the heat inactivating the myrosinase enzyme.

However, the addition of powdered mustard seeds to the heat processed (cooked) cruciferous vegetables significantly increases the formation of sulforaphane.  3 

The best way to add mustard seed powder is to grind mustard seeds, in a spice grinder, instead of using pre-powdered mustard seeds.  This way you do not use mustard seed powder that has oxidized oils by sitting on the market shelf.

It has also been found that daikon radish added to cruciferous vegetables supports the formation of sulforaphane, even when the daikon radish is heated at 125 °C for 10 min.  4  

Second Strategy to Cooking

Sulforaphane and Its Effects on Cancer, Mortality, Aging, Brain and Behavior, Heart Disease & More

The Medicinal Value of Perilla (Leaf, Seeds and Oil)

Introduction to Perilla

Perilla is known by its botanical name, perilla frutescens and is a perennial plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. The Perilla species encompasses two distinct varieties:

  • Perilla frutescens var. crispa
  • Perilla frutescens var. frutescens

Perilla frutescens var. crispa is the aromatic leafy herb.  The plant occurs in red (purple-leaved) or green-leaved forms.


Green perilla leaf


Red (purple) perilla leaf

In various countries and cultures it is known by different names:

  • Korean name is jasoyup, 자소엽
  • Japanese name is shiso, 紫蘇 or シソ
  • Chinese name is 紫蘇; pinyin: zĭsū; Wade–Giles: tsu-su
  • English common name is “beefsteak plant”

Perilla frutescens var. frutescens is the source of perilla oil.  The seeds contain 35 to 45 percent oil which is obtained by pressing.  Perilla oil is a very rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). About 50 to 60% of the oil consists of ALA.


Perilla seeds


Perilla seed oil

How Various Cultures Use Perilla

The Asian cultures use perilla in its many forms throughout their cuisines and for its medicinal value.


In Korea, perilla is mainly cultivated in the provinces of Chungcheong, Gyeongsang, and Jeolla. In their cuisine, it is used for marinating namul (seasoned vegetable dish), coating grilled gim (Korean laver), or pan-frying jeon (pancake-like dish).  In North Korea, it is called deulkkae gireum (들깨기름). 


In China, perilla is called zǐsū:

  • Simplified Chinese: 紫苏
  • Traditional Chinese: 紫蘇
  • Pinyin: zǐsū

The Chinese have used perilla traditionally in Chinese medicine. 


The Japanese use the Perilla frutescens var. crispa in their cuisine and it is called shiso (紫蘇).  The Japanese name for the green type of perilla is called aojiso (青紫蘇?), or ooba (“big leaf”), and is often combined with sashimi.


The purple leaf variety are called pak maengda (ຜັກແມງດາ) in Laos.  They are usually strong in fragrance.  The people of Laos use them is a rice vermicelli dish called khao poon (ເຂົ້າປຸ້ນ).


The Vietnamese use a variety of perilla with greenish bronze on the top face and purple on the opposite face. The leaves are smaller and have a much stronger fragrance. In Vietnamese, it is called tía tô, derived from the characters (紫蘇) whose standard pronunciation in Vietnamese is tử tô.

India and Nepal

In Nepal and parts of India, perilla is called silam (सिलाम), thoiding (Meitei), Chhawhchhi (Mizo) and bhangira.

Components of Perilla leaf, seeds and oil

Perilla seed oil has a high lipid content, with a range as high as 38-45% lipids.

Perilla oil has one of the highest content of omega-3 (α-linolenic acid (ALA) fatty acids of any seed oil.  It also contains linoleic acid. omega-6 fatty acid.  The proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 is as follows:  1

  • Omega-3           54-64%
  • Omega-6           14%

The Japanese variety of perilla, named shiso contains a lower percentage of lipids, at approximately 25.2-25.7% lipid content.  Even though there is a lower percentage of lipids in the shiso variety, the α-linolenic acid (ALA) content is approximately 60% of the total lipids.

Perilla also contain certain essential oils, such as:  2

  • Caryophyllene
  • Farnesene
  • Limonene

Korean scientists found a number of aroma-active compounds from Korean perilla (Perilla frutescens Britton).  Thirty-three volatile compounds were identified by GC-MS.  The most important of these volatile compounds include:  3

  • I-(3-Furyl)-4-methyl-1-pentanone (perilla ketone) was found to be the most abundant volatile compound
  • (Z)-3-hexenol
  • 1-octen-3-ol

Perilla ketone comprised 81% (93 ppm), 84% (120 ppm), and 95% (490 ppm) of the volatile compounds obtained from SAFE, LLCE, and HD, respectively.

The organic acids found in perilla are:

  • Ferulic Acid   
  • Rosmarinic Acid       

The polyphenols in perilla have been identified as:

  • Chryseriol   
  • Luteolin    (17.3mg/gram)  

Health Benefits of Perilla

There are a number of research studies on the effect of perilla leaf and oil on certain health conditions.  These studies and their abstracts are listed in the Table below:

Medicinal Value of Perilla Leaf, Seed and Oil

Triterpene acids from the leaves of Perilla frutescens and their anti-inflammatory and antitumor-promoting effects1
Liver cancer
Growth inhibitory and apoptosis inducing effect of Perilla frutescens extract on human hepatoma HepG2 cells. The results of our study suggest that the PLE should be further investigated as a promising to treat hepatocellular carcinoma.2
Colon cancer
We have investigated the modulatory effect of dietary perilla oil which is rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, on the development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in male F344 rats. Marked increases in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in membrane phospholipid fractions and decreased PGE2 levels were observed in colonic mucosa of perilla oil-fed rats. These results suggest that perilla oil, even in small amounts, suppresses the development of aberrant crypt foci, and is therefore a possible preventive agent in the early stage of colon carcinogenesis.3
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitor
The overproduction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was suppressed by orally administering a perilla leaf extract (PLE). When mice were successively injected with OK-432, severe TNF-alpha was induced in the serum, but this elevated TNF-alpha level was reduced after an oral administration of PLE (400 microliters/mouse).4
Perilla extract significantly suppressed the PCA-reaction, which was brought about by rosmarinic acid with a partial contribution from some macromolecular compounds. The anti-allergic titer of rosmarinic acid was more effective than tranilast, which is a modern anti-allergic drug. Perilla and rosmarinic acid are potentially promising agents for the treatment of allergic diseases.5
Blood clotting
As compared with high dietary linoleate safflower oil, high dietary alpha-linolenate perilla oil decreased platelet-activating factor (PAF) production by nearly half in calcium ionophore (CaI)-stimulated rat polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). In the CaI-stimulated PMN from the perilla oil group, the accumulated amount of arachidonate (AA) plus eicosapentaenoate (EPA) was 30% less and that of lyso-PAF was 50% less, indicating that the decreased availability of lyso-PAF is a factor contributing to the relatively low PAF production.6
Ulcerative colitis
The DSS-treated rats were fed either a perilla oil-enriched diet (perilla group) or a soybean oil-enriched diet (soybean group). The bradykinin-stimulated DeltaIsc in the soybean and perilla groups was significantly higher than that in the control group. The mucosal level of arachidonic acid in the perilla group was significantly lower than that in the soybean group. results suggest that supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid, in combination with a lipoxygenase inhibitor, could suppress the increase in Cl- secretion in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). 7
Donryu strain rats through two generations were fed semi-purified diets supplemented with safflower seed oil (rich in linoleic acid) or with perilla seed oil (rich in alpha-linolenic acid), or a conventional laboratory chow (normal control diet). Brightness-discrimination learning ability was determined to be the highest in the perilla oil-fed group, followed by the normal group, and then by the safflower group, extending our earlier observation in a different strain of rat that alpha-linolenic acid is a factor in maintaining high learning ability8
Perilla seed oil (5 - 500 microg/mL) inhibited the slow reaction substance of anaphylaxis (SRS-A) release induced by antigen challenge in lung tissue of sensitized guinea pigs. It also inhibited calcium ionophore (A(23187))-induced leukotriene (LT) D4 release from the lung tissue of non-sensitized guinea pigs in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 (95 % CI) of 50 (36 - 69) microg/mL. These results indicate that Perilla seed oil may improve lung function in asthma by controlling eicosanoid production and suppressing LT generation.9
Fatty acid synthase suppression
This study was performed to determine the effects of dietary perilla oil, a n-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) source, on hepatic lipogenesis as a possible mechanism of lowering triacylglycerol (TG) levels. The activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and malic enzyme were suppressed in the fish oil, perilla oil, and corn oil-fed groups, and the effect was the most significant in the fish oil-fed group.10


Perilla Oil (capsules) – Source Naturals

Haepyo Korean Pure Perilla Oil 10.8 Fl Oz

Korea Premium Raw Perilla Oil 180ml Organic Edible

Perilla Liquid Extract

Zi Su Zi, Perilla frutescens seed, Herbal Powder, 500 grams

Probiotic Propionibacterium freudenreichii Extends the Mean Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via Activation of the Innate Immune System

Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacterium which ferments lactate to:

  • acetate
  • propionate
  • carbon dioxide

The two short-chain fatty acids, acetate and propionate have been shown to enhance human gut immunity.

A study published in the Journal Scientific Reports in August 2016 evaluated the effects of Propionibacterium freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of Propionibacterium freudenreichii -dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.  1 

Caenorhabditis elegans is a small, free-living soil nematode commonly used as a model experimental animal because it is easy to treat, has a short lifespan, can be safely used in the laboratory and propagates through self-fertilization. In particular, C. elegansis frequently used in studies on longevity, immunity, neurodegenerative diseases, fat storage, DNA damage responses and apoptosis.

The results of the study showed that Propionibacterium freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm.

The MLS of Propionibacterium freudenreichii-fed C. elegans, compared with that of E. coliOP50-fed worms, increased by approximately 13%. The survival rates were similar in both the Propionibacterium freudenreichii- and E. coli OP50-fed C. elegans until day 13.

After day 13, the two groups showed a significant difference in the survival rate.  Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that Propionibacterium freudenreichii retards ageing.


An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is srep31713-f1.jpg

Figure 1.  The effect of Propionibacterium freudenreichii on the lifespan of C. elegans (N2).  Maturing nematodes were fed E. coli OP50 until the L4 stage, and young adult worms were transferred to a fresh mNGM plate seeded with E. coli OP50 or Propionibacterium freudenreichii . Significant differences shown are relative to E. coli OP50; ***p < 0.001. (Source)

The researchers concluded that Propionibacterium freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system.  2

Natural Rapalogs that Inhibit the mTOR Pathway

In 1975 scientists discovered the mycelial bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus on Rapa Nui, the native name of Easter Island.  From this bacterium they created the molecule named Rapamycin, a pharmaceutical drug which requires a doctor’s prescription.  Also known as Sirolimus, it is an immunosuppressant drug used in orthodox medicine to prevent rejection following organ transplantation.

In addition to its use as an immunosuppressant drug, Rapamycin inhibits the mTOR signalling pathway and studies show it can significantly extend lifespan in mammals, even when taken in later life, with increases in life expectancy for males and females of between 9% and 14% respectively.


mTOR Pathway  

“mTOR” or the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), (formerly mammalian target of rapamycin before it was recognized to be highly conserved among eukaryotes) refers to an enzyme from the serine/threonine protein kinase family encoded by the mTOR gene. It is found in humans as well as worms, mice, flies and yeasts. It regulates the growth, proliferation, motility and survival of cells.

Successfully inhibiting mTOR signalling pathways has been shown to produce increased lifespan in worms, flies, yeasts and even mice if accompanied by calorie restriction and the consumption of adequate protein.


Image result for mtor pathway

Figure 1.  mTOR Pathway  (Source)

Since Rapamycin is poorly water soluble, which effects its bioavailability, several analogs of Rapamycin have been developed and are termed rapalogs.  Some of these rapalogs have improved pharmacokinetics and include:

  • temsirolimus
  • everolimus
  • ridaforolimus
  • 32-deoxo-rapamycin
  • zotarolimus

The use of these pharamaceutical rapalogs have been generally disappointing in human trials.  One possible explanation for the disappointing results to date is that in human cancer, rapalogs predominately inhibit mTORC1, leading to increased PI3K and AKT signaling by preventing negative feedback through S6K and GRB10.  1 

Recent studies have demonstrated that a number of natural products (or nutraceuticals) isolated from plants (e.g. fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, legumes, herbs, etc.) also inhibit the mTOR pathway, and exhibit potent anticancer activities. These particular natural products are considered “natural rapalogs”.

The Table below lists the identified natural substances that are considered natural rapalogs or mTOR inhibitors:

Natural Rapalogs (mTOR Inhibitors)

Amino Acids
β-elemene (from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Rhizoma zedoariae)4
Butein (in the stems of Rhus verniciflua)5
Capsaicin (in chili peppers)6
Celastrol (in the traditional Chinese medicine named “Thunder of God Vine”)7
Cryptotanshinone (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge) (Danshen)8
Rhodiola rosea9
Indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethane)10
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, in green tea)15
Isoflavones (genistein and deguelin)17
R-Lipoic Acid20
Tocotrienol (Vitamin E)21

Delaying the Chronological Aging of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Six Plant Extracts

Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in collaboration with the Quebec-based biotech company Idunn Technologies, published a study in the Journal Oncotarget on 29 March 2016, describing their discovery of six plant extracts that increase yeast chronological lifespan to a significantly greater extent than any of the presently known longevity-extending chemical compounds.  1

For the study, the researchers examined many plant extracts that would increase the chronological lifespan of yeast.  They finally found and used 37 plant extracts for this study.  These plant extracts are listed in the Table 1 below:

Table 1: List of plant extracts that have was used in this study

Abbreviated nameBotanical namePlant part used
PE1Echinacea purpureaWhole plant
PE2Astragalus membranaceousRoot
PE3Rhodiola rosea L.Root
PE4Cimicifuga racemosaRoot and rhizome
PE5Valeriana officinalis L.Root
PE6Passiflora incarnate L.Whole plant
PE7Polygonum cuspidatumRoot and rhizome
PE8Ginkgo bilobaLeaf
PE9Zingiber officinale RoscoeRhizome
PE10Theobroma cacao L.Cacao nibs
PE11Camellia sinensis L. KuntzeLeaf
PE12Apium graveolens L.Seed
PE13Scutellaria baicalensisRoot
PE14Euterpe oleraceaFruit
PE15Withania somniferaRoot and leaf
PE16Phyllanthus emblicaFruit
PE17Camellia sinensisLeaf
PE18Pueraria lobataRoot
PE19Silybum marianumSeed
PE20Eleutherococcus senticosusRoot and stem
PE21Salix albaBark
PE22Glycine max L.Bean
PE24Calendula officinalisFlower
PE25Salvia miltiorrhizaRoot
PE27Panax quinquefoliumRoot
PE28Harpagophytum procumbensRoot
PE29Olea europaea L.Leaf
PE30Gentiana luteaRoot
PE31Piper nigrumFruit
PE32Aesculus hippocastanumSeed
PE33Mallus pumila Mill.Fruit
PE34Fragaria spp.Fruit
PE35Ribes nigrumLeaf
PE36Dioscorea oppositaRoot
PE37Cinnamomum verumBark

Table source:  Discovery of plant extracts that greatly delay yeast chronological aging and have different effects on longevity-defining cellular processes

The means by which these six plant extracts (PEs) delays the onset and decreases the rate of yeast chronological aging is by eliciting a hormetic stress response. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a beneficial model organism for the discovery of genes, signaling pathways and chemical compounds that slow cellular and organismal aging in eukaryotes across phyla.  Yeast was chosen in this study because aging progresses similarly in both yeast and humans.

The six PEs that were identified include:  2

  • Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) (PE4)
  • Valerian  (Valeriana officinalis L.)  (PE5)
  • Passion Flower  (Passiflora incarnata L.)  (PE6)
  • Ginko Biloba  (Ginko biloba)  (PE8)
  • Celery Seed  (Apium graveolens L.)  (PE12)
  • White Willow  (Salix alba)  (PE21)


The six identified PEs out of the thirty-seven PEs that were examined showed the highest percentage increase of lifespan, (also known as the chronological lifespan (CLS)), in the yeast,   The researchers determined both the mean (average) CLS and the maximum CLS of the six PEs.

Table 2 below list the six PEs and their mean and max. CLS:

Table 2: Percent increase of lifespan of S. cerevisiae by 6 PEs

Plant Extract (PE)Mean CLSMax CLS
PE4 (Black Cohosh)195%100%
PE5 (Valerian)185%87%
PE6 (Passion Flower)180%80%
PE8 (Ginko Biloba)145%104%
PE12 (Celery Seed)160%107%
PE21 (White Willow)475%369%
CLS - Chronological Lifespan

(Source:  Discovery of plant extracts that greatly delay yeast chronological aging and have different effects on longevity-defining cellular processes)

The researchers noted that PE21 appears to be the most potent longevity-extending pharmacological intervention presently known. It increases the mean and maximum CLS of yeast by 475% and 369%, respectively.  PE21 or White Willow bark represents a much greater effect than rapamycin and metformin, the two best drugs known for their anti-aging effects.

These findings by the researchers imply that these extracts slow aging in the following ways:  3

  • PE4 (Black Cohosh) decreases the efficiency with which the pro-aging TORC1 pathway inhibits the anti-aging SNF1 pathway;
  • PE5 (Valerian) mitigates two different branches of the pro-aging PKA pathway;
  • PE6 (Passion Flower) coordinates processes that are not assimilated into the network of presently known signaling pathways/protein kinases;
  • PE8 (Ginko biloba) diminishes the inhibitory action of PKA on SNF1;
  • PE12 (Celery Seed) intensifies the anti-aging protein kinase Rim15; and
  • PE21 (White Willow) inhibits a form of the pro-aging protein kinase Sch9 that is activated by the pro-aging PKH1/2 pathway.

The researchers showed that each of these six PEs decelerates yeast chronological aging and has different effects on several longevity-defining cellular processes, as illustrated in Figure 1.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is oncotarget-07-50845-g009.jpg

Figure 1.  A model for how PE4, PE5, PE6, PE8, PE12 and PE21 delay yeast chronological aging via the longevity-defining network of signaling pathways/protein kinases.  Activation arrows and inhibition bars denote pro-aging processes (displayed in blue color) or anti-aging processes (displayed in red color). Pro-aging or anti-aging signaling pathways and protein kinases are displayed in blue or red color, respectively.  (Source: Discovery of plant extracts that greatly delay yeast chronological aging and have different effects on longevity-defining cellular processes)

Each of the six PEs have different effects on cellular processes that define longevity in organisms across phyla. These effects include the following:

  • increased mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential;
  • augmented or reduced concentrations of reactive oxygen species;
  • decreased oxidative damage to cellular proteins, membrane lipids, and mitochondrial and nuclear genomes;
  • enhanced cell resistance to oxidative and thermal stresses; and
  • accelerated degradation of neutral lipids deposited in lipid droplets.

The researchers also revealed that certain combinations of the six PEs could markedly increase aging-delaying proficiencies of each other.

In conclusion, the study stated that the obvious challenge was to assess whether any of the six PEs can delay the onset and progression of chronic diseases associated with human aging.  Idunn Technologies is collaborating with four other universities for six research programs, to go beyond yeast, and work with an animal model of aging, as well as two cancer models.  4

This study and ongoing research reveals five features of the six PEs as potential interventions for decelerating chronic diseases of old age. These five features include:  5

  • the six PEs are caloric restriction (CR) mimetics that imitate the aging-delaying effects of the CR diet in yeast under non-CR conditions;
  • they are geroprotectors that slow yeast aging by eliciting a hormetic stress response;
  • they extend yeast longevity more efficiently than any lifespan-prolonging chemical compound yet described;
  • they delay aging through signaling pathways and protein kinases implicated in such age-related pathologies as type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia and cancers; and
  • they extend longevity and delay the onset of age-related diseases in other eukaryotic model organisms.

Probiotics S. salivarius K12 and S. salivarius M18 Strengthen Oral Health

The mouth is colonized by 200 to 300 bacterial species, but only a limited number of these species participate in dental decay (caries) or periodontal disease.   An imbalance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the mouth is considered dysbiosis in the mouth and is thought to be an important cause of periodontal disease and dental decay.

Dental decay is due to the irreversible solubilization of tooth mineral by acid produced by certain bacteria that adhere to the tooth surface in bacterial communities known as dental plaque.

The main bad bacteria associated with dental decay is Streptococcus mutans.  1 

A number of other types of bacteria, such as Actinomyces viscosus and A. naeslundii, live in the mouth, where they are part of a sticky substance called plaque.

Image result for Streptococcus mutans

Streptococcus mutans strain

Streptococcus mutans is the primary causal agent and the pathogenic species responsible for dental caries (tooth decay or cavities) specifically in the initiation and development stages.  2

Advanced periodontal disease has been linked to many chronic diseases, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Osteoporosis

Researchers have investigated the potential of probiotics to restore the good bacterial in the oral cavity.  These particular probiotic strains displace the bad bacteria, thus eliminating dysbiosis and restoring the healthy oral flora.

Certain Probiotics Strengthen Oral Health

A number of research studies have shown that two specific strains of Streptococcus salivarius, that are normally found in the mouth, may improve oral health.  These two strains are:

  • Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain M18  (BLIS M18)
  • Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain K12  (BLIS K12)

These two strains specifically reduce cariogenic and periodontal pathogen levels in the mouth.  This is accomplished by antimicrobial agents that the strains produce and are termed bactericon-like-inhibitory substances (BLIS), otherwise known as lantibiotics.  There are three types of BLIS that the two strains produce in the oral cavity:

  • Salivaricin A
  • Salivaricin B
  • Salivaricin 9

Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain K12 is a potent BLIS producer, specifically Salivaricin A (bacteriostatic) and Salivaricin B (bactericidal). 

Both strains are able to produce BLIS antimicrobials in the mouth, however, BLIS K12 is more targeted to ear, nose, throat and immune health while BLIS M18 primarily supports dental health.

Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain M18  (BLIS M18) 

Unfortunately only about two percent of the global population has the Streptococcus salivarius necessary to make the M18 peptides.  This small populace comprise people who rarely experience plaque or tooth decay.

Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain M18 (BLIS M18) has the ability to break up plaque and neutralize acid that harms teeth and gums.  BLIS M18 produces two unique enzymes that contribute to support for dental health:

  • Urease – neutralizes that lactic acid that is produced the oral cavity by S. mutans.  3
  • Dextranase –  breaks down plaque biofilms caused by S. mutans and inhibits the development of dextrans or extracellular polysaccharides  4

BLIS M18 also corrects and maintains the oral cavity pH.  A more acidic pH oral cavity can lead to tooth demineralization.

BLIS M18 is a potent producer of BLIS or lantibiotics, which destroy disease causing bacteria in the oral cavity.  5  6

A recent study from January 2015 published in the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences showed that M18 probiotic lozenges were efficacious in reducing both moderate to severe gingivitis and moderate periodontitis.  7 

Twenty eight subjects, of both sexes, were selected and divided into 4 groups (2 test groups and 2 control groups).  All 28 subjects had severe gingivitis and moderate periodontitis.  For 30 days, the Test subjects were given a M18 lozenge and the Control group did not receive a lozenge.  Clinical parameters such as plaque index, gingival index, modified sulcular bleeding index and probing pocket depth were recorded and assessed at baseline, day 15, 30, 45 and day 60.

The Test group showed significant reduction in all parameters when compared to that of Control group. After stopping probiotic administration on day 30, the test group showed a significant increase in all the clinical parameters except probing pocket depth on day 45 and day 60.

The Test subjects saw improvement in three areas:

  • less plaque
  • better gingival health
  • less bleeding on probing

Specifically, for the Test subjects, the results were promising in improving all four of these commonly used assessments of periodontal health:

  • The plaque index score decreased 44% by day 30
  • The gingival index score decreased 42% by day 30
  • The sulcular bleeding index score decreased 53% by day 30
  • The probing pocket depth decreased 20% by day 30

Even after 30 days after stopping the lozenges, the Test subjects showed good scores on the 4 indices.  This indicates that M18 has the ability to colonize the oral cavity after using the lozenges.

Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) strain K12 (BLIS K12)  8

Streptococcus salivarius K12 is a strain isolated from the throat of a New Zealand child (who had evidence of exceptional throat health for several years), and is capable of producing two distinct lantibiotics bacteriocins:  9

  • salivaricin A2
  • salivaricin B

The K12 strain is not only effective against S. pyogenes but also inhibits the growth of pathogens such as:

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • S. pneumoniae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis

These four pathogens are responsible for almost all bacterial pharyngotonsillitis cases in children and adults.  10 

BLIS K12 is a probiotic primarily used for the oral cavity (mouth) and upper respiratory tract and has now been clinically documented to reduce the incidence of strep throat infections in both adults and children.

Streptococcus salivarius: the probiotic for all ages. Diseases that may be alleviated by Streptococcus salivarius probiotics and the ages at which they generally tend to manifest.  (Source:  Developing Oral Probiotics From Streptococcus salivarius)

BLIS K12 attaches to cells in the oral cavity and colonizes the oral cavity and crowds out the bad bacteria.  This effect equalizes the flora in the oral cavity and allows room for the good bacteria to thrive.

Advantages of BLIS K12:

  • Helps maintain mouth and throat health
  • Helps maintain upper respiratory tract health
  • Naturally supports breath freshness  

In Search of Geroprotectors: The Final Four Have Been Identified

A geroprotector is one of the five different types of senotherapeutic strategies that aims to affect the root cause of aging and age-related diseases, and thus prolong the life span of animals.  Geroprotectors utilize agents and strategies which prevent or reverse the senescent state by preventing triggers of cellular senescence, including:

  • DNA damage
  • Oxidative stress
  • Proteotoxic stress
  • Telomere shortening

Senotherapeutics refers to therapeutic agents and strategies that specifically target cellular senescence and include any of the following therapies:

  • Gene therapy
  • Geroprotectors
  • Immune clearance of senescent cells
  • SASP inhibitors
  • Senolytics  (compounds capable of identifying and eliminating senescent cells)

Senescent cells enter a stage in which they no longer properly divide and function and become dysfunctional, which utlimately leads to organ failure.  Senescent cells also generate pro-inflammatory compounds which potentially damage healthy tissues.

Senolytics and geroprotectors eliminate aging and senescent cells from the tissues which then makes room for newer more active cells.

Life Extension® has partnered with Insilico Medicine to identify nutrient cocktails that function as geroprotectors by employing artificial intelligence biomedical algorithms.  These strategic uses of high-speed computer programs accelerates the research into potential geroprotectors. 

In a study published on April 23, 2016 in the Journal Aging, the authors, including Life Extension® and Insilico Medicine, among others, used GeroScope to develop a list of geroprotectors. 1

GeroScope is a computational tool that can aid prediction of novel geroprotectors from existing human gene expression data. GeroScope maps expression differences between samples from young and old subjects to aging-related signaling pathways, then profiles pathway activation strength (PAS) for each condition.

Known substances are then screened and ranked for those most likely to target differential pathways and mimic the young signalome. 

The study identified and shortlisted ten substances, all of which have lifespan-extending effects in animal models.  These ten substances include:

  • 7-Cyclopentyl-5-(4-phenoxy)phenyl-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-ylamine
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
  • Fasudil (HA-1077)
  • HA-1004
  • Myricetin
  • N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC)
  • Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA)
  • PD-98059
  • Staurosporine
  • Ursolic acid
Drug Code Model Organism Lifespan (LS) Parameter % Increase Ref.
Nordihydroguaiaretic acid A D. melanogaster Median LS 23 [47]
Mus Musculus Median LS 12 [48]
Myricetin B C. elegans Mean LS 32.9 [48,49]
HA-1004 C D. melanogaster Mean LS 18 [50]
7-Cyclopentyl-5-(4-phenoxy)phenyl-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-ylamine D C. elegans Mean LS 11 [51]
Staurosporine E D. Melanogaster Mean LS 34.8 [50]
Ursolic acid F C. elegans Mean LS 39 [52]
N-acetyl-L-cysteine G Mice Max LS 40 [53]
Fasudil (HA-1077) H D. melanogaster Mean LS 14.5 [50]
PD-98059 I D. melanogaster Mean LS 27 [50]
Epigallocatechin gallate J C. elegans Mean LS 10.1 [54]
Rattus norvegicus Median LS 13.5 [55]

Table 3. Previously reported lifespan effects of test substances in animal models (compiled from [15].)  Source:  In search for geroprotectors: in silico screening and in vitro validation of signalome-level mimetics of young healthy state

The researchers narrowed down the list of ten substances to the final four compounds, which include:

  • Gamma tocotrienol (Vitamin E)
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (found in Green tea)
  • N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC)
  • Myricetin

These final four compounds combat numerous aging factors throughout the body by working together by influencing key anti-aging pathways. 

The researchers concluded that these four compounds reduced cellular aging and protect against the development of senescent cells by modulating a group of signaling pathways.

For a breakdown of the various pathways modulated by the final four compounds, read and review the April 2017 article from Life Extension®.

Life Extension® has combined these final four compounds into a new supplement product called GEROPROTECT™ Ageless Cell™.  Supplementing with this product may reduce the body’s burden of senescent cells.