According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer in 2017, and about 26,730 people will die from prostate cancer this year. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, reaching about 1 in 7. Sadly, diagnosis and treatment methods come with their own risk of side effects.
Conventional diagnosis includes PSA testing and biopsy, which often produce false positives. Treatment may involve drugs, surgery or radiation, side effects included. But researchers have recently discovered a bioactive compound in the neem plant that may help put an end to prostate cancer.
Using The Neem Plant For Prostate Cancer Treatment
Neem has been used for years as a part of Ayurvedic medicine to cure many different health issues. It boasts natural anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-ulcer and anti-cancerous properties. New research suggests that a bioactive compound in neem, known as nimbolide, may have the ability to shrink prostate tumors by as much as 70%. During the study, researchers found that nimbolide also had the ability to suppress metastasis by about 50% when taken orally for three months.
Gautam Sethi, Ph. D. and associate professor of pharmacology at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in Singapore served as the lead researcher on the study. He explained, “In this research, we have demonstrated that nimbolide can inhibit tumor cell viability — a cellular process that directly affects the ability of a cell to proliferate, grow, divide or repair damaged cell components — and induce programmed cell death in prostate cancer cells.”
Sethi found that nimbolide directly affected glutathione reductase, an enzyme responsible for maintaining the antioxidant system in the body that regulates the STAT3 gene. He explained, “The activation of the STAT3 gene has been reported to contribute to prostate tumor growth and metastasis. We have found that nimbolide can substantially inhibit STAT3 activation and thereby abrogating the growth and metastasis of prostate tumor.”
This study was conducted in rodents, which means nimbolide must be further tested to determine its effect on humans. But this research may serve as an important breakthrough in treating prostate cancer.