In contrast to traditional and ancient medical practices, where using food as medicine is one of the key pillars, modern medicine places a great deal of emphasis on diseases. It is worth noting that this ancient herbal supplement can help cure cancer.
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In a recent study that bridges the gap between Eastern and Western medicine, berberine’s impact on lung cancer was reported in the journal Pharmaceutics (read below), demonstrating strong anticancer activity.
According to Kamal Dua, an Australian-Indian researcher from the University of Technology, Sydney, the natural substance present in plants like turmeric and barberry has been utilized in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years but has not yet been widely employed in clinics.
“All that historical and ancient knowledge of the medicinal plant, [has been] known by people for ages but has never been translated in the clinic,” lead researcher and senior pharmacy lecturer Dua said.
In contrast to traditional and ancient medical practices, where using food as medicine is one of the key pillars, modern medicine places a great deal of emphasis on diseases, and medical students devote several years in school researching the body in a diseased state and the diseases themselves.
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The plant chemical berberine was the most unexpected of all the Ayurvedic treatments and native plants he looked at, showing excellent efficacy against lung cancer.
The researchers from Ireland (Ronan MacLoughlin), Australia (Prof. Brian Oliver, Prof. Phil Hansbro, Keshav Raj Paudel, and Bikash Manandhar), Saudi Arabia (Abdullah Alnuqaydan and Abdulmajeed Almutary), and India (Sachin Kumar Singh and Prof. Monica Gulati) discovered that berberine inhibits the growth of tumor cells in lung cancer, which is the most common type of cancer worldwide, accounting for about 1.8 million.
“This is possible by inhibition of key genes and proteins associated with cancer cell proliferation and migration,” he explained.
He previously oversaw a study that discovered berberine could also lessen inflammation and protect healthy lung cells from cigarette smoke damage.
How to Take Berberine
Goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, Phellodendron, and Coptis chinensis, a kind of goldthread flowering plant native to China, are just a few of the plants that contain berberine.
You can either follow the directions on the packaging or talk about your alternatives with a reputable healthcare provider and track its efficacy over time.
According to Dua, the supplement’s benefits have been constrained by its inability to dissolve in water, be absorbed in the gut, and cause toxicity at higher doses. There have been reports of digestive adverse effects such as gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
The research team has created a revolutionary technique that uses liquid crystalline nanoparticles to securely and successfully encapsulate small quantities of berberine in order to get around these difficulties.
“It means the patient does not have to take multiple doses. It also has fewer side effects compared to the various other chemical-based drugs,” he said.
It is encouraging when researchers discover new cancer treatment and preventive approaches from the East, according to Dr. Osita Onugha, a thoracic surgeon and assistant professor of thoracic surgery at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
“Berberine is part of Eastern medicine, and so it’s not something that we traditionally use in Western medicine. I think it’s interesting and intriguing because we’re looking at things [we] know have some benefit in Eastern medicine, [and are putting them] into a study to help translate it to Western medicine,” Onugha said.
“It’s always promising, but it is in a lab and a lot of things we find in a lab do not necessarily translate to the treatment of patients,” Onugha continued.
“The next step in this discovery is to move towards pre-clinical studies followed by clinical trials to explore its real therapeutic potential to make it reach clinics.”
The Future of Berberine
To conduct additional research and deliver these nanoparticles to the bedside, Dua is currently collaborating closely with businesses situated in Sydney.
If it is successful, the researchers will consider using it for other diseases, including Alzheimer’s, according to Dua.
“We are now we are testing the same thing on other respiratory diseases like asthma and also on pulmonary fibrosis because inflammation is a common condition in every disease,” he said.
“Inflammation happens in every disease whether it is a brain, gut, or lung, and berberine has clearly shown that it is reducing the inflammation. When it is reducing the inflammation it may also have the potential to work in various other disease states, neurodegenerative diseases, and maybe in other gastrointestinal diseases.”
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