Herbal Ashwagandha Exerts Cytotoxicity Against Leukemia in Vitro

By Kyle J. Norton

Leukemia is a condition characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells produced by the bone marrow and/or the lymphatic system. Depending on the malignant granulocytes or lymphocytes, leukemia is classified into myelogenous or lymphoblastic leukemia.

Bone marrow, containing two main types of stem cell is soft tissue inside the hollow center of the major bone, including the spine, pelvis, underarm, leg. etc. with the main function of generating blood cells.

Believe it or not, the bone marrow produces 200 billion new red blood cells every day, to replace the blood cells that die off, along with white blood cells and platelets.

According to the statistics provided by the leukemia research, leukemia is diagnosed 10 times more often in adults than children. Approximately, each year the disease causes death 68,000 American.

Acute leukemia is a condition caused by a rapid increase in the numbers of extreme immature white blood cells which appear in the bloodstream into other parts of the body, including tissue and organs, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

In ALL, lymphocytes appear immature in the bloodstream. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common children forms of leukemia with about 80% of all cases.

Chronic leukemia is a condition of the slow but still excessive build-up of relatively mature abnormal white blood cells. the condition has a tendency to spread slowly to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and/or lymphatic system, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Ashwagandha also is known as Withania somnifera is a nightshade plant in the genus of Withania, belonging to the family Solanaceae, native to the dry parts of India, North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

The herbal medicine has been considered as Indian ginseng and used in Ayurvedic medicine over 3000 years to treat tumors and tubercular glands, carbuncles, memory loss, and ulcers and considered as anti-stress, cognition-facilitating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging herbal medicine.

On finding a potent compound for the treatment of leukemias, researchers explored the antileukemic activity of the dimethyl sulfoxide extract obtained from the roots of W. somnifera (WE).

On a human T-lymphoblastoid cell line, WE exerted a significant cytostatic and cytotoxic activity against the tested cell line observed by the differentiation of the different flow cytometric assays.

Furthermore, WE cytotoxic and cytostatic potential was atrribited to the effect involving in immunogenic cell death (ICD) observed in dying cancer cells that release damage-associated molecular patterns.

Furthermore, WE also promoted the intracellular Ca(2+) accumulation that alters cancer initiation and the generation of reactive oxygen species to induce cancer cell apoptosis.

In other words, the tested extract processed genotoxic potential. against leukemia cells in vitro.
Based on the findings, researchers said, “Since the use of Withania is suggested in different contexts including anti-infertility and osteoarthritis care, its genotoxicity should be carefully considered for an accurate assessment of its risk-benefit profiles”.

Taken altogether, Ashwagandha may be considered a functional herb for the prevention and treatment of leukemia, pending to the result of larger sample size and multicenter study

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Withania somnifera Induces Cytotoxic and Cytostatic Effects on Human T Leukemia Cells by Turrini E1, Calcabrini C2, Sestili P3, Catanzaro E4, de Gianni E5, Diaz AR6, Hrelia P7, Tacchini M8, Guerrini A9, Canonico B10, Papa S11, Valdrè G12, Fimognari C. (PubMed)