Herbal Ashwagandha inhibits the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

By Kyle J. Norton

Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells growing and multiplying disordered and uncontrollable way in our body, due to change of cellular DNA. Most cases of cancer start in the cells on the surface of the inner lining of tissue of the organ.

However, at the later stage of the tumor progression, if undetected, the large size of the tumor can suppress and break the nearby small blood vessel, leading to internal bleeding and severe if the tumor also suppresses the nearby nerve cells.

Primary cancer cells at this advanced stage can also travel a distance away from the original site to affect other healthy tissue and organs, leading to secondary metastasis.

Pancreatic cancer is a medical and chronic condition characterized by irregular cells growth in the tissue of the pancreas.

In the early stage, pancreatic cancer starts in the cells of the surface of the inner lining of pancreatic tissue. At the advanced stage, cancerous cells of the pancreas can travel a distance away to invade other healthy tissue and organs.

The exact causes of the alternation of DNA of pancreatic cells are unknown. However, epidemiological studies suggested that genetic preposition and acquired gene mutations are associated with the increased incidence of cancer.

Some researchers suggested long-term use of tobacco, being overweight and obesity, exposure to workplace chemicals, age, gender and family history are some prevalent risk factors of pancreatic cancer.

According to the statistics, pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men. Pancreatic cancer accounts for 7% of all cancer deaths.

The 5 years survival rate at stage 1 and 2 is 61% and 52% respectively.
Cascara sagrada is a species of buckthorn, genus Rhamnus, belonging to the family Rhamnaceae, native to western North America.

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 cancer, researchers examined the withaferin-A (WA), the biologically active withanolide extracted from Withania somnifera in human pancreatic cancer cells.

According to the tested analysis, the extract significantly increased the cells spherical structure with double-layer membranes degraded by autophagy through cleaning out damaged cells in normal cells.

However, in human pancreatic cancer (PC) cells, withanolide extract also blocked the degradation of autophagy by inhibiting SNARE protein in the the-mediated fusion of autophagosomes and lysosomes which contains degradative enzymes enclosed in a membrane.

In other words, in human pancreatic cancer (PC) cells, the extract promotes the cancer cell degradation by autophagy to induce apoptosis.

More precisely, WA induced ER stress-mediated apoptosis. by promoting the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, associated with degradation via the proteasome, a protein involved in degrading unneeded or damaged proteins.

In vivo, combining WA with a series of ER stress aggravators enhanced apoptosis synergistically in tumor growth in PC xenografts.

Based on the findings, researchers said, “simultaneous suppression of 2 key intracellular protein degradation systems rendered PC cells vulnerable to ER stress, which may represent an avenue for new therapeutic combinations for this disease”.

Taken altogether, Ashwagandha may be considered a functional herb for the prevention and an adjunct therapy combined with the primary medicine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, 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) Simultaneous inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy enhances apoptosis induced by ER stress aggravators in human pancreatic cancer cells by Li X1, Zhu F1, Jiang J2, Sun C3, Zhong Q4, Shen M1, Wang X1, Tian R1, Shi C1, Xu M1, Peng F1, Guo X1, Hu J5, Ye D6, Wang M1, Qin R. (PubMed)