Mechanism of how Wasabia japonica kills cancer cells
In May 2018 a scientific study was published by researchers working at Harvard Medical School, USA that demonstrated how Wasabia japonica kills cancer cell.
How Cancer Cells grow
Virtually every cell uses oxygen to power the metabolic processes necessary for life, but metabolism also generates oxygen-based chemicals (ROS), that are highly reactive and potentially harmful to cellular structures.
ROS must be carefully managed to prevent cell damage or death. This is especially important for cancer cells, which accumulate large amounts of ROS as they multiply and grow beyond control.
How Cancer Cells control the amount of ROS in their structure
If ROS levels within the cells get too high then it kills the cell.
When exposed to high levels of ROS, cancer cells appear to rely on NRF2 to activate antioxidant production and to prevent programmed cell death through TRPA1, the authors* said.
The cancer cell get rids of the ROS by using the unlocked TRPA1 receptor as a funnel to release the ROS from inside the cell into the surrounding tissue.
What is TRPA1?
This is a receptor on the surface of the cells which allows various chemicals, hormones and enzymes to pass through the cell wall.
You can think of these receptors as being a lock which requires a specific key to unlock and lock. The TRPA1 receptor is commonally known as the "wasabi receptor" because it locks when exposed to the chemicals in wasabi.
TRPA1 is a sensor for environmental irritants and has been widely studied for its roles in detecting sensations such as pain and cold, and in airway inflammation conditions such as asthma.
How does TRPA1 work to kill cancer cells?
As the cancer cells produce large amounts of ROS and it needs to be removed before it becomes toxic, the cancer cell uses the unlocked TRPA1 receptor to get rid of the ROS. Think of it as a chimney for a fire. You block the chimney and the smoke stays where it is.
When the receptor gets locked by the chemicals in the Wasabia japonica, it effectively stops the removal of the ROS, the levels inside the cell rise to eventually cause apoptosis or death of the cancer cell.
Wasabia japonica and cancer cells
The Wasabi receptor and Wasabia japonica are now under intensive research to produce a laboratory version of the Wasabia japonica natural chemicals that lock the TRPA1 receptor and kills the cancer cell.
The reason why the Medical profession does not use natural Wasabia japonica as a prescription to kill cancer cells is not because it doesn't work, but because it cannot be patented.
Because it is a natural product and therefore cannot be patented, then Big Medicine and Big Pharma cannot charge enough money to justify getting FDA approval for the treatment.
Even so, the consumption of Wasabia japonica on a daily basis does not need a prescription as it recognised as a food, and is available as a Dietary Supplement as well. [See sidebar].
Nobuaki Takahashi, Hsing-Yu Chen, Isaac S. Harris, Daniel G. Stover, Laura M. Selfors, Roderick T. Bronson, Thomas Deraedt, Karen Cichowski, Alana L. Welm, Yasuo Mori, Gordon B. Mills, Joan S. Brugge. Cancer Cells Co-opt the Neuronal Redox-Sensing Channel TRPA1 to Promote Oxidative-Stress Tolerance. Cancer Cell, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.05.001
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