Study shows Unique Wasabi Chemical kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells
A new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine titled, “Effect of Wasabi Component 6-(Methylsulfinyl)hexyl Isothiocyanate and Derivatives on Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells,”[i] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918374/) reveals the potent Japanese herb Wasabia japonica may help fight highly lethal Pancreatic Cancer.
A team of Taiwanese researchers studied the effects of a naturally occurring wasabi compound 6-(Methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MITC) on human Pancreatic Cancer cells.
Pancreatic cancer is exceedingly difficult to treat through conventional means (surgery, radiation and chemotherapy), with a diagnosis that the chance of living past 5 years is only 5 – 25% even following aggressive treatment.[ii]
The new study found that the Wasabia japonica derived compound (6-MITC) exhibited the following anti-cancer effects:
6-MITC inhibited viability of both PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. [Another way of saying killed the Pancreatic Cancer cells*].
6-MITC showed mitotic (cell division) arrest and apoptosis (programmed cell death) in morphological observation. [Scientific jargon for stopped and killed the Pancreatic Cancer cells*].
The authors then went on to say that “The naturally occurring bio-active compound 6-MITC from wasabi was demonstrated to have bio-activity against human pancreatic cancer cells in this study.”
And then “As a pungent spice used in food, especially in Japanese cuisine, wasabi is commonly accepted for use in a small amount. Due to the strong flavor, the use of wasabi as a food condiment may not be suitable for treatment or prevention of cancer [because the Medical Profession doesn’t make any money*].
Instead, the pure compound 6-MITC, which is flavorless, might be more suitable for development as bioactive agents against cancer.” This is a way of saying that they are working on getting a patent for the production of 6-MITC (or something similar that is NOT a natural chemical) without needing to grow True Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) to extract the 6-MITC.
Their conclusion stated “Wasabi compound 6-MITC … may possess bio-activity against human pancreatic cancer cells”.
Note: The careful wording of the conclusion indicates the authors adherence to the FDA requirement that you cannot say that anything apart from an FDA approved drug is capable of killing or preventing a disease without the FDA agents chasing you down and arresting you.
My conclusion is that this study shows that eating Wasabia japonica either as a dietary supplement or as a food can’t do any harm to those people with Pancreatic Cancer, and may actually do them some good.
[i] Yu-Jen Chen, Yu-Chuen Huang, Tung-Hu Tsai, and Hui-Fen Liao. Effect of Wasabi Component 6-(Methylsulfinyl)hexyl Isothiocyanate and Derivatives on Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 494739. Published online Jan 20, 2014. doi: 10.1155/2014/494739
[ii] Fryer RA, Galustian C, Dalgelish AG. Recent advances and developments in treatment strategies against pancreatic cancer. Current Clinical Pharmacology. 2009;4(2):102–112. [PubMed]
* Added by me.
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