Did you know that melanoma is one of the most chemo-resistant forms of cancer to treat?
Did you also know that it is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer among North Americans in their mid-to-late 20s?
That can be a devastating “sentence” for anybody, let alone somebody so young who feels immune to those types of diseases.
The good news is, the natural world may have come to the rescue yet again.
In a 2011 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found dandelion root extract “specifically and effectively induces apoptosis in in human melanoma cells without inducing toxicity in noncancerous cells.”
In other words, exactly what you want a cancer treatment to do!
To determine this, the researchers applied a water-derived extract of dandelion root to human melanoma cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.
What they found was remarkable.
They found that, after 24 hours, the cells (A375) treated with 2.5 mg/ML of dandelion root extract had a 50 percent reduction in cell viability when compared to the control group.
Even better, after 48 hours, there was “clear induction of apoptosis” at concentrations above 2.5 mg/mL.
To ensure the extract was not toxic to all cell types, they also introduced it to two healthy cell lines, normal human fibroblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
When treated at doses of 1 and 2.5 mg/mL, neither cell line showed any signs of reduction of cell viability and were not susceptible to apoptosis.
I’m not certain why the researchers did not treat the normal cells with higher concentrations, but these results are positive nevertheless.
Another type of human melanoma cell, B361, which is known to be more resistant to chemotherapy, did not respond to the extract at the same concentrations. However, at 5 mg/mL, it was found to be sensitized to the effects of the extract when combined with the prescription drug metformin.
The researchers noted that dandelion root extract is “more than a worthy chemopreventative, it is fast-acting, nontoxic, and therefore specific in its targeting of human melanoma cancer cells, making it a valuable chemotherapeutic.”
Additionally, and very importantly, the researchers noted that not only were the noncancerous cells unaffected by the extract, but the cancerous melanoma cells retained the signals to commit apoptosis long after the extract was removed from the system.
What Can You Do?
First of all, if you have melanoma or are considering your treatment options, always consult with your licensed health care practitioner before starting or changing any treatment program.
With that said, this study is certainly worthy of discussion with your doctor.
Perhaps this study indicates that dandelion root extract can be used as a standalone treatment or as an adjunct treatment to boost the efficacy of your current plan. Talk with your doctor and see what can work for you.
For preventative purposes, dandelion root is already sold in supplement form as well as in tea form, which is not a bad tasting tea at all. In fact, I keep some in my cupboard for various reasons.
There are many inexpensive teas whose ingredients have been found to help prevent or even treat various cancers, like dandelion, green and many others.
You might be surprised to see how many inexpensive, common plant foods (fruits, vegetables, spices, you name it) have shown amazing abilities to help prevent or treat untold numbers of diseases!
And, in the meantime, please keep checking back here for more health news you can use.
Thanks and here’s to your health!
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