While the recent advancements in mRNA technology offer promising prospects for cancer treatment, perfecting this approach is still a long way off. In the meantime, cancer patients can explore alternative options that nature has provided. This blog highlights a published article that demonstrates the potential of phenolic compounds found in specialty sorghums to induce cancer cell self-destruction. Additionally, a supplement made from sorghum leaf sheaths, rich in polyphenols, is discussed as a natural option for cancer prevention.
The Power of Sorghum Phenolics:
Phenolic compounds found in certain specialty sorghums have been associated with cancer prevention, although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In a study, phenolics were extracted from 13 selected sorghum accessions with black pericarp, while a control hybrid with white pericarp was used. The growth inhibition of hepatocarcinoma HepG2 and colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells was studied.
The total phenolic content of the high phenolic grains was significantly higher compared to the control. Treatment of HepG2 cells with the extracted phenolics resulted in a dose- and time-dependent reduction in cell numbers. The lowest IC50 value, indicating the concentration required to inhibit 50% of cell growth, was significantly lower for the phenolic extracts compared to the control. This suggests that the phenolic compounds in sorghum have the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth.
Mechanisms of Action:
Further examination of the underlying mechanisms revealed that the phenolic extracts induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and increased the number of apoptotic cells in both HepG2 and Caco-2 cells. This indicates that the inhibition of cell growth was due to cytostatic and apoptotic mechanisms, rather than cytotoxicity. These findings highlight the potential of specialty sorghums as a functional food for cancer prevention.
Sorghum Leaf Sheath Supplement:
While sorghum grains may not be a popular dietary choice in the US, a supplement made from sorghum leaf sheaths offers an alternative source of polyphenols. Scientific research has validated the potential of this supplement for chemoprevention. It is listed in the drug dictionary of the National Cancer Institute and is described as rich in polyphenols with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, and chemopreventive capabilities.
Nature has provided an alternative approach to inducing cancer cell self-destruction through the phenolic compounds found in specialty sorghums. The published research demonstrates their potential for inhibiting cancer cell growth through cytostatic and apoptotic mechanisms. Additionally, a sorghum leaf sheath supplement offers a concentrated source of polyphenols with chemopreventive capabilities. While further research is needed, these natural options provide hope for cancer patients seeking alternative treatments and prevention strategies.
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Sorghum Phenolic Compounds Are Associated with Cell Growth Inhibition through Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Hepatocarcinoma and Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells
West African Sorghum bicolor leaf sheaths have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties in vitro
Newly isolated compounds from West African Sorghum bicolor leaf sheaths Jobelyn® show potential in cancer immunosurveillance
Sorghum Research Reviews and Meta-analysis