Tea nanoparticles destroy lung cancer cells

microscopeQuantum dots, nanoparticles 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, can be embedded in cells for experimental purposes, but making them chemically is expensive and toxic. In this study, doctors found extract from tea leaves is a simpler, cheaper and safer source for making quantum dots. What researchers were not expecting to find was, after penetrating cancer cell nanopores, the tea quantum dots destroyed 80 percent of the lung cancer cells. The tea quantum dots were also exceptionally bright under the microscope, suggesting a promising new avenue for cancer treatment.

Cruciferous greens and colon cancer

Kale, cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous greens help maintain healthy gut balance, and may prevent colon cancer. In the lab, doctors gave mice a diet rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C), the compound that results from digesting greens, and found it activated a protein, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which can prevent colon inflammation and cancer. When inflammatory factors appear, AhR activates immune cells, and epithelial cells that line the gut. I3C also reduced the number and severity of tumors. “Seeing the profound effect of diet on gut inflammation and colon cancer was very striking,” doctors said.

Inulin cuts flu, boosts immunity

Earlier studies found inulin effective in reducing hypersensitive immune responses, such as allergy, but doctors worried it could dampen immune responses to infections, such as flu. In the lab, mice that received inulin were protected from flu. Doctors confirmed that inulin was able to dampen the innate immune response to tissue damage, as in allergy, but at the same time stimulate the part of the immune system that combats pathogens, such as flu. “What surprised us was inulin selectively turned off part of our immune system while turning on another, completely unrelated part.”

Reference: Applied Nano Materials; 2018, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1683-93
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2018

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