Local Nigerian Herb Has Potency to Improve Immunity and Prevent Prostate Problems

December 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

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A recent study has concluded that a local herb in Nigeria can be helpful in boosting the immune system and also treat prostate problems including prostate cancer.

A recent animal study on the herb known as “Rauwolfia vomitoria”(asofeyeje in Yoruba, akanta in Ibo, and Wada in Hausa) has shown that their immunity was boosted and their hematology was enhanced.

A story on this herb recently published Thursday December 6, 2012 in the online version of the Nigerian Guardian reveals that Researchers from the Akwa Ibom State University, Uyo, and the Columbia University Medical Center, New York have discovered the multipurpose therapeutic usage and anti-prostate cancer activity of this plant extract.

The findings of the various researches on this plant have been published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences and the International Journal of Oncology.

rauwolfia vomitoria root extract (photo:google image)

Excerpts from the Nigerian Guardian online newspaper explain details of this herb this further:

The researchers from Akwa Ibom State University, Uyo, concluded: “We observed that extract of Rauwolfia vomitoria root bark is a useful medication in the treatment of many diseases and the combination of this herbal extract with vitamin E may be of more biochemical and therapeutic significance since the antioxidant vitamin is capable of de-potentiating the adverse effect of this herb.

“Rauwolfia vomitoria with or without vitamin E improved the immunity and enhances the hematological indices of the experimental animals. Our findings suggest that interaction of vitamin E with Rauwolfia vomitoria root bark extract would be a meaningful approach in medicinal therapeutics of this plant. More work on the interaction of this plant with vitamins is ongoing in our laboratory.”

United States researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center, New York have discovered the potential anti-prostate cancer activity of Rauwolfia vomitoria extract on the growth and survival of the human LNCaP prostate cancer cell line.

The study titled: “Anti-prostate cancer activity of a ß-carboline alkaloid enriched extract from Rauwolfia vomitoria” was published in the International Journal of Oncology.

The researchers wrote: “The data presented herein has shown that the Rauwolfia extract is an effective inhibitor of cell growth in the human prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP, in both cell culture and in vivo tumour xenograft experimental systems. Microarray analyses point towards the effects of the extract on both DNA damage and cell cycle control pathways. Although higher doses of the Rauwolfia extract resulted in induction of apoptosis in both in vitro and in vivo settings, this response does not appear to be the primary mechanism of action through which the extract impacts overall tumour volume in vivo.

“Comparison of the low- and high-dose Rauwolfia groups revealed no difference in overall tumor volumes while the number of cells undergoing apoptosis was significantly greater in the tumour xenografts receiving the high dose of the extract. These data suggest that the main mechanism through which the Rauwolfia extract impacts overall tumor volume is by reducing tumor cell proliferation.

“While further experiments need to be performed with this extract to uncover the exact molecular targets involved, initial results indicate that the growth suppression of human prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo involves the activation of DNA damage signaling pathway and suppression of transit through the cell cycle. As this preparation contains a complex mixture of natural compounds, the potential to impact multiple molecular targets could prove useful for a chemopreventive agent if no appreciable toxicity exists.”

Conclusively, since many studies are pointing to benefits of this herb in helping to treat prostate problems, it becomes really important to focus more research and attention on this herb which has been found to help boost immune system. Check the December 6, 2012 article on The Guardian (Nigeria) written by Chukwuma Muanya for more details.

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