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Cancer Botanical Agents

Flower Power

5 years, 6 months ago

2619  0
Posted on Jul 17, 2014, 6 a.m.

The saffron crocus is source to two potent cancer-fighting compounds.

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus.  Saffron has been long-used as a folk medicine.  Scientists have identified that saffron contains vitamin B2 along with a yellow flavonoid called crocin, a bitter glycoside called picrocrocin, and the volatile, aromatic substance safranal. Korean researchers revealed that Crocetin, a glycosylated carotenoid present in saffron, showed approximately 5- to 18-fold higher cytotoxicity than crocin, a carboxylic carotenoid in saffron.  Importantly, the team found that both crocetin and crocin reduced the protein expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), one of the targets for chemoprevention in cancer cells, by 34.2% and 10.5%, respectively. 

Kim SH, Lee JM, Kim SC, Park CB, Lee PC.  “Proposed cytotoxic mechanisms of the saffron carotenoids crocin and crocetin on cancer cell lines.”  Biochem Cell Biol. 2014 Apr;92(2):105-11.

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