Berberine, a natural substance from barberry, suppressed the spread of lung cancer cells in laboratory tests. It also reduces inflammation and damage caused by cigarette smoke in healthy lung cells, researchers report in the journal Pharmaceuticals.
In cell cultures, berberine suppressed the growth of cells in a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer. Genetic analysis has shown that berberine activates genes that suppress tumor cell proliferation and inhibits others involved in proliferation and proliferation. The research team previously showed that berberine can reduce inflammation and delay cellular aging caused by cigarette smoke in healthy lung cells.
Berberine has long been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and is also known to have beneficial effects in diabetes and heart disease. However, its use is so far limited because the substance is not soluble in water, is poorly absorbed by the intestines and is toxic in large quantities.
The research team overcomes these problems by encapsulating the active ingredient in small, soluble and biodegradable polymer beads, which greatly improves safety and effectiveness. The team is now working with Sydney-based companies to find the best formulation for their nanoparticles and to move research from the lab into the field.
Source: DOI 10.3390/Pharmaceutics14061119
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