Berberine: The Tumor Fighter
Berberine may be one of the most effective – and least familiar-sounding – healthy botanical compounds in the world. Berberine is an alkaloid compound found in many traditionally used medicinal plants.
While berberine shows incredible promise for its ability to normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it may also be a strong fighter against tumors in the digestive system.
That’s because berberine has strong anti-inflammatory action that inhibits the tumor-formation process. The less damage to cells in the body, the less chance for something to go wrong when those cells replicate. It’s a remarkably simple aspect of this compound that may have it moving to the frontline of cancer research and care in the near future.
Zou K, Li Z, Zhang Y, et al. Advances in the study of berberine and its derivatives: a focus on anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects in the digestive system. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2017;38(2):157-167. doi:10.1038/aps.2016.125
It has been widely recognized that inflammation, particularly chronic inflammation, can increase the risk of cancer and that the simultaneous treatment of inflammation and cancer may produce excellent therapeutic effects. Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from Rhizoma coptidis, has broad applications, particularly as an antibacterial agent in the clinic with a long history. Over the past decade, many reports have demonstrated that this natural product and its derivatives have high activity against both cancer and inflammation. In this review, we summarize the advances in studying berberine and its derivatives as anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents in the digestive system; we also discuss their structure-activity relationship. These data should be useful for the development of this natural product as novel anticancer drugs with anti-inflammation activity.