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Aloe and honey for cancer.

Tomasin R, Gomes-Marcondes M. 2011. Oral administration of Aloe vera and honey reduces Walker tumour growth by decreasing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis in tumour tissue. PhytotherRes 25:4;619-23.

Cancer is a growing epidemic in the modern world. Across the globe 11 million people are diagnosed annually and 8 million die of the disease. Cancer growth is linked to two major abnormal cell characteristics: insufficient apoptotic cell turnover (cell death) and unrestrained cellular proliferation. Recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of co-adjuvant therapies in the treatment and management of many types of cancers.

The concurrent administration of Aloe vera and honey is a common alternative health practice, particularly in Brazil and South America. This study examined the efficacy of such a combination on tumour growth, cell proliferation and apoptosis induction during cancer development.

Male Wistar rats were implanted subcutaneously with a Walker 256 carcinoma cell. One group was given a daily lavage of Aloe vera and honey (670 [micro]L/kg) whilst the other received the same amount of 0.9% saline solution. At 7, 14 and 20 days, five rats from each group were randomly selected to be killed and their tumours dissected, weighed and alliquoted for analyses.

Tumour growth was markedly less in the treatment group at all intervals, with the difference increasing with time. In addition proteins related to apoptotic pathways were modulated. Tumours displaying proapoptotic proteins increased in the treatment group and decreased significantly in the saline group by day 20.

The results reinforce previous findings that Aloe vera may have the ability to reduce tumour growth, tumour mass and metastasis. Results also support the anticancer properties of honeys. The synergistic combination of these two agents seems to be able to modulate tumour growth and may provide a beneficial co-adjuvant therapy in cancer treatments.

NB The Aloe-honey preparation was 500 g of mature and healthy Aloe vera leaves homogenised with 500 g of honey and 30 mL of ethanol.

Tessa Finney-Brown MNHAA
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Author:Finney-Brown, Tessa
Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 22, 2011
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