Friday March 23, 2018

Ayurvedic Pharmacy: Indian researcher Vandana Gulati uses plants for diabetes treatment


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Melbourne:  An Indian researcher currently pursuing Ph.D in Australia is conducting a study to test the use of plants in the treatment of diabetes and cancer, a media report said on Wednesday.

Vandana Gulati, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology and was involved with pharmaceutical research in India after completing her masters in ayurvedic pharmacy, has investigated 12 medicinal plant extracts and their applications in treatment of diabetes and cancer, reported Melbourne-based Indian Link newspaper.

“When we moved here, we found that people had reservations about the effectiveness of plant-based research. There were a few groups working in this field, however, majority were not receptive to the idea,” she said.

Previous studies have found that diabetes and cancer are linked, as the risk of low insulin in diabetes affects the growth of cancer cells.

Preliminary research has shown that witchetty bush (Acacia kempeana) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) stimulate glucose uptake in fat cells, while dead finish (Acacia tetragonophylla), turpentine bush (Beyeria Ieshnaultii) and caustic weed (Euphorbia drumondii) significantly reduced fat accumulation in fat cells. The witchetty bush and dead finish also showed strong activity against cervical cancer cells.

“There are still many experiments that need to be completed on the cells, followed by testing on animals and finally a trial on humans directly. However, we are very positive of the outcome,” Gulati added.


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A Protein That Can Stop Cancer?

The research showed that LHPP emerged as the top favourite. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered a protein that prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver.

The anti-cancer protein, called LHPP, can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer, said the study published in the journal Nature.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is usually diagnosed at a very late stage when the liver is already severely damaged and hence overall prognosis is poor.

ALSO READ: World Cancer Day special: Fight cancer with hope and positive attitude

The researchers believe that detection of the anti-cancer protein LHPP as a biomarker may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.

“It is striking that LHPP is present in healthy tissue and completely absent in tumour tissue,” said first author Sravanth Hindupur from University of Basel in Switzerland. Pixabay


In the study conducted in a mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma, the researchers analyzed a total of more than 4,000 proteins, comparing them in healthy and tumour tissue.

ALSO READ: How gut bacteria, broccoli can help keep colorectal cancer away

Re-introduction of the genetic information for LHPP by the researchers was found to prevent the formation of tumours and maintain liver function.

“Similar to the mouse model, we also saw a striking decrease in LHPP levels in tumours of patients with liver cancer,” Hindupur said. (IANS)

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