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Amla Versus Cancer Cell Invasion

Indian gooseberries (amla) block breast cancer cell growth and metastasis potential in vitro.

January 13, 2012 |
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Acknowledgements

Image thanks to Hari Prasad Nadig

Transcript

Indian gooseberries can block cancer cell growth, but tumor growth is just half the picture. You could have a tumor the size of a watermelon, as long as it doesn’t spread. So these researchers took human breast cancer cells and basically put them on a block of Jello to see if the Indian gooseberries—amla—could prevent the invasion of the cancer into the Jello.

So here’s the control. 100% invasion—the breast cancer cells just burrow right in and effectively metastasize. Here’s if you infuse the Jello with the standard chemotherapy drug Taxol - cuts invasion in half. Then they used tiny doses of amla down in this range here where it's not even affecting the growth much. And as you can see the anti-invasive effect of the Indian gooseberries was almost as good as the chemo

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check back for the other videos on amla and don't miss all the videos on breast cancer. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

Also, please check out my associated blog posts: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterolEstrogenic Chemicals in MeatFoods That May Block Cancer Formation, and Mushrooms and Immunity

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check back for the other videos on amla and don’t miss all the videos on breast cancer. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/dbloch/ dbloch

    Given that Amla is so effective, have oncologists started to use it in the treatment of cancer?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/miso1/ miso1

    These two links are very compelling but I am left with a few questions to ponder:
    1. These tests were done in vitro , not in vivo. Are the active ingredients actually absorbable from the GI tract and able to get to the cells where they are needed? And behave similarly within the micoroenvironement of the human body?

    2. How much is needed in order to gain a protective effect without adverse side effects? I wonder what risks/side effects come with the berries?

    3. I have been told to be cautious about antioxidants which may block the effectiveness of radiation which acts on cells possibly by an oxidation mechanism. To that end I have been not told not to take vitamin E in high doses while on radiation. Does the antioxidant property of the goose berry fall into the range of concern? -

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/georgei/ GeorgeI

    Dr. Greger;

    Many of your videos seem to be antioxidant content of various foods. Could you make/maintain a post for recommendations on how to best use that information?

    Some of the foods you talk about are cheaper than other foods with a slightly higher antioxidant content. Other foods might be lower, but are incredibly more available or it is easer to eat/injest much more of them than other foods with a higher content.

    A post rating all of these foods by availability, antioxidant dose per price and “eatability” ( I can eat a bag of dried apples easily, lemons not so much ) would go a long way toward maximising your good information in a practical setting.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jmerrikin/ jmerrikin

    Dr. Greger, I am excited to learn about Amla and as I have gone and searched for sources online I am now wondering about the quality of what is available. I can find dried amla, poweder, and capsules. Do you happen to know what the best way to get the benefits of amla would be?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mpbailey/ mpbailey

    Dr. Greger,

    After watching your DVD (volume 7) the segment about amla and it’s antioxident power we were wondering if there was a specific goal for antioxidants that we should reach each day. Thank you for all that you do!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/toxins/ Toxins

      There is currently no set standard for a cap on how much antioxidants we should be taking. The general rule is is that we should get in as much as we can. We cannot max out on antioxidants so the more the merrier.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/maxing-out-on-antioxidants/

  • Hooley Dan

    Hi Dr. Greger,

    I had the pleasure of seeing your presentations at the Toronto Vegetarian Society. I really enjoyed them. Anyways, quick question on Amla.

    Is there reliable evidence that Amla lowers cholesterol? One of the studies you mentioned seemed to indicate that, but I’m wondering if there are others? My father is slowly (much to slowly) transitioning to a plant-based diet, but I know his cholesterol remains too high. I’m wondering if I should recommend he take a teaspoon of this stuff a day. Maybe even testing his cholesterol before and after (3 weeks) or so, to see what happens.

    Dan Hooley

    • Heather

      plant based diet will raise cholesterol. Lower it by removing grains, refined carbs, and PUFA veggie/seed oils.

  • Ray

    It seems to me that many people may start to eat these healthy foods when they are diagnosed with a cancer. But by then, these nutritional factors cannot overwhelm or de-metasticize the tumors. I am guessing they would have a more preventative effect decades earlier to prevent the tumor growing at the start.

    This suggests that the key to reduced cancer risk for our society is to build a diet of these healthy foods (ie whole plant foods) and eliminate the cancer-phillic foods (meat and dairy) in childhood and adolescence. What do you think? Is there evidence to support this idea?

    The only thing I have seen on this subject is in your piece on breast cancer in Japanese women where you show that there is evidence that mushrooms given to children seem to protect them from lung cancer for life (unless they adopt the SAD).

  • Ruth Houston Barrett

    Hi and thanks for this wonderful site! How does amla compare to acai?

  • Sylvie

    This a question for Dr. Greger, are there any studies about giving Taxol and amla together. What could the advantages or dangers be?

  • concerned viewer

    this is a disappointing video Dr. Greger as it provides false hope.

    While it’s impressive that Amla has anti-invasive properties in vitro, comparing 25-50mg/L Amla vs. 2mg/L Taxol seems like a standard trick to make the focus of a study look good. (cant type microgram symbol).

    25mg/L is a high concentration, can Amla reach tissue in these concentrations and for sustained periods of time?

    It’s a cool study that will pave the way for future research but don’t you think you’re morally obligated to point out flaws in the study so people can make a more informed decision rather than running out to buy Amla that may effect their chemotherapy? Some people may not question the importance of the concentrations. Best wishes for this site, I’m just nervous about desperate people watching this.