Glycoalkaloids are a group of naturally occurring compounds that can be found in a wide range of plants, particularly those belonging to the Solanaceae family, which includes plants like the potato, tomato, eggplant, and pepper. In order to develop safe anti cancer medications, they are being investigated in isolation, purification, and manipulation due to their toxic nature.
The glycoalkaloids found in Solanum plants may be an important component of future cancer treatments.
Worldwide, many people are affected by cancer. Around 19 million new cases and 10 million deaths were recorded in 2020. Although cancer treatments are getting better, they can also harm healthy cells or have serious side effects. Traditional medicine’s bioactive compounds, like glycoalkaloids, are being investigated for their potential as cancer treatments that are more specific and effective.
A study on the potential for glycoalkaloids found in common vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes as a cancer treatment was recently published in Frontiers in Pharmacology by a group of researchers led by Magdalena Winkiel at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland.
Winkiel stated, “Scientists all over the world are still looking for drugs that will kill cancer cells but are safe for healthy cells.” Despite medical advancements and powerful development of modern treatment methods, it is difficult. Because of this, it might be beneficial to return to medicinal plants that were successfully used to treat a variety of ailments in the past. Re-examining their properties and possibly rediscovering their potential seems worthwhile, in my opinion.
Winkiel and her colleagues focused on five glycoalkaloids that are found in crude extracts of the Solanaceae family of plants, also known as nightshades.
These glycoalkaloids are solanine, chaconine, solasonine, solamargine, and tomatine. Many popular food plants belong to this family, as well as many toxic ones. This is often due to the alkaloids they produce as a defense against animals that eat plants. However, the right amount can transform a poison into a medicine: Alkaloids have the potential to be potent clinical tools once they are administered at a dose that is safe for use in medicine.
Glycoalkaloids, in particular, may promote cancer cell death and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Because these are important areas to target for controlling cancer and improving patient prognoses, there is a lot of room for new treatments. Although there may be some effects on the reproductive system, in silico studies, an important first step, suggest that the glycoalkaloids aren’t toxic and don’t risk damaging DNA or causing future tumors.
Winkiel offered the suggestion that “even if we cannot replace anticancer drugs that are used in the present day, maybe combined therapy will increase the effectiveness of this treatment.” We won’t be able to answer many of the questions without a thorough understanding of the properties of glycoalkaloids.
From tomatoes to treatments,
One necessary step forward is to determine which glycoalkaloids are safe and promising enough to test in humans through in vitro and model animal studies. Winkiel and her colleagues focus on glycoalkaloids like solanine and chaconine that come from potatoes. However, the levels of these glycoalkaloids in potatoes vary depending on the cultivar and the light and temperature conditions they are exposed to. Solanine inhibits metastasis and prevents some potentially carcinogenic chemicals from becoming carcinogens in the body. Solanine kills a specific type of leukemia cell at therapeutic doses, according to studies. Chaconine may be used to treat sepsis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Solamargine, which is mostly found in aubergines, inhibits the reproduction of liver cancer cells. Because it targets cancer stem cells, which are thought to play a significant role in cancer drug resistance, solamargine is one of several glycoalkaloids that may be important as a complementary treatment. It is believed that the same pathway is also targeted by solasonine, which is found in a number of plants in the nightshade family. Tomatine in tomatoes helps the body control the cell cycle and kill cancer cells, so it could be used in future treatments.
Public by world news spot live