Eating Your Way to Prostate CancerFebruary 2007
By William Faloon
5-LOXIN®: Nature’s 5-LOX Inhibitor
Specific extracts from the Boswellia plant selectively inhibit 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX).69,70 This is not surprising when one considers that various boswellia extracts have been used for centuries in India as anti-inflammatory agents.71
In several well-controlled human studies, boswellia has been shown to be effective in alleviating various chronic inflammatory disorders.72-82 Scientists have discovered that the specific constituent in boswellia responsible for suppressing 5-LOX is AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid). Boswellia-derived AKBA binds directly to 5-LOX and inhibits its activity.70 Other boswellic acids only partially and incompletely inhibit 5-LOX.70,83
Methods to extract high concentrations of AKBA from boswellia have been intensively investigated due to AKBA’s potential in treating chronic inflammatory disorders. Even in standardized boswellia extracts, however, biologically active AKBA makes up only 2-5% of the final product.
Several years ago, researchers discovered how to obtain an economically viable boswellia extract standardized to contain a greater than 30% concentration of AKBA. This 30% AKBA extraction discovery was patented and given the trademark name “5-LOXIN®. When tested against the best commercial boswellia compounds, 5-LOXIN® exhibited better inhibitory action against 5-LOX.
5-LOXIN® Decreases Inflammation, Invasive Potential, Tumor Cell Adhesiveness, and Angiogenesis
A rat study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of 5-LOXIN® compared to the popular anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. 5-LOXIN® reduced inflammation by 27%, compared to 35% for ibuprofen.84 Another rat study compared 5-LOXIN® to the anti-inflammatory steroid drug prednisone. 5-LOXIN® reduced inflammation by 55%, which was similar to the prednisone used in the study.79,85 The significance of these findings is that prednisone and ibuprofen can be toxic when used chronically, whereas natural 5-LOXIN® is free of side effects.
Ibuprofen has demonstrated anti-cancer effects, most probably due to its inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), another enzyme that cancer cells use to facilitate their growth and survival. As you have just learned, 5-LOXIN® functions to block the 5-LOX enzyme. Since the effects of 5-LOXIN® and ibuprofen may be either additive or synergistic, a clinical trial of a combination of these agents is warranted.
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a dangerous pro-inflammatory cytokine that often increases in aging people. In a gene-chip study, 5-LOXIN® blocked the expression of many genes that are sensitive to the pathological effects of TNF-α.84
From the standpoint of keeping prostate cancer cells in check, 5-LOXIN® was shown to prevent the TNF-α-induced expression of a protein-degrading enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase (MMP). Cancer cells use the MMP enzyme to tear apart natural barriers in the body that would normally encase them. Prostate cancer cells are notorious for inducing the production of this enzyme that causes containment structures within the prostate gland to vanish, thus enabling the mutated (cancerous) prostate cells to break through healthy prostate tissue and eventually metastasize.86
Prostate cancer cells use adhesion molecules (known as VCAM-1 and ICAM-1) to facilitate their spread throughout the body. 5-LOXIN® was shown to prevent the up-regulation of these adhesion molecules, which are directly involved in inflammatory processes.85 Chronic inflammation is tightly linked to the induction of aberrant angiogenesis used by cancer cells to facilitate the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) into tumors.87
A plethora of research documents the role of chronic inflammatory mediators such as 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the manifestation and progression of prostate and other cancers.7-19,30,31,33,49,52-54,87,88
The typical American diet is high in omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, and arachidonic acid. Over-consumption of these foods, and under-consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, contribute significantly to systemic chronic inflammatory states.
Boswellia extracts have been thoroughly studied as natural remedies for inflammatory disorders. A patented extract from boswellia called 5-LOXIN® has potent ability to inhibit the enzyme 5-LOX, preventing the formation of protein-degrading enzymes, and protecting against inflammation-induced events that can promote tumor angiogenesis.
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