Life Extension Magazine®

Skin Cancer

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Impact of dietary polyphenols on carbohydrate metabolism.

Polyphenols, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol, are a large and heterogeneous group of phytochemicals in plant-based foods, such as tea, coffee, wine, cocoa, cereal grains, soy, fruits, and berries. Growing evidence indicates that various dietary polyphenols may influence carbohydrate metabolism at many levels. In animal models and a limited number of human studies carried out so far, polyphenols and foods or beverages rich in polyphenols have attenuated postprandial glycemic responses and fasting hyperglycemia, and improved acute insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. The possible mechanisms include inhibition of carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption in the intestine, stimulation of insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta-cells, modulation of glucose release from the liver, activation of insulin receptors and glucose uptake in the insulin-sensitive tissues, and modulation of intracellular signalling pathways and gene expression. The positive effects of polyphenols on glucose homeostasis observed in a large number of in vitro and animal models are supported by epidemiological evidence on polyphenol-rich diets. To confirm the implications of polyphenol consumption for prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and eventually type 2 diabetes, human trials with well-defined diets, controlled study designs and clinically relevant end-points together with holistic approaches e.g., systems biology profiling technologies are needed.

Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Mar 31;11(4):1365-402

Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women.

Dietary supplementation with whole blueberries in a preclinical study resulted in a reduction in glucose concentrations over time. We sought to evaluate the effect of daily dietary supplementation with bioactives from blueberries on whole-body insulin sensitivity in men and women. A double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical study design was used. After screening to resolve study eligibility, baseline (wk 0) insulin sensitivity was measured on 32 obese, nondiabetic, and insulin-resistant subjects using a high-dose hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (insulin infusion of 120 mU(861 pmol)⋅m(-2)⋅min(-1)). Serum inflammatory biomarkers and adiposity were measured at baseline. At the end of the study, insulin sensitivity, inflammatory biomarkers, and adiposity were reassessed. Participants were randomized to consume either a smoothie containing 22.5 g blueberry bioactives (blueberry group, n = 15) or a smoothie of equal nutritional value without added blueberry bioactives (placebo group, n = 17) twice daily for 6 wk. Both groups were instructed to maintain their body weight by reducing ad libitum intake by an amount equal to the energy intake of the smoothies. Participants’ body weights were evaluated weekly and 3-d food records were collected at baseline, the middle, and end of the study. The mean change in insulin sensitivity improved more in the blueberry group (1.7 ± 0.5 mg⋅kg FFM(-1)⋅min(-1)) than in the placebo group (0.4 ± 0.4 mg⋅kg FFM(-1)⋅min(-1)) (P = 0.04). Insulin sensitivity was enhanced in the blueberry group at the end of the study without significant changes in adiposity, energy intake, and inflammatory biomarkers. In conclusion, daily dietary supplementation with bioactives from whole blueberries improved insulin sensitivity in obese, nondiabetic, and insulin-resistant participants.

J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1764-8

Effect of a dietary supplement containing blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate on antioxidant capacity in type 1 diabetic children.

Many studies have shown that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of diabetes and its complications. New methods of treatment for prevention and control of this disease is a priority for the international scientific community. METHODS: We investigated the relationship between the glycated hemoglobin, C peptide and two antioxidant enzymes. Thirty type 1 diabetic children were treated with a blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate for two months. RESULTS: After two months of administering the product to diabetic children, the erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity was significantly higher (p < 0.05). Levels of glycated hemoglobin were significantly lower (p < 0.05). The activity of whole blood glutathione peroxidase was moderately increased but the difference was not statistically significant. C peptide concentration was significantly higher after treatment with this dietary supplement (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that treatment with this dietary supplement has a beneficial effect in the treatment of type 1 diabetic children and it should be considered as a phytotherapeutic product in the fight against diabetes mellitus.

Acta Physiol Hung. 2008 Dec;95(4):383-93

Anti-diabetic properties of the Canadian lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.

Incidence of type II diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide. In order to identify complementary or alternative approaches to existing medications, we studied anti-diabetic properties of Vaccinium angustifolium Ait., a natural health product recommended for diabetes treatment in Canada. Ethanol extracts of root, stem, leaf, and fruit were tested at 12.5 microg/ml for anti-diabetic activity in peripheral tissues and pancreatic beta cells using a variety of cell-based bioassays. Specifically, we assessed: (1) deoxyglucose uptake in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes; (2) glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in beta TC-tet pancreatic beta cells; (3) beta cell proliferation in beta TC-tet cells; (4) lipid accumulation in differentiating 3T3-L1 cells; (5) protection against glucose toxicity in PC12 cells. Root, stem, and leaf extracts significantly enhanced glucose transport in C2C12 cells by 15-25% in presence and absence of insulin after 20 h of incubation; no enhancement resulted from a 1 h exposure. In 3T3 cells, only the root and stem extracts enhanced uptake, and this effect was greater after 1 h than after 20 h; uptake was increased by up to 75% in absence of insulin. GSIS was potentiated by a small amount in growth-arrested beta TC-tet cells incubated overnight with leaf or stem extract. However, fruit extracts were found to increase 3H-thymidine incorporation in replicating beta TC-tet cells by 2.8-fold. Lipid accumulation in differentiating 3T3-L1 cells was accelerated by root, stem, and leaf extracts by as much as 6.5-fold by the end of a 6-day period. Stem, leaf, and fruit extracts reduced apoptosis by 20-33% in PC12 cells exposed to elevated glucose for 96 h. These results demonstrate that V. angustifolium contains active principles with insulin-like and glitazone-like properties, while conferring protection against glucose toxicity. Enhancement of proliferation in beta cells may represent another potential anti-diabetic property. Extracts of the Canadian blueberry thus show promise for use as a complementary anti-diabetic therapy.

Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):612-23

Fermented Canadian lowbush blueberry juice stimulates glucose uptake and AMP-activated protein kinase in insulin-sensitive cultured muscle cells and adipocytes.

Extracts of the Canadian lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) have recently been demonstrated to possess significant antidiabetic potential, in accordance with the traditional use of this plant as an antidiabetic natural health product. Fermentation of blueberry juice with the Serratia vaccinii bacterium is known to modify the phenolic content and increase antioxidant activity. The present study evaluated the effects of fermented blueberry juice on glucose uptake, adipogenesis, and the signaling pathways that regulate glucose transport in muscle cells and adipocytes. A 6-hour treatment with fermented juice potentiated glucose uptake by 48% in C2C12 myotubes and by 142% in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in the presence or absence of insulin, whereas nonfermented juice had no effect on transport. Fermented juice dramatically inhibited triglyceride content during adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells. Chlorogenic acid and gallic acid, both major phenolic components of fermented juice, had no effect on glucose uptake. Western blot analysis of the insulin-independent AMP-activated protein kinase revealed increased phosphorylation resulting from a 6-hour treatment. This activation or the increase in glucose uptake could not be explained by increased cytosolic calcium. Fermentation with S. vaccinii is concluded to confer antidiabetic activities to blueberry juice. Although the active principles and their mechanisms of action remain to be identified, transformed blueberry juice may nevertheless represent a novel complementary therapy and a source of novel therapeutic agents against diabetes mellitus.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):956-65

Antiobesity and antidiabetic effects of biotransformed blueberry juice in KKA(y) mice.

AIM: Biotransformation of blueberry juice by the Serratia vaccinii bacterium gave rise to adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and glucose uptake in muscle cells and adipocytes, but inhibited adipogenesis. This study investigated the antiobesity and antidiabetic potential of biotransformed blueberry juice (BJ) in KKA(y) mice, rodent model of leptin resistance.METHODS: BJ was incorporated in drinking water of KKA(y) mice. Parameters of body weight, food intake, plasma glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin were measured. Before and after therapy, animals were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test. At the end of treatment, liver, muscle, kidney, epididymal fat pad, abdominal fat pad, and dorsal fat pad were collected and weighed. RESULTS: Incorporating BJ in drinking water protected young KKA(y) mice from hyperphagia and significantly reduced their weight gain. Moreover, BJ protected young KKA(y) mice against the development of glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus. Chronic BJ administration in obese and diabetic KKA(y) mice reduced food intake and body weight. This effect could not fully explain the associated antidiabetic effect because BJ-treated mice still showed lower blood glucose level when compared with pair-fed controls. The adipokines pathway also seems to be involved because BJ significantly increased adiponectin levels in obese mice. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that BJ decreases hyperglycemia in diabetic mice, at least in part by reversing adiponectin levels. BJ also protects young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes. Thus, BJ may represent a novel complementary therapy and a source of novel therapeutic agents against diabetes mellitus.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Oct;33(10):1166-73

Purified blueberry anthocyanins and blueberry juice alter development of obesity in mice fed an obesogenic high-fat diet.

Male C57BL/6J mice (25 days of age) were fed either a low-fat diet (10% kcal from fat) (LF) or a high-fat diet (45% kcal from fat) (HF45) for a period of 72 days. Blueberry juice or purified blueberry anthocyanins (0.2 or 1.0 mg/mL) in the drinking water were included in LF or HF45 treatments. Sucrose was added to the drinking water of one treatment to test if the sugars in blueberry juice would affect development of obesity. Total body weights (g) and body fat (%) were higher and body lean tissue (%) was lower in the HF45 fed mice compared to the LF fed mice after 72 days, but in mice fed HF45 diet plus blueberry juice or blueberry anthocyanins (0.2 mg/mL), body fat (%) was not different from those mice fed the LF diet. Anthocyanins (ACNs) decreased retroperitoneal and epididymal adipose tissue weights. Fasting serum glucose concentrations were higher in mice fed the HF45 diet. However, it was reduced to LF levels in mice fed the HF45 diet plus 0.2 mg of ACNs/mL in the drinking water, but not with blueberry juice. Beta cell function (HOMA-BCF) score was lowered with HF45 feeding but returned to normal levels in mice fed the HF45 diet plus purified ACNs (0.2 mg/mL). Serum leptin was elevated in mice fed HF45 diet, and feeding either blueberry juice or purified ACNs (0.2 mg/mL) decreased serum leptin levels relative to HF45 control. Sucrose in drinking water, when consumption was restricted to the volume of juice consumed, produced lower serum leptin and insulin levels, leptin/fat, and retroperitoneal and total fat (% BW). Blueberry juice was not as effective as the low dose of anthocyanins in the drinking water in preventing obesity. Additional studies are needed to determine factors responsible for the differing responses of blueberry juice and whole blueberry in preventing the development of obesity.

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3970-6

Purified berry anthocyanins but not whole berries normalize lipid parameters in mice fed an obesogenic high fat diet.

Male C57BL/6 mice received diets with either 10% of kcal from fat, or a high fat diet [45% (HF45) or 60% (HF60) kcal from fat]. Diets were prepared with or without freeze-dried powders (10%) from whole blueberries (BB), strawberries (SB), Concord grape or black raspberry. In the 2nd study, purified anthocyanins (ACNs) from SB or BB were added to the drinking water of the treatments fed the HF60 diet. In Study 1, serum triglycerides were increased by feeding the HF45 diet but were elevated further when black raspberry or BB was included in the HF45 diet. Liver total lipids and triglycerides were increased in mice fed HF45 diet and inclusion of any of the berry powders in the HF45 diet did not alter concentrations compared to HF45 controls. In the 2nd study, mice fed the HF60 diet plus purified ACNs from BB in the water had lower body weight gains and body fat than the HF60 fed. Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were elevated with the HF60 diet and decreased to control levels when ACNs from either SB or BB were included in the drinking water. Serum leptin levels were consistently decreased to control low fat levels in those ACN treatments in which measures of body fat were decreased. Administering purified ACNs from BB and strawberry via drinking water prevented the development of dyslipidemia and obesity in mice, but feeding diets containing whole berries or purple corn (PC) ACNs did not alter the development of obesity.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Nov;53(11):1406-18

Blueberries decrease cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women with metabolic syndrome.

Among all fruits, berries have shown substantial cardio-protective benefits due to their high polyphenol content. However, investigation of their efficacy in improving features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors in obesity is limited. We examined the effects of blueberry supplementation on features of metabolic syndrome, lipid peroxidation, and inflammation in obese men and women. Forty-eight participants with metabolic syndrome [4 males and 44 females; BMI: 37.8 +/- 2.3 kg/m(2); age: 50.0 +/- 3.0 y (mean +/- SE)] consumed freeze-dried blueberry beverage (50 g freeze-dried blueberries, approximately 350 g fresh blueberries) or equivalent amounts of fluids (controls, 960 mL water) daily for 8 wk in a randomized controlled trial. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements, assessment of dietary intakes, and fasting blood draws were conducted at screening and at wk 4 and 8 of the study. The decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were greater in the blueberry-supplemented group (- 6 and - 4%, respectively) than in controls (- 1.5 and - 1.2%) (P lt 0.05), whereas the serum glucose concentration and lipid profiles were not affected. The decreases in plasma oxidized LDL and serum malondialdehyde and hydroxynonenal concentrations were greater in the blueberry group (- 28 and - 17%, respectively) than in the control group (- 9 and - 9%) (P lt 0.01). Our study shows blueberries may improve selected features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors at dietary achievable doses.

J Nutr. 2010 Sep;140(9):1582-7

Anthocyanins extracted from Chinese blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum L.) and its anticancer effects on DLD-1 and COLO205 cells.

BACKGROUND: Vaccinium uliginosum L. is a type of blueberry found in the Chinese Changbai Mountains. We extracted Vaccinium uliginosum Anthocyanins (A(V.uli)) to investigate its bioactivity on suppressing cancer cells. METHODS: A(V.uli) was extracted under different conditions of temperature (10°C - 35°C), pH 1.0 - 3.0, and diatomaceous earth (1.0 g - 3.0 g), followed by a HPLC analysis for the determination of the ingredients. Its anticancer bioactivities on human colon and colorectal cancer cells (DLD-1 and COLO205) were compared with those on Lonicera caerulea Anthocyanins (A(L.cae)) and Vaccinium myrtillus Anthocyanins (A(V.myr)), using cell viability assays, DNA electrophoresis and nuclear morphology assays.RESULTS: The optimum process of A(V.uli) extraction involved conditions of temperature 20°C, pH 2.0, and diatomaceous earth 1.0 g/50 g of fruit weight. A(V.uli) contained 5 main components: delphinidin (40.70 ± 1.72)%, cyanidin (3.40 ± 0.68)%, petunidin (17.70 ± 0.54)%, peonidin (2.90 ± 0.63)% and malvidin (35.50 ± 1.11)%. The malvidin percentage was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than it in A(V.myr). A(V.uli) complied with a dose-dependent repression of cancer cell proliferation with an IC(50) (50% inhibitory concentration) value of 50 µg/ml, and showed greater anticancer efficiency than A(L.cae) and A(V.myr) under the same cell treatment conditions. These observations were further supported by the results of nuclear assays. CONCLUSIONS: The extraction protocol and conditions we used were effective for anthocyanin extraction. A(V.uli) could be a feasible practical research tool and a promising therapeutic source to suppress human colon or colorectal cancers.

Chin Med J (Engl). 2010 Oct;123(19):2714-9

Potential of the dietary antioxidants resveratrol and curcumin in prevention and treatment of hematologic malignancies.

Despite considerable improvements in the tolerance and efficacy of novel chemotherapeutic agents, the mortality of hematological malignancies is still high due to therapy relapse, which is associated with bad prognosis. Dietary polyphenolic compounds are of growing interest as an alternative approach, especially in cancer treatment, as they have been proven to be safe and display strong antioxidant properties. Here, we provide evidence that both resveratrol and curcumin possess huge potential for application as both chemopreventive agents and anticancer drugs and might represent promising candidates for future treatment of leukemia. Both polyphenols are currently being tested in clinical trials. We describe the underlying mechanisms, but also focus on possible limitations and how they might be overcome in future clinical use--either by chemically synthesized derivatives or special formulations that improve bioavailability and pharmacokinetics.

Molecules. 2010 Oct 12;15(10):7035-74

Curcumin dramatically enhances retinoic acid-induced superoxide generating activity via accumulation of p47-phox and p67-phox proteins in U937 cells.

The membrane bound cytochrome b558 composed of large gp91-phox and small p22-phox subunits, and cytosolic proteins p40-, p47- and p67-phox are important components of superoxide (O(2)(-))-generating system in phagocytes and B lymphocytes. A lack of this system in phagocytes is known to cause serious life-threatening infections. Here, we describe that curcumin, a polyphenol responsible for the yellow color of curry spice turmeric, dramatically activates the O(2)(-)-generating system during retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation of human monoblastic leukemia U937 cells to macrophage-like cells. When U937 cells were cultured in the presence of RA and curcumin, the O(2)(-)-generating activity increased more than 4-fold compared with that in the absence of the latter. Semiquantitative RT-PCR showed that co-treatment with RA and curcumin slightly enhanced gene expressions of the five components compared with those of the RA-treatment only. On the other hand, immunoblot analysis revealed that co-treatment with RA and curcumin caused remarkable accumulation of protein levels of p47-phox (to 7-fold) and p67-phox (to 4-fold) compared with those of the RA-treatment alone. These results suggested that curcumin dramatically enhances RA-induced O(2)(-)-generating activity via accumulation of cytosolic p47-phox and p67-phox proteins in U937 cells. Therefore, it should have the potential as an effective modifier in therapy of leukemia and/or as an immunopotentiator.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Apr 23;395(1):61-5

Curcumin stimulates reactive oxygen species production and potentiates apoptosis induction by the antitumor drugs arsenic trioxide and lonidamine in human myeloid leukemia cell lines.

Arsenic trioxide (ATO, Trisenox) is an important antileukemic drug, but its efficacy is frequently low when used as a single agent. Here, we demonstrate that the apoptotic action of ATO is greatly increased when combined with subcytotoxic curcumin concentrations in U937 and HL60 human acute myeloid leukemia cells, and with lower efficacy in K562 chronic myelogenous leukemia cells. Curcumin exerts similar cooperative effect with the mitochondria-targeting drug lonidamine, whereas the response is negligible in combination with the DNA-targeting drug cisplatin. Curcumin plus ATO or lonidamine stimulates typical events of the mitochondrial executioner pathway (Bax and Bid activation, cytochrome c release, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis down-regulation, and caspase-9/-3 activation) and causes mitochondrial transmembrane potential dissipation, which nevertheless represents a late event in the apoptotic response. Curcumin increases anion superoxide production, and its proapoptotic action in combination with ATO and lonidamine is mimicked by pro-oxidant agents (2-methoxyestradiol and H(2)O(2)) and prevented by antioxidant agents [Mn(III)tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin chloride and N-acetyl-l-cysteine]. Within the assayed time period (16-24 h), curcumin does not significantly modify p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase phosphorylation/activation or nuclear factor-κB activity, but it greatly stimulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, and decreases Akt phosphorylation. Experiments using mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/ERK inhibitors [2’-amino-3’-methoxyflavone (PD98059) and 1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene (U0126)] and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one (LY294002) indicate that ERK activation does not mediate and even restrains apoptosis potentiation, whereas Akt down-regulation facilitates apoptosis generation. In summary, cotreatment with curcumin may represent a useful manner of increasing the efficacy of ATO and lonidamine as antitumor drugs in myeloid leukemia cells.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Oct;335(1):114-23

Curcumin selectively induces apoptosis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma cell lines and patients’ PBMCs: potential role for STAT-3 and NF-kappaB signaling.

Curcumin inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in a number of tumor cell lines and animal models. Human clinical trials indicated no dose-limiting toxicity when administered at doses up to 8 g per day. The purpose of this study was to address the antitumor effect of curcumin on cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with CTCL compared with healthy donors’ controls. Curcumin at 5-20 microM for 24 and 48 hours induced apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner in three CTCL cell lines (namely MJ, Hut78, and HH). Curcumin at 5-20 microM for 48 hours also caused more apoptosis in patients’ PBMCs compared with healthy donors’ PBMCs (P<0.05). Curcumin decreased protein and mRNA expression levels of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-3, bcl-2, and survivin in three cell lines and in patients’ PBMCs. Curcumin inhibited STAT-3 and IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation, as well as suppressed DNA binding of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB in these cells. Caspase-3 was activated and poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase was cleaved after curcumin treatment. These data suggest that curcumin selectively induces apoptosis in association with the downregulation of STAT-3 and NF-kappaB signaling pathways in CTCL cells. Our findings provide a mechanistic rationale for the potential use of curcumin as a therapeutic agent for patients with CTCL.

J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Aug;130(8):2110-9

Curcumin decreases specificity protein expression in bladder cancer cells.

Curcumin is the active component of turmeric, and this polyphenolic compound has been extensively investigated as an anticancer drug that modulates multiple pathways and genes. In this study, 10 to 25 micromol/L curcumin inhibited 253JB-V and KU7 bladder cancer cell growth, and this was accompanied by induction of apoptosis and decreased expression of the proapoptotic protein survivin and the angiogenic proteins vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1). Because expression of survivin, VEGF, and VEGFR1 are dependent on specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors, we also investigated the effects of curcumin on Sp protein expression as an underlying mechanism for the apoptotic and antiangiogenic activity of this compound. The results show that curcumin induced proteasome-dependent down-regulation of Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 in 253JB-V and KU7 cells. Moreover, using RNA interference with small inhibitory RNAs for Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4, we observed that curcumin-dependent inhibition of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-dependent genes, such as bcl-2, survivin, and cyclin D1, was also due, in part, to loss of Sp proteins. Curcumin also decreased bladder tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing KU7 cells as xenografts and this was accompanied by decreased Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 protein levels in tumors. These results show for the first time that one of the underlying mechanisms of action of curcumin as a cancer chemotherapeutic agent is due, in part, to decreased expression of Sp transcription factors in bladder cancer cells.

Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 1;68(13):5345-54

Drugs that target specificity proteins downregulate epidermal growth factor receptor in bladder cancer cells.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an important chemotherapeutic target for tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antibodies that block the extracellular domain of EGFR. Betulinic acid (BA) and curcumin inhibited bladder cancer cell growth and downregulated specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors, and this was accompanied by decreased expression of EGFR mRNA and protein levels. EGFR, a putative Sp-regulated gene, was also decreased in cells transfected with a cocktail (iSp) containing small inhibitory RNAs for Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4, and RNA interference with individual Sp knockdown indicated that EGFR expression was primarily regulated by Sp1 and Sp3. BA, curcumin, and iSp also decreased phosphorylation of Akt in these cells, and downregulation of EGFR by BA, curcumin, and iSp was accompanied by induction of LC3 and autophagy, which is consistent with recent studies showing that EGFR suppresses autophagic cell death. The results show that EGFR is an Sp-regulated gene in bladder cancer, and drugs such as BA and curcumin that repress Sp proteins also ablate EGFR expression. Thus, compounds such as curcumin and BA that downregulate Sp transcription factors represent a novel class of anticancer drugs that target EGFR in bladder cancer cells and tumors by inhibiting receptor expression.

Mol Cancer Res. 2010 May;8(5):739-50

Curcumin potentiates the antitumor effects of gemcitabine in an orthotopic model of human bladder cancer through suppression of proliferative and angiogenic biomarkers.

Little progress has been made in the last three decades in the treatment of bladder cancer. Novel agents that are nontoxic and can improve the current standard of care of this disease are urgently needed. Curcumin, a component of Curcuma longa (also called turmeric), is one such agent that has been shown to suppress pathways linked to oncogenesis, including cell survival, proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis. We investigated whether curcumin has potential to improve the current therapy for bladder cancer, using an orthotopic mouse model. Curcumin potentiated the apoptotic effects of gemcitabine against human bladder cancer 253JBV cells in culture. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that curcumin also suppressed the gemcitabine-induced activation of the cell survival transcription factor NF-kappaB. In an orthotopic mouse model, bioluminescence imaging revealed that while curcumin alone significantly reduced the bladder tumor volume, maximum reduction was observed when curcumin was used in combination with gemcitabine (P<0.01 versus vehicle; P<0.01 versus gemcitabine alone). Curcumin also significantly decreased the proliferation marker Ki-67 and microvessel density (CD31) (P<0.01 versus vehicle; P<0.01 versus gemcitabine alone), but maximum reduction occurred when it was combined with gemcitabine (P<0.01 versus vehicle; P<0.01 versus gemcitabine alone). Curcumin abolished the constitutive activation of NF-kappaB in the tumor tissue; induced apoptosis, and decreased cyclin D1, VEGF, COX-2, c-myc and Bcl-2 expression in the bladder cancer tissue. Overall our results suggest that curcumin alone exhibits significant antitumor effects against human bladder cancer and it further potentiates the effects of gemictabine, possibly through the modulation of NF-kappaB signaling pathway.

Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Jan 15;79(2):218-28

Curcumin blocks brain tumor formation.

Turmeric, an essential ingredient of culinary preparations of southeast Asia, contains a major polyphenolic compound, named curcumin or diferuloylmethane, which eliminates cancer cells derived from a variety of peripheral tissues. Although in vitro experiments have addressed its anti-tumor property, no in vivo studies have explored its anti-cancer activity in the brain. Oral delivery of this food component has been less effective because of its low solubility in water. We show that a soluble formulation of curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier but does not suppress normal brain cell viability. Furthermore, tail vein injection, or more effectively, intracerebral injection through a cannula, blocks brain tumor formation in mice that had already received an intracerebral bolus of mouse melanoma cells (B16F10). While exploring the mechanism of its action in vitro we observed that the solubilized curcumin causes activation of proapoptotic enzymes caspase 3/7 in human oligodendroglioma (HOG) and lung carcinoma (A549) cells, and mouse tumor cells N18 (neuroblastoma), GL261 (glioma), and B16F10. A simultaneous decrease in cell viability is also revealed by MTT [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assays. Further examination of the B16F10 cells showed that curcumin effectively suppresses Cyclin D1, P-NF-kB, Bcl(XL), P-Akt, and VEGF, which explains its efficacy in blocking proliferation, survival, and invasion of the B16F10 cells in the brain. Taken together, solubilized curcumin effectively blocks brain tumor formation and also eliminates brain tumor cells. Therefore, judicious application of such injectable formulations of curcumin could be developed into a safe therapeutic strategy for treating brain tumors.

Brain Res. 2009 Feb 10

Curcumin acts as anti-tumorigenic and hormone-suppressive agent in murine and human pituitary tumour cells in vitro and in vivo.

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the active ingredient of the spice plant Curcuma longa and has been shown to act anti-tumorigenic in different types of tumours. Therefore, we have studied its effect in pituitary tumour cell lines and adenomas. Proliferation of lactosomatotroph GH3 and somatotroph MtT/S rat pituitary cells as well as of corticotroph AtT20 mouse pituitary cells was inhibited by curcumin in monolayer cell culture and in colony formation assay in soft agar. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis demonstrated curcumin-induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M. Analysis of cell cycle proteins by immunoblotting showed reduction in cyclin D(1), cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and no change in p27(kip). FACS analysis with Annexin V-FITC/7-aminoactinomycin D staining demonstrated curcumin-induced early apoptosis after 3, 6, 12 and 24 h treatment and nearly no necrosis. Induction of DNA fragmentation, reduction of Bcl-2 and enhancement of cleaved caspase-3 further confirmed induction of apoptosis by curcumin. Growth of GH3 tumours in athymic nude mice was suppressed by curcumin in vivo. In endocrine pituitary tumour cell lines, GH, ACTH and prolactin production were inhibited by curcumin. Studies in 25 human pituitary adenoma cell cultures have confirmed the anti-tumorigenic and hormone-suppressive effects of curcumin. Altogether, the results described in this report suggest this natural compound as a good candidate for therapeutic use on pituitary tumours.

Endocr Relat Cancer. 2009 Dec;16(4):1339-50

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) induces apoptosis and blocks migration of human medulloblastoma cells.

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Bcl-2 and MMP-9 promote the pathogenesis and progression of MB. The expression of both bcl-2 and MMP-9 is regulated by the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Curcumin, a natural food additive, has a potent anti-proliferative effect, presumably mediated through NF-kappaB suppression. The tumor-suppressing effects of curcumin are well documented, however, its effect on MB is unknown. Our objectives were to: a) examine the effect of curcumin on MB cell proliferation and apoptosis; b) characterize the mechanism that mediates the effect of curcumin; c) examine the effects of curcumin on MB cell migration. We report that curcumin inhibited cell proliferation and blocked clonogenicity of MB cells. Furthermore, curcumin down-regulated bcl-2 and bcl(x)l, leading to caspase-mediated cell death. Finally, curcumin blocked migration of MB cells. Thus, we propose developing curcumin as a novel therapeutic agent for MB.

Anticancer Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):499-504

Curcumin inhibits the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway and triggers apoptosis in medulloblastoma cells.

Medulloblastoma is an aggressive primary brain tumor that arises in the cerebellum of children and young adults. The Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway that plays important roles in the pathology of this aggressive disease is a promising therapeutic target. In the present report we have shown that curcumin has cytotoxic effects on medulloblastoma cells. Curcumin suppressed also cell proliferation and triggered cell-cycle arrest at G(2)/M phase. Moreover, curcumin inhibited the Shh-Gli1 signaling pathway by downregulating the Shh protein and its most important downstream targets GLI1 and PTCH1. Furthermore, curcumin reduced the levels of beta-catenin, the activate/phosphorylated form of Akt and NF-kappaB, which led to downregulating the three common key effectors, namely C-myc, N-myc, and Cyclin D1. Consequently, apoptosis was triggered by curcumin through the mitochondrial pathway via downregulation of Bcl-2, a downstream anti-apoptotic effector of the Shh signaling. Importantly, the resistant cells that exhibited no decrease in the levels of Shh and Bcl-2, were sensitized to curcumin by the addition of the Shh antagonist, cyclopamine. Furthermore, we have shown that curcumin enhances the killing efficiency of nontoxic doses of cisplatin and gamma-rays. In addition, we present clear evidence that piperine, an enhancer of curcumin bioavailability in humans, potentiates the apoptotic effect of curcumin against medulloblastoma cells. This effect was mediated through strong downregulation of Bcl-2. These results indicate that curcumin, a natural nontoxic compound, represents great promise as Shh-targeted therapy for medulloblastomas.

Mol Carcinog. 2010 Mar;49(3):302-14

Curcumin inhibits the growth, induces apoptosis and modulates the function of pituitary folliculostellate cells.

The polyphenol curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the active componenet of the spice plant Curcuma longa and has been shown to exert multiple actions on mammalian cells. We have studied its effect on folliculostellate (FS) TtT/GF mouse pituitary cells, representative of a multifunctional, endocrine inactive cell type of the anterior pituitary. Proliferation of TtT/GF cells was inhibited by curcumin in a monolayer cell culture and in the colony formation assay in soft agar. Fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) analysis demonstrated curcumin-induced cell cycle arrest at G(2)/M accompanied by inhibition of cyclin D(1) protein expression. Curcumin had a small effect on necrosis of TtT/GF cells, but it mainly stimulated apoptosis as demonstrated by FACS analysis (Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyannate/7-aminoactinomycin D staining). Curcumin-induced apoptosis involved suppression of Bcl-2, stimulation of cleaved caspase-3 and induction of DNA fragmentation. Functional studies on FS cell-derived compounds showed that curcumin inhibited mRNA synthesis and release of angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). Immune-like functions of FS cells were impaired since curcumin downregulated Toll-like receptor 4, reduced nuclear factor-kappaB expression and suppressed bacterial endotoxin-induced interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion. The inhibitory action of curcumin on VEGF-A and IL-6 production was also found in primary rat pituitary cell cultures, in which FS cells are the only source of these proteins. The observed effects of curcumin on FS cell growth, apoptosis and functions may have therapeutic consequences for the intrapituitary regulation of hormone production and release as well as for pituitary tumor pathogenesis.

Neuroendocrinology. 2010;91(2):200-10

Possible action mechanism for curcumin in pre-cancerous lesions based on serum and salivary markers of oxidative stress.

Extensive research within the past half-century has indicated that curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow pigment in curry powder, exhibits anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-apoptotic activities. We investigated whether the anti-pre-cancer activities assigned to curcumin are mediated through an anti-oxidant and DNA-protecting mechanism. Patients with oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis or lichen planus, and healthy individuals (n = 25 for each group) aged 17-50 years were selected. Salivary and serum oxidative markers such as malonaldehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), vitamins C and E were measured just prior to the intake of curcumin, after one week of curcumin intake and following clinical cure of precancerous lesions. Serum and salivary vitamins C and E showed increases, while MDA and 8-OHdG levels showed decreases in patients with oral leukoplakia, submucous fibrosis and lichen planus after intake of curcumin for all categories of precancerous lesions. The changes in these values were observed to be statistically significant after clinical cure of the disease (P < 0.05). The five-point rating scale for pain, as well as lesion size in oral leukoplakia, submucous fibrosis and lichen planus, improved significantly (P < 0.05). In addition, in submucous fibrosis, mouth opening (P < 0.05) recovered significantly. In oral leukoplakia, submucous fibrosis and lichen planus, the levels of serum and salivary vitamins C and E increased significantly, while

MDA and 8-OHdG levels decreased after 131(15), 211(17), and 191(18) days, respectively. Values for serum and salivary vitamins C and E showed a significant decrease in oral leukoplakia, submucous fibrosis and lichen planus, in contrast to healthy individuals, but increased significantly in all groups subsequent to curcumin administration after clinical cure of lesions. Based on these results, we can conclude that curcumin mediates its anti-pre-cancer activities by increasing levels of vitamins C and E, and preventing lipid peroxidation and DNA damage.

J Oral Sci. 2010;52(2):251-6

Inhibitory effect of curcumin on motility of human oral squamous carcinoma YD-10B cells via suppression of ERK and NF-kappaB activations.

Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) are characterized by a marked propensity for local invasion, so the identification of agents inhibiting the onset and progression of OSCC has recently gained interest. Here, we found that curcumin inhibited cell proliferation and motility with decreased activities of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/9 and decreased mRNA expressions of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor uPAR in the highly invasive human YD-10B OSCC cells. Western blot analysis showed that curcumin inhibited the activation of MAP kinases (especially ERK) and NF-kappaB, which are involved in the transcriptional regulation of proteolytic enzymes. In conclusion, curcumin is one of the strong phytochemicals with antimotility activity of OSCC; the inhibitory effect of curcumin on the motility of YD-10B cells could result from its potential to inhibit the activation of ERK/MAP kinase and NF-kappaB that consequently down-regulate the mRNA expressions and activities of proteolytic enzymes such as uPA and MMP-2/9.

Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):577-82

The effects of topical vitamin K on bruising after laser treatment.

BACKGROUND: Pulsed dye laser treatment and other cosmetic procedures result in significant bruising. Claims have been made regarding the efficacy of topical vitamin K in both preventing and speeding the clearing of bruising; however, well-controlled studies are lacking. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of topical vitamin K versus placebo in the prevention and clearing of laser-induced purpura. METHODS: A total of 22 patients were enrolled in this double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. The patients were divided into pretreatment and posttreatment groups; the 11 patients in the former group applied vitamin K cream to half of their face and vehicle alone to the other half of their face twice daily for 2 weeks before laser treatment. The latter group followed the same procedure for 2 weeks after laser treatment. On day 0, all subjects underwent laser treatment for facial telangiectases using a

585-nm pulsed dye laser. Bruising was rated by the both the patient and physician by means of a visual analogue scale on days 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, and 17. RESULTS: The side of the face treated with topical vitamin K before laser therapy showed no significant difference in bruising as compared to placebo. However, the side of the face treated with vitamin K cream after laser treatment had significantly lower scores of bruising severity when compared with the side treated with placebo. CONCLUSION: Although pretreatment with vitamin K did not prevent bruising after laser treatment, use of vitamin K cream after laser treatment did reduce the severity of bruising, particularly in the initial days of application.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Aug;47(2):241-4

Effects of topical vitamin K and retinol on laser-induced purpura on nonlesional skin.

BACKGROUND: Pulsed dye laser treatments usually result in purpura. Any topical application that eliminates or shortens the duration of purpura would be extremely useful. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this prospective study was to determine the safety and efficacy of topical vitamin K cream in shortening the duration of laser-induced purpura. METHODS: Twenty adult subjects were enrolled. Each subject had five 1.5 cm sites treated with a pulsed dye laser at 585 nm, 450 nsec, 7 mm spot size at each subject’s respective threshold fluence. Each subject had a control site where no topical application was used and four other sites where a different formulation was applied to each for 2 weeks before and for 2 weeks after laser irradiation. Five vitamin K formulations with or without retinol were studied: 3% vitamin K in acrylates copolymer cream, 5% vitamin K in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% vitamin K and 0.15% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream, 1% free vitamin K cream. Purpuric discoloration at each site was rated on days 0, 1, 3, 7, 10, and 14 after laser treatment on a quartile scale. Each site was assigned 100% discoloration on day 0 after laser irradiation. RESULTS: Laser-induced purpuric discoloration resolved faster with 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream than with no topical application. The difference is statistically significant from day 3 onward. CONCLUSION: A combination of 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol in acrylates copolymer cream hastened the resolution of laser-induced purpura.

Dermatol Surg. 1999 Dec;25(12):942-4

Accelerated resolution of laser-induced bruising with topical 20% arnica: a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Dermatolog-ical procedures can result in disfiguring bruises that resolve slowly. OBJECTIVES: To assess the comparative utility of topical formulations in hastening the resolution of skin bruising. METHODS: Healthy volunteers, age range 21-65 years, were enrolled for this double (patient and rater) blinded randomized controlled trial. For each subject, four standard bruises of 7 mm diameter each were created on the bilateral upper inner arms, 5 cm apart, two per arm, using a 595-nm pulsed-dye laser (Vbeam; Candela Corp., Wayland, MA, U.S.A.). Randomization was used to assign one topical agent (5% vitamin K, 1% vitamin K and 0·3% retinol, 20% arnica, or white petrolatum) to exactly one bruise per subject, which was then treated under occlusion twice a day for 2 weeks. A dermatologist not involved with subject assignment rated bruises [visual analogue scale, 0 (least)-10 (most)] in standardized photographs immediately after bruise creation and at week 2. RESULTS: There was significant difference in the change in the rater bruising score associated with the four treatments (anova, P=0·016). Pairwise comparisons indicated that the mean improvement associated with 20% arnica was greater than with white petrolatum (P=0·003), and the improvement with arnica was greater than with the mixture of 1% vitamin K and 0·3% retinol (P=0·01). Improvement with arnica was not greater than with 5% vitamin K cream, however. CONCLUSIONS: Topical 20% arnica ointment may be able to reduce bruising more effectively than placebo and more effectively than low-concentration vitamin K formulations, such as 1% vitamin K with 0·3% retinol.

Br J Dermatol. 2010 Sep;163(3):557-63

Effect of homeopathic Arnica montana on bruising in face-lifts: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

OBJECTIVES: To design a model for performing reproducible, objective analyses of skin color changes and to apply this model to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic Arnica montana as an antiecchymotic agent when taken perioperatively. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients undergoing rhytidectomy at a tertiary care center were treated perioperatively with either homeopathic A. montana or placebo in a double-blind fashion. Postoperative photographs were analyzed using a novel computer model for color changes, and subjective assessments of postoperative ecchymosis were obtained. RESULTS: No subjective differences were noted between the treatment group and the control group, either by the patients or by the professional staff. No objective difference in the degree of color change was found. Patients receiving homeopathic A. montana were found to have a smaller area of ecchymosis on postoperative days 1, 5, 7, and 10. These differences were statistically significant (P<.05) only on postoperative days 1 (P<.005) and 7 (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: This computer model provides an efficient, objective, and reproducible means with which to assess perioperative color changes, both in terms of area and degree. Patients taking perioperative homeopathic A. montana exhibited less ecchymosis, and that difference was statistically significant (P<.05) on 2 of the 4 postoperative data points evaluated.

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2006 Jan-Feb;8(1):54-9

Toxic effects of drugs used in the ICU. Anticoagulants and thrombolytics. Risks and benefits.

Anticoagulation is being used increasingly in the critical care areas. Thrombolytic therapy is now commonly used in emergency departments and coronary care units for treatment of AMI. Heparin therapy for unstable angina and for a 48 to 72 hour period following thrombolytic therapy for AMI is becoming commonplace. Beginning warfarin therapy concomitantly with heparin to decrease the total duration of heparin and the duration of hospital stay for DVT therapy is encouraged. The use of low-dose warfarin to prevent DVT in hip surgery, improve catheter patency, and prevent catheter-related subclavian thrombosis is increasing. Along with the increased use of anticoagulation must come a greater appreciation of the complications associated with the agents used, and of how to prevent or treat the hemorrhagic or thrombotic morbidity that may arise. Acute hemorrhage with thrombolytic agents must be recognized and the immediate implementation of conservative and aggressive measures begun. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with thrombosis is an often-unrecognized problem that may occur in 1% to 2% of heparin recipients and result in limb amputations. A delayed onset (6-10 days) requires frequent platelet counts for early diagnosis and treatment. The resurgence of warfarin use for prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders demands observation for skin necrosis from protein C and S inhibition. Early recognition of symptoms and syndromes associated with organ system hemorrhage in patients receiving chronic anticoagulation is imperative. The use of antagonists, such as protamine sulfate for heparin, vitamin K1 for warfarin, and antifibrinolytic drugs for thrombolytic agents, may be necessary in treating hemorrhagic events. However, their use may worsen the thromboembolic event initially treated.

Crit Care Clin. 1991 Jul;7(3):533-54

Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 in human skin and the physiologic consequences.

Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 can occur throughout the epidermis in the dermis when hypopigmented Caucasian skin is exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation. Once previtamin D3 is formed in the skin, it undergoes a temperature-dependent thermal isomerization that takes at least 3 days to complete. The vitamin D-binding protein preferentially translocates the thermal product, vitamin D3, into the circulation. These processes suggest a unique mechanism for the synthesis, storage, and slow, steady release of vitamin D3 from the skin into the circulation.

Science. 1980 Oct 10;210(4466):203-5

Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice.

Colloidal oatmeal has a long history of beneficial use in dermatology. It is a natural product that has an excellent safety record and has demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, drug-induced rash and other conditions. In recent years, in vitro and in vivo studies have begun to elucidate the multiple mechanisms of action of naturally derived colloidal oatmeal. Evidence now describes its molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic activity. The avenanthramides, a recently described component of whole oat grain, are responsible for many of these effects. Studies have demonstrated that avenanthramides can inhibit the activity of nuclear factor kappaB and the release of proinflammatory cytokines and histamine, well known key mechanisms in the pathophysiology of inflammatory dermatoses. Topical formulations of natural colloidal oatmeal should be considered an important component of therapy for atopic dermatitis and other conditions and may allow for reduced use of corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Sep;9(9):1116-20

Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry, and clinical properties.

Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various xerotic dermatoses. In 1945, a ready to use colloidal oatmeal, produced by finely grinding the oat and boiling it to extract the colloidal material, became available. Today, colloidal oatmeal is available in various dosage forms from powders for the bath to shampoos, shaving gels, and moisturizing creams. Currently, the use of colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) according to the Over-The-Counter Final Monograph for Skin Protectant Drug Products issued in June 2003. Its preparation is also standardized by the United States Pharmacopeia. The many clinical properties of colloidal oatmeal derive from its chemical polymorphism. The high concentration in starches and beta-glucan is responsible for the protective and water-holding functions of oat. The presence of different types of phenols confers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Some of the oat phenols are also strong ultraviolet absorbers. The cleansing activity of oat is mostly due to saponins. Its many functional properties make colloidal oatmeal a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, as well as a soothing and protective anti-inflammatory agent.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Feb;6(2):167-70

Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity.

Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various xerotic dermatoses; however few studies have sought to identify the active phytochemical(s) in oat that mediate this anti-inflammatory activity. Avenanthramides are phenolic compounds present in oats at approximately 300 parts per million (ppm) and have been reported to exhibit anti-oxidant activity in various cell-types. In the current study we investigated whether these compounds exert anti-inflammatory activity in the skin. We found that avenanthramides at concentrations as low as 1 parts per billion inhibited the degradation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B-alpha (IkappaB-alpha) in keratinocytes which correlated with decreased phosphorylation of p65 subunit of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). Furthermore, cells treated with avenanthramides showed a significant inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) induced NF-kappaB luciferase activity and subsequent reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8) release. Additionally, topical application of 1-3 ppm avenanthramides mitigated inflammation in murine models of contact hypersensitivity and neurogenic inflammation and reduced pruritogen-induced scratching in a murine itch model. Taken together these results demonstrate that avenanthramides are potent anti-inflammatory agents that appear to mediate the anti-irritant effects of oats.

Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Nov;300(10):569-74