Extracts from the acacia tree found to be useful in preventing cardiac injury caused by common chemotherapy drug

Chemotherapy, despite its prevalent use in conventional medicine as the primary treatment for almost all kinds of cancer, is far from being safe. Its side effects are notorious and can be severe. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine examined the ability of Acacia hydaspica R. Parker, a type of acacia common in India and Pakistan, to prevent damage to the heart caused by chemotherapy medication, particularly, that of doxorubicin.

Chemotherapy is a long process designed to treat various types of cancer. Basically, it involves the administration of various chemo medications that poison cancer cells, killing them and retarding their progress. Unfortunately, chemotherapy medications do not discriminate between normal, healthy cells and cancer cells. As a result, cancer patients tend to suffer from a long list of chemo side effects, including hair loss, fatigue, a weakened immune system, and others.

Doxorubicin (DOX), a chemotherapy drug noted used for leukemia, bladder cancer, and breast cancer, among others, is known for a particularly severe side effect. It is known for its cardiotoxic effects – it increases oxidative stress on the heart, leading to cardiac injury.

The researchers investigated the ability of A. hydaspica extract (AHE) to reduce oxidative stress on the heart and, in the process, prevent doxorubicin-induced cardiac injury. To do this, they created a rat model that they divided into six groups. The control group received saline solution, while the second group (DOX-treated) three milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of DOX once daily. The third group (AHE-treated) was treated with one dose of 400 mg/kg AHE.

The fourth (DOX + AHE 200 mg/kg) and fifth (DOX + AHE 400 mg/kg) groups received 200 and 400 mg/kg, respectively, and an injection of DOX every day. The final group (DOX + silymarin) received two doses of 100 mg/kg silymarin and an injection of DOX. All groups were treated over six weeks. The researchers took note of particular markers to keep track of cardiac function, as well as hematological parameters, cardiac tissue antioxidant enzymatic status and oxidative stress markers, and histopathological analysis.

The administration of DOX was noted to have decreased markers for cardiac function while increasing oxidative stress. Other effects of the treatment included severe morphological lesions, leucopenia, a decrease in red blood cell counts and hemoglobin concentrations. The researchers noted that the administration of AHE exerted a dependent protective effect on both the heart and the blood, proven by the prevention of myocardial injury and the recovery of hematological parameters. The 400 mg/kg dosage was even compared in terms of protective effects to silymarin.

The researchers concluded that AHE was indeed able to prevent cardiac injury as a result of doxorubicin. These findings, they said, could lead to the creation of combination therapies that are safer and more efficient.

Treating cancer naturally

One of the best ways to treat cancer without the risk of suffering from chemo’s side effects is to resort to natural anti-cancer strategies. Here are several methods you can follow:

  • Ketogenic diet – Also known as just “keto,” this diet aims to convert one’s stores of fat into energy. In keto, sugars are avoided while good fats are favored. The goal is to prevent the mitochondria, the so-called powerhouse of the cells, from being overwhelmed. As a result, free radicals are kept to a minimum and oxidative stress, one of the culprits behind cancer, is also kept low.
  • Fermented food – Items, such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles are rich in probiotics. These are good bacteria that occupy the gut. The presence of probiotics is attributed to increased resistance to a number of common and serious diseases, including colon cancer.
  • Turmeric – The curcumin in turmeric is known for having anti-inflammatory properties. Although inflammation is a natural part of the immune process, too much of it can lead to diseases like cancer.

Read about other natural ways to treat cancer at Cancer.news.

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