Natural ginger root contains natural compounds that are hundreds times more effective than anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs, a study published in PLoS journal said.
The substance known as 6-shogaol is produced by drying ginger root. This substance is active against cancer stem cells at concentrations that are harmless to healthy cells. This is very different from traditional chemotherapy that is known for its serious side effects mainly because chemotherapy kills both healthy and cancerous cells.
Like other stem cells, cancer stem cells are able to differentiate into various cell types. In case of cancer, stem cells differentiate into malignant cells that make up the tumor colony. Although they make up less than one percent of cells in any tumor, stem cells are resistant to almost all known or experimental chemotherapeutic agents.
These cells are also able to replicate indefinitely. In addition, they are capable of splitting off from the main colony to establish new tumors elsewhere. They are key players in metastasis that is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. The preservation of cancerous stem cells also explains why cancer may occur again even after the seemingly successful eradication of the tumor via chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
Researchers have found that 6-shogaol destroys stem cells of breast cancer in several different ways, including by changing the cell cycle to increase the cell death rate and inhibit the formation of tumors.
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