The soda apple holds potential as alternative cancer treatment

Research found that Solanum aculeastrum, commonly known as the soda-apple nightshade, could potentially be used to treat cancer. The study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, evaluated the anti-cancer activity of S. aculeastrum, as well as tested its ability to inhibit P-glycoprotein and its synergistic effect when combined with doxorubicin treatment.

  • Crude extracts of S. aculeastrum were prepared using ultrasonic maceration, while liquid-liquid extractions produced aqueous and organic fractions.
  • From the aqueous fractions, researchers isolated active ingredients using column chromatography, solid phase extraction, and preparative thin-layer chromatography. This was confirmed using nuclear magnetic resonance and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
  • Researchers tested the cytotoxicity of both crude extract and fractions using sulforhodamine B and rhodamine-123 assays, respectively.
  • The findings revealed that both were cytotoxic to cancerous and non-cancerous cell lines, with P-glycoprotein being inhibited depending on dosage.
  • Two steroidal alkaloids – solamargine and solanine – were identified from the assays. In particular, solamargine exhibited P-glycoprotein inhibition activity at 100 μg/mL against the SH-SY5Y cell line.

Further studies, according to researchers, should look at the exact mechanisms of cell death to determine potential uses.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Burger T, Mokoka T, Fouché G, Steenkamp P, Steenkamp V, Cordier W. SOLAMARGINE, A BIOACTIVE STEROIDAL ALKALOID ISOLATED FROM SOLANUM ACULEASTRUM INDUCES NON-SELECTIVE CYTOTOXICITY AND P-GLYCOPROTEIN INHIBITION. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2 May 2018;18(137). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2208-7

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