Orchids found to hold anti-cancer potential

Researchers from the University of Vienna have found that orchids contain multiple therapeutic properties. The study, published in Phytomedicine, looked at the aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer properties of orchids, among others.

  • The study investigated the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cytotoxic properties of a 50-percent ethanolic extract of Eulophia macrobulbon (EME), an orchid native to Southeast Asia. The researchers also identified the main active compounds of E. macrobulbon and determined the bioactivity of its single constituents.
  • In the study, the researchers also assessed the anti-inflammatory properties of EME using the secretion of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophage model. This was done using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot. Meanwhile, a DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate) photometric assay was used to evaluate its antioxidant activity, and a colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT)-assay determined its cytotoxic effects.
  • From the results, the team noted that EME and its compounds significantly reduced the production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), which promote inflammation. The compounds also increased iNOS expression and the production of anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10) in LPS-stimulated macrophages.
  • The team also found that EME possesses potent antioxidant properties and that its components exhibited notable cytotoxic effects on the human cervical adenocarcinoma cell line HeLa, the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line CaCo-2 and the human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7.
  • The active compounds identified in E. macrobulbon include 4-methoxy-9,10-dihydro-2,7-phenanthrenediol (8), 4-methoxy-2,7-phenanthrenediol (9), 1,5-dimethoxy-2,7-phenanthrenediol (10), 1,5,7-trimethoxy-2,6-phenanthrenediol (11), 1-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-4,8-dimethoxy-2,7-phenanthrenediol (15).

The findings indicate that EME has potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cytotoxic benefits.

Learn more about the other health benefits of orchids at Herbs.news.

Journal Reference:

Schuster R, Zeindl L, Holzer W, Khumpirapang N, Okonogi S, Viernstein H, Mueller M. EULOPHIA MACROBULBON – AN ORCHID WITH SIGNIFICANT ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND ANTIOXIDANT EFFECT AND ANTICANCEROGENIC POTENTIAL EXERTED BY ITS ROOT EXTRACT. Phytomedicine. January 2017;24:157–165. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2016.11.018

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