Dr Mercola - Vitamin A: The Saviour of Colon Cancer Patients

A possible link between Retinoic acid and colon cancer has been reportedly found in a recent trial. Retinoic acid which is a compound produced from vitamin A helps in the suppression of inflammation in the intestine and now it has been known to combat colon cancer which is a leading cause of cancer all over the world.

Some studies published in the journal Immunity, the scientists found out that mice having colon cancer exhibited lower amounts of retinoic acids in the body. It was discovered that on giving a booster dose of retinoic acid in those mice, colon cancer exhibited limited growth. Confronting the claims that usually animal studies did not fully comprehend the human results, the scientists said, "The intestine is constantly bombarded by foreign organisms. As a result, its immune system is very complex. We found that bacteria, or molecules produced by bacteria, can cause a massive inflammatory reaction in the gut that directly affects retinoic acid metabolism."

There have been reports that a certain protein in the gut may negatively affect the presence of retinoic acid in colon cancer patients.

When scientists discovered that high levels of a certain protein broke down retinoic acid in the intestinal tissue of colon cancer patients, rendering it inactive, those patients tended to have "worse outcomes" than other patients. According to Dr. Edgar Engleman, professor of pathology and medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, "Now that we've shown a role for retinoic acid deficiency in colorectal cancer, we'd like to identify the specific microorganisms that initiate these changes in humans. Ultimately we hope to determine whether our findings could be useful for the prevention or treatment of colorectal cancer."

Scientists have found the gene, HOXA5 which regulates the stem cells in colon. Cancer cells deactivate this gene and hence spread. Retinoids have the ability to reactivate this gene, which causes suppression of colon cancer.

 Science Daily quotes the study, "In mice that had colon cancer, the treatment with retinoids blocked tumor progression and normalized the tissue.

By turning the gene for HOXA5 back on, this treatment eliminated cancer stem cells and prevented metastasis in the live animals. The researchers got similar results with samples from actual patients."

Another study has found out that Vitamins A and C when working together in cultured breast cancer cells were more than 3 times more potent at inhibiting progression of the disease as compared to untreated cells. As is said in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry:

"The ability of retinoic acid (vitamin A) to inhibit tumor cell proliferation is well known, although its mechanism has not been defined. The authors suggest that the synergistic effect observed in this study is due to ascorbic acid's ability to slow the degradation of retinoic acid, thereby increasing vitamin A's cell proliferation inhibitory effects."

Vitamin A is a boon to cancer patients and must be researched upon more. It is the savior of colon cancer patients.

References:

Mercola.com

Cancer Cell December 14, 2015

Science Daily December 14, 2015

 J Nutr Biochem 2006 July;17(7):454-62

 Philly.com Aug. 30, 2016

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