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Study Pits Palm Tocotrienol Against Breast Cancer Cells

<p>A newly published study indicated palm tocotrienol complex may induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells as well as support chemopreventive activity.</p>

Global GMP (good manufacturing practice)-certified tocotrienol producer ExcelVite announced the findings of a newly published study indicating EVNol™, a natural full-spectrum palm tocotrienol complex, induced autophagy and apoptosis in breast cancer cells without affecting non-cancerous cells.

Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers used EVNol (published as Tocomin® in the paper) as a dietary source for natural tocotrienols and studied its effects on breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB 231. Autophagy is seen as an adaptive response in situations that lead to either survival or cell death (apoptosis).

The results showed that 24-hour treatment of EVNol at 80 and 100 ug/ml significantly reduced cell viability of MCF-7 and MDA-MB 231 cell lines, but had no significant effect on non-tumor MCF-10A cells. The findings suggest EVNol may specifically target only cancerous cells. In addition, results indicated EVNol caused MCF-7 and MDA-MB 231 cells to undergo self-destruction (apoptosis) at 40 and 80 ug/ml respectively.

However, EVNol treatment at 80 ug/ml for 24 hours only triggered autophagy response in MDA-MB 231 cells—not in MCF-7 cells. One theory is EVNol induced autophagy response in MDA-MB 231 cells through downregulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mTOR pathways.

The researchers further showed that adding autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) after EVNol treatment further enhanced apoptosis of MDA-MB 231 triple-negative breast cancer cells.

The study’s researchers concluded “EVNol demonstrate[d] effectiveness in inducing apoptosis in breast cancer cells as well as chemopreventive activity by triggering protective autophagic response."

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