St John's Wort (ingredient: hypercin)

St John's Wort (ingredient: hypercin)

"In experiments using mice, hypericin was shown to accumulate specifically in tumor tissue. When these hypericin-treated mice were irradiated, tumor growth was inhibited. Similar results have been found in human tumor cell lines. Hypericin was taken up by the tumor cells, rendering them more vulnerable to the killing effects of specific types of light. These results suggest that hypericin can be used as a phototherapy tool when treating cancer." Hypercin might be useful as a transport agent to get cancer-killing nutrients into cancer cells. It is already being tested for use with orthodox Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).
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ST. JOHN'S WORT PLUS LIGHT FIGHTS CANCER
Chalk up another one for St. John's wort. Hypericin, the active chemical in this popular herbal remedy, is toxic to viruses and cancer cells when exposed to light, says Susan Carpenter, PhD, associate professor of microbiology at Iowa State University in Ames. "Right now, we're still at a very early stage, testing this on a cellular level," she says. How do you expose a substance to light when it's inside your body? Further research at Iowa State has focused on developing a "molecular flashlight" to do just that. This research may offer new ways to battle cancer and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
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By Rick Chillot

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