Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ashwagandha anticancer antiaging properties

Ashwagandha a.k.a ashvagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb known for its ability to relax the mind and body and at the same time improve physical strength and mental clarity. Ashwagandha is also a considered a powerful aphrodisiac.

Now new research shows that Ashwagandha also exhibits anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, Japan researchers found that extracts of Ashwagandha (i-Extract) and withanone (i-Factor) inhibited tumors and protected the normal human fibroblasts against toxicity. It increased the in vitro division potential of normal human cells that appeared to be mediated by decreased accumulation of molecular damage, downregulation of the senescence-specific beta-galactosidase activity and the senescence marker protein, p21(WAF-1), protection against oxidative damage, and induction of proteasomal activity.

Thus the phytochemicals of Ashwagandha (i-Extract and withanone) have both anticancer and antiaging activities and point to the molecular link between aging and cancer.

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