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Science and Biomedical information about Wasabi

Wasabia japonica - Nature's Gift

Anti-Cancer
(breast, prostate, colon, lung, leukemia, pancreas esophagus, bladder and others)

Wasabi in tissue culture
Plantlets from Pacific Coast Wasabi tissue culture.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that Wasabia japonica contains natural chemicals which are highly efficacious against a variety of cancers. These chemicals are known as isothiocyanates which arise from the enzymatic breakdown of glucosinolate molecules found in intact cells. When Wasabi cells are disrupted (i.e. macerated) the glucosinolates come contact the myrosinase enzyme which catalyses the conversion to isothiocyanates. Wasabi has been shown (Ina et al. 1990, Sakura et al. 1993) to possess more than twenty different isothiocyanates.

Isothiocyanate extracts from Wasabi have been proven effective against stomach cancers (Tanida et al. 1991, Fuke et al. 1994, Fuke et al. 1997, Shin and Lee 1998, Ono et al 1998), lung cancer (Yano et al. 2000) leukemia(Nakamura et al. 2001) and breast cancer (Nomura et al. 2005).

Furthermore, isothiocyanates from other sources, but also shown to be present in Wasabi (Ina et al. 1990, Sakura et al. 1993), have been found to be effective against lung and esophageal cancers (Stoner and Morse (1997), prostate cancer (Chiao et al. 2000, Scott et al. 2000) and breast, forestomach and colon cancers (Wattenberg 1977, 1981). Numerous studies (Stoner et al. 1998, Hecht et al. 1996a and b, Hecht et al. 2000, Chung 2001) have shown isothiocyanates to block the cancer inducing effects of compounds that are associated with cigarette smoke. Included in these findings is the observation that the isothiocyanates may be effective in preventing cancer induction in both smokers and ex-smokers.

Isothiocyanates are easily administered which sets them apart from many pharmaceutically-based cancer treatments currently in use. The high efficacies of isothiocyanates against cancer is maintained even when they are administered orally or a part of a diet (Morse et al. 1993, Kirlin et al. 1999, Hou et al. 2000, Fuke et al. 2000 [in the drinking water!!], Chiao et al. 2004, Tang and Zhang 2004, Tseng et al. 2004). On the other hand, present pharmaceutically-based cancer treatments are expensive, difficult to administer, and have many well-documented adverse side effects including toxicity.

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Read More:
Anti-Cancer Continued
Antibiotic
Anti-Coagulant (including inhibition of platelet aggregation in the treatment of heart attacks)
Anti-Inflammatory Agent or for the treatment of asthma or anaphylaxis
Aids in Bone Calcification (from a different group of compounds)
Other Health Benefits

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