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A forgotten berry ‘Karonda’- have significant anticancer potential : Suroor fatima

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Karonda and cancer

A forgotten berry ‘Karonda’- have significant anticancer potential : Suroor fatima

Cancer is a major public health problem and ranks as a leading cause of death in every country of the world. Cancer is a result of changes in genes affecting the normal functions of cell. Chemical based compounds can cause gene mutations and thus have a major role in cancer. This malfunctioning of the genes leads to metabolic disorder which results in the unusual cellular proliferation. Off late, generation of resistance against anticancer drugs and disease relapse causes treatment failure. Chemotherapeutic drugs kill cancer cells but they also cause offset cytotoxicity. Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The side effect of radiotherapy itself may induce secondary malignancies i.e. development of secondary tumors in other parts of the body. Surgery, when used to treat cancer, is a procedure in which a surgeon removes cancer/tumor from your body.  Surgery is coupled with several side effects like the unavoidable damage to the patients’ tissues during excision and its vasculature which result in shedding of tumor cells into the blood and lymphatic circulation. In order to avoid such damages and side effects of conventional therapies, there has been a shift in the universal trend from synthetic to herbal medicines, which we can say ‘Return to Nature’ for the prevention of diseases and ailments. It has been observed that numerous plants have pharmacological effects due to the presence of nutraceuticals which are biologically active in nature. The term "nutraceutical" is a combination of "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical." Nutraceuticals (bioactive constituents) are components of food that significantly alter and sustain the normal physiological function necessary to keep healthy humans alive. Carissa carandas is an evergreen thorny shrub belongs to Apocynaceae family, which is commonly known as ‘karonda’. Approximately more than 25 species of genus Carissa are known, out of which five species are native to India. It has been found that the fruit is the richest source of iron, vitamin C and pectin. It is widely used as a medicinal plant by tribals throughout India and is popular in various indigenous systems of medicine like Unani, Ayurveda, and Homeopathy. Numerous Carissa plants have been employed and utilized in traditional medicine for various ailments, such as headache, chest complains, rheumatism, oedema, gonorrhoea, syphilis, rabies. They have been also used as a remedy for fever, sickle cell anaemia, cough, ulcer, toothache, and worm infestation. C. carandas is known to possess extensive range of phytochemicals in its fruits, leaves, and roots that impart enormous medicinal value to the plant. Fruits of C. carandas have been reported to contain various bioactive constituents such as carisol, epimer of α-amyrin, linalool, β-caryophyllene, carissone, carissic acid, carindone, carandinol, ursolic acid, carinol, ascorbic acid, lupeol, and β-sitosterol. It has been reported in various literatures that these bioactive constituents are antioxidant in nature with substantial cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential. Bioactive constituents of karonda have shown significant cancer inhibitory potential in lung cancer, melanoma, colon cancer and breast cancer. Thus, the cytotoxic constituents of this fruit can be used for developing anticancer agent against various incurable cancers. Additionally, the consumption of this fruit may also provide major health benefits by improving our immune system and preventing us from different fatal diseases like cancer.  


- Suroor Fatima Rizvi 
(Pursuing Ph.D on Lung cancer, Lucknow)






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S.M.MAsoom: A forgotten berry ‘Karonda’- have significant anticancer potential : Suroor fatima
A forgotten berry ‘Karonda’- have significant anticancer potential : Suroor fatima
Karonda and cancer
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