Williams Cancer Institute

Anacardic acid

It is known that drugs used in chemotherapy can destroy cancer cells and normal cells, giving numerous side effects such as myelosuppression and leukopenia. In recent years, supplementation with herbal plants or natural compounds has been studied to complement cancer treatment and help protect your body from the harm this therapy can cause, such as curcumin (previously discussed) and Anacardic acid.

Anacardic acid found in cashew nuts and shell oil shows immunomodulatory and antitumor activity with minimal or no secondary effects. It is used in traditional medicine to treat mainly gastrointestinal disorders in Mexico. The many effects of Anacardic Acid include cytotoxic, antibacterial, and antiproliferative activities in different cancer cell lines and autologous cancer models.

It can also potentially protect against oxidative and inflammatory disorders in the lungs. Bokyung Sung et demonstrated in a study that Anarcardic acid down-regulates the expression of NK-KB-dependent gene products involved in cell proliferation, anti-apoptosis, invasion, and angiogenesis. It also potentiates apoptosis induced by TNF and chemotherapeutic agents having potential as an anticancer agent.

A study by the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico demonstrated that Anarcardic acid could reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-FU and Carboplatin on bone marrow and leukocytes. These may be a consequence of the immunomodulatory effect of salicylic acid, which can also be combined with other antineoplastic agents to increase the effect and achieve higher tumor reduction ratios in patients, increasing their survival rate and quality of life.

Reference: by Jairo Galot-Linaldi, Karla M. Hernández-Sánchez, Elizabet Estrada-Muñiz,Libia Vega,

17 April 2021, Anacardic Acids from Amphipterygium adstringens Confer Cytoprotection against 5-Fluorouracil and Carboplatin Induced Blood Cell Toxicity While Increasing Antitumoral Activity and Survival in an Animal Model of Breast Cancer




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