In a breakthrough study led by Denis Lafontaine, it has been found that daffodils extract may be the cure for cancer. The six-petal flowers contain an anti-cancer compound called haemanthamine, which stops the production of protein that is required by cancer cells to grow.
According to the research conducted by RNA Molecular Biology Laboratory (Faculty of Sciences and ULB-Cancer Research Center), published in the scientific journal Structure (Cell Press), daffodils (Amaryllidaceae narcissus) extract contain anti-cancer compound haemanthamine that binds with ribosomes in the body. According to Medical News Daily, Ribosomes are responsible for protein synthesis in our body. They are also referred to as nano-machines, as they continuously work to provide essential protein to body cells.
To survive, cancer cells rely on this protein synthesis process, and its growth is hindered if production and function of ribosomes are inhibited. Since tumors are cells that have gone out of control, they take over the synthesis development carried out by ribosomes. The ribosomes mechanism that is cancer cells' strength is also its weakness and can be fought with medicinal properties of daffodils.
The alkaloid haemanthamine slows the growth of cancer cells, and proper treatment from daffodils extract may lead toward an anti-tumoral pathway, which will further help in eliminating cancer overall. Denis Lafontaine, who is a professor at the University of Brussels (ULB) and a research director with the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S./FNRS), has presented the first-of-its-kind study that provides a molecular explanation of anti-cancer properties of daffodils extract.
According to the study, daffodils extract attack cancer cells in many ways and may block its production step-by-step. Firstly, daffodils extract puts a stop to production of protein by the nano-machines called ribosomes. Then, it assists the body in blocking the production of ribosome itself. The absence of protein production triggers a stress response and lastly, daffodils extracts are able to stabilize p53 in cancer cells.
"Cancer cells are particularly sensitive to a reduction in protein synthesis… Effects on protein synthesis, ribosome biogenesis, and p53 stabilization would all contribute to preferential killing of cancer cells."
P53 is a type of genetic protein that ensures cancerous cells do not grow. It is like a checkpoint for each cell, and abnormalities in the cell cycle lead to the cell death. However, p53 is stress-sensitive, and chronic oxidative stress can lead to mutated p53 gene, which will attack one's cell cycle, making room for invasive cancer cell growth. It is found in the study that daffodils extract has the ability to calm the p53 gene.