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white dandelion

Dandelion gets a dandy boost as an antioxidant and anti-cancer therapy

By PCN Staff

Dandelions, generally speaking, don’t have a lot of friends – especially among lawn enthusiasts! But those in the know have long appreciated their dietary health benefits. Dandelions contain vitamins, potassium and other important minerals, and recent (hopeful) evidence shows that dandelion extracts can suppress the growth and invasive behavior in several types of cancer.

Back in 2008 strong evidence emerged when the International Journal of Oncology published a study showing the positive effects of dandelion leaf tea on breast cancer and prostate cancer cells.

In 2011, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study that showed dandelion root tea killed leukemia cells through a process called “apoptosis”. The dandelion extract signaled a “kill switch” on leukemia cell receptors but not on healthy cells. In another 2011 study, dandelion root extract was again able to selectively kill some cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact – in this case drug-resistant melanoma.

Most recently the International Journal of Oncology published a study that a dietary supplement containing dandelion extract suppressed the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice. The study was led by Siyaram Pandey, a University of Windsor biochemist. The results rivaled the effects of common chemotherapy drugs, they concluded.

The findings prompted Pandey’s team to submit their research to Health Canada for clinical approval so that they could begin clinical testing on patients. “We cannot say it is official because it is not a proper clinical trial,” Dr. Pandey told on April 26, 2012. “But some anecdotal evidence clearly shows that some people have gotten some beneficial effects.”