Citrus essential oils slow liver cancer

Citrus essential oils slow liver cancer

Citrus essential oils slow liver cancer

Terpenes, a main component of citrus essential oils can slow the growth of different cancer cells. Dr. Hans Hatt and his research team from the Ruhr-University Bochum observed this process in detail.

After the application of citrus essential oils, cancer cells stopped growing. The researchers believe that the olfactory receptors OR1A, which are receptors located in our noses, are key to this study.

How do essential oils slow cancer?

Essential oils are found in many plants. Many of them have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It was recently discovered that terpenes in citrus essential oils slow liver cancer. Their function had not been previously understood.

Olfactory receptors are not just in the nose

Terpenes trigger signaling processes in cells by activating the olfactory receptors. These receptors are located in the nose, but are also found in the skin and other human tissue.

Study shows citrus essential oils slow liver cancer

To test the effects of terpenes on liver cancer, they used a common liver tumor as a model. They exposed the tumors to different terpenes, and observed the results.

They found that 2 of the 11 terpenes caused increased calcium in cells. The researchers also found that the olfactory receptor was key to detection of the citrus scent and cellular reactions. They were also able to track the signaling pathway that caused the increase in calcium, which in turn reduces liver cancer growth.

These results are yet another example for the significance of olfactory receptors outside the nose, and they give rise to hope that new drugs with no severe side effects may be developed for cancer therapy,” said Dr. Hans Hatt.

This study showing citrus essential oils slow liver cancer was published in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

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1. “Citrus Scent Inhibits Liver Cancer.” Alpha Galileo. Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum, 19 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.
2. “Monoterpene (−)-citronellal Affects Hepatocarcinoma Cell Signaling via an Olfactory Receptor.” Science Direct. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.
3. “OR1A2 Olfactory Receptor, Family 1, Subfamily A, Member 2 [ Homo Sapiens (human) ].” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.

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