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Title:Supplementation of licorice root and epimedium in a control or high fat diet and their effects on a preclinical metastatic breast cancer model
Author(s):Wang, Michelle
Director of Research:Helferich, William
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Andrade, Juan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Engeseth, Nicki; Pan, Yuan-Xiang
Department / Program:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Discipline:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):breast cancer
licorice root
Abstract:The natural decline in estrogen that occurs in women during menopause causes significant discomfort and decrease in quality of life for women. Botanical supplements contain multiple bioactive components, some of which have been identified to be phytoestrogenic and are used to remedy menopausal symptoms. However, due to their ability to mimic estrogen, the phytoestrogenic components contained in these botanical supplements may play a role in the progression of breast cancer. The majority of botanicals lack established data on safety and efficacy. They also present the likelihood for interactions to occur, such as with the high fat diet that is consumed in many Western countries. Two such botanicals, licorice root and epimedium, which are used to alleviate menopausal symptoms, were studied for their impact on the progression of metastatic breast cancer in an animal model. In the licorice study, mice were supplemented with licorice root powder, extract or isoliquirtigenin for 2 weeks before and 3 weeks after cell injection. The effects of supplementation with the same licorice compounds alongside a high-fat diet were also explored. Mice fed licorice root powder and isoliquiritigenin were found to have a reduction in lung metastasis compared to control. In the high fat group, no changes in lung metastasis were found in animals supplemented with licorice root compounds compared with control. Although mild hepatocellular hypertrophy was observed in the liver of mice fed licorice root compounds, no significant adverse effects were found. In the epimedium study, mice were fed epimedium powder, extract or icariin for 12 weeks before and 4 weeks after cell injection. A second cohort also received the same epimedium treatments alongside a high fat diet. Supplementation with epimedium compounds had no effect on lung metastasis in the control groups, while only epimedium powder was found to decrease lung metastasis in the high fat cohorts. No adverse effects due to epimedium supplementation were found. In this animal model, supplementation with licorice root or epimedium compounds did not have a promoting effect on breast cancer metastasis. Both licorice and epimedium possess properties that could be advantageous toward the development of novel pharmacological treatments. However, the safety of licorice root or epimedium supplement use remains uncertain due to the possibility of interaction with dietary components and should be approached with caution.
Issue Date:2016-04-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Michelle Wang
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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