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Cancer News: Chickpeas Genistein Activated Free Radicals Cytotoxicity Against Prostate Cancer Cells, Medline Studies Revealed

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:07
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Kyle J. Norton

Chickpeas with abundant isoflavones genistein may have a therapeutic and profound effect in reduced risk and treatment of prostate cancer, some scientists suggested.

Prostate cancer is a medical condition characterized by cells growth uncontrollably in the prostate tissues. At the later stage, the cancerous may infect the tissues and organs distance away from the site of origin.

According to statistic from National Cancer Institutes(9), the motility ratio of prostate cancer is 19.5 per 100,000 men per year. Base the 2013-15 data, approximately 11.2 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.


People in the early stage of prostate cancer may not experience any sign and symptoms and depending to the size and location, a tumor may effect the urethra and bladder.

Most common symptoms are urethra and bladder related including burning or pain during urination, difficulty urinating, or trouble starting and stopping while urination, frequent urges to urinate at night,….. blood in urine in case of severity(10).


The causes of prostate caner are still unknown, but according to prostate cancer Canada(10), most common risk factors are

* Age, risk of prostate cancer is substantial higher in men over 50 years of age, in compared to younger male group.

* Epidemiological studies strongly suggested that diet pattern with high in calcium, physical inactivity and obesity are linked to increase of preventable risks in developing prostate cancer.
* Family history and ethnicity also are significant factors in risks of the disease.

Some researchers suggested that due to chickpeas rich sources of nutrients, the legume also may have a substantial implication in improved bone density(1) due to its contents of iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K; lower blood glucose of type 1 and 2 diabetes(7) due to its activity in decreased hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and enhanced insulin sensitive; enhanced heart health(8) through lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol,……..

Chickpea also known as Garbanzo bean  is an edible legume of genus Cicer and the family Fabaceae, high in protein and minerals.

It is one of the earliest cultivated vegetables, native to Middle East.

The legume is high in fiber and protein, and contains several key vitamins and minerals, including

1. Carbohydrates
2. Dietary fiber
3. Fat
4. Protein
5. Vitamin A
6. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
7. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
8. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
9. Pantothenic acid (B5)
10. Vitamin B6
11. Folate (Vitamin B9)
12. Vitamin C
13. Vitamin E
14. Vitamin K
15. Iron
16. Magnesium
17. Phosphorus
18. Potassium
19. Zinc



The investigation of the effects of isoflavone genistein isolated from chickpeas in prostate cancer risk was found to associate to various expressions and mechanisms.

Reactive oxygen species ROS was studied intensively for the duo effects in inhibited cancer development and induced cancer cell apoptosis through cytotoxicty.

On one hand, over expression of ROS with low antioxidant levels may cause cellular damage and induce alternation of DNA transcript being transmitted by mRNA through a complex passage to initiate irregular cell growth, the early stage of cancer development.

On the other hand, over expression of ROS can cause cytotoxicity to the target cancer site in induction of cells death and apoptosis.

Isoflavone genistein isolated from chickpeas was found to exert significantly antioxidant effects on human cells, in ameliorated oxidative damage to cellular DNA in initiation of cancer development.

Injection of isoflavone genistein to normal cell acted as free radical scavengers not only improved the antioxidants status in inhibited the ROS activity in inauguration and progression of multistage carcinogenesis but also reduced the expression of oxidative stress-response related genes.

Interestingly, such injection also enhanced the over expression ROS function in causing toxicity to cancer cells without harming the nearby healthy cells, thus increasing cancer cells degradation, subsequently in cells death.

In fact, isoflavone genistein, best known as natural tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKIs) are a class of chemo-medicine with function in inhibited, or blocked, the enzyme tyrosine kinase in induction of apoptosis in several different types of cancers, including prostate cancer.

Further analysis of the effect of isoflavone genistein adminitration also indicated that the phytochemicals induced cancer cell apoptosis by increased expression of Bax protein in suppressed the production of pro apoptotic activity in the cancerous site.

Additionally, isoflavone genistein also demonstrated a significant effect in stimulated the p21, a potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) expression in promoted cancer cell cycle arrest.

Application of the phytochemical also decreased anti apoptotic activities of Bcl-2 and BclXL by blocking the release of mitochondrial contents for enhanced cell division.

In the regulation of cellular apoptosis, isoflavone genistein also activated the PARP protein and caspases enzyme with functions to programmed cell death.

More importantly, further evaluation of cancer cell apoptosis caused by injection of isoflavone genistein, researchers at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University discovered that in the process in induced cancer cell apoptosis, isoflavone genistein also inhibited NF-κB protein in regulated and controlled transcription of DNA, and cell survival in numbers of cancer, examined by the electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA) 

In fact, the expression of NF-κB protein in reduced cancer cell proliferation and site expansion was attributed to the activation of hydrogen peroxide H2O2, with function of cytotoxicity to the tumor and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), a cell signaling protein with function to initiate cellular apoptosis.

Finally, the effectiveness of  isoflavones genistein in reduced risk and treatment of prostate cancer is also depending to some factors involving “having or not having equol” converting bacteria in the intestine, specific polymorphic variation in the region of the associated gene.

Therefore, further data collection on large sample size and multi centers clinical studies performed with human consumption during the course of the disease will be necessary to complete the picture of chickpeas isoflavones genistein in prostate cancer’s protective possibilities.

Intake of green tea supplements should be taken with extreme care as acute liver toxicity was reported in numbers of case in medical literature.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrients
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Induction of Cancer Cell Death by Isoflavone: The Role of Multiple Signaling Pathways by Yiwei Li, Dejuan Kong, Bin Bao, Aamir Ahmad, and Fazlul H. Sarkar(PMC)
(1) Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and other plant-derived protease inhibitor concentrates inhibit breast and prostate cancer cell proliferation in vitro by Magee PJ1, Owusu-Apenten R, McCann MJ, Gill CI, Rowland IR.(PubMed)
(2) Protease inhibitors: possible anticarcinogens in edible seeds by Troll W, Wiesner R.(PubMed)
(4) Isoflavones and Prostate Cancer: A Review of Some Critical Issues by Hong-Yi Zhang,1,2 Jie Cui,3 Ye Zhang,2 Zhen-Long Wang,1 Tie Chong,1 and Zi-Ming Wang1(PMC)
(5) Induction of Cancer Cell Death by Isoflavone: The Role of Multiple Signaling Pathways by Yiwei Li, Dejuan Kong, Bin Bao, Aamir Ahmad, and Fazlul H. Sarkar(PMC)
(6) Possible antiosteoporotic mechanism of Cicer arietinum extract in ovariectomized rats by Fahmy SR1, Soliman AM1, Sayed AA1, Marzouk M(PubMed)
(7) Effect of sprouting on antioxidant and inhibitory potential of two varieties of Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum L.) against key enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes by Prathapan A1, Fahad K, Thomas BK, Philip RM, Raghu KG(PubMed)
(8) Nutritional quality of legumes, and their role in cardiometabolic risk prevention: a review by Bouchenak M1, Lamri-Senhadji M.(PubMed)
(9) Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer(NIH)
(10) Am I at risk of prostate cancer?(Prostate cancer Canada)

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Total 2 comments
  • leo

    I ‘ve never known that chickpeas have anti prostate cancer property, Thanks

  • AndrianM

    The first time some one told me that chickpea has that kind of property

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