IN VITRO EFFECTS OF HOMEOPATHIC DRUGS
Petrafoundation, Helsinki, Finland
The well-known and respected Finnish homeopath Jouni Jämsä (http://www.jounijamsa.fi/ ) continues his homeopathy research with us. In the first part, we talked to him about homeopathy in general and diluted homeopathic preparations in particular . In the next section we investigated how plants respond to homeopathic preparations . In the third part, we went through studies where homeopathy has been used for cancer patients . In this fourth section, we investigate the effect of homeopathic preparations at the cellular level.
Highly diluted homeopathic preparations are showing measurable effects in cell cultures . Several studies have found that homeopathic agents give rise to apoptosis (programmed cell death). This phenomenon is a normal part of individual tissue development and regeneration. It is controlled by genes that regulate cell division [5, 6]. Apoptosis plays an important role in fetal development, regulation of the immune response, elimination of infected and transformed cells, and regulation of tissue size.
Excessive apoptosis can lead to developmental disorders and degenerative diseases, while its absence can lead to autoimmune diseases, long-term viral infections and cancer. Utilization of drug apoptosis is already routine in the treatment of cancer. Drugs for the treatment of degenerative diseases that prevent apoptosis are likely to emerge in the market in the near future . Apoptosis is something you want to achieve when treating cancer.
Because cancer is a disease that affects many people and is very serious, researchers have been interested in different types of treatment options. The effect of homeopathy in cancer can also be studied with cell models.
The potent homeopathic drug Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer activity on HeLa cells in vitro. This has been studied in the Laboratory of Cell Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Kalyan, India.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether homeopathic highly diluted and potent preparations of Lycopodium Clavatum (LC-5C and LC-15C) have anti-cancer effects on HeLa cells. Cells were exposed to either LC-5C (diluted below Avogadro's number) or diluted above Avogadro's number (LC-15C).
The results revealed that administration of Lycopodium had little or no toxic effects on the cells in the bloodstream, but caused marked apoptosis in cancer cells (HeLa), which appeared in the form of initial degradation of DNA.
Highly diluted, dynamic homeopathic drugs, both below and above the Avogadro's number, caused cell death in cancer cells, suggesting that these drugs could potentially be used as supportive cancer care .
Frenkel's team at the University of Texas (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas, USA) performed cell experiments with highly diluted Indian homeopathic preparations (Carcinos, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja). The preparations were tested with different breast cancer cell lines. The preparations were toxic to the cells, leading to cell cycle breakdown and cell death. Thus, these natural, diluted preparations had biological effects that should be further investigated .
The same was also supported by Psorinum 6 ×, which triggers apoptosis signals in human lung cancer cells. Studies of the effects of homeopathic Psorinum 6x on cell survival were initially performed in several cancer cell lines, including A549 (lung cancer cell line), HepG2 (liver cancer cell line) and MCF-7 (breast cancer cell line).
The experiment investigated the therapeutic effects on cell cycle breakdown, cell death, reactive oxygen radical formation (ROS), and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy.
It was found that treatment of cancer cell lines with Psorinum resulted in increased anti-cancer effects in A549 cells (lung cancer cell line) to a greater extent than in others. Psorinum prevented cell division after 24 hours of treatment and retained the cells in the G1 phase. It also caused e.g. ROS formation, MMP depolarization, morphological changes and DNA damage.
The researchers concluded that Psorinum 6 × triggered apoptosis in A549 cells (lung cancer cells) via signaling proteins .
Condurango 6C and 30C also trigger apoptosis in lung cancer cells. The more diluted preparation was more effective .
The effects of homeopathy on programmed cell death have been extensively studied. Further support for this effect on apoptosis, which is advantageous in the treatment of cancer, has been obtained in e.g. Shagun Arora laboratory at Jaypee University of India. It was found that undiluted and diluted homeopathic preparations were toxic to cultured cancer cells. Homeopathic Sarsaparilla preparations were tested in isolated renal adenocarcinoma cell cultures, the Ruta graveolens preparation in cultured colon cancer cells and the Phytolacca decandra preparation in breast cancer cells.
The results showed that all of the homeopathic preparations showed toxic effects in said cell cultures. The undiluted preparations had the best effect, but diluted preparations also served as a starting point of apoptosis. Homeopathic preparations have been shown to be anti-cancer drugs and further research can be encouraged .
The homeopathic preparation Calcarea carbonica caused apoptosis in cell cultures from cancerous mice. The study showed evidence of the so-called immunomodulatory mechanism of cell death .
In leukemia, homeopathic dilutions of Amanita phalloides have been successfully tested in cell cultures .
There is no placebo effect in cultured cancer cells, so here we have evidence that homeopathy is not just a placebo. Should homeopathic significance be increased in established medicine, more evidence from well-controlled and high-quality studies is needed .