The anti-cancer potential of a Coahuila desert flower

Mexican scientists have confirmed the flower has potential anti-cancer properties
The anti-cancer potential of a Coahuila desert flower
Juan Alberto Asacio and José Carlos de León – Photo: Courtesy of CONACYT
07/03/2018
12:22
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
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Mexican scientists experimenting with the Rosa gallica (Rose of Provins or Gallic rose) – a flower growing in the vastness of the desert of Coahuila – have confirmed it has anti-cancer properties and antioxidants, according to the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT).

Scientists of the Autonomous University of Coahuila have managed to extract the bioactive compounds to verify its antioxidant and antiproliferative properties on cervical cancer cells.

The results of the research, led by scientist José Carlos de León, show the flower has a high content of polyphenolic compounds and the presence of other ingredients of great interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries.

According to De León, They first had to study the plant to get more information on it, to make sure the flower was an adequate candidate for the tests. Once they did, they began to test the fermentation process to become familiar with the most suitable conditions needed for the accumulation, and subsequent extraction, of the compounds.

“We observed it was an adequate source for the extraction of these compounds, which recorded a high antioxidant activity and, at the same time, when applied to cervical cancer cells, they stopped their proliferation," explained De león.

“We've been using the rosa gallica on cervical cancer and we've seen it has an effect. However, we're still working on more processes and experiments to prove 100% that it has anti-cancer properties,” he added.

For his part, Asacio acknowledged they still have some years ahead of them before they can safely use their research.

“We're at an early stage,” he said, “I think in two or three years more we might be reaching the stage to use it in pharmaceutical formulas or food products,” he confirmed, adding that they are currently focused on their in vitro research to lay down the groundwork before going further.

According to the Ministry of Health, 1 out of 10 deaths in female cancer patients in Mexico is due to cervical cancer.

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