Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement

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Flavokawain B, a unique chalcone from Kava kava (Piper methysticum), shows chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive potential

In a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer in June of this year, a unique compound Flavokawain B (FKB) isolated from Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) was shown to have potential as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent.

Researchers of the University of California at Irvine Ji, T et al, noted “Taken together, our evidence of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by FKB treatment with less toxicity than the standard treatments provides an innovative argument for the use of FKB as a chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive compound. In vivo experiments utilizing FKB to reduce tumorigenesis and metastatic potential will be crucial to further justify clinical application.”

This is great news, as it also is much less toxic than less natural chemotherapy agents, report the researchers.

For anyone taking a Kava kava supplement, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your product will prevent cancer – few products are even assayed for their FKB content.  It is encouraging to see, however, that some natural products may have side benefits – rather than side effects!