The Effect of Zizyphus jujuba Extract on Various Cancer Cell Lines
Yang (Linda) Liu, Cherry Gao
Sands Secondary, Sutherland Secondary
Floor Location : S 157 H

Although there has been a lot of progress in the search for modern anticancer substances, ancient compounds have demonstrated a surprising ability to treat and prevent cancer. Natural compounds contain phytochemicals, plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. Zizyphus jujuba Mill. var. spinosa contains phytochemicals such as alpha-tocopherol, flavonoids, betulinic acid and ascorbic acid. These phytochemicals are important for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. rnrnBetulinic acid, a substance found in the bark of white birch trees, has been found to selectively kill human melanoma cells while leaving healthy cells alive. Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant properties but research has shown that they have cancer-fighting abilities. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals, which may contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer. Z. jujuba also has one of the highest concentrations of cGMP and cAMP of any plant or animal substance known to man. Some types of protein kinase are dependent on cGMP and cAMP, and disregulated kinase activity is often a cause of cancer.rnrnAlthough Z. jujuba is used in traditional Chinese medicine, there has been little research done on its ability to kill cancer cells. In this project, we will test its effects on cancer cells such as those from human pancreatic cancer, human melanoma, human breast adenocarcinoma, and human colorectal adenocarcinoma. Under the advice of Keith Turner of BCIT, we will be using commercially produced Z. jujuba seed extract.