As main component of essential oils, terpenes can inhibit the growth of different cancer cells. Researchers have analyzed this process in liver cancer cells in detail. Their shed light upon the molecular mechanisms that resulted in cancer cells stop growing, following the application of (-)-citronellal, and they proved that the olfactory receptor OR1A2 is the crucial molecule for that purpose. In future, the olfactory receptor could serve as target for liver cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Essential oils occur in many plants, protecting them through their antibacterial, antiviral and fungicidal properties. These oils are also used in a variety of therapeutic ways in alternative and complementary medicine. It has been recently discovered that terpenes, a large family of volatile aromatic compounds, can also inhibit the growth of different cancer cells, including liver cancer. Their function had not previously been fully understood.
Terpenes can trigger signalling processes in cells by activating olfactory receptors. Those receptors are mainly located in the nose, but they have been proved to occur in all types of human tissue, including skin, prostate and spermatozoa. Carcinogenesis and cancer growth are likewise significantly affected by terpenes, even though the exact mechanism is not well understood.
In order to find this out how inhaling terpenes might affect the course of cancer, the researchers from Bochum used a cellular model of hepatocellular carcinoma, a common liver tumour. They …
If you’re into essential oils—or even if you've purchased just about any kind of personal care product in the last decade—you know that lavender is the reigning champ when it comes to all scents relaxing (even smelly socks, judging by the popularity of lavender detergents). But according to new research, there’s a new soothing scent in town: Behold, the mighty power of your everyday orange.
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