You may know it as an aromatic spice to add flavor to your dishes or as a soothing herbal remedy to use for upset stomachs, but researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University have uncovered promising findings that Kencur, a tropical plant in the ginger family native to Southeast Asia, possesses anti-cancer effects.
Led by Associate Professor Akiko Kojima of the Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology, the researchers demonstrated that Kencur extract and its main active component, ethyl p-methoxycinnamate (EMC), significantly suppressed cancer cell growth at the cellular and animal levels.
While previous studies on EMC indicated its anti-cancer potential by decreasing the expression of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), which is associated with cancer cell proliferation, the exact mechanism remained unclear until now.
The results of this study confirm the anti-cancer effects of Kencur extract and its main active ingredient, EMC. It is highly expected that TFAM will become a new marker for anti-cancer effects in the future as research advances in related fields."
Akiko Kojima, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology
Their findings were published in Heliyon.
Sasaki, Y., et al. (2023) Kaempferia galanga L. extract and its main component, ethyl p-methoxycinnamate, inhibit the proliferation of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells by suppressing TFAM expression. Heliyon. doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17588.