Almond’s killer instinct

Nanoparticles prepared from the nut can help treat cancer

By Biplab Das
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

image ALMOND’S prowess in making delicious dishes is known. Now a team of Indian researchers has found the nut can help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.

Almond is a rich source of polyphenols, a type of anticancer organic compound. To tap its potential, the researchers from Vadodara-based Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSUB) used its skin to prepare nanoparticles. For this the team added copper nitrate solution and ascorbic acid to almond skin.

To test the efficacy, the team exposed cultured human lung cancer cells, to varying concentrations (10-100 microgramme/ml) of the nanoparticles. This triggered a series of chemical reactions inside the cancerous cells and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydroxyl. This led to mitochondrial dysfunction and ultimately death of the cancerous cells. The nanoparticles also depleted antioxidants like glutathione found in cancerous cells which inhibit ROS.

“This is an easy, green and economical way of synthesising nanoparticles for anticancer applications,” says lead researcher R V Devkar of MSUB. The findings were published in the November issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

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