Evaluation of rye extract for anti-neoplastic activity

Moodley, I., Shingwenyana, N.  

Background: Rye extract has been used to treat various respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic or acute bronchitis and emphysema.  It has also been used to increase the rate of wound healing and to boost the immune system.  In addition, a number of researchers have looked into the anti-cancer activity of rye extract and have found it to be effective in killing off a number of cancer cell lines in the lab.  This is a report of one such study where the researchers used a rye grass extract from the same company that produces Oralmat™.

Laboratory studies:  Researchers compared the effectiveness of rye grass extract to the well-known anti-cancer drugs vincristine, vinblastine and cycloheximide. The scientists used a color-based test to determine what levels of rye grass extract were needed to slow down the growth of about the same number of cancer cells as the vincristine, vinblastine and cycloheximide treatments did.  The cell lines studied were samples of liver, kidney and breast cancer and a leukemia cell line.

Conclusions: The researchers concluded that the rye grass extract was effective in slowing down the growth of all the cell lines studied.  

In the breast and kidney cancer cell lines, they observed what is known as a dose-dependent slowing down of cell growth—just as they saw when using vincristine, vinblastine and cycloheximide.  With the liver cell lines and the leukemia cell lines, the researchers found a “bell-shaped” dose-dependent slowing down of cell growth—in these cell lines, the rye grass extract was effective at slowing down the cancer growth, but if the level was increased beyond a certain point, the effectiveness of the rye grass extract decreased.