Leukemia cells – wheatgrass helps reduce proliferation

Antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum L.) extract on CML (K562) cell line.

Aydos, OS., Avci, A., Özkan, T., Karadag, A., Gürleyik, E., Altinok, B.,Sunguroğlu, A. Turkish J Med Sci (2011) 41 (4):657-663

Background:  It has been known for some time that individuals eating plant-based diets, those containing no or few animal products and processed foods, tend to have, statistically, fewer cases of cancer. It is believed that the micronutrients, nutrients found in trace amounts in plant-based foods, form the basis of this effect.  

Laboratory Studies: This study examined the effect of water- and alcohol-extracts of wheatgrass on a common human leukemia cell line.  The study looked at changes in the levels of tumor cell death, and at a number of enzymes involved in cell death and antioxidant activity.  It also looked at changes in DNA structure.

Conclusions: The study found that wheatgrass extract slowed down the growth of the leukemia cells and induced their death by a process called programmed cell death (apoptosis).  They also found that wheatgrass extract had high antioxidant activity and showed promise as a potential therapeutic tool against leukemia.