Regular consumption of neem oil prevents chemically induced breast cancer. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Potential of Regular Consumption of Cameroonian Neem (L.) Oil for Prevention of the 7,12-Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-Induced Breast Cancer in High-Fat/Sucrose-Fed Wistar Rats.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 ;2019:2031460. Epub 2019 Apr 7. PMID: 31080481
Neem () is a tree from the Meliaceae family native to India, where it is considered as one of the most important plants worldwide. The anticancer effects of neem oil on breast cancer cells have been recently reported; however, itseffects have not been studied. This prompted us to investigate the protective effects of neem oil on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer in high-fat/sucrose-fed Wistar rats. Juvenile female Wistar rats were treated either with neem oil at a dose of 3 mL/kg body weight at 3 different frequencies, 2 times/week (Neem 1), 4 times/week (Neem 2), and every day (Neem 3), or with tamoxifen (3.3 mg/kg body weight), starting 1 week prior to DMBA treatment and lasting 12 weeks. Incidence, burden, volume, and histological analysis of mammary tumors were measured. Further toxicological parameters have been assessed. No tumors were detected in rats from the normal group, while all the rats from the negative control group (100%) developed mammary tumors. The regular consumption of neem oil at a dose of 3 mL/kg (2 or 4 times/week) significantly (p<0.01) and in a dose-dependent manner reduced tumor incidence (80%), burden [35.78% (2 times/week) and 36.09% (4 times/week)], and weight. Neem consumption protected rats against DMBA-induced breast hyperplasia, with an optimal effect when taken 4 times weekly. Interestingly, all the animals that received a daily dose of 3 mL/kg died at the third week of the experiment. Further, animals that took the neem oil 4 times per week developed hepatotoxicity, evidenced by an increase of liver wet weight, transaminase (ALT and AST) activity, and histological abnormalities in liver. This study brings insight into the use of neem oil, which is greatly appreciated in traditional medicine. In summary, we demonstrated for the first time that the regular consumption of neem oil prevents breast cancer, but its excessive consumption is toxic.