The effect of artificial bezoar (bovine gallstone powder) on proliferation of human pancreatic cancer
Bile pigments, including bilirubin and biliverdin, contribute importantly to the defense against oxidative stress. Moreover, recent clinical studies suggest that mildly elevated serum bilirubin levels might protect from certain forms of cancer. Artificial bezoar (powdered bovine gallstones, also known as Niu Huang, or Calculus bovis) is used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for its antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. In the present experimental study, we investigated the effect of artificial bezoar on proliferation of human pancreatic cancer.
Bilirubin, the principle bile pigment, is the end product of heme catabolism. For many years, bilirubin was thought to have no physiological function other than that of a waste product of heme catabolism – useless at best and toxic at worst. Although hyperbilirubinemia in neonates has been shown to be neurotoxic, studies performed during the past decade have found that bilirubin has a number of new and interesting biochemical and biological properties. In addition, there is now a strong body of evidence suggesting that bilirubin may have a beneficial role in preventing oxidative changes in a number of diseases including atherosclerosis and cancer, as well as a number of inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative diseases.