"Arabinoxylan, a BRM or Biological Response Modifier, Has Actions Against Cancer and AIDS"

  DREW/UCLA University of Medical and Science
Dr. Mamdooh H. Ghoneum

In these days, people's immune power has been lowered and that has come to be taken up as an issue. Under these circumstances, Dr. Mamdooh H. Ghoneum of DREW/UCLA University of Medical and Science has published a book called "Kouganryoku" ("A Power to Suppress Cancr" in English) which describes the usefulness of arabinoxylan, a BRM derived from rice bran. We interviewed him about the functions of foods that enhance the body's immune system.
――It is said that foods have functions that prevent illness. Please tell us about that.

Ghoneum: The properties of foods came to be evaluated recently through their actions or functions. Their influence on health is becoming clearer step by step. There was a general idea so far that the best foods were those with palatability and rich nutritional content. But foods have certain functions which are more important than was generally appreciated, that is, they have various functions for protecting the living body. In other words, foods contain some components that have a variety of functions for protecting a living body, working by enhancing and adjusting immune power, controlling secretion of various hormones, and suppressing aging. All such functions have been validated.

――Attention has come to be paid to alternative medicine, in which immune power is increased so as to protect the human body from cancer. Please explain what this means.

Ghoneum: One of the subjects of my study was to discover a new BRM which is very safe, having stable actions. It is well known that the immunity of animals with cancer becomes reduced, and that chemotherapy and irradiation therapy further decrease the immunity which a patient has. Immunotherapeutic agents are popularly used in the medical field when treating such patients. It has been discussed for a long time whether or not cancer cells are recognized as foreign matter or antigens in the body. Now, it has been clarified that cancer cells are also recognised as antigens, as the relevant research has progressed and animal testing was developed and its use became popular. However, cancer cells originate from the living body per se, having parts which are shared with healthy cells. Thus the immune surveillance mechanism against cancer does not work as effectively as it does against viruses and bacteria. It is necessary to look closely at the development of cancer cells and to continually enhance the activity of the mechanism using an immune stimulator.

――Arabinoxylan, a BRM in rice bran, is said to be effective against cancer and AIDS. Please explain this in more detail.

Ghoneum: I have screened many kinds of substance derived from natural sources, such as Oriental galenicals and medical herbs used by American Indians, in which the relationship between these substances and NK cell activity, which has a close connection with cancer immunity, was studied. As a result, I have identified some prospective substances. Among them, there was the arabinoxylan compound which is contained in hemicellulose in rice bran, which one could regard as the root of the Japanese diet. The compound was partially modified using an enzyme produced by a mushroom, and of which I have confirmed has a substantial action on the illness. I have already completed basic trials of safety and functionality. Now, it is in the process of being administered in trials in which it is being given to almost 100 patients with various kinds of cancer. For AIDS, which has been regarded as a social issue in the U.S., it has been administered to 40 patients with the disease. The results of these trials have already been published or will be announced. Its usefulness, as measured by recovery from the disease, an improvement in subjective symptoms, and reduction in side effects resulting from medications, has been demonstrated.

Drawing a conclusion from these results, it is thought to be helpful to acquire resistant power not only to infections but also to cancer if foods including elements that have such functions are taken regularly in the daily diet. In recent years, therapies to treat illness have made a huge leap. But the root of health lies in "a healing power" and "a protective power" which a living organism has originally.

Ghoneum: Why do people become ill? In order to answer this question, we have to take into consideration the fact that psychological elements have a great influence on disease. Those who have a gentle disposition tend to suffer from cancer. The reason for it could be in the explanation that such people cannot speak out against others, holding a stress that they cannot express what they wanted to say all the time. Each individual has an immune function in their bodies that immediately attacks a cancerous growth when it forms. But when a person suffers from stress, the system does not function well. The activity of NK cells that attack cancer cells is significantly influenced by the state of each person's mind.

There exists a biological response modifier or BRM which is found in different varieties and supports NK cells. Of these BRMs, arabinoxylan activates NK cells, and the effect is demonstrable within a week after administration. When it was administered to an AIDS patient, the NK cells increased remarkably, leading to an interesting outcome. Alternative medicine has now come to attention. In the National Institutes of Health of the U.S., an office for studying alternative medicine has recently been set up, so that the U.S. government has established an organization for its study. Researchers, doctors and experts in holistic medicine are actively carrying out activities relevant to the research there.

  DREW/UCLA University of
  Medical and Science

    Dr. Mamdooh H. Ghoneum
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