Researchers from the PSU Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences discovered a new method to extract cancer-fighting components from the leaf of Garcinia cowa. The key aspect of this technique is the usage of rice bran oil during the extraction process, a method that is energy-efficient, environmental-friendly and involves low production costs. This new discovery for cancer treatment received three international awards.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pharkphoom Panichayupakaranant and his team consisting of Asst. Prof. Dr. Supreeya Yuenyongsawad and Ms. Pirunrat Sae-Lim from the Phytomedicine and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Research Center under the Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, PSU Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, researched and identified a way to extract a bioactive phytochemical from the leaves of G. cowa (called chamuang in Thai). The newly discovered substance is named "chamuangone" to indicate the Thai origin of the discovery. The researchers found that using rice bran oil is the most suitable extraction method for chamuangone. Rice bran oil also contains essential fatty acids that are beneficial to the body and are rich in antioxidant compounds like vitamin E and gamma oryzanol, which are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and they nourish the skin.
The tested extracts were shown to inhibit cancer cells by causing the death of the top three cancer types: colon, breast and lung cancer. It was also found that chamuangone inhibited cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. Researchers now make dietary supplements in the form of capsules (soft gelatin capsules) at 800 mg per capsule. This innovation adds more value to the chamuang herb and to the rice bran oil. This process can also be utilized in the dietary supplement industry to help drive the economy of the country towards the "Thailand 4.0" economy model.
PSU researchers involved in this innovative discovery have received several international awards, including a gold medal at the "10th International Warsaw Invention Show" (IWIS. 2016) held in the Republic of Poland, the Special Award (on stage) from Malaysia, and the Special Award from Taiwan International Invention Award Winners Association.