Decursin is extracted from the roots of Peucedanum ostruthium, belonging to the category of natural compounds. It is, by essence, a coumarin, which is known to be the major compounds of A. gigas. Just like decursin, decursinol is another coumarin.
Traditionally angelica gigas (or “Dang-Gui”) roots have been widely used in Chinese herbal medicine, not only for the treatment of anaemia, but also as a sedative, an anodyne and a tonic. Studies have shown that decursin inhibits VEGF-mediated inner BRB breakdown through suppression of VEGFR-2 signaling pathway. And decursin is able to attenuate kainic acid-induced seizures and could have potential as an antiepileptic drug.
Next we’ll move forward to explore the wide therapeutic functions of decursin in curing other diseases.
Decursin and cervical cancer
A paper, titled “Decursin and decursinol angelate from Angelica gigas Nakai induce apoptosis via induction of TRAIL expression on cervical cancer cells”, was published on European Journal of Integrative Medicine, which strives to identify the anti-cancer mechanism induced by A. gigas extract including decursin and decursinol angelate in human cervical cancer cells for scientific evidence regarding herbal therapy.
Based on the results analysis, TRAIL expression induced by decursin stimulates the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathway by activating caspase-8 and caspase-9, respectively. Therefore, a conclusion is safely reached that decursin and decursinol angelate as extract of A. gigas take a role in inhibition of cell-proliferation and activation of apoptosis in cervical cancer and could be developed as therapeutic anti-cancer agent against cervical cancer. This is definitely an exciting news for women.
Decursin and Diabetes
Decursin is found to be effective in inhibiting fat accumulation, reducing adipocytokine secretion and improving glucose tolerance in mice fed a high-fat diet. In this regard, another article has investigated the anticancer and neuro-protective effects of decursin, which has long been known but not clinically proved yet. The study particularly focused on decursin’s ability to inhibit adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells and found that decursin treatment resulted in the inhibition of adipocyte differentiation and the expression of fatty acid synthase. Furthermore, decursin improved glucose tolerance in mice fed a HFD.
In the end, this study hints that decursin might be useful for the treatment of obesity and diabetes as administration of decursin along with the HFD significantly reduced the secretion of HFD-induced adipocytokines such as leptin, resistin, IL-6 and MCP-1.