Kratom has a long list of health benefits, and perhaps one of those benefits is anti-cancer properties thanks to the alkaloid Mitraphylline. Before anyone torches me for writing that Kratom may have anti-cancer properties, please read the article below, since this theory is based on multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies.

First off, a notable thing about Mitraphylline is that it is found in both Kratom and Cat’s Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa). There are plenty of other examples in nature of the same alkaloids being found in completely different plants, and it is likely because these plants have a common evolutionary ancestor. Indeed, Kratom and Cat’s Claw are in the same biological Family, Rubiacea. Also, like Kratom, Cat’s Claw has numerous health benefits and has been used as a traditional medicine since ancient times.

The Wikipedia page for Mitraphylline summarizes it’s anti-cancer properties: “Current research is focusing on antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects and its in vivo efficacy to induce apoptosis in human breast cancer, sarcoma as well as lymphoblastic leukaemia cell lines.”

Diving deeper, a study titled ‘Antiproliferative Effects of Mitraphylline, a Pentacyclic Oxindole Alkaloid of Uncaria Tomentosa on Human Glioma and Neuroblastoma Cell Lines‘ notes that Mitraphylline has been used since ancient times to treat tumors, and aimed to empirically determine if this was true.

It was found that Mitraphylline inhibited the growth of glioma and neuroblastoma cell lines, which are two types of cancerous cells, and the scientists conclude “This action suggests that mitraphylline is a new and promising agent in the treatment of human neuroblastoma and glioma”.

Another study titled ‘Cytotoxic Effect of the Pentacyclic Oxindole Alkaloid Mitraphylline Isolated From Uncaria Tomentosa Bark on Human Ewing’s Sarcoma and Breast Cancer Cell Lines‘ found that Mitraphylline inhibited the growth of Sarcoma and Breast Cancer cell lines, and the scientists conclude “This action suggests that the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloid mitraphylline might be a new promising agent in the treatment of both human sarcoma and breast cancer.”

Yet another study titled ‘Oxindole Alkaloids From Uncaria Tomentosa Induce Apoptosis in Proliferating, G0/G1-arrested and bcl-2-expressing Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Cells‘ found that Mitraphylline inhibited the proliferation of Leukemia cells via inducing apoptosis, i.e. cell death.

This is a critical finding, since cancer is caused by apoptosis (cell death) ceasing to function, which causes cells to proliferate and not die, leading to tumors. The key to defeating cancer is substances which restart the cell death cycle, since if the cell death cycle is restarted then the cancer cells die out and stop producing tumors.

Further, this study found that two other Kratom alkaloids, isomitraphylline and isopteropodine, have anti-cancer properties as well.

Thus, the Kratom alkaloids Mitraphylline, isomitraphylline, and isopteropodine have anti-cancer properties according to scientific studies, specifically they inhibit cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Of course much more research needs to be done to solidify this theory, but it is quite possible that Kratom has anti-cancer properties based on this evidence.

Notably, this article discussed just a few of the scientific studies about Mitraphylline’s anti-cancer properties, a search on PubMed reveals that there are many more studies like this.