Apple peels, red grapes and turmeric prevent prostate cancerCredit:123RF
Cancer is the biggest killer out of all the health conditions globally and has the biggest impact on health than any other disease group.
According to the World Health Organization, one-third of all cancer deaths can be prevented by increasing the consumption of natural compounds. Now, new research from The University of Texas identifies several natural compounds found in apple peels, turmeric and red grapes that can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer, the most prevalent form of cancer in men.
In this study, a high-throughput screening approach was used to screen a natural compound library (NCL) where numerous plant-based chemicals are screened rather than a single agent which many other studies do.
By combining ursolic acid with either curcumin or resveratrol, it prevents cancer cells from consuming glutamine which it needs to grow.
This way the efficacy of various phytochemicals was evaluated, when they are administered alone or in combination of two compounds using murine and human cells thereby discovering combinations which could shrink prostate cancer tumours.
The researchers first tested 142 natural compounds on mouse and human cell lines to see which ones inhibited cancer cell growth and in what combinations or if administered alone.
The most favourable results – ursolic acid, a waxy natural chemical found in apple peels and rosemary; curcumin, the bright yellow plant compound in turmeric; and resveratrol, a natural compound found in red grapes or berries – were then tested on model animals.
Past cancer research has found that chemicals in plants such as turmeric, apple peels and green tea, have the potential to minimize one of the risk factors for cancer – inflammation within the body. People who have chronic inflammation because of chronic infection, autoimmune disease and conditions such as obesity are often at a high risk of cancer development due to damage caused to normal cells.
With this research, scientists were able to inhibit tumour growth in mice without toxicity and demonstrate how plant-based chemicals work together to prevent the growth of cancer.
Combining ursolic acid with either curcumin or resveratrol, prevents cancer cells from consuming glutamine which it needs to grow. This means that by increasing the uptake of these nutrients in the human diet, the chemicals combine to block the nutrient needed by prostate cancer cells thus inhibiting cancer.
These potential anti-cancer properties are readily available in our healthy diets. All that is needed is to increase their levels in our consumption for it to take an effect on prostate cancer.
Source: Precision Oncology
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