(NaturalNews) A nutrient found in celery has been shown highly effective against inflammation and cancer. Luteolin is a bioflavonoid also found in smaller amounts in peppers, parsley, thyme, basil and peppermint. And like all bioflavonoids, luteolin has high antioxidant properties, producing a dose-dependent reduction in oxidative DNA damage that is double the amount produced by vitamin C.
In a study reported in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science U.S.A., May 27, 2008, researchers determined that luteolin inhibits lipopolysaccharide induced interleukin-6 production in the brain through inhibiting the JNK pathway in the inflammatory response of microglia, brain cells in the central nervous system that are key to the body's immune defense. In other words, luteolin prevents activation of a pathway that allows inflammation in the brain to get switched on.
Inflammatory Research Journal reports a recent study of several kinds of flavonoids which possess anti-inflammatory activity. Results indicated that only luteolin and quercetin inhibited the platelet-activating factor and suppressed inflammatory response induced by allergens. Luteolin inhibited the excess production of TNF-alpha, a direct cause of inflammation.
In another study, mice were fed a strong mutagen that induces fibrosarcoma in 100% of participating mice. When diets were supplemented with luteolin along with the mutagen, there was a significant reduction in tumor expression to only 60%.
Luteolin has been found effective in maintaining healthy methylation patterns protective against DNA mutations that damage cells and cause cancer. Enzymatic and genetic activity throughout the body depends on the continuous re-methylation of DNA. As we age, the breakdown of methylation metabolism predisposes us to a wide range of degenerative diseases.
Luteolin inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells, and inhibits angiogenesis. It shows strong anti-proliferative activity against different human cancer cell lines such as breast, prostate and thyroid cancer. It reduces the formation of carcinogens in food such as heterocyclic amines. It is able to block the activation of carcinogens, increase detoxification, and stimulate error-free DNA repair.
Celery also contains a good amount of another highly active bioflavonoid, apigenin, a powerful COX-2 inhibitor able to halt inflammation as effectively as anti-inflammatory drugs. It also exhibits antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. Apigenin is renown in Chinese medicine for preventing and treating gout and and other types of arthritic conditions.
In addition, celery contains several other active compounds that promote health and well being, including phalides, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol, and coumarins, useful in cancer prevention
Celery is an excellent source of immune boosting vitamin C, allowing it to be a fighter of the common cold. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been found effective against asthma.
An old Chinese remedy for high blood pressure is to drink celery juice, which you can make in a blender or juicer. One to two glasses daily can help prevent or normalize high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often responsible for strokes, heart disease and kidney failure.
"Do as the Chinese have been doing for centuries: eat and drink your celery for long life," recommends Dr. Maoshing Ni in his book Secrets of Longevity.
About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.