(NaturalNews) Over the past 12 months, half a dozen studies published by Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science and a member of Cornell's Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, show apples fight cancer. Dr. Liu's research adds to a mounting body of data that apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables, are powerful ways to help prevent breast cancer.
In a study just published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dr. Liu found fresh apple extracts significantly inhibited the size of mammary tumors in rats. In fact, the more extracts they gave the animals, the more breast tumors were inhibited. This research backs up earlier findings of another study conducted by Dr. Liu in rats that was published in 2007.
In his new study, Dr. Liu found that a highly malignant type of breast cancer called an adenocarcinoma developed in 81 percent in the control animals. However, it developed only in 57 percent, 50 percent and 23 percent of the animals that received a diet supplemented by low, middle and high doses of apple extracts (the equivalent of one, three and six apples a day in humans), respectively, during the 6 month study.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed invasive cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in U.S. women. The anti-cancer property of apples is particularly important because adenocarcinoma is the main cause of death of breast-cancer patients, as well as of animals with mammary cancer.
"That reflects potent anti-proliferative [rapid decrease] activity," Dr. Liu said in a statement to the media. "We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumors, but the tumors were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumors in the untreated rats."
The Cornell studies emphasize the valuable, health-protecting role of phytochemicals, such as phenolics or flavonoids, found in apples as well as other fruits and veggies. In additional research published in the same edition of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dr. Liu announced a variety of new phenolic compounds he has discovered in apple peelings that also have "potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities" on tumors.
In still another Cornell study published in the same journal, Dr. Liu reported on his research group's discovery of the specific modulation effects that apple extracts have on cell cycles. What's more, Liu and his colleagues have also uncovered the fact phytochemicals in apples inhibit an important inflammation pathway (technically known as NFkB) in human breast cancer cells.
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA's "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic's "Men's Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.