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Plant-based diet

New study says plant-based foods help prevent cancer

Saturday, April 09, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: plant-based diet, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) Researchers from the University of Minnesota Hormel Institute now admit that plant-based foods are highly beneficial in helping to prevent cancer, particularly among those who have the highest risk of developing the disease. Published in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer, their study says that plant phytochemicals -- which include powerful nutrients and antioxidants like selenium, resveratrol, beta-carotene, and lycopene, -- are a viable option in cancer prevention.

"Although successful for a limited number of cancer types, the efficiency of (conventional) cancer therapies, especially for later stages, remains poor," said Dr. Zigang Dong, one of the study authors and director of The Hormel Institute. "We would like to use target therapies for prevention of human cancer. We have identified many protein targets that can be used to develop more effective cancer preventive agents."

And while Dong and his team in their study speak specifically of extracting plant phytochemicals and turning them into patented pharmaceutical drugs, these phytochemicals in their natural form are perfectly capable of providing anti-cancer benefits without having to be modified.

Myricetin, a phytochemical in green onions that the researchers identified, was also previously identified in a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology as a powerful anti-cancer nutrient. Three different types of flavanols, including myricetin, together exhibited anti-cancer benefits in the study (http://www.naturalnews.com/022364_pancreatic...).

Resveratrol, a phytochemical antioxidant compound found in grapes, has also been shown to prevent and fight cancer, as well as protect against heart disease, deter the negative effects of aging, improve vision, and prevent diabetes, among many other things (http://www.naturalnews.com/resveratrol.html).

Other anti-cancer plant phytochemicals include allicin in garlic, anthocyanidins in cranberries and blueberries, sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and anti-aromatase compounds in mushrooms.

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