(NaturalNews) (NaturalNews) Did you ever use parsley simply to decorate some food -- and then toss the herb aside? You might want to reconsider that and make sure you actually eat the parsley. That's because groundbreaking new research shows parsley and certain other plant products, including fruits and nuts, contain a natural substance that can stop certain breast cancer tumor cells from multiplying and growing.
In a new study just published in Cancer Prevention Research, Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the University of Missouri-Columbia's College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, gave apigenin (a common compound found in parsley and other plant products) to rats with a particular type of breast cancer.
The animals exposed to the apigenin developed far less tumors and also experienced significant delays in tumor development compared to those rats that were not given apigenin. Dr. Hyder stated this new finding could potentially impact women who are taking certain hormone replacement therapies.
"Six to 10 million women in the United States receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT)," Dr. Hyder said in a media statement. "We know that certain synthetic hormones used in HRT accelerate breast tumor development. In our study, we exposed the rats to one of the chemicals used in the most common HRTs received in the United States -- a progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) -- which also happens to be the same synthetic hormone that accelerates breast tumor development."
MPA is especially dangerous because when breast tumor cells develop in response to it, these malignancies spur new blood vessels to form within tumors. The blood vessels then provide nutrients for the tumors, causing them to grow and spread.
Dr. Hyder discovered that apigenin, which is most prevalent in parsley and celery, but is also in apples, oranges, nuts and other plant products, blocked new blood vessel formation. So it slowed and sometimes totally stopped the development of tumors. Moreover, the natural compound reduced the overall number of tumors even though it didn't stop the initial formation of breast cancer cells.
"We don't have specific dosage for humans yet," Dr. Hyder explained in the media statement. "However, it appears that keeping a minimal level of apigenin in the bloodstream is important to delay the onset of breast cancer that progresses in response to progestins such as MPA. It's probably a good idea to eat a little parsley and some fruit every day to ensure the minimal amount. However, you can also find this compound in pill supplements in the health food section of many stores. ."
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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.