(NaturalNews) The cause and effect relationships between these mechanisms are easier to delineate than the cellular action of either carcinogens or their repellants. Researchers at Oregon State University have been hot on the trail of one particular carcinogen for some time now.
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Carcinogens don't simply cause cancer. They cause the distortion of genetic blueprints and proliferate transcript errors, a very tiny number of which will result in cancer. Most of the mis-copied cells will die quickly because of their condition. However, there is another subsection of cells with damaged DNA that not only continue reproducing, but are prolific and stable enough to cause heritable changes in the phenotype - how genes manifest - in offspring. The changes aren't quickly scrapped mistakes; the body sees them as functioning members of the team, and puts them to work.
The researchers in Oregon pinpointed the action of a chemical that has been long identified as a carcinogen. It is derived from cooked meat, and appears to impact RNA sequences. RNA is the more peripheral cell coding that regulates which genes are repressed. In this case, the carcinogen blocks the body's ability to identify and destroy damaged structures, as well as causes additional damage.
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Part of the same study looked at some of the other dietary impacts. Spinach has long been profiled as a super food, an excellent source of phyto-nutrients, and a powerful cancer fighter. While the inclusion of spinach in the test group's diet didn't completely override the effect of carcinogens, it decreased the frequency of both malignant and benign tumors in the colon by roughly half. The rates dropped from 58 to 32 percent. The correlation is significant and could potentially lead researchers to a better understanding of how cells naturally shield themselves from cancer.
We can rebuild
While cancers are largely considered to be the territory of DNA damage, researchers are learning that RNA plays a pivotal role in regulating whether the DNA is even accessible. As a result, epigenetics, or the study of genes other than the nucleus-bound DNA, is an area of growing interest in the fight against cancers, immune weaknesses, and an array of congenital disorders.
Damaged RNA can distort the expression of intact DNA, producing characteristic pathologies from perfectly transcribed gene codes. The closer study is increasingly causing researchers to believe that damage to micro-RNA is the primary variable involved in producing cancer cells.
The scientists expressed optimism about this research progress, pointing out that RNA damage, unlike that of DNA, is reparable.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle