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Anticancer foods

Blue, Red, and Purple Fruits and Veggies Fight Cancer: Study

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by: Adam Miller
Tags: anticancer foods, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A landmark study published recently in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet exposed strong evidence that foods colored with artificial additives may cause a host of undesirable behavioral effects in children. It is interesting to note that compounds performing the same function in nature to give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors actually serve to improve the health of human beings. Looking at the stark, even polar contrast between these man-made chemicals and their naturally occurring counterparts, a predictable trend is illustrated. When a synthetic chemical is matched against a comparable naturally occurring compound, nature tends to come out on top.

In a press release made available on August 19, a team of researchers at Ohio State University announced that anthocyanins, the compounds that give many blue, purple, and red fruits and vegetables their color are capable of cutting the growth of colon cancer cells both in vitro and in rats by 50%-100%, with certain extracts even destroying up to 20% of the cancer cells while leaving healthy surrounding cells intact.

"It is possible to use natural, anthocyanin-based food colorants instead of synthetic dyes," says Monica Giusti, lead author of the study. "Doing so still maintains the wonderful colors of foods while enhancing their health-promoting properties."

Foods such as the fruits and vegetables used in this study are known to contain many useful compounds, and science is only beginning to understand the scope of this phenomenon. "These foods contain many compounds, and we're just starting to figure out what they are and which ones provide the best health benefits," Giusti is quoted as saying.

Fruits and vegetables used in the series of experiments performed by Giusti and her team included grapes, radishes, purple corn, chokeberries, bilberries, purple and black carrots, and elderberries. Different amounts of extract were needed from the various types of plants due to differing densities of anthocyanin content. Purple corn proved the most potent while radishes were the least so, requiring nine times as much extract to achieve the benchmark 50% cancer cell growth reduction.

All of the fruits and vegetables were found to be effective, and according to the authors all fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanins will slow the growth of colon cancer cells. All extracts managed to cut the growth of cancer cells by at least 50%, but chokeberry and purple corn extract actually destroyed 20% of the cancerous cells even after completely eliminating every trace of cancer cell growth.

Even considering the results of the study, Giusti does not recommend any particular plant extract over another. There are hundreds of different types of anthocyanins and distinctions between their various physiological effects are not yet fully understood.

About the author

Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.

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