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Anti-cancer foods

Fruits and Vegetables Modulate the Cell Cycle to Prevent Cancer

Thursday, August 21, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton
Tags: anti-cancer foods, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) It's amazing that more than 2000 years ago we realized many universal truths, and we did it without the scientific method. One person who really knew what he was talking about was Hippocrates, who said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".

We lost our common sense for awhile and fell in love with a disease establishment that claimed science was on its side. Apparently we are now coming to earth again in a new age where science and sense meet. Scientists are now explaining the finer points of the truth Hippocrates was trying to tell us -- nature has provided us with all the tools we need to stay healthy. One example of this type of research is a study published in the January, 2008 edition of Frontiers in Bioscience that deals with the importance of regulation of the cell cycle in prevention of cancer.

What is the cell cycle?

The growth and maintenance of plants, animals and humans is the result of an ordered series of events which constitute the cell cycle. During this cycle, chromosomes are duplicated and one copy of each duplicated chromosome is transferred from the mother cell to the daughter cell. Proper regulation of this cycle is essential for the normal development of multi-cellular organisms. If control of this cycle is lost for any reason, cancer or other degenerative diseases may be the result.

Successful cell replication depends on two critical processes: the replication of DNA, and mitosis -- the nuclear division of the daughter cell from the mother cell. The master controllers of these processes are protein kinases that regulate the proteins involved in this DNA replication and mitosis.

The research

For this study, scientists reviewed the sequence of events that regulate cell cycle progression with an eye towards the check points and mechanisms that cells employ to insure DNA stability during this cell cycle even in the face of genotoxic stress.

They noted that key transitions in the cell cycle are regulated by the activities of the various protein kinase complexes composed of cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) molecules. These cyclins are CDK binding partners which are required for kinase activity and are intimately linked to the cell cycle stage. CDK activity can be controlled by other mechanisms, such as the addition of a phosphate group, resulting in deregulation of the cell cycle. This is the process that leads to cancer.

Although diets rich in fruits and vegetables are increasingly being recommended for the prevention of cancer, their active ingredients and mechanisms of action have not been well understood. This research presents evidence that dietary agents identified from fruits and vegetables can act to modulate the effects of deregulated cell cycle checkpoints. It is through this mechanism that cancer may be prevented by dietary choice.

Compounds from fruits and vegetables that appeared particularly noteworthy were apigenin (celery, parsley), curcumin (turmeric), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (green tea), resveratrol (red grapes, peanuts and berries), genistein (soybeans), and silymarin (milk thistle).

About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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