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August 20, 2007

Study Shows Dark-Colored Fruits and Veggies Fight Colon Cancer

Topics: Medical Science News

Chokeberries.jpg(Image: Chokeberries and other dark-coloured fruits are rich in anthocyanin.)

Anthocyanins are once again in the news. Anthocyanins are plant pigments, and are widely found in many berries, dark grapes, cabbages and other pigmented foods, plants and vegetables. They belong to the widespread class of phenolic compounds collectively named flavonoids (the differences between individual anthocyanins are related to the number of hydroxyl groups, the nature and number of sugars and the position of these attachments).

Now, In findings reported yesterday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, Monica Giusti, the lead author and assistant professor of food science at Ohio State University, Columbus, anthocyanins - compounds that give color to most red, purple and blue produce, are said to show the ability to slow the growth of colon cancer cells:

The researchers found that the amount of anthocyanin extract needed to reduce cancer cell growth by 50 percent varied among the plants -- extract derived from purple corn was the most potent, while chokeberry and bilberry extracts were nearly as potent as purple corn.
Radishes turned out to be the least potent, took nine times as much of the compound to cut cell growth by 50 percent, and the compounds that color most red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables, slow the growth of the colon cancer cells by anything from 50 to 80 per cent. Anthocyanins have previously been shown to affect cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis in uterine carcinoma and in normal human fibroblasts. Anthocyanins have also been shown to exhibit breast cancer chemopreventive potential due in part to their capacity to block carcinogen-DNA adduct formation, modulate activities of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes, and suppress ROS in these noncancerous human breast cells.

Previously, anthocyanins have also been shown to inhibit 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced rat mammary tumorigenesis and in vivo DMBA-DNA adduct formation. Having personally worked with DMBA - induced tumorigeneses and the prevention thereof in my own reseach, I can say that if anthocyanins can inhibit DMBA tumorigenesis, mark them down as my top candidate for inclusion in my own diet. Combine the effect on DMBA tumorigenisis with this recent Ohio State study, and you've got ample reason to include grapes, radishes, purple carrots, bilberries, bilberry extracts, and purple corn in your diet as a preventative for colon cancer, and likely other types of cancer, as well.

Posted by Richard at August 20, 2007 5:14 PM

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