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Apples and cancer

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Prostate cancer:

Researchers at Rochester, Minnesotaís Mayo Clinic report that quercetin, a plant-based nutrient found most abundantly in apples, may provide a new method for preventing or treating prostate cancer. Researchers found quercetin reduced or prevented the growth of human prostate cancer cells by blocking activity of androgen hormones, in an in vitro (laboratory) study. Previous studies had linked androgens to prostate cancerís growth and development. This is the first known study to link apples with a major menís health issue. (Source: Carcinogenesis, 2001, 22: 409-414)

Colon and liver cancer:

Researchers at Cornell University report phytonutrients in apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer and liver cancer cells in vitro. While the beneficial phytonutrients were most strongly concentrated in the apple skin, the apple flesh also contained significant levels of phytonutrients. According to the Cornell researchers, 100 grams of unpeeled fresh apple - about two-thirds of a medium-sized apple - provides the total antioxidant activity of 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. (Source: Nature, 2000, 405: 903-904)

Lung cancer:

Researchers at the University of Hawaii found increased consumption of quercetin was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer in their population-based, case-control study involving 600 lung cancer patients and 600 cancer-free persons. Researchers investigating a possible relationship between the consumption of flavonoids and lung cancer risk found a statistically significant inverse association between lung cancer risk and intake of the flavonoid quercetin, found primarily in apples and onions, and the flavonoid naringin, found in white grapefruit. No association was found for important food sources of other flavonoids. This study validated similar findings published in 1997 (see the American Journal of Epidemiology study referenced below). (Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2000, 92: 154-160)


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