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Surprising Science

Add Apples and Green Tea to the List of Possible Cancer-Prevention Foods

Researchers have found apples and green tea hold a chemical compound that may help block the signaling of certain processes involved in caner progression.

Scientists have been trying to break down cancer for some time now. For anyone that pays attention to science research news, we know bits of do’s and don’ts — mere puzzle pieces to keep the disease at bay. Things like too much sugar feeds cancer cells; eating greens helps fight against it; and so on. Well, there’s a new study that contributes to the list; Dr. Paul Kroon and his team of researchers report that apples and green tea may contain an ingredient that may help keep cancer at bay.

The researchers found an interesting compound, known as polyphenols, that may hold the key to stopping cancer from spreading. Researchers took a look at human blood vessels and found low concentrations of the polyphenols epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea and procyanidin from apples aid in blocking a molecule, called VEGF, which signals atherosclerosis to be released — a target of many anti-cancer drugs. What’s more, VEGF plays a major role in forming blood vessel in cancer cells through a process called angiogenesis, which allows the disease to grow and spread.

Kroon said in a press release:

“If this effect happens in the body as well, it provides very strong evidence for a mechanism that links dietary polyphenols and beneficial health effects.”

While apples and green tea may hold some benefits for fighting against the big C, it’s important to not overdo it. It would be irresponsible of me not to mention the recent report about a man who was hospitalized for drinking too much tea — about 16 cups a day too much.

Also, not all cancers are created equal. A lifestyle that may prevent one person from getting cancer may not be enough to prevent another from contracting the disease. It’s a disheartening notion, but the body of research to help us find answers has grown significantly. When Big Think asked a group of doctors whether we’re winning the war on cancer, they responded with a lengthy discussion on what the research community has learned from its failures and successes:

Read more at EurekAlert!.

Photo Credit: Tamaki Sono / Flickr


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