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Ginger, Green Tea, Fruit Extracts May Prevent Cancer

  [ 54 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • November 4, 2003

PHOENIX--Research findings presented at the second annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Research Prevention indicated green tea, ginger and fruit extracts have cancer-combating abilities. The conference, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (, attracted more than 650 scientists and doctors from around the world to Phoenix Oct. 26 to 30.

One study led by Ann Bode, research associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Austin, concluded ginger may have the ability to slow colorectal cancer and be an effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent. Twenty athymic nude mice were fed 500 mg/d of [6]-gingerol, the active component of ginger, three times a week for two weeks and injected with human colorectal cancer cells at the beginning of the third week; tumor incidence was compared to control mice. The first tumors appeared 15 days after injection, 13 among the control mice and four among the mice fed [6]-gingerol. The study's authors reported fewer and smaller tumors in the [6]-gingerol group versus the control group. Tumors also grew faster and metastasized more in the control group. Further tests are planned to evaluate if [6]-gingerol can slow pre-existing tumors. The University of Minnesota has applied for a patent on the use of [6]-gingerol.

Green tea may also help prevent cancer, according to a study led by Iman Hakim, M.D., Ph.D., from Phoenix's Arizona Cancer Center. Over a period of four months, 118 smokers drank four cups of either green or black decaffeinated tea daily. Researchers measured levels of urinary 8-OHgD, a chemical the body releases in response to oxidative DNA damage; those who drank green tea had a 31-percent decrease in their urinary levels of OhdG, suggesting they were less susceptible to DNA damage. Green tea consumption has previously been associated with decreased risk of cancers, including breast, colon and lung.

The antioxidant found in grapes and red wine known as reservatrol "may be useful for the prevention of UVB-mediated cutaneous damages, including skin cancer," according to a study led by Nihal Ahmad, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A topical form of reservatrol was applied to the backs of hairless mice, after which they were subjected to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; the treated mice had significantly less cutaneous damage caused by UV radiation. Another study from the same university tested pomegranate fruit extract (PFE, which contains high levels of antioxidants) and its ability to prevent the chemical TPA (a marker of skin tumor promotion) from damaging the skin of newborn mice. Mice treated with PFE had significantly less swollen and less overgrown skin cells than mice without. By week 16, all control mice had developed tumors, whereas only 30 percent of the PFE treated group had.

Source: Natural Products Industry Insider.

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