Feb
25
2009

Can apples help prevent breast cancer?

Apples (Photo by efekt - CC-BY)

Apples (Photo by net_efekt - CC-BY)

The latest research shows that one of our most favored fruits, the apple, might pack a mighty punch against breast cancer.

The key appears to be  the phytochemicals, or antioxidants,  found in apples and other fruits and vegetables which are thought to turn off the chemical pathway of breast cancer cells.

Researchers at Cornell University  recently conducted six studies involving the relationship between the ingestion of apple extract and mammary tumors in rats. The study results confirmed that phytochemicals in apples can play a vital role in preventing the formation of cancerous breast tumors.

Rats in the experiments were fed daily doses of fresh apple extract after exposure to a type of adenocarcinoma which is deadly to both breast cancer patients and test animals. The rats which consumed the most extract exhibited the greatest inhibition of tumor formation.

Rats which ingested extract equivalent to human consumption of six apples a day had a tumor formation rate of only 23 percent. The equivalent of three apples per day correlated with a 50 percent formation rate, and one apple a day with a 57 percent rate.

Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science and lead researcher, stresses that eating the whole fruit or vegetable provides more health benefits than relying on dietary supplements.

Apples have also been noted for their health protection benefits against cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes.

A medium apple has approximately seventy-five calories with an abundance of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s never too late to make these nutritional powerhouses a part of your daily diet.  You will reap the benefits of a healthy snack and a delicious disease-fighter in a small but mighty package!

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