A study conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University in the United States has uncovered that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could be a good defence against prostate cancer.
The researchers attributed this cancer-fighting benefits to the abundance of flavonoids - especially one specific flavonoid - found in fruits and vegetables as well as certain herbs.
Read on for the full findings of their study, which they published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.
Previous studies have suggested a potential link between flavonoids and a reduced risk of prostate cancer
Past research has suggested that increased intake of flavonoids may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer
, said Sanjay Gupta, an assistant professor in the Case School of Medicine Department of Urology.
“Flavonoids have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential beneficial effects on human health, and have reported to have antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour
and antioxidant activities,” Gupta said. “Apigenin has been shown to lower inflammation and oxidative stress
, and exerts growth inhibitory effects on cancer
cells,” he added.
Apigenin is a plant flavonoid commonly found in fruits and vegetables as well as herbs, such as lemon balm, chamomile, parsley and perilla.
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Study identifies apigenin as a top prostate cancer-fighting flavonoid
In their study, Gupta and his team of colleagues orally fed apigenin to mice for two weeks before implanting a prostate tumour
. They then continued the feedings for eight weeks. In a second protocol, the team orally fed apigenin to mice two weeks after implanting a tumour.
The first protocol followed prevention regimens for cancer, while the second followed therapeutic regimens. In both cases, the apigenin inhibited tumour growth and didn’t appear to cause any serious side effects, such as changes in diet or weight gain, which is common in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy treatments.
“Our findings suggest that apigenin could be developed as a promising agent against prostate cancer,” Gupta said. “The next step is to evaluate apigenin action on other molecular pathways which have relevance to prostate cancer.”