Apple a Day May Keep Cancer Away

Published June 23rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Fresh research by scientists at Cornell University in New York published Wednesday shows that plant substances such as flavonoids and polyphenols, known as phytochemicals, are the essential healthy ingredients in the fruit reported msnbc.com. 

According to msnbc.com, what this study shows is that "the combination of phytochemicals plays a very important role in anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activity, and the real health benefits may come from a phytochemical mixture,” food science professor Rui Hai Liu said. 

Researchers compared the anti-cancer activity in the skin and flesh of red apples. They found that just 100 grams of fresh apple with skins had the anti-cancer properties of 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. 

“Scientists are interested in isolating single compounds — such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene — to see if they exhibit anti-oxidant or anti-cancer benefits. It turns out that none of those works alone to reduce cancer. It’s the combination of flavonoids,” Liu said. 

In laboratory tests on human colon cancer cells the scientists found that extracts from the apple skin inhibited the proliferation of the cancer cells by 43 percent. Extracts from the flesh of the fruit reduced it by 29 percent.  

Tests on human liver cancer cells were even more effective, inhibiting the cells at a rate of 57 percent with the skin extract and 40 percent with flesh extract. 

The research, published in the science journal Nature, was funded by the New York Apple Research Development Program and New York Apple Association. 

The researchers said the amounts of phytochemicals in apples varied from year to year and in different regions and seasons -- Albawaba.com.

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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