Can Fruit and Vegetables help to fight bowel cancer?

November 12, 2012

Can Fruit and Vegetables help to fight bowel cancer?

Fruit and vegetables are already well known to be full of healthy vitamins and minerals but latest research suggests they could be particularly beneficial in fighting bowel cancer.

The link between bowel cancer and fruit and veg

Bowel cancer is one of the deadliest types of the disease but laboratory studies have found a chemical called luteolin is able to successfully reduce the growth of bowel cancer cells. Luteolin is found in many different fruit and vegetables. The tests done on this chemical focused on the process whereby cancer cells are formed and found that luteolin was able to disrupt the process, therefore suggesting that a diet rich in luteolin would provide cancer preventing benefits.

One issue that has arisen about the study is that it was all carried out in laboratories using bowel cancer cells rather than tested on people. This means that although there are significant results it is not possible to claim that a diet rich in luteolin will prevent bowel cancer because this has not yet been proven. Additionally the chemical that was used in the lab studies was in a highly concentrated dose rather than dietary form, as it would be found in an individual who has consumed the chemical purely through eating fruit and vegetables. Having said this the results that were produced were positive and add this to the vast amount of previous research done that supports the notion that fruit and vegetables provide an abundance of health benefits and its enough evidence to know that everyone should be eating as much fruit and veg as they can. Of course to really maintain good health a balanced diet is required, which includes protein, carbohydrates and fats.

The bowel cancer study

The study looking into luteolin and fruits and vegetables as a means of preventing bowel cancer was done primarily at Hallym University in Korea. In order to really prove their claims further research is required looking at the effects of the chemical in its dietary form on bowel cancer prevention rather that using it in its pure form, a concentration that one would never come close to consuming through eating fruits and vegetables. It was premature of them to make the link between these results that were obtained in a laboratory to the natural effect that would occur in humans. It is though widely believed by researchers and medical experts that luteolin, which is a type of plant pigment contains antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Based on the information that is already known, further research is now required, which is more specific to how humans can benefit most efficiently from the chemical.

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