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Anti-cancer compound in beans, nuts, cereals

Eating a diet rich in beans, nuts and cereals helps prevent cancer because the foods contain a natural compound that inhibits the growth of tumours.

Anti-cancer compound in beans, nuts, cereals

Eating a diet rich in beans, nuts and cereals helps prevent cancer because they contain a natural compound that inhibits the growth of tumours, called inositol pentakisphosphate. This is also found in lentils and peas. Scientists from the University College London discovered that the compound inhibits an enzyme called phosphoinositide 3-kinase, which promotes tumour growth. Scientists have been trying to develop drugs to inhibit the cancer-promoting enzyme but have had difficulty so far. When the researchers tested inositol pentakisphosphate in mice and cancer cells in the laboratory, it killed the animal tumours and enhanced the effect of drugs used against ovarian and lung cancer cells. The above study suggests the importance of a diet rich in foods such as beans, nuts and cereals, could help prevent cancer. However, further research is needed and the researchers propose to work further focusing on establishing whether or not the phosphate inhibitor can be developed into an anti-cancer agent for human therapy. They believe the compound, which was non-toxic even at high concentrations, could also be used to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
Cancer Research,
September 2005
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