Friday, March 20, 2009

Pineapple Fights Cancer Growth

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer has now surpassed cardiac disease as the largest killer in the United States. The incidence of cancer increases with age, with approximately 80 % of cancers occurring in ppl over the age of 55.

However, according to researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, preventing cancer may be as simple as eating pineapple.

While analyzing bromelain, an extract of crushed pineapple stems, researchers found that two molecules isolated from the extract showed promise in fighting cancer growth:

One molecule, known as CCS, blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in approximately 30 % of all cancers. The other, called CCZ, stimulates the body's own immune system to target and destroy cancer cells.

Researchers discovered these two molecules work simultaneously to block the growth of a broad range of tumor cells including breast, lung, colon, ovarian & melanoma.

While CCS & CCZ are protease enzymes (usually associated with breaking down proteins, as in the digestive process), the above findings distinguish the molecules as a new way of treating disease & potentially a whole new class of anti-cancer agents.

What's more, bromelain, a rich source of enzymes, has also been found to modulate immunological responses & has been proposed to be of clinical use.

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