Thursday, January 3, 2008

Nature's Medicine

Apple peels contain twelve anti-cancer compounds
called "triterpenoids"
by David Gutierrez
January 2 2008

http://www.newstarg html
http://www.newstarg html

Apple peels contain as many as a dozen cancer-fighting
chemical compounds, according to a study conducted by
researchers at Cornell University and published in the
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

"We found that several compounds have potent
anti-proliferative activities against human liver,
colon and breast cancer cells, and may be partially
responsible for the anti-cancer activities of whole
apples," said Rui Hai Liu, an associate professor of
food science.

The researchers extracted each individual chemical
compound found in the peels of 230 pounds of Red
Delicious apples. They then tested these compounds
individually against cultures of cancer cells in the
laboratory. They identified 12 compounds, called
triterpenoids, which inhibited the growth of cancer
cells or even killed them.

Previous research at Cornell has helped illuminate the
health benefits of apples. Laboratory studies have
shown that apples inhibit cancer cells and also reduce
the growth and number of breast cancer tumors in rats.
A number of phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and
phenolic acids, have been isolated from apples and
demonstrate similar effects. Some Cornell researchers
have also hypothesized that apples may have a
preventive effect against Alzheimer's disease.

Like other fruits and vegetables, apples also improve
general health and provide protection against a host
of illnesses.

"We believe that a recommendation that consumers eat
five to twelve servings of a wide variety of fruits
and vegetables daily is appropriate to reduce the
risks of chronic diseases, including cancer, and to
meet nutrient requirements for optimum health," Liu

Apples are a highly popular fruit, with the average
U.S. consumer eating 20 pounds (9 kilograms) per year,
or about one every four days, and the average European
consumer eating 44 pounds (20 kilograms) per year, or
about 1.5 per day.

However, the Environmental Working Group warns that
apples rank second only to peaches in terms of highest
concentration of pesticides in non-organically grown
vegetables. Washing reduces but does not remove
pesticide residue.

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