Tags: spinach | cancer | cells

Spinach Counters Cancer Stem Cells

Friday, 22 June 2012 01:25 PM

Maybe Popeye was onto something? New research has found that eating spinach may counteract the damaging effects of a cancer-causing substance found in cooked meat.
The study, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, suggests consuming the green leafy vegetable may somehow moderate the complex biological effects of the cancer-causing substance known as “microRNA” and cancer stem cells.
The National Institutes of Health-funded research, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, found that in tests of laboratory animals, spinach consumption cut the incidence of colon tumors almost in half -- from 58 percent to 32 percent.
“Cancer development is a complex, multi-step process, with damaged cells arising through various means,” said lead researcher Mansi Parasramka. “This study showed that alterations of microRNAs affect cancer stem cell markers in colon cancer formation. MicroRNAs are very small factors that do very big things in cells.”
The study is the latest to examine the role played by “epigenetics” – the effect of such factors as diet, environmental toxins, and lifestyle on of genes in the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
The new OSU study is not only of interest to spinach lovers, researchers said. They noted the findings should lead to advances in understanding microRNAs, their effects on cancer stem cells, and how to interrupt those processes to prevent disease with treatments that are tailored to particular patients’ genetic makeup.

© HealthDay

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Eating spinach may block the damaging effects of a cancer-causing substance in cooked meat.
Friday, 22 June 2012 01:25 PM
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