Common Fibre a ‘True Superfood’

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A fibre found in most fruit and vegetables may help ward off cancer, experts believe.

A fibre in fruit and vegetables may play a role in fighting cancer

An ongoing study by the Institute of Food Research suggested pectin, a fibre found in everything from potato to plums, helped to fight the disease.

Lead researcher Professor Vic Morris said the likely effect of the fibre meant there was no need for people to rely on so-called superfoods.

Foods such as blueberries and spinach have been linked to a host of benefits. But Professor Morris said it was probably better to eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

“There are still not enough people getting their five-a-day intake” Says Spokeswoman for the British Nutrition Foundation

He has been leading research on pectin with lab work using hi-tech microscopes suggesting the fibre inhibits a cancer-causing protein called Gal3.

He is still carrying out more research into this area, but said there was enough evidence to point to cancer-protecting properties in many types of fruit and vegetables.

The amount of pectin in fruit and vegetables varies with apples and oranges having particularly high amounts and strawberries and grapes low.

But Professor Morris said: “We hear so much about ‘superfoods’ like blueberries, but for a combination of different effects it may be better to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

“I am not saying don’t eat superfoods, but just make sure you eat others as well.”

‘Boom in sales’
It comes after a boom in sales of superfoods in recent years.
Data collected by market analyst AC Nielsen found that sales of blueberries rose by 132% in the past two years.

A spokeswoman for the British Nutrition Foundation said: “It is very hard to know just what the effect of superfoods is as the evidence is not really available.

“But certainly we should not be focussing on these types and ignoring other fruit and vegetables. There are still not enough people getting their five-a-day intake.”

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BBC NEWS:OCT. 11 ’08

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Eating Broccoli Can Reduce Cancer Risk

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Eating a broccoli-rich diet can reduce the risk of deadly prostate cancer, according to researchers.


What’s more, the consumption of one or more portions of the green veggie can lessen the risk of localized cancer becoming more aggressive.

In the study, the research group at the Institute of Food Research led by Professor Richard Mithen has provided an explanation of how eating broccoli might reduce cancer risk based upon studies in men, as opposed to trying to extrapolate from animal models.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer for males in western countries. The research has provided an insight into why eating broccoli can help men stay healthy.

In the research, men who were at risk of developing prostate cancer, were made to eat either 400g of broccoli or 400g of peas per week in addition to their normal diet over 12 months.

Tissue samples were taken from their prostate gland before the start of the trial and after 6 and 12 months, and the expression of every gene measured using Affymetrix microarray technology.

It was found that there were more changes in gene expression in men who were on the broccoli-rich diet than on the pea diet, and these changes may be associated with the reduction in the risk of developing cancer, that has been reported in epidemiological studies.

Previous studies have suggested that the fifty per cent of the population who have a GSTM1 gene gain more benefit from eating broccoli than those who lack this gene. The study showed that the presence of the GSTM1 gene had a profound effect on the changes in gene expression caused by eating broccoli.

The results of the study suggested that relatively low amounts of cruciferous vegetables in the diet – a few portions per week – can have large effects on gene expression by changing cell-signaling pathways.

These signaling pathways are the routes by which information is transmitted through a molecular cascade, which amplifies the signal to the nucleus of the cell where gene expression occurs.

The study has been published in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE on July 2

Sources:The Times Of India

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