From The Times, September 6, 2007
quote:Avocados may prevent mouth cancer and even reduce the rate of cancer growth, research suggests.
Hass avocados, which are readily available in British supermarkets, have been shown to inhibit the growth of mouth cancer cells in the laboratory, and even cause the death of precancerous cells and cancer cell lines, leaving normal cells untouched.
The researchers ascribe the healing effects of avocados to their high levels of phytochemicals, chemical compounds from plants that are often found in dark-coloured fruits and vegetables. There is plenty of evidence that phytochemicals boost the cancer-fighting properties of many fruits and vegetables, but this is the first study relating phytochemicals in avocados to mouth cancer.
Dr Steven D’Ambrosio, of Ohio State University, who led the study,said: “We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells in the body or they kill the precancerous cells without affecting normal cells.” Phytochemicals from avocado act in the cells’ signalling pathways, taking control of the growth and death mechanisms in the cells and keeping the cancer in check.
The study, which will be published this year in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology, was carried out using mouth cells cultured on Petri dishes. The team added different extracts from avocados to see if they controlled the cancer. “It’s very promising. I think it reinforces the healthy diet concept of increasing fruit and vegetables, and it is an additional fruit that can prevent cancer,” Dr D’Ambrosio said. Avocados also contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, folate, vitamin E, fibre and unsaturated fats that can help to slow the onset of cancer.
Worth a try?