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Promising Foods in the Prevention of Childhood Leukemia

BY: Ritu Choudhary | Category: Cancer Prevention | Submitted: 2011-02-20 23:11:45
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Leukemia is a type of cancer that can take different forms. It is characterized by a proliferation of white blood cells (leukocytes) in the bone marrow that disrupts the formation of the main components of blood, including red blood cells. Leukemia cells can also invade organs. From a study epidemiologique1 which is underway in California since 1995 and focuses on childhood leukemia, scientists have sought to discover which foods, eaten in the first years of life, were most likely to prevent the development of leukemia in children. Oranges and bananas on the menu of baby during his first two years of life would reduce risk of being diagnosed with leukemia. Drinking orange juice would also provide protection, but less dramatically.

After selecting 328 children from zero to two years, had good health, they interviewed their mothers and more to submit a questionnaire on diet of each child. For purposes of analysis, the researchers grouped the foods into nine categories: hot dogs / meat, hamburgers / beef, vegetables, oranges / bananas, apples / grapes, orange juice, other fruit juices, milk, soft drinks. Then they put these data correlated with the occurrence or not of leukemia in these children when they were aged two to five years. They found that the combined consumption of oranges and bananas seemed to offer protection against leukemia. It would be the same for the orange juice, but to a lesser extent. They also noted that consumption of hot dogs result no increased risk of leukemia. Researchers come to the conclusion that foods rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and potassium represent a promising avenue in the prevention of childhood leukemia. They postulate that these two factors may interact positively in this sense, studies have shown that vitamin C promotes the absorption of potassium in the intracellular level.

An antioxidant commonly found in food and red wine is a potent selective elimination of leukemia cells.
In vitro tests, it was found that a component naturally present in many foods, especially in red wine, selectively eliminates effective leukemia cells without harming healthy cells. That's the conclusion of researchers came from the "University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine" in the United States. Dr. Yin and his team studied the effects and mechanism of cyanidin-3-rutinoside, or C-3-R, a red dye commonly found in nature and belonging to the group of anthocyanidins on various leukemia cell lines ( HL-60) and lymphoma. They found that about 50% of leukemia cells undergoing apoptosis or programmed cell death after 24 hours of exposure to low doses. When the dose was doubled, almost all cells died of leukemia. The same effects were observed for lymphoma cell lines. In a further study, researchers found that C-3-R induced the production of peroxides, a highly reactive species, which forced the mitochondria to apoptotic trigger a series of biochemical reactions leading to cell death. Strangely this mechanism has not been found in normal cells. This is the first time a "oxidative stress" is used intracellularly that selectively eliminate cancer cells. These findings open new perspectives for selectively combating leukemia in the future with a natural component.

Further research is needed, however. The fact that this substance is naturally present in food and therefore it is not toxic is a major advantage. This compound is widely available in foods, it is very likely that it is not even in purified toxic form. Therefore, reproducing these anti-cancer effects in animal are very promising approaches for treating a variety of human leukemia and perhaps, lymphomas as well. Anthocyanidins found mainly in vegetables and fruits red, like cherries, raspberries, currants, beet red and consumption of these foods is highly recommended.

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