Can an Apple a Day Keep Cancer Away?
Everyone has heard the old axiom “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But can it do the same for cancer? The authors of a new study seem to think so.
In an analysis published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, a team of researchers dug deep into the anti-cancer properties of apples. And their findings are very convincing.
The study zeroes in on the polyphenols found in apples. These powerful antioxidants are shown to protect against the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. But perhaps the greatest potential of all lies in their potential ability to protect against cancer.
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Anticancer Activity of Apple Polyphenols
In addition to their antioxidant activity, apple polyphenols may have a profound effect on cancer cells. For example, previous research found that eating an apple a day reduced the odds of colorectal cancer by about 45%. More than one a day reduced the risk by almost 50%. What makes the polyphenols in apples so powerful? According to the new analysis, these antioxidants…
Inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
The normal cells in our bodies divide only so many times before they go into a permanent state of rest or simply die. But cancer cells aren’t normal. They keep growing and dividing, which is what makes cancer so difficult to treat. However, apple polyphenols have a significant effect on the signaling pathways that control the growth and survival of cancer cells.
Suppress the migration and invasion of cancer cells.
Not only is cancer riddled with uncontrolled cell growth. It’s also a case of uncontrolled cell migration. The cells can migrate into the bloodstream where they’re carried to other organs. This is what allows the cancer to spread throughout the body. Apple polyphenols are shown to suppress the invasion and migration of these cells.
Promote the death of cancer cells.
In addition to stopping cancer cells from growing, dividing and migrating, apple polyphenols may actually help your body get rid of these abnormal cells. An apple polyphenol called phloretin inhibits the uptake of intracellular glucose. This deprivation of glucose appears to kill cancer cells.
Getting the Most Power out of Your Apples
The highest polyphenol content in an apple is found the skin. This means you’ll lose a great deal of antioxidant power if you peel your apples. So it’s smart idea to eat your apples whole.
Additionally, the best apples you can buy are organic. Commercially grown apples may be laden with pesticides, which could contribute to your future risk of developing cancer. If you can’t find organic, make sure to wash your apples well in warm water to remove exterior pollutants before eating.
Tu SH, et al. Chen, L-C., & Ho, Y-S. (2017). An apple a day to prevent cancer formation: Reducing cancer risk with flavonoids. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2017 Jan;25(1):119-124.
Pandey KB, et al. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Nov-Dec; 2(5): 270–278.
Jedrychowski W, et al. Case-control study on beneficial effect of regular consumption of apples on colorectal cancer risk in a population with relatively low intake of fruits and vegetables. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010 Jan;19(1):42-7.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”