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August 31, 2012
Most of us are well aware about the dangers and risks linked to consuming the foods that can be found in today’s supermarkets. Most of the foods are packed with preservatives, genetically modified substances, poisonous or toxic elements, and all sorts of chemicals harmful to our health. Many foods of those that we eat are actually affected by carcinogens, the substances with cause cellular damage (by alerting our DNA) or disrupt metabolic processes in our body, this way playing a role in cancerous cells development and increasing our risks of cancer. At the same time, scientist found out that certain foods like tomatoes, blueberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and others, have quite powerful effects and can assist in cancer prevention. According to the findings of the most recent study, organic spinach should also be added to the list of the best cancer prevention foods, along with the above mentioned fruits and veggies.
A group of scientists at Oregon State University was studying the benefits of spinach and health effects of this natural food. Their studies were focused initially on researching strong carcinogen actions in cooked meat. These carcinogens affect microRNA, an important substance which stores information about protein structures in the body. However, consuming spinach can assist in decreasing damaging effects of this carcinogen substance and reduce the risks of cancer. In particular, as the tests with laboratory animals have shown, using spinach as one of the best cancer prevention foods can reduce the risks of colon cancer in all people almost in half, lowering the incidence from 58 per cent down to 32 per cent. The findings of this study supported by the experts from the National Institute of Health were published this summer in journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
“MicroRNAs are very small factors that do very big things in cells,” said Mansi Parasramka, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow with LPI. “This study showed that alterations of microRNAs affect cancer stem cell markers in colon cancer formation.” It’s been traditionally thought that cancer is caused by DNA mutation or altering DNA sequences. At the same time, as this study has proven, cancer formation is a very complex process involving numerous biological process with numerous damaged cells arising as a result of such changes. More and more studies give specialists reasons to understand the role of such issues as lifestyle, environmental pollution, psychological condition, or diet of an individual in cancerous cells formation (as well as in increased risks for diabetes, serious cardiovascular diseases, neurological conditions, and many others). All these factors have serious influence on the formation of microRNAs and DNA expression, that is why consuming plenty of cancer prevention foods, reducing negative effects of stresses, avoiding environmental toxins or radiation are the primary steps for effective cancer prevention program.
During the tests, scientists at Oregon State University looked closely at the activities of over 675 microRNAs and found out that if something goes wrong and those particles do not work right, destructive processes star on cellular levels causing pretty much of harm. The experts are convinced that microRNAs should be considered the main epigenetic tools to regulate all processes and cellular functions in our body, both in distorted or healthy cells. It is reported that microRNA alterations can not only stop faulty cell formation, but also restore normal function of cells, and adjusting our diet by adding more of cancer prevention foods is the best mechanism to benefits from this property of microRNA compounds. Find more information about spinach and health benefits of this amazing natural source of vitamins and nutrients in this article.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.