Search Foodconsumer & Others
More than 100 credit cards available at uscards.com
||Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM
Strawberries, grapes, blueberries and some familiar seasonings like
rosemary contain compounds that can--in test tubes--kill cells of a
childhood cancer. Nutrition-focused research by molecular biologist
Susan J. Zunino of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western
Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC), Davis, Calif., may reveal
exactly how the powerful plant chemicals fight the disease known as
acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Zunino's current studies build upon her 2006 findings about the ability
of carnosol from rosemary; curcumin from turmeric; resveratrol from
grapes; and ellagic acid, kaempferol and quercetin from strawberries to
kill the leukemia cells. She did the work using laboratory cultures of
both healthy human blood cells and cancerous ones as her model.
Her studies are of interest not only to cancer researchers, but also to
nutrition scientists exploring the health benefits of natural compounds
in the world's fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
For the most part, scientists don't yet have all the details about how
plant chemicals, or phytochemicals, bolster healthy cells and battle
harmful ones. That's true even for better-known phytochemicals such as
the resveratrol in grapes, blueberries and some other fruits, according
Her investigations provide some new clues about how phytochemicals
attack cancer cells. For example, she found that the phytochemicals
interfere with the orderly operations of mitochondria, the miniature
energy-producing power plants inside cells. Without energy, cells die.
Mitochondria exposed to resveratrol and the other phytochemicals that
Zunino tested couldn't function properly. But more work is needed, to
fully understand how the phytochemicals achieved that.
And, Zunino and colleagues want to know more about the phytochemicals' other modes of action that result in cell death.
She's collaborating in the investigations with molecular biologist
David Storms, at WHNRC; Jonathan Ducore at the University of
California-Davis Cancer Center; and Navindra Seeram, formerly with the
University of California-Los Angeles and now at the University of Rhode
Read more about the research in the March 2008 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at:
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Marcia Wood, (301) 504-1662, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 4, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
© 2004-2008 by foodconsumer.org unless otherwise specified
Top of Page
Search Consumer-friendly Health Sites