Purple potatoes may prevent colon cancer: scientists
Washington, August 29, 2015: Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon
cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, Indian-origin scientists have found.
Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumours in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer’s stem
cells, researchers have found. Attacking stem cells is an effective way to counter cancer, according to
Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences at the Pennsylvania State University.
In the initial laboratory study, researchers found that the baked potato
extract suppressed the spread of colon cancer stem cells while increasing their deaths.
Researchers then tested the effect of whole baked purple potatoes on
mice with colon cancer and found similar results. The researchers used baked purple potato because they wanted to make
sure the vegetables maintained their anti-cancer properties even after cooking.
According to the researchers, there may be several substances in purple potatoes that work simultaneously on multiple pathways to help kill the
colon cancer stem cells, including anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid, and resistant starch. “The butyric acid regulates immune function in the gut, suppresses
chronic inflammation and may also help to cause cancer cells to self- destruct,” Vanamala said.
In addition to resistant starch, the same colour compounds that give potatoes, as well as other fruits and vegetables, a rainbow of vibrant
colours may be effective in suppressing cancer growth, he added. The study was published in the "Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry". -PTI
Sugary drinks kill around 2 lakh people a year globally
Washington, June 30, 2015: Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to
diabetes, heart disease, and cancers and an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, shows a study by a team of researchers led by an Indian American.
In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened
beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities caused by diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010.
"Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened
beverage- related deaths, at least eight were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world,"
said lead author Gitanjali Singh, an Indian-American assistant professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Tufts University.
Of the 20 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths
per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the US ranked second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).
In the study, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened
iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving.
The estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries.
The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations.
The estimated percentage of deaths was less than one percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45.
About 76 percent of the estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths occurred in low- or middle-income countries. The study was outlined in the journal Circulation. Source: IANS
Embrace spirituality to fight cancer
August 12, 2015: Being spiritual can help cancer patients improve their physical, mental
and social well being, finds new research. The three-part analysis found a strong association between spirituality and cancer patients' health.
In the first part, a team of US researchers focused on physical health. Patients reporting greater overall religiousness and spirituality also
reported better physical health, greater ability to perform daily tasks and fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment.
"These relationships were particularly strong in patients who experienced greater emotional aspects of religion and spirituality,
including a sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as a connection to a source larger than oneself," explained lead study author Heather
Jim from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.
In the second analysis, the researchers examined patients' mental health.
The team discovered that the emotional aspects of religion and spirituality were more strongly associated with positive mental health
than behavioural or cognitive aspects of religion and spirituality.
"Spiritual well being was associated with less anxiety, depression or
distress," noted lead study author John Salsman from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago in the paper published in a peer-reviewed journal CANCER.
The third analysis pertained to social health, or patients' capacity to
retain social roles and relationships in the face of illness. "We found that patients with stronger spiritual well being reported better social health," said another lead author Allen Sherman from the
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. "In contrast, those who struggled with their faith fared more poorly," he noted.
The research provides invaluable insight into the rapidly growing area of psychosocial oncology - the role of religion and spirituality for
patients and survivors managing the experience of cancer, the authors concluded. -IANS