According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer has now surpassed cardiac disease as the largest killer in the United States. The incidence of cancer increases with age, with approximately 80 percent of cancers occurring in people over the age of 55.
However, according to researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, preventing cancer may be as simple as eating pineapple.
Pineapple Fights Cancer Growth
While analyzing bromelain, an extract of crushed pineapple stems, researchers found that two molecules isolated from the extract showed promise in fighting cancer growth:
- One molecule, known as CCS, blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in approximately 30 percent of all cancers.
- The other, called CCZ, stimulates the body's own immune system to target and destroy cancer cells.
Researchers discovered these two molecules work simultaneously to block the growth of a broad range of tumor cells including breast, lung, colon, ovarian and melanoma.
And while CCS and CCZ are protease enzymes (usually associated with breaking down proteins, as in the digestive process), the above findings distinguish the molecules as a new way of treating disease and potentially a whole new class of anti-cancer agents.
What's more, bromelain, a rich source of enzymes, has also been found to modulate immunological responses and has been proposed to be of clinical use.
source: BBC News July 22, 2005