banner ad
banner ad

How Prunes Could Help You Fight This Deadly Disease

There are a growing number of physicians and researchers who are devoting their attention to finding out just how food can help fight disease.

Considering colon cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in America (expected to kill almost 50,000 in 2015), the following research is quite encouraging.

A study conducted by the Texas A&M school of Food and Nutrition was able to demonstrate a positive correlation between the consumption of dried plums and a reduced risk of colon cancer.

After researching what happened to rats who ate dried plums the team theorized the mechanism behind the reduced risk had something to do with dried plums creating an environment allowing healthy gut bacteria to flourish as needed.

In particular their research points to a particular compound in prunes known as phenolic compounds as being the driving force behind this healthy environment for microbiotica  (gut bacteria).

The science behind the presence of healthy gut bacteria and a reduced risk of cancer is supported by known research about inflammation and the formation of cancer.

Phenolic compounds are antioxidants, and antioxidants are effective at fighting oxidative damage as well as damage to the DNA caused by inflammation.

What the researchers were able to tell from their studies was the absence of healthy gut bacteria lead to inflammation which likely led to the development of colon cancer.

The opposite seemed to be true. Phenolic compounds encouraging healthy bacteria seemed to make it so rats did not develop cancer.

Medical News Today reports:

The scientists hypothesized that consuming dried plums would promote retention of beneficial microbiota and patterns of microbial metabolism in the colon, which could in turn decrease the risk of colon cancer. They tested the effect of phenolic compounds on a rat model of colon cancer. The rats were fed either a diet containing dried plums or a control diet.

The diets were matched for total calories and macronutrient composition to ensure that any effect might be accurately attributed to the dried plums. The intestinal contents and tissues from different segments of the colon were examined.

The team made two important discoveries.

The dried plum diet changed the levels of the two major phyla of bacteria in the gut. In the distal colon, it increased the level of Bacteroidetes, but reduced the amount of Firmicutes. However, in the proximal colon, the proportions were not affected/ In contrast, the control diet led to a lower proportion of Bacteroidetes and increased Firmicutes in the distal colon.

The rats that consumed the dried plums had significantly reduced numbers of aberrant crypts, aberrant crypt foci and high-multiplicity aberrant crypt foci compared with control rats.

Since aberrant crypt foci serve as a telltale sign for the formation of precancerous lesions the researchers were able to conclude dried plums were helpful in minimizing their formation.

More research is needed to be done to verify the claim dried plums can fight colon cancer, and human trials are likely forthcoming.

However there is cause for hope as the head researcher, Dr. Nancy Turner says:

“From this study we were able to conclude that dried plums did, in fact, appear to promote retention of beneficial microbiota and microbial metabolism throughout the colon, which was associated with a reduced incidence of precancerous lesions.”

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Category: Blog, Food, Wellness

Comments are closed.

banner ad