Chomping on carrots and celery ‘could ward off colon cancer’
Celery is known for its dietary properties, and carrots apparently help you to see in the dark… but they could also both hold the key to slowing the growth of colon cancer, researchers say.
They have found that luteolin – a flavanoid, or antioxidant, found in fruit and vegetables – can block cell signal pathways vital for the cancer's growth.
Luteolin can also be found in olive oil, green peppers, thyme, chamomile tea, peppermint and rosemary.
Life-savers: Celery and carrot both contain an antioxidant called luteolin which can lock cell signal pathways vital for colon cancer's growth
However, more research is needed to find how the compound could be developed into an effective anti-cancer agent.
Previous lab tests have revealed luteolin's antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, although further tests were less certain.
But new research, published in BMC Gastroenterology, shows that the compound inhibits cell signalling pathways IGF and PI3K – both 'important for the growth of cancer in colon cancer cells'.
Colon cancer is the second most frequent cause of cancer-related death in the West, and colon cancer cells are known to have elevated levels of IGF-II compared to normal colon tissues.
Researchers believe that this is part of the mechanism that allows uncontrolled cell division – and therefore rapid cancer growth.
Luteolin was shown to be able to block the secretion of IGF-II by colon cancer cells.
More research is needed to find how the luteolin, found in celery and carrots could be developed into an effective anti-cancer agent
Prof Jung Han Yoon Park, of Korea's Hallym university, explained, 'Luteolin reduced IGF-I-dependent activation of the cell signaling pathways PI3K, Akt, and ERK1/2 and CDC25c.
'Blocking these pathways stops cancer cells from dividing and leads to cell death.
'Our study, showing that luteolin interferes with cell signaling in colon cancer cells, is a step forward in understanding how this flavonoid works.
'A fuller understanding of the in vivo results is essential to determine how it might be developed into an effective chemopreventive agent.'