by Mike Barrett
April 16th, 2013
Are you a believer in using foods to prevent and treat illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer? There are countless foods and substances available for preventing and treating cancer, and in case you still aren’t convinced, maybe this new and exciting research will seal the deal. In recent research, compounds in apples known as oligosaccharides were found to kill up to 46% of human colon cancer cells. Further, the compound outperformed common chemotherapy drugs while leaving the toxic side effects behind.
Apples: Another Cancer Solution
For the study, researchers isolated polysaccarides like pectin and other fibers from the waste product of apples after they have been juiced. This waste product, known as pomace, is made up of skins, pulp, seeds, and stems. After isolating the polysaccarides, the researchers treated them with natural pectinase to break down their molecules into oligosaccharides. Finally, the oligosaccharides were added at various concentrations to cultured human HT29 colon cancer cells, while a common chemo drug was added to others.
In every test using different concentrations, oligosaccharides induced programmed cell death (apoptosis) at greater levels than the chemo drug.
- At about 0.9 PPM), oligosaccharides killed 17.6% of the colon cancer cells within 36 hours. The chemo drug, at a higher concentration of 1.3 micrograms per mL, killed only 10.9%.
- At 9.0 PPM, 46% of colon cancer cells were killed by oligosaccharides. The chemo drug wasn’t tested at this level.
- Apple oligosaccharides don’t negatively effect healthy cells, unlike chemo.
The study abstract reads:
“It is reported that apple polysaccharide can prevent colon cancer growth and impede colon cancer progression…The aim of this study is to explore the effect of apple oligosaccharide on the cellular viability of human colon carcinoma cells (HT29 cells) and its mechanism…These results indicated that apple oligosaccharide attenuated HT29 cell viability by inducing cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Apple oligosaccharide is a potential chemoprevention agent or anti-tumor agent and is worthy of further study.”
Found naturally in many plants, honey and milk, oligosaccharides are gaining more recognition for benefiting various areas of health. Studies have found the compounds positively impact intestinal flora, control blood sugar, and boost immunity.
Like many studies before it, this new study once again shows the amazing effects of natural foods and compounds. What’s more, it’s amazing how oligosaccharides can be derived from a waste product of the apple juice industry. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with an inexpensive natural medicine when millions of tons of pomace are available for use in large nations.