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September 15, 2005

Study Shows: 'Eat more beans' to stop cancer

Topics: Health Issues

_40803088_beans.jpeg The "magic" is in inositol pentakisphosphate(IP5) which blocks the enzyme phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

Human tumors emerge as the result of multiple genetic and epigenetic aberrations that allow the proto-cancer cell to escape normal social control. Many signal transduction pathways become constitutively active during this process, and one whose importance is increasingly being appreciated involves phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). This pathway normally regulates important cell decisions such as growth, division, survival and migration, and when deregulated it can confer malignant potential to the ensuing tumour. Now, legumes, wheat bran, and nuts, which contain a natural compound called inositol pentakisphosphate which blocks the enzyme, are being touted by UK researchersas as being great for protection against cancer:

A diet rich in beans, nuts and cereals could be a way to prevent cancer, believe UK researchers. Scientists at University College London have discovered that these everyday foods contain a potent anti-cancer compound.

This blocks a key enzyme involved in tumour growth, they told Cancer Research journal.

The researchers say, in the future, it might be possible to mimic this compound in an anti-cancer drug.

Dr Marco Falasca and colleagues have discovered that a natural compound, called inositol pentakisphosphate, which is found in most legumes as well as in wheat bran and nuts, blocks the activity of the enzyme.

We believe that inositol pentakisphosphate is a promising anti-cancer tool and we hope to bring it to clinical testing soon.

The next step is to look at whether inositol pentakisphosphate is able to inhibit tumour growth in cancer patients

Another very interesting inositol phosphate is Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP6). IP6 and other inositol phosphates (IP1, IP2, IP3, IP4, IP5) is found in most mamalian cells where it assists in "regulating and normalizing " a variety of important cell functions. Actually, it is IP3 that controls cell production and differentiation. IP6, in-vivo, when combined with looses one or more phosphates(P) and yields crucial IP3(IP6 + Inositol = 2 IP3).

When administered in the diet, IP6 binds with proteins, forming insoluble complexes that are less readily metabolized and absorbed. Because IP6 is particularly abundant in the bran part of certain mature seeds such as wheat, one group of scientists investigated whether a high-fiber bran diet containing high IP6 inhibits rat mammary carcinogenesis induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene(DMBA). When rats were fed a diet containing, 5%, 10% or 20% Kelloggs' All Bran; another group received 0.4% IP6 in drinking water equivalent to that in 20% bran. The fifth group served as the control. After 29 weeks, compared with the carcinogen control, tumor incidence was reduced by 16.7%, 14.6% and 11.4% in rats fed 5%, 10% and 20% bran, respectively, not an insignificant amount. However, rats fed 0.4% IP6 in drinking water had a whopping 33.5% reduction in tumor incidence and nearly 50% fewer tumors.

Researchers said that "IP6, an active substance responsible for cereal's beneficial anticancer effect(another, for example, is IP5), is clearly more effective than 20% bran in the diet. ...Intake of IP6 may be a more pragmatic approach than gorging enormous quantities of fiber for cancer prophylaxis."

Years ago, I used 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene and 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene to induce tumors in guinea pigs in several cancer research projects, and found both to be powerfully carcinogenic.

A 33.5% reduction in tumor incidence and a nearly 50% reduction in tumors in animals exposed to these two substances, assuming the studies were properly conducted, makes a real statement for eating legumes, nuts and cereals.

Posted by Richard at September 15, 2005 6:44 PM

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