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September 12, 2007

Tangerine Peel Kills Certain Human Cancer Cells

Topics: Medicine

tangerines.jpgAccording to a research team at Leicester School of Pharmacy, Salvestrol Q40 - a type of phytoalexin (a chemical produced by plants to repel attackers, such as insects or fungi) extracted from tangerine peel, can kill certain human cancer cells. "Salvestrol Q40 is found at higher concentrations in the peel of the tangerine than in the flesh of the fruit, and is converted into a toxic compound by the cytochrome P450 CYP1B1 enzyme:

As a result, the researchers found, it proved to be 20 times more toxic to cancer cells than their healthy equivalents.

Dr Tan said Salvestrol was found in other fruit and vegetables, such as the brassica family, which includes broccoli and brussels sprouts.

However, the compound tends to be produced at higher levels when infection levels among crops are high.

Therefore, the use of modern pesticides and fungicides, which have cut the risk of infections, have also led to a drop in Salvestrol levels in food.

CYP1B1 has been found to be expressed at a high frequency in a wide range of human cancers of different histogenetic types, including cancers of the breast, colon, lung, esophagus, skin, lymph node, brain, and testis.

More here ...

Posted by Richard at September 12, 2007 2:36 PM

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