EVERY year in the UK around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 10,000 die of the disease. But the good news is that humble carrots may help prevent cancer.
Studies by Professor Norman Maitland at the University of York have found a diet rich in vitamin A could be key in beating the disease by making it more treatable. The researchers discovered that carrots may help prevent cancer because they contain retinoic acid, a chemical made from Vitamin A which is found in foods including carrots, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables, and can reduce the ability of the cancer to invade surrounding tissue.
Prof Maitland said: “If the cancer is confined to the prostate it’s much more treatable with conventional medicine. This is about prevention rather than cure, but it can stop the spread of cancer. It has been known for many years that low vitamin A in samples of men’s blood is associated with prostate cancer, but nobody knew the mechanisms involved. This is an exciting new development which links an element from our diet to prostate cancer stem cells. Carrots may help prevent cancer.”
Raw carrots and carrot juice have been used in complementary medicine as a ‘cure’ for cancer for quite while now. So, maybe there is now some scientific evidence behind this alternative practice after all. Carrots contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant and pre-cursor used to make vitamin A in your body, along with carotenoid derivates such as zeaxanthin and lutein. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and falcarinol, may help prevent cancer by stopping damage to the healthy cells in your body.
Falcarinol is a natural substance found in raw carrots, which according to research, can significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that falcarinol slows the growth of cancer cells, making it less likely to invade the body. Laboratory rats fed a diet of raw carrots or isolated falcarinol were a third less likely to develop full-scale, chemically-induced tumors than those in the control group.
A study by researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England and Denmark and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found falcarinol, a natural pesticide that protects the roots of carrots from fungal disease, reduced cancer risk. The researchers found that it actually had a more powerful effect than beta carotene. So, yes, eating carrots may help prevent cancer.
- Nerves play key role in triggering prostate cancer and influencing its spread (medicalxpress.com)
- Prostate cancer can be beaten (kaqunblog.wordpress.com)