Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Watercress may protect against cancer

Eating watercress regularly may reduce risk of cancer significantly Foodconsumer.org 2/18/07 "this plant proved to be protective against DNA damage, which is believed to be the first step of the cancer development process, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition...The trial of 30 healthy men and 30 healthy women ages 33 on average showed that eating watercress everyday for eight weeks reduce DNA damage by 23 percent and cut blood triglyceride by 10 percent while the blood levels of lutein and beta-carotene increased by 1000 and 33 percent respectively..."What makes this study unique is it involves people eating watercress in easily achievable amounts, to see what impact that might have on known bio-markers of cancer risk, such as DNA damage. Most studies to date have relied on tests conducted in test tubes or in animals, with chemicals derived from cruciferous vegetables," ...In the study, 30 healthy men and 30 healthy women including 30 smokers were assigned 85 grams of watercress daily for eight weeks...In addition to the reduction of DNA damage in the white blood cells (lymphocytes), watercress consumption was also linked with a 9.4 percept reduction in DNA damage to lymphocytes when challenged with hydrogen peroxide, which generates DNA damaging free radicals"

Two to things to note about this study: first it is very small and secondly it is funded by the The Watercress Alliance. What's that... you didn't know there was a Watercress Alliance? Well, now you know. They're a powerhouse in the watercress community... I'm sure. We'll see what further, larger studies say, maybe some independent of the industry.

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