Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Flavonols seem to lower chance of getting pancreatic cancer

Flavonols may help ward off pancreatic cancer Reuters/Yahoo!News " look at the eating patterns of 183,518 California and Hawaii residents has found evidence that a diet high in flavonols might help ward off pancreatic cancer...Flavonols are found in plant-based foods with onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli having the highest concentrations...People who had the largest amount of flavonols in their diet -- measured with a "food frequency" questionnaire -- had a 23-percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with people with the lowest levels, Dr. Ute Nthlings from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke reported...Smokers benefited most, presumably because they are at high risk for pancreatic cancer already. Smokers who ate the most flavonols reduced their risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 59 percent...Of the three individual flavonols studied (kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin), kaempferol, abundant in spinach and some cabbages, was associated with the largest risk reduction (22 percent) among all study subjects... the anti-cancer effects of these compounds, in general, have been attributed to their ability to inhibit cell growth and oxidative stress, and induce detoxification enzymes and programmed cell death..."

A major rethink of the way certain antioxidants work needs to happen. To cause apoptosis, or to limit blood flow to cancers is not merely a function of limiting free radical damage in the body. Certain "antioxidants" are obviously much, much more than antioxidants. They redirect the functioning of specific parts of the body, often in a beneficial way. Just take a look at the myriad functions of EGCG, or curcumin in the human body and it becomes apparent that their antioxidant ability appears to be only a small part of their function. It seems we need another word for such compounds. But what? At least we can agree to rule out adaptogen right? Something more grounded in science and with a specific definition that refers to specific functioning of such compounds. We can dress it in old, latiny roots. The anti-rolemodel is... "An adaptogen produces a nonspecific response in the body..." lovely.

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