Peaches Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer

In March 2014, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry published findings from lab tests at Texas A&M AgriLife Research that show treatments with peach extract inhibit the development of breast cancer in mice.

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“Cancer cells were implanted under the skin of mice with an aggressive type of breast cancer cells, the MDA-MB-435, and what we saw was an inhibition of a marker gene in the lungs after a few weeks indicating an inhibition of metastasis when the mice were consuming the peach extract,” said Dr.  Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, a food scientist for AgriLife Research in College Station. “Furthermore, after determining the dose necessary to see the effects in mice, it was calculated that for humans it would be equivalent to consuming two to three peaches per day.”

Dr. Cisneros-Zavallos said that this new research builds on findings that peach and plum polyphenols selectively killed aggressive breast cancer cells and not the normal ones, Cisneros-Zavallos said. Polyphenols are natural chemicals that give a substances, in this case a peaches, their unique properties.

In the western world, breast cancer is the most common serious disease for women, he said. In the U.S. last year, the American Cancer Society estimated about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer among women. “The importance of our findings are very relevant, because it shows in vivo the effect that natural compounds, in this case the phenolic compounds in peach, have against breast cancer and metastasis,” he said. Metastasis is the spread of a cancer from one organ or part to different organ or part. Most of the complications and high mortality associated with breast cancer are due to metastasis, Cisneros-Zevallos pointed out.

It gives opportunity to include in the diet an additional tool to prevent and fight this terrible disease that affects so many people,” he said.

According to Cisneros-Zevallos, most peach varieties share similar polyphenolic compounds but might differ in content.

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