Sweet Potato Greens and Prostate Cancer
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New research suggests that sweet potato greens may have a role in prostate cancer prevention and treatment.
SWEET POTATO GREENS AND PROSTATE CANCER
As I discuss in my bestselling evidence-based book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, even conservative clinical research assessments strongly suggest that at least 50 percent of all new cancer cases are linked to modifiable lifestyle and dietary habits. Polyphenols, a group of powerful dietary antioxidant compounds that I extensively discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, have been extensively studied in numerous laboratory and clinical research studies as potential cancer prevention nutrients. Now, a newly published study suggests that polyphenol-rich sweet potato greens may have significant anticancer activity against prostate cancer
In this new study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Carcinogenesis, an extract of sweet potato greens was first tested in the laboratory with human prostate cancer cells growing in culture. Molecular studies were then performed, which revealed that sweet potato greens extract shut down important cell growth biochemical pathways in human prostate cancer cells, and accelerated cancer cell death through a mechanism known as apoptosis. (Interestingly, and importantly, however, sweet potato greens extract appeared to have no adverse effects on normal human prostate gland cells.)
As it is well known that the results of laboratory-based studies often cannot be reproduced in animal or human studies, the authors of this study then implanted human prostate cancer cells into laboratory mice. These same mice were then fed sweet potato greens extract (400 milligrams per kilogram per day), while another group of mice (the “control group”) did not receive any sweet potato greens extract. At the end of the study, the scientists conducting this research discovered that the prostate cancer tumors growing in the mice who received the sweet potato greens extract were, on average, almost 70 percent smaller than the tumors growing in the control group mice! (Once again, there also appeared to be no adverse effects on normal tissues and organs in the mice that received the sweet potato greens extract.)
This research study is the first study to identify significant anticancer effects against prostate cancer associated with sweet potato greens in both cancer cell cultures and in mammals. The potent anticancer effects of sweet potato greens extract, as demonstrated in this very elegant study, and combined with the apparent lack of toxicity, suggest that this polyphenol-rich vegetable may have a role in prostate cancer prevention and, perhaps, prostate cancer treatment; although it will be necessary to repeat this laboratory study in humans to determine if sweet potato greens have similar anticancer effects in people.
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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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