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Do Fruits and Vegetable Compounds Hold the Key to Curing Mesothelioma?

It has long been known that eating a healthy diet can serve as a powerful boost to wellbeing, and is important for those who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other forms of cancer. But scientists in Italy are taking a closer look at the compounds found in fruits and vegetables to see whether they may hold the key to preventing this rare and fatal asbestos-related disease, or to helping to cure it.

What the scientists were investigating was the impact of chemicals found in all plants, known as phytochemicals, on malignant mesothelioma cells. These phytochemicals take the form of flavonoids, isoflavones, polyphenols and carotenoids, all of which are biologically active compounds that provide valuable protections against disease for the plants. They have also been found to be highly protective and beneficial to humans when we consume them: they are highly valued for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and for their ability to boost the immune system. The Italian physicians wanted to determine whether they had this type of effect on whether mesothelioma cancer would form in cells.

What they discovered that there was one specific compound called ursolic acid, which is found in the peel of apples, that seemed to regulate microRNAs in malignant mesothelioma cells. Though their study revealed only one definitive mesothelioma-related impact, they also wrote that there are many others that they believe could also have a similar impact. “In this paper,” they write, “we have introduced some dietary phytochemicals …. which have shown microRNA regulatory activities in various cancers and could regulate malignant mesothelioma microRNAs.” Other studies that have been undertaken to investigate the role of plant-based foods on mesothelioma have included:

  • Research on whether flavonoids found in chamomile, parsley and other herbs might extend the survival time of those with malignant mesothelioma
  • Research on whether a compound found in broccoli might boost the impact of chemotherapy on people diagnosed with mesothelioma
  • Research on whether compounds found in tea, red wine and dark leafy vegetables boosts the immune response in those diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases
  • Research on whether curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, can slow the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors

As scientists look to the natural world for help with treating mesothelioma and other rare forms of cancer, we must turn to each other. If you need to know more about emotional support and other resources available to victims of asbestos-related diseases, dial 1-800-692-8608 to contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today. We are here to help.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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