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Constructing an Egg that Fights Cancer

by 5m Editor
10 June 2008, at 2:52pm

US - Imagine the chicken and eggs you eat could be cancer-fighting food. Researchers at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center say they could be on their way to doing that. Here's the best part - they're only using a natural plant extract, and a little time.

If chickens are to be what we eat to help battle cancer, it may all start with what they eat. Researchers at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center say mixing chicken feed with a substance found in cotton could help turn chickens, and their eggs, into potent cancer-fighting foods. The natural substance is called gossypol.


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"In experimental systems, and I want to emphasize that, it has been shown to slow cancer growth. In some model systems, it prevents the spread of cancer"
Michael Caliguiri, MD, at Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital.

"In experimental systems, and I want to emphasize that, it has been shown to slow cancer growth. In some model systems, it prevents the spread of cancer," says Michael Caliguiri, MD, at Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital.

In fact, by putting gossypol directly onto human breast cancer tissue in the lab, Dr. Young C. Lin at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center found that it could slow the rate of cancer growth as much as 94%.* To get that substance into humans slowly and safely, Lin proposes using chickens. If they eat the gossypol, and we eat them, his theory goes that our bodies will absorb all those cancer-fighting nutrients.

That could someday offer hope to people like Tomasina Wall. Her mother, sister and aunt all battled breast cancer. Between her diet and exercise routine, she's constantly working to prevent it.

"Every day I struggle with trying to do all of the right things because there are so many things that all of us should be doing to maintain our state of health," says Wall.

That's why something as easy as eating chicken or eggs to help control cancer is so appealing. So far, all of Lin's tests with gossypol have only been done in the lab. While researchers are cautious not to overstate the results, they can't help but see the possibilities.

"You can take a tumor and put it in a test tube, sprinkle the substance on it and see inhibition of growth. That doesn't mean it will do the same in the body, but it's the first step," says Caliguiri.

Gossypol is actually taken from the oil of cotton seeds and is so potent it has been patented as a drug for treating cancer. This study, however, would be among the first to use it as a food component to help battle cancer. No word yet on if or when human trials might begin.

5m Editor