We’ve all been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but now Italian scientists are wondering whether the compounds in that apple may help to prevent malignant mesothelioma from forming in people who have been exposed to asbestos. A group of researchers are taking a close look at phytochemicals, which are found in plants, to determine whether they have an impact on how cancer cells are formed at the molecular level, as well as how they respond to traditional treatments including chemotherapy.
The malignant mesothelioma study conducted by doctors from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona, Italy was recently published in the journal Biomedicine an Pharmacotherapy. Over the course of their research the physicians looked at numerous types of dietary phytochemicals in order to determine whether any of them had an impact on how our molecules shape themselves. Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds found in the fruits and vegetables that we eat, as well as in other plants.
Though the researchers’ exploration included a large number of different phytochemicals, their research yielded only one that had a definitive impact on malignant mesothelioma cells. They found that ursolic acid, which is found in the peels of apples, seemed to regulate microRNAS in the asbestos-related disease, but they also indicated in their report that they believe that there will be many more of these plant-derived compounds that will be useful in the treatment of mesothelioma in the future.
This is by no means the first study that has been done on the impact of these powerful compounds on malignant mesothelioma cells. Because it is well known that phytochemicals boost our immune system and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on our body’s systems, researchers have been closely examining whether they can also help mesothelioma victims. A great deal of attention has already been paid to curcumin, a chemical found in the spice turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. Other studies have looked at compounds found in chamomile, in red wine, in broccoli, and in parsley. The Italian study indicates that there are many more possibilities available.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, eating fresh produce and paying attention to your diet is important, but there are other steps you need to take as well. For information about how we can help make sure you have all the resources you need, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244. We’re here to help.