The fruits and vegetables that improve chemotherapy

the-fruits-and-vegetables-that-improve-chemotherapy_300One of the serious problems with using chemotherapy to kill cancer cells is that tumors can often resist its effects. But researchers at University of California Riverside have found that eating the right fruits and vegetables when having chemotherapy can improve the therapy’s benefits.

The biochemists have discovered that when you eat fruits and vegetables rich in a natural chemical called apigenin, cancer cells are more likely to succumb to chemotherapy.

Apigenin is mainly found in fruits like apples, cherries and grapes as well as in vegetables like artichokes, celery and basil. It can also be consumed in nut, tea and wine. Research shows it can inhibit breast, colon, skin, thyroid and leukemia cells. It has also been shown to slow the proliferation of pancreatic cancer.

According to the scientists, apigenin localizes tumor suppressor p53, a protein, in the cell nucleus. When this suppressor is funneled into the nucleus, cancer cells are more likely to respond to chemotherapy.

Normally, cells have low levels of p53 diffused in their cytoplasm and nucleus. When DNA in the nucleus is damaged, p53 moves to the nucleus where it activates genes that stop cell growth and is supposed to cause cell death. As a result, p53 ensures that cells with damaged DNA are killed.

In many cancers, p53 is rendered inactive by a process called cytoplasmic sequestration. Apigenin is able to activate p53 and transport it into the nucleus of cancer cells, resulting in the cease of cell growth and consequent cell death.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.