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Fighting cancer with fruits and vegetables

This refrigerator is full of berries, and other fruits and vegetables, dehyradeted and crushed and used for cancer research. Dr. Ramesh Gupta of the University of Louisville is studying the possibilities of how certain compounds inside these fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer.

Dr. Ramesh Gupta

"We are thinking in terms of nutrition. These compounds, vegetables and fruits, are plant products. They have vital chemicals."

Berries contain high quantities of the antioxident ellagic acid. This led Gupta to start thinking about nutritional intervention.

Dr. Gupta continues

"They have protective values. We found those compounds were effective on some things."

Gupta says a pre-cursor for cancer is when DNA becomes damaged. His research is looking at ways to identify compounds that could inhibit d-n-a damage. The natural substances in berries, as well as similar compounds in other fruits and vegetables, could be useful since they serve as agents that fight threats to the healthy human body.

Dr. Gupta adds

"You can say they're fighting. How does cancer come? 60-80 percent is considered to be caused by our lifestyle, environmental exposure, and smoking… These protective agents presented in plants are fighting against those toxic agents."

Using natural substances to reduce the risk of cancer is a form of chemoprevention. Gupta's research is at least a year away from clinical trials. Like health enthusiasts, he encourages five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

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