(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study suggests that eating certain foods can fuel tumor growth in some types of cancer. Researchers recommend staying away from asparagus to prevent cancer cells from further spreading.
The recent study analyzed the changes in the diets of patient diagnosed with breast cancer after multiple mouse studies had revealed that a nutrient in asparagus, asparagine, can fuel the spread of cancer to nearby tissue and organs. Asparagine is found in some other types of foods, not just asparagus.
When researchers reduced sick mice’s intake of asparagine they noticed that the growth of secondary tumors was reduced significantly. Cancer can spread to the brain, lungs, and bones. When that happens, the breast cancer patient dies.
Prof Greg Hannon, who led the study, was excited to announce the first study that offers a “scientific rationale” for changing diet plans to keep cancer in check. Hannon leads the Cancer Research UK Cancer Institute.
Asparagine Fuels Cancer
Asparagine is a naturally occurring aminoacid in the human body, but it is also found in some foods like dairy products, some types of meat, and vegetables.
In the study, the researchers zoomed in on a very invasive form of breast cancer in which mice’s bodies produce secondary tumors in just a few weeks since the initial diagnosis. The small animals also die of cancer in a matter of months.
The study, which appeared this week in the journal Nature, shows that mice that were given a drug that inhibits the production of asparagine had a significantly lower risk of cancer spread. Also, removing the compound from their diets altogether greatly helped.
To confirm their findings, scientists analyzed dozens of medical records and found that asparagine boosts the risk of tumor spread exponentially in human breast cancer patients, as well. A similar link was found in patients diagnosed with neck, head, and kidney cancers.
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