Peach is a climacteric edible fruit well known worldwide. Mature peaches are juicy and sweet, with a yellow, white, or red flesh, and a velvety yellow or orange skin. Fresh peaches are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C, A and B3 (PP or niacin), B17 (see peach seeds vitamin b17 and cancer) and certain minerals such as potassium. They can be eaten raw, baked, sweeten, salted, frozen… the fruit can also be combined with wine, olive oil, basil, tarragon, mint, cardamom and ginger, white pepper, as well as meats such as duck, guinea fowl. People also use Peaches in cake recipes, compotes and jams. But a new study has shown there is more than just the delicious taste of the fruit.
Peach and Breast Cancer
According to a recent study conducted on peach and breast cancer at The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Urban Solutions Center which was published on The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, peach extracts prevent metastatic breast cancer in mice. During the experiments, the researchers studied the effects of polyphenols of yellow peach (Prunus persica), mainly Rich Lady Peaches, on tumor growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells. They found that extract of phenolic compounds can inhibit breast cancer metastasis, stop the development and spread of the malignant cells to other parts of the body, up to 10 % of all types of breast cancer. The scientists conclude that the natural compound can be used to decrease the risk of breast cancer and metastases.
During the study, the researchers performed a type of surgical graft of tissue called xenograft, implanting aggressive breast cancer cells known as MDA-MB-435 in a group of mice. After about a week, they fed the mice with different doses of polyphenols extracted from Rich Lady variety. Since the compounds are known to protect plants against harmful ultraviolet rays, the scientist focused on them to determine if they have properties to fight cancer. Indeed, the peach polyphenols are powerful anti-cancer.
One of the researchers, Giuliana Noratto, assistant professor of food science at the University of Washington, indicated that there are several studies that show that these compounds act as antioxidants and may therefore protect against DNA damage caused by cancer. Those studies have revealed mice with high levels of polyphenols developed smaller tumors and lacked most of the blood vessel formations which stimulate the spread of cancer.
“The importance of our findings are very relevant, because it shows in vivo the effect that natural compounds, in this case the phenolic compounds in peach, have against breast cancer and metastasis. It gives opportunity to include in the diet an additional tool to prevent and fight this terrible disease that affects so many people,” said researcher Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, an associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A & M University.
Researchers have also noted that the dose that produced positive effects in mice is equivalent to the consumption of two to three peaches per day. That is, the same effects can produce in human by consuming two to three peaches a day. As we all know, the most reliable way to prevent many cancers would be a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Other studies have also shed light on peach seeds and cancer, but this is not mentioned here in this article.
Breast cancer is the number one deadly cancer affecting women in Western countries. Complications (due to metastasis) of the disease often lead to death, in spite of treatment. In most cases the breast cancer cells migrate to other organs, thus causing other cancers. All these different fruits and vegetables that have anticancer properties must be considerably included in our diet.
- Giuliana Noratto, Weston Porter, David Byrne, Luis Cisneros-Zevallos. Polyphenolics from peach (Prunus persica var. Rich Lady) inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells in vivo. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 20 March 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.03.001
- Eric Sorensen, Washington State University food scientist and colleagues at Texas A&M: Peach extract slows breast cancer growth, spread. Retrieved November 30, 2015.