Bursting with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, pectin and fiber, mothers have been telling their children for generations that an apple a day can keep the doctor away. Now, research has uncovered yet another reason that apples are one of nature’s most potent medicines – and may even act as a natural cancer cure.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and incredibly, new studies have recently discovered an inverse relationship between the consumption of apples and the risk of cancer. In other words, the more apples a person eats, the lower their risk is for several types of cancer. The most recent research found that a compound in apples could actually behave as a natural cancer cure, killing colon cancer cells more efficiently than even chemotherapy drugs.
In the course of this study, the researchers isolated a natural sugar found naturally in apples, called oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that contains between 3 to 6 units of simple sugar in their structure. In order to isolate the oligosaccharides from the rest of the apple, the researchers disposed of the skins, pulps, seeds and stems, and treated the juice of the apples with natural enzymes in order to break down the leftover apple compounds into pure oligosaccharides.
Once isolated, the oligosaccharides were added at various concentrations to human colon cancer cells, called HT29. At lower concentrations (about 0.9 parts per million or PPM), the oligosaccharides killed 17.6 percent of the colon cancer cells within just 36 hours. On the other hand, the chemo drug, which was administered at an even higher concentration, killed only 10.9 percent of the colon cancer cells. Although these results were impressive, the truly amazing results occurred when higher concentrations of oligosaccharides were used – at 9.0 PPM, the oligosaccharides killed a whopping 46% of the human colon cancer cells.
This breakthrough research showed that the oligosaccharides in apples can not only out-perform common cancer drugs when it comes to treating colon cancer, but that they are also a non-toxic alternative, without all of the health risks and severe discomfort caused by traditional cancer therapies. Unlike chemotherapy drugs, oligosaccharides attack only the cancer cells, and do not cause harm to the patient’s healthy cells. As such, treating colon cancer with oligosaccharides could mean avoiding the troublesome side-effects associated with cancer drugs such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and hair loss
Before you go throwing out the apple peels and consuming only the juice however, consider the results of a study published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal in 2010, which found that apple peels are also effective as natural cancer cures. The researchers found that apple peel extracts reduce the ability of several different varieties of cancer cells to survive. According to the study, the apple peel extract decreases the level of a certain antigen found in cancer cells, and the reduction of that antigen results in a decreased ability for the cancer cells to grow and multiply. The researchers also found that apple peel extracts increase levels of a protein called maspin, which helps to prevent tumors from growing and spreading.
To maximize their cancer fighting properties, eat two apples a day and don’t discard the skin. Be sure to choose organic apples, because conventionally grown apples are contaminated with toxic pesticides and herbicides which may actually increase your risk for cancer. Also, choose locally grown apples when possible, because apples that are shipped from far away are picked before they are fully ripe and do not contain as many nutrients.