Natural Health News – Malaysian scientists have shown that common cooking spices can be the key to protecting cells and help prevent the spread of cancer.
Many culinary spices are rich sources of antioxidants, which can help defend against cell damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS, also known as free radicals). Its antioxidant benefits are due to the presence of a variety of phenols and flavonoids fl.
The human body has many systems to deal with free radicals; however, it has also been shown that a diet rich in antioxidants can improve food products this innate protection.
Plant derived compounds like turmeric antioxidants, resveratrol and flavonoids have demonstrated therapeutic potential fl, including anti-inflammatory, cell protection and protective properties of DNA.
In a recent laboratory study published in the journal Food Chemistry scientists investigated the effect of spices in DNA damage, which can be a trigger for cancer as well as cancer cells migration.
Researchers have purchased 9 different species in a local market. These were:
- Comino ( cyminum cyminum )
- Hinojo ( Foeniculum vulgare )
- The star anise ( Illicium verum )
- pepper ( Piper nigrum )
- long pepper ( Piper longum )
- ginger ( Zingiber fi CINAL e)
- Clavo ( Eugenia carophyllata )
- Cardamom ( Elettaria cardamomum )
- caraway ( Carum carvi )
The spices were then prepared and analyzed for their content of total phenols. All specie showed high phenolic content, in particular, long pepper, pepper, cloves and ginger.
The mouse cells and cells of human breast cancer were used to study the effects of spices. Cells were left untreated or pretreated with different concentrations of extracts of spices and then exposed to hydrogen peroxide (to induce DNA damage) and nicotine (to trigger the migration of cancer cells).
ginger protects DNA
The researchers first looked DNA damage.
At low concentrations (5 ug / ml, or 5 parts per million), long pepper, cumin, cloves, cardamom and ginger DNA showed signi fi cant protection activity (8-47%), while the other spices like star anise, fennel and cumin showed significant protect DNA activity only at higher concentrations (25 and 50 ug / ml, or 25 and 50 parts per million).
caraway, cardamom and ginger DNA showed protection activity in all concentrations tested, while significant activity was observed in cells treated with pepper. Among spices used in this study, ginger showed high antioxidant activity to increasing concentrations of 68% protection of DNA damage at a concentration of 50 ug / mg).
Pepper inhibits metastasis
They turned their attention to migration or metastasis of cancer cells.
Most cancer deaths are due to metastasis of cancer cells -. When cancer spreads from one place to another
The results of the analysis of cell migration showed that all spice extracts inhibited cancer cell migration; and that this effect was stronger when cells were exposed to higher concentrations of spice extract.
Except clove and cumin, all the spices used in this study showed significant inhibition of migration. In all concentrations, pepper, long pepper and ginger showed the greatest inhibition of migration of cancer cells. Of these pepper it was the most potent, inhibiting 90% of cell migration at high concentrations.
A wide range of other benefits
The spices are commonly used to enrich fl avour and aroma in the kitchen and to preserve food. The spices in this study are widely used in Asia and the Middle East, not only in cooking but also as components of a healthy diet. Its use is increasing in non-Asian countries.
Many culinary as these spices are also widely used in traditional medicine. Scientific studies have shown a wide range of biological activities, including, anti-oxidant, antiinflammatory , anti-tumor , immunomodulator and anti radicals free activities.
In its conclusion, the rite researcher “. From the results of this study, we conclude that the appropriate addition of certain spices in the diet can inhibit the early stages of carcinogenesis”
add that “spices can be considered as promising anti-cancer agents that can prevent induced by free radicals and nicotine diseases. the inclusion of appropriate dietary spices could be beneficial to the general population, above all, smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke. “