• Peaches 'inhibit breast cancer metastasis'
    Two to three peaches a day could benefit those with aggressive breast cancer


Peaches 'inhibit breast cancer metastasis'

Mar 26 2014

Breast cancer metastasis has been inhibited by treatments that make use of peach extract. Laboratory tests on mice have found that compounds found in peaches are beneficial to stopping the metastasis of breast cancer, which could help make the disease the more treatable.

The study, published in the 'Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry' and performed by scientists at Texas A&M Agrilife Research, US, found that treating mice with a mixture of phenolic compounds that are found in peach extract inhibit metastasis. 

Researchers started by implanting cells from an aggressive form of breast cancer under the skin of mice before providing them with the peach extract. According to Dr Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, food scientist at Agrilife Research in College Station, after a few weeks the mice presented with the inhibition of a marker gene in the lungs after only a few weeks of being given the peach extract. This indicated metastasis inhibition in the cancer.

After seeing the effects of the peach extract upon the mice, the researchers determined the correct dose needed to see an effect upon the breast cancer. This allowed them to calculate how much peach extract a human would need to consume in order to benefit from the same or similar effect, which is equivalent to eating two or three peaches a day.

The research builds upon previous work performed by the researchers several years ago, which showed that aggressive breast cancer cells are killed by polyphenols found within plums and peaches. However, these polyphenols were found not to kill normal breast cancer cells.

Dr Cisneros-Zevallos said:  "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.

"In general, peach fruit has chemical compounds that are responsible for killing cancer cells while not affecting normal cells as we reported previously, and now we are seeing that this mixture of compounds can inhibit metastasis. We are enthusiastic about the idea that perhaps by consuming only two to three peaches a day we can obtain similar effects in humans. However, this will have to be the next step in the study for its confirmation." 

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