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In the first-ever study on the direct effects of apples on breast cancer prevention, the research suggests that the more apples consumed, the greater the reduction in incidence and number of breast cancer tumors. These findings from Cornell University are published in the March issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Cornell researchers fed a group of rats with a known mammary carcinogen either whole apple extract or a control extract. As a result, mammary tumors were reduced by 17, 39 and 44 percent in the rats fed the human equivalent of one, three or six apples a day, respectively over 24 weeks.

Lead researcher Dr. Rui Hai Liu credits the phytochemicals contained in apples for inhibiting cancer cell growth. Previous research has confirmed that these important phytonutrients found in apples also pass through to the apple juice.â„- "Studies increasingly provide evidence that it is the additive and synergistic effects of the phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables that are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activity," says Liu.

Liu also notes that this research suggests that consumers may gain more significant health benefits by eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods rather than taking costly dietary supplements, which "do not contain the same array of balanced, complex components" says Liu.

This research further suggests that consuming fruits and vegetables not only may lower the risk of developing cancers and cardiovascular disease, but also may be preventative for other chronic diseases like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, central neurodegeneration and diabetes.

Source: Liu, R. et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry March 2005.



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