Transcript: Apple Skin: Peeling Back Cancer
Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.
Apples themselves are awesome. But, it’s not because of the juice in them, but rather, perhaps, primarily what’s found in the peel. Within the last year, half a dozen studies have touted the benefits of apple peels—for example, this one, in the journal Nutrition and Cancer: “The antiproliferative effects of apple peel extract against cancer cells.”
We know the more apples we eat, the lower our apparent risk of several cancers. The peels are the really good part, yet are often discarded. For example, apple peel is a waste product of dried apple manufacturing. In one little country, Chile, they throw away 9,000 tons of apple peels a year. That’s like 20 million pounds—what a tragedy!
So, these researchers decided to see what we’re missing. Here are two cell lines of human prostate cancer, and two of human breast cancer, growing merrily away in petri dishes. They’re the little black dots you see. They’re blissfully unaware that researchers at the University of Wisconsin were at Whole Foods, buying some organic Gala apples.
The peels were thrown in a blender, and a tiny bit dripped on the unsuspecting cancer cells. And then, a bit more, and a little more. And, as you can see, by the end, neither the prostate nor breast cancer cells were very happy about it.
This ain’t chemo; this is just apple peels. How do they work? To obtain a clue regarding the mechanism, they determined the effect of apple peels on the tumor suppressor protein, maspin, inside the cancer cells. Maspin is a tumor suppressor gene that has been shown to have tumor suppressor, anti-angiogenic, and antimetastatic properties in both breast and prostate cancer cells. The tumor cells found a way to turn this tumor suppressor gene off, and apple peels apparently turned it back on. An upregulation of this tumor-suppression gene, as you add more and more of the apple peel extract to each of the cancer types. They conclude “Apple peels may possess strong antiproliferative effects against cancer cells, and [they] should not be discarded from the diet.”
Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.