Apple peels appear to upregulate the tumor suppressor gene maspin and have strong antiproliferative effects on breast and prostate cancer cell growth in vitro.
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--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 can see. They are 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. This ain’t chemo; it’s just apple peels. How did they do it? “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, antiangiogenic and antimetastatic properties in both breast and prostate cancer cells. The tumor cells found a way to turn this gene off; and apple peels 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.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Jonathan Hodgson.
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What's wrong with just drinking apple juice? See my last video Apple Juice May Be Worse Than Sugar Water. Peeling conventionally grown apples does get rid of a significant proportion of the pesticides, but the benefits of eating the peels (even from conventional apples) far outweighs any risk that may come from the pesticide exposure. Of course one can get all the benefits without the risks by choosing organic, but one should never let pesticide concerns lead one to skimp on fruit and vegetable consumption. To see what a whole diet full of plant foods can do to prostate and breast cancer cell growth see Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay and The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle, respectively. More on the wonders of apples in Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol and Apples & Breast Cancer.
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