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Crack avocados to keep cancer at bay

The pear-shaped fruit may help prevent mouth cancer and reduce the growth of pre-cancerous cells, says study.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 10, 2007 16:46 IST

Creamy rich avocados may help prevent mouth cancer and reduce the growth of pre-cancerous cells, a new research has revealed. Scientists at the Ohio State University, who recently carried out a study, have claimed that extracts from Hass avocados could kill oral cancer cells as well as arrest their growth, the Daily Mail has reported.

The researchers believe the fruit works because of its high level of phytochemicals - plant compounds thought to have health-protecting qualities, and often found in dark coloured fruits and vegetables.

<b1>"We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells in the body or they kill the pre-cancerous cells without affecting normal cells," the lead author of the study, Steven D'Ambrosio, was quoted as saying. Avocados are also full of beneficial antioxidants, including vitamin C, folate, vitamin E and unsaturated fats.

They are naturally sodium-free, contain no trans fats and low in unsaturated fat, making them a healthy addition to a diet. Ambrosio said more research was needed into the benefits of avocados and other fruits on cancer cells. "Our study focusses on oral cancer, but the findings might have implications for other types of cancer.

These are preliminary findings, and more research is needed. "The future is ripe for identifying fruits and vegetables and individual phytonutrients with cancer preventing activity," he said. The study will soon be published in the Seminars in Cancer Biology journal.

First Published: Sep 08, 2007 12:33 IST