For the last few decades, cancer rates in the UK have seen a sharp rise, and it is predicted that by the year 2020, one in two of us will be affected by this condition at some point in our lives. One theory about what might be fuelling these scary statistics is that we are seeing rising levels of cancer-causing chemicals in our food and environment, coupled with a lower levels of cancer-protective nutrients in our diets. A UK company, Nature’s Defence, is helping to deepen our understanding of these factors.
Work at Nature’s Defence has focused on plant chemicals dubbed ‘salvestrols’. Within the body, salvestrols have the ability to be chemically transformed into chemical entities that can induce cell death. Interestingly, the activation of salvestrols is dependent on a particular enzyme that is found exclusively in cancerous cells. This gives salvestrols the ability to be highly selective about the cells they kill: while they can be the kiss of death to cancerous cells, they leave healthy cells untouched.
Salvestrols, one example of which is the compound resveratrol, are found most abundantly in red fruits including cranberries, red grapes and strawberries. However, research shows that the growing method of fruit can have an important bearing on its salvestrol content. Generally, organic produce has a much higher salvestrol content compared to more intensively grown fruit. Also, the fungicide agents used in modern-day farming can inhibit the enzyme that activate salvestrol compounds.
In the context of the changes in farming methods over the last few decades, these findings seem to help explain our experience with rising cancer rates. More usefully, this research has led to the development of a salvestrol-rich supplement called Fruit Force, which offers potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer. More information about Fruit Force and the research behind it can be had by visiting www.naturesdefence.com.