We love to eat chikoo raw and in our desserts. An Indian scientist has now found that it could as well help stop cancer from spreading. The study has shown the alcoholic extracts (methanolic) of the whole fruit to possess certain active phytochemicals (plant-derived compounds) that can trigger a sequence of orchestrated events in tumour cells leading to their death. This process is called apoptosis.
“There was a preliminary study which had used two of the phytochemicals isolated from Sapota fruit on cancer cell lines. Ours is the first study using whole fruit methanolic extracts which explores anti-cancer properties of the same on different cancer cell lines and on animal models.
“Our results indicate that inclusion of Sapota fruit in our daily diet may protect from genesis and progression of cancer,” Sathees C. Raghavan, associate professor at the department of Biochemistry, IISc, told a news agency.
India experiences about one million new cancer cases every year and the International Agency for Research on Cancer believes this figure to double in the next 20 years. Also, from the estimated eight million people who died in 2012 because of cancer, 700, 000 deaths were from India.
These rising figures indicate the need of a plant derived dietary substances as “suitable candidates for treating various types of cancers due to their broad chemical diversity”.
“We have tested its effect on cancer cells derived from different cancers such as leukemia, breast, ovarian and lung carcinomas. We found that it induces apoptosis in all types of cancers with varying efficiencies. “We also found it slowed tumour progression in mice. Tumor containing mice that were treated with Sapota extracts lived three times longer than untreated mice,” explained Raghavan.
The study was published in August in Nature Publishing Group’s journal Scientific Reports.
Source: Indian Express
Image Courtesy: Getty
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