Researchers from Ohio State University have found colour fruit and vegetables fight cancer and could provide potent new drugs to combat the disease.
The scientists found a way to boost the cancer-fighting properties of a compound that gives certain fruits and vegetables their red, blue and purple hues.
Colon cancer cells grew at significantly slower rates in rats and in lab experiments on human cells after researchers slightly modified the molecular structure of the pigment, called anthocyanin. The scientists presented their findings today at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Boston.
The next step is to identify the optimal concentrations and makeup of the pigment that can best be absorbed by the body, lead author Monica Giusti said. Widely used as a food colorant, anthocyanin can be found in grapes, radishes, purple corn, purple carrots, chokeberries, cranberries, carrots and elderberries, reports Bloomberg.
Experiments on rats and human cells have shown that anthocyanins, found in red, purple and blue plant foods, can significantly slow the growth of colon cancer.
Scientists investigating the chemicals found that altering the structure of some made them even more potent, reports Scotsman.