in Oysters Effective in Preventing Cancer Growth
found in oysters is effective in preventing the growth of cancer
cells, according to an LSU AgCenter researcher.
– a lipid or fat compound – found in oysters, other
animals and plants are currently in clinical trials to speed the
healing process in patients undergoing chemotherapy. In a research
paper recently presented at the Annual Meeting of the Institute
for Food Technology, Jack Losso with the AgCenter’s Department
of Food Science detailed his use of oyster ceramides to arrest
breast cancer cells grown in test tubes and laboratory rats.
“This is incredibly
exciting,” said Losso, whose research was funded by Louisiana
Sea Grant and the AgCenter. “When we looked at cancer cells
treated with ceramides, their growth had been inhibited and they
Oyster ceramides fight
both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast tumor cells
in test tubes and kill them within 48 hours. In laboratory rats
treated with oyster ceramides, blood vessel growth that simulates
cancer cell growth and proliferation was reduced by 57 percent
in seven days. No toxicity to the animals was reported.
Although the rats received
concentrated ceramide injections, the compound can just as easily
be taken orally in pill form, said Losso. Conceivably, an oyster-rich
diet could aid in cancer prevention.
“You could eat
the oysters raw or cooked,” said Losso. “But you can’t
grill with those popular counter-top grills that discard the fat.
The ceramide is in the oil, which is lost when you use a grill
that is tilted.”
compound is found in a variety of plants and animals, the type
of ceramide differs on the species. Oysters, which are filter
feeders, apparently collect ceramides in their bodies as they
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