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Avocados can reduce oral cancer risk

One of the great things in life is the work being done in research and medical science in the war against cancer. Obviously new drugs and better surgery techniques are always welcome but so too is a scientific approach to cancer using natural material.

Fruit is a prime example of this process. Recent studies have shown that the humble avocado contains chemicals which can inhibit the growth of pre-malignant and malignant cells found in the mouth. This is a wonderful result and doubly so because it uses easy to obtain and cheap materials - the avocado.

One important aspect in the fight against cancer is the lack of collateral damage. In some orthodox treatments, the bad cancer cells are eliminated but good cells also come under attack. We want to be able to destroy the bad but leave the good untouched. That’s exactly what’s happened in recent studies with oral cancer and the avocado. Malignant cells have been killed or the growth of cancerous cells has been hindered but no harm was done to good cells in the mouth. If true, this is wonderful news.

It’s long been known that the plant compounds such as phytochemicals found in dark colored fruit have powerful anti-cancer qualities. Apples are a good example as are avocados. These phytochemicals are believed to have properties which significantly reduce the risk of cancer and while recent studies have concentrated on avocados and oral cancer, the benefits may well apply to other cancers too.

One sobering statistic regarding oral cancer is that it has a high mortality rate, higher than many other cancers including breast, cervical and skin cancer. Oral cancer diagnoses can mean a mortality rate as high as 50%. This is usually put down to late detection. This makes any discovery about the prevention of oral cancer or the slowing of growth of oral cancer cells so important; doubly so when the ingredient being used in the successful trials is fresh fruit in the form of an avocado.

The studies to date concentrate on extracting the phytochemicals from the avocado and using them to attack cancerous and pre-cancerous cells found in the mouth. The fruit compounds actually killed some cancerous cells and prevented some pre-cancerous cells from further development.

When the avocado is so easy to obtain and when the evidence is strong supporting the health and cancer prevention benefits, it’s time to include this fruit in a daily menu.

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