Eat spinach and keep Cancer at bay!

Spinach can help keep cancer at bay
 Spinach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes you heard it right, scientist believe that eating spinach can actually reduce the risk of getting colon tumours from 58% to 32%.

For all those from the old school of genetics may say that this may not be true, as variations at the genetic level can actually make a person prone to cancer, and offset the occurrence of it as well. But the world of oncogenetics just got more complicated. Scientists believe that though this may be true, there are other factors involved in the development of cancer and tumours. There has been, over the recent years, a keen interest in the role of epigenetics (factors out of genetics), such as diet, environmental toxins, lifestyle etc. which may be playing a role in diseases.

One such key epigenetic factor, which has baffled scientists are micro RNA. No one till date has put a finger on what role these tiny fragments of RNA have, except for expressing and silencing genetic codes. The best part, they do so without manipulating them genetically.  So hence they play an important role when it comes to gene expression which may eventually lead to or suppress the formation of cancer cells.

microrna prevent mRNA from making proteins and control cell machinery.
Image credit: NIH


Being an epigenetic factor it does not make permanent changes in the genetic material, giving us the opportunity to control them with lifestyle choices, drugs and even….. diet!

So from now on when  you think of chucking the veggies on your plate think twice, there is considerable scientific evidence saying it is in fact good for you!

Reference: 

Parasramka MA, Dashwood WM, Wang R, Abdelli A, Bailey GS, Williams DE, Ho E, & Dashwood RH (2012). MicroRNA profiling of carcinogen-induced rat colon tumors and the influence of dietary spinach. Molecular nutrition & food research, 56 (8), 1259-69 PMID: 22641368

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