A new study has found that a lipid found naturally in avocados can be used to fight acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, but to hear the federal Food and Drug Administration tell it, there is no such thing as an “anti-cancer” food.
While avocados have widely been credited with providing a number of health benefits – they are packed with vitamins and are great for the skin – now, according to research conducted by Prof. Paul Spagnuolo of Canada’s University of Waterloo, they appear to shatter the FDA’s claim.
As reported by the UK’s Independent:
AML is a rare form of blood cancer which is most common in people over the age of 65. According to Cancer Research, around 8,600 people are diagnosed with leukaemia each year, 2,600 of which are diagnosed with AML. Around 90 per cent of people diagnosed with AML over the age of 65 die within the first five years.
Dr Spagnuolo has developed a drug derived from the lipid, using a compound called Avocatin B, which targets leukaemia stem cells, which “drive the disease,” and therefore attack the root cause of the cancer. His findings have been published in the oncology journal Cancer Research.
“The stem cell is really the cell that drives the disease,” Spagnuolo said, according to a University of Waterloo press release. “The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it’s the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse.”
“We’ve performed many rounds of testing to determine how this new drug works at a molecular level and confirmed that it targets stem cells selectively, leaving healthy cells unharmed,” he continued.
The researcher said that avocatin B “eliminates” the source of AML, and because of its targeted nature, it is less toxic to the rest of the body.
While the lipid is years away from being harnessed in a useable clinical form, Spagnuolo is nonetheless preparing for clinical trials.
As noted by the university’s press release:
There are multiple potential applications for Avocatin B beyond oncology, and the drug is just one of several promising compounds that Spagnuolo and his team have isolated from a library of nutraceuticals. Most labs would use food or plant extracts, but Spagnuolo prefers the precision of using nutraceuticals with defined structures.
“Extracts are less refined. The contents of an extract can vary from plant to plant and year to year, depending on lots of factors – on the soil, the location, the amount of sunlight, the rain,” said Spagnuolo.
“Evaluating a nutraceutical as a potential clinical drug requires in-depth evaluation at the molecular level,” he added. “This approach provides a clearer understanding of how the nutraceutical works, and it means we can reproduce the effects more accurately and consistently. This is critical to safely translating our lab work into a reliable drug that could be used in oncology clinics.”
What about these other anticancer foods and spices?
And yet, the FDA and other science “experts” won’t admit that there indeed are “functional foods” that have anticancer properties.
Avemar,[PDF] which is extracted from wheat germ via a patented process, is considered to be one such functional food. The compound has been shown to be an effective anticancer agent in clinical trials in cell, animal and human studies.
In addition, as Natural News has reported, watercress can reduce the incidence of breast cancer, as can arugula, which originates from the Mediterranean but has made its way to North American shores in the last few decades, cocoa, because it’s loaded with powerful phytochemicals found naturally in the cacao plant — the source of cocoa and just one of many medicinal Amazon herbs — and turmeric, a common spice that has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years.
But none of them are recognized by the FDA as being anticancerous.