Eating at least one apple a day – including and especially the peel – could keep the threat of prostate cancer away from older men. Along with berries, red grapes, and turmeric, apple peel contains natural compounds that could halt the spread of cancer by killing tumorous cells.
Since the 1960s, many studies have shown that natural compounds like resveratrol can destroy cancerous cells. Foods that contained plenty of these compounds offered a possible way to reduce the size of a tumor without resorting to surgery or chemotherapy.
These compounds were tested on all kinds of cancer, including prostate cancer. One of these many studies was performed by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin(UT Austin).
The Texan researchers reviewed 142 natural compounds that could potentially inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Three of the tested compounds proved very effective in killing the cancer cells through starvation. In addition, these compounds worked even better if they were taken together, which suggested synergistic effects.
The anti-cancer potential of curcumin, resveratrol, and ursolic acid
In their 2017 experiment, the UT Austin researchers induced cancer in mice and gave the animals diets that included apple peels, red grapes, and turmeric. Each food was given either individually or in combination with each other. The compounds found in each food were evaluated for their ability to impede the growth of cancer cells.
They identified the three compounds with the greatest anti-cancer activity as curcumin, resveratrol, and ursolic acid. Curcumin came from turmeric, resveratrol could be found in berries and red grapes, and ursolic acid came from apple peel.
Next, the researchers evaluated the inhibitory effects of treatments that consisted of either a single compound or a combination of them. The treatments were given to mice injected with cancer tumors, which were monitored for 32 days after injection.
They found that none of the tested compounds caused the mice to gain weight. Furthermore, if administered alone, curcumin, resveratrol, and ursolic acid reduced the volume and weight of the cancer tumors by a small margin.
However, the combination of any two compounds resulted in much greater decreases in the size and mass of cancer tumor. The most effective combination were determined to be curcumin and ursolic acid.
Apple peel contains a cancer-fighting compound that helps other anti-cancer substances
Found in the skin of apples, ursolic acid displayed great synergy with curcumin and resveratrol. When combined with either of its partners, ursolic acid can stop prostate cancer cells from accessing the important amino acid glutamine.
Cancer cells can only grow in the presence of sufficient amounts of glutamine. If they have no access to this amino acid, they will starve and die, which was observed in the experiment.
A further benefit demonstrated by curcumin, resveratrol, and ursolic acid is their non-toxicity. None of the compounds caused any harmful side effects in the mice during the experiment.
The UT Austin researchers used doses of the compounds that were much greater than what an ordinary person can get from a normal diet. However, the results of their experiment strongly suggested the potential use of natural remedies to treat prostate tumors and prevent prostate cancer in the future.
Furthermore, apples, berries, red grapes, and turmeric are very healthy foods with numerous other benefits to the body aside from stopping cancer. So even if you are not too worried about prostate cancer, you should eat as many of these foods as you can. And for best results, it is recommended that you pair a healthy diet with physical exercise to ensure your immune system can fight off diseases like cancer.