A compound that can be found in parsley, celery and camomile tea could halt the spread of cancer cells, scientists claim.
Unlike normal cells, cancer cells have a 'superpower' to escape death and can inhibit the processes that should cause them to die on a regular basis.
However, in a statement, researchers from Ohio State University explain that ‘apigenin’, which can be found in certain plant-based foods, can take away cancer this ‘superpower’.
Scientists suggest that apigenin essentially re-educates cancer cells into normal cells that will die as scheduled.
Parsley, celery and camomile tea are the most common sources of apigenin, but it is also found in many fruits and vegetables common in a Mediterranean diet.
"We know we need to eat healthfully, but in most cases we don't know the actual mechanistic reasons for why we need to do that," said Andrea Doseff, associate professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics at Ohio State and a co-lead author of the study, in a statement.
"We see here that the beneficial effect on health is attributed to this dietary nutrient affecting many proteins. In its relationship with a set of specific proteins, apigenin re-establishes the normal profile in cancer cells. We think this can have great value clinically as a potential cancer-prevention strategy."
The research appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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