Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pectin Power: Why Fruits And Vegetables May Protect Against Cancer's Spread

Date:
October 14, 2008
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Scientists from the UK's Institute of Food Research have found a new possible explanation for why people who eat more fruit and vegetables may gain protection against the spread of cancers. They have shown that a fragment released from pectin, found in all fruits and vegetables, binds to and is believed to inhibit galectin 3, a protein that plays a role in all stages of cancer progression.

atomic force microscope (AFM) picture showing individual pectin molecules.
Credit: Image courtesy of Norwich BioScience InstitutesImage courtesy of Norwich BioScience Institutes

Scientists have found a new possible explanation for why people who eat more fruit and vegetables may gain protection against the spread of cancers.

Related Articles


They have shown that a fragment released from pectin, found in all fruits and vegetables, binds to and is believed to inhibit galectin 3 (Gal3), a protein that plays a role in all stages of cancer progression.

"Most claims for the anticancer effects of foods are based on population studies," says Professor Vic Morris from the Institute of Food Research. "For this research we tested a molecular mechanism and showed that it is viable."

Population studies such as EPIC, the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer, identified a strong link between eating lots of fibre and a lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. But exactly how fibre exerts a protective effect is unknown.

Pectin is better known for its jam-setting qualities and as being a component of dietary fibre. The present study supports a more exciting and subtle role.

Interaction between dietary carbohydrates and mammalian proteins, of which this research is an example, may provide an explanation. Other food carbohydrates such as beta glucans are considered to be bioactive and their anti-cancer action can be attributed to different types of carbohydrate - mammalian protein interactions.

"For a whole combination of different effects it is best to consistently eat a range of fruits, vegetables and high-fibre foods," says Professor Morris. "You don't necessarily have to eat a superfood."

The next stage of Prof Morris' research is to identify how pectin can be taken up by the body and released so it can exert its effect on cancer cells. The research could result in functional foods with added bioactive pectin as well as providing more conclusive evidence for the importance of a eating at least your '5-a-day'.

"This first step opens the way to a new and exciting area of research in bioactive carbohydrates", says Professor Morris.

The research, published in The FASEB Journal, was funded through IFR's Core Strategic Grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gunning et al. Recognition of galactan components of pectin by galectin-3. The FASEB Journal, October 2008; DOI: 10.1096/fj.08-106617

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Pectin Power: Why Fruits And Vegetables May Protect Against Cancer's Spread." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013084334.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2008, October 14). Pectin Power: Why Fruits And Vegetables May Protect Against Cancer's Spread. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013084334.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Pectin Power: Why Fruits And Vegetables May Protect Against Cancer's Spread." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013084334.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins