One of the best parts about working at a health magazine is researching the latest advancements in disease-prevention. It’s hopeful to know that progress continues, especially considering our country’s high rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity. Here’s some of the latest news.
Retinoic acid, which is one of the chemicals your body converts vitamin A into, is effective at helping precancerous cells turn back into normal healthy cells, according to a study published in the March issue of the International Journal of Oncology. In a non-human study, the researchers tested the effect of vitamin A on four different types of cells representing four different stages of breast cancer: normal, precancerous, cancerous and aggressive. After being exposed to retinoic acid, all 443 of the genes in the precancerous cells returned to normal. The retinoic acid treatment had no effect on the already cancerous cells, but the research is promising in that it could help prevent pre-cancerous cells from progressing into full cancer.
As for the next step, Sandra V. Fernandez, assistant research professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, says "It will be interesting to see if these results can be applied to patients."
Want to boost your intake of vitamin A? Eat your sweet potatoes and carrots! Try these recipes:
‘ Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad
‘ Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
‘ One-Pot Sweet Potato Couscous
‘ Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup
‘ Citrus Chicken with Lentil & Carrot Salad