According to recent Texan research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, extracts from peaches and plums can destroy breast cancer cells, including the most aggressive kinds. The results revealed that these extracts worked on 2 levels – killing cancer cells while preserving the healthy ones intact. The powerful anticancer properties were identified in two polyphenols that the fruits contained. These plant-based chemicals found only in fruits are in fact responsible for the cancer cell deaths. They are slightly acidic and are associated with traits like aroma, taste or color.
At first, scientists studied only the antioxidants and phytonutrients in plums and discovered that they equal or surpass those in blueberries, which were previously believed to be the most powerful of all fruits in those categories.
What they did next was examine whether these antioxidants showed any anticancer properties. Breast cancer was chosen for the study because it is one of the most common cancers among women. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of breast cancer in females and 1,910 cases in males. The same year, 40,170 women and 440 men died from breast cancer. The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer accounts for 16% of the cancer deaths of women globally.
Extracts from two common fruits –the “Rich Lady” peach and the “Black Splendor” plum were used in the study. The results showed that the extracts destroyed even the most aggressive cancer cell, while leaving the normal cells intact. This is really important because in regular chemotherapy, normal cells are killed together with cancerous ones, which leads to serious side effects.
A closer examination identified two specific phenols — chlorogenic and neochlorogenic as the powerful anticancer agents. Although both of these are quite common in fruits, stone fruits like plums and peaches are especially rich in them.
Following laboratory tests, the researchers reported that these compounds prevented cancer development in animals as well. Even though more research is needed in this field, for now, it’s highly recommended that breast cancer patients eat a few peaches or plums each day.