ATHENS, Ga., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- University of Georgia researchers say pectin -- found in fruits and vegetables and used in making jams and other foods -- kills prostate cancer cells.
"What this paper shows is that if you take human prostate cancer cells and add pectin, you can induce programmed cell death," Debra Mohnen said in a statement. "If you do the same with non-cancerous cells, cell death doesn’t occur."
The study, published in the journal Glycobiology, found the cells literally self-destructed in a process known as apoptosis and that pectin even killed cells that aren’t sensitive to hormone therapy, making them difficult to treat with current medications.
Mohnen and her team analyzed three types of commercially available pectin and found large differences in anti-cancer activity.
"Even though we hear constantly that we’re supposed to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, it wasn’t until we started working on these studies that it finally hit home how really important that was," Mohnen added.
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