"Designer" Foods: Tomorrow's Answer to Breast Cancer Prevention?

Nutrition Health Review, Spring 1993 | Go to article overview

"Designer" Foods: Tomorrow's Answer to Breast Cancer Prevention?


BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Epicures may call it the "stinking rose," but garlic by any other name will still carry that heady aroma -- potent enough to keep vampires -- and perhaps even a disease or two -- at bay.

Selenium-enriched garlic is just one of the "designer foods" being tested as a cancer preventative by Clement Ip, Ph.D., a breast cancer researcher in Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Division of Breast Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology. These days, Dr. Ip's laboratory smells like an Italian restaurant.

In one recent study, Dr. Ip discovered that garlic -- enriched by the anticancer agent selenium -- protected animals against breast tumors.

Selenium -- a non-metallic element that resembles sulfur -- has been Dr. Ip's major research interest over the last 15 years. "My studies and those of others have shown that selenium protects against breast cancer. My goal has been to find the best ways to incorporate sufficient quantities of selenium safely into foods."

His choice of garlic is a natural. The vegetable is abundantly rich in sulfur. Several of the sulfur-containing agents in garlic are responsible not only for the flavor and pungency of the "stinking rose," but also for its moderate anticancer activity. …

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