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Common fibre may ward off cancer

13th October 2008

A study by the Institute of Food Research suggests that fibre found in many fruit and vegetables could help to prevent cancer.


The fibre - known as pectin - is contained in many fruits and vegetables, and is not limited to foods known as "superfoods".

These superfoods include blueberries and spinach. According to information gathered by market analyst AC Nielsen blueberry sales have increased by 132% since 2006.

A spokeswoman for the British Nutrition Foundation said: "It is very hard to know just what the effect of superfoods is as the evidence is not really available."

She added that the public should not only eat superfoods at the expense of other types of food and that many people were still not eating enough to meet the five-a-day target.

The research team's head Professor Vic Morris said they had been investigating pectin using microscopes. They had found that pectin stops the growth of a protein which causes cancer, known as Gal3.

The researchers are continuing their study, but have said enough data exists to show that ingredients in many fruits and vegetables could help to prevent cancer.

Apples and oranges had the highest amount of pectin, while fruits such as strawberries had lower amounts.

Professor Morris said: "We hear so much about 'superfoods' like blueberries, but for a combination of different effects it may be better to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables."

"I am not saying don't eat superfoods, but just make sure you eat others as well."


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Article Information

Title: Common fibre may ward off cancer
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 8721
Date Added: 13th Oct 2008


BBC News

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