Common food compound asparagine linked to cancer spread

Joy Montgomery
February 9, 2018

A woman with Breast Cancer/Photo Credit; health24Asparagines, amino acid food contents are recently said to help spread the deadly disease called; Breast Cancer.

A team of global cancer researchers from the UK, US and Canada studied the impact of asparagine in triple-negative breast cancer cells, which grow and spread faster than most other types of cancer cells.

"Our bodies make asparagine, as well as numerous other amino acids that form proteins, and [asparagine synthetase] is one of the enzymes that helps make it", explained Dr. Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science for the American Council on Science and Healthy said in the Baltimore Sun.

In several other cancer types, increased ability of tumour cells to make asparagine was also found to be associated with reduced survival. Proving that asparagine could actually be quite a necessary component needed for a cancer cell to metastasize.

In future, the scientists believe that alongside conventional treatments like chemotherapy, breast cancer patients could be given a diet in hospital that restricts asparagine to help stop the disease spreading and improve outcomes. "We'd also encourage all patients to follow a healthy and varied diet - rich in fruit, vegetables. and limited in processed meat and high fat or sugar foods - to help give them the best chance of survival".

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Greg Hannon, from Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Institute, said that they became interested in asparagine because they had noticed that breast cancer patients with the greatest propensity to... Ironically, the drug L-asparaginase relies heavily on asparagine and is now used to treat leukemia in people. He said should the same finding be made in humans, curbing asparagine intake could assist with cancer treatment, and not just in breast cancer.

In the study, whose findings will be published in the journal Nature, lead study authors Profs.

The researchers also found traces of asparagine data from breast cancer patients were examined.

These include asparagus, seafood, soy, egg, nuts and beef.

At this stage, it's important to remember that human trials have not yet been conducted, so if you do have cancer, you shouldn't restrict your own diet until the evidence suggests you should.

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