Mitchell studies compounds in fruits and vegetables for clues to
how they may prevent cancer
lab is a cornucopia of colorful fruits and vegetables - if you're
an astronaut. Big plastic bags of freeze-dried tomatoes, strawberries
and blueberries are stuffed atop one shelf, while a refrigerator
holds colorful glass vials of purified fruits and vegetables distilled
to their phytochemical essence.
and scientists like Kermit Carraway.
however, is designed for inner space, not outer. Mitchell, an assistant
professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the food science and
technology department at UC Davis, is studying how fruits and vegetables
affect the body's ability to neutralize carcinogens that we eat,
drink, breathe or are otherwise exposed to, and how they may prevent
a diet high in fruits and veggies is good for your health, not just
for fighting cancer but for heart disease and diabetes as well.
Cancers of the lung, pancreas, stomach, colon and prostate are particularly
influenced by diet. Scientists believe that a diet high in plant
foods may reduce the risk of these malignancies by as much as 50
But how much,
why and how it all works is a complicated subject filled with uncertainties
and conflicting hypotheses.
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