|Carrots for Cancer Prevention|
Various experimental studies conducted on mammals suggest that carrots have an inhibitory effect on cancer cells. Many of the health benefits of carrots were assumed to be due to its concentration of beta carotene but research carried out at the University of Southern Denmark showed that it is actually the plant antioxidant, Falcarinol! The latter is a natural pesticide produced by the plant, which guards the carrot roots from disease and fungus.
According to a recent study, the polyacetylene, Falcarinol can significantly slow down the growth of cancer cells, making cancer less likely to invade the body. Preliminary research in animal models proposes that falcarinol may have a protective effect against certain types of cancers like leukemia, colon cancer and prostate cancer. The studies also confirmed that it has a more powerful effect than beta carotene.
Laboratory rats that were fed a diet of raw carrots / isolated falcarinol were a third less likely to develop chemically-induced (azoxymethane) tumors than those in the control group.
In the US, researchers at Harvard University discovered that women who consumed at least 5 carrots / week were nearly two-thirds less likely to have a stroke than those who ate them only once a month. There is another study that found that the risk of breast cancer was lower in women who consumed the highest levels of beta-carotene compared to women who ate the lowest levels.
Falcarinol is also found in celery, parsley, ginseng and other vegetables, but only when raw. Cooking destroys the cancer preventing properties of falcarinol. Also, falcarinol is soluble and lost (70% reduction reported) when carrots are boiled for 12 minutes or so. Long-term frozen storage and blanching of carrot pieces can lead to a 30% reduction of the compound, falcarinol. Consuming fresh and raw carrots is always the best option.