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Source: The Fruit Growers News | July 2001
Reprinted for information purposes only on not-for-profit basis.

Apples May Fight Prostate Cancer
Mayo Clinic Researchers Point to Quercetin
for Prevention, Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Researchers at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, last month reported that quercetin - a plant based nutrient found in apples - may provide a new method for preventing or treating prostate cancer.

The researchers found in a lab study that quercetin reduced or prevented the growth of human prostate cancer cells by blocking activity of androgen hormones.  Previous research has linked androgens to prostate cancer's progression.

"By blocking androgen activity, the growth of prostate cancer cells can be prevented or stopped," said Nainzeng Xing, Ph.D., the Mayo Clinic's lead researcher on the project.  "Our study suggests quercetin may be a potential non-hormonal approach to preventing or treating prostate cancer."

The Mayo Clinic research is hopeful news in the battle against prostate cancer, a serious threat to male health.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the US, behind only lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The ACS estimates that nearly 200,00 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and that 31,500 will die of it this year alone in the US.

"This is new news for apples," said US Apple Spokeswoman Julia Daly.  "Apples and apple nutrients have been linked with a range of health benefits, but to our knowledge, this is the first link to a men's health issue as important as prostate cancer."

The Mayo Clinic study was published in the March edition of the peer-reviewed journal, Carcinogenesis, and was presented late last month at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting.