Volume 91, Issue 10

Friday, September 12, 1997

frosh pit


O.J. may kill cancer

By Sylvia Mioduszewski
Gazette Writer

Two recent studies conducted at Westerns' Centre for Human Nutrition show orange juice to be a potent weapon against breast cancer and high cholesterol.

The breast cancer study, led by researcher Najla Guthrie, tested the ability of orange and grapefruit juices to slow the growth of human breast cancer cells in mice.

The mice were injected with estrogen negative breast cancer cells and researchers found the ones who were fed citrus juices as opposed to water had 50 per cent fewer tumors, said Dr. Ela Kurowska, a researcher from the centre.

This research led to a study on the effects of orange juice on cholesterol levels. Kurowska, lead researcher, said compounds found in plants can be effective in lowering cholesterol – confirmed by blood results of the mice.

Finding the results encouraging, the Centre began testing on rabbits, where they discovered orange juice reduced cholesterol levels by 43 per cent and grapefruit juice decreased cholesterol levels by 32 per cent.

What do mice and rabbits have to do with human beings? "A mouse's immune system and blood type is different from a human's," said Stephanie Guyatt, a second-year honours biology student. "A cure in an animal may lead to a cure in a human being, but it might not."

"There are many differences," Kurowska said. "But we have to do the animal study first in order to do the human study."

The cholesterol research will soon enter its human phase of study. "We are very excited about these results because it shows basic science is having an effect on real life," Kurowska said.

Orange growers are happy with these fruitful results. Andrea Boyle, consumer affairs manager at Sunkist Growers Co-op, said, "We're delighted to hear such good news."

Citrus fruits have many disease fighting compounds, like antioxidants, as well as benefits of vitamin C, folic acid and fibre, she added.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997