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Research trial finds asparagus triggers breast cancer spread

Research trial finds asparagus triggers breast cancer spread

A study of lab mice found lowering levels of asparagine "dramatically" reduced the spread of triple-negative breast cancer.

"Researches deprived mice of asparagine through a few strict diet or used a drug to stop asparagine metabolism and found quite surprisingly that the breast cancer cells didn't spread".

Breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women, is responsible for more than 41,000 deaths each year, primarily because of the disease's ability to spread throughout the body.

"Our work has pinpointed one of the key mechanisms that promotes the ability of breast cancer cells to spread", said Professor Greg Hannon, lead author of the study based at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Asparagine has also been linked to reduced survival rates in patients suffering from leukemia. Fruits and vegetables majorly contain lower amount of asparagine.

A new study says diet could affect the spread of a deadly type of breast cancer.




Diet full of asparagine involves whey, poultry, seafood, dairy, beef, asparagus, fish, eggs, legumes, seeds, potatoes, nuts, whole grains and soy. In this study, the focus was on finding differences at the level of gene expression that could explain why some tumors are more given to metastasis than others.

According to The charity's head nurse Martin Ledwick: "Research like this is crucial to help develop better treatments for breast cancer patients". But since asparagine may be synthesized in the body, dietary restrictions may need to be accompanied by drugs that interfere with the metabolic pathways that give rise to the amino acid.

"This finding adds vital information to our understanding of how we can stop cancer spreading - the main reason patients die from their disease".

Asparagine is an amino acid - a building block of protein - and takes its name from asparagus. Altering the diet to fit in the cancer profile could thus help reduce the spread of the cancer and its growth, he explained.

"Putting patients on a diet low in asparagine is probably not realistic because asparagine is everywhere (and, as mentioned above, our bodies make it, anyway.)" Berezow explained in the Sun. It's possible that in future, this drug could be re-purposed to help treat breast cancer patients.

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