27 Apr

London’s BDHF Recommends Blueberries for Mouth Cancer Prevention

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, there are around 4,750 new cases of mouth cancer being diagnosed every year in the UK. The incidence of this disease has been observed to increase by at least 30 percent in the last decade. It is further estimated to cause an annual mortality of about 1600 people.That is quite alarming as you can see. Tobacco users and alcohol drinkers are more at risk of developing mouth cancer. And for those who smoke and drink at the same time, the risk is even heightened up to thirty times more.
A few months ago, the foundation launched its Mouth Cancer Awareness Week campaign at the House of Commons in London. The foundation was very enthusiastic about the results of a study which was published on the international scientific journal Cancer Research in September, 2007.
The study which was conducted at the University of Hong Kong found that lupeol, a compound found in fruits such as blueberries, papaya, blackberries, grapes, mangoes, and strawberries, seems to be very effective in preventing the growth of mouth cancer cells.
Anthony Yuen, a professor at the University of Hong Kong’s surgery department said of the lupeol compound, “It can suppress the movement of cancer cells and suppress their growth and it is found to be even more effective than conventional drugs (eg. cisplatin).” He further said that lupeol is even more effective if combined with chemotherapy drugs and has but a few side effects.
Lupeol acts to inhibit the NFkB, a natural protein that promotes cell growth and repair. As this protein is found to be activated in many cancers, Yuen hopes that lupeol may find its use in these other NFkB-dependent cancers as well.