Limited intake of foods rich in asparagine could halt spread of breast cancer: Study


A new study has found that limiting the intake of foods rich in asparagine could effectively reduce the spread of breast cancer to other organs of the body. The research has now been successfully carried out in mice, and the result indicates that dietary modifications could easily combat metastasis, the spread of cancerous tumors to various other organs.

Asparagine is basically an amino acid which is found in asparagus and in other foods including milk products, beef, eggs, nuts, fish and whole grains. According to the new research, avoiding foods rich in asparagus and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables in an effective strategy which can be embraced to combat the spread of breast cancer to other body parts.

During the study, researchers found that limiting the intake of amino acid asparagine in mice dramatically reduced the capability of breast cancer to reach distant sites in the body. The diet light in asparagine also reduced the number of malignant tumors outside the breast tissue, especially those found in lungs and bones.

"This is a very promising lead and one of the very few instances where there is a scientific rationale for a dietary modification influencing cancer," said Greg Hannon, director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Institute in Cambridge and the lead author of the study, Guardian reports.

The researchers found that asparagine helps cancer cells to evolve quickly, thus allowing it to easily travel through the bloodstream. The next step in this research is to analyze whether the findings in mice translate to human beings.

If researchers found similar effects on human beings, a low-asparagine diet will be recommended for breast cancer patients along with traditional treatments including chemotherapy and radiation. However, researchers believe that following an asparagine free diet is not capable enough to reduce the risks of breast cancer, and they recommend everyone to follow modern treatment techniques to combat the disease.