Polyphenols, an abundant type of micro-nutrient within fruits and vegetables, have been found to inhibit glucose processing and lactate transport within cancerous breast cells. This could point towards future treatments that are far less dangerous — or even supplement existent treatments in order to reduce their risks. The study  was done by The University of Porto’s medical faculty and published within Breast Cancer Treatment and Research this week. In the words of the study: “Importantly, some polyphenols behave as inhibitors of both glucose and lactate cellular uptake by breast cancer cells and these compounds are thus very interesting in the context of a chemopreventive effect, because they deplete breast cancer cells of their two most important energy suppliers.”
That’s not where the good news ends though. Polyphenols were found earlier this month to improve the yield and quality of meats . The abstract concludes “The use of grape by-products in the development of meat products could have positive effects in the human body and open interesting possibilities in the development of more healthy foods.”
A wonderful, albeit lengthy article from Scienceline  also points towards some even better news:
The NIH has also awarded funding to a new research center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Led by Giulio Pasinetti and Richard Dixon, the new center will focus on how certain dietary supplements can help alleviate stress-induced depression and mood disorders. The team has already identified several compounds, called polyphenols, found in grapes and grape seeds that help the brain better handle stress. With the NIH funding, they will try to determine exactly how these compounds work in the body.
They will also look at the role bacteria and fungi in the microbiome, especially in the gut, may play in making these compounds available for the body to use. Gut bacteria break down what we eat into metabolites, which are compounds formed during bacterial metabolism. “We are characterizing all of the microbiome that would influence the generation of these metabolites,” says Pasinetti. He hopes this work will lead to a probiotic composed of specific bacteria that help make more polyphenols available for the body to use. Pasinetti is very optimistic about the potential for a combination approach with probiotics and polyphenols. “I think in the framework of the program, over the next five years, we may have a new treatment for major depression.”
For more, check out the original papers, or the ScienceLine article. Or, for more reading on the dietary prevention of cancer, check out our articles on tomatoes and prostate cancer, or low-fat diets preventing breast cancer in post-menopausal women.