In Spain, bananas are the most consumed fresh fruit; second only if orange juice is taken into account. Spanish bananas are exclusively produced in the Canary Islands, where there are 8,500 growers selling 400 million kilos bananas year.
Common components of Canary bananas, include starch, pectin (a monosaccharide) and peroxide (an antioxidant). One of the goals of new research is to examine whether the nutritional differences between Canary bananas and those from other areas make the Canary fruit beneficial as a protector against colorectal cancer.
Biologists and oncologists from the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid are shortly due to start research upon the positive effects of the intake of Canary bananas in the fight against colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
It is anticipated that this research will last for one year and be directed by a Doctor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Antonio López Farré. The research has the support of the Association of Canary Banana Producer Organisations (ASPROCAN) and the company, Plátano de Canarias.
The research will be conducted in the laboratory using two strains of human epithelial cells, some with cancer and some normal. inflammatory factors to put them in a pre-cancer situation will be added to the normal cells, which will simulate Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease, 10% of which develop into cancer.
Compounds and substances present in Canary bananas will be added to the samples to see if they can reduce cell growth, and more specifically, how the mitochondria (cells within cells) can be affected.
The research is designed to discover if any component of Canary bananas is able to induce the death of tumour cells by acting on mitochondria. Background data already exists from preliminary studies that suggests its feasibility.
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