'Healthful' plant-based antioxidants 'may cause cancer in some'

Washington, Sept 9 (ANI): A lot of studies have highlighted the health properties of plant-based antioxidants, but a new study claims that some of these natural substances might aggravate or even cause cancer in some individuals.

Kuan-Chou Chen, Robert Peng, and colleagues said that quercetin and ferulic acid, two such antioxidants - appeared to aggravate kidney cancer in severely diabetic laboratory rats.

Quercetin is abundant in onions and black tea, and ferulic acid is found in corn, tomatoes, and rice bran. Both also are ingredients in certain herbal remedies and dietary supplements.

"Some researchers believe that quercetin should not be used by healthy people for prevention until it can be shown that quercetin does not itself cause cancer," the report stated.

"In this study we report that quercetin aggravated, at least, if not directly caused, kidney cancer in rats," it added, suggesting that health agencies like the U. S. Food and Drug Administration should re-evaluate the safety of plant-based antioxidants.

The study appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (ANI)

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