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Onions make cancer cells 'weep'

Posted - Oct. 22, 2004 at 5:20 p.m.



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ITHACA, N.Y., Oct 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- New York scientists say strong-flavored onions can help prevent liver and colon cancer.

A team of researchers from Cornell University, in a study to be summarized in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found pungent onion varieties like New York Bold, Western Yellow and shallots -- which have the highest antioxidant activity -- are the best for inhibiting the growth of liver and colon cancer cells.

"No one knows yet how many daily servings of onions you'd have to eat to maximize protection against cancer, but our study suggests that people who are more health-conscious might want to go with the stronger onions rather than the mild ones," says study leader Rui Hai Liu.

Researchers have known for some time that onions may help fight cancer, but the current study is believed to be the first to compare cancer-fighting abilities among commonly consumed onion varieties.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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