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Cacao and maca demonstrated to function as powerful superfoods against cancer


A study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Communications revealed that the superfoods cacao (Theobroma cacao) and maca (Lepidium meyenii) have potent anticancer and antibacterial activities. This was determined by a team of Australian and Chinese researchers from Griffith University and Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine through different in vitro tests.

  • Consumption of antioxidant-rich foods has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neural degeneration, diabetes, and obesity.
  • Oxidative stress brought about by an imbalance in free radical and antioxidant concentrations in the body contributes to the progression of cancer. This means that compounds with antioxidant activity have potential use as treatments for cancer. Additionally, antioxidant plant extracts have shown inhibitory activity against pathogenic bacteria such as those that cause autoimmune inflammatory diseases.
  • Cacao is rich in polyphenols, specifically procyanidins, which have potent antioxidant activity. Moreover, the consumption of cacao has been shown to reduce the concentration of pro-inflammatory chemicals.
  • The cruciferous vegetable maca is also known for its potent antioxidant activity, which contributes to its ability to improve energy and modulate cellular responses to oxidative stress.
  • Although many studies have looked at the potential therapeutic uses of antioxidant superfoods, cacao and maca remain to be relatively unexplored.
  • To determine the antioxidant capacity of cacao and maca, the researchers used a free radical scavenging assay. Meanwhile, antimicrobial activity was determined against Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus mirabilis, which cause ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively, as well as the multiple sclerosis-causing bacteria Acinetobacter baylyi and Pseudomonas aeuroginosa. 
  • The researchers also evaluated potential anticancer and antiproliferative activities against colorectal and cervical cancer cells grown in culture.

The results of these experiments showed that cacao and maca have potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer activities, proving that these superfoods have potential use as natural remedies against cancer and autoimmune inflammatory disorders.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more articles about natural remedies for cancer, visit Cancer.news.

Journal Reference:

Wang X, Zhang J, Cock IE. ACAI, CACAO AND MACA EXTRACTS: ANTICANCER ACTIVITY AND GROWTH INHIBITION OF MICROBIAL TRIGGERS OF SELECTED AUTOIMMUNE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES. Pharmacognosy Communications. August 2016;6(4). DOI: 10.5530/pc.2016.4.3



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