Red onion effective at killing cancer cells, study says

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red-onion(NaturalHealth365) If you’re looking for a flavorful way to help fight and prevent cancer, add red onion to your shopping list.  It will be worth the effort … as you will soon see why.

In the first study of its kind, University of Guelph researchers looked at how the Ontario-grown red onion and several others affected the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Their findings indicate that all onions are not created equal.

Why you should consider red onion for your cancer prevention program

The Canadian researchers looked at five different kinds of onion in total from the province of Ontario. They assessed the onions in terms of their effects against cancer cells and their ability to prevent cancer. Of the five species tested, the Ruby Ring red onion was the most effective.

Few people are aware that onions are somewhat of a superfood. Hopefully, studies like these will help to change that. Onions in general have very high concentrations of the flavonoid quercetin. However, the Ruby Ring Ontario red onion has particularly high levels of these compounds as compared with other species.

Red onion is high in anthocyanin, which supports quercetin in killing cancer cells

In the study, colon cancer cells were placed in direct contact with quercetin that was extracted from the five onion varieties studied. It was found that all of the onion types created an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and initiated cancer cell death, or apoptosis. Communication between the cancer cells seems to be disrupted by the compounds in the onions, and this can help to fight and prevent cancer.

The study also showed that the Ruby Ring red onion was high in anthocyanin, a compound that helps to enrich the scavenging properties of quercetin. This in turn supports quercetin in fighting cancer cells and helping to prevent cancer.

Anthocyanin is the molecule that gives vegetables like red onions their rich, deep color. This is in keeping with the general increased health benefits that can be gained from other dark or brightly colored vegetables and fruits. The recent onion study results were published in the journal Food Research International.

The message? Eat more red onions!

While all of the onions studied showed the ability to inhibit cancer cells, red onions were particularly effective. Their beneficial compounds blocked the production of both colon cancer cells and breast cancer cells within the controlled conditions of the study.

The next step is to complete human trials to further explore the cancer fighting effects of onions. Researchers are also working on an extraction technique to isolate the quercetin in onions so that it can be administered as a cancer therapy.

In the meantime, finding ways to include more of this cancer-fighting superfood into your diet can allow you to experience many health benefits. Enjoy red onions in salads, on sandwiches and cooked into soups, stews and stir-fry dishes.

Sources for this article include:

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  • Lilly Joyce

    I am beginning t0 think there are very few vegetables or fruits, which aren’t helpful in preventing this. Red onions are our favorite addition to our salads and sandwiches. It is so easy to incorporate it into most anyone’s diet.

  • Howard Benson

    Can good health get any easier then to eat a whole food diet, exercise, less stress, and avoid using so many wireless devices. This concept appears to be a stumbling block for many Americans. While people think it is too hard to do in this day and age, it really isn’t as hard as trying to get well with surgery, chemo and radiation.

  • Karen Taylor

    I am not going to wait for the studies to prove the obvious. This is how main stream studies work-take all precautions before recommending a natural item with no side effects, but fast forward a new drug. For me the proof is there and red onions are now going to be on the menu.

  • Rizzo64

    Probably most foods will kill cancer cells in a lab dish but that’s all they ever seem to try. It’s another matter when you eat them and have to get the nutrients to the tumour. I wish they’d stop messing about and do their trials on people.

  • John Carter

    There is no silver bullet. But many bullets. This is just 1 of many things we should adopt into our diets regardless if for prevention or cure.
    It is true some people make amazing recoveries from cancer both from natural treatment and from chemo… wouldn’t it be ironic if it was diet that helped the chemo patients survive… diet.. you know… the thing a doctor says you don’t need to change when you have cancer!

    • Peggy Weddle

      We asked our oncologist (but already knowing the right answer) what my husband should be doing along with the chemo. He answered (wrongly) “nothing”. Us: “what about diet”. Him: “You can cut back on sugar if you want”. That’s when we knew we were on the wrong path for healing!! The fact that we had to ask and he was forced to reveal his ignorance regarding diet was also revealing.