Onion Compound Shown to Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Progression
Onions: They may not be the most glamorous (or best smelling) pieces of produce out there, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good for your health. These pungent bulbs are packed with vitamins C, B6 and fiber; are the highest veggie source of quercetin, a phytochemical which may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease; and have even been shown to mitigate brain damage from stroke. Another reason to slice right in: possible anti-cancer benefits.
In a 2016 study published in the journal Nature, Japanese researchers looked at onionin A (ONA), a natural compound in onions, and its effect on ovarian cancer progression. Lab work showed ONA could both reduce the extent of and directly suppress the spread of ovarian cancer cells, and may also help prolong survival time in those with ovarian cancer. One of the ways this may be happening is by ONA inhibiting a compound called STAT3, which is involved in cancer cell spread and chemo-resistance.
With ovarian cancer ranking fifth in cancer deaths among women, this is promising news. Though researchers are investigating treatments using isolated ONA compounds, it never hurts to add more whole produce to your diet. Onions add flavor to everything from sauces to casseroles to soups and come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes.
This holiday season add some onions to your table by serving our Farro, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushroom Stuffing, a vegetable-packed whole grain side dish the whole family will love.
BONUS: A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found ovarian cancer patients who ate the most fruit and vegetables before diagnosis were 39% more likely to enjoy a longer life.
Published December 1, 2016