Carrots are the new weapon in the war against prostate cancer, scientists have claimed.
A study led by Professor Norman Maitland at the University of York says a diet rich in Vitamin A could be the key to beating the disease because it makes it more treatable. The researchers have discovered that retenoic acid, a chemical made from Vitamin A, can reduce the ability of the cancer to invade surrounding tissue. Vitamin A can be found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables such as kale.
Prof Maitland said: 'If the cancer is confined to the prostate it’s much more treatable with conventional medicine. This is about prevention rather than cure but it can stop the spread of cancer.
'We have found that specific twin genes are turned off in malignant prostate cancer stem cells. When we turn them back on using retenoic acid, the cancer becomes less aggressive. It has been known for many years that low vitamin A in samples of men’s blood is associated with prostate cancer, but nobody knew the mechanisms involved. This is an exciting new development which links an element from our diet to prostate cancer stem cells.'