Tangerine Peel May Help Fight Cancer

Compound in fruit's skin attacks, destroys abnormal cells
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2007 3:54 PM CDT
Marianne Zumbo of Winter Park, Florida, left, inspects tangerines, with her mother Ida Zumbo at A & R Produce on Howell Branch Road in Winter Park, Florida, on Friday, January 9, 2004.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – UK researchers may have found a natural way to combat certain cancers. In tests, a chemical compound in tangerine peel attacked and destroyed cancer cells. The findings could lead to treatments for cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and ovaries, Reuters says. “It is very exciting to find a compound in food that can target cancers specifically,” said one chemist.

The chemist speculated that the results reflected deficiencies in the modern diet, which typically excludes the skin of fruits. “This may be a major contributory factor to the increasing incidence of some cancers in the human population,” he said. Scientists caution that the research is still in an early phase and that more research is necessary.