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Cancer diagnosis represents a daunting prospect but research suggests you’re not entirely at the mercy of the killer. You might be able to modify your risk of cancer, with dandelion tea showing promising effects. A doctor explains how the earthy drink could kill pancreatic cancer cells.
Celebrated for its digestive powers, dandelion tea offers more than a sweet delicate taste.
According to doctor Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, the yellowish beverage could reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer begins anywhere in the long, flat gland in your tummy, with 10,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK every year.
Doctor Lee said: “Dandelion, the proper name Taraxacum, has been used as a natural health remedy for hundreds of years.
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“It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and diuretic properties.”
From vitamins to minerals and metabolites to polyphenols, dandelions are brimming with powerful health properties.
The doctor said: “It contains large amounts of B-carotene, in fact, there is as much B-carotene in dandelions gram for gram, as is found in carrots.
“B-carotene has been shown in numerous medical studies to have very powerful anti-cancer effects, including lowering the risk of pancreatic cancer.
“Taraxasterol (TS), taraxerol, chlorogenic acid (CGA), and chicoric acid – all also have anti-cancer properties.”
The expert isn’t the only one to highlight the anti-cancer properties of dandelions as research, published in the journal Pancreas, shows their root can kill pancreatic cancer cells.
The 2012 laboratory study found that dandelion root extract (DRE) was able to induce the death of human pancreatic cancer cells.
What’s more, the research team also noticed that dandelion didn’t seem to damage non-cancerous cells.
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Doctor Lee said: “Other studies have shown DRE also kills human leukaemia cells and colonic cancer cells in mice.
“Scientists believe that pharmacologically active substances in DRE naturally stimulate the body’s apoptosis pathway.
“Apoptosis is the process by which a cell self-destructs. Apoptosis is vital for health, as it is the way old or abnormal cells are recognised within the body and destroyed.
“Apoptosis is the way the body recycles – by clearing out the old and bringing in the new. As we age, apoptosis becomes less efficient.”
While the study suggests that dandelion targets cancer cells, the expert noted that research is currently “only in its infancy”.
The doctor explained that more studies are necessary before drawing any firm conclusions.
The good news is that the evidence conducted so far shows that dandelion tea has low toxicity and “appears to be safe”.
Doctor Lee said: “You can make your own dandelion tea by brewing up the roots, leaves, and stems. Yes, you can eat the blossoms if you want to.”
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