Watercress Can Detoxify Carcinogens From Cigarette Smoking

By Diane Palmer, Parent Herald April 20, 05:08 am

Watercress could be a weapon against smoking since it can detoxify carcinogens from cigarettes, according to experts. Watercress extract can also reduce the risk of lung cancer tumors.

A new study has suggested that consuming watercress several times a day can stop the activation of tobacco-derived carcinogen from smoking. Researchers of the study observed 82 cigarette smokers as they were asked to take 10 milligrams of watercress extract combined with one millimeter of olive oil for four times a day for one week. Other participants were given placebo extracts.

All participants then had one week as a washout period where they were not advised to take anything, according to Daily Mail. After a week, the extracts were switched so that those who took placebo extracts at first were now given watercress extracts. Every participant continued their regular smoking routines throughout the trial.

After a week of the switch, participants who took watercress extract showed reduced nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone by 7.7 percent. Watercress extract also increased the detoxification of benzene by 24.6 percent and acrolein by 15.1 percent. All mentioned substances are found from smoking cigarettes.

Findings from the study, which was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, also showed how the extract detoxifies carcinogens from cigarette smoke. Since watercress extract is a tolerable, nontoxic treatment that can protect smokers against cancer, the incredibly valuable tool can be a cancer-fighting resource.

In a similar study where laboratory animals were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals from tobacco smoke after watercress extract was included in their daily diets, the test animals were less likely to develop lung cancer tumors by 50 percent. The results also showed similar effects when 11 smokers were recruited to test out the same procedure, according to Natures Health Foods.

Since cigarette smokers are at a greater risk of developing cancer, helping smokers quit the deed should be the priority, according to Dr. Jian-Min Yuan from the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health. Nicotine is extremely addictive which is why quitting the deed can take time and multiple relapses.

However, the researchers of the mentioned study admitted that further clinical trials are needed. Yuan added that the next batch of trials should involve testing smokers by the hundreds before the treatment could be recommended in the market.

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