New Research Explains Why Chocolate is Bad for Cancer PatientsBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Chocolates can be beneficial to a person's health in so many ways, especially the dark chocolates. Previous studies even suggest that it has cancer-fighting capabilities due to antioxidants. But while many people believe that chocolates are good for the health, new research suggests that it even worsens the condition of cancer patients.
Chocolates contain palm oil and palm oil stimulates a protein in human called CD36. According to experts, it plays a significant role when it comes to spreading cancer cells throughout the rest of the body which only makes the disease more life threatening.
Spanish researchers have found this type of protein in the membranes of tumor cells taken from cancer patients. To confirm their theory, they conducted a test with mice which was injected with human mouth cancer and fed it with a low-fat or high-fat diet. Dietary fats were also found to stimulate CD36 that enables the spread of cancer.
These animals with cancer exposed to the CD36 protein developed metastasis, the process by which cancer cells spread out in the body. Only have of these mice had their cancer spread because for the other half, antibodies blocked the protein preventing the metastasis. Because of these findings from the test, the researchers are now working to develop antibodies that will also block CD36 in humans.
Lead researcher Professor Salvador Benitah said: "In mice inoculated with human tumour cells, there appears to be a direct link between fat intake and an increase in metastatic potential through CD36.
"More studies are needed to unravel this intriguing relationship, above all because industrialised countries are registering an alarming increase in the consumption of saturated fats and sugar. "
According to Dr Lara Bennett, science communications manager at Worldwide Cancer Research, if the researchers will be able to develop an antibody to be used for treatment for cancer patients, they it could be used to save thousands of lives in the future.