Washington: In a new study, chlorophyll in green vegetables was found to offer protection against cancer when tested against the modest carcinogen exposure levels most likely to be found in the environment, but it actually increases the number of tumours at very high carcinogen exposure levels.Beyond confirming the value of chlorophyll, the study at Oregon State University raises serious questions about whether traditional lab studies done with mice and high levels of toxic exposure are providing accurate answers to what is a real health risk, what isn’t, and what dietary or pharmaceutical approaches are useful.The findings were done using 12,360 rainbow trout as laboratory models, instead of more common laboratory mice. Rodent studies are much more expensive, forcing the use of fewer specimens and higher carcinogen exposures.“There’s considerable evidence in epidemiologic and other clinical studies with humans that chlorophyll and its derivative, chlorophyllin, can protect against cancer,” said Tammie McQuistan, a research assistant working with George Bailey, a professor emeritus in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.“This study, like others before it, found that chlorophyll can reduce tumors, up to a point,” McQuistan said.“But at very high doses of the same carcinogen, chlorophyll actually made the problem worse. This questions the value of an approach often used in studying cancer-causing compounds,” she stated.
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