A study found that the starch in green bananas can reduce some cancers by 60%

If you like your bananas a little green, there may be some unexpected health benefits.

A 20-year study found that the starch in unripe bananas can reduce the risk of certain cancers by more than 60 percent.

Along with bananas, this type of starch is also found in oats, whole grains, pasta, rice, beans, and peas.

The study, led by experts from the Universities of Newcastle and Leeds, and Published in the journal Cancer Prevention Researchcan have important results in reducing cancers in the upper part of the intestines, which can be difficult for doctors to detect and diagnose.

During the study, participants received a dose of this starch, known as resistant starch, equivalent to eating an unripe and still slightly green banana.

About 1,000 patients with Lynch syndrome — an inherited condition that increases the risk of cancer, especially in the colon and rectum — took the dose for an average of two years.

The study found that while starch did not affect colon cancer, it halved the risk of cancer in other parts of the body.

It has particularly affected gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, biliary tract, pancreas, and duodenum.

The effect of taking the supplement was observed for 10 years after the patients stopped taking it.

“We found that resistant starch reduces the range of cancer by more than 60 percent. The effect was most pronounced in the upper intestine,” said John Mathers, professor of human nutrition at Newcastle University. the statement said.

“The dose used in the trial is equivalent to eating a daily banana: before they get too ripe and soft, the starch in the banana resists breakdown and reaches the gut, where it can change the type of bacteria that live there.”

Resistant starch powder can be taken as a supplement and occurs naturally in beans, peas, oats and other starchy foods, he added.

Resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in the gut

Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that, unlike most carbohydrates, is not absorbed in the small intestine.

Instead, it ferments in the colon and feeds healthy gut bacteria.

Professor Mathers believes that he and his colleagues can reduce the amount of bile acids in the gut that cause resistant DNA damage and ultimately cancer, thereby reducing the development of cancer. He cautioned that further studies would be needed to verify this.

“The results are interesting, but the magnitude of the protective effect in the upper GI tract was unexpected, so further research is needed to replicate these findings,” said Professor Tim Bishop of Leeds Medical School.

Previous research published as part of the same trial showed that aspirin reduced the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent.

Long-term study shows ‘clear benefits’

From 1999 to 2005, nearly 1,000 study participants took either powdered resistant starch or a placebo daily for two years.

At the end of the treatment phase, there was no overall difference in cancer incidence between those who received resistant starch and those who did not. However, research designed to investigate any protective effect of the team will continue to develop further.

During the follow-up period, there were only five new cases of upper GI cancer among the 463 participants who received the resistant starch, compared to 21 among the 455 who received the placebo.

“When we started our research more than 20 years ago, we thought it would help to test whether people with a genetic predisposition to colon cancer could reduce their cancer risk with aspirin or resistant starch,” says Professor Sir John Burn. Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust jointly ran the trial.

“Patients with Lynch syndrome found that aspirin could halve the risk of colon cancer and resistant starch reduced the risk of other cancers, making them more likely to develop cancer.”

He noted that based on this trial, the UK’s Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) now recommends aspirin to people at high genetic risk of cancer.

“The benefits are clear – aspirin and resistant starch work,” he said.


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