This site is intended for health professionals only

Hope for tangerine peel in cancer fight


People who eat the peel from tangerines could be improving their resistance to cancer, a study claims.

Researchers from Leicester School of Pharmacy at De Montfort University, UK, found that a substance extracted from the fruit peel can be used to fight human cancer cells.

Salvestrol Q40, which is contained in tangerine peel, is a type of phytoalexin – a substance produced by plants to repel attackers such as insects or fungi. Salvestrol is converted into a  compound by the enzyme P450 CYP1B1, found in cancerous cells, and the result is markedly toxic to such cells.

Dr Hoon L Tan, who conducted the study, said: “Salvestrols may offer a new mechanism of dietary anticancer action.

“Indeed, the depletion of salvestrols in the modern diet is due to the fact that many people no longer eat the skin of fruits, and this may be a major contributory factor to the increasing incidence of some cancers in the human population.

“It is very exciting to find a compound in food that can target cancers specifically.

“However, it is still early days and many tests will be needed before reaching the clinical trial stage.”

The researchers have formed a company called Nature’s Defence Investments to protect the research in the hope of developing a natural drug to fight cancer.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Leicester School of Pharmacy

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“Absolutely! Many cancer centres are already using nutritional therapy to beat cancer, such as the Oasis of Hope in Mexico, which uses metabolic therapy, using nutrition and vitamin B17 or laetrile found in apricot kernels, and seeds of certain fruits such as apples; the Dove clinic in London; and many more. We know cancer cells feed on sugar/carbohydrates – they survive in an anaerobic and acidic environment and especially in a patient who is immunocompromised (eg major stress reduces cortisol levels, which dampens the immune system). As you can see, cancer can occur after a major traumatic event in one’s life. The way to beat cancer is to provide the body with more oxygen through exercise and/or deep breathing techniques, such as yoga or Pilate’s, to eat an alkaline diet and stay off sugar and prevent the causes which triggered it in the first place. In the USA, many GPs are now qualified nutritionists who prescribe nutritional therapy to beat chronic illneses and cancer which conventional medicine cannot cure. Modern medicine is now the second leading cause of death in the USA, exceeding cancer. I am always in support of findings on nutritional medicine. At the end of the day, food is what keeps us alive so why then is it not good enough to save us from illnesses?” – Name and address supplied


Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine