Mushrooms and marigolds

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Scientific discoveries and on going research

More news from the carotenoid family: Canthaxanthin, a carotenoid found in certain mushrooms and used as a food coloring in cheese, seems to have cancer-fighting potential. Doses of canthaxanthin were fed to lab rats along with their regular diet for three weeks. Other rats used as experimental controls got no carotenoids. Animals in each group were injected with a chemical that causes breast cancer. The canthaxanthin-fed animals developed 65 percent fewer cancers than the control animals (Oncology, volume 48, 1991). There's no evidence yet that canthaxanthin will have the same protective effect in people. The researchers say their next step is to perform similar tests with another carotenoid--lutein extracted from marigolds. Lutein is found with beta-carotene in many foods as well, such as spinach and kale.

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