Jam, jelly, Cancer CellIf you love your morning toast all dripping with jam and jelly, carry on. You may just be unknowingly protecting yourself from cancer. That’s right! A recent laboratory study by the Institute of Food Research in Norwich claims that your regular jar of jam and jellies could help tackle cancer.

An ideal snack to replace lost energy after a work-out, nutritionist already claim that jam is a great option to help to get glycogen back into muscles quickly and efficiently due to its quick ability to release sugars .The substance in jam and jelly that may protect you against the disease is pectin. Though present in these processed foods in a more altered form, pectin is a natural fibre found in fruits and vegetables and having a wide use in processed foods.

Lead researcher, Professor Vic Morris, reveals, “The treatments used by the food industry to modify pectin would emphasize the release of the fragment we’ve identified. I expect you would get some protection from jam, but it’s packed full of sugar. It might be better to get the same protection from fruit and vegetables which would give you other anti-cancer magic bullets as well.”

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research conducted a series of laboratory tests to determine the role of pectin in curbing cancer. They found that in the modified form and under the right conditions pectin releases a molecular fragment which binds to galectin 3, the protein that helps cancer progression. By sticking to this protein, pectin halts all stages of cancer growth.

However the researchers are also trying to find if people would benefit better by consuming fruits and vegetables rich in pectin. The internet already sells many pectin supplements that apparently detoxify the body and protect against cancer. This study is backed by an earlier research by scientists at the University of Georgia in the US who found that pectin slowed the growth of prostate cancer while other studies on animals suggest pectin can fight lung and colon cancers.

While the British Nutrition Foundation indicates moderate consumption of jam as an ideal snack, this study claiming jam helps fight cancer is published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.