The Institute of Food Research has recently come up with a new fact saying that certain natural compounds in foods can effectively reduce chronic diseases. Polyphenols in apples and green teas show how polyphenol-rich foods can reduce chronic diseases.
Studies have proved that people consuming large amounts of vegetables and fruits have lesser risk of chronic conditions like cancer and heart diseases. Why is this so? Well, there can be a number of reasons like some vegetables and fruits have a natural compound in them called polyphenols. They act as a protective shield to health problems.
Paul Kroon with his team of members at IFR has publicized polyphenols present in apples and green blends can prevent a molecule names VEGF. This molecule is known to trigger cancer and atherosclerosis. VEGF is the main element that forms blood vessels in cells through the process of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis plays a significant role in plaque rupture and atherosclerotic plague formation that causes stroke and heart attacks. It is also a crucial factor in cancer formation.
Researchers have used the cells from blood vessels and have found that there is low concentration of EGCG polyphenols present in green blends and procyanidin present in apples. They have effectively stopped the functioning of VEGF.
This is the first study that has shown evidence that VEGF and polyphenols directly interact with each other. In words of Paul Kroon, "If this effect happens in the body as well, it provides very strong evidence for a mechanism that links dietary polyphenols and beneficial health effects".
Polyphenols activate another type of enzyme that produces nitric oxide in our blood thereby widening blood vessels and preventing damage. This is really an unexpected fact.
Institute of Food Research
Prime motive of this institute is to discovering the connection between health and food. It receives funds from different institutes for its research. They tend to find out how natural compounds in foods help in staying healthy.