A few good reasons to eat raisins

This morning I was going to write a post about a new plant extract that was found to kill myeloma cells in vitro, but then I received a peculiar Google Alert, so I am going to post about that instead: today’s edition of the Tamil Star (http://tinyurl.com/ywbegh) reports that, contrary to popular belief ( = raisins cause cavities), raisins fight cavities and gum disease thanks to these phytochemicals: “oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, betulinic acid, and 4-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural.”
In particular, as we can read in this 2005 Science Daily article (http://tinyurl.com/z66ya), oleanolic acid inhibits “the growth of two species of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease.”
But let me get to the real reason I mentioned raisins today. I have already posted about two of these phytochemicals: betulinic acid and oleanolic acid. In vitro, both have apoptotic effects on myeloma cells. No kidding. Please see my oleanolic acid post, written back on June 18 2007, and the one on betulinic acid, July 12 2007 post; you can also see my permanent pages on both compounds.
Obviously, I am not saying that we should eat huge amounts of raisins, which I am sure wouldn’t be good for us in other ways, but I wonder how many other foods fall into the category of “fights cancer AND cavities.” 
Besides, as far as I am concerned, another good reason to add a handful of raisins to my daily intake (which I do, now and again…) is that they also contain iron, and I am right at the low end of the normal serum iron range.
So now, please excuse me, I am off to eat a handful of raisins! 

1 Comment

  1. Hi, Margaret.

    I’ve been thinking about raisins for a few days. And, I think I should be raisin’ the subject of concentrated sugar and its potentially negative effects on cancer patients. I’m a little afraid for you – or anyone – to eat dried fruit of any kind. I have to confess that I’ve done it (dried mangoes and prunes), and have seen the nasty results in my lab reports. I’ve since stopped eating all dried fruit. I’d love to hear from anyone else who has opinions about this topic. Cathy

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