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Vitamin A Could Prevent Breast Cancer

Vitamin A is a wonderful nutrient but many people don't get as much as they need to maintain their optimal health. In fact, scientists have long suspected vitamin A may be linked to cancer prevention, but the mechanisms by which this nutrient does its work haven't been well understood. However, new research has discovered a "glitch" in the way the body processes vitamin A may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Once taken into the body, vitamin A is stored in tissues, including the breast. When needed, vitamin A is converted into retinoic acid, which activates the retinoic acid receptor in the cells. If the cells don't have enough vitamin A stored, the receptor doesn't get activated, cells don't differentiate, and they can turn cancerous, according to the lead researcher.

Working with human and mouse breast cells, reasearchers found the problem was with the lack of cellular retinol-binding protein I (CRBP-I), which is involved in the storage process. Without it, the receptors don't work normally. In fact, when researchers put CRPB back in human cells, tumors stopped progressing.

If you read my eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter, you already know I recommend cod liver oil is one of the best sources of vitamin A. Some other excellent sources of natural and beneficial vitamin A:

Yahoo News January 5, 2005

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 1, 1, January 5, 2005

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