ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer

A popular nutritional supplement -- extract of bitter melon -- may help protect women from breast cancer, researchers say.

Bitter melon is a common vegetable in India, China and South America, and its extract is used in folk remedies for diabetes because of its blood-sugar lowering capabilities, according to the researchers.

"When we used the extract from that melon, we saw that it kills the breast cancer cells," said lead researcher Ratna Ray, a professor of pathology at Saint Louis University. But their work was done in a laboratory, not in humans, she noted.

The bitter melon extract killed only the cancer cells, not the healthy breast cells. "We didn't see any death in the normal cells," she said.

However, these results are not proof that bitter melon extract prevents or cures breast cancer.

"I don't believe that it will cure cancer," Ray said. "It will probably delay or perhaps have some prevention."

The report was published online Feb. 23 in advance of print publication March 1 in Cancer Research.

For the study, Ray's team treated human breast cancer cells with bitter melon extract, which is sold in U.S. health food stores and over the Internet.

The extract slowed the growth of these breast cancer cells and even killed them, the researchers found. The next step is to see if the team can repeat these findings in animals, Ray said. If so, human trials might follow.

Eating bitter melon could also have a beneficial effect, Ray said. "It has ingredients which are good for the health." Those ingredients include Vitamin C and flavonoids.

Marji McCullough, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, expressed interest in the findings.

"The results of this laboratory study are intriguing," McCullough said. "But before recommending bitter melon extract supplements for cancer prevention, we need appropriate clinical trials to establish its safety and efficacy in humans."

For now, the cancer society recommends getting nutrients through foods, not supplements, McCullough said.

This involves eating "a plant-based diet including a variety of vegetables and fruits," she said. "Many supplements have biologic activity, but before I recommend that people take isolated supplements they need to be tested in humans."

Current recommendations to prevent breast cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, exercising and eating a healthful diet, McCullough said.

SOURCES: Ratna Ray, Ph.D., professor, pathology, Saint Louis University; Marji McCullough, Sc.D., R.D., strategic director, nutritional epidemiology, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Feb. 23, 2010, Cancer Research Published on: February 23, 2010