ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
More Single Women Are Having Babies
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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