Studies have not established the effect of bananas on breast cancer

Bananas are a good dietary source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and fiber, as well as some other B vitamins and iron. Bananas have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, neuroprotective and antioxidant activities and to reduce blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease. Bananas also appear to protect the stomach lining against acid and ulcers. Bananas contain several compounds with known anti-cancer activities, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lectin, melatonin, and dopamine.

Components of bananas have been shown to inhibit proliferation of leukemia and liver cancer cells in the laboratory. Mice fed bananas were found to have reduced development of malignant ascites induced by Erhlich carcinoma cells. Consumption of bananas has been found to be associated with reduced risks of childhood leukemia, glioma (a type of brain cancer), renal cell carcinoma, as well as oral, esophageal and colorectal cancer.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating bananas

The anticancer activities of bananas do not appear to be primarily due to antioxidant components since bananas have among the lowest levels of antioxidant activity of any fruit as measured by traditional methods. However, it is evident that bananas do have anti-cancer properties and do not promote cancer. One 2009 study of Chinese women found that banana consumption was associated with lower risk of breast cancer.

Additional comments

Like plantains, unripe or green bananas must be cooked, whereas ripe common (or sweet) bananas usually are eaten raw.

Note that while we are continually searching for new evidence concerning this food, there is not much interest in it among cancer researchers so few recent studies are available.

Tags: alphaCarotene, banana, betaCarotene, carotenoid, fiber, lectin, vitaminB6

Selected breast cancer studies

Association of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine with risk of breast cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis Dietary Intake of Melatonin from Tropical Fruit Altered Urinary Excretion of 6-Sulfatoxymelatonin in Healthy Volunteers Influence of Polysaccharides of Banana Peel on Proliferation,Colony Formation and Expression of Nuclear Factor-κB in Human Breast Cancer Cells Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of selected tropical fruits from Malaysia, extracted with different solvents Circulating melatonin and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in women Musa acuminata (Del Monte banana) lectin is a fructose-binding lectin with cytokine-inducing activity Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women Application of Visible and Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (Vis/NIRS) to Determine Carotenoid Contents in Banana (Musa spp.) Fruit Pulp Cellular Antioxidant Activity of Common Fruits Development of Functional Foods in the Philippines Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: A prospective study of Swedish women

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