A common finding is that in these areas prostate cancer is on the rise. One of the known causes of prostate cancer is arsenic.
From India we find a report that finds help from the 'stinking rose'.
Garlic effective in treating arsenic poisoning
Garlic, known for centuries to keep vampires and bad spirits at bay, may now help Indians ward off arsenic poisoning. An animal study, involving rats, conducted by scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata, has found evidences to prove that garlic helps fight arsenic poisoning, caused by drinking contamination groundwater.
The six-member team, headed by Dr. Keya Chaudhuri, observed rats for five days during which time they were administered daily doses of garlic and arsenic, equivalent to the levels found in groundwater in India and Bangladesh.
Scientists then found that rats who consumed garlic extracts had 40% less arsenic in their blood and liver and also passed 45% more arsenic in their urine. Chaudhuri told TOI:” Garlic proved effective because it is rich in sulphur, which scavenged arsenic from tissues and blood.”
According to the team, the 100 million people living in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Tripura besides Bangladesh that have high quantities of arsenic in the groundwater, should eat one to three cloves of garlic per day as a way to minimize aesenic’s poisonous effects.
Chaudhuri said:” When we mixed garlic extracts, rich in sulphur, with sodium arsenite in the lab, we saw that within 24 hours, the arsenic contents from the mixture precipitated completely. That's when we decided to test garlic extracts in human cell lines and in rata.”
Rajdeep Chowdhury from the team added: ”This finding should immensely help Indians and Bangladeshis who are worst affected by arsenic contamination of drinking water. It’s natural, makes food tasty when added, and has no side-effects. Those living in the arsenic-contaminated belts of India must immediately increases garlic consumption.”
The team has reported its study, ”In vitro and in vivo reduction of sodium arsenite induced toxicity by aqueous garlic extract”, in the latest issue of the journal ‘Food and Chemical Toxicology.’
The Study says more than 70 million in Bangladesh and West Bengal are exposed to in-organic arsenic compounds through drinking water and are suffering from its chronic or acute toxic effects. This has led the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify arsenic as a group 1 human carcinogen.
“The beneficial health properties of garlic, a major component of Asian diets, its antioxidant activities, accredited to the biologically active sulphur -bearing compounds encouraged us to look into its anti-arsenic activities. Garlic was found to have an over whelming inhibitory activity over arsenic induced toxicity. The observations from lab experiments portrayed that garlic reduces arsenic induced cytotoxicity. Tests on rats also corroborate the therapeutic efficacy of garlic over arsenic.”.
“Garlic can be given as a dietary supplement to human exposed to environmental toxicants. Further studies are being initiated for the choices of appropriate dose, duration of treatment and possible effects on major organs,” the study adds.
It is estimated that 57 million people are drinking groundwater with arsenic concentrations higher than WHO’s standard of 10 parts per billion. Arsenic increases the risk of cancer of the lung, skin, bladder, liver, kidney and prostate.
Source: The Times of India