Bile pigment could stave off cancer, heart diseaseJune 26th, 2012 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, June 26 (IANS) Bilirubin, a pigment found in bile, boosts the presence of antioxidants in the blood which could help stave off cancer and cardiovascular disease, potentially opening the way for a new drug and dietary or lifestyle methods of preventing them.
Bile is a fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, whose function was simply thought to aid in the digestion process. But the latest breakthrough regarding bilirubin raises hopes in the fight against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Andrew Bulmer from the Griffith Health Institute with colleagues from the University of Vienna and the Heart Research Institute, Sydney, made the breakthrough, the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine reports.
Bulmer and his team conducted a study with 44 participants, half of whom had Gilbert Syndrome. People with this syndrome show naturally elevated levels of bilirubin and also higher concentrations of antioxidants, which can protect against disease, according to a Griffith statement.
“Analysis of blood revealed that those study participants with Gilbert Syndrome had less free radical damage and consistently showed higher levels of antioxidants in their blood,” said Bulmer.
“Naturally elevated bilirubin concentrations are clearly protecting persons with Gilbert Syndrome from processes implicated in disease initiation and progression,” said Bulmer.
“These findings reveal future potential for new drug, dietary and lifestyle interventions which could be used to mildly increase the concentration of bilirubin in people at risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.”
By chance, Bulmer also discovered that bilirubin potentially reduces cholesterol levels and that this could have an additional impact on preventing cardiovascular disease.
- Vegetables, grain cut stroke risk in women - Dec 04, 2011
- Mediterranean diet a sound recipe for healthy living - Mar 08, 2011
- Gene network behind hardening arteries identified - Sep 19, 2010
- Higher levels of folate in RBCs linked to silenced tumor-suppressors - Dec 23, 2010
- Pine bark extract improves kidney function in patients with metabolic syndrome - Mar 02, 2011
- Potency wrecking compound linked to heart disease - Feb 24, 2012
- Tomatoes can save you from high cholesterol - May 19, 2011
- 'Vitamin C keeps dementia at bay' - Sep 12, 2012
- Sex hormone protects women from cardio risks - Aug 12, 2011
- Dietary supplements can elevate cancer risk: Study - May 16, 2012
- Scientists track mercury poisoning risk from diets - Nov 21, 2011
- 'Low steroid levels tied to heart risks in elderly men' - Jun 24, 2012
- Potential treatment target for congenital heart disease identified - Feb 22, 2011
- Vegan lifestyle 'ups risk of heart attack, stroke' - Apr 07, 2011
- High levels of 'good' cholesterol may decrease bowel cancer risk - Mar 08, 2011
Tags: antioxidants, bile pigment, bulmer, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, digestion process, free radical biology, free radical biology and medicine, free radical damage, gallbladder, gilbert syndrome, health institute, heart disease, heart research institute, initiation, lifestyle interventions, liver, medicine reports, study participants, university of vienna