Potatoes could help cure cancer, study shows

Researchers are examining a compound found in nightshade plants such as potatoes, as a potential treatment for cancer.

Potatoes could help cure cancer, study shows
© Lars Blankers on Unsplash
Potatoes could help cure cancer, study shows

Scientists believe that potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines may hold the secret to curing cancer. A team of Polish researchers are exploring the possibility of naturally occurring compounds found in nightshade plants having some useful cancer-fighting properties. They also suggest that certain components of these plants could also help patients deal better with the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

Discover our latest podcast

Medicinal plants

Chemotherapy has a high success rate in killing cancer cells. But it comes with some devastating side effects such as hair loss, fatigue and nausea. This prompted researchers at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland to explore the evidence on glycoalkaloids – naturally occurring chemicals in foods like tomatoes, peppers, huckleberries and goji berries – as a possible source of chemotherapeutic properties. Lead study author Magdalena Joanna Winkiel said in a statement:

Scientists around the world are still searching for the drugs which will be lethal to cancer cells — but at the same time safe for healthy cells.

The team also established that these chemicals can be 'powerful clinical tools' in the right doses.

Clark Douglas on Unsplash

What next?

Ms Winkiel and her team focused on five glycoalkaloids — solanine, chaconine, solasonine, solamargine and tomatine — which they believe could be used to develop drugs in the future. However, more research needs to be done to understand how they would fight chemicals in human cells. For instance, there needs to be series of tests done on human cells to determine the safety and efficacy of these glycoalkaloids.

It is not easy despite the advances in medicine and powerful development of modern treatment techniques. That is why it might be worth going back to medicinal plants that were used years ago with success in the treatment of various ailments.

Sources used:

Daily Mail: Could POTATOES hold the cure for cancer? Scientists think so... and say they may even lead to drugs with less brutal side effects

Medical News Today: Cancer treatment: Compound found in potatoes, tomatoes may lead to new drugs

New York Post: Potatoes could hold a ‘powerful’ new treatment for cancer: study

Breast cancer: Having moles on your skin can increase risk of cancer, studies show Breast cancer: Having moles on your skin can increase risk of cancer, studies show