Annurca Apple Polyphenols Have Potent Demethylating Activity and Can Reactivate Silenced Tumor Suppressor Genes
As a refresher, it is helpful to view our DNA as a huge book, with every cell in our body having this same copy of the book. However, to keep liver cells from turning on brain DNA our body uses paper clips to block out those chapters. The more DNA is protected by these paper clips, the less likely it is that damage is going to occur to this “protected” DNA. This “paperclipping” is a process called methylation.
Because of this, we normally think of anything that demethylates to be a potentially harmful thing. Of course, with this study, we are constantly reminded of how little we know. Tumor suppressor and promoter genes do just that–promote or protect against tumors. Methylate a tumor promoter and you’ve lowered risk of cancer. On the flip side, if you demethylate a tumor suppressor, you’ve just lowered your risk as well.
This study finds that Polyphenols in apples do the later–demethylate a tumor suppressor related to colorectal cancer–allowing it to do its job of protecting against tumors.