Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Conventional vs. Organic Wold Premiere - First Study to Confirm: Yes! Extracts From Organic Beets Have Higher Anti-Cancer Activity Than Conventionally Grown Ones

No matter how you eat, 'em. You got to love your organic beets, 'cause the tumors in your belly will hate 'em ;-)
You will probably remember my previous articles about the things you get "extra" with conventional produce, right? The stuff most of you will probably want to avoid. Pesticides, heavy metals, all sorts of nasty chemicals.; obviously all within the tolerable intake level and thus "perfectly safe" - you know ;-)

No? Well, in that case, I would suggest that you go back and take (another?) look at "Conventional vs. Organic: It's Not About Getting More, But Getting Less For Your Money. Less Pesticides, Dioxins & Co" (read more), before you read today's SuppVersity article about the difference between naturally fermented beetroot juices from organic and conventional production in today's article.

You can learn more about beetroot juice at the SuppVersity

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The corresponding experiments were conducted by researchers at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences to determine the level of antioxidants and metabolomic fingerprinting in both raw beetroots and naturally fermented beetroot juices from organic (ORG) vs. conventional (CONV) production.
Figure 1:  Diagram of the beetroots and beetroot juices research in each year of experiment (Kazimierczak. 2014)
And, as a free add-on, Renata Kazimierczak and her colleagues did also test the corresponding  anti-cancer properties of the fermented beetroot juices. And their detailed analysis yielded surprising results. While, ...
"[...t]he obtained results showed that ORG fresh beetroots contained significantly more dry matter, vitamin C, and some individual phenolic compounds than CONV beetroots.
The content of total phenolic acids was significantly higher in conventional beetroots. In view of almost identical flavonoid contents in both, conventional and organic beet roots it would thus be difficult to say, which of them would be "better".
Figure 2: The effect of extracts from organically and conventionally grown beets on AGS gastric cancer cells in
3-day in vitro culture model of human gastric cancer (Kazimierczak. 2014)
In contrast to a very general statement as to which of the two types of beet roots and their natural juices is the "healthier" one, we can make a very specific statement about their anti-cancer activity. A statement of which the data in Figure 2 tells you that it is in favor of the organic produce, which has - in spite of a lower phenolic acid level and an almost identical chemical make-up.
How do beets do their anti-cancer magic? As of now, we cannot tell for sure which chemicals are responsible for the repeatedly confirmed anti-cancer effects of beets and beet products. The most likely more or less beet-specific candidate, is yet a group of molecules which go by the name Betanin-3-O-glucosides, of which you will find - you guessed it - significantly more in the organic beet roots (+45%) with low fertilization level (w/ high fertilization the difference is only 13% and not significant).
World premiere! As the researchers point out "the presented results of in vitro tests are the first relating to the effect of extracts of fermented beetroot juices on gastric cancer cells (AGS cells) in the context of ORG vs. CONV production methods," you have thus just read something no one... well, almost no one else knew: At least for people who believe they are at high risk of gastric cancer paying the extra bucks for organic vs. conventional beet-root juice and extracts may thus well be worth it.

The latter is all the more true, in view of the fact that the results of the study at hand demonstrate that extracts of the juices made from organic beetroots caused a stronger effect on late apoptosis and necrosis in AGS cells than those from conventional ones. They were thus even effective when it's otherwise almost too late.

If you are looking for some "profane" performance effects from the nitrate content, though, you can just as well go with the "regular" beets - just make sure they have been fertilized like crazy. Obviously the high nitrate exposure does also impact the nitrate content of the produce.