Islamabad - Onion has previously been cited for its health benefits, including lowering risk of certain cancers and helping with depression. But now, a new study has found that a compound found in onions has anti-ovarian cancer effects.

After examining the effects of ONA on a preclinical model of EOC in cells, the researchers found that the growth of EOCs slowed down after the team introduced ONA.

They also discovered that ONA inhibited pro-tumor activities of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which the researchers say are linked with the suppression of the anti-tumor immune response of host lymphocytes.

Furthermore, they found that ONA enhanced anti-cancer drugs’ effects by boosting their anti-proliferation ability.  n further experiments on an ovarian cancer mouse model, the researchers used oral doses of ONA. Results showed that the mice had longer lifespans and showed diminished ovarian cancer tumor development. 

The researchers say their study demonstrates that ONA slows progression of ovarian cancer tumors by interrupting myeloid cells’ pro-tumor activity.

They add: “We found that ONA reduced the extent of ovarian cancer cell proliferation induced by co-culture with human macrophages. In addition, we found that ONA directly suppressed cancer cell proliferation. Thus, ONA is considered useful for the additional treatment of patients with ovarian cancer owing to its suppression of the pro-tumor activation of [tumor-associated macrophages] and direct cytotoxicity against cancer cells.”

The investigators did not observe side effects in animals, and they say with more testing, an oral ONA supplement could help cancer patients.

They conclude their study by noting it is the first to report an anti-ovarian cancer effect of ONA.

In a previous study, the same research team found that ONA suppressed the pro-tumor activation of host myeloid cells.

Hunger ‘not linked to

calorie intake’

A new study finds that there is no link between how hungry we feel and the amount of calories we consume. The research, conducted by scientists from the University of Sheffield, shows that food marketed as having appetite-modifying properties does not alter our calorie intake.

Dr Bernard Corfe, from the Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group at Sheffield, and team conducted this study. The new study, however, indicates there is no link between appetite and calorie intake, suggesting some food manufacturers may need to rethink their claims.

The researchers found that only 6 percent of the studies reviewed made a direct statistical comparison between appetite and calorie intake, and only half of these studies found that self-reported appetite correlated with calorie consumption.

The team says these findings indicate that how hungry we feel has no effect on the amount of calories we consume - something that food manufacturers should take into consideration.  “The food industry is littered with products which are marketed on the basis of their appetite-modifying properties. Whilst these claims may be true, they shouldn’t be extended to imply that energy intake will be reduced as a result.

Dr Bernard Corfe” For example, you could eat a meal which claims to satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full up for a long period of time but nonetheless go on to consume a large amount of calories later on.”

Dr Corfe says further research is needed in order to pinpoint precisely what does influence calorie intake; are environmental or social factors involved?

“This will be important to understand how obesity occurs, how to prevent it, and how we need to work in partnership with the food industry to develop improved tests for foods that are genuinely and effectively able to satisfy appetite,” Dr Corfe adds.