Ward off Cancer and Heart Diseases with Carrots

Carrots might not be your favorite vegetable, but did you know they contain a natural compound with the potential to prevent various diseases? Scientists at the FEMSA Centre of Biotechnology at Technologic of Monterrey (ITESM) have developed a new technique using grated carrots to extract this beneficial compound called shikimic acid.

Shikimic acid has been shown to have properties that can help prevent cancer, flu, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative conditions. Traditionally, shikimic acid is obtained from plants using genetic engineering methods. However, the new technique developed by the researchers involves stressing the carrot tissue through cutting and applying herbicides, which activates the carrot’s metabolism and modulates the carbon flow, leading to the accumulation of shikimic acid and other phenolic compounds.

Daniel Alberto Jacobo Velazques, the lead researcher, explained that the process involves optimizing the production of these compounds within the carrot tissue. Once optimized, the researchers aim to extract shikimic acid to produce dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products such as Tamiflu, which is used to treat flu.

Additionally, the extraction process also yields phenolic compounds, known for their antioxidant properties. These compounds help prevent diseases by neutralizing free radicals in the bloodstream, thus reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

The development of this new technique offers a promising alternative to traditional methods of obtaining shikimic acid and underscores the potential health benefits of incorporating carrots into our diets. So, next time you see a carrot on your plate, you might want to give it a second thought!