Asparagus has a lot of fans and detractors. Some people love the flavor, and others can’t get past the fact that it makes your pee smell funny. Now a new study is tying a compound found in the vegetable to the spread of breast cancer. The compound, aptly named asparagine has been shown to spur on the advance of cancerous cells. A reduction of intake of asparagine in mice led to a reduction of secondary tumors in other tissues.
the research, which has only been conducted on mice at this point, showed that the compound is important for the cancer’s ability to spread and that limiting asparagine in the diets of humans could become a significant part of future cancer treatment protocols. More effective than limited intake in mice was the administration of the drug, L-asparaginase, which blocks absorption of the compound into the body.
The original study was published in the the Journal Nature.