Mundane or Magical: Apples in the Torah and Medicine.
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The apple has long been recognized for its many medicinal benefits even since Talmudic times. References in Jewish literature and Judaic law to apples are both symbolic and medicinal. The study of the apple and its array of health benefits continue in modern times. These benefits, which include reduced risks of many chronic diseases and age-related decline, are attributed to the diverse and abundant polyphenolic content found in apples. In particular, elucidating the anticarcinogenic properties of apple extract may enable more effective and less toxic treatments of cancer and may assist in chemoprevention. In the Laboratory of In Vitro Toxicology at Stern College for Women, under the supervision of Dr. Alyssa Schuck, we studied the anticarcinogenic effects of apple extract towards a cell line isolated from a carcinoma of the human oral cavity. Our results showed the anticarcinogenic and anti-migratory effects of apple extract on oral cancer cells, as well as its selective cytotoxicity towards cancer cells as opposed to normal cells. However, apple extract alone is not as potent as other nutraceuticals in the oral cavity and therefore, future research should focus on cocktails containing apple extract and other nutraceuticals.
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