The spice, saffron, shows promise in preventing liver cancer in animal models. Rats treated with the chemical carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN) there was an inhibition of cell proliferation and stimulation of apoptosis, both of which are important cancer treatment mechanisms. Chronic infection with hepatitis B or C are major risk factors for primary hepatocellular carcinoma. DEN is an environmental carcinogen found in tobacco smoke, cosmetics, gasoline, and processed foods including milk and meat products.
Saffron has antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.
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