Could the Next Chemotherapy be Derived from a Weed?

As much as I may complain about weeds, one that I enjoy (in moderation and not among my vegetables) is dandelions. The bright yellow flowers herald spring, and the seed puffballs, while not as visually interesting, offer entertainment as I watch birds landing on the shaft, bending it and eating the seeds. When I am pulling out the taproots with my dandelion weeding tool, I like to leave them on my lawn to break down because the roots are known to draw up nutrients. As it turns out, dandelion root is more than a nutrient source for other plants; it has been used for medicinal purposes. And now Ovadje, Hamm and Pandey have published research showing that dandelion root extract is able to induce apoptosis of leukemia cell lines while leaving normal blood cells untouched. Continue reading “Could the Next Chemotherapy be Derived from a Weed?”

Milk (Fat) Does a Body Good

One Milk Marketing Board campaign uses celebrities to promote its product by photographing them with milk moustaches. Glamour aside, selling cow’s milk is important to the livelihood of many farmers worldwide and generates a variety of well-appreciated products. What would pizza be without cheese? Summer without ice cream? Lunches without yogurt? Mashed potatoes without butter? Flammkuchen without crème fraiche? You can see where I am going with this. I live in America’s Dairyland where people commonly drink milk with meals. I think there is nothing better than a cold glass of milk with a rich chocolate cake. However, the Milk Marketing Board has missed a significant finding: milk fats can attenuate metastasis and some of the systemic effects of cancer and chemotherapy—at least in mice. Continue reading “Milk (Fat) Does a Body Good”