Tangerines may tackle cancer

One of the delights of the winter period for me as a child was the appearance of tangerines. Oranges were just too much trouble to tackle, but those small, sweet tangerines were just right for small fingers. Now it appears that new research by the Leicester School of Pharmacy has revealed that tangerine peel can kill certain human cancer cells. They found that salvestrol, which is a chemical produced by plants to repel attackers such as insects or fungi, was also able to kill cancer cells. Salvestrol is converted into a toxic compound by a particular enzyme which is found in much higher levels in cancer cells. It was found to be 20 times more toxic to cancer cells than to healthy cells. Eating tangerine peel doesn’t seem like much of an appetiser, but if you want to protect against cancer than salvestrol is found in other fruit and vegetables including those other winter favourites broccoli and Brussels sprouts.