If you love loading your nachos with guacamole and spinach dip, scientists have good news — the popular appetizers may help keep cancer at bay. Researchers from University of Basel find that magnesium-rich foods, including avocados, spinach, bananas, and beans, all help to boost the immune system.
Study authors say magnesium levels are an important factor in the body’s ability to stave off tumors and infections. The new study, published in the journal Cell, could have important implications for cancer patients.
Infection-killing T cells are the body’s main weapon that the immune system uses to destroy cancer cells directly. However, lab experiments reveal they are only effective in a magnesium-rich environment. Specifically, the nutrient triggers a protein called LFA-1 that acts as a docking site on the surface of cells.
“However, in the inactive state this docking site is in a bent conformation and thus cannot efficiently bind to infected or abnormal cells,” says co-author Professor Christoph Hess in a university release.
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SOURCE: Study Finds