Developments to Watch
CHOCOLATE, GARLIC, AND BEEF FAT: EAT UP?
FOLKLORE HAS LONG RE- garded garlic as good for you. The first support for this notion was evidence that garlic kills cultured human cancer cells in the lab. Now, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have shown that a compound in garlic, diallyl disulfide, can shut down or kill human colon cancer cells transplanted into mice. The experiments were performed by Sujatha Sundaram, a PhD nutrition student, and department head John A. Milner. They presented their results at a conference in Atlanta on Apr. 12.
On the other hand, another Penn State team has debunked a different piece of accepted wisdom. Associate professor Yu-Yan Yeh and his student, T.K. Pai, reported that saturated fat in beef and chocolate may not be so terrible after all. In fact, they may help lower "bad" cholesterol. Rat liver cells were treated with fatty acids from palm oil and coconut oil, or stearic acid from chocolate and meat. The latter resulted in much lower levels of triglyceride--a precursor to bad cholesterol.EDITED BY OTIS PORT