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Should you avoid asparagus? Maybe not

Are you eschewing asparagus because of recent headlines suggesting that it raises your cancer risk?

Some recent research suggested foods that contain high levels of asparagine, an amino acid, may be associated with the spread of breast cancer, as USA Today reported.

A study of lab mice found cutting levels of asparagine “dramatically” reduced the spread of triple-negative breast cancer. The researchers, who published their work in the journal Nature, used a number of methods to reduce asparagine levels in mice, including changes to their diets, as USA Today noted.

From there, legions made the assumption that you should cut asparagus, as well as potatoes and seafood (which are also high in asparagine) out of your diet to stave off cancer. But now many doctors are warning against this assumption, pointing out that asparagus will not give you cancer.

“Our bodies make asparagine, as well as many of the other amino acids that form proteins, and [asparagine synthetase] is one of the enzymes that helps make it,” explained Dr. Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science for the American Council on Science and Healthy said in the Baltimore Sun.

Asparagine is found in asparagus, but also in a cavalcade of other healthy foods that you should by no means avoid: Animal products, potatoes, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are all culprits of spreading this “cancerous” protein, as the Sun notes.

“Putting patients on a diet low in asparagine is probably not realistic because asparagine is everywhere [and, as mentioned above, our bodies make it, anyway.]” Berezow explained in the Sun.

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©2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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