Mustard seeds are not a big part of the North American diet. In Japan, however, they are frequently added to many meals and are eaten in abundance. Researchers have noted that the Japanese also have the longest life expectancy in the world. In a recent health breakthrough, researchers have discovered that mustard seeds may play a small but important part in the robust health of the Japanese.
Mustard seeds contain a number of potent phytochemicals to boost your nutritional health. In fact, many of these antioxidants have yet to be fully discovered by scientists in the medical community. Chinese researchers set out to solve some of this mystery by performing a clinical trial.
They used a specially prepared extract made from mustard seeds and applied it to a collection of human colon cancer cells to see if any beneficial effects could be seen. They found that the mustard seed extract helped to prevent the growth of the tumor cells and also to induce death in the cells. They also discovered that a diet enriched with mustard seed decreased plasma levels of a harmful reactive oxygen compound. Mustard seed also boosted the activity of several antioxidant enzymes in a dose-dependent way — in other words, the more mustard seed, the greater the antioxidant effect.
But perhaps the biggest and most significant health benefit from mustard seeds was their ability to reduce colon adenomas (a type of polyp) by about 50%. (For more information on adenomas, read the article called Sleep-Cancer Link We Should All Know). The research team concluded that further studies should be done to explore the beneficial effects of mustard seeds and their rich content of powerful antioxidants.
A Seed That Could Stop Tumor Growth
Yuan, H., et al., “Mustard seeds (Sinapis Alba Linn)
attenuate azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis,” Redox Rep., 2011; 16(1): 38-44.