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Health Briefs

July 2, 1996
Web posted at: 8:00 a.m. EDT

Cranberries might help fight cancer

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Two University of Illinois researchers said initial studies showed cranberries and related fruit might help to prevent the growth of tumors and enable the body to fight off cancer-causing enzymes.

The findings followed more than two years of extensive research using animal cell cultures, not "full-blown animal studies," said Keith Singletary, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at the university.

Singletary said more research is needed to determine whether increased consumption of cranberries will prevent cancer. The professor said the research showed that cranberries and related fruit such as lingonberries appeared to help protect tissues from cancer-causing enzymes. In addition, the fruit also appeared to help slow down rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Fat substitute may be bad for health

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The fat substitute, olestra, came under attack Monday by a scientific group which said the product is not healthy for public consumption.

Frito-Lay has been test marketing chips made with olestra in three markets since April, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest charged the product had caused adverse reactions -- such as diarrhea, severe cramping and anal leakage -- in 20 percent of those surveyed and severe reactions in 4 percent. ( 845K QuickTime movie)

CSPI has called on Frito-Lay to voluntarily recall the chips, and for the Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its approval of olestra.

The FDA approved the fat substitute in January; CSPI is the same group that caused a public uproar when it announced movie popcorn was saturated with fat.

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