Wheat wonder

Juice of seedlings good for cancer patients

Published: Tuesday 31 May 2005

Its juice induces a feeling of the juice of wheat plants less than a week old -- called wheat grass -- can help reduce the physical agony of terminally ill cancer patients by increasing their haemoglobin level, say researchers at Kolkata's Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute. "The use of wheat grass juice in such patients should be encouraged, as it could work as an effective alternative to blood transfusion," claim the scientists led by Asis Mukhopadhyay in their research paper.

However, Bikram Kumar Saha, assistant professor of Medicine, North Bengal Medical College Hospital, Darjeeling, comments, "The role of wheat grass juice in palliative cancer care is little understood. Still, it'd be interesting to observe the net beneficial effect of wheat grass juice after its implementation in general clinical practice."

Wheat grass juice has been proven over many years to benefit people in numerous ways. It cleanses the lymph system, builds the blood, restores balance in the body, removes toxic metals from the cells, nourishes the liver and kidneys and restores vitality, the scientists proclaim. They studied 200 subjects suffering from end-stage cancers who were given two tablespoons of fresh wheatgrass juice daily for three months. The scientists found the mean values (in blood) for haemoglobin, total protein and albumin improved significantly (by 20 per cent, 37 per cent and 40 per cent respectively) and the patients developed a sense of wellbeing following the wheat grass treatment. They believe its low cost, too, should help make it popular.

Explains Mukhopadhyay, "Wheat grass juice contains chlorophyll, which structurally mimics haemoglobin (found in red blood cells) and also helps clean the blood by increasing the oxygen supply. That apart, the juice is rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals and vitamins." The study will be presented at an international science conference to be held in Budapest, Hungary from June 2-5, 2005.

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