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Distillation remains of 'shochu' help prevent spread of cancer.

KUMAMOTO, Japan, June 20 Kyodo


Distillation remains of ''shochu,'' a popular Japanese spirit, effectively prevent cancer from spreading, according to research released Wednesday by Sojo University in Kumamoto.

Ryuichi Ueoka, a professor of applied chemistry at the university in the southwestern Japan prefecture, led a research group that discovered the effect, group members said.

The group will give a presentation on the effect at the fifth general meeting of the Japanese Association for Molecular Target Therapy of Cancer, beginning Thursday in Tokyo.

The group used a centrifuge to separate the distillation remains of three kinds of shochu into solid bits and supernatant liquid, which they sterilized. They then added the liquid to cultivated cancer cells in a test tube, they said.

The liquid curbed the spread of the cancer cells, such as those of a liver or stomach, by 58% to 98%, they said.

The group members said they will conduct animal testing to determine whether the shochu remains are effective in extending life.

At the same time, they will analyze the active substances in the remains.

Ueoka said hundreds of thousands of tons of the remains are produced annually.

''Dumping them in the sea is about to be prohibited internationally. I hope they can be effectively used not only for medicines but also for food supplements,'' Ueoka said.

Shochu is distilled mainly from rice, oats or potatoes after they are fermented.
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Publication:Japan Science Scan
Date:Jun 23, 2001
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