Back in 1969 Walter Troll, Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at New York University made his life's most momentous discovery: that an, ingredient in seeds and nuts called protease inhibitors (PIs) actually can block the development of cancers by interfering with oncogenes. These are genes that potentially can change normal cells to cancerous cells and proteases that promote cancer.
Lab experiments revealed that PIs prevent the growth of human breast cancer and colon cancer cells. Protease inhibitors from seeds and beans fed to lab animals put the biochemical brakes on breast, colon, and skin cancers. Protease inhibitors injected into mice protect them from doses of normally lethal radiation.
But can protease inhibitors eaten in seeds, nuts, and legumes survive the acid hazards of a trip down the alimentary canal? "Absolutely," Dr. Troll told me. "I have traced them by radioactivity in animals, and they came out intact."
The powerful digestive juices in the stomach etch away the seed's outer coat, but, without question, the protease inhibitors are not destroyed or changed in the intestinal tract.
Although protease inhibitors are a blessing to mankind - womankind, too - they were included in seeds for another purpose: to make them an indestructible and indigestible curse to birds that eat them, Dr. Troll told me. Therefore, seeds are excreted whole by birds, so they can fall to earth and bring about new plants.
Proteases are enzymes that split protein into various amino acids.
Protease inhibitors are little known antioxidants that serve as palace guards who prevent free radicals from sabotaging our health. There's more. They also serve as internal surgeons who repair DNA damage and cut off the food supply to cancers, actually destroying them.