|Ingestion of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum v. arachnoideum) is associated with digestive tract cancer in different regions of Japan, Venezuela and Brazil.
In view of reports that dietary bracken fern causes chromosomal instability in cattle, the clastogenic effect of bracken fern was investigated, in a preliminary study, in peripheral lymphocytes obtained from habitual consumers and a control group of nonconsumers, which were carefully investigated about cancer history or family cancer history, negative in both cases, using protocols comparable to those previously described in studies in cattle raised on bracken pastures.
Cytogenetic analysis showed significant increased levels of chromosomal abnormalities, such as chromatid breaks, in cultured peripheral lymphocytes of the consumer group.
There was no correlation with subjects, gender, smoking habits or alcohol consumption, and the only correlation was with prolonged exposure to dietary bracken.
Source: Recouso, R. C., Santos, R. C. Stocco dos, Freitas, R., Santos, R. C., Freitas, A. C. de, Brunner, O., BeÃ§ak, W. & Lindsey, C. J. (2003): Clastogenic effect of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum v. arachnoideum) diet in peripheral lymphocytes of human consumers: preliminary data. In: Veterinary and Comparative Oncology 1 (1), 22-29.
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