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Finnish research: Cysteine Chewing Gum as a cure for cancers of the mouth

According to a Finnish research it was found that amino acid, l-cysteine can prevent oral cancers. In the developed countries about 80 % of the cancers occur// in the mouth, pharynx and oesophagus. The main causative agent is smoking and alcohol drinking. This results in a strong exposure of the upper digestive tract to acetaldehyde which causes cancer. The research group of Professor Mikko Salaspuro, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, published already in 1990s a hypothesis, that microbes representing normal human digestive tract flora produce locally acetaldehyde from ethanol and that this may expose them for an increased risk of digestive tract cancers.

The hypothesis was strongly supported by Japanese studies showing that digestive tract cancer risk is markedly increased in Japanese drinkers, who have a decreased ability to remove acetaldehyde because of a gene mutation. The cause and effect relationship was subsequently strongly supported by a novel finding of the Finnish research group showing that after a small dose of alcohol Asians with the above mentioned gene mutation have 2-3 times higher concentrations of acetaldehyde in their saliva than those with the normal acetaldehyde removing enzyme.

Most recently, a research group from NIH reported a mechanism that induces DNA-damage in those acetaldehyde concentrations that are found in the saliva after drinking of alcohol. It has been known already for decades that a harmless aminoacid l-cysteine is able to bind effectively acetaldehyde and thereby eliminate its toxicity. On this basis professor Salaspuro and professor Martti Marvola, University of Helsinki, started to develop l-cysteine containing and acetaldehyde eliminating preparations that eventually could be used for the prevention of digestive tract cancers.

The first two preparations were slowly l-cysteine releasing tablets that effectively eliminated acetaldehyde derived to the mouth and sal
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