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Women, consider adding more parsley to your diet.  Though it’s usually seen as a simple accent to meals, new research suggests that it may prevent certain breast cancer cells from multiplying and growing.According to Salman Hyder, from the University of Missouri, a compound called apigenin that is found in parsley and other plant products, including fruits and nuts, caused fewer tumors to develop in rats who were exposed to it.Hyder believes this finding could impact women who are taking certain hormone replacement therapies.

“Six to 10 million women in the United States receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT),” Hyder said in a press release. “We know that certain synthetic hormones used in HRT accelerate breast tumor development.”

Apigenin has been shown to delay or prevent this tumor development by blocking the supply of blood vessels to feed the tumors.  However, it does not stop the initial formation of cancer cells within the breast.

The compound is most prevalent in parsley and celery, but can also be found in apples, oranges, nuts and other plant products. However, apigenin is not absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream, so scientists are unsure of how much can or should be ingested.

“We don’t have specific dosage for humans yet,” Hyder said. “However, it appears that keeping a minimal level of apigenin in the bloodstream is important to delay the onset of breast cancer.”

The study was published in Cancer Prevention Research.